The Jordan Times (Editorial)
January 5, 2011 - 1:00am

The Palestinians decided to go to the UN Security Council and seek censorship of Israel’s continued settlement activities on territories seized from them.

It would not be the first time the Security Council condemns such act; it has repeatedly done so, calling on Israel to cease and desist from this illegal action.

That the Palestinian side would want a new international condemnation of the Israeli settlements could be prompted, other than by the sheer injustice and illegality of the settlement enterprise, by the US’ failure to convince Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to halt construction of new settlements on Palestinian lands.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had conditioned consent to resume direct negotiations with Israel on an immediate end of all Israeli settlement activity. Israel’s intransigent position has left all moves on the peace front in limbo, so action has to be taken somewhere, and going to the UN looks like a fitting step.

While the Security Council has yet to cast a vote on the Palestinian request, there is little doubt that the draft resolution will win unanimous support from its members. The problem for the Palestinians, then, is where to go after the adoption of the Palestinian draft resolution is duly adopted.

Israel can be expected to defy the UN once again, unperturbed by the international community’s rejection of its actions. It has been doing that for decades, with impunity, emboldened by the toothless world organisation.

More important, and interesting - if only being naïve and still believing that the US intends to be an impartial mediator in the Palestinian-Israeli problem - will be to see Washington’s stance after the council’s resolution.

The Obama administration may feel it has done everything in its power by simply voting in favour of the resolution on Israeli settlement plans. The Palestinians and the rest of the Arabs will not be content with the US political stance. They will insist on a more proactive support that Israel may understand and take seriously.

If the Security Council sanctions the new resolution, as expected, perhaps the US will be more resolute in exerting added pressure on Israel, which might make a difference in the efforts to stop Israel’s grave violation of international law and UN resolutions on the subject.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017