Buttu, Erakat, Dajani, Rabbani and Abunimah respond to UN speeches

Israel/Palestine
on 49 Comments

Following yesterday’s speeches by Mahmoud Abbas and Benjamin Netanyahu before the United Nations General Assembly, the Institute for Middle East Understanding sent out a sheet of expert quotes responding. Here are the IMEU’s excerpts:

Diana Buttu, former PLO legal advisor and negotiator, current Fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government:

“Netanyahu went on at length about the needs of the Jewish state, but made no mention of the principal of equality, either for Palestinians living under Israeli military rule in the occupied territories or those living as second-class citizens in Israel itself. He omitted any reference to Muslim and Christian Palestinians suffering from systematic discrimination in Israel, a state which grants superior rights to Jews based solely on their religion. 

“If Netanyahu was truly serious about extending his hand to Palestinians in a gesture of peace, he would have said that he sees them as equals. Instead, he put condition after condition on any future Palestinian state, and showed that he intends to continue dictating to Palestinians, rather than negotiating with them in good faith.” 

Mouin Rabbani, Visiting Senior Fellow at the Institute for Palestine Studies:

“Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s speech demonstrated precisely why Palestinians need to internationalize their cause and definitively break away from bilateral negotiations under unilateral American custodianship.

“Consider Netanyahu’s call for negotiations without pre-conditions. In practice this means not a single right accorded to the Palestinian people by the United Nations and international law forms a relevant basis for the resolution of the conflict. At the same time Israel – several decades after negotiations have commenced – is free to raise entirely new and outrageous demands, in this case recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, as pre-requisites for agreement. If the only thing he has to offer in 2011 is negotiations without preconditions, we can reasonably assume his successor will be making a similar plea in 3050.” 

Omar Dajani, Professor of law at the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law, former member of the PLO’s Negotiations Support Unit:

“In his speech before the General Assembly, President Abbas poignantly described the road that the Palestinian people have traveled so far, but he missed an opportunity to chart the road ahead. Three important strategic questions were left unaddressed.

“First, although he advised the General Assembly that Palestinians would be turning to the Security Council for admission to the UN, a step sure to face a US veto, he had nothing to say about what options could and should be pursued within the GA itself — or to explain how the UN bid, in general, could serve the interests of the Palestinian people. Second, while he paid lip service to the burgeoning non-violent resistance movement in Palestine, he has done little to create synergy between those efforts and the diplomatic showdown in New York. One would have expected him to use the podium he was offered today to speak not only to the Assembly, but also to his people. And third, by blandly reiterating the PLO’s commitment to agreements it has signed with Israel (even after pointing out that Israel has taken a range of unilateral actions in breach of those agreements), Abbas seemed to foreclose any steps on the ground to exercise the sovereignty he is claiming for Palestine.” 

Noura Erakat, human rights attorney and writer, adjunct professor of international human rights law in the Middle East at Georgetown University, and the Legal Advocacy Coordinator for the Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Refugee and Residency Rights:

“For the past two decades, bilateral negotiations have quarantined a matter of broad international concern and consequence. Under the veneer of a peace process, Israel has aggravated its role as an Occupying Power and continued its colonial settlement expansion and its forced population transfer of Palestinian civilians in its efforts to establish ever-changing facts on the ground, which bilateral negotiations have euphemistically referred to as pragmatic realities. 

“Rather than challenge those policies on behalf of the Palestinians it purports to represent, for the past twenty years the Palestinian leadership has succumbed to US pressure and muted its public protest and international advocacy against Israeli policies in exchange for the promise of a better negotiation position.” 

Ali Abunimah, analyst, media commentator, co-founder of the Electronic Intifada, and author of One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse:

“Before Abbas mounted the UN podium, he had already lost his gamble. According to his officials, the purpose of the UN bid was to break the status quo of the failed US-led peace process, and to re-set the terms for negotiations. In particular Abbas wanted the US and other powers to push for an Israeli settlement freeze and to declare the sanctity of the 1967 borders as the basis for a two-state solution. But in his speech to the UN, US President Barack Obama did neither. He gave not the speech of a president concerned about peace, but the speech of a candidate running for re-election amid strident — and false — Republican claims that he is not “pro-Israel” enough. 

“Whatever the fate of the Abbas’ application for UN membership for Palestine, the fact remains that the Palestinian Authority remains beholden to the Oslo process that created it and which have turned it into the enforcement arm of Israel’s occupation. On the ground, Palestinians remain in the grip of a brutal Israeli occupation and colonization project, and millions more Palestinians remain in involuntary exile.”

About Philip Weiss

Philip Weiss is Founder and Co-Editor of Mondoweiss.net.

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49 Responses

  1. seafoid
    September 24, 2011, 6:07 pm

    I think it all depends on how people see Israel. Is it the monolithic military power that has terrorised the region for over 60 years? Or is it Lehman Brothers ?

  2. DICKERSON3870
    September 24, 2011, 6:19 pm

    It sounds as though Adam Klugman is going to have a very good program this (Saturday) evening. The second hour (7:00-8:00 PM EDST) of his program will deal with how Jews and Muslims got along with each other in the Middle East before the creation of Israel.
    LISTEN TO “MAD AS HELL IN AMERICA” WITH ADAM KLUGMAN ON AM 620 KPOJ (PORTLAND, OR), SATURDAYS FROM 3:00-6:00 PM PDST [6:00-9:00 PM EDST]
    MAD AS HELL IN AMERICA (archived podcasts) – link to madashellinamerica.com
    P.S. Klugman’s program also has some excellent ‘bumper music’.

  3. atime forpeace
    September 24, 2011, 6:27 pm

    It’s interesting that Mr Netanyahu informs us that he went to see his Rebbe, i gather that you go see a holy man for advise or to visit him/her as a friend.

    I do not remember but did Mr Ahmadinejad ever mention visiting a holy man, i guess he didn’t have to as he must have quoted from his holy book and at least said blessings of some type several times.

    The world can hardly stand so much holiness, our military is pretty holy also from all the quotes and symbolism that surrounds them.

    Definitely, the world can not contain itself with so much holiness.

    Peace is not just a five letter word.

  4. dimadok
    September 24, 2011, 7:15 pm

    So much words and no concreteness. While these “experts” keep on ranting about Abbas, Israel, actual people on both sides keep on with their lives. The arguments here are pointing to the opposite directions- one state, Oslo is bad or wait, Oslo is good…
    The lack of clear cut messages and fear of facing the reality, will keep Palestinians away from any form of statehood. Their economics are on the life support from international donors and Israel, Hamas-ruled Gaza is beyond PA reach and yet they make claims and dream of returning to 1948 situation.
    Wake up, and look upon your years of hate and prejudice towards the Israelis, stop waving some fictional ideas and start building your society.
    Reject the violence and say those words: “Israel is our neighbor and it has a Jewish majority, hence it is a Jewish state”.

    • annie
      September 24, 2011, 7:36 pm

      shorter dimadok: surrender already!

      • dimadok
        September 24, 2011, 11:16 pm

        Compromise. Live and improve your livelihoods, instead of blaming the “other” for everything.

      • annie
        September 24, 2011, 11:44 pm

        instead of blaming the “other”

        did you read this?.

      • eljay
        September 24, 2011, 11:45 pm

        >> Compromise. Live and improve your livelihoods, instead of blaming the “other” for everything.

        Yes, that’s right: C’mon, Israel, compromise. Live and improve your livelihoods, instead of blaming the “other” for everything. Wake up, and look upon your years of hate and prejudice towards the Palestinians … Reject the violence …

        >> “Israel is our neighbor and it has a Jewish majority, hence it is a Jewish state”.

        No. “Israel is our neighbour and we accept it as the secular, democratic and egalitarian nation-state of all Israelis.”

        And Israel, in turn, can say “Palestine is our neighbour and we accept it as the secular, democratic and egalitarian nation-state of all Palestinians.”

      • mig
        September 25, 2011, 3:36 am

        dimadok :

        “Compromise. Live and improve your livelihoods, instead of blaming the “other” for everything.”

        ++++ Do palestinians have total control to their import and export dima ? No, its controlled by Israel. Being as a scientist as you claim you are, you have a very special tunnel vision.

    • RoHa
      September 24, 2011, 7:46 pm

      “Israel is our neighbor and it has a Jewish majority, hence it is a Jewish state”.

      If “Jewish State” means “majority are Jews” and nothing more, then I don’t think there would be any objection.

      But when “Jewish State” means a state run by Jews, for Jews, and wherein all others have to face legal and social dsicrimination as second-class citizens, then it would be morally wrong for anyone to make such a recognition.

      When “Jewish State” means that it was morally justifiable for the Zionists to take the land away from the Palestinians, or to continue to do so, or both, no decent person could accept it.

    • ish
      September 24, 2011, 7:49 pm

      So then you’re okay declaring the US a Christian state?

      • Antidote
        September 25, 2011, 12:55 am

        As long as “Obama is a Muslim!” does not produce any more than shrugs and ‘so what?’ across the country, I’d say the US is a Judeo-Christian state, whatever you declare it.

    • William Burns
      September 24, 2011, 8:41 pm

      Israel is not Palestine’s neighbor, Israel is Palestine’s occupier. This is a basic point, and if you don’t get it you really shouldn’t be opining on the subject.

      • tree
        September 24, 2011, 10:48 pm

        Israel is not Palestine’s neighbor, Israel is Palestine’s occupier.

        Exactly.That’s why statements like “Wake up, and look upon your years of hate and prejudice towards the Israelis, stop waving some fictional ideas and start building your society,” are so utterly clueless.

        Israel has done everything as an occupier to hobble and deconstruct Palestinian society and yet its all the Palestinians fault for not maintaining their society to Israel’s or the US’s supposed standards.

        Its like a 300 pound man sitting on your chest exhorting you to both accept his presence over your lungs and at the same time get the hell up and stop complaining about how you can’t breathe, because, frankly, your complaints are really starting to bother him. And the fact that you can’t get up is not his fault as far as he’s concerned, its just a personal failing of yours. Clueless and heartless.

    • GalenSword
      September 24, 2011, 9:30 pm

      I am fairly certain that at least half of Israel’s GDP is subsidized by the USA.

    • Cliff
      September 25, 2011, 4:35 am

      Dimadok,

      Get off of Palestinian land. Dismantle all the illegal Jewish colonies. Give back all the stolen resources and water. Pay reparations to the Palestinians for 45 years of abuse, subjugation and colonialism and accept that a Jewish majority is only obtained through suffering of ‘the Other’ who has as much if not MORE right to that land than you and other Jews who displaced them.

    • RobertB
      September 25, 2011, 10:04 am

      Hey Dima… your pale hasbara is too transparent!

      Really… Look who is talking about violence!

      Your beloved Apartheid Israel’s non-stop violence/murder against Palestinians/Lebanese/Arabs/Moslems/Christians has reached enormous horrific numbers.

      Your nuclear powered racist Israel has used & continues to use the most sophisticated American made weapons to attack & kill large numbers of unarmed civilian population(s).

      When Israel stops its 44 year old brutal occupation of the Palestinians & pulls back to its pre-June 1967 borders … stops its horrific violence in the region, then serious & peaceful solutions can result for all people in Palestine/Israel.

  5. Antidote
    September 24, 2011, 7:18 pm

    Yes, that’s all true. Abbas, however, wasn’t totally balanced either.

    Barak Ravid in today’s Haaretz:

    “Abbas’ speech was unrelenting. A few of the things he said would even make Yossi Beilin or Shimon Peres cringe. When he talked about Palestine as a land holy to several religions, he mentioned Muslims and Christians, but failed to mention the Jews.”

    Under the belt. If the UN gives a standing ovation to this, Obama has no choice but to throw his weight on the Israeli side

    • William Burns
      September 24, 2011, 8:41 pm

      That’s the best you can do?

      • Antidote
        September 24, 2011, 10:25 pm

        I think it’s the best, or worst (depending on your perspective), Abbas could have done to ‘delegitimize’ Israel. Don’t you think? It sure hits home. The Jewish homeland. There is a difference between ‘Jewish homeland’ and ‘Jewish state’. I’d be the first to admit that Netanyahu’s signet ring business is bizarre beyond belief, nor do I buy into the allegedly unquestionable connection between the ancient Hebrews and modern Jews, no matter how you define ‘Jewish’. However, to say that Palestine is not ‘holy’ to the Jews is off the mark. Even Netanyahu (UN speech) pleaded peace on the grounds that Jews and Muslims should live in peace together on their mutual ancestral land. I don’t think he mentioned the Christians, though. What’s wrong with either one of them: they can’t bring themselves to mention more than two Abrahamic religions? Or is Netanyahu tired of the Christian Zionists and their BS?

        Anyway, Abbas not including Jews can only be understood by the other side as not being wanted, or not being considered legitimate, in the ‘Holy Land’. That’s not peacemaking. That’s putting wind under Netanyahu’s sails, no matter how unpopular he is presently: “Better a bad press than a good eulogy”

      • tree
        September 25, 2011, 1:06 am

        I come before you today from the Holy Land, the land of Palestine, the land of divine messages, ascension of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the birthplace of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him), to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people in the homeland and in the the Diaspora, to say, after 63 years of suffering of the ongoing Nakba: Enough. It is time for the Palestinian people to gain their freedom and independence.

        You find that paragraph offensive? Abbas is speaking for the Palestinian people, who are Muslim and Christian. Why is it necessary for him to include Jews in this paragraph? Jews are not oppressed in Israel. They have their freedom, including the undeserved “freedom” to make Palestinians’ lives miserable. There will always be Israelis ready to be offended by whatever Palestinians say. I see no reason to join them in their delusions in this instance.

      • tree
        September 25, 2011, 1:22 am

        ….the land of divine messages…

        On second thought, this phrase must refer to Judaism. It is not named as such by Abbas but then neither is Christianity or Islam. Again, the Israelis make it a pastime out of finding things that Palestinians say or do to be offended by. For example, you left out Ravid’s next line: ” He spoke of Israel’s ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in East Jerusalem and said that the IDF and settlers abuse farmers and sick people on their way to the hospital.” Too many Israelis can’t handle the truth on this subject.

      • GalenSword
        September 25, 2011, 3:22 am

        Reuse of gentilics or demonyms is hardly unusual in the European context, and Patrick J. Geary summarizes practice in The Myth of Nations, The Medieval Origins of Europe, pp. 118-119. His analysis applies at least as much to the term Jew (יְהוּדִי) as it applies to any European ethnic name.

        Conclusion: Old Names and New Peoples

        The fourth and fifth centuries saw fundamental changes in the European social and political fabric. In the process, great confederations like those of the Goths disappeared, to re-emerge transformed into kingdoms in Italy and Gaul. Others like the Hunnic Empire or the Vandal kingdom seemed to spring from nowhere, only to vanish utterly in a few generations. Still other, previously obscure peoples, such as the Angles and the Franks, emerged to create enduring polities. But whether enduring or ephemeral, the social realities behind these ethnic names underwent rapid and radical transformation in every case. Whatever a Goth was in the third-century kingdom of Cniva, the reality of a Goth in sixthcentury Spain was far different, in language, religion, political and social organization, even ancestry. The Franks defeated by Emperor Julian in the fourth century and those who followed Clovis into battle in the sixth century were likewise almost immeasurably distant from each other in every possible way. The same was true of the Romans, whose transformation was no less dramatic in the same period. With the constant shifting of allegiances, intermarriages, transformations, and appropriations, it appears that all that remained constant were names, and these were vessels that could hold different contents at different times.

        Names were renewable resources; they held the potential to convince people of continuity, even if radical discontinuity was the lived reality. Old names, whether of ancient peoples like the Goths or Suebi or of illustrious families such as the Amals, could be reclaimed, applied to new circumstances, and used as rallying cries for new powers. Alternatively, names of small, relatively unimportant groups might be expanded with enormous power. The Franks were the most significant of these. In the third century, they were among the least significant of Rome’s enemies. By the sixth century, the name Frank had eclipsed not only that of Goth, Vandal, and Sueb, but of Roman itself in much of the West.

        Probably no greater fraud has ever been perpetrated in the history of the human race than Zionism.

        It has corrupted many American Christians, who now believe that the theft of Palestine from the native population by racist genocidal Eastern Europeans represents a fulfillment of eschatological prophesy even though a more reasonable interpretation would equate the exiled Palestinians, who are the descendants of the ancient Judean population, with the population that needs to return with the coming of the Messiah.

      • seafoid
        September 25, 2011, 6:57 am

        “to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people in the homeland ”

        And its a homeland that they have continually used, not an absentee homeland that was there in the attic in Lodz

      • seafoid
        September 25, 2011, 7:37 am

        The Geary book is fantastic. There is no such thing as a racially pure nation. Zionism such a crock of sh*t.

        Bibi on Friday said every family in Israel lost a family member in the Shoah. I’m sure that came as a surprise to the Indian, Libyan, Iraqi, Moroccan etc Mizrahi families.

      • eljay
        September 25, 2011, 8:40 am

        >> Abbas is speaking for the Palestinian people, who are Muslim and Christian.

        And Jews: A “Palestinian” can mean a person who is born in the geographical area known prior to 1918 as “Palestine”, or a former citizen of the British Mandate territory called Palestine, or an institution related to either of these. Using this definition, both Palestinian Arabs and Palestinian Jews were called “Palestinians”.

        I agree with Antidote. Abbas’ omission of Jews from his discussion of Palestine is odd. Was it intended as a slap in the face to Israel, or was it perhaps an attempt to appease his “home audience”? Dunno. But since Jews were part of Palestine prior to 1948 – as per the Wiki article and numerous posts on this site – there’s no reason they shouldn’t be part of a new Palestine.

      • Antidote
        September 25, 2011, 9:31 am

        tree

        no I don’t find that paragraph ‘offensive’. I wasn’t talking about my perspective, but the Israeli perspective clashing with Abbas, as pointed out by Ravid. And what do you mean I left out “Ravid’s next line”? I left out the entire article except for the passage I quoted. “Divine messages” does not specifically address Judaism, it’s neither here nor there. I wasn’t talking about Palestinians and Israelis but about how their surely diverse views were represented by their leaders.

        To restate my point clearly: Abbas and Netanyahu delegitimized each other, denying the opponent’s main claim to statehood: Abbas by not specifically recognizing a special connection between Jews, Judaism and Palestine, by mentioning Muhammad and Christ, but no Jewish prophet – Netanyahu by denying that the Palestinian claim is backed by international law. Even if the UN would recognize a Palestinian state, Netanyahu doesn’t recognize the UN:

        “Well, this is an unfortunate part of the U.N. institution. It’s the — the theater of the absurd. It doesn’t only cast Israel as the villain; it often casts real villains in leading roles: Gadhafi’s Libya chaired the U.N. Commission on Human Rights; Saddam’s Iraq headed the U.N. Committee on Disarmament.

        You might say: That’s the past. Well, here’s what’s happening now — right now, today. Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon now presides over the U.N. Security Council. This means, in effect, that a terror organization presides over the body entrusted with guaranteeing the world’s security.

        So here in the U.N., automatic majorities can decide anything. They can decide that the sun sets in the west or rises in the west. I think the first has already been pre-ordained. But they can also decide — they have decided that the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Judaism’s holiest place, is occupied Palestinian territory.”

        Well, that’s not the whole story either, obviously.

      • tokyobk
        September 25, 2011, 10:20 am

        That may have been true but more Israelis now are the descendants of forced Jewish refugees from Arab lands than Eastern Europeans.

      • tokyobk
        September 25, 2011, 10:32 am

        Its not so much offensive as indicative and, as stated, feeds into the perception that this is a Holy war.

      • tokyobk
        September 25, 2011, 10:34 am

        The attachment to Israel by Jews is not racial and zionists or antizionists claiming it such are both wrong.

      • Chaos4700
        September 25, 2011, 10:49 am

        Most Jews in the area clearly don’t identify as Palestinian. Why should Abbas contradict them? They never emigrated to Palestine with any intent on doing anything other than waging an insurgency and an ethnic cleansing of the people already there.

      • AhVee
        September 25, 2011, 10:50 am

        “It has corrupted many American Christians, who now believe that the theft of Palestine from the native population by racist genocidal Eastern Europeans represents a fulfillment of eschatological prophesy even though a more reasonable interpretation would equate the exiled Palestinians, who are the descendants of the ancient Judean population, with the population that needs to return with the coming of the Messiah.”

        Beautiful words, I subscribe to that view. Being religious, that, among other things, makes the Palestinians be especially close to my heart. In general, it’s not about any descendants anymore though, is it. It’s not even about religious belief anymore, it’s about labels. Jew? – Approved. Gentile? – Not Approved. That’s what our legacy has deteriorated into. It’s neither morally justifiable nor is it scriptural, I have no idea just what the hell it is, besides being sinful.

      • GalenSword
        September 25, 2011, 10:52 am

        Since the immigration of former Soviets in 1991 and after, the Zionist interloper population of Eastern European and former Soviet origin has definitely outnumbered the Zionist interloper population of Arabic or Oriental origin in Stolen and Occupied Palestine.

      • GalenSword
        September 25, 2011, 10:55 am

        Since the 10th century at least (probably earlier) Jerusalem has had much more importance for Jews as a spiritual concept than as a physical place.

        Vilna was the Jerusalem of Lithuania. Thessalonika was la chica Yerushalayim. Amsterdam was the Jerusalem of the North. While for Palestinians there is only one Jerusalem, it probably would not be hard to come up with 50-100 cities that Jews called Jerusalem over the last millennium.

        I could write a nice coffee table book with several interesting chapters on some of the most picturesque of these “Jerusalems.”

        The actual physical Jerusalem became, especially for ethnic Ashkenazim, sort of a dumping ground for trouble-makers or eccentrics and not a place of tremendous emotional significance or attachment. A young woman, the Virgin of Ludmir, is getting uppity and trying to play the role of a Tzaddik or Rebbe. The community sends her to Jerusalem in Palestine, and for the most part no one hears of her again.

      • Antidote
        September 25, 2011, 11:04 am

        I agree, tokyobk. Last thing we need. Best thing to maintain the status quo via political theatre at the UN

      • AhVee
        September 25, 2011, 11:51 am

        Of course it’s not racial. A lot of the Jewish attachment to Israel results from the idea that, should there ever be a tragedy that befalls the Jewish people again, Israel is a ‘safe harbour’ they can move to and count on to defend them. Yet in a hypothetical worst case scenario, safety would be an illusion either way. In Israel, and outside of it, and it’s likely counter-productive as a population to pool into one place when running from something, especially with long-distance weapons the way they are nowadays, that would make things a lot easier for the opponent, no?

        But really, it’s more likely to get decapitated by the blades of a helicopter when standing up on a Wednesday morning after taking a dump than that hypothetical situation ever coming into being in such a way that makes Israel a valuable thing to have. In fact, Israel has already done enough to be counter-productive to its own stability by committing the atrocities that it has. The whole thing’s little more than an irrational solution to an irrational fear.

        Yet that’s something people put trust in and that keeps on going as long as people trust in it, never mind how naive and utopian it is. The moment people get real and reject this idea is likely the moment Israel risks losing a vast amount of its international Jewish support.

      • john h
        September 25, 2011, 3:19 pm

        >> “Probably no greater fraud has ever been perpetrated in the history of the human race than Zionism. It’s neither morally justifiable nor is it scriptural, I have no idea just what the hell it is, besides being sinful.” <<

        Precisely. End of story.

        "It has corrupted many American Christians".

        Yes, and not just American ones. Christian Zionism is the biggest con job in the church's history. The New Testament is diametrically opposed to it morally, practically, spiritually, and prophetically.

    • straightline
      September 24, 2011, 9:14 pm

      Sounds like good hasbaric logic to me Antidote. Keep it up.

      • Antidote
        September 24, 2011, 10:29 pm

        you know straightline: the hasbarist charge offends me no more than the anti-semite accusation. Water off a duck. Does everyone here have to toe a party-line and be consistently and uncritically on the Jewish or Palestinian side? I am what I am. And shouting ‘hasbara’ or ‘anti-semite’ is not an argument

      • straightline
        September 25, 2011, 4:05 am

        Methinks my lady doth protest too much. And I wasn’t shouting. But your logic was a little faulty – whether or not it was hasbaric.

      • Antidote
        September 25, 2011, 9:33 am

        I still don’t get what your objection was and where my logic was faulty. Sorry

    • Koshiro
      September 25, 2011, 4:16 am

      When he talked about Palestine as a land holy to several religions, he mentioned Muslims and Christians, but failed to mention the Jews.

      Except that he never used a phrase like “holy to several religions”, nor anything similar. He just mentioned Jesus Christ’s birth and Mohammed’s ascension. The first mythical event is associated with Betlehem, the second with the Al-Aqsa mosque. Both are, of course, located outside Israel’s borders and inside the borders of what Abbas (not to mention 100+ countries) consider the Palestinian state.

      Of course, you did not know this – because you were to lazy to read the transcript yourself rather than relying on Ravid’s disingenuous interpretation of it.

      • Antidote
        September 25, 2011, 9:38 am

        you are clasping at straws, Koshiro. You are also trying to sell me the idea that everyone would come up with the same interpretation as long as they read the same text. In other words: each text has only one valid interpretation. That’s what religious fundamentalists think, not I

        Ravid’s interpretation is not ‘disingeneous’, it’s at least as valid as yours or tree’s (which are quite different).

    • ddi
      September 25, 2011, 10:59 am

      “Under the belt. If the UN gives a standing ovation to this, Obama has no choice but to throw his weight on the Israeli side”

      No matter what kind of speach Abbas would’ve made, Obamas stance was predetermined.

  6. annie
    September 25, 2011, 12:53 am

    here is the link to Expert Reactions to Abbas & Netanyahu Speeches at UNGA (September 2011) .

    i really wanted to hear more of what erekat had to say because there was an incompleteness about it. here is the remainder of her statement:

    (my bold)

    “Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ speech today signaled that that policy has proven ineffective and must come to end by moving the conflict out of the dark and hushed corners of bilateralism to the stage of multilateral strategies.

    “Words of course do not amount to deeds, and it is yet to be seen whether the Palestinian leadership intends to pursue the internationalization of the Palestinian struggle beyond the proceedings of the General Assembly’s 66th Session. If so, next steps will include inclusion of the Palestinian national body in representative elections, meaningful reconciliation with Hamas, and a diplomatic marathon intended to encourage compliance with the International Court of Justice’s 2004 Advisory Opinion on the Wall and making actionable the recommendations enumerated by the Fact-Finding Mission to Gaza.”

    yes!

    • Hostage
      September 25, 2011, 2:55 am

      i really wanted to hear more of what erekat had to say because there was an incompleteness about it.

      There is a video of a Georgetown panel last night with Erekat, Rabbani, and Josh Ruebner on the UN statehood bid here (starts @13 minutes): link to blog.endtheoccupation.org

      I think she downplays the legal benefits of obtaining observer state status from the UN way too much. There is much more than an enhanced possibility that Palestine would join the ICC, become an official contracting party to the GCIV, and the other major human rights instruments.

      It’s really too late to worry about holding elections in the diaspora on the issue of 67 borders & etc. That train left the station in 1993 when the PLO recognized Israel. It take it that, like Hamas, she would like the PLO to represent Palestinian citizens of Israel within the UN, but that’s not how the GA credentials committee sees it. There won’t be a single state solution on the table at the UN so long as SC resolutions 1515, 242, and 338 remain in force. It looks like Abbas has brought the problem back to the Security Council to either obtain independence or change that particular situation.

      Erekat is the niece of PLO Executive Committee member and Negotiations Support Unit Chief, Saeb Erekat. So she may have very good reason to be so skeptical.

      • annie
        September 25, 2011, 3:36 am

        Erekat is the niece of PLO Executive Committee member and Negotiations Support Unit Chief, Saeb Erekat.

        i know, i was just now reviewing his biography after getting lost in a sea of her youtube videos. i’m a fan of hers. thanks for the link, i’ll check it out now.

  7. tokyobk
    September 25, 2011, 10:15 am

    Netanyahu does not mention the Muslims and Christians.
    Abbas talks about Palestine as the holy land of Muhammad and Jesus. period.
    Thw West nbank is Judea and Sumeria.
    The official map of the PA erases Israel.
    Which is why there will probably never be peace.

    • Chaos4700
      September 25, 2011, 10:49 am

      There’s only one side that is ACTUALLY physically erasing the other tokyobk.

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