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Sunday, January 01, 2017

What moved the superpowers to vote against Israel? [Up-dated]


The United Nation Securities Council resolution on the settlement issue has implication on the two-state solution and ending the occupation which Israel had gave agreed but showed no commitment to follow.

In his official statement, Prime Minister Netanyahu said: “Israel rejects this shameful anti-Israel resolution at the UN and will not abide by its terms.”

Though denied by Israeli Foreign Ministry officials, The Independent of UK reported [read here] Israel temporarily limit working ties with 12 of the 14 members UNSC. Ambassadors were summoned to the foreign Ministry in Jerusalem last Sunday.

Israel's reaction shows how significant the resolution is. They are willing to be isolated by the world.

Few are aware how Malaysia and other members that initiated this resolution effectively convince the pro-Israeli superpowers ad other members of the UNSC.



The Vox.com highlighted the essence of the resolution:
The resolution demands that Israel “immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem,” and declares that the establishment of settlements by Israel has “no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law.”

This is far stronger language than the United States has ever officially used to describe Israeli settlement activity before. Although the standard US position has for three decades been that such settlements, which are built on land intended to be part of a future Palestinian state, are “obstacles to peace,” the United States has always stopped short of describing them as “illegal” under international law.

The resolution condemns "all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem."
It lists among those measures "the construction and expansion of settlements, transfer of Israeli settlers, confiscation of land, demolition of homes and displacement of Palestinian civilians, in violation of international humanitarian law and relevant resolutions."

The text also calls on all member states “to distinguish, in their relevant dealings, between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967” — language that, as the Times of Israel’s Eric Cortellessa explains, “Israel fears will lead to a surge in boycott and sanctions efforts.”
The humanitarian side or seldom described as human rights may have been the convincing argument that moved many western countries to support or the least was to abstain from the resolution.

There must be awareness among Malaysians that universally acceptable issues like human rights, children, environment, sustainable development, and others are matters close to the heart of the world today. The common factors help bring support to our cause. 

It was sufficient enough for John Kerry to say:
“Regrettably, some seem to believe that the US friendship means the US must accept any policy, regardless of our own interests, our own positions, our own words, our own principles,” Kerry said, adding, “Friends need to tell each other the hard truths, and friendships require mutual respect.”
The whole analysis in Vox.com here

CNN analysis last Tuesday explained the implication:

What the UNSC resolution means for the US and Israel

By Oren Liebermann, CNN
Updated 1946 GMT (0346 HKT) December 27, 2016

Jerusalem (CNN) The United Nations Security Council on Friday passed a resolution condemning Israel's settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The United States abstained on the resolution, allowing it to pass, rather than vetoing it -- as it usually does with resolutions it sees as overly critical of Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu summoned the US ambassador and launched a scathing attack Sunday on the Obama administration.

Here are nine questions about the vote at the UN.

1. What are the immediate effects of the UNSC resolution?

The resolution may have no immediate practical effects on Israel, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or the peace process. That's because the resolution is non-binding, effectively creating guidelines and recommendations. The resolution would require follow-up action at the United Nations for it to have an immediate effect.

Israel is concerned about exactly that type of action. Specifically, Israel is worried about a resolution that would set conditions for negotiations. Such a resolution would issue parameters for some of the most sensitive issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, including borders, the status of Jerusalem as a contested capital, Palestinian refugees, and a time-limit for negotiations.

An international peace conference in Paris scheduled for January 15 could be the forum for discussing such a resolution. That would give the international community time to introduce the resolution at the United Nations Security Council before the end of President Barack Obama's time in office. Israel has vowed not to attend the conference. The Palestinians say they will attend.

2. What are the long-term effects?

The biggest blow is to Israel's settlement enterprise in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. This resolution has left little room for negotiation about the legality of the settlements, stating that Israel's settlements have "no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law."

RELATED: US abstains as UN demands end to Israeli settlements

When it comes to borders, the resolution does leave an opening for negotiations, saying there will be no changes to the June 4, 1967 "other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations."

The resolution also calls on countries to recognize a difference between Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories when dealing with Israel. That could lead to sanctions against products from Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
Palestinian leaders say they will wait to see if Israel abides by the resolution. If not, they can pursue cases against Israeli leaders at the International Criminal Court (ICC) under the Geneva Convention. The ICC is already conducting an ongoing investigation into Israeli actions in the Palestinian territories.

3. Will President-elect Donald Trump be able to repeal the resolution?

Theoretically, yes, the incoming administration could repeal this resolution. Trump would have to introduce a new resolution that revokes this one entirely. Then he would need at least nine countries to vote for it and ensure that none of the Security Council's other permanent members -- Russia, UK, France, and China -- vetoed it.

Realistically, that is incredibly unlikely to happen. There is a broad international consensus that settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem are illegal and that they constitute an obstacle to peace. It is extremely unlikely that Trump would be able to find eight other nations on the Security Council willing to support revoking the new resolution. Even if he did, a permanent member veto is likely.

4. Will the US and Israel take diplomatic action against the UN?

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, has threatened to cut US money to the United Nations over this resolution. The US currently provides 22% of the UN's budget.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced that Israel will cut funding to five different UN organizations, totaling nearly $8 million. Netanyahu said Israel would reevaluate its relationships with UN representatives in Israel.

5. What about Israel's diplomatic actions against the countries that voted for this resolution? What are the effects of those?

On Christmas Day, one day after the Security Council vote, Israel summoned the ambassadors of the United States and 10 of the countries that voted for the resolution to express his disappointment about the vote. Netanyahu followed that up by limiting working ties and high-level visits with the embassies of those countries who voted for the resolution and instructing his ministers to limit travel to those countries.

More than anything else, the intent of these diplomatic steps was to make a statement about how angry Netanyahu was about the vote. The decision to suspend working ties with embassies, even if there is no date for resuming those ties, is largely symbolic and has little practical effect on the relations between the nations. It does not affect trade, security cooperation, or other aspects of the relations.

Notably, Netanyahu did not suspend working ties with the American embassy, even though most of his anger was directly at President Barack Obama.

6. Is this the first UNSC resolution regarding settlements?


No, but it is the first resolution directly addressing Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 1980. Resolution 465, passed on March 1, 1980, condemned "the decision of the Government of Israel to officially support Israeli settlement in the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967."

Other Security Council resolutions relating to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict have been passed, but none addressed settlements.

7. Is this the first time an American president has taken action on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in his final days in office?

No. In fact, it's not all that uncommon. In 1988, Ronald Reagan began dialogue with the PLO before the end of his second term. In 2000, Bill Clinton laid out his vision for peace, now known as the "Clinton Parameters." And in 2008, George W. Bush's envoy voted in favor of Security Council resolution 1850, which called for a renewal of the peace process.

8. Is this the first time an American president has declined to use his veto at the Security Council?

No, other presidents have either declined to use their veto power or voted in favor of Security Council resolutions related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But it is the first time President Barack Obama has declined to use his veto. Obama has exercised the veto power of the United States at the Security Council on every other resolution relating to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

RELATED: Israel summons US ambassador as Netanyahu lashes out at Obama

Most notably, he vetoed a 2011 Security Council resolution that was critical of settlements. At the time, US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice said, "We reject in the strongest terms the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlement activity." But, she added, "This draft resolution risks hardening the positions of both sides. It could encourage the parties to stay out of negotiations."

In abstaining from this vote and allowing the resolution to pass, current US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said, "It is precisely our commitment to Israel's security that makes the United States believe that we cannot stand in the way of this resolution as we seek to preserve a chance of attaining our longstanding objective: two states living side-by-side in peace and security."

9. So why all the Israeli criticism pointed at President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry?

Because this is the first Security Council resolution in more than 35 years to deal with Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The resolution lays out guidelines for dealing with the settlements, which is something no US President has done at the Security Council since 1980.
No Trump can stop.

Tomorrow will be Malaysia's last day on the UNSC. We got voted in by gaining the acceptance and votes of 183 out 191 member-countries of the United Nation.

After two years, Malaysia gained international recognition and respect for much of the work done. In turn, the friendship developed will benefit the country in many ways. 

As written before in previous postings, more is gained through diplomacy than some big "old" foul mouth. What has decades of bad mouth helped the Palestinians?

In fact, old foul mouth is now in-cohoot with Soros.

12:30 30/12/2016

UP-DATE 11:30 AM 1/12017

NST article yesterday below:


Nation's contribution towards peace, security

By Ramli H. Nik - 31 December 2016 @ 12:43 PM

AT the outset, Malaysia’s unequivocal support in promoting international peace and security as stipulated in the United Nations Charter, pursued by the first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, is a most commendable foreign policy guidance for a small and developing nation. With this very concept, our commitment in most security issues has intensified consistently over the years and gained recognition at regional and international levels.

Malaysia’s role as a member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in pursuing international peace and security has been significant, with a strong commitment from the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) on many perspectives.
United Nations Operations in Congo - Wikipedia
FIRST, three years after gaining independence, following the UNSC Resolution 143 (1960), the UN Force in the Congo (ONUC) was established to facilitate the withdrawal of Belgian troops, maintain law and order, and establish and legitimise the post-colonial government of Congo. Given our experience in implementing the concept of winning the hearts and minds of the people, in July 1960, the then Malayan Armed Forces, was selected to participate in ONUC, whereby a contingent of 1,947 military personnel known as the Malayan Special Force (MSF) was dispatched to operate in Congo.

Upon completion of its tour of duty in July 1963, UNSC was very impressed with MSF’s performance with the mandate achieved in Congo. In recognition of our credibility in promoting peace and security, on Jan 1, 1965, Malaysia was selected to serve as a non-permanent member of the UNSC. Thus, Malaysia is on record as the first state from Southeast Asia to serve at the policy decision-making level at the UN and this caused an upset in the Republic of Indonesia.

US Finally Thanks Malaysia For Saving Their Soldiers In ‘Black Hawk Down’ Rescue Mission 
SECOND, although in the1970s to 1980s we were inactive in UN peacekeeping operations, Malay-sia’s international approach was guided by the basic objective of seeking friendship to secure mutually beneficial relations and a stable political security environment in the region, all of which are essential to the progress and prosperity of the country. Nevertheless, Malaysia remained firmly committed to promoting international peace and security.

In its selection as a non-permanent member in the UNSC seat 1989/1990, Malaysia received 143 votes out of 170 of the member states of the UN, which clearly indicated our strong record of international commitment around the world. The second tour as a member of the UNSC gave the impetus for MAF to participate actively in UN peacekeeping operations, irrespective of the weather or terrain in its deployment.
For example, MAF participated by sending infantry battalions and other military components in the United Nations Transition Assistance Group in Namibia, United Nations Transitional Administration in Cambodia, United Nations Protection Force in Bosnia Herzegovina, and the United Nations Mission in Somalia (UNOSOM).

As a result, the UNSC gave the honour to Malaysia on Jan 18, 1994, when Lieutenant-General Aboo Samah Aboo Bakar, was selected as the first Malaysian force commander of UNOSOM II.

In the history of peacekeeping operations since 1948, Aboo Samah was also the first force commander from Southeast Asia.

Also, this was another successful contribution by MAF in peacekeeping operations after a lapse of nearly three decades of being inactive in international peace and security efforts.

THIRD, with Malaysia’s steadfastly participating in almost all peacekeeping missions conducted by the UN, our selection for the non-permanent seat in the UNSC for 1999/2000 was another victory. We received good support, with 174 votes out of 192 member states of the UN for the third term. This is an international endorsement of Malaysia’s concerted effort in facilitating the peace-building or post-conflict building of war-torn countries.

To further enhance our effort as a member of the UNSC, Malaysia pursued other aspects to play a meaningful role in the security issues on two fronts.

Malaysia was enlisted as a member of the UN Special Committee of the Peacekeeping Operations (C-34 Committee) for further improvement in terms of deployment and security peacekeepers.

In fact, C-34 was established by the General Assembly Resolution 2006 (XIX) on Feb 18, 1965, to conduct a comprehensive review of all issues related to peacekeeping operations. Furthermore, in terms of coordination and speed of deployment of Malaysian contingents, including military or police observers to UN mission areas, in accordance with the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) procedures at the UN Headquarters, MAF boldly approved the appointment of a military adviser in the rank of colonel at the Malaysian Permanent Mission to the UN in New York in January 1996. Thus, Malaysia is not only the first Asean member to have a military adviser dedicated to peacekeeping duties at the Permanent Mission of Malaysia, but also joins the military community of 45 member states at the UN in New York with military advisers or police advisers.

Of significance, as a member of the UNSC, Malaysia introduced the concept of security and development for implementation in peacekeeping missions to lay the foundation for sustainable peace and development, thereby addressing the deep-rooted, structural causes of violent conflicts in a comprehensive manner. The UN accepted the concept and renamed it Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration, adopted by the UNSC Resolution 1171 (1998) for implementation in peacekeeping missions.

Owing to our consistent commitment in UN missions, in particular the deployment of the Royal Military Police in May 2003, consisting of a self-sustained unit of 125 personnel to serve in the UN Mission of Support in East Timor (UNMISET), as part of the International Police Unit in support of the Timor-Leste National Police, another honour was given to Malaysia, when Lieutenant-General Khairuddin Mat Yusof was selected to become the force commander of UNMISET in June 2003.

FOURTH, in its selection as the UNSC non-permanent member for the fourth term in 2015/2016, Malaysia attained 187 votes from the 193 member states of the UN, with one abstention. This is a testimony of our good standing in the international community, especially in the area of global peace and security.

During this fourth term, two major commitments were pursued by Malaysia to further exert its influence in the international arena: one, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak agreed to provide an infantry battle group for the UN Standby Force for peacekeeping operations during the UN Peacekeeping Summit in New York on Oct 2, 2015; and two, as the president of UNSC, Malaysia focused on the open debate on new threats and challenges in preventing the proliferation of weapon of mass destruction, related materials and technologies of non-state actors in August. This was well debated among members of the UNSC, including the secretary-general of the UN.
Palestine 14 Israel 0, a historic UN win - FMT
Finally, in December, Malaysia’s final month as a member of the UNSC, it firmly nailed its commitment towards peaceful resolution of conflict, moderation, the protection of civilians and the rule of law. This unequivocal commitment was well demonstrated when 14 members of the UNSC, including Malaysia, with one abstention (the United States) adopted the UN Resolution demanding a halt to all Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory on Dec 23 in New York. This is, indeed, the first victory since 1979, when the US refrained from vetoing a resolution condemning its closest ally in the Middle East.
Nobel laureates warn Aung Sang Suu Kyi over 'ethnic cleansing' of Rohingya - Guardian
Equally important, Malaysia convened the Asean Conference on Dec 19 in Yangon on the plight of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar to coordinate humanitarian aid and investigate alleged atrocities committed against them. In essence, this noble commitment is part of regional security and stability, with the fact that about 56,000 Rohingya now live in Muslim-majority Malaysia, having fled unrest in Myanmar.

Malaysia, in reality, seeks to contribute constructively in the maintenance of international peace and security globally. Hopefully, in the post non-membership of UNSC, Malaysia will be given more senior appointments like assistant secretary-general, including the appointment as military adviser at the DPKO, in recognition of its sterling service to the UN.

Email: ramlinik@gmail.com

Ramli H. Nik, is a former military adviser at the Permanent Mission of Malaysia to the UN in New York, is a senior fellow at the Department of Strategic Studies, National Defence University of Malaysia.

1 comment:

Ted Manoff said...

The Old foul mouth will be angry reading the last Para

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