June 19, 2017 at 3:48 am
The United States Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, seems to be championing a single cause: Israel.
When Haley speaks about Israel, her language is not merely emotive nor tailored to fit the need of a specific occasion. Rather, her words are resolute, consistent and are matched by a clear plan of action.
Along with Haley, the rightwing Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu is moving fast to cultivate the unique opportunity of dismissing the United Nations, thus, any attempt at criticizing the Israeli Occupation.
Unlike previous UN ambassadors who strongly backed Israel, Haley refrains from any coded language or any attempt, however poor, to appear balanced. Last March, she told a crowd of 18,000 supporters at the Israel lobby, AIPAC’s annual policy conference, that this is a new era for US-Israel relations.
“I wear heels. It’s not for a fashion statement,” she told the crowd that was thrilled by her speech. “It’s because if I see something wrong, we’re going to kick ’em every single time.”
Trump’s new sheriff/ambassador, condemned, in retrospect, UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which strongly criticized Israel’s illegal settlements. While still in its final days in office, the Obama Administration did not vote for – but did not veto the Resolution, either – thus setting a precedent that has not been witnessed in many years.
The US abstention, according to Haley, was as if the “entire country felt a kick in the gut.”
What made Israel particularly angry over Obama’s last act at the UN was the fact that it violated a tradition that has extended for many years, most notably during the term of John Negroponte, US Ambassador to the UN, during the first W. Bush’s term in office.
What became known as the ‘Negroponte doctrine’ was a declared US policy – that Washington will oppose any resolution that criticizes Israel that does not also condemn Palestinians.
But Israel, not the Palestinians, is the occupying power which refuses to honor dozens of UN resolutions and various international treaties and laws. By making that decision, and, indeed, following through to ensure its implementation, the US managed to sideline the UN as an ‘irrelevant’ institution.
Sidelining the UN, then, also meant that the US would have complete control over managing the Middle East, but especially the situation in Palestine.
However, under Trump, even the US-led and self-tailored ‘peace process’ has become obsolete.
This is the real moral but, also political, crisis of the Haley doctrine, for it goes beyond Negroponte’s silencing any criticism of Israel at the UN, into removing the UN entirely – thus international law – from being a factor in resolving the conflict.
In a talk at the Geneva-based Human Rights Council – which is made up of 47 member countries – Haley declared that her country is ‘reviewing its participation’ in the Council altogether. She claimed that Israel is the “only country permanently on the body’s calendar,” an inaccurate statement that is often uttered by Israel with little basis in truth.
If Haley read the report on the 35th session of the Human Rights Council, she would have realized that the Rights body discussed many issues, pertaining to women rights and empowerment, forced marriages and human rights violations in many countries.
But considering that Israel has recently ‘celebrated’ 50 years of occupying Palestinians, Haley should not be surprised that Israel is also an item on the agenda. In fact, any country that has occupied and oppressed another for so long should also remain an item on international agenda.
Following her speech in which she derided and threatened UN member states in Geneva, she went to Israel to further emphasize her country’s insistence to challenge the international community on behalf of Israel.
Along with notorious hasbara expert, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, Haley toured the Israeli border with Gaza, showing sympathy with supposedly besieged Israeli communities – while on the other side, nearly 2 million Palestinians in Gaza have been trapped for over a decade in a very small region, behind sealed shut borders.
Speaking in Jerusalem on June 7, Haley took on the UN ‘bullies’, who have ‘bullied’ Israel for too long.
She said, “I have never taken kindly to bullies and the UN has bullied Israel for a very long time and we are not going to let that happen anymore,” adding “it is a new day for Israel in the United Nations.”
By agreeing to live in Israel’s pseudo-reality, where bullies complain of being bullied, the US is moving further and further away from any international consensus on human rights and international law. This becomes more pronounced and dangerous when we consider the Donald Trump Administration’s decision to pull out from the Paris accords on global warming.
Trump argued that the decision was of benefit to American businesses. Even if one agrees with such an unsubstantiated assertion, Haley’s new doctrine on Israel and the UN, by contrast, can hardly be of any benefit to the United States in the short or long run. It simply degrades US standing, leadership and even goes below the lowest standards of credibility practiced under previous administrations.
Worse still, inspired and empowered by Haley’s blank check, Israeli leaders are now moving forward to physically remove the UN from Israel’s occupation of Palestine. Two alarming developments have taken place on that front:
One took place early May when Culture and Sport Minister, Miri Regev, made a formal demand to the Israeli cabinet to shut down the UN headquarter in Jerusalem, to punish UNESCO for restating the international position on the status of Israel’s illegal occupation of East Jerusalem.
The second was earlier this month, when Prime Minister Netanyahu called on Haley to shut down UNRWA, the UN body responsible for the welfare of 5 million Palestinian refugees.
According to Netanyahu, UNRWA ‘perpetuates’ refugee problems. However, the refugees’ problem is not UNRWA per se, but the fact that Israel refuses to honor UN resolution 194 pertaining to their return and compensation.
These developments, and more, are all outcomes of the Haley doctrine. Her arrival at the UN has ignited a US-Israeli hate fest, not only targeting UN member states, but international law and everything that the United Nations has stood for over the decades.
The US has supported Israel quite blindly at the UN throughout the years. Haley seems to adopt an entirely Israeli position with no regard whatsoever for her country’s allies, or the possible repercussions of dismissing the only international body that still serves as a platform for international engagement and conflict resolution.
Haley seems to truly think of herself as the new sheriff in town, who will “kick ’em every single time”, before riddling the bullies with bullets and riding into the sunset, along with Netanyahu. However, with a huge leadership vacuum and no law to guide the international community in resolving a 70-year-old conflict, Haley’s cowboy tactics are likely to do much harm to an already bleeding region.
Since the Negroponte doctrine of 2002, thousands of Palestinians and hundreds of Israelis were killed in an occupation that seems to know no ends. Further disengagement from international law will likely yield a greater toll and more suffering.
Following Stabbing and Shooting Attack in Occupied Jerusalem, Israeli Forces Impose Collective Punishment Measures Against the City and Deir Abu Mash’al Village
Following a stabbing and shooting attack in occupied East Jerusalem on Friday, 16 June 2017, that resulted in the killing of three Palestinian youngsters and an Israeli female soldier, the Israeli forces imposed additional collective punishment measures against the Palestinian civilians in occupied Jerusalem and later in Deir Abu Mash’al village, northwest of Ramallah, from which the three youngsters come.
The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns these measures and stresses they fall within the collective punishment policy which is prohibited
he Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) strongly condemns these measures and stresses they fall within the collective punishment policy which is prohibited in the international human rights law. PCHR further calls upon the international community to work on protecting the Palestinian civilians in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) and ensure its application.
According to PCHR’s investigations, after the abovementioned attack, the Israeli forces completely closed Bab al-Amoud (Damascus Gate) area, Sultan Suleiman Street and all gates of Jerusalem, excluding Bab al-Asbat (Lions Gate).
They banned the Palestinians from entering and exiting the Old City and obliged the commercial stores’ owners to shut down otherwise they would pay a fine of over NIS 40,000.
The Israeli forces also erupted metal barriers in the streets leading to Bab al-Amoud and prevented vehicles from using these streets. The Israeli officers chased the civilians who were at Bab al-
The Israeli officers chased the civilians who were at Bab al-Sahera (Herod’s Gate), al-Mesrara and Nablus Street and fired sound bombs at them. Moreover, they assaulted some civilians and pushed the journalists away from the scene.
The Israeli forces mobilized all over Jerusalem, mainly the streets of Nablus, Bab al-Sahera, Sultan Suleiman and al-Mesrara. Israeli forces stopped the by-passers and checked their IDs and then deported the West Bank residents by buses distributed throughout the city. The Israeli police declared they “Deported over 350 Palestinians, who entered Jerusalem without permits, and returned them to the Palestinian territories”.
In the same context, after the identities of the three Palestinian youngsters, who carried out the stabbing and shooting attack, were disclosed, Israeli forces moved into Deir Abu Mash’al village, northwest of Ramallah, from which the youngster come. They closed the main entrance by establishing an iron gate and closed the roads with sand and rocks, isolating the village from the world.
According to PCHR’s investigations, at approximately 05:30 on Saturday, 17 June 2017, Israeli forces moved into the said village and imposed a curfew.
The Israeli soldiers accompanied by an engineering team raided the houses belonging to the families of the three attackers and surveyed them. Before
The Israeli soldiers accompanied by an engineering team raided the houses belonging to the families of the three attackers and surveyed them. Before withdrawal, the Israeli forces handed over the owners of the houses decisions to demolish the houses without mentioning the date. The killed youngsters, whose family houses were raided, were identified as:
- Osama Ahmed Dahdouh ‘Ata (18). The area of his family house is 150 square meters and his family members are 6;
- ‘Adel Hassan ‘Ankoush (19). The area of his family house is 110 square meters and his family members are 10; and
- Bara’ Ibrahim Saleh Ata (18). The area of his family house is 140 square meters and his family members are 6.
Furthermore, Israeli forces raided, searched and damaged the contents of dozens of houses belonging to relatives of the attackers and confiscated permits they had to Israel.
In the meanwhile, a number of youngsters gathered in the center of the village and threw stones and empty bottles at the Israeli soldiers, who immediately opened fire in response.
As a result, two Palestinian civilians were wounded. The first sustained a live bullet wound to the right leg and the other sustained a rubber-coated metal bullet wound to the right hand. They were both taken to Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah to receive the necessary medical treatment.
PCHR condemns the Israeli government’s measures against the Palestinian civilians in occupied East Jerusalem and Deir Abu Mash’al village, northwest of Ramallah, which fall within the collective punishment policy that is internationally prohibited, especially under article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and:
- Demands the United Nations to work on protecting the civilians in the oPt;
- Calls upon the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions to ensure Israel’s commitment as a State Party to the Conventions to apply them in the oPt; and
- Demands States Parties to the Geneva Conventions to fulfill their obligations under these Conventions by exercising their Universal Jurisdiction to hold the war criminals accountable regardless of the criminals’ nationalities and the place where the crimes were committed and put an end to the impunity they enjoy for decades.
For more information please call PCHR office in Gaza, Gaza Strip, on +972 8 2824776 – 2825893