Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR-USA) Statement on the Situation in Palestine/Israel
In the barrage of statistics that are being reported in the aftermath of the most recent violence between Israel and Hamas there are heartbreaking accounts once again of Israel’s disproportionate and utterly lopsided response that has left at least 248 Palestinians dead—a quarter of whom were children—and nearly 2,000 wounded. But there are several statistics you will almost certainly not hear about in the reports of carnage: 997, 293, 84, 99 and 0.
Since 1946, on the “Question of Palestine” the UN General Assembly has passed 997 resolutions, the Security Council has passed 293, the Human Rights Council has passed 84 and the Economic and Social Council has passed 99. In that same time the number of resolutions that have taken active measures to stop Israel’s violence against Palestinians has been exactly zero (0).
Over the course of the past 75 years, we have become masters of rhetoric and resolutions that have no teeth and no impact. Scores of United Nations resolutions have condemned Israel but not one has taken measures to stop its apartheid and human rights violations against the Palestinians. Furthermore, the United States, Germany, Great Britain and other countries supplying military aid to Israel are complicit in its crimes against humanity and war crimes, and must be held accountable.
Until now, resolutions have been adopted under Chapter VI of the UN Charter, which are non binding. FOR-USA believes that the time has come to hold Israel accountable by invoking Chapter VII of the UN Charter. In 1977, the world galvanized to confront apartheid in South Africa with the introduction of sanctions through UN Security Council Resolution 418. Said Nelson Mandela, after assuming the presidency of South Africa, “We know too well that our freedom is incomplete without the freedom of the Palestinians.” Israeli apartheid and persecution of the Palestinian people need to be stopped once and for all through nonviolent – and proven – means.
Today, all eyes are on Israel as it continues its decades-long ethnic cleansing and cultural erasure of Palestinians. World leaders at the United Nations stand by complacently while many of their governments are complicit in military, political, and economic relationships with Israel.
In the case of the United States, which gives Israel $3.8 billion in military aid each year with no conditions, and this month sold Israel another $735 million in “precision-guided” weapons – it enables Israel to continue its crimes of humanity against the Palestinian people, including children who are beaten, put in administrative detention, incarcerated, put in solitary confinement, and denied due legal process.
Nonetheless, in cities across the United States, and in countries around the world, people are demonstrating in solidarity with the Palestinian people. Millions are chanting peacefully, “Free Free Palestine” and “Palestinian Lives Matter.” In the US Congress, efforts are underway to block the $735 million in arms sales.
We call upon the UN to hear and respond to this global call and struggle against racist regimes. We implore the UN Security Council to take accountability and respond immediately and appropriately by imposing sanctions on Israel.