the Palestinian Authority, under heavy pressure from the United States, has withdrawn its support for a U.N. Human Rights Council resolution on alleged war crimes in Gaza, diplomats in Geneva said Thursday.This is exactly what Nadia Hijab predicted less than two weeks ago:
U.N. and European diplomats, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter with reporters, said the Palestinian delegation's surprise turnaround means any resolution on the report would likely be delayed until next March. (AP)
The Obama administration could send a strong signal by voting to submit the report to the General Assembly, or even by abstaining. But, despite its fine words on Monday, it is more likely to want to bury it. Otherwise, attention will focus on prosecuting an Israel it’s trying to nudge to the negotiating table. The problem it will face is that Third World countries dominate both the Human Rights Council and General Assembly and they traditionally support Palestinian rights. So it will seek an alliance with Egypt and the Palestinian Authority. If they indicate they do not want the report to go forward, the rest of the Third World would find it hard to go over their heads.
But could Egypt and the Palestinian Authority possibly want to stop accountability for war crimes in Gaza? Hard to believe, but they may have already done so earlier this year when Father Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, the General Assembly’s Nicaraguan president, tried to get the international community to stop the slaughter.
Father Miguel has named no names, but in his speech at the end of his one-year term this week, he left little doubt about what happened. He said he had tried to persuade “those who should have been most closely involved” to convene the General Assembly to help the Palestinians under fire. But “all I received was advice to give the process more time… we should do nothing that could endanger the success that was always just beyond our reach.”
And he went on to make a very serious accusation against “those who should supposedly have been most interested” yet “denied their support.” He said he hoped “that they were right and that I was wrong. Otherwise, we face an ugly situation of constant complicity with the aggression against the rights of the noble and long-suffering Palestinian people.”
If this complicity repeats itself at the Human Rights Council, the Goldstone Report will be sunk. The power of the state system (and a putative statelet) will have trumped the principles of international law and human rights -- unless human rights advocates act to make sure the right thing gets done. (Middle East Online)
I wish I am wrong, but I see this success of Israel at the Human Right Council as one major advance toward genocide. This won't happen next week. But the brakes are being cut one by one. The righteous fury is in place, the silent world is watching incapacitated, and all is made ready for the final push down the hill.