By: The Guardian
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has been debating since February 5th on the tenuous Israeli/Palestine conflict which has resulted in 1,195 Israeli deaths and at least 9,128 Palestinian deaths between September and the end of 2014. The main conflict in this council as that between Venezuela and the US, whose relations are, and continue to be, fragile. The Guardian approached the delegate of Venezuela to question him on the US’s stance on the Israeli/Palestine conflict, questioning Venezuela’s stance on the US’s foreign sponsorship to Israel, which Venezuela claims has only “further escalated the situation”. The Guardian also questioned the humanitarian efforts that are being pushed for by the Security Council, as this delegate was a strong proponent of such efforts.
How has the US taken advantage of this situation to propagate Israel's power?
Delegate of Venezuela: “Well, we’ve seen in the past, with the resolution that they’re putting forward with Germany and surprisingly Russia, that their very resolution actually targets Palestinian terror groups. Now, in the past, we’ve seen Palestinian terror groups actually targeting Palestinian civilians, indoctrinating them, stating that they are the Palestinian people supporting this, when really, they want no part in the endeavour. By doing this, they're subjecting the Palestinian people to an unreasonable condemnation and frankly I don’t support it.”
How can we try to minimize the government intervening in this humanitarian effort if they are directly serving the people in need?
Delegate of Venezuela: “That’s a very good question, but frankly Venezuela takes the stance that monetary and military aid are what’s really causing this issue to propagate. Humanitarian aid is of the utmost importance, as we understand that both Israeli lives and Palestinian lives are being lost because of this; however, we need to acknowledge that humanitarian as opposed to military aid is what is going to save these lives. Stopping military aid is actually what will probably put an end to the conflict as a whole.”
You have mentioned how the US holds a complete bias toward Israel due to their foreign sponsorship, but you have also said you hold a bias toward Palestine, so how do you propose to eliminate these biases and take an impartial stance?
Delegate of Venezuela: “I frankly state that my “bias” toward Palestine has a completely different sort of power in this committee. While I support Palestine wholeheartedly, and the heroic people of Palestine, that makes no difference. I have simply one vote in this committee and that’s all I get. The United States however, routinely, and you’ve seen it, vetoed resolution after resolution that would save both Israeli and Palestinian lives as the resolution may have slightly marginalizes Israel’s power in the region. I believe for true democratic solutions to be put in place, the veto power of the P5 needs to be completely revoked.”
What will it take to restore the relationship between the US and Venezuela after its tumultuous history?
Delegate of Venezuela: “Since we were announced as a national threat to the US earlier last year, we frankly are still on a tumultuous tide, we are still the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, we still support the socialist ideals of Hugo Chavez, and it will require a full re-evaluation of the US’s foreign policy for us to really consider repairing our relationship.”
How effective do you believe the resolutions that were passed to ease the tensions between Palestine and Israel, since as you've mentioned, some of them may be biased towards aiding Israel? Especially working paper 2.1 by Russia, the US, and Germany.
Delegate of Venezuela: “To be honest, an unbiased paper has not been passed. The two papers put forward, the one by myself and Russia as well as the one proposed by Chile, have both actually been vetoed, as previously mentioned. Both, might I add, by the United States of America, please take note. We see in the future that these sorts of heavily biased papers simply can’t fly. We see that with the power of the P5 on either side, any sort of action won’t take place because of the severe foreign interest. It’s the UNSC’s duty to eliminate this foreign interest so that a solution can come to fruition.”
Based on these responses, it is clear that Venezuela and the US have not come to a compromise, and their differences may be too great to overcomSe. One idea they can agree on however, in line with the majority of the member states in the UNSC, is that humanitarian aid needs to be delivered to both Israel and Palestine, going directly through a UN body to restrict government intervention.