Powered by WebAds

Sunday, February 20, 2011

'Palestinians' call for 'day of rage' against US

The 'Palestinians' have called for a 'day of rage' against the United States on Friday, as they prepare to take their resolution condemning Israel to the UN General Assembly.
Palestinians on Saturday called for a “day of rage” this Friday to protest against the US administration’s decision to veto a United Nations Security Council resolution that would have condemned Israel for building in the settlements.

Expressing outrage over Friday’s veto, the Palestinian Authority threatened to reassess its position on the Middle East peace process.


The PA said it was now considering going to the UN General Assembly with a request to issue a similar resolution condemning construction in the settlements. Just two months ago, the assembly passed a resolution – which had the approval of 159 out of 192 UN member states – calling on Israel to halt settlement activity. Only six nations, including Israel and the US, opposed it.


Some Palestinians, including Tawfik Tirawi, a former Fatah security commander, called for organizing the “day of rage” against the US next Friday.

Tirawi said that the veto “exposed America’s real face and the extent to which it is biased in favor of oppression and occupation.”

In response to reports that the US had threatened to cut off financial aid to the PA if it insisted on presenting the resolution to the Security Council, Fatah spokesman Ahmed Assaf said that the Palestinians “want to get rid of occupation and are not only waiting to earn their living.”

The US Administration should support the Palestinians and not block freedom and independence, Assaf said. He added that Fatah was planning more anti- US demonstrations in the West Bank in the coming days.

“US threats to cut off the aid show that that the Americans are ignorant of our people’s moral and national values and aspirations,” read a statement issued by Fatah the leadership.

“The US veto is a victory for occupation and settlements.”

Fatah said that the veto harmed Washington’s status as a major broker in the peace process and encourages Israel to continue building in the settlements.

Hamas also condemned the US veto, saying it exposed Washington’s bias in favor of Israel.

“The US veto is an award to the occupation government for its violations against the Palestinians,” said Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum.
Here's a blow-by-blow description of what happened on Friday afternoon.
Obama spoke with Abbas for 50 minutes on Thursday to urge the Palestinian president not to bring the resolution to a vote. According to the Palestinian daily Al-Ayyam, Obama told Abbas that the resolution could damage U.S. interests in the Middle East and could induce the U.S. Congress to halt aid to the PA.

Obama reportedly suggested that in lieu of bringing the resolution to a vote, Abbas accept an alternative package of benefits, including a presidential statement on the settlements by the Security Council. Such a statement would be nonbinding, but could be couched in harsher terms. The package would also have included a Security Council visit to Ramallah to express support for the PA and denounce the settlements, and a statement by the Quartet of Middle East peacemakers that, for the first time, would call for the boundaries of the Palestinian state to be based on the 1967 lines.

On Friday afternoon, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton phoned Abbas with an even more sharply worded message.

But Abbas told both Obama and Clinton that settlements were the reason for the breakdown in the peace talks, and the Palestinian people would not back down on this matter.

After the phone calls, Abbas called a joint meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organization's executive committee and the leadership of his Fatah party. Mansour told the participants by phone that Arab missions to the UN wanted the resolution to move forward no matter what. They then voted unanimously to bring the resolution to a vote.
And then there was the pile-on.
The British ambassador read a joint statement by Britain, France and Germany that said that construction in the settlements, including in East Jerusalem, contravened international law.
The 'Palestinians' are the real winners of Friday's saga, despite the veto, while both the US and Israel are unsatisfied.
The veto garnered praise from pro-Israeli American lawmakers and numerous Jewish groups that had been working energetically over the past few weeks to secure it.

But the Obama administration is reportedly worried that the veto will degrade America's status in the Arab world.

And an Israeli official in New York warned that "the Palestinian initiative was thwarted, but it increased Israel's isolation." Israel's claim that the Palestinians are responsible for the stalled talks falls on deaf ears at the UN, he added.

Abbas' rejection of Obama's request will help him politically, as the Palestinian public will not be able to accuse him of buckling under U.S. pressure, as it did in 2009 when American reservations led the PA to postpone a UN Human Rights Council vote on the Goldstone report on Israel's war with Hamas in Gaza earlier that year. Moreover, given the anti-government protests now sweeping the Arab world, Abbas apparently wanted to demonstrate that it is not afraid of a showdown with the White House.
All of this is Obama's fault, as the New York Daily News did a great job of explaining in this editorial.
Obama began the botch in 2009, when, out of nowhere, he called for a settlement freeze - effectively making that a precondition for peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians.

This was something no Palestinian partner had ever asked for or expected. It also vested a third-level consideration with more importance than, say, Palestinian recognition of Israel's right to exist. And it displayed a naive belief that Palestinians would negotiate in productive good faith if only Israel would make this one gesture.

With the American President suddenly prioritizing it, the demand morphed into the perfect excuse for the Palestinians to stall - telling people to "look over there" while rejectionists continued their frontal assault on Israel's legitimacy.

Obama further degraded matters by repeatedly using some of the same "settlement" terminology to describe neighborhoods that are home to tens of thousands of Jews in East Jerusalem.

These are not settlements in any shape or form.

And so the Palestinians adopted a strategy of painting Israel as a party so intransigent and anti-peace as to be willing to resist the requests of the Jewish state's close ally America.

With anti-Israel sentiment running high around the globe, it worked.

The Security Council took up a Palestinian-backed resolution that had more than 100 cosponsors. Desperately, Obama tried to persuade the council to issue a "statement" rather than a "resolution," as if the damage would have been less, as if any good would come of it.

This is not a split-the-difference, muddy-the-waters kind of thing. There is right and there is wrong - and the President, unfortunately, was wrong.

Not that he is willing to admit it.


Would that this could become a humbling lesson for Obama. His grand attempt to forge a Mideast peace is in shambles. Yes, talks break down, but this is worse. The parties are further apart than when he started, thanks largely to his settlements demand.
More here.

Labels: , , , ,


At 12:15 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

There will be no peace talks in our lifetime. No one in Israel is crazy enough to talk about a Palestinian state that could fall to Hamas.

And the person entirely responsible for a making a hash of his "fierce moral urgency" is none other than Obama himself.


At 12:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The package would also have included a Security Council visit to Ramallah to express support for the PA and denounce the settlements, and a statement by the Quartet of Middle East peacemakers that, for the first time, would call for the boundaries of the Palestinian state to be based on the 1967 lines."

We can only speculate what the Magnificent O will offer in exchange for the next veto. A Security Council visit to Ramallah is already old news... Declaring the Temple Mount a UN recognized islamic heritage site?

At 12:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

btw if the Palis can't find any Americans to throw rocks at in their "day of rage" will they fall back on heaving paving stones and concrete blocks into Israeli cars?


Post a Comment

<< Home