The Six Day War has lasted nearly 53 years, as the most recent and the longest of the Israeli-Arab wars. Oft-reported military attacks on unarmed civilians, a crushing blockade for Gaza; house-demolitions leaving ruins: all these result from the non-enforcement of existing international law forbidding military conquest and annexation of territory. (In the Mediterranean today, both Israel and Turkey’s army in Cyprus sustain old invasions.)
There has always been a solution
The ruins may often be governed un-democratically by Palestinian political factions, divided under occupation. Yet, that does not alter the fact that military occupations create ruins. UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 242, and the more detailed proposals derived from it, clearly represent the cornerstone for ending the bloodshed and applying the Geneva Convention to the Middle East. This famous yet often forgotten resolution 242 was adopted unanimously by the UNSC on November 22, 1967, in the aftermath of the Six-Day War. It was adopted under Chapter VI of the UN Charter and declared the “inadmissibility of acquisition of territory by war”, urging the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in 1967; the end of illegal settler activities, and ”a just settlement of the refugee problem” (implying Resolution 194: either ”refugee right of return” or compensation paid by Israel, or a variation of both.)
This world knows many intractable conflicts, take India-Pakistan. Israel-Palestine, by comparison, is not irreversible, and neither are the disastrous Oslo 2 agreements, in which the US and Israel buried the historic UN Security Council Resolution 242 and further limited the freedoms of ordinary Palestinians. 53 uninterrupted years of occupation have passed by with Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem serving as trenches in a forever Six Day War, thwarting the peace-efforts of exceptional figures, like late Egyptian president Anwar Sadat who offered peace in 1971, or like Israeli intellectual Yeshayahu Leibowitz.
Overwhelming support by UN ambassadors
While Israel’s founders originally defined Zionism as a mission to modernize and “westernize” a Jewish refugee population, today the irrationality of the war is laid bare, as religious fanatics on settlements in 2019 compare themselves to the Biblical first settlers of Canaan, with uncanny support from the Evangelical Christian lobby. Much of the skirmish and human rights violations still flare along the 1967 faultlines of this conflict, imperilling the future hopes of Palestinians and Israelis. UNSC 242 has been balked at and opposed by a succession of US Presidents and Secretaries of State, only and precisely because it represents rationality and peace in part of the Middle East. In contradistinction, an overwhelming majority of UN ambassadors has been voting in favour of the plan since the early 1970s.
Make the historic „paper victories“ count today!
The road ahead necessitates a politically potent stance on Israel-Palestine, to press hard for making the historic “paper victories” count today, and to have a less bureaucratic UN without the unlimited veto-rights for Washington.
DiEM25 can call for the European market to label imported products that were manufactured in illegal settlements, identifying these so as to inform the consumer of what was made in tandem with violation in international law. DiEM25 can demand that the EU must sanction member-states for ignoring their own UN-ambassadors’ support for the vital UNSC Resolutions.
DiEM25 must call for some form of limitation on the US veto-right that has cleared the path for the most reactionary elements in Israel while we at the same time reach out to the most progressive elements in Israel, such as the Palestinian-and-Jewish Israeli communist party Hadash, the ”Democratic Front for Peace and Equality” as well as Palestinian comrades.
A sane proposal to ameliorate the terrors of this conflict is as old as 53 years of occupation. Let’s use it, instead of waving flags and moralizing.
Arturo Desimone is an Aruban-Argentinean writer and visual artist, currently based between Argentina and the Netherlands (www.arturoblogito.wordpress.com). He’s also member of the Thematic DSC Peace and International Policy 1.
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