An informal meeting of the UN Security Council is expected to take place on Friday, with the objective of addressing the issue of Israeli settlement expansion. The initiative proposed by Palestinians and themed "the settlements as the obstacle to peace and a two-state solution" is said to have the backing of Malaysia, Venezuela, Egypt, Senegal and Angola, according to YNet news.
While the increasing scrutiny of its illegal settlements is undoubtedly an annoyance to Israel, it is unlikely that any routine condemnation will affect any changes in its attitude. Snippets of the position paper which will be discussed at the meeting are reminiscent of the perpetual complaints that Palestine has been voicing over many years to the point of exhaustion. For example: "The existence and expansion of the settlements on Palestinian lands which were occupied in 1967 endanger a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the two-state solution." Yawn. Haven't we heard that before, ad nauseam?
YNet also reported that the position paper takes the Israeli security forces to task for "overlooking violent acts of the settlers against Palestinians and not giving them the protection to which they are entitled under international law."
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon made a slight change to his usual hyperbole when he accused Palestinians of "using the international community to harm the State of Israel instead of stopping incitement and sitting at the negotiation table." Reeking of discrepancies and untruths, Danon's statement conveys the fact that international attention regarding illegal settlement expansion is evolving into a semblance of concern for Israel. Last week, the EU issued a statement in which it reiterated the illegality of settlements under international law. In response, according to Ma'an news agency, the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs described the settlements as a mere "housing solution".
On the other hand, Danon's statement also shows that Israel remains unchallenged in the international arena when it comes to its false narratives, let alone the tangible consequences of colonial violence inflicted upon Palestinians. The ludicrous accusation that Palestinians are "using" the international community speaks volumes about the manner in which Israel not only expects a complete abandonment by the Palestinians internationally, but also seeks the status quo to be permanent. Questions pertaining to Palestine would then continue to be discussed according to the prevailing narrative which has, with the blessings of the international community, poisoned any possibility for Palestinians to assert their self-determination and right to liberation from colonialism.
As for the elusive "negotiating table", it is indeed pathetic that the international community is unwilling to challenge Israel over the lack of talks. It is by keeping the two-state compromise as an impossible option that diplomats are still able to avail themselves of such convenient but meaningless terminology.
Given the possibility of a predictable outcome, the international community can only be credited for its warped but vivid imagination when it comes to safeguarding Palestinian rights. Resolutions have not stopped Israel from its colonial expansion and the meeting on Friday will not achieve anything new. Indeed, it is more likely to serve as another diplomatic charade during which the concept of urgency will be superseded by the prevailing apathy.
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