Human Rights

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West Bank Settlers Spurning UN Vote Vow Growth While Army Trains

Jonathan Ferziger, Bloomberg, September 28, 2011 Shaul Goldstein has been building West Bank settlements as a contractor and politician for 20 years. He plans to keep going no matter what Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas achieves in his bid for statehood. “I saw his speech at the United Nations and it doesn’t change anything,” said Goldstein, mayor of the cluster of settlements south of Jerusalem known as Gush Etzion. “We live here and we’re not going away.” Abbas ... cites Jewish settlement growth as the biggest reason he’s given up on peace talks with Israel. ... West

Obstructing Palestinian Statehood Begins

Washington and Israel mainly plan to subvert Palestinian statehood. Stephen Lendman, OpEdNews, September 27, 2011 On September 23 in New York, a State Department "Special Briefing" was held. An unnamed "Senior Administration Official" commented on the Quartet's Palestinian statehood proposal, saying: "As the Palestinians develop(ed) their own ideas of what was necessary in terms of (petitioning the UN), we were intensively engaged with them in providing ideas for an alternative path." That says it all! It reveals the Washington/Israeli/EU/Ban Ki-moon duplicitous strategy to subvert Palestinian statehood ... Obstructing

Abbas returns from UN bid to cheering crowds

Ethan Bronner, New York Times, September 26, 2011 Ramallah - Two days after seeking full membership for a state of Palestine in the United Nations, President Mahmoud Abbas returned to a hero's welcome here Sunday, telling supporters they were part of a "Palestinian Spring" and that he would resume peace talks only if Israel stopped work on settlements. On Friday, the United States, the United Nations, Russia and the European Union - known together as the Quartet - urged the Palestinians and the Israelis to restart talks within a month without preconditions. Since this is close to Israel's position, leaders there welcomed the plan. ... Abbas

UN statehood bid deals a death blow to the old diplomacy

Jonathan Cook, The National, September 26, 2011 Amid the applause in New York and the celebrations in Ramallah, few seem to have paused to consider where the Palestinian bid for statehood is ultimately leading. The Palestinian application, handed to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon last week, will now disappear from view - possibly for some time - while the United States and Israel try to devise a face-saving formula to kill it in the Security Council. In the process Washington will reveal its hypocrisy on the Middle East to the world, infuriate the Arab publics and ensure that Palestinians jump ship on the two-state solution. ... UN

United Nations attempts to stall Palestine statehood bid

Jean Shaoul, World Socialist Web Site, September 26, 2011 On Friday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas formally submitted an application to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon requesting the General Assembly recognise a Palestinian state. In his speech, Abbas drew attention to the death, destruction and humiliation carried out by Israel during what he described as “63 years of suffering.” “Enough. It is time for the Palestinian people to gain their freedom and independence,” Abbas said, calling for Palestinian statehood to be based upon land occupied by Israel since 1967 and with East Jerusalem as its capital. ... United

Mahmoud Abbas, the Jackie Robinson of Palestine

Robert Naiman, Truthout, September 26, 2011 On Friday, Mahmoud Abbas - backed by more than 80 percent of Palestinian public opinion in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem - formally requested full United Nations membership for Palestine. The logic of turning to the UN is straightforward: the US-sponsored "peace process" - bilateral negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians under US auspices - has failed, because a key premise of that process was that the US government could bring the Israeli government to the table for a serious negotiation that would produce real Israeli compromise necessary for a solution. That premise has turned out to be spectacularly false. ... Mahmoud

Quartet calls Israel, Palestinians back to the table

Lachlan Carmichael, AFP, September 25, 2011 United Nations - The United States and other powers called Friday for the Palestinians and Israel to resume direct peace talks within a month and commit to seeking a deal by the end of 2012. The Quartet of the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations acted after Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas formally submitted his request to the United Nations for Palestine to be admitted as a full member. The United States has vowed to veto the unilateral bid at the UN Security Council ... Quartet

The End of Oslo

Judith Butler, LRB, September 25, 2011 Among the many astonishing claims that Barack Obama made in his recent speech opposing the Palestinian bid for statehood was that ‘peace will not come through statements and resolutions.’ This is, at best, an odd thing to say for a president whose ascendancy to power itself depended on the compelling use of rhetoric. Indeed, his argument against the power of statements and resolutions at the United Nations to achieve peace was a rhetorical ploy that sought to minimise the power of rhetorical ploys. More important, it was an effort to make sure that the United States government remains the custodian and broker of any peace negotiation ... The

Prayers, taunts and weary resignation in Jerusalem

Robert Fisk, The Independent, September 24, 2011 So there I was, on the Via Dolorosa of course, chatting to a middle-aged guy in a red T-shirt and just a wisp of a beard with a prayer rug under his left arm. And I asked him ... what he thought about Barack Obama's speech. He grinned at me like he knew I had already guessed what he was going to say. "What did you expect?" he asked. ... After all, Haaretz had already referred this week to "President Barack Netanyahu" while the racist Israeli foreign minister said he would sign the speech with both hands. ... Prayers

A Disturbing and Dangerous Week at the UN

James Zogby, Huffington Post, September 24, 2011 This was a disturbing and dangerous week at the United Nations. After all the drama leading up to this session of the General Assembly, we come away with three troubling facts clearly established: the Palestinians, despite a valiant effort, are no closer to a state; the Israelis are more isolated, yet more emboldened than before; while the United States emerges from the week weaker and less trusted as a world leader. It was a week of speeches and exhausting meetings and deliberations over what to do about the Palestinian bid for statehood. In a way, it was the speeches that told the story. ... A

Abu Mazen’s Gamble

Uri Avnery, Gush Shalom, September 24, 2011 A wonderful speech. A beautiful speech. The language expressive and elegant. The arguments clear and convincing. The delivery flawless. A work of art. The art of hypocrisy. Almost every statement in the passage concerning the Israeli-Palestinian issue was a lie. A blatant lie: the speaker knew it was a lie, and so did the audience. It was Obama at his best, Obama at his worst. Being a moral person, he must have felt the urge to vomit. Being a pragmatic person, he knew that he had to do it, if he wanted to be re-elected. ... Abu

Palestine and the UN: The dead-end of the “peace process”

Bill Van Auken, World Socialist Web Site, September 24, 2011 Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas received standing ovations from the United Nations General Assembly Friday for a speech announcing his submission of a request for UN recognition of a Palestinian state. While the speech included passages detailing the death, destruction and humiliation wrought by Israeli occupation, Abbas’ audience of foreign ministers, heads of state and UN delegates was hardly unaware of the six-decade-old plight of the Palestinian people. Not a few of their governments, particularly in the Arab world, have been complicit in it. ... Palestine

Defying US, Palestine Seeks UN Recognition for Statehood

Thalif Deen, Inter Press Service, September 24, 2011 If there were any lingering doubts the Palestinians would not be able to garner the support of an overwhelming majority of member states at the United Nations, they were laid to rest when the 193-member General Assembly Friday gave a rousing and rapturous welcome to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. As delegates from the United States and Israel sat glum-faced, the cavernous General Assembly Hall reverberated to more than a dozen rounds of sustained applause, including rare standing ovations, when Abbas made a plea for a separate nation state for Palestine. ... Defying

Palestine at the United Nations

Take Action to Prevent US Veto of Palestine UN Membership. US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, September 23, 2011 Today Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to address the UN General Assembly, after which he is expected to submit an application to the Security Council for Palestine to become a full member of the UN.
 The United States may exercise its threatened veto in the Security Council to prevent Palestine from becoming a full member of the UN in upcoming days, weeks, or months.

 Although no one is sure of the timing of the Security Council vote at this point, one thing is quite clear ... Palestine

Palestinians submit statehood request to UN

President Mahmoud Abbas says time has come to end the suffering and the plight of millions of Palestinians. Al Jazeera, September 23, 2011 Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has handed over a historic request to UN chief Ban Ki-moon, asking the United Nations to admit the state of Palestine as a full member. The Palestinian leader won huge applause and a standing ovation on Friday as he entered the hall just after submitting the membership request. "I call upon the distinguished members of the Security Council to vote in favour of our full membership," Abbas told the UN General Assembly. ... Palestinians

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