Sunday, March 30, 2014

US self-inflicted isolation

When it comes to Palestine, the United States is isolated from the international community. Its approach, and full support for Israel, will only isolate it further.

This self-inflicted isolation is particularly reflected in the voting at the UN. As a matter of fact, US attitude towards Palestine at the UN can only be described as “hostile”.

The most recent vote the UN Human Rights Council was yet another example. Out of 47 members, 46 voted in favour of four resolutions on Palestine. The US decided to stand alone, to isolate itself – it voted against. But, voting against human rights of an occupied people necessarily means voting against human rights, and siding – all alone – with injustice.

Would one forget, for example, how the US opposed, all alone, Palestine’s full membership at the UN back in 2011? The US did so not because Palestine is “not” a peace-loving State, but because it chose to side with the oppressor - and it still does.

In 2012, an overwhelming majority of UNGA voted in favour of granting Palestine a “non-Member Observer State” status in the United Nations. The US, of course, voted against.

Concerning Israel’s illegal settlement policy, the vast majority of the international community asserts that this policy is illegal and illegitimate under international law. While the US only says “We don’t accept the legitimacy of settlements”, which is a rather ambiguous stance.

That said, one can only remind, time and again, how the US stood alone at the UN Security Council back in February 2011, when it vetoed a draft resolution that would have condemned illegal Israeli settlements. The other 14 UNSC Members voted in favour.

It is now possible that Palestinians would decide to turn again to the UN. The US should review its policy, and stop opposing Palestinian bids.

Finally, let’s remind the US that we are now “in the 21st century, not the 19th”, where injustice is not acceptable. The US is isolated because it behaves vis-à-vis Palestine in a "19th century fashion". Therefore, the US should decide whether it wants to isolate itself further, or to join the rest of the international community in rejecting oppression against Palestinians, thus behaving in a “21st century fashion”.


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