Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of the Israeli occupying power attacked the United Nations during his address to the General Assembly on Thursday, stating that “the UN won’t help peace” and should “rid itself of its obsessive bashing of Israel”. What Mr. Netanyahu failed to mention is that because of this organization, Israel exists at all.
The inaccuracies of Mr. Netanyahu’s speech do not requisite an in-depth legal analysis. The mere fact that Israel is a belligerent occupying power violently imposing an Apartheid regime in flagrant disregard to repeated calls from the international community to cease and desist speaks volumes. Mr. Netanyahu is not alone. Members of his camp have continually sabotaged every attempt at a meaningful peace process. The Palestinians have never placed conditions on peace. Palestinians have demanded that Israel abide by the obligations it has already made to the Palestinians, which Israel has yet to fulfill.
As Mr. Netanyahu tells the world he wants to negotiate for two-states, he has built the largest illegal settlement enterprise seen in modern history, on the land of the State of Palestine, while his settlers continue to terrorize Palestinian civilians. The murderers of the Dawabsheh family run free, hundreds of extremists storm the Al-Aqsa Mosque Compound attacking worshippers daily, and Israeli terrorists continue to make an explosive situation in the Compound, and these criminals continue to be are protected by Israeli forces.
While Palestine recognized Israel in 1988, Israel has yet to recognize Palestine in 2015. He calls for Israel’s recognition as the “Jewish State” the same day that 1.5 million Palestinians in Israel are mourning the death of 13 Palestinian citizens of Israel executed by Israeli forces 15 years ago. For Mr. Netanyahu, Palestinian recognition of a “Jewish State” represents a Palestinian endorsement of institutionalized racism and state-sanctioned violence against an ethnic minority within the Israeli framework.
Those behind the assassination of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin are behind the assassination of the two-state solution – and I fear Mr. Netanyahu is of that camp, and showed his true colors the eve of his election. Negotiations on this basis cannot be negotiations at all. In the words of the late U.S. President John F. Kennedy, “We cannot negotiate with those who say 'what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is negotiable”. The path forward is clear: international involvement is necessary, and Israel must fulfill the agreements it has previously signed, including the full cessation of settlement activities.