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Siedlungsstopp gefordert: USA legen im UN-Sicherheitsrat Veto gegen israelkritische Resolution ein

Alle anderen Staaten, auch Deutschland, Großbritannien und Frankreich, stimmen für die Resolution

Die USA haben am 18. Februar 2011 mit ihrem Veto eine Resolution des UN-Sicherheitsrats gegen Israel betreffend seiner Siedlungspolitik in den besetzten Palästinensergebieten verhindert. Alle anderen Sicherheitsratsmitglieder (14), also auch Deutschland, stimmten für die Resolution.

Der Entwurf, der von rund 130 Staaten unterstützt worden war, bezeichnet die jüdischen Siedlungen in den Palästinensergebieten als illegal und als großes Hindernis für einen Frieden in Nahost. Israel wird darin außerdem dazu aufgefordert, jeglichen Siedlungsbau sofort zu stoppen.

Die Palästinenser hatten sich von einer Resolution einen stärkeren internationalen Druck auf Israels Ministerpräsidenten Benjamin Netanjahu erhofft. Eingereicht wurde die Resolution auf Initiative der arabischen Staaten. Als eines der fünf ständigen Mitglieder des Rates können die USA - ebenso wie Russland, China, Großbritannien und Frankreich - jeden Beschluss stoppen.

UN-Generalsekretär Ban Ki-moon erklärte im Anschluss an das Scheitern der Resolution, man müsse die derzeitige Sackgasse schnell überwinden und günstige Rahmenbedingungen für Fortschritte bei der Lösung der Endstatus-Fragen schaffen. Er bekräftigt noch einmal den Standpunkt der Vereinten Nationen, wonach die Besatzung beendet werden müsse und ein unabhängiger, demokratischer und lebensfähiger palästinensischer Staat gegründet werden könne.

Schon früher scheiterten Versuche, die israelische Besatzungspolitik im UN-Sicherheitsrat zu verurteilen, am Veto der USA, z.B. 2003, als es um eine Verurteilung des israelischen Mauerbaus gehen sollte (siehe: Israels Mauer in der Kritik - nun in der UN-Vollversammlung).

Im Folgenden dokumentieren wir:

United States vetoes Security Council resolution on Israeli settlements

The United States today vetoed a Security Council resolution condemning all Israeli settlements established in occupied Palestinian territory since 1967 as illegal, saying that while it agreed that the settlements are illegitimate the resolution harmed chances for peace talks.

The other 14 members of the Council voted for the resolution, which demanded that "Israel, as the occupying power, immediately and completely ceases all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem and that it fully respect its legal obligations in this regard." But as one of the five permanent members, the negative US vote is the equivalent of a veto.

The resolution, co-sponsored by over 120 of the UN’s 192 Member States, also called on both parties to comply with their obligations under the Road Map plan, sponsored by the diplomatic Quartet of the United Nations, European Union, Russia and US, which seeks to establish a two-State solution of Israel and Palestine living side by side in peace and security within recognized borders.

It urged all parties to continue with their negotiations on final status issues in the Middle East peace process and called for the "intensification of international and regional diplomatic efforts to support and invigorate the peace process towards achievement of a comprehensive, just and lasting peace."

After the vote Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, in a note issued by his spokesperson, called for focusing on efforts to overcome the current impasse, in which the Palestinians are refusing to resume direct talks until Israel stops all settlement activity, and create a conducive environment for progress towards resolving all final status issues.

In explaining her veto, US Ambassador Susan E. Rice said the vote should not be misunderstood as support for settlement activity.

"On the contrary, we reject in the strongest terms the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity," she declared. "Continued settlement activity violates Israel’s international commitments, devastates trust between the parties, and threatens the prospects for peace"

"Every potential action must be measured against one overriding standard: will it move the parties closer to negotiations and an agreement? Unfortunately, this draft resolution risks hardening the positions of both sides. It could encourage the parties to stay out of negotiations and, if and when they did resume, to return to the Security Council whenever they reach an impasse."

Palestinian Permanent Observer to the UN Riyad Mansour regretted that the Council had failed to "uphold its responsibilities" to respond to the crisis. "Our overarching goal remains to bring an end to the Israeli colonization and occupation of our land and its destruction of the two-State solution," he said. "We fear, however, that the message sent today may be one that only encourages further Israeli intransigence and impunity."

Israeli Ambassador Meron Reuben called for a resumption of direct talks between the two sides without pre-conditions, noting that settlements are only one of several issues to be settled in final status negotiations. "Therefore, the resolution before you should never have been submitted," he said. "Instead, the international community and the Security Council should have called upon the Palestinian leadership, in a clear and resolute voice, to immediately return to the negotiating table."

(UNHCR The UN Refugee Agency, 18 February 2011; www.unhcr.org)

Security Council vote on the Middle East

Action in the Council is a decision for Member States to make. The Secretary-General's position on settlements is well known. Now, we must focus efforts on overcoming the current impasse and creating a conducive environment for progress towards resolving all final status issues. The international community agrees on the urgent need for a negotiated settlement that will end the occupation that started in 1967 and establish an independent, democratic and viable Palestinian State living side by side in peace and security with Israel. We must do all we can to help the parties move forward .

New York, 18 February 2011

(UN News Centre, 18 feb 2011)

Three questions for Marwan Bishara

Our senior political analyst on US decision to veto UNSC draft resolution condemning Israel's illegal settlements.

The US has vetoed a UN Security Council resolution that would have condemned Israeli settlements as "illegal" and called for an immediate halt to all settlement building. All 14 other council members voted in favour of the resolution.
Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera's senior political analyst, answers three crucial questions connected with the issue.

Why did the US veto the draft UN resolution condemning the Israeli settlements?

The Obama administration claims that, if passed, such a resolution would have hardened the position of both sides without advancing peace between Israelis and Palestinians and that the 'Peace Process', not the UN Security Council, is the venue to tackle such issues.

In reality, however, the parties' positions have already hardened because of the settlements' proliferation with total impunity.

In Israel, Jewish settlers today make up the hardcore base of its right-wing government (arguably the most extreme in its history). And for their part, the Palestinians have for the last two years rejected direct negotiations as long as settlement activity continued.

Moreover, settlements have been most damaging to the peace process, and its goal of a two states solution.

Since the start of this US-sponsored diplomatic process decades ago, the settlers have quadrupled in numbers from 75,000 to 300,000 scattered in about 200 settlements in the West Bank, and has doubled in cosmopolitan East Jerusalem, making it ever more improbable to separate Palestine from Israel, or establish a contiguous viable state.

Apart from the UN itself, Washington's other partners in the International Quartet -- the EU and Russia -- understand that all too well and hence decided to vote in favour of the draft resolution.

It's terribly embarrassing for the Obama administration that promised to integrate the US and improve its image around the world, to be seen to be so diplomatically isolated.

It's also humiliating not to be able to pressure Israel to freeze settlement activity and be forced to veto a resolution that was drafted in line with its own declarations.

But Susan Rice, the US ambassador to the UN, says that Washington rejects the legitimacy of these settlements and supports the emergence of a Palestinian state, but that such a resolution would advance neither cause?

Declaring the settlements illegitimate but refusing to call them illegal, relieves Israel from possible sanctions and other international reaction, while at the same time, protecting the US, Israel's main ally and funder, from possible accusations of complicity.

In reality, settlements have led to terrible instability and further complicated the resolution of the conflict while destroying any hope for the two state solution in the process.

But the Obama administration finds itself all too often nowadays on the wrong side of history, embarrassingly supporting unpopular dictators and occupiers instead of people in their march to freedom.

Allowing Israeli colonisation of Palestine to go on unabated and with impunity in the age of de-colonisation doesn't bode well for wanting to be on the side of history.

To escape this uncomfortable position, the Obama administration has been using acrobatic statements and formulas to rewrite history in a way that portrays it supporting peoples' rights.

Does the US veto risk a backlash in the Arab world?

Washington's refusal to join the international community in affirming the applicability of international law in Palestine, could further alienate an Arab world already in turmoil.

In fact, it could add fuel to Arab anger and deepen disappointment at those crucial times.

But the Obama administration has been carefully balancing its options between angering Palestinians and Arabs or alienating Israel and pro-Israeli groups in the US.

Good to his reputation, the pragmatic president has opted for appeasing Israel and its friends.

When weighing in the costs and benefits of supporting such a resolution, the Obama administration seems to have concluded that angering Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, pales in comparison to angering Israeli premier Netanyahu and his allies in Washington and in Congress.

It's possible that Netanyahu will reciprocate by offering Obama a tactical compromise to ease the international pressure on both of their countries.

Whether this is in the US national interest or simply in the interests of politics as usual in Washington remains to be seen.

It's clear, however, that neither the Obama administration nor Congress have internalised the historical transformation sweeping through the Arab region.

Rather, it continues to deal with the Arabs and Palestinians with the same imperial mindset that long managed its relations with self-serving Arab dictators and clients, as if nothing has changed in the region.

Source: Aljazeera, 19 Feb 2011; http://english.aljazeera.net

Erklärung des britischen Außenministers William Hague

Foreign Secretary William Hague has called on Israel and the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table after the US vetoed a draft United Nations Security Council resolution condemning the building of settlements on occupied land.

Speaking after yesterday's vote, Mr Hague said:

"I have made clear my serious concern about the current stalemate in the Middle East peace process.

"The UK voted with others, including France and Germany, to reinforce this and our long-standing view that settlements, including in East Jerusalem, are illegal under international law, an obstacle to peace and constitute a threat to a two-state solution.

"We must not be diverted by events in the wider region from working towards a just and lasting resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"We believe that Israel's security and the realisation of the Palestinians' right to statehood are not opposing goals. On the contrary they are intimately intertwined objectives.

"I call on both parties to return as soon as possible to direct negotiations towards a two-state solution, on the basis of clear parameters."

He added: "We therefore look to both parties to return to negotiations as soon as possible on this basis. Our goal remains an agreement on all final status issues and the welcoming of Palestine as a full member by September 2011. We will contribute to achieving this goal in any and every way that we can.

"We understand Israel's deep and justified security concerns. As friends of Israel, we share those concerns, and will strive with Israel to preserve her security and the stability of the region around her.

"It is precisely because of those concerns that we vote in favour of this resolution.

"We believe a peaceful and safe future for Israel is best secured through a peace with the Palestinians that in turn can lead to peace with the entire region, and indeed will strengthen the stability of the region. We believe that Israel will be better able to face and tackle wider threats if it is at peace with the Palestinians. And so we regret anything which sets back the prospects for peace because we believe it also sets back Israel's security."

(The Independent, 19.02.2011)

Israel begrüßt US-Veto gegen UN-Sicherheitsratsresolution

Die USA haben am Freitag (18. Feb.) ihr Veto gegen eine von den vierzehn übrigen Mitgliedern des UN-Sicherheitsrats verabschiedete Resolution gegen den israelischen Siedlungsbau im Westjordanland eingelegt. Das israelische Außenministerium nimmt dazu wie folgt Stellung:

„Direkte Verhandlungen zwischen Israel und den Palästinensern sind nach wie vor der einzige Weg, um den Konflikt zwischen beiden Seiten zu lösen.

Der Weg zwischen Ramallah und Jerusalem ist kurz, und alles, was die Palästinenser tun müssen, ist ohne Vorbedingungen an den Verhandlungstisch zurückzukehren. Nur so – und nicht durch das Kapern des UN-Sicherheitsrats – wird es möglich sein, den Friedensprozess zum Nutzen beider Seiten voranzubringen, und der Sache von Frieden und Sicherheit in der gesamten Region zu dienen.

Da der Nahe Osten Wandlungen durchläuft, die historische Bedeutung für die Zukunft der gesamten Region haben, ist es besonders befremdend, dass der Sicherheitsrat sich entscheidet, einem einzelnen Aspekt der langen Reihe von Kernfragen der israelisch-palästinensischen Verhandlungen Beachtung zu schenken und gleichzeitig das weitere Spektrum der Vorgänge in unserer Region zu ignorieren.

Israel begrüßt die amerikanische Position, die zur Wiederaufnahme des diplomatischen Prozesses beiträgt, und bedauert, dass die anderen Sicherheitsratsmitglieder davon Abstand nehmen, denselben Beitrag zu leisten.“

(Außenministerium des Staates Israel, 18.02.11)

Israels Ministerpräsident Binyamin Netanyahu hat sich folgendermaßen zu der Angelegenheit geäußert:

„Israel begrüßt zutiefst die Entscheidung von Präsident Obama, ein Veto gegen die heutige Sicherheitsratsentscheidung einzulegen.

Israel bleibt dem Streben nach einem umfassenden Frieden mit all unseren Nachbarn, einschließlich der Palästinenser, verpflichtet.

Wir streben eine Lösung an, die die legitimen Aspirationen der Palästinenser nach Staatlichkeit mit Israels Bedürfnis nach Sicherheit und Anerkennung miteinander versöhnen wird.

Die heutige Entscheidung der USA macht klar, dass der einzige Weg zu solch einem Frieden über direkte Verhandlungen verläuft und nicht über Entscheidungen internationaler Körperschaften.

Wir sind bereit, diese Friedensverhandlungen energisch zu verfolgen, und erpicht darauf, mit der Arbeit am Erreichen eines sicheren Friedens weiterzukommen. Wir hoffen, dass die Palästinenser sich uns in diesem Bemühen so bald wie möglich anschließen.“

(Außenministerium des Staates Israel, 18.02.11)

Quelle: Newsletter der israelischen Botschaft in Berlin, 21. Februar 2011

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