Is Palestine on the ropes?

By Press Office
January 5, 2015

What happens when nobody has the moral strength for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?

That is one of the questions faced by Ekklesia associate Dr Harry Hagopian in a 3 January 2015 opinion piece for the respected news site, Al Jazeera.

Dr Hagopian is a London-based international lawyer, political adviser and ecumenical consultant on the Middle east and North Africa (MENA) region. He is also a second-track negotiator and works closely with European institutions.

He writes: "Even though I was at an end-of-year retreat, I stayed up late last Monday to catch the breaking news covering the outcome of a vote that was taking place at the UN Security Council. It concerned a Palestinian proposal 'put in blue' to the UN earlier in the week and that Ambassador Dina Kawar of Jordan had submitted to a vote at the Security Council.

"Very broadly speaking, this resolution drew yet another roadmap for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. One key component of this document – that had garnered the support of all 22 Arab states – suggested that there should be a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by the end of 2017. It also referred, inter alia, to occupation, settlements and Jerusalem.

"Having heard about the intense efforts involved with the drafting of this resolution since the end of the Gaza war in August 2014, this was a moment where quite a few people will have bated their collective breaths to see whether it would garner the necessary nine votes in the UNSC and in so doing force the US to veto an Arab-sponsored resolution at a time when Arab countries feature in a US-led coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group.

"As it happened, the resolution fell one vote short of those nine elusive votes and everybody went home – some much happier than others. But as a result of this defeat, the PA president signed 20 international agreements that included the Rome Statute (of 2002) in a bid to have Palestine – a non-member observer state in the UN – join the ICC and as such be allowed (for his part) to take Israel to the Court in the Hague for war crimes.

"So what are the ramifications of this latest episode in the decades-long Palestinian conflict?"

* Read the whole analysis on Al Jazeera here: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2015/01/palestine-ropes-2015136...

* More here: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/harryhagopian

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