Tuesday, 27 December 2016

The Silence of the Jewish Labour Movement & Labour Friends of Israel over UN Resolution on Settlements

The Hypocrisy of Labour Zionism which only supports 2 States outside Israel!  In Israel they support Occupation!

Jeremy Corbyn, previously a long-standing supporter of the Palestinians and a patron of Palestine Solidarity Campaign, humiliates himself by lending his support to the Labour Friends of Israel and speaking alongside Mark Regev, the Israeli Ambassador (back right) Netanyahu's former PR man who justified the murder of Palestinian civilians in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge, including 4 children killed on the beach 
Despite all the heated rhetoric of Benjamin Netanyahu condemning UN Resolution 2334 on Settlements which passed 14-0 with 1 abstention on 23rd December and his theatrics – reprimanding the Ambassadors of the Security Council members which voted for it - the resolution is quite mild.
UN Resolution 2334 reaffirms the international law principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force.  It could do no other.  It also reaffirmed its own previous resolutions including Resolution 242, which was passed after the 1967 war, and called for the withdrawal of Israel’s armed forces from the territories it had ‘occupied in the recent conflict’ and Resolution 338 which was passed on 22nd October 1973 and called for an immediate ceasefire in the Yom Kippur war.
The theatrics of Netanyahu, inviting in Ambassadors for a reprimand and throwing his toys out of the pram belie a purpose - making it clear that 2 states is just a diplomatic fig leaf - not to be taken seriously
Resolution 2334 reaffirms the obligation of Israel to abide by the 4th Geneva Convention in relation to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War.  Something which one would have assumed was uncontentious, except that Israel doesn’t accept the Geneva Convention applies to the Palestinian Territories since it holds to the fiction that it is ‘returning’ after an absence of around 2,500 years! 
The refusal to abide by the 4th Geneva Convention, which was passed in August 1949, is particularly shameful since the Convention was passed as a result of the treatment of the Jewish population in the countries the Nazis or their satellites occupied.  It is in itself proof that Israel, despite calling itself a Jewish state, has learnt nothing from the crimes of the Nazi state.
Labour Friends of Israel's hypocritical 'peace' campaign which justifies war and occupation
The Resolution also reaffirmed the opinion of the International Court of Justice at The Hague, which found Israel’s Separation Wall, which steals large chunks of Palestinian land in the West Bank, to be illegal.
The Resolution also condemns measures which alter the demographic composition of the Palestinian Territories.  Again this is standard international law.  When the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939 they began settling the Warthegau (Reichsgau Wartheland) which they annexed to the Greater German Reich, with German settlers.  The Nazis expelled the indigenous Polish population, including large numbers of Jews.
Israel doesn’t accept this either since it holds that Brooklyn Bible bashers take precedence over Palestinians who have been living there for hundreds of years.  In particular the resolution expresses ‘grave concern that continuing Israeli settlement activities are dangerously imperilling the viability of the two-State solution based on the 1967 lines’.
In order to defeat BDS, Labour Friends of Israel pretends to support a 2 State solution
You  might think that Labour Friends of Israel, which has just launched a ‘For Israel, for Palestine, for peace’ campaign, and the Jewish Labour Movement, would be delighted with UN resolution.  After all both organisations support a 2 State Solution in Israel/Palestine and never lose an opportunity to speak about ‘peace’.  However this is  hypocritical cant. In practice neither organisation is prepared to do anything in practice to oppose Israel’s military occupation of the Palestinian territories and the settlement of the territories.
The LFI and JLM only support 2 States as a means of opposing BDS and the Boycott of Israel.  In practice these organisations support Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land.  Their ‘support’ for a 2 States Solution is a cynical tactic designed to negate practical support for the Palestinians.  When not alleging ‘anti-Semitism’ they oppose all practical measures of support for the Palestinians. 
Support  in Britain for 2 States avoids thorny questions such as whether the Jewish State of Israel can also be a Democratic State of all its citizens, given that 20% of the inhabitants of Israel are Palestinians. 
An endearing photograph, probably of an Israeli Jewish child in a Palestinian keffiyeh since there is no mixing between Jewish settler children and Palestinian children.  In Israel nearly all children go to segregated schools
What LFI and JLM don’t support is any active campaign to remove Israel’s occupation, still less any campaign against the military occupation of the West Bank or the repression, the military courts, the arrest, detention and  torture of children, arbitrary imprisonment or theft and confiscation of land.  You won’t find either organisation, or hypocrites like Tom Watson and Ruth Smeeth MP who sponsor them, opposing the violent arrest of a 7 year old boy, as captured on video or the arrest of a 6 year old child, as reported by the Times of Israel, who was held for 8 hours and not allowed to see his parents.
LFI and the misnamed Jewish Labour Movement only support 2 States because it is an alternative to a democratic, secular, unitary state in the whole of Palestine/Israel.  Labour Zionist support for 2 States only exists outside Israel.  Inside Israel the Israeli Labour Party opposes a Palestinian state and supports ‘segregation’ i.e. a Palestinian Bantustan.  Its main fear is that the 4 million Palestinians under occupation will make a Jewish state impossible. 
This is why there is an embarrassing silence by Labour Friends of Israel and the Jewish Labour Movement.  They are caught between a rock and a hard place.  Neither organisation can oppose a UN resolution which calls for the very thing they apparently support, i.e. 2 States and which is supported by virtually the entire world bar that well known anti-racist, Donald Trump.  But neither can they support it. 
Obama and Netanyahu at a time when the US was resupplying Israel's military attack on Gaza
The JLM describes the Israeli Labour Party as its ‘sister party’.  The Washington Post of 24th December reported thus:  "I strongly oppose this harsh resolution, which is a strategic defeat for Israel,” opposition leader Isaac Herzog said. Speaking on Israeli television Saturday, he laid the blame for the defeat on Netanyahu’s foreign policy.'

The Jewish Forward (26.12.16) described how Herzog whilst ‘trying to sound a patriotic note while attacking Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, condemned the resolution but blamed Netanyahu for pursuing policies that left Israel isolated.’  This is strange language coming from someone who, according to the JLM  and LFI supports a 2 state solution.

“This is a difficult night for Israel,” said opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union) in wake of the recent UN Security Council resolution condemning all Israeli settlements, which he opined the United States should have vetoed. Herzog said the resolution “seriously harms our capital Jerusalem, the settlement blocs and Israel’s status and diplomatic achievements accumulated over the years.” –
Herzog and the Israeli Labour Party are portrayed in Britain as supporters of a 2 states solution yet here he is saying the resolution should have been vetoed and that it harms ‘our’ capital Jerusalem.  Herzog also talks about harm to the very settlement blocks which are an obstacle to any meaningful 2 states solution. Israel’s political left also condemns the UN’s anti-settlement resolution
Another Israeli ‘supporter’ of 2 States is the leader of the ‘Centrist’ Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid who ‘railed against the UN resolution, telling reporters it was “dangerous, unfair and Israel doesn’t accept it.”
The resolution yesterday was an act of hypocrisy,” Lapid said Saturday. “When a murderous terrorist group like Hamas praises the decision of the Security Council, it’s clear whom it serves.” He even criticized left-wing politicians who celebrated the UN decision, saying “patriots don’t behave thus,” [Times of Israel, 24.12.16.]
As Gideon Levy noted in an Op Ed in Ha’aretz, ‘opposition leader Isaac Herzog can babble that ‘we need to fight the decision with all means,’” but what is this babble really about, what does it mean about the mainstream Zionist ‘left’, and why is Herzog defending the settlements? – UN Resolution Is a Breath of Hope in Sea of Darkness and Despair

Thus we note the dilemmas of the hypocrites of the Jewish Labour Movement and Labour Friends of Israel.

Tony Greenstein

Text of Egyptian-drafted resolution 2334 on settlements, approved by the UN Security Council, on December 23, 2016.
The Security Council,

Reaffirming its relevant resolutions, including resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 446 (1979), 452 (1979), 465 (1980), 476 (1980), 478 (1980), 1397 (2002), 1515 (2003), and 1850 (2008),

Guided by the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, and reaffirming, inter alia, the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force,

Reaffirming the obligation of Israel, the occupying Power, to abide scrupulously by its legal obligations and responsibilities under the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, and recalling the advisory opinion rendered on 9 July 2004 by the International Court of Justice,

Condemning all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, including, inter alia, the construction and expansion of settlements, transfer of Israeli settlers, confiscation of land, demolition of homes and displacement of Palestinian civilians, in violation of international humanitarian law and relevant resolutions,

Expressing grave concern that continuing Israeli settlement activities are dangerously imperilling the viability of the two-State solution based on the 1967 lines,

Recalling the obligation under the Quartet Roadmap, endorsed by its resolution 1515 (2003), for a freeze by Israel of all settlement activity, including “natural growth”, and the dismantlement of all settlement outposts erected since March 2001,
Recalling also the obligation under the Quartet roadmap for the Palestinian Authority Security Forces to maintain effective operations aimed at confronting all those engaged in terror and dismantling terrorist capabilities, including the confiscation of illegal weapons,

Condemning all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror, as well as all acts of provocation, incitement and destruction,

Reiterating its vision of a region where two democratic States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace within secure and recognized borders,

Stressing that the status quo is not sustainable and that significant steps, consistent with the transition contemplated by prior agreements, are urgently needed in order to (i) stabilize the situation and to reverse negative trends on the ground, which are steadily eroding the two-State solution and entrenching a one-State reality, and (ii) to create the conditions for successful final status negotiations and for advancing the two-State solution through those negotiations and on the ground.

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