What the UN Security Council resolution means for the US and Israel

Oren Liebermann, CNN, December 26, 2016

Israel has bitterly denounced the resolution
They warn it harms, not helps, the peace process

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.”

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.

But if it happened, such a move may have the opposite effect. The US cut funding to UNESCO over a perceived anti-Israel bias in 2011. In response, UNESCO suspended the voting rights of the US at UNESCO, preventing the US from protecting Israel at the United Nations’ cultural arm. At the time, the US contributed $80 million a year to UNESCO.

Israel has already cut funding to five different UN organizations, totaling nearly $8 million, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced. 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.

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Update January 28, 2017
Freeze for Peace Run and Walk!

Freeze Flyer-FINAL-

 

Links for Registration
Online: freezeforpeace.itsyourrace.com
Mail-in Form: colombiasupport.net

Mark your calendars for something different: the Freeze for Peace Run sponsored by Colombia Support Network with support from MRSCP, to fund food programs that benefit the citizens of the Peace Community of San Jose de Apartado in Colombia.

This very important annual fund raiser for Dane County’s sister community will take place on Saturday, January 28. starting at the Vilas Park Shelter. There are both 5K run/walk (12 noon start) and 10K run (1 pm start) options. (More info). Both runners and race-day volunteers are needed.

If you want to run or walk, you can register online, or print out a form to mail. There is a discount for all registrations received by Jan. 20.

If you can help on the day of the event, please sign up here.

Spread the word to any running (or walking) enthusiasts that you know!

PS — If anyone is interested in participating as a Palestine Team, please let us know; if we have enough people, we’ll set it up!

Open Doors for Refugees — Madison

Here is the latest update from Open Doors for Refugees about the expected Syrian refugees coming to Madison. Open Doors is looking for furniture, household items, and gift certificates for the families.


Dear Friends,
 
There’s been a tremendous outpouring of support for Open Doors, especially since the election.  Thanks to all of you who’ve contacted us.  Keeping you informed and engaged, our third-Wednesday-of-the-month general meeting is next week, December 21st,at 7:00 PM.  This time it’ll be at Beth Israel Center, 1406 Mound St.  Everyone is invited. 
 
160 refugees are slated to come to Madison this fiscal year (October-September), 110 through Lutheran Social Services and 50 through Jewish Social Services.  LSS has already settled several families this year (and many in years past), while JSS is about to receive their first family.  While the future of the refugee program is very uncertain, it looks like it’ll be very busy for the next few months.
 
And with the influx of refugees, we need donations of furniture and household items.  The number of refugee families coming in the next few weeks will more than deplete the donations we have on hand (which we had to stop collecting because we had run out of storage room).  However, we’ve recently received additional storage space, we especially need furniture at this time, and we have room to put more of it.  If you’d like to donate either furniture or household items (sorry no clothes), please email us at OpenDoorsForRefugees@gmail.com for more information about what we need, pacing the donations, and scheduling a pickup of larger items.
 
Finally we’ve set up a gift certificate program, which is a great and more direct way to help refugees.  Donors get a choice of where to get gift cards, all gift cards will go directly to refugees, and refugees will get purchase choice, which they don’t otherwise often get. 

Interested in getting involved? We have our December meeting coming up and would love to see you there!

    Date: December 21st
    Time: 7:00-8:30 PM
    Location: Temple Beth Israel
    1406 Mound St.
    Madison, WI 53711

OpenDoorsForRefugees@gmail.com
https://www.facebook.com/OpenDoorsForRefugees/
http://www.opendoorsforrefugees.org/

Hope & Peace Foundation For Children Update

Anees Mansour, December 16, 2016

Dear Friends,

Assalamu Alaikum & Hello Everyone,

I hope you, your family and friends are doing well.

Special thanks to our old and new donors for your contributions to our winter project “Keep Children Of Gaza Warm.”

Alhamdulillah (Thanks to God) we have achieved our goal within a few days and finally we received the whole donation today. We started the process of delivering the coats as a gift from you to our children – please check the pictures down below.

We also decided to extend the project goal to cover more children of Rafah/Gaza. So please don’t hesitate to support if you can at:

A. Gifts for the kids:

B. The children of Rafah in their rehearsal for the play show “International Criminal Law Moot Court – War Crimes on Trial”

    (please expect our show on you-tube soon)

C. Preparing the Gallery of the Peace City

Please keep your eyes open for:
1. Play show, we expect so many people to attend the Trial on Sunday, the show will be translated into English.
2. Play show, Gallery of the Peace City, also on Sunday.
3. Our new initiative for the new year, I will surprise you with it.

Thank you all for your support

Best Wishes,

Mr. Mahmoud Mansour (Anees)
Executive Director
Hope & Peace Foundation For Children – Gaza
Mobile: +970 599 028556
+970 2131 371
www.facebook.com/HPFFC.Rafah

Boulder-Nablus Sister City Project!

Find out what happened at last night's hearing . . . and join us for a holiday celebration

Become a Member * Website * LIKE US ON Facebook  *  FOLLOW BNSCP ON Twitter

Last Night, Council Approved NABLUS As Boulder’s 8th Sister City . . .

We knew you’d want to know immediately, and we’ll send all the details later! We heard incredibly inspiring and heartfelt testimony last night. You guys are AMAZING! We are deeply grateful to each and every one of you who came out to support this effort. And for all the emails and letters that were sent in over the past weeks and days – all of these contributed in big and small ways!

There is no way we could have been successful without all the hard work and effort that YOU put into this. Together we ARE creating the world that we want to live in!

. . . Just in Time for Us to Celebrate At the Boulder- Nablus Sister City Holiday Party:

What: BNSCP holiday celebration
When: Tomorrow! Thursday, December 15, 2016 at 6 PM
Where: 2430 Vassar Dr., Boulder

Please Join Us!*

*& take this opportunity to holiday shop our fair trade goods from Nablus!

Reversing 2013 decision, Boulder makes Nablus a sister city

Boulder City Council members vote 7-2 in favor of sister city proposal

Alex Burness, DailyCamera Boulder News, 12/13/2016

Tom Hovestol, right, and Sid Fox listen to a speaker during a Boulder City Council meeting regarding the proposed sister city of Nablus, Palestine, onTom Hovestol, right, and Sid Fox listen to a speaker during a Boulder City Council meeting regarding the proposed sister city of Nablus, Palestine, on Tuesday at the Boulder Municipal Building. (Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer)

The West Bank city of Nablus in Palestine will become Boulder’s eighth international sister city, following a 7-2 City Council vote that reversed a previous council decision and capped a multi-year drama that was one of the city’s most heated in recent memory.

The action came more than three years after Boulder first denied the controversial proposal, by a 6-3 vote.

It also followed a 78-person public hearing Tuesday night on the sister city project, which followed a deluge of nearly 1,000 emails from the public to the council since May. That followed a 70-person public hearing in 2013.

Even by Boulder’s standards, this was a contentious matter.

Supporters maintained that making Nablus a sister city would create a non-partisan, enriching cultural exchange with a city not unlike Boulder in many ways.

“I think we are best choosing friendship over fear every time,” Drew Kelner said during the public-comment segment.

“It’s a time now when we need not to build walls separating communities, but to build bridges,” David Barsamian added.

Of course, making a Palestinian town in the West Bank a sister city is political, opponents argued. Approval will fuel anti-Israeli sentiment and present just one narrative of the Israeli-Palestinean conflict, they said.

“Who gets to decide what’s political? And how is it decided?” Mimi Ito said.


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