Friday, September 23, 2011

Abbas Did Not Buckle

It was the United Nations that determined the fate of the Palestinian people more than six decades ago – and on Friday it was the UN that heard an impassioned plea to change the destiny of Palestine once more [... The] Palestinian president [...]Mahmoud Abbas, who was 12 years old when the UN general assembly of November 1947 voted to partition Palestine into two states, one Jewish and one Arab [...] came back to the same body on Friday, asking the UN to bless a Palestinian state.


He did it with a flourish, holding up the formal letter of application he had submitted that hour to the UN secretary general, asking for full membership of the United Nations – a gesture that brought sustained applause from some delegates, impassive silence from others, including the United States and, inevitably, Israel.

"It is a moment of truth and my people are waiting to hear the answer of the world," Abbas said. "After 63 years of suffering: enough, enough, enough."


His language was uncompromising, condemning "colonial military occupation", "ethnic cleansing" and "the brutality of repression and racial discrimination."


[But] Abbas knew there was no chance of an immediate vote leading to recognition, not least because the US had promised its veto in advance and had leaned on several other allies to vote no.


Sure enough, the Quartet of Middle East peacemakers issued a timetable for yet another round of peace talks, starting within a month.


[And Israel’s Benjamin] Netanyahu drew on his familiar catalogue of talking points – denouncing the UN as the "theatre of the absurd"; warning of the global threat of "militant Islam" and of Iran; stressing how Israel's every effort for peace had only resulted in more war.

  UK Guardian

Their every effort for peace, like continuing to build “settlements” in Palestinian territory and blocking humanitarian aid ships from reaching the besieged Palestinians with needed food and building materials to sustain life.

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