Monday, August 3, 2009

Roadmap Agreements Are Not Universally Binding Under International Law

Bringing peace to nations is not a game. So why are the Roadmap Nations treating it as such? As if they can make up "house rules" of diplomacy where you can discriminate against the nation of your choice regardless of what objective norms (International Laws) say on the matter.

The new USA objection is due to concern over potentially prejudging the final outcome of a negotiated settlement. But in actuality, all that happened was not a political decision, but a decision in a court case between private litigants. To connect a court ruling on a decade old case with any future negotiation is a ludicrous suggestion at face value. No one at the signing of the Roadmap back in 2003 would ever have expected future court cases to be decided even before final status negotiations have taken place. To suggest that is to state fiction.

I start to worry where we are headed as a nation when our Foreign Affairs officials state current policy and call it International Law, when it is not. Until now the Obama Administration has been far from even handed in its treatment of Israel. But if its "experts" continue to misstate plain facts so grossly that they are viewed as either fools or liars not just by opposition political forces, but even mainstream members of foreign Parliaments, then the USA's influence in the Middle East will wane and erode along with it the hopes of participating in the bringing of true peace to the Middle East in the near future. Participating. That word is key. It implies a certain level of humility that current USA foreign policy lacks towards our best friend in the Middle East, Israel.

The court ruled that illegal housing was built on private property. In cases where the property owners were not Arabic, there was no previous protestation of the many prior decisions of the Israeli courts.

CNN reported the following declarations by the State Department:

In the United States, a State Department spokesman urged Israel to refrain from "provocative actions."

"As Secretary [of State Hillary] Clinton has stated previously, the eviction of families and demolition of homes in East Jerusalem is not in keeping with Israeli obligations under the Roadmap," said Robert Wood, referring to the 2003 "Roadmap for peace" plan.

"We urge that the government of Israel and municipal officials refrain from provocative actions in East Jerusalem, including home demolitions and evictions. Unilateral actions taken by either party cannot prejudge the outcome of negotiations and will not be recognized by the international community."

If any nation is discouraged from heeding its own courts because it is not preferred by other nations, would any nation listen to this? How about those non-democratic countries that are dismembering their own citizens due to highly questionable court decisions? Where is the condemnation?

What if another nation tried to threaten America IN ANYWAY for a ruling of an American court of justice? Would, COULD, America ever dare give in to such meddling? It would undermine the whole justice system to do so, and therefore it is unreasonable and ridiculous to even suggest such a thing.

This is not a matter of even-handedness or not. It is a process toward making a mockery of objective truth and justice and therefore such a path is antithetical to the American Way.

Worse it shows that America no longer cares about how it looks in the eyes of her allies. That is diplomacy gone astray. The greatest threat to the Roadmap to Peace is not an Israeli judge, but current American Foreign Policy!

Even as a critic of the false Roadmap to Peace I do not glory in this path to failure through an overdose of self contempt. A hog enjoys playing in the mud, but a diplomat should not. The Roadmap nations need to respect themselves more by either speaking more truthful statements from now on, or getting out of the game.

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