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Richard Falk on Gaza’s torment

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July 14, 2014 by IJV

“It is painfully evident that state-to-state diplomacy and the UN have failed to produce a just peace despite decades of fruitless talks.

It is time to acknowledge that these talks were carried on in bad faith: while the diplomats sat around the table, Israeli settlements relentlessly expanded, apartheid structures deepened their hold on the West Bank and Jerusalem, and Gaza was cordoned off as a hostage enclave to be attacked by Israel at will and a bloody sacrifice exacted.

At least, the Secretary-General of the Arab League, Nabil al-Araby, condemned the “dangerous Israeli escalation”, urged the Security Council to “adopt measures to stop Israeli aggression against the Gaza Strip”, and warned of the humanitarian consequences. Turkey and Iran issued official statements along similar lines.

There is so much regional turbulence at present that it is unlikely to hope for anything more than scattered verbal denunciations from authorities in the region preoccupied with other concerns, but given the gravity of the situation, attention needs to be refocused on the Palestinian ordeal.

Pressure on Israel is urgently needed to protect the Palestinian people from further tragedy. Israel’s Arab neighbours and the European states that long held sway in the region, are challenged as never before to do the right thing, but it is doubtful that any constructive action will be taken unless regional and global public opinion becomes sufficiently enraged to exert real pressure on these governments. To pursue this goal now should be made a top priority of the Palestinian global solidarity movement.”

Richard Falk is Albert G Milbank Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University and Research Fellow, Orfalea Center of Global Studies. HE is also the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights.

From “Tormenting Gaza,” Al Jazeera 13/07/14

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