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Security Council Says Get Back Israel

United Nations Security Council Finally Passes Resolution as Israel Advances Murder Spree

By Selwyn Manning - March 14 2002

The United Nations Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, early this morning NZ Time hailed the Security Council for passing a resolution calling for an independent Palestinian state.

Annan drove the ahead of the United States in advancing the security council's vision of a region where two States, Israel and Palestine, can "live side by side within secure and recognized borders."

The Security Council specifically demands immediate cessation of all violence and affirms a vision of two separate states of Israel and Palestine.

Syria abstained from the 14-0 vote, but by abstaining this allowed the resolution to pass and marked the first time the 15-nation council had approved a resolution on the Middle East since October 2000.

The Council's resolution [click here for the full resolution...] with strong support from the US, would "send a powerful message," Kofi Annan said.

Spectator.co.nz in December 2001 criticised the US for using its veto to prevent the UN of intervening in the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestinian Authority territories. See: US Vetos Security Council resolution...

Earlier yesterday Annan insisted both Israel Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat do everything in their power to cease the killings.

To the Palestinians, he said, "You have the inalienable right to a viable state within secure, internationally recognized borders, but you must stop all acts of terror and all suicide bombings."

However, Annan said the "deliberate and indiscriminate targeting of civilians is morally repugnant." He added the practice was harming the Palestinian cause by weakening international support, while making Israelis believe "that it is their existence as a State, and not the occupation, that is being opposed."

To the Israelis Annan said: "you have the right to live in peace and security within secure internationally recognized borders. But you must end the illegal occupation."

* AUDIO: Click here to listen to UN radio's Anne-Marie Ibanez's report...

Annan demanded Israel stop the bombing of civilian areas, the assassinations, the unnecessary use of lethal force, the demolitions and "the daily humiliation of ordinary Palestinians."

Such actions, he pointed out, "gravely erode Israel's standing within the international community and further fuel the fires of hatred, despair and extremism among Palestinians."

Annan said: "When you have the kind of tragedy that is taking place in the Middle East, for an important body of third parties to step in and say, 'Look, you'd better stop the killing, it has gone far enough, you should stop hostilities and talk' is important."

"Acts by Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories have also been described as illegal… such as the establishment of settlements, the imposition of Israeli laws, and jurisdiction and administration over East Jerusalem, and some of the events we have witnessed recently."

Annan said he was "distressed" by news of Israel forces advancing into Palestinian refugee camps in their latest killing spree: "I don't think one can watch that tragedy, which we all saw on our television, and not be moved to try and do whatever you can to help the situation."

Meanwhile American media are asking why US President Bush is so passive in aiding a ceasefire in the Middle East.

Last night Bush's Press Secretary Ari Fleischer was grilled on why the Bush Administration is dragging its heels:
Question: Back to the Middle East. Does the President think that his hands-off policy has contributed in any way to the hopelessness and the rising violence in the Middle East? And, anticipating your answer, I have a follow-on. (Laughter.)

MR. FLEISCHER: Why don't you just get it all out of the way, Helen? (Laughter.)

Question: Well, American weaponry is being used. So why are we so passive in this conflict where people are dying on both sides?

MR. FLEISCHER: Well, I just have to disabuse you of your premise that the United States is hands off, the United States is not involved. The United States has been deeply involved. The United States is always deeply involved.

Question: How? I mean, the President has never met a Palestinian. And he is -- he seems to be so detached. Let's hear something positive.

MR. FLEISCHER: The President has spoken out on this on any number of occasions. As you know, he just welcomed President Mubarak at the White House.

Question: I know, everybody's for peace.

MR. FLEISCHER: And he's talked with President Mubarak as he's talked with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Prince Abdullah, and any number of others in the Middle East about how to achieve peace.

Question: Well, you know how that's been interpreted? As a rejection.

MR. FLEISCHER: But, Helen, the premise of your question is that the United States is to blame for events on the ground in the Middle East --

Question: No, that's not the premise at all. I'm just saying --

MR. FLEISCHER: -- and I don't accept that.

Question: -- by not participating in any sort of -- as a mediator, as we've always been since the '40s, how come -- I mean, of course -- why are we really not actively involved?

MR. FLEISCHER: The United States has been, will be and continues to be. So we disagree on the premise of it.

Question: Ari, the Middle East -- would the administration support a multination force to attack the terrorist organizations in Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, that are waging war against Israel?

MR. FLEISCHER: The President has long said that there are not good terrorists, there are no bad terrorists. And one of the effects of the war against terrorism is that nations that are engaged in terrorism are taking a second look to determine whether or not that's an industry they want to remain involved in. Beyond that I'm not going to go about any steps the President may or may not take in continuation of furtherance of that policy.

The Whitehouse has yet to issue any statement on the UN Security Council resolution.

Clearly, the United Nations has taken a decisive step forward to actively save lives of both Israelis and Palestinians. The United States ought to abandon its sanction of silence and follow the example.editor@spectator.co.nz

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