Graubart, Jonathan, and Arturo Jimenez-Bacardi. “David in Goliath’s Citadel: Mobilizing the Security Council’s Normative Power for Palestine.” European Journal of International Relations 22.1 (2016): 24-48.
This article reviews the remarkable success of the Palestinian Liberation Organization in alliance with the Non-Aligned Movement in appropriating the Security Council’s normative power to transform the global understanding of the Israel–Arab conflict. We feature the alliance’s submission of multiple declaratory resolutions from late 1967 through 1980, which condemned Israel’s occupation policies, declared all of the territories conquered in the 1967 war as occupied, and endorsed a Palestinian state. Collectively, these resolutions, including the vetoed ones, legitimized a new consensus whereby Palestinian statehood became regarded as indispensable for a just resolution, while Israel’s continued control over the occupied territories became viewed as the primary obstacle, with full withdrawal expected. This consensus endures despite concerted Israeli–US efforts to undermine it. Besides its appeal to scholars of Israel–Palestine, the study contributes fresh insights into the Security Council’s normative authority and the influence of non-powerful, non-Western actors. We explain the dynamics by which these actors appropriate the Security Council’s normative influence, through its declaratory resolutions, to boost broader advocacy campaigns. Specifically, we highlight anti-colonial normative framing — featuring self-determination and territorial integrity — coalition building, and trapping. The first two dynamics generate powerful political and normative pressure, which, in turn, traps uncommitted states into supporting the cause so as to avoid isolation and the appearance of normative hypocrisy. By featuring the Non-Aligned Movement and the Palestinian Liberation Organization as the primary agents and anti-colonial values as the defining norms, we present a rarely examined counter-trajectory of norm dissemination in what is thought to be the least receptive international forum.
The future of the Israel–Gaza war crime trials is a complex puzzle. Even though the new crisis has come to an end with the help of Egypt, the long-term solution to this age-long crisis is still far from being fostered and accepted by the international order. The recent war crimes committed by both actors only make matters more complicated for the historically rooted conflict between Israel and Palestine. The Gaza conflict might be over but Israel is now gearing up for the legal procedures pertaining to the possible war crimes allegations. The army has been preparing itself for conducting internal investigations of its wartime actions and has prepared a detailed public relations campaign of satellite photos and video clips, hoping to persuade the world that its war against Hamas was justified. The argument of Israel will be weighed against the principle of proportionality, which is essentially a judgement call on whether the force applied was reasonable.
A lot depends on how the issue will be dealt with by the members of the UNSC, the decision of Palestine to take matters directly to the ICC and the eventual findings of the commission appointed by the UNHRC. Whether it is Israel or Palestine, the big question will always be: What will it take to solve the Israel–Palestine issue? The answer is not simple, with the shaping of the diplomatic environment being key in the possible permanent closure of this crisis. Even though many countries consider the war crimes trial as a probable thorn on the way to peace negotiations, denying justice to the people who suffered can in no way build a strong base for long-term peace and harmony between Israel and Palestine. But the historically deeply rooted religious and cultural mistrust between the people of both nations, amidst the volatile geopolitical setting of the world today, makes the task of international organisations and leaders to foster unanimously accepted closure of this crisis a herculean one.
The article explores the localization process of Security Council Resolution (SCR) 1325 (Women, Peace and Security) in Israel after the Second Intifada. An analysis of four forms of interpretation developed in 2000–2010 by local and international actors: protest, political dialog, legal reforms, and transformative actions, reveals a selective localization pattern that goes far beyond conflict-related women’s rights. This variation was linked to the nature of interactions between civil society organizations and governmental agencies and could be explained by two national-level factors: (i) despite the escalation of political violence the State of Israel continued to develop national machineries promoting gender equality for women citizens, a process that minimized state dependency on international mechanisms; (ii) by using the universal language of SCR 1325 to construct, redefine, and reinforce domestic identities and interests, governmental agencies and women’s groups were in fact seeking new forms of political legitimacy. I argue that the normative language of SCR 1325 proved to be especially beneficial on the civil society level, enabling women’s organizations to survive the generally unfavorable domestic opportunity structure during the Second Intifada. However, traditional state-centered policies and perceptions of women’s political participation remain a determining factor in explaining their effectiveness and success.