Israel’s continued domination and dominion over the Palestinians has, once again, caused conflict at the United Nations. A recent U.N. report on Israel that labeled the country an “apartheid regime” ultimately led to the resignation of United Nations Under-Secretary General and Executive Secretary for the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) Rima Khala.
Khala reportedly resigned after U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres came out against the report and demanded it be removed from the ESCWA website. That demand came amidst denunciations of the report by both Israel and the United States.
That incident comes just a few months after the out-going Obama Administration allowed a resolution to pass the U.N. Security Council calling Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal. The U.S. abstention infuriated both Israel and supporters of Israel within the U.S., some of whom claim President Obama actually engineered the resolution.
While the Trump Administration blasted the ESCWA report, Obama’s secretary of state, John Kerry, justified the U.S.’ refusal to veto the settlement resolution with a rambling speech about the need for a two-state solution and a peace process.
But the two-state solution is a bust. In truth, there is little hope that Israel is going to give the Palestinians any real autonomy given the Israel government’s perceived security requirements and support for settlement expansion in the West Bank. That settlement expansion has essentially already made a coherent Palestinian state geographically impossible.
Of course, every time Israel gets labeled an “apartheid regime”—officially and unofficially—U.S. government officials put on this faux-outrage play. But no one is really fooled and the play is played out.
The game is over. Either the U.S. must force Israel to immediately return all territory necessary to get back to the 1967 borders and turn over control of said lands to the Palestinian authorities. Or, U.S. policymakers must simply admit the obvious and acknowledge that the two-state solution is dead and demand Israel allow Palestinians more protections—legal and otherwise—in what will be Israeli territory in perpetuity.
Otherwise, the U.S. will not only become irrelevant in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but lose even more credibility on the world stage. Official protests at the U.N. are not going to change the facts on the ground.