The Dummies Guide to what’s happening with the UN, US and Isreal

Last week, you may have read some angry tweets directed at your favourite President, Barack Obama, most notably The Donald’s, who reassured Isreal that the 20th of January is much closer than we all think. And for good measure, this one from Daddy Freeze who seems to hate Obama on behalf of Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

But let’s get back to Trump and the matter at hand:

If you guessed that it had something to do with the unending conflict between Isreal and Palestine, then you are already on your way to understanding what this is all about.

Resolution 2334, the U.N resolution in question was passed on Friday the 23rd and it essentially instructs a halt to all Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem – the occupied Palestinian territories which have been a hotbed of conflict in the decades-long bloody tussle between Isreal and Palestine. And for good measure, it goes on to declare the establishment of settlements by Israel in those areas has “no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.”

These lands in question have about 125 settlements that house close to 400,000 Jewish settlers and 100 outposts. In fact, Isreal had revealed plans to add hundreds of units to these existing settlements and each time, the Obama administration had shown displeasure despite the two countries being long-time allies.

While Friday’s resolution was not sponsored by the United States (it was jointly by New Zealand, Senegal and Ukraine after Egypt withdrew its own similar resolution at the las minute), the Israeli Prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu has accused Obama of having secretly engineered it.

From all that has been said, it is obvious that this resolution is a clear defeat for Israel especially in light of the involvement of the United States. The United States has remained Israel’s ally for the longest time and the resolution could have easily been vetoed by U.S.A, being a permanent voting member of the Security Council. Instead, the resolution was passed 14 – 0. Which means all ten temporary members of the council and four of the five permanent members of the Council voted in favour of the resolution. Obama had authorised an abstention from the vote.

While it is true that this is a defeat for Israel, the resolution does not exactly hurt the nation. It certainly is not a win for Palestine because the resolution is non-binding. If Israel choses to continue its occupation of the lands, there will be no serious repercussions nor will it attract any punitive damage to Israel.

What then does the resolution mean?

It means that for once, the international body has spoken out and harshly too against continued oppression of Palestinians, especially on the West bank. Also, as we stated earlier, it declares the Israeli occupation of those areas illegal by international law standards.

However, what it does not do is to prescribe a punishment for Israel if it chooses to persist in its occupation or even expand as planned. It also does not prescribe any reparations to the Palestinian victims.

For this resolution to be truly effective, a new resolution will have to be passed to that effect.

Which brings us back to the United States, Trump and Israel.

Except if such addendum of a resolution making the current one a binding law is passed in the next few days before Obama leaves office, then the world may as well forget all of these ever happened.

Trump’s new nominee for the position of Ambassador to Israel is David Friedman, a long-time outspoken supporter of Israel’s settlements. This, when considered in the light of Trump’s reassurance to Israel via his Twitter account as well as Benjamin Netanyahu’s unusually open welcome of the new administration means that a resolution of that nature will be vetoed by the United States at the Security Council if anyone ever bothered to sponsor it.

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