As Electronic Intifada’s Ali Abunimah clearly points out in that Al Jazeera interview, it was truly a hollow victory for the Palestinians, just another cheap gesture by Abu Mazen…!
Indeed, when the Palestinians awoke this morning they were greeted with this bit of ‘cheer’…
Israel plans to build thousands of new homes for its settlers in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, an Israeli official said on Friday, defying a U.N. vote that implicitly recognised Palestinian statehood there.
The United States, one of Israel’s few allies in Thursday’s battle at the world forum, called “counterproductive” the construction blueprint, which included a stretch of land east of Jerusalem that Palestinians fear would bisect much of the West Bank and choke off their access to the holy city.
The Israeli official said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s conservative government had authorised the construction of 3,000 housing units and ordered “preliminary zoning and planning work for thousands of units in Jerusalem and settlement blocs including Maale Adumim and E1″.
Israel froze much of its activities in E1 under pressure from former U.S. President George W. Bush and the area has been under the scrutiny of his successor, Barack Obama.
The official, who did not want to be named, would not elaborate on the plans. But Israeli media said the government saw the settlement expansion as hammering home its rejection of Thursday’s upgrade by the U.N. General Assembly of the Palestinians to “non-member observer state” from “entity”…
As Columbia Professor Joseph Massad wrote…
…Yesterday, the general assembly voted to admit Palestine as a state with observer status. Despite assurances to the contrary, the new state is likely to undermine the status of the PLO at the UN. Whereas the PLO represented all Palestinians, the PA only represents West Bankers. This recognition has diminished the Palestinian state geographically from 43% of historic Palestine granted by the partition plan to less than 18% of it (possibly 10%, if we factor annexations, settlements, military areas, etc), and has reduced Palestinians from 12 million people to 2.4 million West Bankers, 40% of whom are refugees.
The vote is essentially an update of the partition plan of 1947, whereby the UN now grants Jewish colonists and their descendants 80-90% of Palestine, leaving the rest to the native inhabitants, and it risks abrogating the refugees’ right of return.
A small minority native to the West Bank (about 1.3 million people), for whom the PA claims to speak, will gain UN status as a state under occupation, while the Palestinian refugees in the West Bank (1 million people), along with six million other refugees, risk losing their right of return.
By recognising a diminished Palestinian state, the vote effectively abandons the UN understanding of the “Jewish state” as one that has no right to discriminate against or ethnically cleanse non-Jews. The new arrangement confers the blessing of this international forum on the Israeli understanding of what a “Jewish state” entails– namely, the actually existing legal discrimination and ethnic cleansing practised by Israel –as acceptable. That this occurred on 29 November, the date of the partition plan, reiterates this date as one of continuing defeats for the Palestinians who continue to suffer from Israel’s colonial laws, and repeats UN guilt in denying Palestinians their rights not to suffer dispossession and racism. The Palestinians, however, whose majority is not represented by the PA, will no more heed this new partition plan than they did the last one and will continue to resist Israeli colonialism until it comes to an end and until Israel becomes a state for all its citizens with equal rights to all regardless of national, religious, or ethnic background…
Let’s remember that our own Foggy Bottom knows that Israel’s “Principal Human Rights Problems Were(Are) Institutional, Legal, And Societal Discrimination”…!
And, to pour more salt into the wound… Hatch seeks cutoff of U.N. funding over Palestine stance.
P.S. Pls. see mfi’s excellent compilation of UN lawfare… The International Criminal Court, The Palestinians, The Israelis, The American Veto – Some Resources For The Perplexed