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Russia’s UN envoy, Vasily Nebenzya

Russia’s UN envoy, Vasily Nebenzya, told Monday’s UN Security Council’s session which was devoted to the Middle East, that Israel should immediately stop building its settlements and dismantling Arab property on the “western bank of the Jordan River.”

Failing to recognize the fact that the PA colludes with the European Union in raising illegal construction in Area C, which according to the 1994 Oslo Accords is under full Israeli rule, Nebenzya said his country was “extremely concerned by the analysis of the situation, offered by UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov, who, speaking about the West Bank of the Jordan River and the Gaza Strip, said the situation now can only be prevented from further degradation, without even mentioning the possibility of improvement.”

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“This situation will sooner or later – more likely sooner than later – cause the erosion of this inadmissible virtual border between fragile stability and chaos,” Mladenov reported.

Does the phrase “the erosion of this inadmissible virtual border between fragile stability and chaos” strike you as denser than a two-room flat in Moscow?

“Solutions are evident,” the Russian diplomat said. “First of all, Israel’s settlement activities and the policy of dismantling the Palestinian property in the West Bank must be stopped. Both Palestinians and Israelis must refrain from violence, and aggressive and provocative rhetoric. This is exactly how we view Israel’s plans to annex settlements on the Western Bank of the Jordan River.”

He then criticized “the US administration’s decisions on Jerusalem,” and “its illegitimate recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the occupied Golan Heights in Syria,” which “constitute a blatant violation of the international law, in particular, of the UN Security Council Resolution 497.”

Resolution 497, adopted unanimously on December 17, 1981, declared that Israel’s Golan Heights Law, annexing the Golan Heights, is “null and void and without international legal effect,” and further called on Israel to rescind its action. The Council requested the Secretary-General to report within two weeks on the implementation of the resolution. Israel did not comply with the resolution and the US vetoed a consequent resolution that called for action by the international community against Israel. Then an emergency special session of the United Nations General Assembly adopted by 86 votes to 21 a resolution calling for a boycott of Israel. The US and many other Western states voted against.

Then the Arab Spring happened, Syria entered a vicious civil war that split the country into several autonomous regions and killed more than half a million people, and Iran entered forces into the Syrian Golan heights in order to harm Israeli civilians. So, in retrospect, it was a smart thing Israel did there, to prefer to keep the Golan rather than go back to the Kinneret and Jordan valley down below.

Live and learn.

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