Palestinians head back to UN seeking non-member state status

Israel/PalestineUS Politics
on 44 Comments

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is heading back to the United Nations on September 27th to seek non member state status for Palestine through the General Assembly, although he is not pressing for a vote until after the U.S. presidential election on November 6.  There will undoubtedly be intense diplomatic pressure from both the U.S. and Israel for Palestinians to drop their bid which has strong backing from members of the General Assembly. 

The upgraded status will allow Palestinians access to both the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court.

Financial Times:

The Palestinians will restart their diplomatic campaign for an independent state next week, with an appeal to the UN General Assembly to upgrade the official Palestinian status at the global body – and to pass a resolution backing a state within 1967 borders.

…….

Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Mr Erekat suggested that the Palestinians would ultimately seek to join the International Criminal Court – a prospect that has long caused concern among Israeli policy makers.

“Yes, the occupation will continue, the settlements will continue, the crimes of the settlers may continue, but there will be consequences,” he said. “Those who don’t want to appear before an international tribunal must stop their crimes.”

Mr Erekat said the new Palestinian move would be at the centre of a speech to the General Assembly by Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, next Thursday. The actual resolution, however, would be drafted and tabled only after consultations with other countries, and could be delayed until after the US presidential election in early November.

……

A request to the General Assembly will almost certainly gain a strong majority, because the Palestinians can usually rely on the backing of most countries from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Arab world. Mr Erekat said the Palestinians were hoping to win 150-170 votes in the assembly, which currently has 193 member states.

With a majority in the assembly all but certain, the only way of stopping the upgrade would be for the US and other countries to persuade the Palestinians to shelve their effort voluntarily.

Reuters:

Looking to dissuade Abbas and head off a U.N. showdown, Israel has threatened to withhold tax revenues that are vital to the well-being of the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority.

The United States might also impose financial penalties, while some European nations are urging Palestinian caution.

“We have invested heavily in the Palestinian Authority and we do not want to see that investment jeopardised,” said a European Union diplomat, suggesting that a number of European states might vote against the Palestinian U.N. resolution.

Some 120 countries have already granted the Palestinians the rank of a sovereign state, but Erekat said they hoped to win the votes of between 150 and 170 nations at the United Nations to hammer home U.S. and Israeli isolation on the issue.

Oddly, Jodi Rudoren opens her report Year After Effort at U.N., New Aim for Palestinians claiming this move is “largely symbolic” and that “analysts” see this as an effort for to “win back the waning attention of the world.”

She later zeroes in on Abbas’s threat to abandon Oslo and cites “experts” who claim this is merely posturing. But it’s a good read as she cites Yossi Beilin, author of an open letter, End This Farce, urging Abbas to end the Oslo process who earlier referenced the present situation as a ticking time bomb.

New York Times:

While there is broad support for the United Nations bid among Palestinian leaders and on the street, there are also growing calls for a far more drastic move: abandoning the Oslo agreements that have governed Palestinian-Israeli relations for nearly two decades, or dissolving the Palestinian Authority. After two evenings of sometimes-heated meetings this week, according to participants, Mr. Abbas told the leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organization that within 10 days of his return from New York he wanted a decision either to walk away from Oslo or to hold national elections and replace him.

“Twenty years of Oslo and 20 years of a Palestinian Authority and 20 years of all the promises ended in fiasco,” said Zakaria al-Qaq, a professor of national security at Al Quds University. “They are trying to scare the Israelis, because the Israelis consider Oslo as a genius political achievement. They want to scare the Americans and the Europeans.”

……

“It’s like keeping someone in kindergarten for 19 years and then blaming the kindergarten for them not being successful,” Mr. Beilin said this week. “They need something dramatic. If they say by the 1st of December, if nothing good happens to us, if there are no serious negotiations, you don’t freeze settlements, whatever, we are going to give up on it — this will put the world in a different situation, everyone will rush to prevent it.”

……

For now, there is the General Assembly. While some in Jerusalem and Washington have condemned the effort as thwarting the peace process, Saeb Erekat, the Palestinians’ chief negotiator, described it Thursday as a last-ditch effort to “preserve the two-state solution.”

“We have never said that our rights of self-determination are subject to negotiation,” Mr. Erekat told journalists at his headquarters here in Jericho before leaving for Turkey en route to New York. “We are declaring a state on the 1967 lines with East Jerusalem as its capital, to live side by side with Israel in peace and security. I don’t see why people who stand for the two-state solution would not join us.”

About Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is Editor at Large for Mondoweiss, a mother, a human rights activist and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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44 Responses

  1. bobsmith
    September 22, 2012, 2:41 pm

    Abbas “is not pressing for a vote until after the U.S. presidential election” because everyone knows that the Israel Lobby would go batshit. But, seriously, does Abbas really want to be king of a few bubbles in a giant swiss cheese? Sad to say, but now the focus should be on turning Israel into a democratic, secular state.

    • Annie Robbins
      September 22, 2012, 2:52 pm

      because everyone knows that the Israel Lobby would go batshit

      yeah they would. i wish he would do it now because it would suck media air away from iran…unless israel attacked. maybe it’s calculated to not add more pressure before the election.

      the focus should be on turning Israel into a democratic, secular state.

      some might argue actions taken thru the ICC could escalate that happening.

    • Hostage
      September 23, 2012, 3:32 am

      Abbas “is not pressing for a vote until after the U.S. presidential election”

      The elephant in the room is that the Obama administration passed a request to Abbas through the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem and merely asked that they delay the statehood bid until after the election. The big news there was that they appear to have caved-in and dropped the demand that it be abandoned altogether.

      The Oslo and Paris Accords would no longer be relevant. They were only a 5-year interim agreement and the State of Palestine was never one of the contracting parties.

      If the resolution is based upon the 1988 Algiers declaration of the State of Palestine, then the government can still file an Article 12(3) declaration accepting the jurisdiction of the ICC for any crimes committed on the territory of Palestine after July of 2002. So, the deterrent effect would not depend upon the date of the General Assembly vote, only upon the inevitability of the vote happening soon.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 23, 2012, 6:49 am

        The big news there was that they appear to have caved-in and dropped the demand that it be abandoned altogether.

        who is ‘they’? do you man the obama administration ‘caved’ and dropped a demand palestinians abandon their bid altogether?

      • Hostage
        September 23, 2012, 6:20 pm

        who is ‘they’? do you man the obama administration ‘caved’ and dropped a demand palestinians abandon their bid altogether?

        Yes exactly. There are insurmountable difficulties that would tend to prevent the US from cutting-off payment of its assessments to the UN General Assembly. After the UNESCO vote, the US and Israel are only in a position to delay the inevitable role that will be played by the ICJ, ICC, and other arbitors.

  2. Annie Robbins
    September 22, 2012, 2:46 pm

    if, by “something dramatic,” Beilin means threatening israel with the hague (that is exactly what erekat implies) i’m all for it! why rudoren characterizes this as “largely symbolic” is beyond me. once it’s a done deal ( non member state status ) there’s no simple ‘reverse’ it as far as i know.

  3. American
    September 22, 2012, 2:57 pm

    F’ Ruderon. She’s just a zio mouthpiece.
    Good that Abbas is waiting till after the election.
    If I were a Palestine I would keep on for two states until the absolute last gasp….. if they could get there that might give them a way to also get back some of their land.
    I would fight down to my last drop of water cause the other way is a apartheid state and final explusion of Palestines…and they know that.

    • Annie Robbins
      September 22, 2012, 4:00 pm

      her article was completely lacking in guts american. she barely referenced the courts at all and then only in the 16th paragraph. way to bury the lead:

      Nonmember state status would give the Palestinians access to United Nations’ institutions like the International Criminal Court, and, Mr. Erekat said, make clear that they are living under occupation, not in what Israelis sometimes call “disputed territory.”

      like FT she went on to quote erekat ““Yes, the occupation will continue, the settlements will continue, the crimes of the settlers may continue, but there will be consequences”..but unlike FT she cut off the end of his quote, excluding the implication of those consequences: “Those who don’t want to appear before an international tribunal must stop their crimes.

      so why’d she do that?

      • Hostage
        September 23, 2012, 4:01 am

        why rudoren characterizes this as “largely symbolic” is beyond me. . . . so why’d she do that?

        The ICC is not a UN institution, and none of the member states enjoys a veto. Israel’s Hasbara and Foreign Ministries have over-dramatized the significance of the last status update from the out-going ICC Prosecutor. He simply said that he didn’t feel that he had the competence under the terms of the statute to decide whether Palestine was a state or not. But he explicitly stated that the UN Secretary-General, the General Assembly, or the ICC Assembly of State Parties had the competence to do that. Israeli officials reacted as if that pause in the process means they are off the hook for crimes committed since 2002 (when the Rome Statute went into effect). That is NOT necessarily the case.

        The latest hasbara spin has been an effort to control the narrative and claim that recognition of the 67 borders and upgrade to non-member permanent observer state status is only the first step in the legal process, and that everything will still require the consent of the Israelis. But that is definitely not the case with the ICC.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 23, 2012, 6:37 am

        Israeli officials reacted as if that pause in the process means they are off the hook for crimes committed since 2002 (when the Rome Statute went into effect). That is NOT necessarily the case.

        i missed the “thought they were off the hook” reaction.

        upgrade to non-member permanent observer state status is only the first step in the legal process, and that everything will still require the consent of the Israelis.

        ha! as if international law requires the consent of israelis. the wiki link you provided down thread was revealing. according to IDF Head of the International Law Department Col. Liron Libman:

        Libman noted that the ICC was the most dangerous issue for Israel and wondered whether the U.S. could simply state publicly its position that the ICC has no jurisdiction over Israel regarding the Gaza operation.

      • Hostage
        September 23, 2012, 5:50 pm

        i missed the “thought they were off the hook” reaction.

        Yes, there were a number of reports which incorrectly claimed “the court cannot open an investigation into cases related to the 2008-09 Gaza war because Palestine is not a state.” e.g. link to forward.com

        In fact, the Prosecutor merely explained that he lacked the authority to decide that question and could not open an investigation yet. The general public was fed stories which contained claims that were legally and logically inconsistent because they implied that the Prosecutor had in fact determined that Palestine was NOT a state.

        Palestine had filed a declaration with the Court accepting its jurisdiction for all crimes committed on its territory since July of 2002. Most of the existing cases in the ICC are based upon similar retroactive declarations. At the same time PA officials provided documents which showed that it had been formally recognized as a state by 67 other countries and indicated that they could supply addition proof if that became necessary.

        All the Prosecutor said was that he did not have the statutory authority to make a determination, but that the Secretary General, the General Assembly, or the ICC’s own Assembly of State Parties could decide the question at a later date. Only the Israeli Foreign Ministry seems to have noticed that last part:

        Israel’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that while Israel welcomes the decision on the lack of ICC jurisdiction, “it has reservations regarding some of the legal pronouncements and assumptions in the Prosecutor’s statement.”

        link to forward.com

        The majority of UNESCO member states had implicitly recognized the 1988 Palestinian Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI). The Palestinians cited the 1988 UDI as the legal basis of their application for membership in the UN and UNESCO.

        They will undoubtedly do that again when they submit their request for upgraded observer status. In fact, the existing resolution that governs their current observer privileges explicitly noted the 1988 UDI and the fact that Palestine was already a full member of several international organizations that are only open to membership by States, e.g. the Group of Asian States, the Group of 77, the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, and the League of Arab States. — link to un.org

        Between 1998 and 2004 Palestine had more privileges than any non-member observer state. When the Holy See’s application for full membership was not successful, it requested that its privileges be upgraded to equal those of Palestine. Compare the rules annexed to A/RES/52/250 (1998) with those annexed to A/RES/58/314 (2004) See also: “The Holy See backs off from its claim for full membership of the UN, settling for the rights already held by Palestine.”

        So it logically follows that Palestine was already recognized and treated as a state by the General Assembly as early as 1998. The resolution that President Abbas will submit to the General Assembly will simply affirm that status for the benefit of others. Nothing will stand in the way of opening an investigation of acts committed since July of 2002, since many of those acts were crimes that were – and still are – subject to the Court’s jurisdiction.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 24, 2012, 3:08 am

        thank you for your patience/explanation hostage. and thanks for linking to one of my posts in your 2:10 am comment. had i not been reclining already i probably would have fallen over.

  4. amigo
    September 22, 2012, 2:59 pm

    We can now sit back and await the inevitable torrent of accusations of “Palestinian Political Terrorism”.

    One wonders if the Zios view Palestinians breathing as some form of Terrorism.

    • Sumud
      September 22, 2012, 9:18 pm

      One wonders if the Zios view Palestinians breathing as some form of Terrorism.

      Some of them, yes.

      Zionists know that Israel is a country born in sin – the Nakba – and they try to assuage their guilt by branding Palestinians terrorists and the enemy.

  5. Blake
    September 22, 2012, 3:37 pm

    Sad to say for Palestine America will just veto AGAIN.

    • Annie Robbins
      September 22, 2012, 3:52 pm

      the US has no veto at the general assembly blake, only at the security council. the advantage of acceptance at the SC is they can offer full member status, but full member is not required for access (via the general assembly) to the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court.

      • Blake
        September 23, 2012, 3:18 am

        Okay thanks for correcting me.

      • Hostage
        September 23, 2012, 4:11 am

        the US has no veto at the general assembly blake,

        And there is no such thing in the ICC either. About 70 of its 121 member Assembly of State Parties have formally recognized the state of Palestine. The relationship with the UN includes a clause in the Rome Statute that permits the UN Security Council to adopt a resolution to delay prosecution of cases for up to 12 months at a time. But any attempt to do that would probably be vetoed by Russia or China. Neither the US nor Israel has that much political capital among the other members of the P-5.

  6. Ramzi Jaber
    September 22, 2012, 4:38 pm

    The path forward over the next few months seems clear to me:

    1) Put the non-member state idea on the table during the President’s speech.
    2) Set a date for a UNGA vote.
    3) Win the vote by a VERY healthy number.
    4) Cancel Oslo.
    5) Sue the terrorist criminal israel at ICJ & ICC.

    Then watch the facts on the ground start to shift. We must unjam the status quo. The above certainly will.

    What comes next? I just dropped my crystal ball…………..

    • Annie Robbins
      September 22, 2012, 7:11 pm

      We must unjam the status quo. The above certainly will.

      yes!

    • ColinWright
      September 22, 2012, 7:56 pm

      Ramzi Jaber says: “What comes next? I just dropped my crystal ball…………..”

      Watch the last ten minutes of Battle of Algiers. It’s there.

    • Hostage
      September 23, 2012, 4:46 am

      What comes next? I just dropped my crystal ball…………..

      First off the members of the Palestinian Solidarity Movement should be camped-out at the Hague demanding that the Prosecutor take action on the Palestinian criminal complaint that was lodged back in 2009. They can also pressure their individual state governments to apply legal sanctions. That would include direct state referrals of the situation in Palestine to the ICC Prosecutor. Those referrals do not have to go through the UN Nations:
      Article 14
      Referral of a situation by a State Party

      1. A State Party may refer to the Prosecutor a situation in which one or more crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court appear to have been committed requesting the Prosecutor to investigate the situation for the purpose of determining whether one or more specific persons should be charged with the commission of such crimes. link to untreaty.un.org

      Secondly the members of the Palestinian Solidarity Movement should pressure the government of Palestine to adopt a permanent constitution guaranteeing every citizen full legal equality without regard to religion, race, creed, gender, disability, & etc. The Palestinians should also fulfill the promise contained in the 2003 Basic Law and quicly become a state party to all of the UN human rights treaties.

      Palestine should become a state party to the UN “Vienna” Conventions on the Law of Treaties and Diplomatic Relations + the United Nations Convention on Jurisdictional Immunities of States and Their Property. The latter would finally establish the fact that the judgments of the Courts of Palestine are dispositive regarding any disputes over the use of state lands by Israeli settlers, not lapsed executive agreements made by the PLO.

  7. gingershot
    September 22, 2012, 7:14 pm

    After Netanyahu having been effectively stuffed on Iran, Israel is in significant disarray. This is the time, precisely for this reason, to rain all kinds of pressure down on Israel.

    Iran is Israel’s fig leaf for years more of Apartheid – the underbelly of Apartheid is now exposed and this is the time to strike for a Palestinian state with access to the ICC

  8. eljay
    September 22, 2012, 7:19 pm

    >> “We are declaring a state on the 1967 lines with East Jerusalem as its capital, to live side by side with Israel in peace and security. I don’t see why people who stand for the two-state solution would not join us.”

    Many of the people who stand for the two-state solution are Zio-supremacists, and Zio-supremacists don’t want compromise – they want it all, and they want it within the framework of a supremacist “Jewish State”.

  9. gingershot
    September 22, 2012, 8:06 pm

    Hanan Ashrawi :

    “That (membership status at the UN) opens the door for us to become a member of all UN organizations, institutions, agencies, and so on. It would empower the Palestinians,” she said. “We can also hold Israel accountable, which is something that is driving Israel and the US absolutely insane.”

    link to rt.com

    • seafoid
      September 23, 2012, 4:29 am

      Accountability is the most important. Now that the 2 SS is dead Israel has nothing with which to string the Palestinians along. So there is no cost to going to the international community.

      Israel has to be made accountable. Saying G-d gave the land doesn’t cut the mustard any more.

      • Hostage
        September 23, 2012, 4:05 pm

        So there is no cost to going to the international community. Israel has to be made accountable. Saying G-d gave the land doesn’t cut the mustard any more.

        One of life’s little ironies is the fact that the first international convention that called for the establishment of an international criminal tribunal was the convention on the suppression of the crime of apartheid. But the new court didn’t come into existence in time to assist the victims in South Africa or Namibia.

        A collection of Bantustans must first obtain recognition as an occupied state (ala Namibia) as a prerequisite to any request that the responsible government officials be prosecuted for the crime of apartheid in the new International Criminal Court.

  10. akhetkhuru
    September 22, 2012, 8:24 pm

    The ethnikon / toponym Palestinian / Palestine is very ancient indeed, going all the way back to the time of the 19th dynasty pharaoh, Ramses III, who defeated a coalition of “sea peoples” attempting to invade the eastern Nile delta. After being repulsed by Ramses, some of these groups settled along the eastern Mediterranean shore, precisely where they later came to be known as the Philistines. If you visit the great temple of Medinet Habu in what is now Luxor, Egypt and you happen to be able to read hieroglyphs, you can actually see a depiction of these defeated warriors, who are clearly identified as Peleshet or Pereshet, the forebears of the Philistines and, ultimately, the Palestinians. I hardly need add that these records predate any written version of Old Testament accounts by many centuries. The absence of the Palestinians in the bible is hardly surprising. The term you should be looking for is Philistine.

    • gamal
      September 25, 2012, 8:04 am

      Though generally thought to be “greeks” the sea people record some interesting anomalies, the Danae and Tjekers, shardana etc, it would appear that our fixed notions of ethnicity were much more fluid back in the day, their origins are dizzyingly complex, an amalgam of proto Greek, Semitic clans and steppe folk kind of Turkic or whatever, very porous and intrepenetrating groups, making trouble for Egypt and destroying the Hittites etc, Etruscans, Trojans( Tersenoi) etc. after all its hard to judge whether the Dnn, Danae (tjeker) were greek or semitic, and thats the only lame joke i am able to muster, whatever those terms could mean in this context, everyone is descended from everyone. Danae’s son Perseus by Zeus and she from Argos, where the Blacks lived in the Caucasus, Colchis et bloody cetera.

      “In Egyptian records of the second wave of Sea Peoples attacks in c. 1186 BC, during the reign of Pharaoh Rameses III, the Shardana, Teresh, and Shekelesh are still considered to be a menace, but new names also appear: the Denyen, Tjeker, Weshesh and Peleset. An inscription mentions that they “made a conspiracy in their islands”, but these may have only been temporary bases, not their actual homelands.

      “The Denyen probably originally came from northern Syria (perhaps where the Shardana had once lived), and the Tjeker from the Troad (i.e., the area around Troy) (possibly via Cyprus). Alternatively, some have associated the Denyen with the Danaoi of the Iliad, and even the tribe of Dan in Israel.”

      “But Ramses and his troops defeated the invaders. When the vanquished pleaded
      for mercy, the pharaoh allowed them to settle on his soil: I slew the Denyen
      in their isles; the Tjeker and the Peleset were made ashes. The Shardana and
      the Weshesh of the sea, they were made as those that exist not, taken
      captive at one time, brought as captives to Egypt like the sand of the
      shore. I settled them in strongholds bound in my name. Numerous were their
      classes like hundred-thousands. I taxed them all, in clothing and grain from
      the storehouses and granaries, each year.”

      Earthquakes, floods, and the demise of a brilliant culture are also
      mentioned in Plato’s dialogues Timaeus and Critias. Plato describes two
      Great civilizations that possessed bronze weapons, chariots and writing, and
      he describes how a devastating war broke out between them. Those facts, and
      numerous additional elements of the account, have much in common with the
      end of the glorious Mycenaean civilization.

      Greece entered an era of anarchy with the disappearance of the palaces and
      the aristocracy, the fine craftsmanship, the artistry, and possibly of the
      knowledge of writing. Greek survivors spread all around the central and
      eastern Mediterranean in the first and second migration. The archeological
      evidence confirms the migrations, and names still found today-Sicilian,
      Sardinian, Etruscan, Philistine and Thracian-are first documented after the
      end of the crisis years.

      Although the “Sea People” vanished from the political records, they left a
      legacy second to none in world history. In Palestine, where many clans from
      both Greece and western Anatolia sought refuge, the Philistine and
      Phoenician (Canaanite) civilizations arose, reviving and spreading much of the
      inventiveness in metallurgy, seafaring, warfare and trade that had
      characterized fallen Mycenae and its allies.”

      i met a Sikkimese policeman in Brisbane today, everyone is everywhere just like its always been, migration is the normal state, shame about the despoliation though.

  11. piotr
    September 22, 2012, 8:28 pm

    The move of PA to start talking about UN vote again is largely symbolic.

    The way I see it, PA is essentially a quisling operation, with apologies to Vidkun Abraham Lauritz Jonssøn Quisling who got a better deal for Norwegians than PA for Palestinians (of course, it helped that Nazi were not prejudiced against Nordics). It is a mini-police state financed from outside, with security forces trained and to a degree controlled by USA. To preserve a modicum of credibility, PA has to engage in some actions, calculated to be as ineffective as possible.

    I was much more supportive a year ago, but it is increasingly hard to be optimistic about Abbas. What did he do in respect to riots caused by cost of living and increasing powerty? Continued a visit to India, and then protested to Egypt that Egyptians talk with leaders of Gaza about relieving the blockade (however empty that talk is).

    In particular, there is nothing wrong in “heading back to UN”, but surely PA is very slow about it. And very fast about arresting Hamasniks and assorted independents like Zakariya Zubeidi.

    • Annie Robbins
      September 22, 2012, 11:02 pm

      piotr, abbas will not be representing the PA at the UN, he’s chairman of the PLO, the body recognized by the UN as the legitimate representative of the palestinian people.

      link to en.wikipedia.org

    • Hostage
      September 23, 2012, 5:01 am

      The way I see it, PA is essentially a quisling operation

      Then kindly explain to me why Abbas and Fayyad went straight to the ICC after Cast Lead and filed a criminal complaint against Israeli officials for all of the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed on the territory of Palestine since July of 2002? Those charges can’t be withdrawn.

      Wikileaks subsequently published a classified document which revealed that the IDF considered the PA criminal complaint an act of war and had asked the US for assistance in getting the complaint quashed. But neither the US nor Israel has the necessary legal standing to do that. link to wikileaks.org

    • Hostage
      September 23, 2012, 5:44 am

      In particular, there is nothing wrong in “heading back to UN”, but surely PA is very slow about it.

      The Palestinians have been told that if they pursue prosecution of Israeli officials, Israel will consider it an act of war and either turn the West Bank into another Gaza or annex Area C. They have been told that getting recognition of statehood from any UN organ won’t result in an end to the occupation, but rather an end to their tax revenues and any funding for the PA and that particular UN organ. Last year, the Secretary-General asked the Palestinans to stop efforts to join other UN specialized agencies after the US and Israel cut-off funding to UNESCO and the Quartet demanded that both sides submit their proposals on borders within 90 days. Israel interpreted that to mean 90 days after the first meeting in Amman Jordan.

      And very fast about arresting Hamasniks and assorted independents like Zakariya Zubeidi.

      In the past, Abbas and Fayyad have been responsive to pressure from NGOs and international news and wire services when it comes to releasing independents. The Quartet and General Assembly have tasked the PA with arresting Palestinians who are targeting Israelis. Hamas has also been quick to arrest or threaten the West Bank and Gaza factions of Fatah. Both sides released prisoners last year before talks on reconciliation broke down.

      • piotr
        September 23, 2012, 7:46 pm

        Reconciliation was a sham, and my impression is that Abbas is largely responsible. And he loudly complains any time Egypt considers relaxing blockade of Gaza, which is not particularly reconciliatory. The dynamics of arresting each other activists is totally distorting political expression of Palestinians, and of course they are hardest on independents.

        Concerning peace talks that were not, Abbas totally downplayed that. 90 days elapsed several times by now. The most visible sin is very anemic participation of Area A in civil disobedience, which I think is largely to heavy handed control exercised by PA.

      • Hostage
        September 24, 2012, 2:10 am

        Concerning peace talks that were not, Abbas totally downplayed that. 90 days elapsed several times by now.

        No, the Palestinians publicly highlighted the failure of Israel to submit a map containing its proposed borders. The situation with respect to funding of UN agencies that allow Palestinian membership remains unchanged. See
        *Israel, Palestinians spar over Quartet deadline link to jpost.com
        * Palestinians fulfill Quartet’s request. Israelis don’t. Guess who ‘Washington Post’ blames? link to mondoweiss.net
        *Ban Ki-Moon, UN Secretary General, Says Palestine Bid To Join UN Agencies Is ‘Not Beneficial For Anybody’. link to huffingtonpost.com

        Reconciliation was a sham, and my impression is that Abbas is largely responsible. And he loudly complains any time Egypt considers relaxing blockade of Gaza, which is not particularly reconciliatory.

        My impression is that the EU, US, and Israel are preventing reconciliation by threatening to cut-off the transfer of funds that are needed for essential public services, utilities, public payrolls, & etc. to both Gaza and the West Bank in the event that Hamas is allowed to join the PLO or PA. Israel hasn’t consented to hold elections in Jerusalem either. The Hamas leadership in Gaza has refused to allow the Central Elections Commission to update its lists until it is allowed to operate freely in the West Bank. It’s extremely unlikely that the IDF would stand still for that. So both sides have played a role in postponing the elections. See Hamas official: No elections without West Bank freedoms link to maannews.net

        I’ve never seen any reports that Abbas supports the closure of Gaza apart from the usual accounts published by the stenographers in the Israeli government echo chamber. Abbas has been on record as calling for the complete lifting of the blockade for a number of years now, e.g.
        * Mahmud Abbas: Israel must lift Gaza blockade link to thenational.ae

        Neither the de facto government in Gaza nor the PA have commendable human rights records.

      • Hostage
        September 24, 2012, 2:37 am

        omg! i feel like a million bucks hostage. you linked to..

        Hell yeah! I don’t come here to comment, I come to read all of the great articles.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 24, 2012, 3:41 am

        lol, i was so embarrassed i deleted my comment. seriously ..it rocked my reality. i guess you were too fast for me!

      • piotr
        September 24, 2012, 11:21 am

        Today: Addameer has documented that the Preventive Security and General Intelligence are waging a campaign of arrests in several provinces in the West Bank and over 60 Palestinians, including released prisoners, writers and journalists, and youth activists, have been imprisoned.

        Concerning the financial blackmail PA suffers: true. Perhaps deep in his heart Abbas would support some resistance, but this is the nature of a quisling regime: at the end of the day, you follow the orders. Given that, I am suspicious that UN initiatives are structured to be slow and ineffective.

      • Annie Robbins
        September 24, 2012, 11:40 am

        piotr, they stared rounding up hamas members in the WB last week. not sure what precipitated it this time. they have done it before. the arrests came on the same day meshal and haniyeh were visiting cairo

        Abbas’s allies fear Cairo is ready to side with Hamas, which could ultimately damage their own standing elsewhere in the Arab world. They looked on with concern as the Egypt’s prime minister held talks on Monday with Hamas’s Gazan leader, Ismail Haniyeh.

        link to uk.reuters.com

        and then there’s this link to jpost.com

        PA says it discovered secret Hamas jail by Nablus

        Palestinian Authority security forces in the West Bank announced Sunday that they have discovered a secret Hamas prison near Nablus.

        Adnan Damiri, spokesman for the PA security forces, said that the underground prison was discovered in the village of Urif south of Nablus.

        Hamas immediately denied the claim and accused the PA of fabrications and lies.

        The PA forces seized communications devices and other equipment and arrested a number of Palestinians, Damiri said.

        According to the spokesman, the secret prison, which consists of a cell with two beds, is located in a building that includes an apartment and a restaurant.

        The announcement came after PA security forces arrested about 100 Hamas supporters in the West Bank over the past week.

        Many of the Hamas supporters who were rounded up were recently released from Israeli prison.

        Last week, PA officials in Ramallah claimed that Hamas was trying to stage a coup in the West Bank.

        The officials said that Hamas was taking advantage of social protests against the high cost of living to plunge the West Bank back into anarchy and lawlessness.

        The charges against Hamas came after protesters in some West Bank cities began chanting slogans against the PA leadership and the Oslo Accords.

        Fatah spokesman Ahmed Assaf said that the secret Hamas prison was in violation of the law.

        “This is a crime that is tantamount to treason because it harms the interests and security of the Palestinians,” Assaf charged.

        He claimed that Hamas was trying to establish its own underground entities in the West Bank as part of the Islamist movement’s efforts to overthrow the PA.

      • Hostage
        September 24, 2012, 3:12 pm

        Concerning the financial blackmail PA suffers: true. Perhaps deep in his heart Abbas would support some resistance, but this is the nature of a quisling regime: at the end of the day, you follow the orders.

        1) Abbas has not prevented the campaign of non-violent weekly demonstrations against the sections of the apartheid wall/fence throughout the West Bank.
        2)It was the UN Security Council who adopted the Road Map and the General Assembly, acting in Emergency Special Session who issued the orders to the PA calling upon it to fulfil its obligations under relevant provisions of the road map, “to undertake visible efforts on the ground to arrest, disrupt and restrain individuals and groups conducting and planning violent attacks.” — link to unispal.un.org
        3) You may have noticed, that when left to their own devices, Hamas tends to commit acts that are viewed as flagrant war crimes or crimes against humanity, like using an anti-tank weapon on an Israeli school bus and its passengers. That behavior isn’t considered a legitimate form of resistance. Imposing regular military discipline on your own armed forces and militias and arresting the members of units that plan or engage in acts of terror doesn’t make you a Quisling.
        4) You still haven’t explained: How filing a criminal complaint in the Hague alleging war crimes and crimes against humanity accrues any benefits for Israel? The Palestinian authorities accepted the jurisdiction of the Court for all crimes committed by anyone on the territory of Palestine since July 2002. That includes the crimes committed by PA officials too, so they weren’t simply pursuing their own selfish interests.

      • piotr
        September 24, 2012, 10:02 pm

        1) Why the non-violent demonstration happen almost exclusively in places where Abbas has no control? he deserves zero credit for demonstrations in Area C. Why there is so little support from Palestinians in Area A? There were some very nice actions, but surprisingly few. Or not so surprisingly given arrests of activists in Area A.

        2) Of course, Road Map was written on toilet paper, or used on paper that was later used in that fashion. PA is “restrainig individuals”, Israel not so much. PA has no obligation to conduct sweeping arrests.

        3) Left to their own devices, IDF commits atrocities. Concerning Hamas, anti-tank weapons and school buses, I have no idea what you have in mind. There was an incident when a non-Palestinian organization used weapons in that way, and in the aftermath IDF announced that they were from Gaza because they had Kalashnikov rifles, killed some Gazans and arrested about a hundred of Hamasniks in Hebron area. If you will cite an incident actually connected to Hamas, I may consider a response.

        4) PA is very slow with UN actions. Why? They could go to General Assembly years ago and re-file criminal complaints.

      • Hostage
        September 25, 2012, 12:34 am

        1) Why the non-violent demonstration happen almost exclusively in places where Abbas has no control? he deserves zero credit for demonstrations in Area C. Why there is so little support from Palestinians in Area A? There were some very nice actions, but surprisingly few. Or not so surprisingly given arrests of activists in Area A.

        The Oslo Accords provide for full Israeli civil and security control in Area C, except over the Palestinian civilians living there. So Abbas is ultimately responsible for the conduct of Palestinian civilians who engage in those demonstrations.

        2) Of course, Road Map was written on toilet paper, or used on paper that was later used in that fashion. PA is “restrainig individuals”, Israel not so much. PA has no obligation to conduct sweeping arrests.

        Nonetheless, the international community and Israeli officials have all admitted that the PA has fulfilled its security obligations under the terms of the Road Map and that Israel has never had a better partner with which to negotiate a settlement. Without Abbas and the PA, the campaign to delegitimize Israel’s policies of apartheid would face insurmountable PR problems. Even as it is, too many people still think its perfectly fine if Israel turns the whole territory into a large open air prison for the sake of a few ineffective terrorists.

  12. Blake
    September 23, 2012, 3:45 am

    PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY WAKES UP TO THE REALITIES OF APARTHEID
    by desertpeace
    It doesn’t take a genius to realise that…
    *
    “The establishment of a politically and economically viable State of Palestine is impossible without ending the Israeli occupation of the whole West Bank and Gaza Strip, including East Jerusalem.”
    *
    Israel logjam threatens statehood, Palestinians warn

    *

    RAMALLAH — The Palestinian Authority warned on Saturday that long-standing lack of movement towards peace with Israel was threatening the concept of a two-state solution and could lead to Palestinians being left in an Israeli-run “apartheid” state.

    “Without a tangible shift from a conflict management approach towards a just and lasting political agreement… Israelis and Palestinians will inevitably slide into one state governed by the principles of apartheid,” it said in a report prepared for a meeting of international donors in New York on Monday.

    “The status-quo is not sustainable neither politically, nor economically,” the report in English wrote.

    “The establishment of a politically and economically viable State of Palestine is impossible without ending the Israeli occupation of the whole West Bank and Gaza Strip, including East Jerusalem,” the 22-page document, published on Saturday, said.

    It called on donor members of what is known as the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee to pressure Israel to dismantle its checkpoints in the West Bank and allow unhindered development of all areas, including so-called Area C, which is under full Israeli control and which covers some 60 per cent of the West Bank.

    It also asked them to make diplomatic protests to Israel over its demolition of Palestinian homes.

    A coalition of global NGOs said in a statement on Friday that demolition rates had hit a three-year high.

    Citing UN statistics, the group of 30 aid, development and human rights organisations said demolitions of Palestinian property had tripled in the past three years, rising to an average of 64 per month in 2012, up from 23 in 2009.

    The monthly average of people displaced as a result had doubled, increasing from 52 in 2009 to 103 in 2012, it said.

    Direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians have been on hold since late September 2010.
    link to desertpeace.wordpress.com

    • Hostage
      September 23, 2012, 5:12 am

      PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY WAKES UP TO THE REALITIES OF APARTHEID
      by desertpeace

      No, the PLO/PA formally charged Israel with the crime of Apartheid back in 2003. Just read chapter 10 of the written statement of Palestine in the ICJ Wall case. link to icj-cij.org

      What actually happened is that desertpeace finally woke up to the PA plan for ending the occupation and establishing the state that Abbas and Fayyad announced to the donors way back in 2009.
      * Ending Occupation Establishing the State (August 2009) pdf link to un.int.pdf
      * Ending the Occupation, Establishing the State, Year Two pdf link to un.int
      *PNA report to the AHLC Sep 2011 – Building the State ofPalestine-A Success Story pdf link to un.int

      The fact is that the US and Israel have used blackmail, threats, and broken agreements to maintain the status quo of apartheid.

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