Editor’s Note – In a continued ploy to find ways to exert force on Israel, the UN upgraded the Palestinian Authority over the West Bank and Gaza when the PA acted unilaterally. This likely sets any peace agreement back and elevates the PA to use international pressure as it gains standing with international agencies. Again, its not about land or peace but the goal of eliminating Israel altogether.
To understand more precisely, Mahmoud Abbas declared that Jerusalem is its “Eternal Capital” – how’s that for a peace overture?
The United Nations General Assembly on Thursday endorsed an upgraded U.N. status for the Palestinian Authority, despite intense opposition from the United States and Israel.
The resolution elevates their status from “non-member observer entity” to “non-member observer state,” the same category as the Vatican, which Palestinians hope will provide new leverage in their dealings with Israel.
Its leaders had been working with dozens of supporting nations to develop a formal draft, enlisting the backing of European countries such as France and Spain. The vote was 138 delegates in favor of the measure, nine against and 41 abstentions, including Germany. (Read the rest at CNN.)
From Aljazeera, the response by the people in Gaza and the West Bank:
Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip have celebrated the UN General Assembly vote accepting Palestine as a non-member observer state at the United Nations in New York. Nine countries voted against the Palestine upgrade, which was approved by the General Assembly with 138 votes on Thursday. Fourty-one countries abstained.
Voting “no” were Israel, the United States and Canada, joined by the Czech Republic, Panama and several Pacific island nations: Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru and Palau. The mood overnight on the streets of Ramallah was jubilant, but not all Palestinians believe that UN recognition will change anything on the ground.
Israel is retaliating for Thursday’s United Nations vote on Palestinian statehood, announcing it will withhold $120 million in taxes and customs collected for the Palestinian Authority to pay debts to Israeli companies.
In a unanimous resolution passed Sunday, Israel’s Cabinet said it would not negotiate on the basis of the General Assembly’s recognition of a state of Palestine in the occupied West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip.
“The unilateral step taken by the Palestinians at the United Nations violates peace agreements,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, justifying Israel’s rejection of the U.N. vote. The only way to Palestinian statehood and peace is through direct negotiations with Israel, he said.
Abbas ‘Victory Speech’: Jerusalem ‘Eternal Capital of Palestine’
PA Chairman promises that someday the PA flag will fly over “Jerusalem, eternal capital of the state of Palestine.”
Editor’s Note – Its an Islamist movement in charge now in Egypt, telling another in Gaza what to do. The Muslim Brotherhood’s spawn, Hamas, is now taking orders from Cairo, the MB seek to scrap the peace with Israel, so this effort to counsel Hamas has only one end. That end is the destruction of Israel.
New leadership, same goal…and our White House and its grand advisers told us the fall of Mubarak was a good thing…now a vacuum is filled, and its even worse. Clapper even said the MB was basically secular.
What great foreign policy? Obama is going to run on that; crushing pressure on Israel as Egypt plays its black cards?
CAIRO — As it prepares to take power in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood is overhauling its relations with the two main Palestinian factions in an effort to put new pressure on Israel for an independent Palestinian state.
Officials of the Brotherhood, Egypt’s dominant Islamist movement, are pressing its militant Palestinian offshoot, Hamas, which controls Gaza, to make new compromises with Fatah, the Western-backed Palestinian leadership that has committed to peace with Israel and runs the West Bank.
The intervention in the Palestinian issue is the clearest indication yet that as it moves into a position of authority, the Brotherhood, the largest vote getter in Egypt’s parliamentary elections, intends to both moderate its positions on foreign policy and reconfigure Egypt’s.
Brotherhood officials say that they are pulling back from their previous embrace of Hamas and its commitment to armed struggle against Israel in order to open new channels of communications with Fatah, which the Brotherhood had previously denounced for collaborating with Israel and accused of selling out the Palestinian cause. Brotherhood leaders argue that if they persuade the Palestinians to work together with a newly assertive Egypt, they will have far more success forcing Israel to bargain in earnest over the terms of statehood.
“Now we have to deal with the Palestinian parties as an umbrella for both of them, and we have to stand at an equal distance from each,” said Reda Fahmy, a Brotherhood leader who oversees its Palestinian relations and is now chairman of the Arab affairs committee in Egypt’s upper house of Parliament. “Any movement of the size of the Muslim Brotherhood, when it is in the opposition it is one thing and then when it comes to power it is something completely different.”
The shift in the Brotherhood’s stance toward neutrality between Hamas and Fatah — acknowledged by officials of both groups — may relieve United States policy makers, who have long worried about the Brotherhood’s relationship with the more militant Hamas. The United States considers the Palestinian group to be a terrorist organization. But the shift in Egypt’s policies may unnerve Israel, because it is a move away from former President Hosni Mubarak’s exclusive support for the Western-backed Fatah movement and its commitment to the peace process. Israeli officials have said they will not negotiate with a Palestinian government that includes Hamas.
But Mr. Fahmy said the Brotherhood believed that Palestinian unity could break the deadlock in talks with Israel. “A Palestinian negotiator will go the table and know that all the Palestinian people are supporting his project,” Mr. Fahmy said. “This will be a huge change and very important to both sides.” Jailed at times by the Mubarak government for his role in the Brotherhood, Mr. Fahmy spoke this month from an ornate hall of Parliament.
After decades of denunciations and enmity — Brotherhood texts still sometimes refer to the Jewish state as “the Zionist entity” — Brotherhood leaders have said that as members of the governing party they will honor Egypt’s 1979 peace accord with Israel. Some of its leaders say they believe that such coexistence can become a model for Hamas as well, if Israel moves toward accepting a fully independent Palestinian state.
He noted that Hamas had already made statements indicating that it would accept coexistence with Israel along its borders before the 1967 war. “It is true that it is like a person who is forced to drink poison or eat a dead animal, but they still made the statements,” he said, “so we support that, provided that this state within the ’67 borders is completely sovereign in air and in sea and in land.”
Already, Mr. Fahmy claimed, the Brotherhood’s new stance was making “a fundamental difference,” including jump-starting the stalled reconciliation talks between the two Palestinian groups.
The Brotherhood’s supreme guide, Mohammed Badie — effectively its chairman — had personally told Hamas’s top political leader, Khaled Meshaal, to be “more flexible,” Mr. Fahmy said, and at recent talks in Doha, Qatar, Hamas had agreed for the first time to let Fatah’s leader, Mahmoud Abbas, preside over the first six months of a unity government for the Palestinian territories until new elections could be held.
“Hamas never would have accepted that Abbas heads the government,” Mr. Fahmy said, “but now they are.”
Moussa Abu Marzook, a senior Hamas leader who has settled in Cairo after fleeing Damascus, said that the group was full of hope about the rise of the Brotherhood, from which Hamas originally sprang 25 years ago.
His circumstances attested to those hopes. In 1995, he was arrested the United States, and spent two years fighting an Israeli extradition request and until recently was permitted to enter Egypt only under the watchful eye of its intelligence service. Now he spoke from the large and sunny salon of the second-floor office above his well-fortified suburban villa here. He acknowledged that the rise of its fellow Islamists in Egypt had set off a deep debate inside Hamas.
Some argued against any compromise with Fatah, predicting that Hamas’s bargaining position would only grow stronger as its Islamist allies in Egypt took on new power. Fatah, on the other hand, had lost its primary regional sponsor, the government of Mr. Mubarak.
But Mr. Abu Marzook said that those who expected the new Egypt to back Hamas completely would be disappointed. “It’s normal that the Muslim Brotherhood will be more realistic than they used to be when they weren’t in power,” he said.
He said he favored more conciliations with Fatah. “Reaching reconciliation is in the best interest of the Palestinian people,” he said.
Fatah officials, for their part, say that so far they have been pleased with the Brotherhood’s neutral approach to both factions. “The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is doing everything it can to end the Palestinian division,” said Saeb Erekat, Fatah’s chief negotiator.
Mr. Fahmy said that the Brotherhood still believed that United Nations resolutions still qualified Hamas’s armed struggle as a legitimate movement of resistance to an armed occupation. “The texts of all religions guarantee the right to self-defense,” he said.
But he said that the Brotherhood’s support would never extend to supplying weapons. “Foolishness,” he said. “Turning the region into an arms market is not good for anyone. We are against the distribution of weapons anywhere or supporting such a movement, even if we are biased towards it in defending people’s rights. We are careful about the region’s stability.”
Fatah has gone much further than both Hamas and the Brotherhood in seeking peaceful coexistence with Israel. But Mr. Erekat suggested that the differences between the parties may not be as great now as they were in the past. “The Muslim Brothers are the majority party now in Egypt; they are the masters of themselves,” he said. “If they think it’s in the best interest of Egypt, let them abolish the Camp David treaty. But this isn’t what I heard.”
Israel, for its part, rejects the 1967 borders as insufficiently defensible for its security.
But some in Israel are watching the shifts. “Hamas is showing indications that it’s moving towards a more responsible position,” said Shlomo Brom, an analyst and retired brigadier general in the Israeli military. “But because of Hamas’s bloody history, it will be very difficult for the Israeli government to accept this reality. I don’t know how long it will take.”
Mr. Fahmy, though, predicted continued “tranquillity” between Hamas and Israel, in part because Hamas understands that the Brotherhood needs to stability to manage Egypt’s political transition.
“Hamas considers the Muslim Brotherhood a strategic extension of itself,” he said. “And I think that this in itself is a strong guarantee that the situation will not explode in the area.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Minister Mahmoud Abbas emerged from their showdown at the United Nations buttressed domestically though no closer to peace talks.
“Abbas succeeded in strengthening his standing among Palestinians and of his ideology of achieving statehood diplomatically against the challenge from the Islamist Right represented by Hamas,” said Hussein Ibish, senior research fellow with the American Task Force on Palestine, a nonpartisan Washington-based group that advocates a peaceful two-state solution. Netanyahu also “solidified his political position,” Ibish said.
Negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians broke down a year ago on the issue of building in West Bank settlements. Abbas asked the UN last week to recognize an independent Palestinian state, a step opposed by Israel and the U.S.
Abbas was greeted in Ramallah yesterday by a cheering crowd in the thousands. “Our international journey has begun and a long journey lies ahead,” for Palestinian statehood, he told them.
Abbas hasn’t agreed to a proposal by the Middle East Quartet to restart direct talks with Israel and reach agreement no later than the end of 2012; the plan doesn’t specify a halt to the expansion of settlements. Palestinians say they will not resume talks until Israel halts its building in the West Bank.
Netanyahu responded more positively to the initiative by the Quartet, comprised of the U.S., U.N., European Union and Russia. He will begin consultations today with his ministers on issuing a formal response after returning from New York, according to an Israeli official who spoke anonymously because he wasn’t authorized to speak on the record.
The Quartet proposal came after Abbas spoke at the UN General Assembly on Sept. 23 and called on the Security Council to recognize a Palestinian state and grant it full UN membership. The Security Council will meet to discuss the Palestinian application today. It could take weeks or months before a vote is held.
Israeli officials expressed satisfaction with developments at the UN, especially the speech by U.S. President Barack Obama stressing Israel’s security needs and not mentioning settlements or referring to the 1967 borders, two issues of contention.
“This was a political win for Netanyahu, most importantly the Obama speech which was a reconciliation with the U.S. on his own terms, and the failure of the Palestinians to bring a vote on their statehood initiative to the Security Council,” said Gerald Steinberg, political scientist at Bar Ilan University outside Tel Aviv.
“America supports Israel in unparalleled ways, unprecedented ways,” Netanyahu said yesterday in New York on NBC-TV’s “Meet the Press.”
U.S. backing at the UN insured Netanyahu against having to make concessions on settlements or borders that could have spurred opposition from his government’s coalition partners, said Jonathan Spyer, a political scientist at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya. This is particularly so from Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, head of the Yisrael Beitenu party, who has expressed skepticism on reaching any kind of statehood deal with the Palestinians.
“There was talk before Netanyahu left for the UN of Liberman mounting a challenge, but he’s coming back with enough political wind in his sails to forestall any such threat for now,” Spyer said.
Netanyahu will also benefit for the time being by the opposition Labor Party’s selection last week of Shelly Yacimovich as its new leader, according to Steinberg. Yacimovich has said she will focus more on social and economic issues than the conflict with the Palestinians.
Israel’s economy is growing faster than the rest of the developed world, with the International Monetary Fund forecasting growth of 4.8 percent this year, and unemployment dropping to 5.5 percent in the second quarter, the lowest since at least 1985.
Israeli stocks rebounded yesterday from their biggest decline in almost three weeks as concern eased that violence would increase following the Palestinian statehood bid, with the TA-25 Index closing up 2.1 percent.
Unless the Quartet initiative gains traction, a negotiated settlement, or even talks between Netanyahu and Abbas to reach that goal, may be unlikely any time soon.
“The leaders remain too far apart, both on the issues and even on the terms of reference, and we can’t expect anything bold from the U.S. during an election season,” said Ibish.
Steinberg said that “we had a stalemate before the UN and we have a stalemate after.”
RAMALLAH, West Bank–Tens of thousands of Palestinians gathered in cities across the West Bank to celebrate and watch a speech by President Mahmoud Abbas on large television screens set up in central squares for the occasion.
They were the largest public gatherings since Yasser Arafat’s funeral in 2004. There were no rallies in Gaza, where the militant group Hamas is in control and opposed Mr. Abbas’s U.N. initiative to accept Palestine as a member state.
Palestinians cheer moments before President Mahmoud Abbas addressed the U.N. General Assembly in the West Bank city of Ramallah
In the West Bank, the mood was jubilant as crowds made up of whole families gathered hours before the speech to sing, dance, chant slogans and wave Palestinian flags.
Among the many posters and banners, a few criticized U.S. President Barack Obama, whose speech on Wednesday and opposition to the statehood bid deeply disappointed Palestinians.
In Ramallah, the seat of Mr. Abbas’s government, the crowd filled Arafat square and lined the rooftops surrounding it. It erupted in cheers and flag waving when Mr. Abbas asked the U.N. to accept his application for observer state status.
The gatherings were overwhelming peaceful, but the Palestinian security and police forces mobilized all 29,000 officers to prevent violence and clashes with the Israeli military.
Israel itself mobilized more than 20,000 riot police and security officials. Major checkpoints were manned with thousands of soldiers in riot gear, and there were between youths throwing rocks and Israeli soldiers at some checkpoints.
By Scott Winchell and Denise Simon– SUA has been showing to the world, along with our many friends, the REAL facts of the history of the area we call “Palestine”. Now Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority seeks to circumvent any further discussions with Israel by asking the UN to unilaterally declare statehood to “Palestine”. As we witness this latest attempt to reduce the security of Israel, or as the Arabs in the Levant and beyond have always wanted, the destruction and annihilation of Israel, hoping to cause it to cease to exist.
There is only one truth, it has never been about land, it has always been about the destruction of Israel. Speaking at the UN yesterday, Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad once again, as he has done repeatedly, denied truths the world knows, and calls for the destruction of Israel. Now, Egypt, in its new iteration, with its new leaders, and the surge of power for the Muslim Brotherhood is declaring peace accords with Israel to be null and void.
Globally, nothing in history has had more attention, more books, more wars, more meetings and more debate than Israel and its people. We cannot accurately count the number of wars involving the Jews as persecution of the Jews is a daily standard. Summits, treaties, borders, government(s), currency, military, oil and gas resource rights all find clauses in the lost counts of agreements, resolutions, accords and declarations. The common argument is the hate of Jews and the installation of Palestine on land undeserving, yet earned by Israel. Peace is fleeting and obscure for the Jews. This video is just a snapshot of how all historical measures taken continue to fail as the honor and respect of Israel is in full opposition to the Islamic doctrine. Tomorrow will look like yesterday.
The following video, featuring Bill Whittle of Pajamas Media once again shows the truth, not the tired Israel hatred Propaganda and revisionist history of the likes of Arab and Iranian leaders. Please watch closely and read the article below from the Fars News Agency:
Camp David Accord No Longer Valid says Prominent Egyptian Politician
TEHRAN (FNA)– A leading Egyptian political activist underlined the necessity of revising Camp David Accord between Cairo and Tel Aviv, stressing that the deal is no more valid.
“Camp David is annulled and has no credit and value,” member of Egypt’s National Association for Change George Ishaq told FNA in Cairo.
“Since the Zionist regime attaches no respect to the accord and in order to reclaim Egypt’s sovereignty over the Sinai region…the agreement should be reviewed and revised,” underlined Ishaq, a former coordinator of Kefaya Movement, a political movement opposing Hosni Mubarak’s regime.
Earlier this month, Egyptian youths stormed the Israeli embassy and destroyed a part of a barricade wall around the building, forcing the Israeli ambassador to fly out of Cairo.
Elsewhere, Ishaq said that Egyptian people will continue protests until the state of emergency in the country comes to an end.
Meantime, a military official said on Wednesday that Egypt’s state of emergency will remain in place until June 2012, stressing that the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) seeks to “end the emergency as soon as possible”.
“The SCAF did not extend or declare the Emergency Law, whose most recent two-year extension, in June 2010, means it is valid until next June,” said General Adel el-Mursi, the head of the Military Judicial Authority.
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