Craig Mokhiber Resigns from the UN, Calls Two-State Solution an ‘Open Joke’

Craig Mokhiber (far left) at a 2009 UN Treaty event called “Towards Universal Participation and Implementation.” UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz
Craig Mokhiber (far left) at a 2009 UN Treaty event called “Towards Universal Participation and Implementation.” UN Photo/Devra Berkowitz

Craig Mokhiber, director of the NY office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) resigned on October 28. He did so because, in his words, “the mantra of the ‘two-state solution’ has become an open joke in the corridors of the UN, both for its utter impossibility in fact, and for its total failure to account for the inalienable human rights of the Palestinian people.”

Mokhiber said in his letter of resignation addressed to Volker Turk, High Commissioner for the OHCHR, “Decades of distraction by the illusory and largely disingenuous promises of Oslo have diverted the Organization [UN] Charter itself… The so-called ‘Quartet’ has become nothing more than a fig leaf for inaction and for subservience to a brutal status quo.. a transparent slight-of-hand, designed to reinforce the power of Israel over the rights of the occupied and dispossessed Palestinians.” 

By Quartet, Mokhiber is referring to the 2003 agreement between the United States, European Union, Russia and the United Nations to affirm a two-State solution. Following this, in 2005, UN history reads: “Israel withdrew its settlers and troops from Gaza while retaining control over its borders, seashore and airspace. Following Palestinian legislative elections of 2006, the Quartet conditioned assistance to the PA on its commitment to nonviolence, recognition of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements.”

Mokhiber calls this a sham. 

“We must stop the pretense that this is simply a conflict over land or religion between two warring parties and admit the reality of the situation in which a disproportionately powerful state is colonizing, persecuting, and dispossessing an indigenous population on the basis of their ethnicity,” the former UN director also states in his resignation letter.

In a November 1 interview with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! Craig Mokhiber said “What has happened in the context of the so-called Oslo process, the two-state solution, the UN  Quartet, is that they have acted effectively as a smokescreen, behind which we have seen further and worsening dispossession of Palestinians.”

“You know, it’s an open secret inside the halls of the United Nations that the so-called two-state solution is effectively impossible now — there’s nothing left for a sustainable state for the Palestinian people.”

Mokhiber lived in Gaza and witnessed first hand the apartheid ways that Israel controlled the Palestinians. He also cited during the interview the anniversary of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, commemorated this year, which also falls on the defamed Nakba Massacre which took place 75 years ago and shares the anniversary of the start of South African Apartheid – but is unknown outside of Palestinian circles. It’s hardly mentioned or acknowledged.

Mokhiber proposes 10 solutions to the Palestinian issue, but nevertheless stated his communication with the UN is a “final appeal,” due to the “unconstrained flow of Israel lobbyists to the offices of UN leaders, where they advocate for continued war, persecution, [and] apartheid.”

In his first solution he states the UN must abandon the “subjugation of international law to the dictates of presumed political expediency. Our positions must be unapologetically based on international human rights and international law.” 

He also called for a return to the single state initiated by Khalifa Omar (may the Almighty be pleased with him) in the middle ages, one “with equal rights for Christians, Muslims, and Jews, and, therefore,the dismantling of the deeply racist, settler-colonial project and an end to apartheid across the land.”

The former UN diplomat also praised the “Christian and Muslim organizations, and progressive Jewish voices saying “not in our name”, are all leading the way. All we [at the UN] have to do is to follow them.”

Haamidah Khanum and Noora Ahmad