US Explicitly Opposes Palestinian Right to Self-Determination
Thursday, March 25, 2010 8:26 PM
From: “Stephen Sniegoski”
In the UN Human Rights Council yesterday, the US was the only country to vote against a resolution supporting the Palestinians’ right to self-determination. Forty-five countries voted in favor, none abstained.
National self-determination has been a fundamental US ideal from at least the early part of the Twentieth Century, being made famous by Woodrow Wilson during World War I. While actual American policy often strayed from that ideal, the US government always paid at least lip service to it.
Supporting the UNHRC resolution would not really have necessitated change in the status quo; it did not mean the actual termination of the Palestinians’ subordination to Israel. But the US could not bring itself to even vote in favor of this innocuous, symbolic measure.
The “no” vote is especially significant because the US professes to believe that the Palestinians should have their own state in a two-state solution. If the Palestinians are not allowed self-determination, then what type of state would they have? It would seem that the only type of “state” without self-determination would be one controlled by Israel—in short, it would be a puppet state. This is what the critics of Israel claim is Israel’s intention.
Certainly, “despite Washington’s much-hyped tiff with Tel Aviv,” the US vote showed that it would continue to fall lockstep in line with Israel. If the US dared not to offend Israel on this inconsequential matter, it is impossible to believe that it would ever take any real action to pressure Israel to allow for the creation of an independent, viable Palestinian state.
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Israel told to pay Gaza damages
Thursday 25 March 2010
PAY-BACK TIME: The conference room during the 13th session of the human rights council at the UN headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland
The UN Human Rights Council urged Tel Aviv on Wednesday to pay reparations to the Palestinian people for the loss and damage it inflicted on them during last year’s bloody invasion of the Gaza Strip.
Pakistan tabled the motion, which also suggested that the Red Cross should investigate Israel’s use of incendiary white phosphorus weapons during Operation Cast Lead.
It passed by a majority of 29 to five at the UNHRC heaquarters in Geneva, with 11 abstentions.
The resolution was opposed by the US, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands and Slovakia.
Britain, Belgium and France were among the countries that abstained.
The council approved four other resolutions on the conflict on Wednesday.
It voted nearly unanimously in favour of the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, with 45 countries voting in favour and only the United States voting against. No countries chose to abstain.
A second resolution agreed to the creation of an independent committee to monitor compliance with the Goldstone Report’s call for both sides to hold independent transparent investigations into human rights abuses during the Gaza war and from Palestinian rocket attacks.
A third slammed Israel for targeting Palestinian civilians and systematically destroying their cultural heritage.
And a fourth condemned the Netanyahu administration for pressing on with illegal settlement construction, including in occupied east Jerusalem, calling for an end to the blockade of Gaza.
Despite Washington’s much-hyped tiff with Tel Aviv, the US stood behind Israel at Wednesday’s council meeting.
US ambassador Eileen Donahoe said: “We are deeply troubled to be presented once again with a slate of resolutions so replete with controversial elements and one-sided references that they shed no light and offer no redress for the real challenges in the region.”
Ms Donahoe insisted that her country supported a two-state solution even though it had opposed the resolution in support of the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination.
PLO ambassador Ibrahim Khraishi pointed out that the two-state solution is predicated upon exactly that right.
US backs Israel at UNHRC
By TOVAH LAZAROFF
Despite strained relations, US ambassador slams “one sided” treatment of Israel.
The US was the only country at the United Nations Human Rights Council to vote against all three anti-Israel resolutions, which were approved Wednesday in Geneva.
It was also the only country to oppose a UNHRC resolution in support of the Palestinian right to self determination.
In the last weeks America’s relationship with Israel has been strained. But in Geneva, the US took the council to task for its treatment of Israel.
“We are deeply troubled to be presented once again with a slate of resolutions so replete with controversial elements and one sided references that they shed no light and offer no redress for the real challenges in the region,” said US Ambassador Eileen Chamberlain Donahoe.
“The council is too often exploited as a platform from which to single out Israel, which undermines its credibility,” said Donahoe.
“The US strongly encourages the council to seek an alternative to highly politicized resolutions and a permanent agenda item focused on one country,” said Donahue.
She suggested that this issue was best addressed under “a robust common rubric.”
Both parties should examine their own human rights record, she said.
Her speech was delivered in advance of the vote on the resolution for the Palestinian right to self determination by the 47-member body.
Donahoe said that her country supported a two state solution even though it opposed the resolution.
But PLO Ambassador Ibrahim Khraishi said that there was no difference between belief in a two state solution and support for the Palestinian right to self determination.
The Palestinian people now live under “the yoke of unjust and bloody occupation,” said Khraishi.
He added that he hoped next year to pass a resolution that would allow Palestinians to excursive their right to a state.
On Wednesday, aside from giving its approval to Palestinian self determination, the council approved a resolution on human rights issues in what it called the “occupied Syrian Golan,” as well as two resolutions on Israeli treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
Israel’s ambassador to the UN in Geneva Aharon Leshno Yaar said he appreciated the support of the US at the council. “We have witnessed today another anti-Israeli show,” he said.
Since its inception in 2006, most of the council’s resolutions which censure countries have dealt with Israel.
On Thursday the council is poised to approve a resolution which would create an independent committee to evaluate the compliance of both Israel and the Palestinians with the Goldstone Report.
Authored by South African jurist Richard Goldstone, the report asks both the Israelis and the Palestinians to hold independent investigations into their actions in Gaza around the time of Operation Cast Lead.
Obama hints that Two-State Solution may be Impossible