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Palestine - UN Security Council flirts with racist fantasyland

By David Singer - posted Monday, 5 January 2009

"All these attacks prove that settlers are dangerous and that it's impossible to live with them. If these settlers are allowed to stay, that would mean more friction and confrontation. Peace can be achieved only if Israel withdraws to the last centimetre of the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967". Ahmed Qurei, Head of Palestinian Authority Negotiating Team, Jerusalem Post December 13, 2008.

This call to remove every Jew living in the West Bank - 500,000 men, women and children - was accepted in total silence by the United Nations. No urgent meeting of the General Assembly or any of its Human Rights Committees was called to condemn this racial vilification of Jews by a former Prime Minister of the Palestinian Authority and its chief negotiator with Israel.

One remembers how fervently world leaders correctly argued that you couldn't blame all Muslims for the terrorist actions of those few who hijack Islam and commit horrible atrocities worldwide in the name of Allah.


No similar statements were heard from those same leaders this week condemning Mr Queri for calling for the removal of those 500,000 Jews because of the misguided actions of a few.

Collective punishment - not to be tolerated for Gazan Arabs - was perfectly acceptable when it involved West Bank Jews.

Indeed the UN Security Council met just three days after Mr Qurei's outrageous statement, yet raised not one word of protest or censure at his highly offensive and hate-ridden remarks.

Instead it passed Resolution 1850 (2008) by 14 votes to 0 - with Libya abstaining - declaring "its support for the negotiations initiated at Annapolis on 27 November 2007 and its commitment to the irreversibility of the bilateral negotiations" and called "on both parties to fulfil their obligations under the Performance-Based Roadmap, as stated in their Annapolis Joint Understanding and refrain from any steps that could undermine confidence or prejudice the outcome of negotiations".

One could not imagine a more destructive statement designed to undermine confidence or to prejudice the outcome of the Annapolis negotiations than that delivered by Mr Qurei.

His demand defiantly flies in the face of the written commitment given by President Bush to Israel's Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on April 14, 2004 - forming an integral part of the Roadmap negotiating process under the auspices of the Quartet - America, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations.


In that letter President Bush stated:

As part of a final peace settlement, Israel must have secure and recognized borders, which should emerge from negotiations between the parties in accordance with UNSC Resolutions 242 and 338. In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, and all previous efforts to negotiate a two-state solution have reached the same conclusion. It is realistic to expect that any final status agreement will only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities.

In declaring its support for the Annapolis negotiations the Security Council conveniently ignored the basis on which those negotiations were undertaken by Israel as expressed in these clear and unambiguous terms by its Prime Minister - Ehud Olmert - at the opening of the Annapolis conference:

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About the Author

David Singer is an Australian Lawyer, a Foundation Member of the International Analyst Network and Convenor of Jordan is Palestine International - an organisation calling for sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza to be allocated between Israel and Jordan as the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine. Previous articles written by him can be found at

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