Weekend long read

1) CAMERA’s Alex Safian discusses UNSC resolution 2334 in an article titled “Game Changer or Not?“.Weekend Read

“The decision by President Obama to allow the resolution to pass is likely to be a mirror image of his ill-fated demand soon after his inauguration in 2009 that Israel impose a settlement freeze, something which even the Palestinians had not demanded as a condition to resuming negotiations. Rather than advancing prospects for peace, the 10-month settlement freeze, which PM Netanyahu reluctantly accepted, actually hardened Palestinian positions, as they could not accept being seen as demanding less from Israel than the United States.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas made this clear in an interview with Newsweek :

It was Obama who suggested a full settlement freeze. I said OK, I accept. We both went up the tree. After that, he came down with a ladder and he removed the ladder and said to me, jump.

While the freeze was in effect Abbas ignored it as meaningless and refused to negotiate till the last month, then demanded the freeze be extended as it was about to expire, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton explained in 2012:

When Prime Minister Netanyahu agreed to a 10-month settlement freeze I flew to Jerusalem .. it wasn’t perfect. It didn’t cover East Jerusalem, but it covered much of the contested area in the West Bank.

And I stood on a stage with him … I said it was unprecedented for any Israeli prime minister to have done that. I got so criticized. I got criticized from the right, the left, the center, Israeli, Jewish, Arab, Christian, you name it. Everybody criticized me. But the fact was it was a 10-month settlement freeze. And he was good to his word. And we couldn’t get the Palestinians into the conversation until the tenth month.

To put it simply, President Obama’s plan backfired, making peace more difficult to achieve.”

2) At the JCPA, Ambassador Alan Baker discusses “The Dangers of UN Security Council Resolution 2334“.

“This position taken by the United States (as well as the other members of the Security Council) also undermines the basic obligation of the Oslo Accords, signed by the PLO and witnessed by the United States (as well as the EU, Russia, Egypt and others), that the permanent status of the territories, the issues of Jerusalem, and borders are to be negotiated.”

3) At the Times of Israel, Rafael L. Bardaji and Col. Richard Kemp of the Friends of Israel Initiative give their view of the same topic.

“East Jerusalem and the entire West Bank constitutes disputed territory rather than being occupied, as the UN falsely insists. The final status of these lands must be mutually agreed in bilateral negotiations between the parties, in accordance with the legally-binding Oslo Accords which the Security Council now treats with contempt. […]

Whatever the UN Security Council might like to believe, if every settlement were torn down we would still not be one step closer to peace. In fact we would be farther from it, as Palestinian leaders sensed victory and pressed on towards their only goal, which is Arab domination of the entire land, from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea.”

4) At the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, Col. (res) Dr Eran Lerman gives his appraisal of UNSC resolution 2334.

“”Be careful what you wish for; you might get it” says the old adage, and sober elements among the Palestinian leadership may yet rue the day they managed to secure an American abstention leading to the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334. The resolution condemns “settlement activity” anywhere, including East Jerusalem, and calls upon all members to distinguish in practice between Jews who live on one side of the Armistice Line of 1949 and those who live beyond it. It presumes to speak in the name of international law and to create the conditions for further progress towards peace in the interests of both Palestinians and “legitimate” Israelis. In fact, this poorly designed and atrociously timed diplomatic tool seems set to harm, if not entirely destroy, the very purposes it was designed to serve.”


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