Geneva Initiative Annexes
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Five comments on UNSCR 2334

 

Five comments on UNSCR 2334

 

Throughout the past year, the Geneva Initiative has been in close contact with key international actors on the issue of passing a Security Council Resolution on Israeli settlements. We shared several proposals and ideas – all developed jointly by our Israeli and Palestinian experts - with relevant governments and regional and international organizations; and encouraged our interlocutors to consider the advantages of combining language on both settlements and parameters for a peace agreement into one comprehensive resolution. We were thus pleased to learn that the UN Security Council passed on Friday Resolution 2334, which describes the problem, but also points to the solution by calling the parties to launch credible negotiations on all final status issues in the Middle East peace process.

There is plenty to say about Resolution 2334 and its immediate and long-term implications for the peace process. Here are 5 thoughts we think are particularly worth considering:

 

1. It’s a reminder that the world has not forgotten about Israel and the Palestinians.

It acts as a reminder that Israeli settlements continue to be illegal and unacceptable in the eyes of the world, and that even Israel's closest allies recognize that they constitute a major obstacle to the achievement of peace.

2. It distinguishes between Israel and the settlements.

The resolution rightly calls upon all states to distinguish in their relevant dealings between the territory of the State of Israel and the territories occupied since 1967. This is an important distinction that is good for Israel, good for the rule of law and good for peace.

3. It recognizes the desirability of negotiated borders - even if not identical to the 1967 lines.

The Resolution asserts that the world will not recognize any changes to the 4 June 1967 lines, other than those agreed by the parties through negotiations. Meaning: a Geneva Initiative-style border, based on the 1967 lines with land swaps as agreed to by Israelis and Palestinians through negotiations, is fully acceptable.

4. It encourages diplomacy and dialogue, and condemns violence.

The Resolution condemns all acts of violence against civilians, acts of terror, provocation, incitement and destruction. The passing of the Resolution also offers a much needed boost to Palestinian President Abbas, and demonstrates the effectiveness of the diplomatic efforts made throughout his presidency. The Israeli and Palestinian peace camps can also draw some encouragement from 2334: it reminds peace supporters that their struggle is not just recognized but also backed by the international community.

5. There is more work to be done.

As many have already pointed out, despite being a very important Resolution, 2334 is short of having any immediate, concrete implications for the peace process. To make this a truly historical moment, the international community must build upon this success by seizing every opportunity in the upcoming months to bring the parties back to the negotiating table for a credible, genuine dialogue leading to a comprehensive final status agreement.

 

 

In the meantime, we at the Geneva Initiative will continue to bring forth the voices of peace-seeking Israelis and Palestinians, and support local and international efforts that advance the two-state solution. Please do not hesitate to reach out if you want to discuss these issues further.