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Reports: Abbas faults Israel for ‘procrastinating,’ says Palestine will move to join int’l organizations

Israel/Palestine
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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the UN for its Special Meeting of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. (Photo: Reuters)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the UN for its Special Meeting of the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People. (Photo: Reuters)

Mahmoud Abbas just gave a speech at PLO headquarters in Ramallah, and reports indicate there is no deal on the Pollard prisoner switcheroo to keep the talks going for another year, and Palestinians are moving ahead to join international organizations as a state.

Some of the tweets from reporters:

More from Dalia Hatuqa of Al Monitor, formerly of Al Jazeera: 

More from Sheera Frenkel at Buzzfeed:

And this from Hatuqa:

Frenkel elaborated later:

Then, the Palestinian Authority is still going to negotiate with Kerry and the Israelis:

But:

 

Derek Stoffel of CBC at once sought to blame Palestinians for walking away from talks.

BREAKING: Abbas signs agreement to join int’l organizations… appears that the Palestinians are walking away from peace talks. #CBC — Derek Stoffel (@DerekStoffelCBC) April 1, 2014

Uh oh.

Clarification: CBC News spoke to Abbas’ office: negotiations will continue, but PLO decided to join 15 UN orbs. b/c Israel broke… #CBC 1/2 — Derek Stoffel (@DerekStoffelCBC) April 1, 2014

About Philip Weiss

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122 Responses

  1. Annie Robbins
    April 1, 2014, 1:52 pm

    fantastic!

    • Annie Robbins
      April 1, 2014, 2:21 pm

      haaratz made a mistake:

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.583235

      Abbas said the leadership made its decision after Israel did not commit to releasing a fourth round of prisoners.

      israel was already committed to release the prisoners. that was the deal at the beginning, that palestinians would hold off going to the UN for 9 months for the release of the prisoners and the last batch was supposed to be released on mar 29. abbas said he made the decision when israel didn’t follow thru on that commitment.

      actually, as i recall israel switched the original agreement and balked at releasing the prisoners at one time, in sept. they wanted to do it in stages (release the prisoners). so palestinians already deferred once on that. and now they want to use the same prisoners for a second round of talks. ridiculous.

      • tidings
        April 1, 2014, 2:26 pm

        It’s great to see the Palestinians taking control, even if it is at the last minute! It’s the best news I’ve heard today.

      • Walid
        April 1, 2014, 2:37 pm

        Annie, you left out an important part: about a week before the scheduled release date, the Israeli cabinet asked Abbas to commit to an extension beyond the 28 April expiry of the current talks or it would block the release of the prisoners. Israel is desperate to get an extension and would do anything to get that extension to forestall Palestinians going to the UN and ICC. More than that, the US is willing to do anything to prevent the Palestinians from going to the UN/ICC and that’s where the Pollard egg was laid. I’m expecting more acrobatics to complete the story, which would be the release of Barghouti and this would be the justification that Abbas would need to agree to the extension and get away with it one more time.

      • Annie Robbins
        April 1, 2014, 3:26 pm

        thanks walid, yes there’s been a whole dance around this for the last week. but palestinians have been very firm on going back to the UN, i didn’t think they were going to delay again. everything i’ve heard from their spokespeople over the last couple months indicated to me they were heading right there when the deadline was up. but i didn’t expect this. it’s a great move. finally what a relief.

      • Hostage
        April 1, 2014, 8:04 pm

        yes there’s been a whole dance around this for the last week. but palestinians have been very firm on going back to the UN, i didn’t think they were going to delay again.

        It looks like the delicate dance goes on and that the 15 treaty organizations are not the UN or its specialized agencies per Kerry’s statements:

        The secretary added that while the perception may be that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has given up on peace talks, he has kept his vow not to join any UN bodies and to continue the talks until their scheduled deadline of late April.

        “Let me make it absolutely clear: None of the agencies that President Abbas signed tonight involve the UN,” Kerry said.

        http://www.jpost.com/Diplomacy-and-Politics/Despite-Palestinian-move-to-join-world-bodies-Kerry-vows-to-push-peace-talks-ahead-347218

      • seafoid
        April 1, 2014, 3:42 pm

        Walid

        Is it not rather strange that Israel appears to be on the back foot this time ?

      • Walid
        April 1, 2014, 4:07 pm

        It’s strange and also a pleasure to see Israelis sweating for a change. I’m really hoping that Abbas comes through this time. It would probably be his first.

      • seafoid
        April 1, 2014, 4:25 pm

        Walid

        There must be something going in the background. They are normally as callous and as calculating as those IDF Jews at the checkpoints.

        I wonder how they lost their nerve.
        Hard to square with the attitude from the Palestine Papers….

        http://blogs.aljazeera.net/middle-east/2011/01/27/erekat-finally-hits-mark#

        When Mr Erekat asked Ms Livni: “Short of your jet fighters in my sky and your army on my territory, can I choose where I secure external defence?”. She replied: “No. In order to create your state you have to agree in advance with Israel – you have to choose not to have the right of choice afterwards. These are the basic pillars.”
        “Israel takes more land [so] that the Palestinian state will be impossible . . . the Israel policy is to take more and more land day after day and that at the end of the day we’ll say that is impossible, we already have the land and we cannot create the state”. She conceded that it had been “the policy of the government for a really long time”.

        “Another choice comment from Livni, this one from a Nov. 13, 2007 meeting, where she and Abu Ala (Qurei) were discussing what should be included in the “terms of reference” for the upcoming Annapolis meeting (the eighth meeting on this question):
        AA: International law?
        Livni : NO. I was the Minister of Justice. I am a lawyer…But I am against law — international law in particular. Law in general. If we want to make the agreement smaller, can we just drop some of these issues? Like international law, this will make the agreements easier.”

      • Walid
        April 1, 2014, 4:52 pm

        seafoid, in time history will prove one more time that what we are seeing today had already been agreed-to months or years before. It’s somewhat like movies that are made and kept on the shelf for months or years before releasing them at the opportune time. The population has to be “molded and made ready” for certain deals to be made public. Today’s bombshell was probably conceived a year ago and the 9-month talks were only to bring us to this point. Whatever is in the plan or the background as you called it, it’s surely not to the advantage of the Palestinians.

        About the chatter between these star actors, the Arab press made a big issue of alleged pillow talk between them. Nothing was proven of course, and Arabs are known to have fertile imaginations but one has to wonder what triggered this rumour.

      • seafoid
        April 1, 2014, 5:02 pm

        Walid

        I think the UN angle changes the dynamic. And the bots can’t procrastinate into infinity. Plus they are all over the place on BDS.

        I wonder if the Euros have been doing something in the background or if the Yanks are going to change tack somewhat.

        The bots seem to have hit a patch of fowda and it doesn’t fit with the story to date.

      • Walid
        April 1, 2014, 5:40 pm

        Wait for Act II tomorrow when Kerry returns from Europe to meet with Abbas on this. Could be the start of a new round of disappointments. Betcha the guy signed the apps but he still hasn’t mailed them out yet and he’ll be waiving them in Kerry’s face; somewhat reminiscent of his never-ending resignations..

      • W.Jones
        April 1, 2014, 11:43 pm

        Seafoid,

        I read that Ben Gurion was upset when the Israeli State decided to take over the West Bank. He did not like it, because he worried that it would eventually lead to one state for two peoples.

        Would you happen to have more information about Ben Gurion’s criticisms of the Occupation or be able to point me please to some sources?

        Thanks.

      • Walid
        April 2, 2014, 2:17 am

        It started. Last night, Azzam Al-Ahmad, a veteran member of Fatah’s Central Committee and former minister in an al-Mayadeen interview stated that Abbas made a big mistake by signing the apps as this (in so many other words) risks having the sky falling all over the Palestinians. He said the solution would be in Fatah burying the hatchet with Hamas and forming a united front to politically oppose Israel.

      • Walid
        April 2, 2014, 3:08 am

        “Wait for Act II tomorrow when Kerry returns from Europe to meet with Abbas on this. ”

        Change of plan. Kerry cancelled planned trip to see Abbas today. Instead, he will be going for a routine visit to Algeria.

        Correction to al-Ahmad”s comment above, it was meant that Abbas signing the apps were going to cause major problems for Israel with the world body; my mistake.

    • dianab
      April 1, 2014, 6:35 pm

      YEP!!

  2. Citizen
    April 1, 2014, 1:59 pm

    I think the first one of the list of 15 he signed to pursue Palestine State membership in was the Fourth Geneva Convention:
    http://www.timesofisrael.com/abbas-signs-palestines-application-to-join-15-un-bodies/#ixzz2xeq4Bz2M

    Kerry was to meet with Abbas tomorrow. Looks to me like Kerry called it off once he found out Abbas was now pursuing claims via international agencies.

    • Hostage
      April 1, 2014, 2:33 pm

      I think the first one of the list of 15 he signed to pursue Palestine State membership in was the Fourth Geneva Convention:

      I doubt it, the Geneva Conventions are administered by the ICRC and the government of Switzerland, not the UN. The ICJ noted that Palestine had already filed an accession to the Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocols in 1989 and that, for its own part, the Swiss government has always considered it to be valid.

      The General Assembly resolution that upgraded Palestine’s observer status was based upon the 1988 UDI and the role of the PLO Executive acting as the provisional government of the State of Palestine since that time. So there’s no need for Palestine to take any additional action. It’s already a state party to the Geneva Conventions.

  3. bilal a
    April 1, 2014, 2:07 pm

    Kerry-Obama can also apply pressure:

    Secrets about suspected Israeli theft of U.S. weapons-grade nuclear material declassified – IRmep
    WASHINGTON, March 27, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — On March 18, 2014 ISCAP, the highest declassification authority in the U.S., released 84 pages (PDF) of formerly secret information about investigations into the illegal diversion of weapons-grade nuclear material from a Pennsylvania plant into the clandestine Israeli nuclear weapons program. Files now available to the public from IRmep’s ISCAP process include:

    4/2/1968 Letter from the Director of the CIA alerting the Attorney General (PDF) about a huge loss of material from Pennsylvania’s Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation (NUMEC). “It is critical for us to establish whether or not the Israelis now have the capability for fabricating nuclear weapons which might be employed in the Near East.”

    03/09/1972 FBI memorandum (PDF) “On the basis of the foregoing it must be assumed for the purpose of U.S. national security that diversion of special nuclear materials to Israel by Dr. [Zalman] Shapiro and his [NUMEC] associates is a distinct possibility.”

    07/28/1977 Notes of a briefing from CIA’s Associate Deputy Director for Operations Theodore Shackley to the Carter administration National Security Council (PDF) “I also asked Shackley to get us a rundown on the political aspects—e.g. when were the President and Congressional officials briefed on the Israeli weapons program, on the NUMEC connection, and what were their reactions. In December, Carter was briefed on the NUMEC problem as President-elect by Bush in Georgia…I do not think the President has plausible deniability. The CIA case is persuasive…”

    08/02/1977 Memo to Carter from Zbigniew Brzezinski “So far as we know however, (and we have made serious effort to discover it) there is nothing to indicate active CIA participation in the alleged theft…There is a tremendous amount of interest in this issue in Congress…We face tough sledding in the next few weeks in trying to keep attention focused on ERDA’s technical [overall U.S. nuclear material loss] arguments..on the FBI investigations, and away from the CIA’s information.”

    All released CIA evidence and former Tel Aviv Station Chief John Hadden suggest the severely undercapitalized NUMEC was “an Israeli [smuggling] operation from the beginning.” Multiple health-related lawsuits have been filed targeting companies that later assumed NUMEC ownership. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers currently estimates its toxic cleanup of NUMEC will cost $500 million. No damage claims have yet been filed against the Israeli government.
    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/secrets-about-suspected-israeli-theft-of-us-weapons-grade-nuclear-material-declassified—irmep-252658041.html

    • Boomer
      April 1, 2014, 3:09 pm

      Interesting. I first learned about this from a brief reference in an article in the New York Review of Books years ago. I doubt that was the first publication of it. Yet somehow it has remained an “open secret” all these years. Like so many others. Whether the declassification now matters . . . and whether it is related to current events, I am not sure. In any event, it is good to have it out. Maybe other secrets will follow.

      • Boomer
        April 1, 2014, 3:28 pm

        PS: A quick search of Google News failed to turn up any mention, apart from the newswire source bilal linked . . . an indication of how the media handle this.

      • Woody Tanaka
        April 1, 2014, 3:49 pm

        “PS: A quick search of Google News failed to turn up any mention, apart from the newswire source bilal linked . . . an indication of how the media handle this.”

        Of course not, the Israeli Ministry of Hasbara and Public Enlightenment hasn’t given the media their instructions yet on how to spin the story to Israel’s favor. Hoppy, time to tell your bosses to get to work!!

    • Philip Munger
      April 1, 2014, 4:11 pm

      No damage claims have yet been filed against the Israeli government.

      I’ve written about NUMEC before. Glad to see this new stuff. Hope there is more to come. I suspect that the environmental damages could be significantly more than $1/2 billion.

      And let’s not forget Netanyahu and MILCO.

      http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8307/8004328400_d43d178765_h.jpg

  4. chuckcarlos
    April 1, 2014, 2:12 pm

    face it…for almost everybody in the USA it would be better if Israel would go away…cease to exist…Israel is a recruiting poster for every teenage Muslim Freedom Fighter who comes down the block…

    because Israel is a parasite on the USA…WE…that’s YOU AND ME, does not matter what religion or race you thing you are or what race you make up…get the blame for all the fascist, racist crap Israel pulls…

    WE…have better and more important stuff to consider…black contribution to USA…Native Americans…Japanese Americans….Chinese Americans…and the BIG number, Mexican Americans (Spanish, Mestizo, Native Indians)…MexoAmericanos have been here as long as anybody else except the Indians…and we all eat their food and ride their horses…

    let’s move on to more important stuff…the Eastern European Migration to the MidEast is nonsense…and does NOT concern us

    Why bother? get rid of Israel

  5. Walid
    April 1, 2014, 2:13 pm

    From Maan:

    “In a televised speech, Abbas said he had started the process to sign agreements with 15 United Nations agencies and organizations and would pursue joining more.”

    Still talks of what he is “going to do”. More fun and games, threats and empty promises. I’ll believe it when it will be announced that he had actually gone ahead and done it.

    • Justpassingby
      April 1, 2014, 2:26 pm

      exactly who believes this man?!
      Prepare for another 6 month period of peace talks.

    • seafoid
      April 1, 2014, 2:37 pm

      Good man, Walid .

      I think that the bots are losing it myself. The nightmare may be coming to an end.
      At the very least the Palestinians are using leverage.

  6. K Renner
    April 1, 2014, 2:17 pm

    Is the tweet from the CBC guy by default a “blaming” situation because he said (to his eyes) that it looked like Palestinians were breaking away from the peace talks?

    Joining up with international orgs is good stuff– and Abbas hit the nail on the head when he spoke of procrastination from the Israeli camp in this round of peace talks.

  7. CloakAndDagger
    April 1, 2014, 2:17 pm

    2014 may well shape up to be a turning point in world affairs. The dyke is starting to creak and the I-firsters are running out of fingers to plug all the holes. Unfortunately, when the levy breaks, it is going to flood a few innocents as well. Prepare for a mass emigration of zionists to the US (Europe may be more reluctant to accept them) when the dam finally bursts.

    • Ellen
      April 1, 2014, 7:27 pm

      C&D, Israelis have been moving to Europe for years. New York immigration law offices are busy with Israeli clients. Not always a fun area of law, but it pays the rent.

      Israelis leaving are the ones you might want as your neighbor — at least that has been my experience.

      Now those folks leaving Brooklyn or Moldova for Israel to carry out the Zionist colonial enterprise and get in on some cheap housing and subsidies in occupied territories?

      • CloakAndDagger
        April 1, 2014, 8:37 pm

        @Ellen

        Israelis leaving are the ones you might want as your neighbor

        You may be right about that – I don’t know if the “good ones” are self-selecting for exit. I do know that when the axe finally falls on Israel, there will be mass exodus, and we won’t get the chance to be selective about which ones come here. From the outside, it looks like the majority fall in the monster category, so I believe that the majority of them won’t be ones that will make good neighbors – at least not here in the San Francisco Bay area.

        Now those folks leaving Brooklyn or Moldova for Israel to carry out the Zionist colonial enterprise

        Well those are the ones that already have a second passport and will be the first to return – much to our chagrin.

      • Naftush
        April 2, 2014, 3:40 am

        Israel’s rate of emigration is around 2 people per 1,000 residents, very low by the standards of OECD countries — down from 3.2 per 1,000 in 2006 and 35 percent down from 1990.

      • Hostage
        April 2, 2014, 1:32 pm

        Israel’s rate of emigration is around 2 people per 1,000 residents, very low by the standards of OECD countries — down from 3.2 per 1,000 in 2006 and 35 percent down from 1990.

        LOL! Membership in the OECD lends an air of legitimacy to Israel, but nearly 1 in 10 Israelis prefer to live in the State of Palestine, rather than in Israel. Of course the OECD doesn’t report on the poverty and apartheid that situation has caused among the 4 million Palestinians.

  8. Justpassingby
    April 1, 2014, 2:25 pm

    Abbas, you can go to ICC right now, but you wont do that, puppet!

  9. seafoid
    April 1, 2014, 2:35 pm

    “BREAKING: Abbas signs agreement to join int’l organizations… appears that the Palestinians are walking away from peace talks”

    Walking away from pointlessness. Israel has nothing to offer .
    They might as well walk away.
    It’s like a fairy story. Palestine as Cinderella. The ugly sisters AIPAC, ADL and Israel call her ugly but there’s a wider world out there and she hears it calling.

    • atime forpeace
      April 1, 2014, 5:50 pm

      So the Palestinians don’t want peace?
      Does Israel have a willing partner in this peace process?
      Stay tuned and find out tomorrow when we’ll hear our Hero say ” Blah blah blah bla bla Israel does not have a willing partner in this peace process”.

    • Kay24
      April 2, 2014, 12:48 am

      Okay, let’s be a little more specific….Israel being the wicked step mother, and AIPAC and ADL, the ugly, mean, sisters.

      Cinderella must go to the ball, and finally stand up to the evil step mother.

      A fairy tale come true, for the much deserving Palestinians.

  10. justicewillprevail
    April 1, 2014, 2:35 pm

    There will be the usual tub-thumping threats to the Palestinians, couple with the predictable blame game. But the question is surely ‘what do the Palestinians have to lose?’ There is nothing on offer from the talks, except the vaguest of talk about releasing prisoners, many of whom shouldn’t even be in prison in the first place. Nothing about a viable Palestinian state, withdrawal of the squatters, restitution of property and rights, freedom from Israeli military rule and violence.
    Stop playing the israeli game of stringing talks out in order to embed the occupation, and go the international route. What else is there? Empty, futile talks with the most cynical and utterly insincere bunch of rogues and liars. Take your case to the world, whose citizens have far more sympathy and understanding of your case, than nearly all of their craven, cowardly political leaders.

  11. seafoid
    April 1, 2014, 2:47 pm

    This is the kind of horseshit that would drive anyone negotiating in good faith to the UN

    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.583200
    “While Kerry tries to clinch deal, Israel issues 700 tenders beyond Green Line”

    The essence of dramatic tragedy is not unhappiness. It resides in the solemnity of the remorseless working of things.

    The bots thought history had ended.
    Ya salaam

  12. pabelmont
    April 1, 2014, 3:10 pm

    Fantastic? Yes, if it happen.

    Meanwhile, PA throws some water on the idea that there is nothing more important than negotiating for peace with a deadbeat.

    MJR says Kerry plan is a joke. And he’s right.

    Maybe Kerry is just protecting the Dems’ Zionist money and doesn’t care if Abbas stays with him or jumps ship. Hope that’s it.

  13. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    April 1, 2014, 3:17 pm

    I’d love to be as optimistic as others on this discussion, but I’m willing to bet this is pantomime from Abbas. He wants to appear ‘tough’ for the sake of his domestic audience, many of whom see him as a collaborator. But in the end, there’s no way he’s going to follow through on his ‘threats’. The Americans know it. The Israelis know it. Everyone knows it.

    I’ll be very happy to be proved wrong on this, but something tells me I won’t be.

  14. Walid
    April 1, 2014, 3:19 pm

    I’m not understanding the Israeli position. Israel is desperate to keep talks going, it’s asking for recognition of its Jewishness as a condition and is even threatening if the talks aren’t extended. To convince the Israelis, that are desperate to continue the talks, to continue talking, the US is offering them Pollard. What are they offering the Palestinians other than the already agreed-to freeing of the prisoners? They should stop horse shitting each other and come out and openly threaten the Palestinians that if they don’t agree to forget about going to the UN or ICC, the sky would fall on them.

    • American
      April 1, 2014, 7:10 pm

      ‘They should stop horse shitting each other and come out and openly threaten the Palestinians that if they don’t agree to forget about going to the UN or ICC, the sky would fall on them’.>>>>>

      That will be next.

  15. ivri
    April 1, 2014, 4:14 pm

    Sorry, but aren`t you dramatizing here a non-event?

    • Annie Robbins
      April 1, 2014, 8:30 pm

      if it were a non event israel would not have let all those prisoners go to lure palestine into agreeing not to go to the UN for 9 more months. if it were a none event getting abbas to not go back to the UN would not been part of the proposal for the kerry framework extension.

      anyway, i am glad you think it is a non event, because abbas said he would keep ‘negotiating’ simultaneously. multi tasking, not quite like israel builds settlements while negotiating,but multi tasking none the less.

      • ivri
        April 2, 2014, 6:19 am

        The point is that Israel must play to the tune here – it is under huge pressure from Kerry and also the EU. It is clear to all that the gap is unbridgeable so a REAL agreement is not on the table but the façade must remain since it serves the interests of many. This is a show that goes on for decades now and just keeps changing appearances and shapes. The next “act” will most likely take place in the UN – expect a lot of “drama” there. In the meantime life goes on.

      • Real Jew
        April 2, 2014, 11:03 am

        “…the gap is unbridgeable so a REAL agreement is not on the table but the façade must remain since it serves the interests of many”

        The gap is only unbridgeable because of the current israeli govt, widely considered to be the worst (rightwinged) in Israeli history. The peace process is Israel’s greatest weapon against the Palestinians. Its only purpose is to deflect domestic and international pressure allowing them to build more settlements in the process which is Israel’s end game anyway, maximum land theft. But this doesnt serve the interest of many just israel

      • Hostage
        April 2, 2014, 1:40 pm

        The next “act” will most likely take place in the UN – expect a lot of “drama” there. In the meantime life goes on.

        No the next act would take place in the treaty and trade organizations which start sanctioning Israel and in the member state courts where Palestine and Palestinians get the assets of companies profiteering off of the illegal settlements frozen and forfeited. In the meantime exports from the Jordan valley tank and capital flight goes on.

      • JeffB
        April 2, 2014, 2:12 pm

        Care to put a hard date on those predictions so the become testable?

        Let’s take an example. When do Palestinians cross the $100m mark for asset seizures? 2015, 2016, 3016?

  16. Sammar
    April 1, 2014, 4:16 pm

    The so-called peace negotiations – Kerry or no Kerry – were a sham from the beginning, just like the ones before. All it did was to give Israel the opportunity to build more settlements. This is all so much bullshit and the US is complicit up to their necks.
    Why would they even bribe Israel with Pollard to release Palestinian prisoners that Israel is obligated to release in the first place. But there has never been an agreement that Israel didn’t break – and was not punished but rewarded for it by the US.

    I really hope Abbas will grow a pair and tell the Israelis and the US to stick their peace process and their frameworks where the sun don’t shine and go to the International community, the International organizations including the UNGA and the ICC.
    This has gone on long enough – there has to be an end to this farce. Let’s hope its now.

    • seafoid
      April 1, 2014, 4:36 pm

      The settler view

      http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/179155#.Uzsi55srgdU
      Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas breached the conditions of the peace talks Tuesday by signing a request to join several United Nations (UN) agencies.
      Abbas obligated himself to refrain from such unilateral moves for international recognition during the course of the peace talks, restarted last July by US Secretary of State John Kerry.
      “The Palestinian leadership has unanimously approved a decision to seek membership of 15 UN agencies and international treaties, beginning with the Fourth Geneva Convention,” Abbas said on TV following the signing, reports AFP.
      The PA chief also threatened that if Israel did not release the fourth batch of 26 convicted terrorists set to be released as part of ongoing talks, the PA would “immediately” seek membership in another 63 international agencies.
      “The demands (for membership) will be sent immediately,” declared Abbas, but added “This is not a move against America, or any other party – it is our right, and we agreed to suspend it for nine months.”

      Kerry had been set to meet with the PA leader in Ramallah, after a meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday took longer than planned, preventing Kerry’s scheduled meeting with Abbas.
      The unilateral move by the PA effectively torpedoes the peace talks, which were set to continue until April 29, and which have been stalling of late amid Abbas’s consistent refusal to recognize Israel as the Jewish state.
      Abbas set conditions on the extension of peace talks, demanding a Jewish construction freeze in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, as well as the release of the fourth and final batch of terrorists promised to the PA by Israel as a “gesture.”
      Israel at least temporarily refused the last batch of releases this Saturday, given the wide-spread opposition to the highly unpopular move and the lack of progress in the talks.

      • Walid
        April 1, 2014, 5:26 pm

        “The PA chief also threatened that if Israel did not release the fourth batch of 26 convicted terrorists set to be released as part of ongoing talks, the PA would “immediately” seek membership in another 63 international agencies.”

        Sounds like the guy that leaves a solitary suicide note but sends out a cc to everyone in his address book a week in advance.

      • Hostage
        April 1, 2014, 7:30 pm

        The settler view

        link to israelnationalnews.com

        I’d take that with a heavy dose of salt. The Israeli press spent decades touting the idea that Arafat and Abbas were going to declare the State of Palestine once again, in order to argue that the original 1988 UDI was invalid. In the end, the Palestinians did not do that. They simply applied for membership and upgraded status on the basis of the original 1988 declaration of Palestinian statehood. The General Assembly resolution of November 2012 did not create a State of Palestine, it simply recognized the existing one.

        I doubt that their legal advisors are going to use a different approach to the 1989 Palestinian accession to the Geneva Conventions. Palestine has been complaining about the fact that their POWs and civilians are being kept in jails outside the occupied territory in violation of GC III and IV for months now. It’s not likely to restart the clock on all of those existing cases just before it takes the situation to the ICJ and ICC. They will probably just remind the Swiss government that the General Assembly recognized the 1988 UDI and Palestine’s status as a state capable of making accessions to treaties and ask them to finally bring that fact to the attention of the other High Contracting Parties.

  17. amigo
    April 1, 2014, 4:50 pm

    “The PA decision flies in the face of current negotiations and proposals by Israel and Kerry, who flew back to Israel on Monday in an effort to rescue flailing negotiations.”J Post

    The blame game begins, J Post style.

    Did not get the link–sorry.Just Google J post.It is the lead story

  18. unverified__5ilf90kd
    April 1, 2014, 5:08 pm

    The despicable Oren quoted in the NYT today “We have to ask ourselves, have the Palestinians become addicted to Israeli incentives?” Let’s turn around that crude taking point from Israel and say “We have to ask ourselves, have the Israelis become addicted to American incentives and American tax payer money?

  19. Ael
    April 1, 2014, 5:45 pm

    I think the whole Pollard affair was an April fools joke on the Israeli’s by the administration. I mean, what better way to legitimize Israel to Americans while defanging any retaliation from AIPAC.

  20. Les
    April 1, 2014, 6:00 pm

    Kerry’s desperate Pollard gamble could cost him the entire Israeli-Palestinian ball game
    The plum political prize that Kerry was handing Netanyahu convinced Palestinians that they were getting the short end of the stick; now Kerry must salvage the talks that only a few still believe in
    By Chemi Shalev | Apr. 2, 2014 | 12:43 AM

    The late American psychiatrist Robert Custer, a pioneer in the treatment of compulsive gambling, identified three stages on the way to total addiction: first winning, then losing and finally desperation, when the gambler loses his sense of proportion and commits to ever-growing wagers. Judging by his willingness to put the release of imprisoned Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard on the Israeli-Palestinian negotiating table, there is room for concern that John Kerry may also be on a path to losing it all.

    Like a gambler sinking deeper and deeper, Kerry has whipped out one of the strongest aces in the American hand, so that all the time, energy and reputation that he has invested in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process won’t go down the drain. But the potential return on his bold bid was modest from the outset: release of Israeli prisoners, a “quiet” freeze on settlements and an extension of negotiations that only a few still believe in.

    But not only has Kerry failed to secure his limited goals, the prospect of Pollard’s release may have actually contributed to the breakdown of his efforts on Tuesday. When the Palestinians compared the pittance they were receiving, in their view, to the plum Pollard prize that Kerry was bestowing on Prime Minister Netanyahu, they decided to walk away in a huff. If Bibi gets Pollard, they told Kerry, we will look like fools if we don’t demand something just as big, like jailed Palestinian activist Marwan Barghouti.

    In America, reactions to the proposed release deteriorated throughout the day, from surprise in the morning to discomfort by noon to open opposition at sunset. “It’s a sign of weakness and desperation,” said former U.S. diplomat and peace envoy David Aaron Miller. We welcome Pollard’s release, said Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League, but “it should not be intertwined with the Arab-Israeli conflict.” Senator John McCain described the administration’s linkage between the two as “disgusting” although he supports Pollard’s release; his Republican colleague Mark Kirk, a loyal friend of Israel, said Pollard should “rot in jail forever.”

    Of course, opposition to Pollard’s release is not as harsh as it used to be. CIA director John Brennan is unlikely to threaten to resign, as his predecessor George Tenet did 16 years ago when President Clinton was trying to convince the same Netanyahu to sign the Wye River Memorandum. Pollard is going to be eligible for parole by November 2015 anyway, on the assumption that his health holds: “Maybe they just want to release him quickly so that he doesn’t die on them in jail,” one particularly cynical American told me on Monday.

    It the kind of ambivalence that characterizes reactions across the political spectrum to the admittedly premature reports of Pollard’s imminent release. The hawkish right is torn between support for Israel, that wants to see Pollard freed, and the urge to depict the proposed parole as yet another indication of President Obama’s inherent global weakness, from the Black Sea to Benghazi. The moderate left would like to see the peace process continue, but is concerned about handing Netanyahu such a clear cut political victory. And American Jews would like nothing better than to see the end of the 30 year Pollard saga, but they are wary of renewed focus on insinuations of “dual loyalty” and of the negative impact of the “Pollard festival” that Israel will inevitably hold, if and when the jailed spy is indeed set free.

    Of course, one can mount a credible geo-political defense of the sudden U.S. willingness to pay so much for so little. With Obama locking horns with Vladimir Putin in Ukraine, the last thing he needs is a flare up on the Israeli-Palestinian front that could entail international bickering as well as an internal spat between the Administration and Congress. Maybe that’s what Kerry told the President when he was imploring him to let him use Pollard as a bargaining chip, though people in his state are liable to say anything, as long as they can keep on playing the game.
    http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.583296

  21. David Doppler
    April 1, 2014, 6:05 pm

    This just in: FIFA responds to recent attack on Palestinian soccer players: http://news.antiwar.com/2014/03/31/fifa-threatens-to-expel-israel-over-treatment-of-palestinians/

    Israel has delegitimized itself in front of so many major international organizations.

    • Annie Robbins
      April 1, 2014, 8:14 pm

      david, i think this is hasbara. susie sent it to me this morning but there’s nothing backing it up except a jpost headline w/no supporting evidence in the text. anti war immediately links to jpost:

      “Report: FIFA threatens to expel Israel over restrictions on Palestinians”

      !!!!! but then you read it and that’s not what it says. “According to Inside World Football, FIFA has given Israel until the summer to improve travel and playing conditions for Palestinian soccer players.”

      but then you go to inside footbal…

      http://www.insideworldfootball.com/world-football/europe/14386-exclusive-israelis-reject-fifa-expulsion-talk-claiming-progress-is-being-made

      there’s just nothing new in there. no quotes from fifa threatening expulsion. just a bunch of new quotes from israeli officials trying to get in front of the old news on this. old news:

      FIFA have set up a mediation Task Force and Palestine football’s leading figurehead Jibril Rajoub has already met with his Israeli counterpart Avi Luzon and FIFA President Sepp Blatter to try and resolve the long-term issue of access to and from Palestinian territories.

      Blatter, who is due back in the region next month, wants Israel and Palestine to sign a formal co-operation agreement at or around the FIFA Congress in June but Rajoub has implied……[etc etc nada nada nada ]

      it’s hype. we reported that a month ago. meanwhile, palestinians are going to be asking for a vote on expelling israel in june. i don’t think they mentioned that in these articles.

  22. giladg
    April 1, 2014, 6:32 pm

    Abbas should be sent to Tunis where he belongs.

    • a blah chick
      April 1, 2014, 8:53 pm

      He belongs in Safed, where he was born, and why do YOU get to decide where Palestinians should live?

      • Walid
        April 2, 2014, 10:37 am

        “He belongs in Safed, ”

        blah chick, you and I believe so, but not the man himself. In his own words about visiting it:

        ” It’s my right to see it, but not to live there,”

      • Hostage
        April 2, 2014, 5:12 pm

        blah chick, you and I believe so, but not the man himself. In his own words about visiting it:

        ” It’s my right to see it, but not to live there,”

        You can’t be a good Israeli from Safad, if you also insist on being the President of the State of Palestine too. There’s no question that his political choices raise the issue of dual or divided loyalties. We are pretty fond of pointing out the impropriety of that sort of thing, when diaspora Zionists are the guilty party.

      • puppies
        April 3, 2014, 1:25 am

        @Hostage – Correct, within the particular logic of that particular fiction. Which is the art of giving up everything for nothing in return, zilch, nada, nitchevo. So yes, he is being a good Israelian and no more from Safed, either.

    • seafoid
      April 1, 2014, 10:09 pm

      Says Gilad. Which part of Poland did your people come from ?
      Abbas was born in Safed.

      • thankgodimatheist
        April 2, 2014, 7:54 am

        “Abbas should be sent to Tunis where he belongs.”
        Poor Gilad. Talking from his ass again.

    • Woody Tanaka
      April 2, 2014, 11:51 am

      “Abbas should be sent to Tunis where he belongs.”

      And the Zionists should be sent to Poland and Germany and Russia and Brooklyn where they belong. Or maybe there can be equality and freedom for all. Oh, but that would require you to abandon your Jude0-supremacism, and that’s not going to happen with you who are the equivalent of the Ku Klux Klan…

  23. ToivoS
    April 1, 2014, 9:17 pm

    Listened to NPR radio tonight that reported this story. It was the news reader interviewing three pro-Israel types — Aaron Miller, Norm Pollack from WINEP and someone else. What I found interesting is that none of the three were accusing Abbas of trying to sabotage the negotiations. They simply resorted to the usual Zionist excuses that the issues are way too complicated for any mortal man to comprehend. What struck me was none of the nonsense following the Camp David talks in 2000 when Clinton and Barak blamed Arafat for the talks failure and that he simply walked away from a reasonable agreement.

    If my reading of these sentiments are accurate it might be the case that Abbas can now go to the UN and no one in the US will blame him for the failure of these negotiations. I guess that has to be considered progress. I am sure that the US and Israel have prepared some way to blunt this approach to the UN but it will not include the accusation against the Palestinians that they are being intransigent.

  24. Kay24
    April 1, 2014, 10:20 pm

    I wonder why Abbas was reluctant to go to the UN and the ICC all this time, and why he keeps giving Israel so much of leeway, and time, which they do not deserve. Did the US threaten to stop all aid if he did, perhaps they did. This is the time the Arab states should step in and support the Palestinians with the badly need aid, and encourage them to go to the UN, pledging to give them all the support. Enough is enough. Israel has stalled, shifted the goal post, made ridiculous demands, and keeps buying time to build more and more illegal settlements, and is taking the Palestinians, once again, for a long ride. Time for the Palestinians to independently seek full recognition at the UN, and stop pandering to a greedy, devious nation, who has no interest in peace. Last time the Palestinians were able to get the majority of the world, minus the US, vote for them, and gave them a resounding victory, I am sure it will be the same this time too. The entire world owes these long suffering people some relief from suffering, legitimacy, and most of all freedom from a brutal occupation.

    • Hostage
      April 2, 2014, 2:17 pm

      I wonder why Abbas was reluctant to go to the UN and the ICC all this time,

      Because: 1) Abbas promised to use recognition to transform the conflict from a political issue into a political and legal issue. The international community only condones use of the international courts as a last resort. 2) The USA still has a law on the books that will cutoff funding to any UN organ that extends the rights reserved for a member state to Palestine. 3) It also still has the Hague Invasion Act, which authorizes the use of military force to obtain the release of any citizen of a U.S.-allied country being held by the court.

      The threatened cutoff in funding includes the Security Council, General Assembly, and ICJ. After the cutoff of funding to UNESCO, the Secretary General publicly requested that Palestine stop applying to UN agencies and negotiate using its upgraded status. Those UN agencies are very unlikely to vote in favor of Palestine anyway, if it means they will be defunded. For its own part, the Middle East Quartet promised that it would get Israel to see the light and provide a map of its proposed borders within 90 days. When that didn’t happen Abbas got Palestine the rights of a “non-member” observer state with the unquestioned ability to join the ICC or accept its jurisdiction. The US once again asked for the space of nine months of negotiations to conclude a final agreement. Palestine has to be seen to be willing to accept a final settlement and to have exhausted its available remedies before it goes back to the ICJ. Many Judges in the 2003 Wall case, like Higgins, told the feuding parties to STFU, end the illegal situations they had both created, and negotiate a settlement to end the occupation. To his credit, Abbas has taken action to prevent Palestinians who plan violent attacks and has tried to negotiate a solution, and join the UN in line with phase II of the Road Map, Security Council resolution 1515, and General Assembly resolution ES-10/15.

      • Woody Tanaka
        April 2, 2014, 2:26 pm

        “The threatened cutoff in funding includes the Security Council, General Assembly, and ICJ.”

        After which these organizations should eject the USA. Let the UN pack up the Gen’l Assembly and move to Geneva and let the US be as powerful in international affairs as Chad and have to beg the UK for a veto on the SC. It would be justice.

      • JeffB
        April 3, 2014, 8:26 am

        @Woody

        After which these organizations should eject the USA. Let the UN pack up the Gen’l Assembly and move to Geneva and let the US be as powerful in international affairs as Chad and have to beg the UK for a veto on the SC. It would be justice.

        When the USA was ejected from the UN Human Right Commission during the Bush Administration the USA just ignored its findings. The Security Council then had the problem that it was debating matters of fact and not matters of policy. There is no way to meaningful eject the United States. If the USA was not part of the Security Council the meaningful debates about how the world’s powers are going to respond various international events takes place elsewhere or worse yet, not at all. The Security Council without the USA can say whatever it wants but the USA’s real veto doesn’t come from the Security Council rules it comes from the reality that the USA navy and USA airforce can easily establish theater dominance wherever they want. The Security Council can do whatever the United States says it can do, not because of the rules but because of the realities of power.

      • Hostage
        April 3, 2014, 11:16 pm

        When the USA was ejected from the UN Human Right Commission during the Bush Administration the USA just ignored its findings.

        That strategy would not work with the Security Council. It would have to fold-up shop, just like the LoN. The USA’s permanent seat there is guaranteed by the terms of the UN Charter itself, which cannot be amended without unanimous consent. FYI, it’s the only example where the P-5, or anyone else, get to veto a General Assembly resolution:

        CHAPTER XVIII
        AMENDMENTS
        Article 108

        Amendments to the present Charter shall come into force for all Members of the United Nations when they have been adopted by a vote of two thirds of the members of the General Assembly and ratified in accordance with their respective constitutional processes by two thirds of the Members of the United Nations, including all the permanent members of the Security Council.
        http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/un/unchart.htm#art107

  25. puppies
    April 1, 2014, 10:58 pm

    @Toivo – “I am sure that the US and Israel have prepared some way to blunt this approach to the UN but it will not include the accusation against the Palestinians that they are being intransigent.”
    Who or what is to keep them from that? Logic? Yeah.
    Anyway, I’d expect them to take out Abbas & Co, provoke and repress an impotent insurrection and end up installing yet one more version of their puppet administration to restart the game all over again.

    • Hostage
      April 2, 2014, 2:37 pm

      Who or what is to keep them from that? Logic? Yeah.

      The international community of states. The USA and EU do not have the political capital required to deal with other comparable situations, like the Crimea, while they are either turning a blind eye or actively facilitating Israel when it does the very same thing and much worse in Palestine.

  26. dbroncos
    April 1, 2014, 11:24 pm

    Rudoren’s NYT piece on this now has 700 comments. lots of outrage against Israel.
    True to form, Rudoren refers to Israel’s actions as being against international law “according to Palestinians”. Well done Jodi! you’ve done your duty to the state.

  27. Walid
    April 2, 2014, 1:54 am

    OT: As if Gazans don’t have enough problems with the bad guys’ siege, now Hamas has announced its intent to impose full sharia law on them.

    From Voltairnet:

    “Hamas imposes Sharia law in Gaza
    VOLTAIRE NETWORK | 1 APRIL 2014

    … Faraj Al Ghoul, the Hamas Justice Minister, announced the Gazan parliament would replace the criminal code in existence since 1936 with a new one based on Sharia Islamic law.

    The law stipulates a minimum of 20 lashes for minor offenses, and a minimum of 80 lashes in criminal cases. The hand of a thief will be cut off; the death penalty will be reinstated for criminal offenders including homosexual practices, etc.

    The secular group Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) attacked the law as an abuse of power, pointing out that the Gazan parliament’s term has already expired and it is therefore not authorized to issue such a law. Moreover, it slams Hamas for wanting to impose on Palestinian society the retrograde model of the Muslim Brotherhood .

    In 2009, Hamas banned motorcyclists from driving a woman on their back seat [1] and imposed the Islamic dress code [2]. On 4 March 2010, Hamas banned men from working in women’s hair salons [3]. On 10 February 2013, Hamas banned mixed schools for students over 9 years [4].”

    http://www.voltairenet.org/article183090.html

    • Justpassingby
      April 2, 2014, 3:47 am

      Yes so?

    • seafoid
      April 2, 2014, 4:32 am

      That’s really going to help. As if the bots aren’t bad enough.

      • amigo
        April 2, 2014, 11:46 am

        Last thing needed is giving more whataboutery material to gildog and co.

        Hopefully when the People of Gaza get the zio criminals out of their lives they can get rid of Their own fanatics.

      • puppies
        April 3, 2014, 1:32 am

        @amigo – Remember who gifted Hamas to this world: Azrael (assisted by despair.) It’s not so many years ago that you had to look hard to even find a religious Palestinian.

    • Rusty Pipes
      April 2, 2014, 8:20 pm

      Did Hamas just make an April Fools Day joke?

  28. Kay24
    April 2, 2014, 3:19 am

    From a Haaretz article:

    “Abbas said the leadership made its decision after Israel did not commit to releasing a fourth round of prisoners.

    “We don’t want to clash with the U.S. administration, but we are left with no choice,” Abbas said. “Secretary of State John Kerry made great efforts and I met with him 39 times since the beginning of the negotiations. We are not working against anyone but we have no other option.”

    Abbas added: “It is our right to turn to UN institutions and we had postponed it for nine months and never agreed to give up that right.” The Palestinian premier said, however, that the leadership still seeks a solution to the conflict, through negotiations and through popular resistance.”

    Abbas felt Israel was not keeping to it’s word, and that the continuous building of illegal settlements, showed Israel was not serious about peace.
    Good move PM Abbas. You gave them a chance and they failed to take that opportunity. The world knows now that it was Israel that stalled, made silly demands, and did not honor it’s word.
    Good luck at the UN, the world will be behind the Palestinians once again.

  29. NickJOCW
    April 2, 2014, 4:12 am

    Abbas said more than once that if the prisoner release did not take place he would regard the agreement relating to the 9 month moratorium on making application to UN organizations as over, which appears to be exactly what he has done. That the ICC is not among the 15 he his applied to join would seem to leave him holding the ace of trumps. The NYT announces that his actions…appeared to catch American and Israeli officials by surprise. A reaction which, if true, would surely itself take any sane person by surprise.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/02/world/middleeast/jonathan-pollard.html?emc=edit_th_20140402&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=44972456

  30. Accentitude
    April 2, 2014, 4:45 am

    This is what should have been done from the start. We shouldn’t have to ask for our rights. We should demand them. Israel might be in a position of power through force but it is not and never was in a position to dictate the rights of the Palestinian people under any circumstances. It cannot tell us who we are, what we are entitled to or where we should define our existence. We are Palestinians and Palestine is our country whether Israel recognizes it or not and there are no other alternatives to that.

    • Hostage
      April 2, 2014, 4:42 pm

      This is what should have been done from the start.

      You need to understand that Abbas would have simply failed, if he applied for membership in other UN specialized agencies, after the US canceled UNESCO’s funding. Palestine can’t simply join most of those. It needs to win a lot of up-hill political battles. Abbas has to build support among the other voting members of the international community in order to do that, by showing that he has exhausted his chances for any US-brokered final settlement or remedies. Then the non-aligned states can shame and blame the US government and try to neutralize its influence through some horse trading on issues like support for sanctions related to the crisis in Crimea.

  31. MHughes976
    April 2, 2014, 6:30 am

    The surprise would come from the fact that Abbas’ role has been to comply – after a few rounds of protest and threats of resignation – with whatever he’s asked to do, knowing that he’ll always be asked to do a bit more. Whether we now see the worm turning, or (as I think Walid suspects) merely wriggling, we don’t yet know.

  32. Sumud
    April 2, 2014, 7:02 am

    I wonder if Abbas’ move to action has anything to do with Dahlan’s recently publicity blitz, what seems like a fairly thinly-veiled threat by the US/Israel to Abbas that he is expendable.

    Maybe Abbas does feel that he has some competition in Dahlan but if the US/Israel expected obedience they don’t seem to have got it. By refusing to extend talks and joining additional international agencies he gains some credibility in the rest of the world, whereas we know Dahlan will be a ruthless but obedient Israeli stooge.

    • LeaNder
      April 2, 2014, 7:54 am

      By refusing to extend talks

      I am not sure he is. He may well have responded exactly as he suggested before. Could it be that Al Jazeera’s focus is more correct than news out of Israel, even by Reuters?

      Kerry’s heightened recent activities may indeed, as they suggest, have to do with what Nick alludes to above:

      The NYT announces that “his actions…appeared to catch American and Israeli officials by surprise.” A reaction which, if true, would surely itself take any sane person by surprise.

    • Walid
      April 2, 2014, 8:27 am

      Sumud, Dahlan is a decoy. The honey pot to justify the extension that’s surely coming is Barghouti and the price to release Barghouti would be Pollard.

      • NickJOCW
        April 2, 2014, 9:25 am

        Walid, That would make sense, probably too much sense to be likely.

      • Inanna
        April 3, 2014, 1:00 am

        Walid,

        It’s not worth the sh*tstorm that would fall on Obama if he allowed Pollard to go. The intelligence community is dead against it and Obama is not going to put them off side. They are too powerful a constituency in their own right for him to want to risk the consequences of releasing Pollard and you can be sure this view has been made known to the President. There’s a reason why Clinton and Bush 2 didn’t do it and it’s the same reason Obama won’t do it.

      • Walid
        April 3, 2014, 4:31 am

        Inanna, if not now, it will happen in 18 months when Pollard will be eligible for parole and whether or not he applies for it, they’ll surely commute his sentence to time served to kick him out of jail. As to Obama, he’s got a big umbrella anyway to shelter him from the stuff that would fall on him. After 30 years, Pollard’s time in jail has become senseless. This talk of release him to entice the Israelis is just an excuse for raising the issue of his release as it has nothing to do with the Palestinians or the negotiations.

  33. NickJOCW
    April 2, 2014, 7:31 am

    A Palestinian official insisted that joining UN organisations did not spell the end of the talks. “We agreed to waive our right to join UN bodies in exchange for having 104 prisoners freed and Israel broke that agreement,” he said. “That’s why we have applied to join. But the UN isn’t a threat or a substitute for negotiations. [Membership] is our right as a sovereign nation. The UN has nothing to do with the negotiations.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/middleeast/palestinianauthority/10738184/Peace-talks-on-verge-of-collapse-after-Palestinians-UN-move.html

  34. Mayhem
    April 2, 2014, 9:05 am

    “That Israel is again being pressured over prisoner releases is scandalous. The government was bludgeoned by the US into releasing these mass murderers on the clear understanding that the four phases of release would only be fulfilled if there was progress in the negotiations. Abbas has made it abundantly clear that he will not compromise on anything and yet the Americans persist in exerting pressure.
    “There are unconfirmed reports that the Americans are even considering the release of Pollard to make the terrorist release more palatable to the Israeli public and induce Netanyahu to include Arab Israeli
    terrorists (which Israel had never endorsed) in the final phase. If Pollard, who by any benchmark should have been released a long time ago, is now to be used as a pawn to pressure Israel to release more mass murderers, it reflects an abominable, almost obscene, lapse in morality on the part of the Obama Administration.” Read http://www.jwire.com.au/featured-articles/the-disastrous-outcome-of-the-peace-negotiations-writes-isi-leibler

    • Hostage
      April 2, 2014, 4:53 pm

      That Israel is again being pressured over prisoner releases is scandalous. The government was bludgeoned by the US into releasing these mass murderers on the clear understanding that the four phases of release would only be fulfilled if there was progress in the negotiations.

      Nope, Palestine conditioned its resumption of talks on the prisoner release and suspended its demand for a settlement freeze. Israel was blocking progress by refusing to provide a map of proposed borders that the Quartet had demanded within 90 days. Israel and the US are only using the talks to keep Palestine from exercising its rights to join international organizations and treaty bodies. So when Israel violated the assurances on the prisoner release, Palestine was no longer bound by the terms of its side deal. It has agreed to continue the talks until April 29th.

    • Woody Tanaka
      April 2, 2014, 7:01 pm

      “mass murderers”

      Nope. at most alleged murderers. None of them were ever given a fair trial, so all are rightfully considered innocent and besides, most would argue they were simply freedom fighters striking at those who are attacking them and exercising their right of self-defense.

    • Walid
      April 3, 2014, 4:37 am

      “… to make the terrorist release more palatable to the Israeli public and induce Netanyahu to include Arab Israeli terrorists (which Israel had never endorsed) in the final phase. ”

      Mayhem, are you saying that the planned March release of the final batch of prisoners was not in the agreement?

  35. seafoid
    April 2, 2014, 10:28 am

    Some big articles in Ha’aretz today :

    Strenger is worried about Abbas handing the keys back to Netanyahu

    http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/strenger-than-fiction/.premium-1.583383
    “John Kerry had phenomenal patience and put enormous time and energy into his attempt to reach an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. But even his patience and certainly that of the White House seem to have come to an end. Senior administration officials state that Kerry says he has gone as far as he can in his efforts, and that Israelis and Palestinians should now make their own decisions.
    Kerry seems to have reached the same conclusion as James Baker, the elder Bush’s secretary of state, who told then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir more than 20 years ago that he should call the White House when he was ready to actually do business.

    . He might then be forced to drop off the keys for the PA on Netanyahu’s desk, and Israel from this moment on would be responsible for running the West Bank again.
    The implications for Israel would be nothing short of catastrophic. In the short run, Israel’s economy would be under enormous strain because it would have to finance everything from schools through hospitals and security in the West Bank. In the long run the situation would be even worse: Palestinians will argue that the West Bank is de facto part of Israel and that they are therefore entitled to full political rights.
    Israel would then face the full South Africa scenario: The international community would probably accept the Palestinian demand and see the situation as apartheid, while Washington’s ability to protect Israel from diplomatic assaults and boycotts will decrease. Israel will be forced to give Palestinians full political rights, and a binational state will be established West of the Jordan River.
    On paper, Israel’s right-wing proponents of the Greater Land of Israel will have won. De facto, this would mean the end of the Zionist project of the democratic homeland of the Jews.”

    Beinart is worried about Adelson

    http://www.haaretz.com/blogs/strenger-than-fiction/.premium-1.583383
    “This isn’t hawkishness. It’s hate. Hawks acknowledge that there are divisions among Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims, but argue that, at this moment in time, the forces of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic militancy have the upper hand. For Adelson, by contrast, there are no distinctions. All Palestinians and all Muslims are detestable killers. It’s just who they are. “There isn’t a Palestinian alive who wasn’t raised on a curriculum of hatred and hostility toward the Jews,” he told the Jewish Press in 2011. “They don’t want the Jews or any other religion to be alive,” he said in the same interview. “The Muslims…want to kill 100 percent of the Jews,” he explained last fall. “Not all Islamists are terrorists but all the terrorists are Islamists,” he opined in 2012.
    The ignorance is painful. At times, Adelson seems to suggest that Palestinians are a religion. (“They don’t want the Jews or any other religion to be alive.”) His claim that “all the terrorists are Islamists” reveals a lack of familiarity with, among others, Timothy McVeigh, Ted Kaczynski, the Klu Klux Klan, the Irish Republican Army, the Tamil Tigers, the Basque National Liberation Movement, the FARC, and the Jewish Defense League. Adelson is on record as admitting that “I don’t know the difference between the Shia and the Sunnis.” ”

    • amigo
      April 2, 2014, 11:42 am

      Adelson left out!!

      The UDF, (Ulster Defence Force) and the UVR (Ulster Volunteer Force) and the UDA Ulster Defence Association) , all three terrorist Orgs who carried out Bombings in Southern Ireland and many killings in the North.

      Listening to people like Adelson , one might be forgiven for believing that the Only Terrorists in Northern Ireland were those in The IRA.

      But being a Zionist and supporter of State Terrorism, he would think that way.

      I wonder what the life expectancy for a well heeled zionist is these days.

    • Sibiriak
      April 2, 2014, 12:01 pm

      Palestinians will argue that the West Bank is de facto part of Israel and that they are therefore entitled to full political rights.

      But what about Gaza and its 1.7 million Palestinians-not to mention refugees and their descendants? Are they also to become part of Israel? No. So, at best we are dealing here with TWO de facto states, not a democratic 1SS, and a permanent fracturing of the Palestinian people. Israel will, of course, resist the absorption of large numbers of WB Palestinians, but even if it came to that, those Palestinians would still be a minority in a Jewish state , with millions left outside that state.

    • ritzl
      April 2, 2014, 1:05 pm

      Beinart spending 1000 words to say Adelson is crazy is libzio irrelevance on full display.

      How about … Adelson IS crazy. Now spend 1000 words on how you (Beinart) are going to counter that politically.

      But they won’t do that either because that would be divisive, in the intra-Jewish sense. These folks must get up in the morning and say to themselves, “Today I’m going to write something meaningless.” They sure do it enough to beg the question.

  36. mikeo
    April 2, 2014, 10:31 am

    Palestinians submit official bid to join 15 international conventions

    Full article at Haaretz

    Below is the full list of conventions the Palestinians want to sign:

    ■ Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1979

    ■ International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1966

    ■ International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1966

    ■ Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2006

    ■ International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1965

    ■ United Nations Convention Against Torture, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1984

    ■ United Nations Convention Against Corruption, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2003

    ■ UN Genocide Convention, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1948

    ■ Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1974

    ■ Convention on the Rights of the Child, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1989

    ■ Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (Fourth Geneva Convention)

    ■ Convention with Respect to the Laws and Customs of War on Land (Hague II)

    ■ Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties

    ■ Vienna Convention on Consular Relations

    ■ Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations

    BOOM!

    How d’ya like them apples!

    • eljay
      April 2, 2014, 11:08 am

      >> Below is the full list of conventions the Palestinians want to sign …

      They’ve chosen to walk a straight and narrow path. I sincerely hope they manage to remain on it.

    • NickJOCW
      April 2, 2014, 12:12 pm

      Very careful choices! The NYT says none of those selected actually triggers any automatic diminution of US financial aid. Have we underestimated Abbas?

      • Kay24
        April 2, 2014, 12:26 pm

        Someone said his trump card will be the ICC. He is keeping it for either a bargaining chip, or for a more dramatic time. With Israel that time will come sooner than later…can’t be too soon for some of us.

      • NickJOCW
        April 2, 2014, 1:58 pm

        Yes, in another thread. Abbas is playing his hand very neatly, but we need remember the US or Israel can at any time just pull out a gun and kick the table over.

      • mikeo
        April 2, 2014, 12:27 pm

        “The NYT says none of those selected actually triggers any automatic diminution of US financial aid.”

        Plus Israel is guilty as sin of violating most of those…

      • Hostage
        April 2, 2014, 5:48 pm

        Very careful choices! The NYT says none of those selected actually triggers any automatic diminution of US financial aid. Have we underestimated Abbas?

        The last three, the UN Vienna Conventions, contain treaty obligations between the parties, like the USA and Palestine, that require them to deal with one another as states, with certain legal rights and duties to one another. So yes, Abbas is following some clever advice.

      • Rusty Pipes
        April 2, 2014, 8:36 pm

        Very careful choices, signing UN conventions rather than joining UN organizations. Building steps to reinforce its rights without jeopardizing the US funding of UN organizations at this time.

      • Hostage
        April 2, 2014, 9:14 pm

        Very careful choices, signing UN conventions rather than joining UN organizations. Building steps to reinforce its rights without jeopardizing the US funding of UN organizations at this time.

        They can also join the ICC, or in the alternative get one of the ICC members of the League of Arab states, like Comoros, to make an Article 13 referral of the situation to the Prosecutor and request an Article 19(3) ruling from the Judges on the admissibility and jurisdiction issues created by the Prosecutor in violation of Article 12(3). The latter would be just as effective and cost free, since the agreement between the state parties to the Rome Statute does not require third-party states who wish to accept the Court’s jurisdiction to become permanent dues-paying members. Neither of those options would affect US funding of the ICC, since it is already prohibited by the “Hague Invasion Act”.

        The members of the League of Arab States already supplied the Prosecutor with an exhibit on the status of Palestine, which explicitly established that it is a state capable of concluding multilateral treaties and implicitly established that it is a third-party state for the purposes of Article 98 regarding diplomatic immunity and extradition. They also referred a report on the situation in Gaza and Operation Cast Lead authored by an international fact finding mission outlining numerous acts that are subject to the Court’s jurisdiction under Article 7 and 8 of the statute.

    • Hostage
      April 2, 2014, 5:35 pm

      How d’ya like them apples!

      LOL! Unlike mere UNESCO or UN membership, the parties to the Vienna Conventions, including the USA, have a treaty obligation to begin dealing with the State of Palestine, as such, the minute the Secretary General notifies them about Palestine’s deposit of an accession.

      That treaty agreement regarding recognition of statehood has immediate legal consequences, with or without any further negotiations on the part of Palestine: e.g. Avena and Other Mexican Nationals (Mexico v. United States of America):

      The Court finds that the United States of America has breached its obligations to Mr. Avena and 50 other Mexican nationals and to Mexico under the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations

      http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/index.php?pr=605&code=%A0%20mus&p1=3&p2=3&p3=6&case=128&k=18/&PHPSESSID=6a2e2e2f4dc8919c2d331d11e8b4ac75&PHPSESSID=6a2e2e2f4dc8919c2d331d11e8b4ac75

      So, the State Department was correct when it said that it could not stop the Palestinian statehood bid if the talks failed, i.e. the USA itself will be legally obligated to recognize the state of Palestine after these instruments are deposited with the UN Secretary General (checkmate): http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4504575,00.html

      On a more serious note, this also fulfills the obligation under the 2003 Basic Law for the Government of Palestine to become a party to the UN Human Rights Conventions. Palestine will be obliged to participate in the UN Review process about its efforts to end its own violations of human rights.

      • JeffB
        April 2, 2014, 5:46 pm

        @Hostage

        Of course in the real world, .the Vienna conventions talk about sovereign states. “A sovereign state is any nation or people, whatever may be the form of its internal constitution, which governs itself independently of foreign powers.” For the UN to declare Palestine a state they would have to declare it was self governing which they’ve refused to do for Gaza where the issue is far more clear cut. Not that blatant hypocrisy will stop the UN from doing whatever it wants but the USA is going to be on a very firm foundation to argue that Palestine is not now nor has it ever been a state.

        Far better would be for Abbas to argue for the state of Gaza and here he would get Israel’s full support.

      • Hostage
        April 2, 2014, 11:26 pm

        @Hostage

        Of course in the real world, .the Vienna conventions talk about sovereign states.

        More of your made-up bullshit. In the real world each of the Vienna Conventions contain a version of the real “Vienna formula”, which says that the signatories agree that any member of a UN specialized agency belongs to a category of states with an open invitation to become a signatory or file an accession and become a contracting state party.

        FYI, the Council of the League of Nations adopted a resolution on the mandated states in 1932 which explained that “the ability to stand alone” did not mean the ability to defend its territorial integrity against foreign aggression or an occupation. It was agreed that no small state could defend itself against one of the Great Powers and that the solution was to grant them LoN membership and the protection of mutual defense under Article 10 of the Covenant.

        The same thing applies today to states that are illegally annexed or occupied in violation of the prohibition of aggression contained in the UN Charter. In case you are wondering why the US embassy is still in Tel Aviv, the Restatement (Third) of the Foreign Relations Law of the United States § 201 Reporter’s Note 3 says: “The United States will treat States the territory of which is under foreign military occupation as continuing to exist.” and ”in a de jure sense”, Jerusalem was part of Palestine and has not since become part of any other sovereignty. See Foreign Relations of the United States, 1961-1963, Vol. Xviii, Near East, United States. Dept. of State, G.P.O., 1995, ISBN 0160451590, page 341.

      • JeffB
        April 3, 2014, 9:03 am

        @Hostage

        FYI, the Council of the League of Nations adopted a resolution on the mandated states in 1932 which explained that “the ability to stand alone” did not mean the ability to defend its territorial integrity against foreign aggression or an occupation.

        Which of course is precisely the root of the problem and well put by you. The ability to defend its territorial integrity is precisely what the ability to stand alone does mean. Otherwise it is totally meaningless. If you want to argue that the League and later the UN completely perverted the meaning of Vienna I’m not going to argue. But if you want to read what Vienna unquestionably meant to its authors, the original intent, then they meant military power.

        The UN has already declared a state of Palestine twice. But that’s not Vienna.

      • Hostage
        April 3, 2014, 9:06 pm

        Which of course is precisely the root of the problem and well put by you. The ability to defend its territorial integrity is precisely what the ability to stand alone does mean

        Not according to the LoN or UN Charter. You are trying to revive the defunct law of conquest, which has been taboo ever since Article 2 of the UN Charter was adopted. The United States applied the prohibition against acquisition of territory by war in Asia for the first time, when it applied the Stimson Doctrine in the aftermath of The Mukden Incident of 1931. It was based upon principles of international that dated back to the 19th Century, as the Act of Chapultepec, March 6, 1945 explained:

        The American states have been incorporating in their international law, since 1890, by means of conventions, resolutions and declarations, the following principles:

        a) The proscription of territorial conquest and the non-recognition of all acquisitions made by force (First International Conference of American States, 1890);

        http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/chapul.asp

        That was more than a decade before the establishment of the state of Israel in South West Asia.

        Likewise, Eyal Benvenisti has explained at length that unilaterally imposed dispositions of territory as a result of private wars had been outlawed in the 19th century and resulted in the adoption of prohibitions by the Concert of Europe and later by the Hague rules of 1907 regarding belligerent and armistice occupation regimes. See Eyal Benvenisti, “The Origins of the Concept of Belligerent Occupation, Law and History Review 26.3 (2008), http://archive.is/E8yI

      • talknic
        April 3, 2014, 12:43 am

        JeffB “the USA is going to be on a very firm foundation to argue that Palestine is not now nor has it ever been a state”

        Wrong and irrelevant.

        1) See LoN Covenant Article 22 // LoN Mandate for Palestine 1st line and Article 7

        2) corpus separatum was never instituted. Jerusalem was never legally separated from what remained of Palestine after Israel proclaimed its sovereign extent and was recognized as it asked to be recognized “as an independent republic within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947”

        3) Israel has never legally acquired ANY territory outside of its proclaimed and recognized boundaries and;

        4) the US is legally bound not to recognize any territories Israel has acquired by war by the Montevideo convention on the Rights and Duties of States and;

        5) the majority of the International Comity of Nations have already recognized Palestine as a state and;

        6) the UN has accepted Palestine as an observer State

        7) Resolution 476
        1. Reaffirms the overriding necessity to end the prolonged occupation of Arab territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including Jerusalem and finally;

        It’s irrelevant because Jerusalem is simply not sovereign to Israel.

      • JeffB
        April 3, 2014, 9:00 am

        @talknic

        4) the US is legally bound not to recognize any territories Israel has acquired by war by the Montevideo convention on the Rights and Duties of States and;

        Jerusalem embassy act of 1995:
        2.2 Since 1950, the city of Jerusalem has been the capital of the State of Israel.
        2.6 In 1967, the city of Jerusalem was reunited during the conflict known as the Six Day War.
        3.a (a) STATEMENT OF THE POLICY OF THE UNITED STATES-
        (1) Jerusalem should remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic and religious group are protected;
        (2) Jerusalem should be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel; and

        We can deal with reality or we can deal with fantasy but in reality the USA most certainly has recognized those territories.

        5) the majority of the International Comity of Nations have already recognized Palestine as a state and;
        6) the UN has accepted Palestine as an observer State

        I agree. I’m talking the Vienna Conventions which are sensible not the UN.

      • Hostage
        April 3, 2014, 9:30 pm

        4) the US is legally bound not to recognize any territories Israel has acquired by war by the Montevideo convention on the Rights and Duties of States and;

        Jerusalem embassy act of 1995:

        You are citing a statute that the President claimed was an impermissible intrusion on the exclusive power of the Executive branch. The Courts have agreed that recognition of sovereignty over territory is not a legislative function – and have said as much in the case of related statute regarding the city of Jerusalem which purportedly required the Executive branch to enter Jerusalem, Israel on passports.

        In any event, Hersh Lauterpacht, Antonio Cassese, and a host of other Justices serving on international tribunals have repeatedly affirmed that there exists in international law a universally recognized principle that any attempt to excuse non-fulfilment of an international obligation on the basis of municipal law constitutes a breach of those international obligations. See for example André Klip, Göran Sluiter, Annotated leading cases of International Criminal Tribunals: The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia 1997-1999, Intersentia NV, 2001, page 134 and The Development of International Law by the International Court, Hersch Lauterpacht (ed), Cambridge University Press, 1982, ISBN 0521463327, page 262

      • Hostage
        April 3, 2014, 10:57 pm

        I agree. I’m talking the Vienna Conventions which are sensible not the UN.

        During the decade-long hearings on Transjordanian/Jordanian membership in the UN and during the hearings on Israel’s membership application, it became obvious that the P-5 were abusing the threat or the veto to overrule the majority opinion on a procedural matter that did not present a threat to international peace and security by any stretch of the imagination.

        In the 1950s, the Security Council actually ignored General Assembly resolutions that recommended Security Council approval of a plethora of applications. Since the permanent members were not required to explain their negative votes, and there were criteria other than statehood involved, such as: ability to fulfill Charter obligations regarding payment of dues, a neutral state’s ability to provide peacekeeping forces, & etc. there was a great deal of concern that non-member states were being prevented from depositing valid accessions and joining multilateral treaties. Those UN agreements contained “Charter principles” of international law, which the UN Organization, as a whole, was committed to promote among non-member states according to the explicit terms of Article 2(6) of the UN Charter.

        The unhelpful battle over the declarative versus constitutive theories of recognition moved to the Security Council, where the P-5 held that the UN was not delegated the necessary authority to collectively recognize states, and that it would require an amendment to the Charter in order for it to do so. See http://www.historyofmacedonia.org/IndependentMacedonia/UN.html

        In this and other cases, like the Rome Statute of the ICC, the General Assembly simply convened and hosted a Diplomatic Conference of Plenipotentiaries outside the UN organization to solve the problem. The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties was a codification of the rules of customary international law. The Conference concluded that member states of UN specialized agencies, like UNESCO, belong to a “category of states” that have been formally recognized under the rules of customary international law. In accordance with articles 5, 6, 81, 82, and 83 of that convention:
        Article 5: Treaties constituting international organizations
        and treaties adopted within an international organization . . .
        The present Convention applies to any treaty which is the constituent instrument of an international organization and to any treaty adopted within an international organization [e.g. the UN Charter, The Rome Statute, and UN human rights treaties]
        Article 6: Capacity of States to conclude treaties
        Every State possesses capacity to conclude treaties.
        Article 81: Signature
        The present Convention shall be open for signature by all States Members of the United Nations or of any of the specialized agencies or of the International Atomic Energy Agency or parties to the Statute of the International Court of Justice, and by any other State invited by the General Assembly of the United Nations to become a party to the Convention . . .
        Article 82: Ratification
        The present Convention is subject to ratification. The instruments of ratification shall be deposited with the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
        Article 83: Accession
        The present Convention shall remain open for accession by any State belonging to any of the categories mentioned in article 81.
        link to untreaty.un.org
        Article 48, 49 and 50 of The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations contains an identical invitation for State members of UN specialized agencies to deposit signatures, ratifications, and accessions to that treaty. link to untreaty.un.org

        Articles 74, 75, and 76 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations contains an identical invitation for State members of UN specialized agencies to deposit signatures, ratifications, or accessions to that treaty
        https://treaties.un.org/doc/Publication/UNTS/Volume%20596/volume-596-I-8638-English.pdf

        There is no nonsense about checking with the General Assembly in “cases of doubt” regarding the members of the categories of states enumerated in Articles 81-83 of the Law of Treaties, because the Plenipotentiaries who drafted the Convention already stipulated that they are States, and that all states have the legal capacity to conclude treaties, and maintain diplomatic and consular relations.

      • Hostage
        April 3, 2014, 12:58 am

        JeffB “the USA is going to be on a very firm foundation to argue that Palestine is not now nor has it ever been a state”

        That will come as quite a surprise to the US State Department and its legal counsel who prevailed in the lawsuit brought against Secretary Dulles on that very issue:

        The contention of the plaintiff that Palestine, while under the League of Nations mandate, was not a foreign state within the meaning of the statute is wholly without merit. . . . Furthermore, it is not for the judiciary, but for the political branches of the Government to determine that Palestine at that time was a foreign state. This the Executive branch of the Government did in 1932 with respect to the operation of the most favored nations provision in treaties of commerce.

        — KLETTER v. DULLES, UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, April 17, 1953 link to dc.findacase.com

  37. James Canning
    April 2, 2014, 2:27 pm

    I have thought for years that the way forward re: Israel/Palestine, is full UN membership for Palestine.

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