If the aim behind promoting a draft resolution for the recognition of a Palestinian state is to recognise the Palestinian-ness of the land and undermine the legitimacy of settlement expansion, then the clauses [of this resolution], especially as they have been amended under US pressure, seek to reinforce the Israeli occupation and prevent any Palestinian political, cultural or armed resistance.
The original draft of the resolution was already problematic to begin with without any amendments. The reason for this is that it demands the recognition of a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders and this ignores the very core of Palestinian rights, most notably the right of return for Palestinian refugees among other historical and legitimate demands.
While the original draft makes no reference to compromising on Palestinian rights, it also does not make any explicit reference to the Palestinian right of return except to say that the plight of the refugees should be solved as it was outlined in UN Resolution 194. This claim does not adhere to the full implementation of the resolution but simply refers to it as a non-negotiable reference, which quite frankly is the problem in itself.
The vague wording of UN Resolution 194 is so ambiguous that it presents a sort of loophole that gives officials the opportunity to fully ignore the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes. And yet, as if the ambiguity of this resolution was not enough for the United States, they also insisted on adding amendments that would force the Palestinian people to give up their original demands for the return of the original Palestinian state thereby giving up their claim to all of historic Palestine and the right of return.
It is also wrong to assume that the extent of the injustices would stop at forcing the Palestinians to give up their right to historic Palestine in exchange for the establishment of a Palestinian state on less than 20 per cent of the original land with East Jerusalem as the sovereign and independent capital of Palestine. The new amendments outline that Jerusalem will be the joint capital among both sides, a suggestion that ultimately declares that the Israelis have the right to all of Jerusalem, which goes back to the Israeli suggestion that the Palestinian Authority can extend its mandate over Abu Dis and the surrounding neighbourhoods located just outside of Jerusalem.
Thus, it is also not enough to prevent the Palestinians from establishing a Palestinian state or to allow them to establish some semblance of a semi-sovereign and geographically fragmented entity composed of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem as the new amendments now propose the idea of land swaps and completely ignore the illegitimate nature of Israeli settlements. These amendments not only wholly ignore the UN’s patchy attempts to salvage the remnants of the Palestinian state, but it also carves out large blocs of land as they are constituted by Israeli settlements and the annexation of the Jordan Valley among other pockets of land desired by Israel.
In order to prevent the Palestinian people from practicing their right to determine their fate, two new amendments have been introduced and one of them prohibits both sides from making any unilateral decisions including land confiscations and the displacement of land owners, Israeli bombardments, preventing Palestinians from ascending to and accessing diplomatic channels and international forums, undermining all attempts at Palestinian resistance (to the occupation). All of these measures ultimately undermine all former international resolutions including the fourth Geneva Convention and the UN charter.
Moreover, the Palestinian administration is, as always; keen to close all the outstanding gaps and build an impenetrable wall that confirms Israel’s conditions and outlook on the conflict, which could be as complex as preventing attempts at Palestinian resistance or as simple as preventing any information on the history of the Palestinian revolution from being broadcast on Israeli media because it confirms the historical claim and presence that the Palestinians have to the land.
Finally, the emphasis that has been placed on ensuring Israeli security serves as a pre-requisite to any step forward with our without the US veto. What this ultimately does is hinder all progress and more importantly, renders the veto completely irrelevant as the amendments mentioned above secure Israeli interests. The Palestinian presidential administration must withdraw this resolution immediately.
Translated from Al-Araby Al-Jadid, 23 December, 2014
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.