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From davemull@alphalink.com.au Wed Dec 13 11:25:43 2000
Date: Tue, 12 Dec 2000 23:53:16 -0600 (CST)
Organization: South Movement
From: David Muller <davemull@alphalink.com.au>
Subject: [southnews] Dawn,Pakistan:Verdict on Israel
Article: 110915 To: undisclosed-recipients:;


Verdict on Israel

DAWN, 7 December 2000

THE UN General Assembly's condemnation of Israel by an overwhelming majority should help reassure the Palestinian people that mankind's conscience is not dead after all. On Friday, by a virtual unanimous vote, with only Israel and the United States voting against, the General Assembly upheld the right of the people of Palestine to what they have been justly struggling for - their inalienable right to self-determination. Representing the people of the world, the General Assembly in all passed six resolutions, pillorying the Zionist state for its wanton violation of various UN resolutions, specially those relating to Al Quds. Such was the virtual unanimity shown by the General Assembly that Nasser Al-Kidwa, the Palestinian observer, rightly observed that the resolutions very clearly meant that the whole world is on one side and Israel is alone on the other.

Regrettably, on all resolutions except one, the United States felt no qualms about voting in support of the guilty party. On Al Quds - the only resolution where the US abstained (and found itself in the company of Angola, Federated States of Mocironesia, Marshall Islands, and Nauru) - the UN General Assembly declared as illegal and, therefore, null and void all action Israel was taking to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the holy city. Israel has been enacting these laws from time to time to alter Al Quds's Arab-Islamic character so as to create facts that would facilitate the city's illegal annexation by it. More important, another resolution deplored the shifting by some states of their diplomatic missions to Al Quds, pointing out that such a transfer would constitute a violation of Security Council Resolution 497 of 1981.

Unfortunately, all the six UN resolutions are non-binding. That takes the sting out of them. Nevertheless, the passage of the resolutions should be seen against the backdrop of the violence and blood-letting that has been going on lately in the occupied territories. So far, over 300 people, mostly Palestinians, have been killed in clashes touched off by Ariel Sharon's highly provocative visit to the holy sites in the last week of September. Worse, the peace process is all but dead. In fact, Ehud Barak feels no shame in saying openly that he has taken time off from peace talks. This being the situation, every passing day only adds to the casualty toll and brings the possibility of a wider conflict nearer.

As experience shows, moral exhortations and the world community's opprobrium have failed to restrain Israel in pursuit of its annexionist policies and human rights violations. If at all there is any hope, it lies with the United States, Israel's backer and sustainer. As perhaps the only country whose unqualified support to Israel and liberal doses of economic and military aid have served to keep its protege well armed and well-oiled, the US must realize that there is no alternative to a resumption of the peace process. The guilty party is obviously Israel, which has reneged on a faithful implementation of the Oslo accords. Clearly, it is Washington alone which can make Israel come to its senses. Without a resumption of the talks for a final settlement and quick progress to that end, peace will continue to elude the Middle East.