Middle East Monitor / November 29, 2022
The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process [sic] continues to speak from a vacuum that denies Israel’s colonial existence as the main violation Palestinians encounter daily. In his latest monthly briefing to the UN Security Council, Wennesland gratified his audience by maintaining the international consensus over the two-state compromise. Yet, his observations invalidate his reiterations and those of the UN as regards the defunct diplomatic concept.
Primarily, Wennesland, like other UN-appointed officials, relies on chronology and interludes to give the impression that Palestinians, at times, experience a lull in Israel’s colonial violence. While admitting to decades of persistent violence by Israel, Wennesland observes that “the conflict is once again reaching boiling point”. Had Wennesland gone back to 1948, the so-called boiling point had already been reached through ethnic cleansing, and the one major recognition the UN should insist upon, at the very least, is that there is no boiling point but the preservation and maintenance of colonial entrenchment in Palestine with further plans for expansion, which the UN overtly supports.
For measures of purported equivalence, Wennesland reminds the UNSC of his condemnations of the killings of Palestinian and Israeli civilians and asserts that “the targeting of civilians can never be justified, and the violence must stop”. There is a difference between colonial violence and legitimate armed resistance, which the UN is only too glad not to distinguish, lest it disrupts the dominant Israeli narrative that Israel has the right to defend itself. It is now impossible to forget that UN officials, for example, blamed Palestinians for Israel’s bombing of Gaza in May 2019.
Ensuring the Palestinian Authority is never blamed for its collaboration with Israel and the international community is another important point for Wennesland, who mentioned the “mounting economic and institutional challenges” the PA is facing. The PA is not funded to promote Palestinian prosperity, but to facilitate Israel’s colonial expansion and oppress Palestinians from within the two-state diplomatic hypocrisy. Although Wennesland does mention the absence of Palestinian democratic elections since 2006, he also fails to mention PA leader, Mahmoud Abbas, reneging several times on his promise to hold elections and, thus, Ramallah is sheltered from further political scrutiny to give the impression that the PA is, purportedly, the Palestinians’ only option. In the same way, the UN will not consider other than the two-State compromise for Palestinians, and will persist in coercing Palestinians into further territorial loss.
According to Wennesland, for all the reasons he listed in his monthly briefing, “It is necessary to take urgent steps towards a two-State solution, which still garners considerable support among Palestinians and Israelis.” Yet a majority of Jewish Israelis oppose the two-state politics, and so do Palestinians, as recent surveys show. While, of course, the reasons will differ on the basis of colonial and anti-colonial politics respectively, the UN cannot claim support for its designated “solution” from anyone other than diplomats and government officials. So how about Wennesland stops engaging with the UN narrative and does his job well, which would entail proposing Palestinian solutions that are derived from the Palestinian anti-colonial resistance?
Ramona Wadi is an independent researcher, freelance journalist, book reviewer and blogger; her writing covers a range of themes in relation to Palestine, Chile and Latin America