On November 29, 1947, the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 181, the Palestine Partition Plan, granting 56% of historic Palestine to Jews (with one-third of the population), 42% to Palestinians, with Jerusalem designated an international city (a corpus separatum - separate body) under a UN Trusteeship Council. The area included all Jerusalem, Bethlelem, and Beit Sahour, to encompass Christian holy sites.
Resolution 181 called for an Independent Arab state by October 1, 1948, asking:
"all Governments and peoples to refrain from taking any action which might hamper or delay the carrying out of these recommendations," the Security Council to be empowered with "the necessary measures as provided for in the plan for its implementation."
However, Israel's 1948 "War of Independence" intervened, creating the Jewish state on May 14, 1948 on 78% of historic Palestine, excluding Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
On December 2, 1947, the General Assembly (GA) passed Resolution 32/40 A and B, stating its deep concern:
"that no just solution to the problem of Palestine has been achieved and that this problem therefore continues to aggravate the Middle East conflict, of which it is the core, and to endanger international peace and security."
It reaffirmed "that a just and lasting peace in the Middle East cannot be established without the achievement, inter alia, of a just solution of the problem of Palestine on the basis of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the right of return and the right to national independence and sovereignty in Palestine, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations."
Urging the Security Council to act promptly on this matter, the GA declared, "commencing in 1978, the annual observance of 29 November as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian people."
On December 1, 2005, the GA requested that the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People and the Division for Palestinian Rights (CEIRPP), as part of the International Day of Solidarity observance, to continue organizing an annual exhibit or cultural event on Palestinian rights in cooperation with the Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the UN. It also encouraged Member States to widely support and publicize the day that should have established an independent Palestinian state.
Sixty-three years later, none exists, affirming Resolution 32/40's belief that no Middle East peace is possible without "a just solution to the problem of Palestine." As a result, regional wars, occupation, and settlement expansions continue. Increasingly, Palestinians are oppressed, dispossessed, isolated, and denied what UN resolutions and international laws mandate, including a viable sovereign state, East Jerusalem as its capital, and the right of diaspora refugees to return.
None of these are achieved or in sight, nor have world leaders held Israel accountable for breaching virtually all international humanitarian laws, as well as others on war and occupation.
Specifically, Israel systematically and willfully failed to recognize Palestinian self-determination under provisions of the December 1960 UN General Assembly Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, as well as all UN resolutions before and thereafter affirming Palestinian self-determination, including:
(1) UN Resolution 181, the 1947 Partition Plan.
(2) GA Resolution (1965): Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention in the Domestic Affairs of States and the Protection of Their Independence and Sovereignty, affirming the principle of non-intervention.
(3) Security Council (SC) Resolution 242 (1967), calling for an end of conflict and withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from occupied territories.
(4) The 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations.
(5) SC Resolution 298 (1971), affirming acquisition of territory by military conquest inadmissible, calling Israel's failure to observe previous resolutions deplorable.
(6) SC 338 (1973), affirming the same demand.
(7) GA Resolution 3236 (1974), recognizing Palestinian self-determination and expressing "grave concern" that they've been "prevented from enjoying (their) inalienable rights (to) self-determination....national independence and sovereignty....without external interference...."
(8) GA Resolution 3314 (1974) on the Definition of Aggression in accordance with the UN Charter and Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal and its judgment, calling it the supreme international crime against peace.
(9) Numerous other SC and GA resolutions, affirming the principles of international law, including Geneva's Common Article 1, obliging all nations to enforce them, saying:
"The High Contracting Parties undertake to respect and to ensure respect for the present Convention in all circumstances."
Israel also failed to comply with the Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (the Apartheid Convention), as defined by the Rome Statute to include murder, extermination, enslavement, torture, arbitrary arrest, illegal imprisonment, denial of the right to life and liberty, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and other abusive acts imposed by one group or nation on another.
As a result, Palestinians have endured slow-motion genocide through:
- wars of aggression;
- mass deaths, injuries and arrests;
- targeted assassinations;
- land theft;
- home demolitions;
- denial of their right to free movement, expression, and assembly;
- their own resources, including water and offshore oil and gas;
- control of their airspace, coastal waters and borders; and
- other international law violations, including Gaza's suffocation under siege.
On November 29 and every day, solidarity with them should be affirmed until they're free and independent on their own land in peace.
The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
On December 20, 1993 the UN General Assembly (GA) adopted Resolution 48/104 - Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, to include:
"Physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring in the family, including battering, sexual abuse of female children in the household, dowry-related violence, marital rape, female genital mutilation and other traditional practices harmful to women, non-spousal violence and violence related to exploitation."
Also, these same abuses within the community, educational institutions, elsewhere, and violence committed or condoned by the state, "wherever it occurs."
On December 17, 1999, the GA passed Resolution 54/134, designating November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, adopted by the body on February 7, 2000:
"Invit(ing), as appropriate, Governments, the relevant agencies, bodies, funds and programmes of the United Nations system, and other international organizations and non-governmental organizations, to organize on that day activities designed to raise public awareness of the problem of violence against women."
The resolution stemmed from the 1960 assassination of the three Mirabel sisters, political activists in the Dominican Republic, on order of military strongman Rafael Trujillo (El Jefe - the Chief or Boss).
Palestinian women especially have endured decades of occupation related violence, an article on the Al-Zaytouna Centre for Studies and Consultations' early 2010 report documenting it, accessed through the following link:
It noted their "exceptional suffering" and remarkable endurance qualities under harsh conditions. Living under stress in poverty, their homes destroyed, lands razed or expropriated, children sick, husbands imprisoned, fathers killed, and more, they plant seeds of hope, fulfill their daily social role, and participate actively in political and every day resistance heroically.
Refugees in their own land and abroad, they've bourn burdens beyond what most women anywhere bear. Yet they persist and endure, including in Gaza under siege and the effects of Cast Lead, as well as regular Israeli assaults, incursions, targeted and random killings.
They're also arrested, tortured and imprisoned, a reminder to remember them every day, especially the one designated against violence, November 25, that should highlight its elimination against anyone for any reason.
International Women's Day
Its history dates from the February 28, 1909 US National Women's Day. Other countries picked up on the theme, rallying for gender equality, for peace during WW I, and continued advocacy for women thereafter. On March 8, 1975, the UN began celebrating International Women's Day. In December 1977, the GA proclaimed a UN day for Women's Rights and International Peace.
In February 2008, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon launched: "UNiTe to End Violence against Women," a campaign "to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls in all parts of the world," and punish violators. On November 25, Michelle Bachelet, Executive Director of UN Women, said women and girls everywhere face violence throughout their lives.
"The UNiTe campaign places the issue at the top of the UN agenda." Whether or not so, women continue to be violated and abused, especially in places like Occupied Palestine where UN resolutions and agendas aren't enforced by member states or the world body. It's time Ban followed his rhetoric with action, what he's failed to do since taking office on January 1, 2007, serving power, not popular interests.
A Final Comment
Like men and women, children also endure violence and abuse, notably in Occupied Palestine, one of several earlier articles explained, accessed through the following link:
On November 30, Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition issued an action alert to "Release all Palestinian Children from Israeli Prisons," demanding:
"the US administration (to) direct the state of Israel to stop the targeted arrests and immediately release all Palestinian children" in prisons and detention centers where they're treated as harshly as adults.
Recent reports revealed escalated night raids and other arrests in communities like Silwan, adjacent to Jerusalem's Old City, one of 28 Palestinian villages incorporated into East Jerusalem. Children as young as 10 have been targeted, arrested, terrorized, interrogated, tortured, threatened with sexual assault, including rape, and detained. Every year, over 700 are affected, mostly on charges of stone-throwing, whether or not true.
Al-Awda "calls on all its members, supporters and people of conscience" to demand this outrage end, that all Palestinian children detained be released, and for Washington "to cut off all aid until" until Israel stops violating "human rights and basic freedoms in a verifiable manner."
Given America's child prison population, how harshly they're treated, and Washington's appalling human rights record and support for Israel, only grassroots pressure might get either country to reform, but only if sustained relentlessly, a campaign well worth initiating.
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|Allen L. Jasson|