“1) You seem to be overlooking UN resolutions that were passed after res 465 which abandoned the straight up call for settlements to be abandoned.
Specifically, in 2003 the UNSC passed res. 1515 which endorsed the “Quartet Performance-based Roadmap to a Permanent Two-State Solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” (S/2003/529).
As you may know, the “Roadmap” calls for for a freeze by Israel of all settlement activity, including “natural growth”, and the dismantlement of all settlement outposts erected since March 2001 , and it calls for a negotiated final agreement on the major settlements .
And notably res 2334 specifically recalls res 1515.” – Siberiak
I’m disappointed that you think I overlooked anything ;) I’d rather be wrong than lazy or less than meticulous. So, no, I didn’t overlook UNSC 1515, and by extension, S/2003/529, although I will admit that this particular resolution did give me pause before penning this article (I made sure to go over every relevant resolution before writing this article; however, you seem to have hinted in your reply that there are other resolutions as well beyond S/2003/529; I didn’t see anything else, but feel free to add to this comment if there’s another resolution you think is relevant). I did not include an analysis of S/2003/529 in the article because of length and other factors, although in retrospect, that may have been wise; to be clear, I don’t believe that this changes the conclusion about weaker language being used vs. prior resolutions, but it would probably have been a good addition. So here’s my take on S/2003/529:
1) First, as you know very well, S/2003/529 is not a “settlement-centric” resolution. Its scope is vastly beyond settlements, and as such, it’s not surprising to see settlement-language that’s not present in the resolution. For example, S/2003/529 doesn’t reiterate that settlements are a flagrant violation of international law, doesn’t refer the 4th Geneva convention, doesn’t discuss the inadmissibility of territorial acquisition by war, and many other settlement-specific statements that we see in prior settlement-specific resolutions like UNSC 465, as well as UNSC 2334. So I didn’t necessarily think that this was a true apples-to-apples comparison, whereas UNSC 465 for example vs. 2334 was (in fact, for the settlement-specific pieces, it’s almost as if they started with 465, updated it and weakened it).
2) That’s not to say that S/2003/529 doesn’t touch on settlements at all. It does, in small parts here and there, with vague enough language given that, again, it wasn’t a settlement specific resolution. But anyway, let’s examine S/2003/529 language that does touch on settlements. You state that “the “Roadmap calls for for a freeze by Israel of all settlement activity, including “natural growth”, and the dismantlement of all settlement outposts erected since March 2001, and it calls for a negotiated final agreement on the major settlements”.
I don’t fully agree with this. First, let’s put things in context. This was at the height of the 2nd Intifada, and the Roadmap was an attempt at a 3-phase approach to restore order, build confidence between parties, with a final goal of full peace between all parties. So, let’s be clear here.
*In Phase 1*, S/2003/529 states:
“GOI immediately dismantles outposts erected since march 2001.
“Consistent with the Mitchell report, GOI freezes all settlement activity (including natural growth of settlements)”.
My interpretation here is that this is requested from the GOI as a confidence building step for Palestinians (who were required to end violence etc in Phase 1). This is not the end of action on settlements, but solely the beginning to get the process going. Dismantling settlements in Phase 1 is illogical within context. This interpretation is buttressed by the following language in *Phase 2*:
“Creation of an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders through a process of Israeli-Palestinian engagement, launched by the international conference. As part of this process, implementation of prior agreements, to enhance *maximum territorial contiguity, including further action on settlements* in conjunction with establishment of a Palestinian state with provisional borders”
Here, we have a further statement on settlements, and reference to “maximum territorial contiguity, including further action on settlements”. Now, I grant that the word dismantlement doesn’t show up here explicitly, but that’s certainly a reasonable interpretation (though I grant that you could interpret it differently). You, on the other hand, state that S/2003/529 “calls for a negotiated final agreement on the major settlement”. I don’t see that anywhere in the text (neither minor nor major settlements). I see: a process of engagement that leads to provisional borders and that enhances “maximum territorial contiguity, including further action on settlements”.
Now you might say, your interpretation is implicit in the wording, otherwise, why not call for straight up dismantlement of settlements? There are different possible reasons for that within the context of when this was passed (not a settlement specific resolution; perhaps this was purposefully ambiguous to preserve each party’s favored interpretation on settlements while encouraging them to come back to the table to negotiate, etc), but I am willing to grant that this is weaker than a call for straight up dismantlement of settlements (though again, that’s certainly a reasonable interpretation). However, regardless of how you interpret it, you’ll be hard pressed to argue that it’s not a stronger call than the language used in UNSC 2334. In fact, what’s interesting is that in the preamble of UNSC 2334, you do have reference to the settlement language of Phase 1 of S/2003/529, but not language of Phase 2 (for example, nowhere do we have the words “enhance maximum territorial contiguity” in UNSC 2334).
So I grant that this is an interesting resolution to discuss (although perhaps less relevant than settlement-specific resolutions). As previously mentioned, I should have probably included an analysis in the text of the main article, as opposed to discussing this in the comments (perhaps I’ll add this to my blog). But I do still believe that UNSC 2334 language is still weaker than even S/2003/529.
“On the other hand, res 2334 is a step forward in delegitimizing Israel and legitimizing BDS” – Siberiak
As previously mentioned, given that it doesn’t add anything new but is still weaker than prior resolutions on settlement language, hard to argue it’s a step forward. As for BDS, I’ve already addressed this in a reply to you in another comment, towards the bottom of the page. But I’ll re-iterate the main points:
1) The firth operative clause that people are referring to as legitimizing BDS is nothing new. There are mounds of international documents that say that, and which certain countries have already used to distinguish between “Israel proper” and the settlements. For example, the EU already uses that distinction to require labeling of certain products from the settlements on that basis. Now, you may argue that yes, it’s not new, but reinforces that view. Sure, but not sure that’s a step forward. Simply re-iterating what’s already well understood in other legal documents and opinions.
2) Furthermore, this only touches on a specific, narrowly-focused, version of BDS: that against settlements; i.e. BDS ceases when Israel dismantles settlements. As you know full well, within the broader context of BDS, there is no necessary connection between achieving any of the three aims of BDS and settlement dismantlement; at best, this form of BDS could help in securing a “better” two-state solution, but it ends there. Within the full context of BDS (End the Occupation, implement RoR, equality for Jews and Arabs), that’s the least of my concerns.