The latest meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon on August 16 elicited very weak criticism of Israel’s continued occupation of Palestine.
The Israeli Embassy of New Zealand has published the statements of both leaders, indicating a general consensus of allowing Israel to remain unscathed despite its obvious violations of international law.
According to Netanyahu, the main obstacle to the so-called peace process is Palestinian refusal to recognise the Jewish State, thus dismissing the international law violations caused by the continuous expansion of settlements. “As far as the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, we have to get to the root cause of the problem and the root cause was and remains the persistent refusal to recognise the Jewish State in any boundary. It doesn’t have to do with the settlements – that’s an issue that has to be resolved, but this is not the reason that we have a continual conflict.” As further assertion of illegal dominance, Netanyahu adds that “The real issue is how to get a demilitarised Palestinian state to finally recognise and accept the one and only Jewish state.” Israel keeps reinforcing the exclusive character of the Jewish state while expecting a democratic recognition of its illegal presence. Hence the necessity of Palestinians living under occupation to live in subservience, lacking any form of legitimate protection in order to ensure the survival of a state which downplays any form of violence against Palestinians by portraying itself as allegedly facing political isolation while seeking to disassociate Israel from its inflicted atrocities.
Once again acting as an imperialist interlocutor, Ban Ki Moon reinforced Netanyahu’s discourse through a series of diplomatic statements which rendered Palestinians spectators of their own destiny. While gently admonishing Netanyahu about the occupation and settlements, the UN Secretary General affirmed the ‘honour of visiting Israel’ and praised Netanyahu for ‘having the courage to set out a solution as a priority’, effectively absolving Israel of premeditated settlement expansion agreements. So far the negotiations have proved to be a further achievement in the prolonged oppression, attempting to placate the international community by the gradual release of Palestinian prisoners in return for further illegal expansion and settlement construction. Contradictions abound, with the secretary general expressing ‘encouragement’ at the negotiations only to express doubt about achieving and implementing a practical agreement.
By affirming his support for the negotiations, Ban Ki Moon has once again exposed the UN as a crucial instrument in the process of imperial dominance which threatens stability in the name of peace. The rhetoric of honour, commitment and prosperity directed at Israel establishes the illegal stand taken by the UN which may also be viewed as complementary to the organisation, given its preferential treatment for Israel which is also a manifestation of US support for the occupying power. If the United Nations was serious about supporting a tangible peace process, it would primarily have expressed no honour regarding the visit to Israel but view the temporary presence as a proper international obligation to reverse Israel’s belligerent occupation in order to achieve an authentic recognition for Palestinians in their own land.
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