Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Ambassador Areikat Responds to U.N. Resolution, Kerry Speech

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Ambassador Areikat Responds to U.N. Resolution, Kerry Speech

Article excerpt

Ambassador Maen Areikat, chief representative of the PLO General Delegation to the U.S., spoke at a Jan. 10 luncheon hosted by the Arab Center Washington DC (ACW) at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. His talk, titled "Prospects for Palestinian Statehood: U.N. Resolution 2334 and John Kerry's Speech," was moderated by ACW's executive director, Khalil Jahshan.

Areikat began by describing the "overreaction" of Israel and its supporters in this country-including many members of Congress-to the U.S. abstention to the United Nations Security Council vote on Resolution 2334. That resolution reaffirmed that Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories have no legal validity and violate international law. "Keep in mind," Areikat said, "the U.S. did not vote for this resolution; they only abstained, allowing it to pass."

Nonetheless, Israel accused the U.S. of "betraying" Israel-ignoring that previous Republican and Democratic administrations have repeatedly abstained from resolutions that condemn Israeli settlement activities. Ronald Reagan's administration abstained seven times on resolutions condemning settlements. The Obama abstention wasn't a personal attack on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu-even though Israel tried to push that narrative, perhaps in an effort to gain favor with the next administration.

The fact that the resolution passed serves two purposes, Areikat said: 1) it distinguishes between the occupied Palestinian territories and the state of Israel, and acknowledges that settlements are illegal, which will buttress Palestinian and international efforts to boycott Israeli settlement products; and, 2) it sends a clear message to the world that all Israeli measures and actions in the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem, are now null and void.

The resolution contains no mechanism for implementing the principles that it lays out, Areikat noted. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.