By Prof. Jose Maria Sison,
Chairperson, International Coordinating Committee, International League of Peoples’ Struggle
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution declaring illegal Israeli settlements on Palestinian lands underscores the extreme unlawful conduct and political isolation of the Zionist state of Israel in the eyes of the international community. Even the United States, Israel’s most rabid supporter, would not dare cast its veto for fear of losing all credibility. The resolution likewise shows the strong international support for the recognition of Palestinian rights.
Under Rule 130 of the Costumary IHL, states are prohibited from transferring a part of their own population into a territory they occupy. Such prohibition is set forth in the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949. Such practice is also considered a grave breach of Additional Protocol I. Under the statute of the International Criminal Court, “the transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies” constitutes a war crime in international armed conflicts.
The resolution, which echoes numerous resolutions adopted by the U.N. General Assembly with overwhelming support, is long overdue but does not go far enough. It does not condemn Israel for its continuing occupation of Palestinian lands that has turned into virtual colonization of Palestine. Nor does it address Palestinian refugees or their right of return to lands occupied by Israel in 1948 and 1967. The resolution is toothless as it does not contain any provision for sanctions to be imposed if Israel continues to violate international law. Israel, especially under Netanyahu, will doubtlessly just ignore the UN resolution and go on building illegal settlements.
Netanyahu will be emboldened to do just that as US president-elect Donald Trump has recently appointed as US ambassador to Israel David Friedman who is known to personally support the settler movement, is against the creation of a Palestinian state and favors the annexation of the West Bank. Netanyahu was the first foreign head of state that Trump called after being elected and during the campaign promised to invite Netanyahu to the White House after his inauguration.
The settlers are among the most violent in their behavior against Palestinians living in the occupied territories. They are well armed, using their weapons to harass and intimidate surrounding Palestinian communities with impunity and with the full backing of the Israeli Occupation Forces. They burn olive orchards, firebomb Palestinian houses, organize marches sowing hatred and shouting such expletives as “Death to Arabs”. Fifteen percent of the illegal settlers are American.
There are reports that scores of American organizations and individuals are using U.S. tax loopholes to subsidize the illegal Israeli settlements. One report mentions that between 2009 and 2013, more than $220 million dollars of tax-exempt money for the illegal settlements was channeled through Zionist NGOs by at least 50 American organizations acting under the guise of charities.
Upon US pressure, the UNSC resolution also labels Palestinian resistance to Israel’s criminal occupation as “terrorism”. The US has once more succeeded in inserting provisions to dilute a UN resolution critical of Israel and even to condemn the just resistance of the Palestinian people.
The International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) fully supports the justness of the Palestinian people’s right to wage all forms of resistance including armed resistance to the unlawful Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and colonization of Palestine. The ILPS condemns the brutal methods being employed by the occupying forces with the aim of terrorizing the Palestinian people into submission.
The ILPS supports the sovereign right of the Palestinian people to national self-determination and the right to return of all Palestinian refugees to their homes.
The ILPS supports the unity of the Palestinian people, decries the disunity that is sown by those Palestinian factions that promote the illusion of negotiating a peaceful solution with the racist and fascist Zionist regime in Tel-Aviv, and condemns the comprador Palestinian Authority and its security cooperation with the Occupation and with U.S. imperialism.
The Palestinian people have the sovereign right to determine their own destiny as a nation. And they will achieve victory in their just struggle by relying mainly on their own strength and unity. They cannot rely on the current international institutions such as the UN for a just solution to their legitimate demands simply because these institutions are dominated by the big powers that often act in accordance with their own narrow self-interests.
The Palestinian people have long suffered from the evils of imperialism and Zionism. They deserve the solidarity and support of all anti-imperialist and democratic forces and all freedom-loving peoples of the world.
Down with imperialism and Zionism!
Victory to the struggle of the Palestinian people for National Self-determination!
Long live international solidarity!