Saturday, January 8, 2011

November 29, 1947: Deja vu?

Today, the Palestinian Authorty is pressing for a vote to take place before Jan. 19th in the UN Security Council on a resolution demanding Israel to again freeze building in Judea and Samaria, which Israel gained control over after Egypt, Jordan and Syria instigated war in 1967. (Why did they instigate war then, if those were the desired borders?) The resolution also condemns settlement activity as illegal and as a "major obstacle" to peace.

In efforts to bring about a vote, the Palestinian Ambassador to the UN (is that legal?) Riyad Mansour along with a delegation of Arab envoys met with representatives of the 15-member Security Council member governments, including India, Brazil, South Africa, Nigeria. India's ambassador has reported no opposition to the draft resolution.

Diplomats, according to Bloomberg, predict support from Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia, giving the Palestinians 14 votes, in what could be (b"H) Obama's first Security Council veto. According to a former Tony Blair aid, "“It is going to be a difficult call for the Obama administration, which is not inclined to want to veto resolutions." Middle East analyst David Gordon says that while  US ambassador Susan rice may attempt to water down the resolution to the point where the US will abstain, a US veto is more likely.

In 1970, Stephen Schwebel, who later became head of the International Criminal Court, said the following about Israel and the disputed territories:

Where the prior holder of territory had seized that territory unlawfully, the state which subsequently takes that territory in the lawful exercise of self-defense has, against that prior holder, better title.
On November 29th, 1947, the UN General Assembly voted 33 to 12 in favor of the Partition Plan, which recommended the termination of British rule over present-day Israel, and the partition of the territory into two states, one Jewish and one Arab. Following the vote, Arab countries declared war -- which, by the way is illegal too! -- against Israel, ensuing a conflict going on until this day.

Countries cast their votes as followed:
In favor, (33 countries, 59%):
Against, (13 countries, 23%):
Abstentions, (10 countries, 18%):
Absent, (1 country, 0%):

The vote was generally celebrated throughout Israel and Jewish communities around the world: In Israel, the streetnames of the neighborhood Kiryat Yovel in Jerusalem are named after countries who voted in favor of the partition plan. 

Today on the other hand: why does Israel not have one friend it can count on in today's security council?

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