26 December 2016
Press Statement: Palestine 14 Israel 0
The chronic plight of the Palestinians has been largely overshadowed by the current massacre in Aleppo. Thus, Security Council resolution 2334 was welcome news to the cause of Palestine, and humanitarian causes around the world as a whole.
On 23 Dec 2016, 14 of the 15 members of the UN Security Council unanimously rebuked Israel's illegitimate settlements in occupied Palestine. Half a million settlers are now deemed as living illegitimately on occupied Palestinian territory on the West Bank and Jerusalem. The resolution demands Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, and that it fully respect all of its legal obligations in this regard.”
US abstention on the Security Council vote was described as “an abandonment of Israel which breaks decades of US policy of protecting Israel at the UN.” In 2016 alone, the US armed Israel with at least USD 10.2 million military aid per day, and over the next 10 years, the Obama administration has pledged a further USD 38 billion.
President elect Trump, hell bent on the annexation of West Bank and Jerusalem failed to force a twitter veto or overturn the Egyptian vote, the second largest beneficiary of US assistance after Israel. His appointment of David Friedman, a far right pro-settler, as US ambassador to Israel, spells difficult times ahead for the Palestinian liberation movement. Friedman has directly raised funds to support illegal settlements in the West Bank, of which the Trump foundation are generous contributors.
The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office has described the resolution as “shameful” and has vowed to defy the world body. This is hardly surprising, because they have out-rightly rejected the previous 77 UN resolutions against the state of Israel.
This symbolic victory on the global political stage has further isolated Israel as a pariah state internationally and reaffirmed her as a 21st century apartheid state as clearly described by Desmond Tutu "reminded me so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa."
Ronnie Kasrils, a Jew and former South Africa Minister of Intelligence described it as much worse than apartheid, “The Israeli measures, the brutality, make apartheid look like a picnic. We never had jets attacking our townships. We never had sieges that lasted month after month. We never had tanks destroying houses. We had armored vehicles and police using small arms to shoot people but not on this scale.”
Like it’s predecessors, Resolution 2334 lacks the political will and power to sanction Israel for failing to comply and Israel continues to seize Palestinian land and exponentially build settlements whilst the world body issue resolutions with no bite.
Despite this, the passing of this resolution brings hope to this long-standing cause and lays the ground for Palestinians to begin legal process against Israel’s flagrant violations of international law through the International Court of Justice.
It is no more business as usual because multi-national corporations are now more wary of doing business in Israel or linking with Israeli companies on occupied land. This has been further enhanced by the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. Major multinationals, including Veolia, Orange, G4S and Irish building materials corporation CRH abandoned their involvement in Israeli projects following unrelenting BDS campaigns
The BDS call upon international civil society organizations and people of conscience all over the world to impose broad boycotts and implement divestment initiatives against Israel is now mainstream and winning support from the European Union, governments of Sweden, Netherlands and Ireland, as well as from Amnesty International, the International Federation of Human Rights, political parties, trade unions and social movements across the world.
The achievements of BDS in 2016 is noteworthy, considering Israel’s all out war to crush the Palestinian led BDS global movement, deploying massive financial assets, intensive espionage, Zionist propaganda, cyber sabotage and legal warfare.
It signals the continuous shift in the narrative of this conflict and the world's frustration and abhorrence of Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid.
The strength of the Palestinian cause lies in its moral and humanitarian appeal, and this must always be protected! Like the peaceful and non-violent BDS movement, we need to be more creative in mainstreaming effective peaceful initiatives for Resistance to invite the progressives of the world to join the Resistance. Resistance is a right, a duty and an expression of our human dignity. International law grants a people fighting an illegal occupation the right to use “all necessary means at their disposal” to end their occupation.
Israel's position continues to weaken and its belligerent ways are not unstoppable. But it needs the international community and civil societies to come together and pressure this rogue nation into a genuine and just solution.
The words of Nelson Mandela ring true. "The world will never be free until Palestine is free."
We can and we must win. Viva Palestine
Dato’ Dr Musa Mohd Nordin, Chairman, Viva Palestina Malaysia
Prof Dr Mohd Nazari Ismail, Chairman, BDS Malaysia
Assoc Prof Dr Hafizdi Mohd Noor, Chairman, Humanitarian Care Malaysia