The UN Security Council and the Quartet – Russia, America, the United Nations and the European Union – have ended any expectations they had of successfully negotiating a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation, after failing to categorically reject UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s highly offensive remarks before the Security Council and in the New York Times.
Ban told the Security Council on January 26:
“Palestinian frustration is growing under the weight of a half century of occupation and the paralysis of the peace process.
Some have taken me to task for pointing out this indisputable truth.
Yet, as oppressed peoples have demonstrated throughout the ages, it is human nature to react to occupation, which often serves as a potent incubator of hate and extremism.”Reacting to "occupation” can never justify the murder of Israeli civilians in their own homes, shopping in supermarkets, meeting in bars, or waiting at bus stops.
Such acts of murder are despicable and inhumane – and the Security Council and the Quartet should have said so clearly and unequivocally.
Following Israel’s trenchant criticism of these statements a clearly piqued Ban ran off to the New York Times on 31 January claiming he had been misrepresented:
“Some sought to shoot the messenger — twisting my words into a misguided justification for violence. The stabbings, vehicle rammings and other attacks by Palestinians targeting Israeli civilians are reprehensible. So, too, are the incitement of violence and the glorification of killers.”Ban had dug himself an even deeper hole.
Failing again to call such stabbings, vehicle rammings and other targeted attacks on Israeli civilians as “murder” was reprehensible.
The Security Council and the Quartet should have made it absolutely clear that until such murderous acts ceased - the Quartet’s further participation in assisting and facilitating the implementation of the two-state solution envisaged by the Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap would be indefinitely suspended. That role had been specifically assigned to the Quartet in 2003 when the Bush Roadmap was released:
“A two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will only be achieved through an end to violence and terrorism when the Palestinian people have a leadership acting decisively against terror and willing and able to build a practicing democracy based on tolerance and liberty, and through Israel’s readiness to do what is necessary for a democratic Palestinian state to be established…
The Quartet will assist and facilitate implementation of the plan … including direct discussions between the parties as required.”In July 2015 the Quartet’s role was deliberately changed when:
1. The Quartet’s representative Tony Blair stood down with no replacement whilst his office – the Office of the Quartet Representative (OQR) - was renamed the Office of the Quartet (OQ).
2. The OQ’s stated mandate was:
“to support the Palestinian people on economic development, rule of law and improved movement and access for goods and people, as they build the institutions and economy of a viable and peaceful state in Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.”
An independent non-partisan Quartet had overnight been transformed into a biased and hostile Quartet, ignoring Israel’s territorial claims and security needs whilst solely supporting the “Palestinian people”.
No longer were the “democratic Palestinian state” or “practising democracy” mentioned in the Roadmap considered non-negotiable end objectives.
Changing the name had certainly changed the game – with the murder of Israeli civilians and the glorification of their killers beginning soon thereafter.
Whilst the Security Council and Quartet take no decisive action to effectively end these ongoing murders, the two-state solution – and the Quartet’s role - will be doomed to political oblivion.
Why does his own country still have that pesky DMZ with North Korea?ReplyDelete
The DMZ is 4 kilometers wide and there are 200000 American soldiers based in South Korea to protect Mr Ban and his family.Delete
Israel does not ask for such sacrifice from America as Israel's own civilian population face the prospect of being murdered every day by their Arab neighbours.
Ban's comments were disgraceful. What is more disgraceful was the failure of the Security Council and the Quartet to categorically rebuke Ban and refute his reprehensible remarks.
The whole claim for a Two State Solution has always been wishful thinking. The Oslo Accords make no mention of Palestinian State and neither the Israeli Knesset nor the Palestinian Parliament have ever voted to approve of the Roadmap.ReplyDelete
The only way any kind of solution may ever be possible is if politicians and diplomats try dealing with what is rather than what they would like things to be.
Sharon's handling of the Roadmap was endorsed by 57 votes to 42 in the Knesset on 17 June 2003. It was not technically a vote on the Roadmap itself, but on his manner of handling the Roadmap including the 14 reservations that had been attached by Israel as a condition of its acceptance.Delete
How did I miss this realignment of the goals of the Quartet, and the obligations of the Palestinians? Oh... it must have happened while I was on summer holidays...in Israel!ReplyDelete
The proof is there for you to read in my article. If you want to contest what I have written please feel free to do so
My previous previous attempt to reply seems to have been lost in cyberspace... I'm not, in any way, questioning what you wrote. Rather, I was simply expressing my surprise, at myself, for having missed this regrettable change in the Quartet's goals. I think I missed it because I was paying far more attention to soaking up the beautiful land, people, and cultures of Israel, during a long visit there last July, than to what the Brits were doing to embarrass themselves.Delete
My apologies to you and David, Borhani. I did not notice your comment, which went by mistake in the spam folder and which I forgot to check.Delete
I guess this political sleight of hand by the Quartet did not get too much publicity or comment at the time because the Quartet would have been at pains to cover up what they had really been doing since 2007 after their embrace of the Roadmap in 2003.
I am not an investigative journalist but such a journalist could possibly find a fertile field in exploring why Russia and America were influenced by the UN and EU to make the change from a non-partisan negotiating group into one openly hostile to Israel's security needs and territorial claims to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in Judea and Samaria as legitimised by article 6 of the Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the UN Charter..
Why don't you try and find out?
Daphne - maybe you know someone who would like to win a Pulitzer Prize? Methinks there is a great story of intrigue in this possible political bombshell.
One clue maybe that Russia and the UN have never provided any financial support to the Office of the Quartet between 2007-2014. Even tiny Australia has kicked in $387125 in that period. Did it understand how its money was being spent in promoting the interests of just one side to the dispute?
David, if only I did!Delete