Thursday, April 10, 2014

Palestine becomes a State Party to Geneva Conventions

As of 2 April 2014, the State of Palestine is a State Party to the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 and to the Additional Protocol I of 1977.

A notification by Switzerland. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

It’s not a "unilateral action" to join human rights conventions; US should commend Palestine

The following are 9 of the 15 conventions on human rights Palestine has decided to accede to:
  • International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights 1966
  • International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 1966
  • Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women 1979
  • Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989
  • Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2006
  • International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination 1965
  • United Nations Convention Against Torture, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1984
  • Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide 1948
  • Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid 1973



It is worthwhile mentioning that the US itself has not yet acceded to the following conventions:
  • International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 1966 (signed, but not ratified)
  • Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women 1979 (signed, but not ratified)
  • Convention on the Rights of the Child 1989 (signed, but not ratified)
  • Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities 2006 (signed, but not ratified)
  • Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid 1973

Instead of claiming that the Palestinian decision is a “unilateral action”, the US should commend Palestine, and should also follow suit.



US is determined to isolate itself further: "Power: US opposes Palestinian moves to statehood"

“U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power told a House panel on Wednesday that the U.S. opposes all unilateral actions that the Palestinians take to statehood. She says there are no shortcuts to statehood, and that any unilateral actions could be "tremendously destructive" to the peace process.


1) The US Permanent Representative to the UN probably thinks that she has a “good sense of humor”, but this is certainly not the case.

2) We know that the US opposes anything that is related to Palestine and the Palestinian people. No news.

3) Taking unilateral actions is actually Israel’s “specialty”. It is only Israel which has always taken unilateral actions. Israel unilaterally and illegally annexed Jerusalem in 1967. Israel unilaterally and illegally annexed the Syrian Golan Heights in 1981. Israel unilaterally and illegally continues to annex Palestinian lands and to create facts on the ground, including through the illegal settlement policy and Separation Wall. Israel unilaterally and illegally attempts to determine the borders of the future Palestinian State. The list is too long ... 

4) Palestine’s latest moves can in no way be considered or described as “unilateral actions”. Palestine has never taken “unilateral actions”. Its decision to join international conventions is fully in line with international law. Turning to the UN is legal, and so is acceding to conventions/treaties. Furthermore, it is not a “unilateral action”, or an “illegal action”, to demand an end to Israeli violations of human rights. 

5) Palestinian legal (and not unilateral) actions are “tremendously destructive to the peace process”, but Israel’s unilateral and illegal actions are “not”, right?! The US considers itself a “peace sponsor”?! How despicable!

6) The US should try to have some ‘self-respect’, for a change.

7) The US can continue to oppose all Palestinian steps, although they are absolutely legal, but it will only isolate itself further.