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Abbas warns repeatedly of ‘new Nakba’ –Israel ethnically cleansing Palestinians

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Aaron David Miller explained it all in Foreign Policy. “Iran will be the dominant issue over the next year.” We have to focus on Iran and there won’t be any progress on Palestinian freedom. Yes, the giant distraction of Iran is very useful. From the ending of Abbas’s speech, which the cable stations did not air:

Mr. President, 
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Israel refuses to end the occupation and refuses to allow the Palestinian people to attain their rights and freedom and rejects the independence of the State of Palestine.

Israel is promising the Palestinian people a new catastrophe, a new Nakba….

I speak on behalf of an angry people, a people that feels that, at the same time that they continue with their calls for their right to freedom and their adoption of a culture of peace and adherence to the principles and rules of international law and resolutions of international legitimacy, rewards continue to be illogically bestowed upon Israel, whose Government pursues a policy of war, occupation and settlement colonization. And Israel continues to be permitted to evade accountability and punishment and some continue to obstruct the undertaking of decisive positions regarding its violations of international law and covenants. This, in fact, represents a license for the occupation to continue its policy of dispossession and ethnic cleansing and encourages it to entrench its system of apartheid against the Palestinian people….

More than 64 years have passed since Al-Nakba and a large portion of those who were its direct victims and witnessed its horrors have died with their memories preserved in their minds and hearts about their beautiful world that was devastated, their warm homes that were demolished, and their peaceful villages that were erased from existence, and about their renaissance that was undermined, and their loved ones, dear men, women and children, who were killed in wars, massacres, attacks, raids and incursions, and about their beautiful country that was a beacon of coexistence, tolerance, progress and a crossroads of civilization. They died in the camps of displacement and refuge to which they were expelled following their uprooting from their homeland as they awaited the moment in which thcy would resume their suspended lives and complete their journey that was interrupted and repair their shattered dreams. They died while they clung to their legitimate human right to justice and freedom and to redress for the historic unprecedented injustice inflicted upon them.

At present, 77% of the Palestinian people are under the age of 35 years. Although they did not experience the horrors of Al-Nakba, they know very well the details of its horrendous facts from the accounts told to them by their parents and grandparents who endured it. And, they are suffering its ongoing effects until today and every day as a result of the practices of the occupation and the settlers on a land that is diminishing and a horizon before them that is blocked against their simple, ordinary dreams. They see their homeland and, their present and future vulnerable to continued usurpation and they say firmly: we will not allow a new Nakba to happen.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I say to you that the brave Palestinian people will not allow themselves to be the victim of a new Nakba. My people will continue their epic steadfastness and eternal survival in their beloved land, every inch of which carries the evidence and landmarks affirming their roots and unique connection throughout ancient history. There is no homeland for us except Palestine, and there is no land for us but Palestine. Our people will continue to build the institutions of their State and will continue to strive to achieve national reconciliation to restore the unity of our nation, people and institutions via resorting to the ballot boxes, which will confirm our people’s pluralistic democratic choice. Our people are also determined to continue peaceful popular resistance, consistent with international humanitarian law, against the occupation and the settlements and for the sake of freedom, independence and peace.

Mr. President,
 Ladies and Gentlemen,

Prevent the occurrence of a new Nakba in the Holy Land.
 Support the realization of a free, independent State of Palestine now. Let peace be victorious before it is too late.”

Philip Weiss

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

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56 Responses

  1. Walid on September 27, 2012, 3:00 pm

    “There once was a shepherd boy who was bored as he sat on the hillside watching the village sheep. To amuse himself he took a great breath and sang out, “Wolf! Wolf! The Wolf is chasing the sheep!”

  2. radii on September 27, 2012, 3:23 pm

    smart – use the word – its meaning gets known and tie it to today – good strategic rhetoric

  3. mondonut on September 27, 2012, 3:55 pm

    Wow. Two sentences and 4 lies.

    (1) Israel refuses to end the occupation and
    (2) refuses to allow the Palestinian people to attain their rights and freedom
    (3) and rejects the independence of the State of Palestine.
    (4) Israel is promising the Palestinian people a new catastrophe, a new Nakba….

    • Woody Tanaka on September 27, 2012, 4:17 pm

      If you think any of these things is a lie, you’re an idiot. The first three are undoubtedly true and the fourth is a predicting of future events which is supported by some members of the israeli government.

    • ColinWright on September 27, 2012, 4:58 pm

      Mondonut says: “Wow. Two sentences and 4 lies.

      (1) Israel refuses to end the occupation and
      (2) refuses to allow the Palestinian people to attain their rights and freedom
      (3) and rejects the independence of the State of Palestine.
      (4) Israel is promising the Palestinian people a new catastrophe, a new Nakba….”

      What? Every one of those statements is true.

      1. Israel has explicitly ruled out a return to the pre-1967 cease fire line. She is on record as refusing to end the occupation…ever.

      2. Israel will not permit the Palestinians under her rule to have anything approaching what is normally meant by ‘rights and freedom.’ In most Western countries, you couldn’t get away with treating a dog the way Israel treats Palestinians. That, incredibly enough, is not hyperbole, but literal truth. If I shot the neighbor’s dog I’d be in more trouble than if I was a soldier in the IDF and shot a Palestinian.

      3. Israel has never endorsed an authentically independent Palestinian state. Invariably, by ‘independence,’ it turns out they mean something considerably worse than what we here in the US mean when we say ‘Indian Reservation.’

      4. As far as a ‘new Nakba’ goes, Israel is vigorously driving Palestinians from their land as we speak. They take their fields, beat them, run over them with cars, shoot them…what do you want?

      Wow. Two sentences and four truths. On the other hand, you score four lies in only one sentence.

      • mondonut on September 27, 2012, 5:38 pm

        See the very well documented Olmert offer. It offered a Palestinian state which, had it been agreed to, would have ended the occupation by definition. It would have allowed the Palestinians to attain their actual rights, as opposed to imaginary ones such as the full right of return. And yes, it would have been an independent state.

        Further, having an independent state and having an independent state on the 1967 lines are not exclusive of each other, a viable state can certainly exist (as offered) on other than the 67 lines.

        As for a new Nabka, that is pure hyperbole. The vast, vast majority of Palestinians are self ruled within Area A and Gaza – they are not under direct Israeli control. And the Palestinian population in Jerusalem is increasing, not decreasing.

        But seeing as how the Olmert offer was an actual opportunity, the Palestinian leadership did what they do best.

      • Cliff on September 27, 2012, 6:10 pm

        There is no well-documented Olmert offer. There is a lie that such an offer was made with any legitimacy so that it can portray the Palestinians as intractable and unreasonable.

        Unfortunately for pathological liars and horrible keyboard-defenders of Israel like yourself, basement dweller, the Palestine Papers (documented here specifically) revealed what most of the world outside of the buckle of the Bible Belt and its environs know already – that its Israel and the occupation, stupid.

      • ColinWright on September 27, 2012, 6:44 pm

        The statements Abbas made remain true. Therefore, your claim that they were lies is itself a lie.

      • ToivoS on September 27, 2012, 8:21 pm

        It offered a Palestinian state which, had it been agreed to, would have ended the occupation by definition.

        Olmert made an offer that was by definition unacceptable. It left the settlements of Beitar Illit, Ma’ale Adumim, Modi’in Illit, and Ariel intact with Israeli only roads linking them to Israel proper and Jerusalem. We will know that Israel is serious if it willing to abandon those settlements. Otherwise, Palestine would be a series of disconnected bantustans.

      • thankgodimatheist on September 27, 2012, 9:55 pm

        Yes, nutter, we saw the offer and here’s some insight into what has happened from the horse’s mouth himself:
        “Ehud Olmert: Right-wing Americans thwarted Israeli-Palestinian peace accord”
        “Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert tells CNN that right-wing extremists from the United States toppled his government with “millions and millions of dollars” in order to thwart his attempt to reach a lasting peace agreement with the Palestinians.
        Olmert told Amanpour that he was working toward a peace agreement in 2008, knowing that this would mean handing over East Jerusalem to the Palestinians. “But I had to fight against superior powers, including millions and millions of dollars that were transferred from this country (the U.S.) by figures which were from the extreme right wing, that were aimed to topple me as Prime Minister of Israel. There is no question about it.” ”
        http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/ehud-olmert-right-wing-americans-thwarted-israeli-palestinian-peace-accord-1.428324
        ————–
        How disgraceful of you to peddle lies. Feh!

      • mondonut on September 27, 2012, 11:10 pm

        ToivoS says: Olmert made an offer that was by definition unacceptable.
        ————————————-
        It was not unacceptable, despite the fact that the Palestinians choose not to accept it. If they has said yes instead of no, they might have had their state. And not a series of disconnected bantustans, Ariel and the seam zone do not disconnect areas. Although for the record I would prefer that Israel give up Ariel.

        More importantly, the existence of the offer (which you confirm) proves Abbas to be a liar.

      • mondonut on September 27, 2012, 11:13 pm

        thankgodimatheist says: Yes, nutter, we saw the offer
        —————————————————
        Really? You saw the offer? And I suppose that veering off on some weird tangent instead of disputing the Olmert offer is your way of confirming that Abbas is a liar?

      • W.Jones on September 28, 2012, 1:22 am

        Mdonut,

        Perhaps Olmert made an offer but it was a bad one so Abbas turned it down and then the Isr. government refused to stop building settlements, etc? In that case both statements would be true? ie. Olmert did make an offer and the government did refuse to stop the occupation, since the offer was rejected?

        Or perhaps Olmert discussed parts of a possible offer, but like Olmert said he was stopped by outside political forces and so he never made a clear or official offer and thus the Isr. government just kept on refusing.

      • ToivoS on September 28, 2012, 2:24 am

        mondonutcase says: More importantly, the existence of the offer (which you confirm) proves Abbas to be a liar.

        Nope not at all. The offer was totally unacceptable to any Palestinian leader. Had he or they accepted that offer they would have discredited themselves as being leaders. The settlements of Beitar Illit, Ma’ale Adumim, Modi’in Illit, and Ariel are on Palestinian lands and no Palestinian leader can cede them to Israel.

        That is why the two state solution is dead — we all know that no Israeli can agree to giving up those settlements and no Palestinian leader can agree to accepting them as Israeli territory.

      • annie on September 28, 2012, 2:52 am

        mnut, i went to hear olmert speak, he bragged he never let abbas study the map. he held it up across the table. there was no formal offer. nothing to take home over night and let lawyers consider. everyone knows this. that is why you cannot link to a replica of what was offered by olmert. because nothing was offered.

      • ColinWright on September 28, 2012, 5:03 am

        mondonut says: “More importantly, the existence of the offer (which you confirm) proves Abbas to be a liar…”

        No…Abbas said that Israel refused to end the occupation. In point of fact, Olmert did refuse to return all the occupied territories, so Abbas’ statement is true, and yours remains false.

      • Hostage on September 28, 2012, 6:57 am

        Olmert made an offer that was by definition unacceptable. It left the settlements of Beitar Illit, Ma’ale Adumim, Modi’in Illit, and Ariel intact with Israeli only roads linking them to Israel proper and Jerusalem.

        Flip it over and ask if he was really offering to “end the occupation” of Beitar Illit, Ma’ale Adumim, Modi’in Illit, and Ariel, or simply promising to continue it into perpetuity?

        Olmert couldn’t have gotten his offer through the Knesset, so it wasn’t even very symbolic.

      • wes on September 28, 2012, 7:05 am

        nice try annie —
        so thats why olmert,s political aspirations were destroyed
        because he offered nothing
        nothing at all
        oh my
        not even a priests burnt offering of marshmellows

      • Blake on September 28, 2012, 8:52 am

        @ mondonut: Well sane people want what is all theirs which is their right so tough. Criminals do not get to decide the fate of their victims.

      • mondonut on September 28, 2012, 8:58 am

        Cliff says:Unfortunately for pathological liars and horrible keyboard-defenders of Israel like yourself, basement dweller, the Palestine Papers…
        ==============================
        The Palestine papers document the offer. Right Here…
        http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/palestine-papers-documents/4736

      • mondonut on September 28, 2012, 11:16 am

        Annie Robbins says: …because nothing was offered.
        ======================================
        Abbas contradicts your position. There was an offer, several drafts actually. Abbas and the Palestinians completely understood what was offered despite not having copies. BTW, follow the link to see the supposedly unlinkable replica. Once again, Abbas is fully aware of the offer, it was legitimate and Abbas is a liar.

        “Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday confirmed that former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered him land near Gaza in exchange for settlement blocs that Israel wants to annex, Arab-language newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat reported on Sunday.

        Abbas said that the proposed swap would have given the Palestinians land that would equal 100 percent of the West Bank. He added that there are no Israeli settlements or Israeli Arab residents in the land surrounding Gaza that was offered to the Palestinians, according to the report.”

        http://www.haaretz.com/news/abbas-olmert-offered-pa-land-equaling-100-of-west-bank-1.1747

      • Hostage on September 28, 2012, 1:07 pm

        Abbas said that the proposed swap would have given the Palestinians land that would equal 100 percent of the West Bank. He added that there are no Israeli settlements or Israeli Arab residents in the land surrounding Gaza that was offered to the Palestinians, according to the report.”

        LOL! The Haaretz report forgot to mention that the land offered was not located over the Western mountain aquifer, like the land Olmert was stealing.

      • Hostage on September 28, 2012, 1:25 pm

        The Palestine papers document the offer. Right Here…
        link to guardian.co.uk

        Then you ought to know that the “Palestine Papers” also revealed that the Palestinians had to put the negotiations “on hold” because of Mr. Olmert’s problems, the transition, and the formation of a new government. link to guardian.co.uk

      • Dutch on September 28, 2012, 3:02 pm

        So what exactly is your point, Mondonut? You think Abbas is a liar? Good for you, man. And now get the hell out of the occupied territories, will you?

      • mondonut on September 28, 2012, 4:30 pm

        ColinWright says: In point of fact, Olmert did refuse to return all the occupied territories, so Abbas’ statement is true, and yours remains false.
        =======================================
        Not so. If and when the Palestinians choose to agree to something other than the entirety of their demands, anything Israeli by agreement will be, by definition no longer occupied. If the Palestinians agree to something as Israeli, then they will no longer have claim to it, and it will no longer be occupied.

      • yrn on September 28, 2012, 4:54 pm

        Mondonut.
        For Dutch the occupied territories is ISRAEL……
        So he means get out of Israel.

      • piotr on September 28, 2012, 5:11 pm

        Whatever Olmert offer was or was not, Olmert is a private citizen and a member of an opposition party. “Israel” is of course a shorthand for “the government of Israel”, and in the coalition system, this again is a shorthand for the representative views of the coalition members.

        I think that (1-3) are well documented. The case for (4), promising the catastrophe, is somewhat more speculative, but one can “connect the dots” to that effect.

      • Dutch on September 29, 2012, 10:18 am

        @ yrn.

        I think it’s clear what I mean. Israel has a choice: either create one state with full rights for everyone and return of all refugees, either leave the occupied territories so the Palestinians can have their own state on 22 percent of the original land. Other options have become irrelevant as negotiations and the peace process [sic] have become irrelevant. The ‘Olmert offer’ is not worth any discussion — it wouldn’t even have passed the Knesset. But hey — isn’t that Israel’s strategy: keep on discussing as long as nothing changes the ongoing etnic cleansing and colonisation. That’s where Mondonut and his buddies come in.

      • walktallhangloose on September 29, 2012, 2:26 pm

        mondonut: “If Abbas had accepted Olmert’s offer, the Palestinians could have had their state.”

        Two points:

        (1) The West Bank and Gaza belong to the people who were living there in 1967. Who else could it belong to? So Israel is not in a position to ‘offer’ any of this territory to the Palestinians, because they already own it. Israel may well feel it has good arguments for retaining some West Bank territory in a final agreement. Then put these arguments respectfully, instead of making demands, and offer something in return. Olmert may have had good intentions in offering land near Gaza in exchange for keeping some Israeli settlements in the West Bank. But there is no obligation on Abbas to accept such an offer if he does not feel it to be in the interests of the Palestinian people. Remember, international law is on his side. Palestine is occupied, and Israel is the occupier; and Israel is required to ‘withdraw from territories occupied’ (Resolution 242 of the UNSC).

        2. It is not for you, mondonut, or the government of Israel, to specify under what conditions the Palestinians ‘can have their state’. The State of Palestine already exists, by exactly the same process that brought Israel into existence: by declaration followed by recognition by other states. It exists, but is occupied by Israel.

      • ColinWright on September 29, 2012, 3:38 pm

        Mondonut says: “ColinWright says: In point of fact, Olmert did refuse to return all the occupied territories, so Abbas’ statement is true, and yours remains false.
        =======================================
        Not so. If and when the Palestinians choose to agree to something other than the entirety of their demands, anything Israeli by agreement will be, by definition no longer occupied. If the Palestinians agree to something as Israeli, then they will no longer have claim to it, and it will no longer be occupied.”

        You really don’t see the problem with that?

        You are saying that Abbas is lying when he claims that Israel is refusing to relinquish occupied territory because if he would just cede it to Israel, it would no longer be occupied.

        If I steal your car, can I claim that it’s not theft on the grounds if you would just sign the pink slip, it would in fact be mine?

        Look guy. The fundamental problem is that Israel’s position is completely indefensible, and so if you attempt to defend it, you’ll inevitably involve yourself in logical absurdities. It’s like starting with the resolve that 2 and 2 do indeed make 5. You just won’t get anywhere when you try to prove it.

      • Hostage on September 29, 2012, 10:06 pm

        nice try annie –
        so thats why olmert,s political aspirations were destroyed
        because he offered nothing

        The Palestine Papers revealed that Olmert wasn’t willing to give the Palestinians a map or anything else that they could sign-off on or publish. If the details had been published, it’s more likely that Olmert would have been driven out of office. The Knesset and the public wouldn’t have acquiesced and supported the proposals.

        As it was, the negotiations had to be put on hold because of the pending elections. Netanyahu specifically refused to use Olmert’s proposal or previous talks as the basis of negotiations. The Palestine Papers also point out that Olmert’s offer was still too vague because it contained no details about the Jordan Valley. So it was never formal or comprehensive enough to be considered a serious offer. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/palestine-papers-documents/4507

      • Hostage on September 30, 2012, 1:57 am

        If and when the Palestinians choose to agree to something other than the entirety of their demands, anything Israeli by agreement will be, by definition no longer occupied.

        Articles 6, 7, 8, & 49(6) of the Geneva Conventions together with Articles 52 & 53 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties prevent Israel from negotiating with the leaders of the occupied Arab territories in order conclude agreements that would impair any of their territorial rights or which would preclude the repatriation of persons displaced from Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Syrian Golan Heights during the conflict.

        That’s the main reason that talk about a negotiated settlement is mental masturbation. Any settlement concluded under duress which results in territorial changes would be null and void from the outset.

  4. Stephen Shenfield on September 27, 2012, 4:38 pm

    I am wondering what strategy (assuming there is one) lies behind the attempt to get UN recognition of Palestine as a state. UN recognition won’t turn the Palestinian ghetto into a state, but perhaps it could be used as a lever to demand that Palestine be given the attributes of a state that it now lacks, such as control over borders, airspace, water and mineral resources etc. That would require refusing to sign any “peace settlement” with Israel, which would freeze and perpetuate the status quo (as Israel is unwilling to accept any other sort of agreement). Perhaps this explains why Israel and the US are so determined to block UN recognition despite the fact that it would not bring about any immediate change on the ground.

    • ColinWright on September 27, 2012, 6:48 pm

      Stephen says: “…Perhaps this explains why Israel and the US are so determined to block UN recognition despite the fact that it would not bring about any immediate change on the ground.”

      As I understand it, if Palestine is recognized as a state, she acquires the right to drag Israel into court for all her various crimes.

      Since Israel has no valid defense for those crimes, she would inevitably be condemned, and begin becoming a legal pariah. Therefore, Palestinian statehood must be prevented — to permit it is to expose Israel to the prosecution she so richly deserves.

    • Diane Mason on September 28, 2012, 3:38 am

      In addition to Colin’s point, it also gets Palestine recognized on the 1967 borders, rather than on whatever parts of the Occupied Territories are left over when Israel has kept what it wants – which is what Israel means by “Palestine”.

      • ColinWright on September 28, 2012, 5:06 am

        Diane says: “In addition to Colin’s point, it also gets Palestine recognized on the 1967 borders, rather than on whatever parts of the Occupied Territories are left over when Israel has kept what it wants – which is what Israel means by “Palestine”.”

        This always makes me nervous. I’d hate to see the Palestinians agree to settle for 22% of Palestine, when in fact they have a legal right to 47% of Palestine and a moral right to 100% of it.

        Obviously, it’s not me that has to do the waiting, but all the Palestinians really need to do is let Israel drive her little buggy off the cliff (and maybe give her a well-planned shove here and there). There’s no need for them to agree to a Bantustan.

      • Hostage on September 30, 2012, 1:17 am

        This always makes me nervous. I’d hate to see the Palestinians agree to settle for 22% of Palestine, when in fact they have a legal right to 47% of Palestine and a moral right to 100% of it.

        Article 40 of the UN Charter empowers the Security Council to impose “provisional” measures, like the permanent armistice lines of demarcation which were adopted in resolutions 62 and 73.

        Phase II of the Quartet Road Map only required interim borders and visible efforts by the PA to end violence against Israel. The latter triggers corresponding obligations for Israel to terminate all construction of settlements, including natural growth; and Quartet recognition of Palestinian statehood, including possible UN membership. The final border was supposed to be part of the Phase III final status negotiations.

        The Palestinians have made it clear that they view the 1967 lines as the interim point of departure for any renewed rounds of boundary negotiations. If they don’t secure recognition of any undisputed territory, pretty soon they’ll end up standing on a cake of soap floating in the Mediterranean.

      • ColinWright on September 30, 2012, 3:58 pm

        Hastage says: “The Palestinians have made it clear that they view the 1967 lines as the interim point of departure for any renewed rounds of boundary negotiations. If they don’t secure recognition of any undisputed territory, pretty soon they’ll end up standing on a cake of soap floating in the Mediterranean.”

        I can see that. At the same time, I’d be reluctant to see Israel legitimized along boundaries that actually made her a viable state — as she obviously was from 1948 to 1967.

        In my view, the Palestinians have been browbeaten into accepting two propositions that are objectively ridiculous. The first of this is that they should confine themselves to non-violent resistance in the face of an oppressor who is quite immune to moral persuasion. The second is that there should be a non-Palestinian state in Palestine at all.

        Obviously, they may be tired of it all and want to just throw in the towel if they can get a little peace. At the same time, those controlling the Palestinians’ nascent state organizations — Abbas et al — obviously have a vested interest in selling the Palestinians out so that they can make themselves king of a little hill — however little it may be.

      • MHughes976 on September 30, 2012, 6:00 pm

        I fully agree that the demand that Palestine should accommodate a state whose essence is to be non-Palestinian is outrageous, as would be any parallel demand for a non-Spanish state in Spain and so on. And I agree that the Palestinians may in fact have been so battered and browbeaten that they would agree to live with the outrage and try to make the best of things. They have a right to do this, I suppose. However part of the reason why this road has not been taken is that the so-called 2ss is not really a solution at all and would be so unstable that no one would really get peace and quiet. The Israeli version involves separate enclaves which could easily be cleared out one by one over time. What the Palestinians need, at the minimum, is a polity that could, with international subsidy, become an economic equal, giving them levers to negotiate full sovereign rights, control of borders and an end to screamingly unfair distribution of the area’s resources in favour of the Jewish minority. The Israeli version would be so unfair and oppressive that the Palestinian masses could never sincerely accept it even if their leaders claimed to welcome it with open arms and if there were deafening cheers from the West. The conflict would just move into a new phase. The minimum 2ss that the Palestinians need would mean the slow dismantlement of the Zionist system, step by step, so won’t happen. We in the West have salved our conscience by pretending that there is a solution along 2 state lines but there isn’t, there’s only a will o the wisp.

      • Hostage on September 30, 2012, 10:44 pm

        I fully agree that the demand that Palestine should accommodate a state whose essence is to be non-Palestinian is outrageous, as would be any parallel demand for a non-Spanish state in Spain and so on.

        Nonetheless, for many years Basque nationalists felt the pursuit of independence was legitimate. It’s probably unacceptable to ask the indigenous Jews to accept a Muslim State. That’s why the UN proposed two secular states with constitutional guarantees of equal rights.

        In that sense Israel itself remains “disputed” territory. I’ve pointed out on several occasions that recognition of the new governments and the cessions of the limited amount of territory allocated to them was made subject to their acceptance of a legal undertaking to provide constitutional guarantees of equality for all of the inhabitants. Israel still has a binding legal obligation to implement the provisions of the minority protection plan contained in resolution 181(II). Those rights remain under UN guarantee and cannot be altered without the consent of the General Assembly.

        The elected Palestinian Members of the Knesset, like Haneen Zoabi, have rejected the Lieberman proposal to strip inhabitants of their Israeli citizenship and redraw the borders around places, like Umm al-Fahm, to add it to the Palestinian state. On the contrary, she and her party have demanded that Israel become a state of all its citizens.

        The aims of the BDS movement would remain unchanged in that respect. Simply ending the occupation and recognizing a Palestinian state on part of the territory of the former mandate is only part of the ultimate goal of the movement.

      • walktallhangloose on October 1, 2012, 4:02 am

        The word state, as in two-state solution, is confusing, because it can mean a nation-state, an independent sovereign entity, with its own defence and foreign policy; or it can mean a a component part of a nation state, as in the states of the United States. I have proposed elsewhere (religion-science-peace.org/?p=278) a solution in which Israel and Palestine become two self-governing nations within a single nation-state (rather like the way in which Scotland, England and Wales are component nations of the United Kingdom) and I believe that this has so many advantages for both parties that it could possibly be workable.

        But since Israel and Palestine already exist as recognised nation-states, such an arrangement could only come about as a voluntary union of the two existing states.

      • ColinWright on September 28, 2012, 6:16 am

        I wonder what share of Israel’s nuclear arsenal the Palestinians would be entitled to?

        Maybe they would have to make their own nukes.

    • Koshiro on September 28, 2012, 5:11 am

      Perhaps this explains why Israel and the US are so determined to block UN recognition despite the fact that it would not bring about any immediate change on the ground.

      In any case, that’s good enough of an indicator IMHO. If the US and Israel are against it, it’s with nigh certainty good for the Palestinians.

    • Hostage on September 28, 2012, 7:10 am

      I am wondering what strategy (assuming there is one) lies behind the attempt to get UN recognition of Palestine as a state.

      Funny, I’ve always wondered what the Israeli government strategy was for continuing the illegal settlement enterprise after the Rome Statute entered into effect in July of 2002. The responsible officials can’t claim that they hadn’t been warned about the consequences, e.g. See the Haaretz article“A-G: New Hague court may indict settlers for war crimes”, Jun.11, 2002 .

      The ICJ has already published an opinion which contained a finding of fact that Israel is in violation of Article 49(6) of the 4th Geneva Convention. That is a war crime listed in Article 8(2)(b)(viii) of the Rome Statute which has been committed on the territory of Palestine by readily identifiable Israeli officials, including members of the IDF General Staff and the members of the Regional Councils of Gush Etzion, Har Hebron, Bik’at HaYarden, Mateh Binyamin, Megilot, and Shomron:

      (viii) The transfer, directly or indirectly, by the Occupying Power of parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies, or the deportation or transfer of all or parts of the population of the occupied territory within or outside this territory;

      link to untreaty.un.org

    • walktallhangloose on September 28, 2012, 5:41 pm

      The State of Palestine already exists. States exist when they are recognized by other states: there is no other criterion. Palestine is recognized by approximately 130 out of the 205 states in the UN: Israel by about 170. Palestine already has observer status at the UN. It is also a member of Unesco and the Arab League. It did try to become a full member of the UN but failed because of a threatened US veto in the Security Council.

      Like Israel, Palestine in its declaration of statehood did not declare its borders. These are the only two cases where states having unspecified borders have been recognized by other states. However, Palestine in its application for UN Membership did say that its territory consisted of the West Bank and Gaza, so if it was accepted as a full member, this would be additional recognition of its claim to that territory.

      The State of Israel in fact has less legitimacy than does Palestine. Since under the UN Charter ‘it is inadmissible to obtain territory by war’ (Resolutions 242 of UNSC), and since all the territory that Israel has gained since 1947 has been by war (except that in the UN Partition Plan) Israel has no legal claim to any particular piece of land within geographical Palestine. And since it has never declared its borders, no other state has been able to recognize its claim to any particular piece of land.

      • ColinWright on September 30, 2012, 5:31 pm

        walktallhangloose says: “…And since it has never declared its borders…”

        No…Israel did accept the 1947 UN Partition Agreement. It has declared its borders. It just ignores its own commitment.

        …nothing new there. Witness the Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty. Witness the Road Map. Hell, witness the assurances of the Zionists back in 1920 or so, when they declared that they had no desire to seek an independent state at all.

      • ColinWright on September 30, 2012, 7:11 pm

        It’s beating the comparison to death, but I really am — once again! — reminded of Nazi Germany.

        Throughout the thirties, the whole schtick was ‘we just want…’ from Hitler, and at least some portion of his international audience would say ‘well, that’s reasonable.’ We just want to be armed like other powers. We just want the right to station troops in the Rhineland. We just want to unite with other Germans in Austria. We just want the German-speaking parts of Czechoslovakia. It wasn’t until ‘we just want…’ was applied to Poland that enough people got fed up enough to say, ‘yes, we’ll go to war to stop this.’

        It’s been the same thing with Israel. In 1920 it was ‘we just want a National Home.’ In 1947, it was ‘the partition borders are fine.’ Now they just want the West Bank and the Golan.

        I’ll bet. Israel — like Nazi Germany — is in the grips of an outlook on the world where she will keep trying to grab more. Witness her attempt to snaffle the Sinai in 1956. Witness the shenanigans in southern Lebanon, 1982 to whenever. Witness the Golan Heights. Watch what happens with Jordan and her uranium when oil really does run out. It’ll never end.

        The thing is, most normal people see the limits of their sovereignty as extending to more or less whatever region xians live in. France is where French people live. Sometimes, this causes problems — ala Serbia and her rather generous notions of where Serbs live — but fundamentally, there’s a limit.

        Israel has no such boundaries. Jews weren’t the major group in any of the territory she’s arrogated to herself. On the other hand, the Torah provides a ready justification for the most extravagant claims. So she can — and does, and will — take essentially whatever she can, move in Jews, and define it as just more Israel. So long as the Zionist argument is accepted, there’s no limit to it.

      • walktallhangloose on October 1, 2012, 4:14 am

        Colin, we are in agreement about the perfidy of the Zionists. They said they accepted the partition plan, but they were lying. They always wanted more land and fewer Arabs. However, that was the Zionist representatives in 1947. The Arab representatives were either too stupid or too honest to follow their example, and they rejected the plan, so the plan effectively became null and void.

        Israel did not exist until its declaration of statehood in 1948, and this document did not specify its borders.

      • talknic on October 1, 2012, 6:33 am

        walktallhangloose October 1, 2012 at 4:14 am
        “The Arab representatives were either too stupid or too honest to follow their example, and they rejected the plan, so the plan effectively became null and void”

        Not so. UNGA res 181 had no clause demanding a co-signature. How could it? Independence is entirely unilateral. However, UNGA resolutions although non-binding, can and do contain references to International Law and Customary International Law (all law is binding), conventions, the UN Charter (also binding on all members in its entirety).

        UNGA res 181 was like any contract. Only recommendations until they’re accepted. By acceptance they become binding. Israel accepted and declared, according to UNGA res 181, without registering any reservations.

        Friday, 5 March 1948 Rabbi Silver stated to the UNSC

        “We feel under the obligation to make our position unmistakably clear. As far as the Jewish people are concerned, they have accepted the decision of the United Nations. We regard it as binding, and we are resolved to move forward in the spirit of that decision. “

        Friday, 19 March 1948 Rabbi Silver replacing Mr. Shertok at the Council table as representative of the Jewish Agency for Palestine stated

        “We are under the obligation at this time to repeat what we stated at a [262nd meeting] meeting of the Security Council last week: The decision of the General Assembly remains valid for the Jewish people. We have accepted it and we are prepared to abide by it. If the United Nations Palestine Commission is unable to carry out the mandates which were assigned to it by the General Assembly, the Jewish people of Palestine will move forward in the spirit of that resolution and will do everything which is dictated by considerations of national survival and by considerations of justice and historic rights.”

        “The setting up of one State was not made conditional upon the setting up of the other State.”

        And again:

        Security Council S/PV.271 19 March 1948 The representative of the Jewish Agency, Rabbi Silver:

        The statement that the plan proposed by the General Assembly is an integral plan which cannot succeed unless each of its parts can be carried out, is incorrect. This conception was never part of the plan. Indeed, it is contrary to the statement made by the representative of the United States during the second session of the General Assembly. The setting up of one State was not made conditional upon the setting up of the other State. Mr. Herschel Johnson, representing the United States delegation, speaking in a sub-committee of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question on 28 October 1947, stated, in discussing this very matter in connexion with economic union: “The element of mutuality would not necessarily be a factor, as the document might be signed by one party only.”

        Independence is by its very nature, unilateral. UNGA resolution 181 could not and naturally did not have had an article requiring a co-signature by the other party in order that one entity or the other attain independent statehood.

        “Israel did not exist until its declaration of statehood in 1948, and this document did not specify its borders”

        1) Declarations of Independence never contain statements on borders because borders might change through the future legal annexation of further territories. If borders were included in a declaration, a new declaration would have to be made every time new territory was legally annexed.

        2) On May 22, 1948 UNSC S/766 the Provisional Government of Israel answered questions addressed to the “Jewish authorities in Palestine” was transmitted by the acting representative of Israel at the United Nations.

        Question (a): Over which areas of Palestine do you actually exercise control at present over the entire area of the Jewish State as defined in the Resolution of the General Assembly of the 29th November, 1947?

        The reply:

        “In addition, the Provisional Government exercises control over the city of Jaffa; Northwestern Galilee, including Acre, Zib, Base, and the Jewish settlements up to the Lebanese frontier; a strip of territory alongside the road from Hilda to Jerusalem; almost all of new Jerusalem; and of the Jewish quarter within the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. The above areas, outside the territory of the State of Israel, are under the control of the military authorities of the State of Israel, who are strictly adhering to international regulations in this regard. The Southern Negev is uninhabited desert over which no effective authority has ever existed.”

        “international regulations” at the time say;

        Laws and Customs of War on Land (Hague IV); October 18, 1907 Art. 42 SECTION III

        “Territory is considered occupied when it is actually placed under the authority of the hostile army. The occupation extends only to the territory where such authority has been established and can be exercised.”

        And again on 12 Aug 1948

        the Provisional Israeli Government proclaimed Jerusalem Declared Israel-Occupied City- by Israeli Government Proclamation 12 Aug 1948

        Even if they’d wanted to, the Arab States could not on May 15th 1948 declared independence over the territories allocated for the New Arab State because Jewish forces already had military control of territories slated for the new Arab State. Israel has always had control of some or all the territories slated for the Arab State.

        Contrary to the Hasbara bullsh*te, there has never in the history of Palestine been an “opportunity to miss” in respect to independence. Palestine has had one or another entity in control of some or all its territories since at least the Roman era. http://wp.me/pDB7k-jA

      • walktallhangloose on October 1, 2012, 9:07 am

        talknic: Thank you for that. You are correct. “On 14 May 1948…the Jewish Agency proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel on the territory allotted to it by the partition plan.” [UN publication DPI2499 The Question of Palestine and the United Nations (2008)].

        What I do not understand is why the Security Council, after the 1949 armistice, did not “emphasize the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war” and require Israel to “withdraw from territories occupied” i.e to its declared borders, as specified in the Partition Plan.

  5. seafoid on September 27, 2012, 4:56 pm

    That was a very impressive speech from ‘Abbas. He is very dignified compared to Mr Milikovsky’s grandson .

  6. ColinWright on September 27, 2012, 5:05 pm

    One aspect of this all is that with Morsi and Abbas, the Arabs and the Palestinians are starting to kick Israel’s tail in the US public relations war.

    Whatever their other shortcomings, Morsi and Abbas come off as complete light and reason in the US media. Netanyahu, meanwhile, is on page one with cartoon bombs. Just contemplate the image of Morsi the NYT put up a few days ago, and the image of Netanyahu they’ve got up now.

  7. lysias on September 27, 2012, 5:30 pm

    This, in fact, represents a license for the occupation to continue its policy of dispossession and ethnic cleansing and encourages it to entrench its system of apartheid against the Palestinian people.

    How often have the phrases “ethic cleansing” and “apartheid” been used at the UN for the Israeli treatment of the Palestinian people? Is this a first?

    “New Nakba” is where U.S. television cut away from Abbas’s speech.

    • lysias on September 27, 2012, 6:46 pm

      It was MSNBC that cut away. Another current thread on this site is about that.

    • Hostage on September 28, 2012, 7:21 am

      How often have the phrases “ethic cleansing” and “apartheid” been used at the UN for the Israeli treatment of the Palestinian people? Is this a first?

      I think the earliest reference was in 1963, in a speech by the representative of Iraq. The representative of the Organization of the Islamic Conference told the Security Council in 2003 that Israel was guilty of every single constituent act of the crime of apartheid listed in the definition contained in article II of the international convention. That same year Palestine based the 10th chapter of its 800+ page written complaint to the ICJ about the Wall on the abundant elements of the crime of apartheid which were manifested in official Israeli policies and practices.

  8. ColinWright on September 28, 2012, 6:51 pm

    Hostage says: “…That same year Palestine based the 10th chapter of its 800+ page written complaint to the ICJ about the Wall on the abundant elements of the crime of apartheid which were manifested in official Israeli policies and practices.”

    That frigging wall…

    I’ve got a long memory. I remember back in the seventies, it was ‘we can’t withdraw from the occupied territories because then we’d be exposed to terrorist attacks.’

    ‘Well, why can’t you build a wall?’

    ‘Oh no. A wall would never stop terrorist attacks.’

    Well, okay. I bought that at the time. But now — since the wall incidentally incorporates large chunks of the occupied territory itself — all of a sudden it’s a vital and effective deterrent to terrorist attacks.

    That’s the thing I always wondered about that wall. Why isn’t it on the frigging border if its purpose is to deter terrorism?

    The hypocrisy is so blatant. If I build a fence between me and my neighbor, if the idea is actually to keep his dog out of my yard, then one would expect the fence to run along the property line. If it just happens to loop around his swimming pool, certain suspicions become all too justified.

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