Quantcast
Connect with us

Noam Chomsky: Israel’s response to the United Nation’s resolution on Palestine is ‘hysterical’

Published

on

The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) passed a resolution 14-0 condemning all Israeli settlements on Palestinian land as having “no legal validity” and amounting to “a flagrant violation under international law.” The resolution goes on to note that Israeli settlements pose “a major obstacle to the vision of two States living side-by-side in peace and security.”

ADVERTISEMENT

This represents the first UNSC resolution in almost eight years concerning Israel and Palestine, and the first in over 35 years regarding the issue of Israeli settlements. Typically the U.S. would veto resolutions critical of Israel, but in this case, the Obama administration opted to abstain, in effect allowing the resolution to pass.

For comment, AlterNet contacted Noam Chomsky, famed linguist, dissident and professor emeritus of MIT. Chomsky said of the resolution, “The UNSC resolution is essentially the same as UNSC 446, March 1979, passed 12-0-3. The main difference is that then two countries joined the U.S. in abstaining. Now the U.S. stands against the world; and under Trump, in even more splendid isolation, on much more crucial matters as well.”

Following the UNSC resolution, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quickly responded by announcing a halt to his government’s funding contributions to numerous U.N. institutions. Netanyahu called the resolution “a disgraceful anti-Israel maneuver” and blamed it on an “old-world bias against Israel.” Furthermore, he vowed to exact a “diplomatic and economic price” from the countries that supported it.

Shortly thereafter, Netanyahu made good on his threats by personally refusing to meet with the foreign ministers of the 12 UNSC members that voted for the resolution and ordering his Foreign Ministry to limit all working ties with the embassies of those 12 nations. He also summoned the ambassadors to the Foreign Ministry for a personal reprimand over the vote—including, in a highly unusual move, the U.S. ambassador.

ADVERTISEMENT

Asked about Netanyahu’s response, Chomsky told AlterNet, “The hysterical reaction in Israel and in Congress (bipartisan) reflects their sharp shift to the right in the years since, and the whole incident illustrates quite interesting shifts in world order.”

Palestinian rights advocates have quipped that Israel’s suspension of relations with the UNSC member nations that voted for the resolution—powerful countries including the U.K. and France—has effectively realized a goal of the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement. AlterNet contacted Omar Barghouti, one of the founders of the BDS movement, to see what he thought of this assessment. Barghouti replied, “This unanimous resolution, despite its many flaws in addressing basic Palestinian rights, has dealt Israel’s colonial designs a serious blow that will inadvertently, yet significantly, enhance the impact of the BDS movement in isolating Israel academically, culturally, economically and otherwise.”

“Israel’s delusional hubris and surreal threats to punish the U.N. and the world indicate above everything else how deeply alarmed it is at fast becoming an international pariah, as apartheid South Africa once was.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Ali Abunimah, the Palestinian-American founder of the Electronic Intifada, told AlterNet that Israel’s use of diplomatic sanctions against the UNSC member states contradicted its vocal opposition to sanctions advocated by the BDS movement. Abunimah said, “It’s sort of amusing to Israel try to impose sanctions and punish the whole world for this decision…Israel claims that sanctions are illegitimate as a tool except of course when Israel is the one wielding them, whether it’s against Iran or whether against the countries that displeased it.”

Though Israel’s heavy-handed response may concretely impact its diplomatic standing internationally, the resolution itself is largely symbolic and, as professor Chomsky pointed out, a reiteration of an earlier UNSC resolution. However, experts like Richard Falk, professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University and former U.N. Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights from 2008-2014, don’t think the resolution’s symbolic nature means it isn’t important.

As Falk told AlterNet, “The SC resolution at this stage is symbolic. Israel has already announced plans for thousand additional units, and the government has indicated its refusal to comply with the resolution. Nevertheless, it is of great psychological and potentially political support for the Palestinian struggle to end the occupation and achieve a sustainable and just peace. The fact that aside from the United States’ notable abstention, all 14 other members of the Security Council voted in favor of the resolution, is indicative of the encouraging reality that the world is not ready to forget the Palestinians, that Israel faces a renewed experience of diplomatic isolation, and that the growing international solidarity movement, including the BDS campaign, will be strengthened and encouraged.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Asked how the resolution could move from symbolic to something with more concrete effects, Falk responded, “much depends on the future, and whether the commitment in the resolution to have reports from the U.N. Secretary General every three months on implementation will lead to any tangible results beyond a reiteration of censure remains to be seen.”

Though the Obama administration’s unusual decision not to veto a U.N. resolution critical of Israel might be start toward accountability, many Palestinian rights advocates remain cynical about Obama. Abunimah told AlterNet, “Obama has done more than any other president in history to assure Israel’s impunity.”

“When Obama was president-elect, Israel was engaged in this massacre in Gaza in 2008, 2009. When Obama came in he blocked any form of international accountability, trashed the Goldstone report which was the independent U.N. inquiry. The same in 2014 when Israel attacked Gaza, Obama actually rearmed Israel while the bombs were falling on Gaza and then of course the same story of blocking any form of international accountability. And …giving Israel this unconditional boost in military aid—a minimum of $3.8 billion [per year] over the next 10 years, up from $3.1 billion [per year] currently.”

ADVERTISEMENT

By Ken Klippenstein/Alternet


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Trump’s California donors are freaking out about the social consequences of attending his fundraisers: report

Published

on

President Donald Trump has generated a huge amount of election campaign money from fundraisers in California — a state where he is underwater 30 points and an epicenter of legal and legislative opposition to his agenda.

Fundraisers in California are incredibly lucrative for the president, as the state is home to a number of tech and entertainment millionaires. But its heavily liberal lean has many of his donors scared of social consequences for their support — and according to Politico, that fear is leading the Trump campaign to cloak these events in secrecy.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Damage control: Eugene Robinson explains why beating Trump won’t be the next president’s greatest challenge

Published

on

Democrats have spent months fighting over the tiniest details of each policy during the handful of Democratic debates and forums. While they may agree on 98 percent of the policies, it's the two percent that campaigns are zeroing-in on. The reality, however, is that few if any of the policies or campaign promises will ever come to fruition. As Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson explained in his latest column, the greatest challenge of any Democratic leader post-Trump will be fixing the things the president broke.

In his Monday column, Robinson demanded to know not just how Democrats plan to actually beat Trump, but how they'll repair the damage he'll leave. He doesn't doubt Democrats can accomplish the goal of kicking the president out of the White House, but the aftermath is another matter.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

‘Fire and fury is upon us’: Columnist explains why attack on Saudi oilfield brings us closer to war

Published

on

On Monday, Saudi oil facilities were hit with a drone strike that U.S. intelligence is claiming originated with Iran.

If this is true, it would be one of many instances in recent months of escalation of tension between Iran and U.S.-allied countries. But as Christopher Dickey warned in The Daily Beast, this event could bring America closer to war than it has yet been.

"Ever since Donald Trump became America’s commander in chief and started creating diplomatic crises around the world, the question has loomed: how will he react if he faces a violent challenge that appears to demand a military response?" said Dickey. "Well, that’s happening right now. The attacks on Saudi Arabia early Saturday morning, cutting its oil production in half, have us on the brink of a huge new Middle East conflict, a massive surge in oil prices, and a global recession."

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free.
close-image