Posted on May 09, 2019 in Speeches and Appearances

James Zogby was invited by the nations of Indonesia, Kuwait and South Africa to participate in the United Nations Security Council Arria-Formula Meeting they convened. Titled, “Israeli-Settlements and Settlers: Core of the occupation, protection crisis and obstruction of peace,” the meeting was held at 3.00 p.m. yesterday, May 9, 2019. 

The meeting was chaired by Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and sought to, "allow for discussions on international responsibilities to uphold the law and internationally agreed norms and principles, including in regards to the prohibitions on the acquisition of territory by force; the right of peoples to self-determination and the protection of civilians in situations of armed conflict; and will examine measures of accountability in a case of continued violations."

Full video of the meeting is available here; his remarks begin at 1:11:55.

The Foreign Minister of the Observer State of Palestine, Riyad Malki was also in attendance.

In his remarks to the UNSC, Zogby focused on the role of U.S. foreign policy in perpetuating and extending the challenges to peace posed by illegal settlements. He described the "steady erosion" of US policy on Israeli settlements as regressing from “rejection to acceptance," and "from passive acquiescence to, now, legitimization," saying that the US first called them "illegal," then an "obstacle to peace," and eventually an "obstacle to negotiations," and went from opposing "all settlements" to opposing "new settlements." 

He described the US as complicit in Israeli settlement activity because of the unwillingness of policy makers to hold Israeli leaders to account for its behavior in the Palestinian territories, saying, "A new strategy is needed, not just to challenge Israel, but to challenge the impunity the US has bestowed on Israel that makes it unaccountable."