from Pressure Points and Middle East Program

The UN Closes Out 2012: Nine Resolutions Against Israel, Silence About Syrian Attacks on Palestinians

December 20, 2012

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The UN General Assembly is closing out 2012 in a blaze of glory. The UNGA adopted nine resolutions against Israel in one day, December 18. They are usefully summarized by Tom Gross in his web site, and I copy his list of them at the bottom of this blog  post. More information about this important UN work for world peace can be found at the UN’s own web site.

Perhaps the most striking event in the Middle East this past week was the attack on a Palestinian refugee camp in Syria. UN Secretary General Ban ki-Moon did mention this in his own statement on December 16:  "Today’s reports of aerial bombing amid intense violence resulting in many casualties among the Palestinian refugee population in the Yarmouk camp in Damascus are a matter of grave concern."

But the General Assembly could not find time to get to it, because it was too busy. The day it passed nine resolutions against Israel it also had to handle "Cooperation between the United Nations and the International Organization of la Francophonie," which you can see was urgent; "University for Peace," another pressing matter; and most of all "Question of Tokelau--" a non-self-governing territory, population 1,411 and run by New Zealand, a noted oppressor. But in truth the UNGA was very late on Tokelau: Tokelau’s own web site reveals that on December 9 the voting closed that might have made Miss Tokelau the winner as Miss South Pacific.

At the Yarmouk camp in Syria, roughly 100,000 Palestinians are said to have fled after air strikes that killed dozens of people. On this the General Assembly is silent, while it repeats its litany of complaints against Israel. The logical conclusion is the correct one: the UNGA isn’t interested in Palestinians except as a weapon with which to attack Israel. When someone else acts, and actually attacks Palestinians, that’s too bad but isn’t of widespread interest. Perhaps the motto for the General Assembly’s work this month might be "Remember Tokelau!"

 

 

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UN General Assembly Resolutions Against Israel on December 18, 2012

A/C.4/67/L.18 – The occupied Syrian Golan

"The Israeli decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the

occupied Syrian Golan was null and void and without international legal effect

and demanded that Israel, the occupying Power, rescind forthwith its decision…"

A/C.4/67/L.17 – Israeli practices affecting the human rights of the Palestinian

people in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem

"Expressing grave concern about the continuing systematic violation of the human

rights of the Palestinian people by Israel, the occupying Power…

A/C.4/67/L.16 – Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,

including East Jerusalem, and the occupied Syrian Golan

"Reaffirms that the Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territory,

including East Jerusalem, and in the occupied Syrian Golan are illegal and an

obstacle to peace and economic and social development…"

A/C.4/67/L.15 – Applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the

Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the

Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and the other occupied

Arab territories

"Demands that Israel accept the de jure applicability of the Convention in the

Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and other Arab

territories occupied by Israel since 1967, and that it comply scrupulously with

the provisions of the Convention…"

A/C.4/67/L.10 – Assistance to Palestine refugees

"Expressing grave concern at the especially difficult situation of the Palestine

refugees under occupation, including with regard to their safety, well-being and

socioeconomic living conditions…"

A/C.4/67/L.11 – Persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and subsequent

hostilities

"Reaffirms the right of all persons displaced as a result of the June 1967 and

subsequent hostilities to return to their homes or former places of residence in

the territories occupied by Israel since 1967…"

A/C.4/67/L.12 – Operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for

Palestine Refugees in the Near East

"Gravely concerned about the extremely difficult socioeconomic conditions being

faced by the Palestine refugees in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including

East Jerusalem, particularly in the refugee camps in the Gaza Strip, as a result

of the continuing prolonged Israeli closures…"

A/C.4/67/L.13 - Palestine refugees’ properties and their revenues

"Reaffirms that the Palestine refugees are entitled to their property and to the

income derived there from, in conformity with the principles of equity and

justice…"

A/C.4/67/L.14 – Work of the Special Committee to Investigate Israeli Practices

Affecting the Human Rights of the Palestinian People and Other Arabs of the

Occupied Territories

"Deplores those policies and practices of Israel that violate the human rights

of the Palestinian people and other Arabs of the occupied territories…"

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