Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Erekat spouts lies in response to Israeli YouTube video

This week, Israel's Foreign Ministry put out a video that has spread quickly, called The Truth About the West Bank:

PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erekat, who apparently has never resigned even though he claimed he did, lashed out at the video. His sputtering statement has a lot of nonsense, but I want to concentrate on one of his many lies that we have not covered before:
Chief negotiator Saeb Erekat Wednesday expressed his shock at a Youtube video produced by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs in which the Israeli Ministry distorts international law regarding the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem.

“With this video, the Israeli government has left no doubt on its pro-conflict agenda,” said Erekat in a press release....

Erekat continued: “In its desperate attempt to gear international discourse away from the pursuit of genuine peace to the outdated arguments of those who oppose it, this official video went as far as discarding United Nations Resolution 181 (II). I want to remind the government of Israel that it was accepted at the UN as a full member based on its acceptance of this resolution.
This is a claim that has been made before by anti-Israel activists. Was Israel's acceptance to the UN conditional upon accepting UNGA 181?

The easiest way to find out is to read the text of the resolution accepting Israel itself:

Having received the report of the Security Council on the application of Israel for membership in the United Nations,

Noting that, in the judgment of the Security Council, Israel is a peace-loving State and is able and willing to carry out the obligations contained in the Charter,

Noting that the Security Council has recommended to the general Assembly that it admit Israel to membership in the United Nations,

Noting furthermore the declaration by the State of Israel that it "unreservedly accepts the obligations of the United Nations Charter and undertakes to honour them from the day when it becomes a member of the United Nations,"

Recalling its resolutions of 29 November 1947 and 11 December 1948 and taking note of the declarations and explanations made by the representative of the Government of Israel before the Ad Hoc Political Committee in respect of the implementation of the said resolutions,

The General Assembly,

Acting in discharge of its functions under Article 4 of the Charter and rule 125 of its rules of procedure,

1. Decides that Israel is a peace loving State which accepts the obligations contained in the Charter and is able and willing to carry out those obligations;

2. Decides to admit Israel to membership in the United Nations.
While the resolution "recalls" UNGA 181 and 194 there is no conditional language in this resolution at all. The actionable part of the resolution is unambiguous. Beyond that, the preamble explicitly notes that Israel clarified - at length - its interpretation of those resolutions in a number of now obscure UN documents (here and here, among others.) Abba Eban was, as usual, masterful in explaining Israel's position, and his explanation is referred to in this resolution just as the UNGA resolutions are. The language of the resolution seems to accept Eban's words as being just as important as the texts of the earlier resolutions themselves.

Which means that Erekat is shown yet again to be a liar.