On December 23, 2016, the United Nations Security Council passed a unanimous resolution reprimanding Israel for building illegal Jewish settlements, in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. This area has been under Israeli control since the 1967 war. Before that it belonged to Jordan. Israeli radical Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu habitually defies UN Security Council and General Assembly Resolutions, the latest being UNSC 2334, calling for Israel to refrain from building illegal settlements in the occupied lands.

The Resolution was unanimously passed with 14 votes in favour, with US abstaining. In 2016 alone the General Assembly censuring the illegal and inhuman acts of Israel passed twenty such resolutions. The recent resolution partly says, “…Condemning all measures aimed at altering the demographic composition, character and status of the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, including, inter alia, the construction and expansion of settlements, transfer of Israeli settlers, confiscation of land, demolition of homes and displacement of Palestinian civilians, in violation of international humanitarian law and relevant resolutions… Expressing grave concern that continuing Israeli settlement activities are dangerously imperilling the viability of the two-state solution based on 1967 lines.”

The focal point of the resolution was to remind Israel that it was undermining an ultimate peace settlement with the Palestinians, which could only materialise by establishing two sovereign states existing side by side with the guarantee of security for the Jewish state.

Earlier, President-elect Donald Trump had asked for a veto by the US. Moreover the President elect nominated a hard-liner, David Friedman, a bankruptcy attorney, to be Ambassador to the Jewish state. Mr. Friedman is a staunch supporter of the expansion of illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Moreover he supports the shifting of the American embassy to Jerusalem – contrary to existing US policy. The leading Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz commented on his appointment that the designated Ambassador “makes Benjamin Netanyahu seem like a left-wing defeatist”. Netanyahu’s coalition government is seen as the most right-wing in Israel`s history.

The Israeli Prime Minister and his Republican allies in the US Senate and House severely condemned Obama administration for abstain and accused him of being unfriendly to Israel. The Secretary of State, John Kerry responded, “They fail to recognise that this friend, the United States of America, that has done more to support Israel than any other country, this friend that has blocked countless efforts to delegitimise Israel, cannot be true to our own values – or even the stated democratic values of Israel – and we cannot properly defend and protect Israel if we allow a viable two-state solution to be destroyed before our own eyes”.

He went on to say. “And that’s the bottom line: the vote in the United Nations was about preserving the two-state solution. That’s what we were standing up for: Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state, living side by side in peace and security with its neighbours. That’s what we are trying to preserve for our sake and for theirs”.

Tracing the conflict back in history, it was agreed in the Oslo Accord of 1993, signed between the two parties, that the “Land for Peace” principle would be applied, meaning that Israel would help to establish a sovereign state for the Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, while the other party would give grantees for the security of Israel. Thereafter, the US owned this agreement and wowed to assistant in any final solution to the conflict. Despite of that historic breakthrough, Israeli aggression continued, which became a part of Israeli policy after the hardline Likud party took over in 1996, under the leadership of Benjamin Netanyah. Since then the Israeli war machine has unleashed a reign of terror on the hapless Palestinians. The onslaught of July 2014 was the worst, and lasted unabated for 50 days in the impoverished and overpopulated Gaza strip. The Israeli war machine targeted innocent civilians, including women, children and disabled. The most effected were the babies and small children. The causality list pronounced more than 2,100 Palestinians dead, including 500 children, while 11,000 were seriously wounded.

By expanding its occupation in the West Bank through a process of land-grabs and demolition of Palestinian houses in thousands, the Jewish fundamentalists have left no space for a future Palestinian State. To add, it built a 708-kilometer wall that cut through Palestinian lands and residents, isolating the Palestinian populated villages. The wall with 522 check posts and barriers separate Israeli settlements from Palestinian villages, establishing the worst kind of apartheid witnessed since in South Africa. Since 1967, the Israeli government has destroyed over 25,000 Palestinian homes in Gaza and the West Bank, displacing 160,000 Palestinian in their own land and that of their ancestors, which goes back to centuries. They have uprooted 800,000 olive trees, while 1.3 million European Jews have been settled, in the Palestinian land.

The two-state solution, as agreed in the Oslo Accord of 1993 and endorsed by various regimes including Israel and its Western friends like the US, is dead. Palestinians are squeezed into tiny villages, scattered and cut off from each other – the map of West Bank now resembles mere dots, surrounded on all sides by Israeli settlements and their outposts. The occupation is not restricted to adjacent areas of Israel; rather it goes as far as the Jordanian border. The West Bank is now virtually a colony of the occupier. By any definition Israel has become a rogue state, which inflicts untold cruelty on the imprisoned or colonised Palestinian people.

In short, the Jewish state is actually an apartheid settler-colonial state whose existence is built on the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians since 1948 and the annexation of the land for the exclusive settlement of European Jews. The state of Israel is an anachronism. As the world was decolonising and old empires were shedding their colonies, a new colony with the name of Israel arose. Former US President Jimmy Carter, in his 2006 book “Palestine: Peace not Apartheid” highlighted the obstacles to peace in the region. He argued that Israel’s continued control and colonisation of Palestinian land has been the primary obstacle to a comprehensive peace agreement in the Middle East. President Carter wrote in 2006 that, “For 39 years, Israel has occupied Palestinian land, and has confiscated and colonized hundreds of choice sites; Often excluded from their former homes, land, and places of worship, protesting Palestinians have been severely dominated and oppressed. There is forced segregation between Israeli settlers and Palestine’s citizens, with a complex pass system required for Arabs to traverse Israel’s multiple checkpoints”.

Given these conditions, only one reasonable option is left – to have one state, with Jews and Palestinians living side by side, with equal rights. In such a scenario, as US Sectary of State, John Kerry said, in his lengthy policy speech of December 28, that Israeli state would have to lose its Jewish identity given that the Palestinians outnumber them demographically. Alternatively - a strict, apartheid dictatorial Zionist regime, unacceptable in international law and to the world community. Unless this changes, Israel’s orthodox leadership is calling for its own destruction.