A majority within the United Nations Security Council announced the primary obstacle to Arab-Israeli peace: Israeli settlements. Nine members, including France, Britain and Germany united as one, condemning Israel’s decision to construct 1,000 homes within existing settlements.
Baso Sangqu, Ambassador to South Africa, released a statement for the non-aligned movement, endorsing the Western European sentiment by describing the settlements as “the main impediment to the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” The non-aligned movement makes up a supermajority within the United Nations General Assembly.
It is difficult to defend the argument that the peace process is predicated on the behaviors of only one party. The Oslo Accords placed no limitations on settlement construction. Instead, the agreements mandated Israel’s civilian presence in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza would be negotiated according to a final status agreement.
But the UN has ignored these contracts signed by the Palestinians. The UN demands Israel commit to unilateral concessions in hopes of winning the affection of the Palestinian Authority to negotiate.
Enumerating the actual harm the settlements have on the peace process is quite simple. An overwhelming majority of Palestinians oppose a ban on settlement construction and very few see it as an impediment to negotiations. Some may argue settlements pose an existential threat to the territorial integrity of a future Palestinian nation, but the Palestinian government’s refusal to negotiate or at least accept an interim border agreement reveals their desire to preemptively undermine the continuation of peace talks. After all, Israeli settlements constitute less than 2% of West Bank territory. In other words, the settlements are not a territorial threat to the establishment of a Palestinian nation.
While one can debate the legality of Israel’s settlement enterprise in the what the Palestinians claim to be their land, it is certainly an overreaction to attack projects in cities that would remain in Israel under any future peace deal with the Palestinian Authority.
The United Nations has maintained a deafening silence regarding the hundreds of rockets and projectiles fired at Israel from Gaza each week. Dozens of Israelis have been killed and maimed and millions are forced to flee to bomb shelters each week. These homicidal acts of violence have yet to provoke the collective outrage of the United Nations.
In addition to the lack of concern for Palestinian violence, the United Nations refuses to comment on the “moderate” Palestinian’s declaration of war against normalizing relations with Israel and engaging in blatant diplomatic lawfare.
UN representatives should ask themselves, what truly is undermining the peace process? Could it be the 566 rockets and mortars fired by Palestinian militant groups at Israeli cities in the last year? Or perhaps it is the unanimous opposition to Jewish rights, and more specifically the Jewish people, among the general Palestinian electorate?
It is reported less than one third of all Palestinians support a state side-by-side with Israel, and more than three quarters endorse the Hamas Charter which espouses the “need to kill Jews hiding behind stones and trees.” Is this not an impediment to peace? Is it the the Palestinian Authority’s persistent denial of Jewish history and ties to the land of Israel that impedes the peace process? So far, the United Nations hasn’t released an official resolution on the matter.
Out of the 131 UNSC resolutions concerning the Israeli-Arab conflict, the organization has failed to issue a single condemnation of Palestinian violence, and each resolution almost always assumes the Arab position without hesitation and thought. It took less than 24 hours for the Security Council to formulate a bitter one-sided attack on Israeli settlements. Meanwhile, close to 5,000 Syrians have been butchered by the Baathist regime and the Security Council still cannot agree on a final language resolution nine months since the killings began. Nearly 150 Syrians were killed on one day alone recently. But the United Nations decided that Jewish malls in the West Bank were of greater importance and international significance than mass murder by a state-sponsor of terrorism.
It is more than clear the United Nations has no interest in promoting peace between Israel and the Palestinians. The Palestinian government is allowed to behave like spoiled children, never to be condemned and punished for their actions. Israel, on the other hand, is given endless grief for what is ultimately a minor infraction in the Middle East peace process.
Dangerous Company is a pen name of a conservative studying in an intolerant academic environment. He or she can be contacted at email@example.com