Dear Mr. President:
As we watched your speech to the United Nations General Assembly on September 12, 2002, we were struck by the ironic proximity of the Israeli and Iraqi delegations. Ironic, because many of the accusations you leveled against Iraq could, with ample justification, be directed toward Israel.
We commend you for calling upon the United Nations to prove its relevance in keeping peace and harmony among nations in today’s world. In order to maintain United States credibility in the international arena, we expect that you and the United Nations would apply to Israel the same standards of compliance with provisions of the UN Charter. The Israeli leadership continues to defy countless UN resolutions pertaining to its policies and military tactics of the past 35 years.
Accountability and our nation’s credibility require that Israel be forced to comply with international law, especially if the United States continues to press its case against Iraq.
During the period between 1967 and 2000, Iraq was the subject of 69 Security Council resolutions. By comparison, Israel, our closest “ally” in the Middle East, has been the subject of 138 resolutions. Not surprisingly, most of those resolutions call upon Israel to comply with basic principles of international law embodied by the UN Charter. Many of them condemn actions taken by Israel and call upon Israel on more than one occasion to comply with previous resolutions that Israel ignored and continues to ignore to this day.
On June, 14, 1967, through Resolution No. 237, the Security Council called upon Israel to “ensure the safety, welfare and security of the inhabitants, facilitate the return of those inhabitants who have fled the areas since the outbreak of the hostilities and recommends the scrupulous respect of the humanitarian principles contained in the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949.” In subsequent resolutions, the Security Council deplored Israel for the delay in its implementation of Resolution 237. Yet, Israel continued to defy the world community, including the United States. The Security Council, in the face of Israel’s defiance, passed no less than five subsequent resolutions demanding that Israel comply but to this day, thirty five years after June 14, 1967, the defiance continues.
On March 22, 1979, the Security Council adopted Resolution No. 446. Israel’s violation of Resolution 446 (sections quoted below) represents the most flagrant violation of Israel, not only of the UN but also the stated policy of our government under successive administrations:
(The Council) Determines that the policy and practices of Israel in establishing settlements in the Palestinian and Arab territories occupied since 1967 have no legal validity and constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East; Calls once more upon Israel, as the occupying power, to abide scrupulously by the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention, to rescind it’s previous measures and to desist from taking any action which would result in changing the legal status and geographical nature and materially affecting the demographic composition of the Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, and in particular, not to transfer parts of its own civilian population into the occupied Arab territories.
Mr. President, we have cited just a few Security Council resolutions that pertain to Israel. Space and your indulgence do not permit us to cite, in this short letter, the volumes of the other resolutions that have been ignored or brazenly violated by Israel. Therefore, we have compiled in the attached document a list of the UN Security Council resolutions which Israel has violated and/or continues to violate. If Israel’s actions in response to these resolutions do not “flaunt the will of the world community of nations,” we do not know what would. And if Israel’s actions do not qualify it as a “rouge state” then reasonable, informed citizens of this great nation, and the entire community of nations, are left to reach the unavoidable conclusion that our government continues to apply very different standards for Israel and for all other nations. Just as no man is above our domestic laws, no state should be left to disregard well-established principles of international law. The acquisition of territory by force and the use of torture are just two clear examples of the shameful records shared by Iraq and Israel.
Mr. President, we take seriously the fact that Israel has defied, and made a mockery of, not only the United Nations but also this great country for we are one of the permanent members of the Security Council. All of these resolutions mentioned above passed with some measure of United States support, or they would not have passed.
Israel even stands in defiance of your own recent public demand that Israel withdraw its forces from the West Bank. In a televised statement on April 9, 2002 you demanded that “Israel withdraw its troops from the West Bank without delay.” Israel not only ignored your call, but has actually intensified its illegal military occupation. If you are not willing to force Israel to comply with even your own demands, how do you expect to maintain the credibility necessary to convince the international community to support a war against Iraq? Your success or failure at the international level will depend heavily on the uniform enforcement of UN resolutions against all countries. Selective enforcement will most certainly lead to doubts about US intentions, and, ultimately, can only compromise American influence and effectiveness on the international stage.
We therefore urge you to restore the relevance of the United Nations in maintaining world peace, and restore the reputation and credibility of the United States, by enforcing compliance with UN Security Council resolutions equally amongst all nations. We further urge you to use peaceful means to resolve all such conflicts. We believe in peace, justice and reconciliation and are opposed to war as a means of conflict resolution. War is destructive and can not be justified in any case, especially when peaceful alternatives exist.
Michael S. Ladah & Suleiman I. Ajlouni
Substance / Summary of Content
Calls upon all States not to provide Israel with any assistance to be used specifically in connection with settlements in the occupied territories; and requests the Commission to continue examining the situation relating to settlements, to investigate the reported serious depletion of natural resources, particularly water, with a view to ensuring protection of those important natural resources of the territories under occupation.