NPK-info 25-07-2004- Nederlands Palestina Komitee /
UN calls for Israel to tear down wall, Guardian, July 21
Zie hierna: Just Say No to Vetoes, Gregory Khalil


Daily murder, destruction and resistance
And Israel bans peace-activists; this time Christine Grefer [NL] and Jamie
Spector [USA].


- Gaza homeland: another generous offer? Mustafa Barghouthi, July 03, 2004
- Sharon's Phony Disengagement, Ronald Bleier, June 2004
- Updated map of Israel's Wall in the Northwest Palestinian Jerusalem
- The conflict in Palestine: Illusions of peace and the need for effective
   Nizar Sakhnini, 20 July 2004
- The story TV-news won´t tell


The EU's relations with Israel [business as usual]
- Agreement reached on participation in the GALILEO programme
  - ".... Galileo satellite navigation project, a rival to a U.S. system
with wide military and civilian uses...."
  - "Dutch Foreign Minister Bernard Bot, at the signing ceremony as his
country holds the rotating presidency of the EU, had warned Israel on Monday
that further EU aid to Israel would depend on better cooperation from the
Jewish state."  Aid to ...... ??


NPK/WL, 25-7-2004


NYT/IHT  July 19, 2004


Just Say No to Vetoes


The United Nations General Assembly is likely to vote this week to demand
that Israel comply with the ruling of the International Court of Justice and
dismantle its wall under construction in the West Bank. The court's opinion
marks a milestone in the Palestinian struggle. Yet its greatest impact may
not be on Israel or its occupation of Palestinian territory. By calling on
nations around the world to enforce international human rights law when
enforcement is vetoed by a permanent member of the United Nations Security
Council, the court has essentially affirmed a power to "veto the veto."


The significance of this ruling cannot be overstated. The Security Council
is generally considered the only United Nations body with the authority to
enforce international law. Yet the council is often prevented from taking
action by its permanent members, who can veto any council resolution. The
result is that the United Nations is often impotent in the face of
international crises. The court's opinion, however, has the potential to
restore the United Nations to a position of authority and could transform
international diplomacy.


In recent years, the international community has criticized the United
States for abusing its veto power in the Security Council. The United States
has vetoed 79 Security Council resolutions, almost half of them cast on
Israel's behalf. Not surprisingly, states have accused the United States of
hijacking the United Nations by using, or threatening to use, its veto
power: support American policy, the United States seems to be saying, or
risk turning the United Nations into a debate club.


This fear materialized with the diplomatic failure leading up to the
invasion of Iraq. Because the United States has significantly more political
leverage than any other nation, it was able to carry out its campaign
against Iraq without real cooperation from the United Nations.


So what does this have to do with the International Court of Justice or
Israel's wall? The court said it had jurisdiction in part because the United
States had frustrated the Security Council's work. Israel's actions
constitute a "threat to international peace and security," according to the
court, and in such instances, the Security Council must act. But the
Security Council had been prevented from acting, the court said, by American


In unanimously holding that it had jurisdiction, the court reasserted a
significant power in the General Assembly: when the Security Council fails
to act because of a permanent member's abuse of veto power, the General
Assembly may do so, including asking the court's advice.


But in determining that all sections of Israel's wall built in occupied
Palestinian territory (including East Jerusalem) must be dismantled, the
court delivered even stronger pronouncements. First, "the United Nations,
and especially the General Assembly and the Security Council, should
consider what further action is required to bring to an end the illegal
situation resulting from the construction of the wall." Second, all nations
"are under an obligation not to recognize the illegal situation arising from
the construction of the wall, and not to render aid or assistance in
maintaining that situation." In short, Israel is not above the law - and
international law obligates every nation to ensure Israel's compliance with
the law.


Taken together, these holdings chart a path for the international community
to counter the United States' veto power. Although the opinion was
nonbinding (the court cannot compel enforcement), the court emphasized that
the law upon which its opinion is based does indeed bind.


This sends a strong message to the United States: either refrain from
obstructing the rule of law with your veto, or risk alienation from
mainstream global opinions and forums. Once other powers engaged the United
States in a tango of mutual deterrence; now, suggests the court, the rule of
international law should play that role.


Critics may say that the court abandoned judicial discretion for
geopolitical posturing. Quite the contrary. Had it agreed with the American
position that it lacked jurisdiction, the court would have risked its own
integrity by ruling against the weight of international law. And these
broader implications of the judgment should not obscure its primary
significance: a just resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on
the affirmation of fundamental human rights.


Rather, the advisory opinion represents a triumph for Israelis and
Palestinians alike. By rejecting Israel's construction of the wall, the
court emphasizes the humanity of both peoples. Yes, Israel may build a
wall - but only on its own territory. Yes, a just resolution to the broader
conflict is possible - but only within the confines of international law.


Nevertheless, in denouncing one wall, the court suggested another: a limit
on the unbridled use of American diplomatic power. The world should take
advantage of this opportunity to move in a new direction - one in which law,
and not the politics of force, prevails.


Gregory Khalil is a legal adviser to the Palestine Liberation Organization.


Gaza homeland: another generous offer?
Does Sharon have an ace up his sleeve - and who will he blame when the
pullout fails?
Mustafa Barghouthi, July 03, 2004


      Returning from the failed Camp David summit in 2000, Israeli Prime
Minister Ehud Barak first coined the mantra that has become the cornerstone
of Sharon's and successive intermediate Israeli governments - "We have no
partner for peace."


      Citing this habitual mantra, Premier Ariel Sharon announced in
February that Israel, with no credible negotiating partner, was now forced
to take unilateral steps to break the stalemate that gripped the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


      In the months since, however, the rhetoric surrounding Sharon's
unilateral disengagement has changed. Initially announcing an immediate,
unprecedented withdrawal from all settlements and military installations in
Gaza, the Israeli political cavalcade between then and June 6 has not only
produced a reworked and vague protracted plan, it has also unravelled the
packaging of a scheme which will see the implementation of an equally harsh
system of control over Gaza, as exists currently under occupation.


      Thus while the language may have changed, the plan itself, one could
argue, has never palpably altered. Once again the most critical junctures of
the conflict are being played out through a battle of narrative, and Israel
is fostering misunderstanding. "Withdrawal" is not only proving hard to
juxtapose with continued events on the ground, it is contradicted by the
decisions of the Israeli government - which has yet to authorize the
slightest settlement evacuation. The Israeli government's various factions
are, on the contrary, preoccupied with sustaining strict Israeli control
over Palestinian borders, territorial waters, airspace and international


      What is more, all evidence suggests that in the event of any pullout,
the Palestinian residents of Gaza will remain under siege. The existing
system of tight restrictions on the movements of Palestinian goods and
people will remain intact - or worsen - should Israel also decide to cut
labor flows or terminate electricity and water supplies. Should this be the
case, the World Bank predicts that the disengagement plan can only further
intensify the economic squeeze on the 1.3 million inhabitants.


      With internal closures only partly eased, and with the external border
regime unchanged, the disengagement plan cannot in any light be seen as a
withdrawal from the Palestinian territory of Gaza.


      If indeed Sharon's intentions are not to withdraw from Gaza, his
rhetoric has proven an exceptional decoy to the media and international
community, distracting attention from Israel's construction of the
separation barrier through the West Bank - perhaps the more significant
element of Sharon's plan.


      The wall's continued construction, under the guise of Israeli
security, is a pretext for the creeping annexation of West Bank land and a
unilateral determination of the border. The Israeli government has for the
first time made clear its intentions to annex further large parts of the
West Bank, including large Israeli settlement blocks, openly declaring these
intentions via a government resolution - rashly described by international
observers as an opening for peace.


      Israel is looking to find legitimacy for this annexation by dressing
up its Gaza redeployment as a "painful concession." The move is a "one-off"
on Sharon's part, intended to pacify the international community, rebuff
additional territorial pressures and leave Israel in control of over half
the West Bank.


      The Gaza disengagement is far from a move toward peace. Sharon clearly
intends the plan to facilitate a deeper and more irreversible Israeli
consolidation of its occupation. And he appears to have hit the jackpot.


      His objective of creating facts on the ground, to then be recognized
as such, has been enhanced to no end by George W. Bush's government support
of these Israeli designs to take 58 percent of the West Bank.


      The letter of reassurances offered by the United States to Israel on
April 15 made clear the US had made a massive about turn in policy. In a
complete abandonment of international law and an appropriation by the US of
the role of negotiator on behalf of the Palestinians, Bush  canceled UN
resolutions that gave Palestinians the right of return, the right to
establish a Palestinian state and the right to end the occupation, at the
same time sanctioning further illegal Israeli settlement expansion over
two-thirds of the West Bank.


      Furthermore, unlike the planned settlement pullout from Gaza, this is
an area where no holds are barred. The construction of the wall, and
continued settlement expansion, goes on day and night.


      The Gaza pullout will be a much lengthier process. The June 6 vote did
not authorize any settlement evacuation. Differences in opinion within the
Israeli Cabinet have not been resolved, merely postponed. While the Cabinet
approved the reformed plan, which will now take the shape of redeployment in
four phases, no final decisions were made to evacuate any settlements. After
completing the preparations for withdrawing from the settlements, the
Cabinet will then reconvene to decide whether to evacuate them, how many and
at what pace. Implementation will be largely conditional on Palestinian
performance with security issues. The sole judge of the progress, of course,
will be Israel. While refusing to entertain the idea of negotiations with
Palestinians, the Israeli government remains happy to condition the
implementation of their unilateral acts upon Palestinian behavior.


      One could not be faulted for suspecting Sharon has an ace up his
sleeve. Just as Ehud Barak pinned a significant element of his "generous
offer" to an Israeli referendum and 10 months of political manoeuvring to
then blame the system of Israeli domestic politics for any stalemate, Sharon
has subjected his own plan to be stretched out over a period of time, with
each stage subject to government approval - by which time the wall will be
long past completion.


      Having pulled off such a heist, and claiming an extra 58 percent of
the West Bank under the legitimacy of giving up Gaza, the only card left for
Sharon to play is that which will save his own career. He may well succeed
in annexing half the West Bank, but his pullout will have been a political
failure. What better way to bypass this than to blame the Palestinians?


      This could very well be Sharon's next move. Seeming to pacify another
element of his crumbling coalition by removing the unilateral element of the


disengagement, Sharon needs now only present this redeployment,
ghettoization of Gaza and annexation of 58 percent of the West Bank to the
Palestinians as another "generous offer."


      The sure Palestinian rebuttal of an incongruous, diminutive and
besieged Bantustan as a proxy state would play directly into the hands of
Sharon in the ongoing Israeli propaganda battle to deny the existence of a
Palestinian partner for peace.


Mustafa Barghouthi is secretary-general of the Palestinian National
Initiative. He wrote this commentary for The Daily Star


Copyright (c) 2004 The Daily Star






Peaceful co-existence is possible between Moslems, Christians and Jews.
Such an existence was a reality before Zionism was introduced.  Palestine,
in particular, and its surrounding Middle Eastern Arab countries, in
general, was always the home for an inclusive and tolerant multi-ethnic and
multi-cultural community.  Such a peaceful co-existence, however, is
impossible with a colonial settlement embedded with racist ideological
foundations.  Accordingly, all peace efforts and initiatives to resolve the
conflict have failed for a simple reason: Zionism is in denial of
Palestinian reality and rights.  Exclusivity of the Jewish State is
irreconcilable with a peaceful co-existence with the native people of
Palestine.  The illusive "peace process" was used to buy time during which
more lands were stolen, more settlements were built on these stolen lands,
and more war crimes were committed to push the Palestinians into despair and
surrender to the Zionist diktat.  Until Israeli Jews decide to come to terms
with the Palestinian reality and admit the crime committed against the
Palestinian people and correct the wrong done, Palestinians are left with no
other alternative but to continue with their resistance to the racist
colonial project.


Implementation of the Zionist project in Palestine started even before the
1st ZC was held in 1897.  The first wave of Jewish colonial settlers began
to arrive in Palestine as of 1882.  These early birds were sponsored by the
precursor of the ZO, Hovevi Zion, which was founded by Leo Pinsker and
others including Ahad Ha'am.


Efforts of these early settlers to buy lands and expel the Arab fellahin
(peasants) earning their living from working on these lands provoked
immediate reaction from the fellahin.


The first signs of Palestinian resistance were a direct and spontaneous
reaction to the behavior of the pioneer colonial settlers.  Their efforts to
dispossess and displace the Arab fellahin were provocative and led to
violent confrontations. (For details of Palestinian resistance at this early
stage of the conflict, see: Rashid Khalidi, "Palestinian Identity: The
Construction of Modern National Consciousness", New York: Columbia
University Press, 1997)


Palestinian resistance at this stage was limited.  It took wider and
national dimensions during the British Mandate.  Appeals, demonstrations of
protest and strikes were a characteristic feature of life in Palestine
during the British Mandate.  Some of these protests turned violent as in
1920, 1921, and 1929 and during the rebellion, which broke out in 1936 and
lasted until 1939 when it was brutally crushed by the British.  Commissions
of Inquiry were appointed following each of the violent riots with a
"Statement of Policy" being issued following the appointment of each
Commission.  (Sami Hadawi. "Bitter Harvest: A Modern History of Palestine",
New York: Olive Branch Press, 1989, p. 51)


In February 1939, Britain convened a round-table conference in London to
discuss a peaceful resolution to the conflict.  No agreement was reached.
After a period of abortive efforts, the British government finally decided,
in February 1947, to refer the task of finding a solution to the General
Assembly of the UN.


On 29 November 1947, the UN issued resolution # 181 dividing Palestine into
two states: one for the Arabs and the other for the colonial settlers.


Following the declaration of Israel and Al-Nakba of 1948, Palestinian
resistance developed to adapt to the new developments.  The Arab Higher
Committee (AHC), which was formed in 1936 to assume overall Palestinian
leadership of the revolution and to coordinate the activities of the various
nationalist parties during the 1936 rebellion, became ineffective.


In September 1948, the AHC announced the establishment of an all-Palestine
government in Gaza.  A Palestinian National Council sponsored by the
all-Palestine Government met in Gaza and elected the Mufti, Hajj Amin
Husayni, head of the AHC, as its president and named a cabinet.  On October
1, 1948, the all-Palestine government issued a Palestinian "Declaration of
Independence".  The government later moved to Cairo and proved to be a
complete failure.  It was as helpless and powerless as the Palestinian
people were.  It reflected the loss, weightlessness, and aimlessness of the
Palestinian people and was unable to do anything at the time.


After a period hopelessness, a number of Palestinian movements, advocating
armed struggle to free Palestine, began to appear.  These movements
included, among others: Fatah, which was established in January 1959; the
Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which was established
in 1967; the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), which
seceded from the PFLP in 1969; Hamas (The Islamic Resistance Movement),
which was founded in 1988; and Jihad al-Islami (Islamic Jihad), which broke
away from the Muslim Brotherhood movement in the 1980's.


In January 1964, Egypt proposed an independent Palestinian entity in the
form of a Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).  Ahmad al Shukairy, who
was part of the AHC during the British Mandate in Palestine, was appointed
to do the job.  Under his chairmanship, Shukairy held a meeting in Jerusalem
in May 1964, which was attended by 422 Palestinian national figures.  The
meeting laid down the structure of the Palestine National Council (PNC), the
PLO Executive Committee, the National Fund and the Palestine Liberation Army
(PLA) as well as approving a Palestinian National Covenant and Basic Law.
The PLO became an umbrella organization for the various Palestinian
movements and was recognized by the UN General Assembly on 14 October 1974
(resolution # 3210) and gained the status of an observer.


As the militant groups grew stronger, and as a consequence of the
devastating results of the 1967 war, Shukairy resigned as chairman of the
PLO on 24 December 1967 and Fatah took over.  Yasser Arafat became the
chairman of the PLO.  He accompanied Gamal Abdul Nasser in a visit to the
USSR on August 1968 and was introduced to the USSR leadership as a leader of
a National Liberation Movement.


The Palestinians, so far, have failed to stop the creation of an exclusive
Jewish state.  However, this does not mean success for the Zionist
establishment.  Their dream of an Exclusive Jewish State in all of
Palestine, with unspecified parts from the neighbouring countries,
ethnically cleansed from its indigenous population began to evaporate
following their expansion in 1967.  Their failure to replicate an exodus
similar to what happened in 1948 resuscitated the demographic nightmare for


Sharon came to power with an agenda of ending the Intifada and completing
the job that was not finished in 1948 and 1967.  (See: Interview with
Sharon: Sharon is Sharon, By Ari Shavit, published in Ha'aretz on 12 April
2001) The war against Iraq gave Sharon a cover to press on with his agenda
with more oppressive measures, brutality and war crimes.


While Sharon is going on with his all-out war against the Palestinians, the
Palestinian leadership is still obsessed with a resumption of the "peace
process" that would keep them in power. Unfortunately, this is playing into
Sharon's hands and providing him with a life savor.  The latest developments
in Gaza are a testimony to the bankruptcy of the current Palestinian
leadership and the need for a new strategy in the struggle for liberation.


Nizar Sakhnini, 20 July 2004



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