The Rendon Group Snapshot Report – 05 January 2015

by TRG Alerts Admin on January 5, 2015

The Rendon Group Snapshot Report

(05JAN15)

 

Each week The Rendon Group’s media analysts will focus on a different continent and a different issue affecting that continent. As always, we remain available to answer any questions you may have and to provide additional information upon request. For more information regarding The Rendon Group’s products and services, please contact us at Alert@Rendon.com or +1-202-745-4900.

 

The Palestinian Authority’s Bid for Legitimacy and Recognition

 

 Palestinians in Gaza City demonstrate to demand the speeding up on the reconstruction of buildings destroyed during the 51-day long attacks by the Israeli army in the summer of 2014, December 30, 2014. Photo Source: Telegraph/Getty Images

 

This week’s snapshot focuses on the Palestinian Authority’s most recent failed attempt at a United Nations draft resolution to end the Israeli military occupation of Palestinian territories. Following the resolution’s defeat within the U.N. Security Council, President Abbas submitted documents to join the International Criminal Court in order to pursue war-crime charges against Israel over the most recent intifada in Gaza and continued settlements in Palestinian territories.

 

News Summary of events during the week of 28DEC-04JAN

  • 28DEC: President Abbas informed United States Secretary of State John Kerry that the Palestinians intend to present a draft resolution to the United Nations Security Council on Monday, calling for the gradual ending of the Israeli military occupation of territories within three years. (XIN)
  • 28DEC: The Hamas movement called on the withdrawal of the resolution, stating that the Palestine Liberation Organization “must admit a failure in the so-called peace process and set up a unified national strategy to gain back our legitimate rights.” (XIN)
  • 29DEC: Arab ambassadors endorsed Palestinian amendments to the UN resolution, a proposal strongly opposed by Israel and the United States. (AP)
  • 30DEC: The UN Security Council draft resolution, introduced by Jordan on behalf of the Palestinians, was defeated after failing to receive the nine votes needed for adoption in the 15-member body. (NYT)
  • 31DEC: President Abbas signed on to 20 international agreements on Wednesday, including the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), a day after the bid for independence by 2017 failed. (REUT)
  • 31DEC: The US said it “strongly opposes” the request from the Palestinian Authority to join the ICC, fearing the move would further delay peace talks with Israel. (AFP)
  • 01JAN: Israeli PM Netanyahu urged the ICC to reject the Palestinians’ request for a membership because they did not rank as a state. (Al-Jazeera)
  • 02JAN: A senior State Department official said that further steps by the Palestinians to deliver documents for joining the ICC will have implications for U.S. aid. (REUT)
  • 02JAN: The Palestinians took the last formal step Friday to join the ICC seeking to pursue war-crimes charges against Israel over the recent conflict in Gaza and Jewish settlements in Palestinian territories. (AP)
  • 03JAN: An official source stated that Israel was considering filing war crimes suits overseas against Palestinian leaders in response to their application to join the ICC and press such charges against the Jewish state. (REUT)
  • 04JAN: Israel froze the transfer of about USD127 million in taxes as a sanction against the Palestinian government following its decision to join the ICC. (WSJ)
  • 04JAN: President Abbas said he was discussing with Jordan plans to resubmit to the U.N. Security Council a resolution calling for the establishment of a Palestinian state that failed to win enough votes last week. (REUT)

 

Sample of Twitter handles regarding Palestine’s proposed U.N. resolution and its submission to the ICC.

  • @Ibishblog – Hussein Ibish, Senior Fellow, American Task Force on Palestine
  • @OmarBaddar – Omar Baddar, Political Analyst & Media Producer, Al-Jazeera
  • @ChrisGunness – Chris Gunness, Palestine-based Spokesman, UNRWA
  • @MJayRosenberg – M.J. Rosenberg, Former Senior Foreign Policy Fellow, Media Matters Action Network
  • @Sarahleah1 – Sarah Leah Whitson, Executive Director, Middle East and North Africa Division, Human Rights Watch
  • @NTarnopolsky – Noga Tarnopolsky, Israel & Palestine Correspondent

Sample of Third Party Validators regarding Palestine’s proposed U.N. resolution and its submission to the ICC.

 

Daoud Kuttab, Former Ferris Professor of Journalism, Princeton University

“By voting against the relatively moderate Palestinian resolution, the US has given encouragement to the policies of obfuscation and delay in the negotiations. A resolution that France and Luxembourg were able to vote for – and the United Kingdom abstain from – shouldn’t have produced an opposing vote by the US.”

–       What does the US really want for Palestine?, Al-Jazeera,  01JAN15

 

John Bolton, Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute

“Absent more-effective U.S. diplomacy, the Obama administration could soon face making a choice that it would dearly like to avoid: whether to veto a biased, anti-Israel resolution. The Palestinian Authority has already significantly upped the ante by moving, later on Wednesday, to join the treaty creating the International Criminal Court.”

–       The U.N. Vote on Palestine Was a Rehearsal, Wall Street Journal, 01JAN15

 

Bernard Avishai, Visiting Professor of Government, Dartmouth College

“Kerry is trying to avoid “doing stupid stuff,” as Obama has often put it. If the nuclear negotiations with Iran finally produce an agreement this winter—even one that opens the country to permanent inspections and greater economic integration—Netanyahu and the Republican Congress can be expected to attack it. Why provide them with more reasons to accuse the Obama Administration of being unfriendly to Israel?”

–       Kerry’s Miscalculation on the U.N. Palestine Resolutions, New Yorker, 31DEC14

 

Noah Gordon, Editorial Fellow, The Atlantic

“Speaking from his headquarters in the West Bank after signing the ICC papers, Abbas referenced the UN failure. “There is aggression practiced against our land and our country, and the Security Council has let us down — where shall we go?”

–       Why the Palestinians Joined the International Criminal Court, The Atlantic, 31DEC14

 

Giora Eiland, Former Israeli National Security Adviser

“There should not be any connection between the legitimate or less legitimate political disputes and the way they are handled in the international arena and the economic relationship,” he added. “We should be strong enough, and let’s say calm enough, to continue to manage the conflict with the Palestinians in the international arena, including in the international court.”

–       Tensions Mount as Israel Freezes Revenue Meant for Palestinians, The New York Times, 03JAN15

 

Sample of open source research conducted by TRG analysts related to Palestine’s proposed U.N. resolution and its submission to the ICC.

 

1. Hamas ‘totally opposed’ to Abbas plan for new UN bid

Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Byline: N/A

Date: 05 January 2015

 

GAZA CITY, Palestinian Territories, Jan 05, 2015 (AFP) – Hamas said Monday it was “totally opposed” to Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas’s plans to re-submit to the UN Security Council a resolution on ending Israel’s occupation which failed last week.

 

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2. Israel eyes tougher moves after Palestinian tax freeze

Media: Agence France-Presse (AFP)

Byline: N/A

Date: 04 January 2015

 

JERUSALEM, Jan 04, 2015 (AFP) – Israel was weighing its options Sunday for further punishing the Palestinians after freezing millions in tax revenues as a first response to their bid to join the International Criminal Court. The Palestinian move to join the Hague-based court sets the scene for potential legal action against Israel for war crimes, in a bid to put pressure on the Jewish state to pull out of the territories.

 

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3. France to Israel: We backed Palestinians in Security Council to prevent ICC bid

Media: Haaretz (Israel)

Byline: Barak Ravid

Date: 02 January 2015

 

French ambassador to Israel Patrick Maisonnave reported to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem on Friday after being summoned over his country’s vote in favor of the Palestinian statehood resolution at the UN Security Council earlier this week. French officials told Haaretz that Maisonnave clarified in the meeting that France voted for the resolution in order to try and prevent the Palestinians from pursuing other unilateral steps such as joining the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

 

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4. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is entering a new phase that’s less hopeful but more honest

Media: Quartz

Byline: Gideon Lichfield

Date: 02 January 2015

 

Like its failed bid earlier in the week to get a United Nations security council resolution calling for a Palestinian state, the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) application on New Year’s Eve to join the International Criminal Court (ICC)—along with 19 other international organizations and treaties—may not lead to much. It’s far from clear (paywall) that the court will try, let alone convict, any Israelis the PA attempts to drag before it, and besides, ICC membership is a double-edged sword—Israel could bring its own cases against the Palestinians, specifically Hamas.

But, as with the UN statehood resolution, what matters is not the outcome, but the taking part. By making these moves, Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, is declaring the era of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks officially over. The peace process had been effectively dead for years, kept on life-support by a coterie of professional peaceniks on all sides trying to preserve their own careers. Now, with Israel no longer pretending it wants to talk peace, the PA is going on the diplomatic offensive.

 

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5. ICC membership could be a double-edged sword for Palestine

Media: The Guardian (UK)

Byline: Julian Borger

Date: 31 December 2014

 

In joining the international criminal court, Mahmoud Abbas has finally used one of the most potent diplomatic weapons in the limited Palestinian armoury after years of unfulfilled threats. It is a gesture of near despair by a leader with little left to lose. Signing the Rome statute opens up Palestinian territory to future ICC investigations, a situation which Israel fought a long and intense battle behind the scenes to avoid. It could one day put Israeli soldiers and officials in the dock of an international court for military operations and for the policy of building Israeli settlements on occupied Palestinian land.

 

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6. Palestine moves to join Hague court, file war crimes against Israel

Media: The Hill

Byline: Vicki Needham

Date: 31 December 2014

 

Tensions between the Palestinian Authority, Israel and the United States escalated Wednesday when the PA signed papers to join the International Criminal Court. The step to join the court and more than a dozen other international organizations is meant to move the Palestinian Authority towards statehood, a step opposed by Israel. It risks new U.S. sanctions against the Palestinians, creating a delicate new challenge for President Obama.

 

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7. What failed Palestinian UN statehood bid means

 

Media: Telegraph (UK)

Byline: Inna Lazareva

Date: 30 December 2014

 

In recent years, particularly since the collapse of the US Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace negotiations in April 2014 and the ensuing war in Gaza, the Palestinians have been increasingly despondent about the likelihood that bilateral negotiations would pave the way to a two-state solution. Pessimism is also rife concerning any new Israeli coalition government which will be formed following the March 2015 elections, regardless of whether the incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remains at the helm.

 

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