1. UN Palestinian Statehood Vote: Even before Palestine could present their bid for Palestinian statehood, predictions that Palestinians would turn violent began to circulate. Committing acts of terror prior to a U.N. vote is self-destructive and counterproductive and is obviously not in the best interest of Palestine. This propaganda only makes sense when the realization is made that Israel is the occupying and terrorizing force in Gaza and is violently opposed to Palestine's attempt at statehood and will do anything in its power to destroy any notion of a Palestinian state.
2. The Palestinian "Spring": The words of alleged Palestinian leader and president Mahmoud Abbas are quite telling in that they coincide with the Israeli leadership in a roundabout way. Israel has stated that Palestinians will commit violence in their bid for Palestinian statehood and Abbas reinforces this notion by stating that "We have told the world that there is the Arab Spring, but the Palestinian Spring is here". Abbas appears to be an Israeli puppet who says and does what Israel wants when they want in a calculated attempt to forever destroy any legitimate attempt from Palestine to free themselves from the rule and terror of Israel.
OBAMACSI.COM: Even before Palestine could present their bid for Palestinian statehood, predictions that Palestinians would turn violent began to circulate. Committing acts of terror prior to a U.N. vote is self-destructive and counterproductive and is obviously not in the best interest of Palestine. This propaganda only makes sense when the realization is made that Israel is the occupying and terrorizing force in Gaza and is violently opposed to Palestine's attempt at statehood and will do anything in its power to destroy any notion of a Palestinian state.
Title: Officials Race To Avert Palestinian Statehood Vote Amid Warnings Of Renewed Violence
Date: September 18, 2011
Source: Fox News
Abstract: The looming showdown at the United Nations this week over Palestinian statehood could be either a "once-in-a-lifetime" opportunity to restart peace talks or the spark that inflames a new wave of violence in the region, officials said Sunday.
U.S. and European officials are scrambling to avoid or delay the vote. Senior diplomatic figures were holding a round of talks Sunday to at least minimize the fallout from the Palestinians' push to seek recognition at the U.N.
So far, Palestinians are not backing down. A top Palestinian envoy said in an interview Sunday that the delegation will move forward unless they're presented with a "viable alternative."
Absent a compromise, analysts and officials warn that the statehood push will have dire consequences for all parties. The United States would be compelled to veto the proposal in the Security Council, potentially harming U.S. credibility in the Arab world. Though the bid is unlikely to pass the Security Council, a separate affirmative vote in the General Assembly would give the Palestinians "observer" state status and access to the International Criminal Court, as a vehicle to pursue charges against Israel. The chances for renewed peace talks could further erode.
And in the near-term, the high drama has the potential to fuel "bloody" unrest along the Israeli-Palestinian border, said Dan Gillerman, former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations.
Date: September 28, 2011
Source: Press TV
Abstract: The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is reportedly processing the Palestinian Authority (PA)'s demand for the UN's recognition of Palestine as an independent member state.
Lebanon's UN ambassador, Nawaf Salam, who currently holds the UNSC's presidency, reported at the world body's headquarters in New York on Wednesday on the status of the Palestinian request, the Associated Press reported.
He said he had referred the motion to the “the committee on the admission of new members” in the absence of any proposal blocking the process.
The committee, which is made up of the UNSC's all 15 member states, will discuss the matter on Friday.
The acting PA ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour, thanked the council for unanimously agreeing to take action on the Palestinian application.
"We hope this process not to take too long before we see positive action," he told reporters.
The acting PA Chief Mahmud Abbas presented the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon with the statehood proposal on Friday during the UN General Assembly's 66th annual session in New York.
Later in the day, the council met for only two minutes to discuss the request, despite it having evolved into a focal point of the session.
The PA has reportedly secured the support of ten of the UNSC's membership with India, Nigeria, Gabon, and Bosnia most recently siding with the Palestinians on the issue.
However, the United States, among the Security Council's five permanent members, which have veto powers, has vowed to thwart the bid. France and the UK, other permanent UNSC members, had also urged Abbas not to go ahead with the initiative.
Ron Prosor, Israel's UN ambassador, also acknowledged on Wednesday that Tel Aviv was working on the side of the US to get the UNSC to either oppose the bid or abstain (Press TV, 2011).
Date: October 13, 2011
Source: Daily Star
Abstract: The Palestinians’ push for U.N. membership is not going anywhere for now, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday, arguing that they should resume peace talks with Israel quickly.
Clinton told Reuters many nations were making the case to the Palestinians that their formal letter delivered on Sept. 23 seeking U.N. membership would not give them a state and that the only viable path was direct negotiations with Israel.
“It’s not going anywhere for the foreseeable future, and even if it were, you are not going to get a state through the U.N. It’s not going to happen,” Clinton said.
“So you have done what you needed to do to signal your seriousness of purpose, now get back into negotiations where you can actually start talking about borders,” she added.
U.S.-brokered peace talks collapsed a year ago after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to extend a 10-month limited moratorium on construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has conditioned a return to negotiations on a settlement freeze and applied last month for full Palestinian membership of the United Nations, a move opposed by both the United States and Israel.
U.S. officials had hoped to head off the Palestinian request for U.N. membership. But when they realized this was not possible, they sought to provide a pathway back to peace negotiations to end the more than six-decade conflict.
The Quartet of the European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States on Sept. 23 issued a statement calling for the two sides to hold a preliminary meeting within a month that would lead to full-fledged peace negotiations.
The proposal under discussion would have the two sides gather in Jordan, which along with Egypt is one of only two Arab states to make peace with Israel, on Oct. 23.
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland earlier Tuesday said the United States was “very hopeful” that they would agree to do so but Clinton herself was more circumspect.
“I am not saying that there is going to be some immediate, positive response,” she said. “But hearing this from so many different places really makes a difference … I am hoping that by the end of the month we will see a meeting between them.”
It is unclear whether the two sides are willing to compromise over the central issue that caused talks to break down more than a year ago – Israel’s construction of Jewish settlements on West Bank land.
On Monday Netanyahu’s office said he was willing to meet Palestinian leaders to try to restart peace talks but he has given no hint of a willingness to halt settlement building.
The Palestinians’ effort to seek full U.N. membership is being considered by the U.N. Security Council, but it is bound to fail there because of a U.S. threat to veto it.
However, the Palestinians are making inroads elsewhere in the U.N. system. On Oct. 5 the board of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) voted to let its 193 member countries vote on Palestinian admission this month.
A vote in favor, which appears likely despite U.S. and Israeli opposition, would automatically trigger a cutoff in U.S. funding for the agency under U.S. law. The United States provides 22 percent of the agency’s funding.
Clinton said that she has made the case to U.S. lawmakers that the U.S. government should have the flexibility to decide whether or not to cut off such agencies if they take in the Palestinians.
“There are significant problems if this begins to cascade,” the secretary of state warned (Daily Star, 2011).
Date: October 21, 2011
Source: Fox News
Abstract: Palestine became a full member of the U.N. cultural and educational agency Monday, in a highly divisive move that the United States and other opponents say could harm renewed Mideast peace efforts.
U.S. lawmakers had threatened to withhold roughly $80 million in annual funding to UNESCO if it approved Palestinian membership. The United States provides about 22 percent of UNESCO's funding.
Huge cheers went up in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization after delegates approved the membership in a vote of 107-14 with 52 abstentions. Eighty-one votes were needed for approval in a hall with 173 UNESCO member delegations present.
"Long Live Palestine!" shouted one delegate, in French, at the unusually tense and dramatic meeting of UNESCO's General Conference.
While the vote has large symbolic meaning, the issue of borders of an eventual Palestinian state, security troubles and other disputes that have thwarted Middle East peace for decades remain unresolved.
Palestinian officials are seeking full membership in the United Nations, but that effort is still under examination and the U.S. has said it will veto it unless there is a peace deal with Israel. Given that, the Palestinians separately sought membership at Paris-based UNESCO and other U.N. bodies.
Monday's vote is definitive. The membership formally takes effect when Palestine signs UNESCO's founding charter.
The U.S. ambassador to UNESCO, David Killion, said Monday's vote will "complicate" U.S. efforts to support the agency. The United States voted against the measure.
Israel's ambassador to UNESCO, Nimrod Barkan, called the vote a tragedy.
"UNESCO deals in science, not science fiction," he said. "They forced on UNESCO a political subject out of its competence."
"They've forced a drastic cut in contributions to the organization," he said.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham
Clinton last week called UNESCO's deliberation "inexplicable," saying
discussion of Palestinian membership in international organizations
couldn't replace negotiations with Israel as a fast-track toward
Palestinian independence (Fox News, 2011).
2. THE "PALESTINIAN SPRING"
OBAMACSI.COM: The words of alleged Palestinian leader and president Mahmoud Abbas are quite telling in that they coincide with the Israei leadership in a roundabout way. Israel has stated that Palestinians will commit violence in their bid for Palestinian statehood and Abbas reinforces this notion by stating that "We have told the world that there is the Arab Spring, but the Palestinian Spring is here". Abbas appears to be an Israeli puppet who says and does what Israel wants when they want in a calculated attempt to forever destroy any legitimate attempt from Palestine to free themselves from the rule and terror of Israel.
Date: September 25, 2011
Source: USA Today
Abstract: President Mahmoud Abbas received a hero's welcome Sunday from thousands of cheering, flag-waving Palestinians, having made a bid for United Nations recognition that appears destined to fail but has allowed him to finally step out of the shadow of his iconic predecessor Yasser Arafat.
The crowd, many of them holding posters of Abbas, repeatedly chanted his name as he spoke. Abbas was uncharacteristically animated, shaking his hands, waving to the audience and charming the crowd with references to "my brothers and sisters."
Abbas call Friday for the U.N. to recognize Palestinian independence has transformed him in the eyes of many Palestinians from gray bureaucrat to champion of their rights. Though Israel and the United States oppose the move and consider it a step back for long-stalled peace talks, it could help Abbas overcome internal struggles and gain the support he will need to get a deal through one day.
In a brief address outside his headquarters in Ramallah, Abbas told the crowd that a "Palestinian Spring" had been born, similar to the mass demonstrations sweeping the region in what has become known as the Arab Spring.
"We have told the world that there is the Arab Spring, but the Palestinian Spring is here," he said. "A popular spring, a populist spring, a spring of peaceful struggle that will reach its goal."
He cautioned that the Palestinians face a "long path" ahead. "There are those who would put out obstacles … but with your presence they will fall and we will reach our end," he said.
The dynamic public appearance was a noticeable change for the 76-year-old Abbas, who was elected shortly after Arafat's death seven years ago. While Arafat was known for his trademark olive-green military garb and fiery speeches, Abbas favors suits and typically drones on in monotone.
In seeking U.N. recognition, Abbas "moved the feelings and emotions of the ordinary Palestinian," said Mahdi Abdul-Hadi, a respected Palestinian academic in Jerusalem. "He gave the people national pride after they were denied it."
Abbas' calls for nonviolence and his successes in restoring law and order to the West Bank have won him respect in Israel and abroad. But at home, he is often seen as weak and ineffectual in his dealings with Israel and the rival Hamas movement, which seized control of the Gaza Strip from his forces in 2007.
Abdul-Hadi said that at the end of a long career, Abbas is thinking about his legacy and wants to be remembered as the man who led his people to independence. He said it was no accident that on Sunday, Abbas delivered his speech outside the memorial where Arafat is buried.
Abbas has asked the U.N. Security Council to recognize an independent Palestine in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza Strip — areas captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war. Some 500,000 Jewish settlers now live in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005.
Abbas is turning to the United Nations in frustration after nearly two decades of unsuccessful peace efforts that were derailed at various times by violence, indecision and intransigence. Abbas says he will return to the negotiating table only if Israel halts settlement construction and accepts the pre-1967 lines as the basis for talks.
Israel and the U.S. oppose the U.N. bid, saying there is no substitute for direct negotiations. But with Israel continuing to build settlements, Abbas says there is no point in talking.
It is unclear what the U.N. application will actually accomplish.
The U.S., as a member of the Security Council, has already promised to veto the request if the Palestinians can muster the nine votes needed for passage — which itself is far from certain. If that happens, the Palestinians say they will seek enhanced observer status from the General Assembly, as a "nonmember state." Passage is virtually guaranteed, but this would be largely symbolic.
The Palestinians acknowledge that any victory at the U.N. will not change the situation on the ground. But they believe an international stamp of approval of a Palestine in the 1967 lines would bolster their negotiating position in the future. The issue is likely to face weeks, perhaps months, of diplomatic wrangling.
In the meantime, the effort is likely to continue to bolster Abbas' standing at home.
Jamil Rabah, an independent West Bank pollster, said surveys consistently show Abbas to be the most trusted Palestinian leader, with 35 percent support, well ahead of his prime minister, Salam Fayyad, and the leader of the Hamas government in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh.
He thinks that Abbas' speech Friday at the U.N. will only increase that number.
"It seems his popularity is rising," he said. "The steps he is taking indicate he is brave and strong. They used to say he was an American puppet, and he is showing he is not a puppet."
Increased support could bolster Abbas in his dealings with Hamas. The sides agreed to reconcile in May, but those efforts have deadlocked. Hamas hasn't reacted publicly to Abbas' U.N. speech.
It might also enable him — if peace talks do somehow resume — to more easily rally public support to conduct peace talks that would inevitably include concessions.
Already, the U.N. gambit seems to be increasing his standing in the wider Arab world.
"I have attended all the U.N. General Assembly meetings for the past 33 years but I have never heard clapping that lasted more than or higher than that given to President Mahmoud Abbas, which means Palestine," wrote Jihad al-Khazen, a veteran columnist in the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper.
The international community, meanwhile, is continuing to search for a formula to bring Israel and the Palestinians back to negotiations.
The Quartet of Mideast mediators — the U.S., European Union, Russia and U.N. — on Friday issued a statement calling for a resumption of peace talks without preconditions and a target for a final agreement by the end of 2012.
Israel's foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, said Sunday that his government should accept the Quartet proposal. But Abbas signaled it was a nonstarter as long as it doesn't include a settlement freeze.
"We will not accept anything but … a halt settlement construction completely," he said.
Amid the impasse, both Israeli and Palestinian officials have expressed fears that the tensions could explode into violence. One Palestinian was killed in the West Bank on Friday after a clash between settlers and villagers.
On Sunday, residents in the same village, Qusra, found 400 olive trees uprooted or destroyed. They blamed residents of a nearby hardline settlement.
Farmer Ayman Odeh said the trees were laden with ripe olives — an important cash crop for the village. "Imagine how long we worked on those trees, to see them broken now," Odeh said.
Extremist settlers frequently destroy Palestinian-owned olive trees to protest what they feel is unfair treatment by the Israeli government (USA Today, 2011).