Palestinians aim to reboot UN anti-settlement campaign

By Agence France-Presse
Saturday, February 19, 2011 12:59 EDT
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RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories (AFP) – The Palestinians aim to launch a new bid to clinch UN condemnation of Israeli settlement building, after Washington vetoed a Security Council motion, a senior official said on Saturday.

Yasser Abed Rabbo, the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s secretary general, said Palestinian leaders had decided to make an attempt at the world body’s General Assembly, which convenes in New York in September.

“Our decision now is to go to the General Assembly of the United Nations to pass a UN resolution against the settlements and condemn them and to emphasise its lack of legitimacy,” he told AFP.
“And then we will put forward a draft to condemn the settlements to the UN Security Council.”

A widely supported Palestinian drive to win the Council’s condemnation of Israeli settlement was foiled by a US veto on Friday after Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas ignored sweeteners and reported strong-arm tactics from the White House to have the motion withdrawn.

Egypt said the US veto, while the Council’s 14 others members all voted in favour, damaged Washington’s credibility as a peacebroker.

“The veto, which contradicts the American public stance rejecting settlement policy, will lead to more damage of the United States’s credibility on the Arab side as a mediator in peace efforts,” the foreign ministry in Cairo said.

The Islamist movement Hamas which rules the Gaza Strip said the US use of its veto was “outrageous” and urged an end to all Palestinian-Israeli contacts.

Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum said the move should serve as a wake-up call for Abbas, the Islamist movement’s fierce rival, and his West Bank-based Palestinian Authority (PA).

“This is an arbitrary and outrageous decision against the Palestinian people,” he told AFP. “It should push the PA to adopt a strategy of unity… and take a national decision to end all forms of negotiations with” Israel.
Barhoum said Washington had again shown itself to be “completely biased” towards Israel and confirmed the failure of the US-brokered peace process.

Saeb Erakat, a senior member of Abbas’s mainstream Fatah movement who last week quit as chief Palestinian negotiator, said the latest setback undermined the Palestinian government.

“Israel has stripped the Palestinian Authority of its meaning, and (its usefulness) as a tool for the independence of the Palestinian people should be reconsidered,” he told AFP.

Ahead of Friday’s vote, the United States had pressured the Palestinians to drop their backing for the resolution, but to no avail, with Abbas rejecting a personal appeal from US President Barack Obama.

“We have to maintain our credibility in the eyes of our people and avoid a repetition of previous incidents,” Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Malki said on Thursday.

Abbas came under harsh criticism in September 2009 when he bowed to US pressure to accept a UN Human Rights Council ruling that both Israel and Hamas had failed to properly probe the findings of the Goldstone Commission.

The UN-sponsored commission found that both parties had committed war crimes during Israel’s December 2008-January 2009 assault on Gaza.

Direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians broke down last September after the expiry of a temporary freeze on Jewish settlement activity in the West Bank.

US attempts to coax Israel into renewing the freeze ran aground in December, with the Palestinians refusing to return to the negotiating table while Jewish settlers build on land they want for a future state.

Jewish settlement activity on Palestinian land seized during the 1967 Six-Day War is considered illegal by the international community, including the United States.

Agence France-Presse
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  • YeaSayer

    It’s time to demonstrate against the apartheid-supporting MuBarack Obama regime. I pooped.

  • Johnny Warbucks

    Yep. The poor Palestinians have a great plan. They’ll continue hopping from one pretend body to the next filing petitions while the pretend body in question pretends to consider it and the US comes along and like a giant in front of ants, swipes them with one veto, again and again. In the meantime, back at the farm, Israel continues to build illegal settlements until whatever few inches of Palestine are left are gone. At that point, I rather suspect that the Israelis may even want to negotiate a “peace” agreement which may even entail the air the Palestinians breathe. But hey, it’s all fair after all, it is well established fact that the Palestinians are guilty of the Holocaust™ and they must pay for it for all eternity.

  • mick


  • Anonymous

    I hate what this Goddamned country stands for now.

    What kind of system is it where our one vote can void the will of 14 other world countries?

    The big bad U.S. says to the Palestinians … hey we’re giving you a yes on a non-binding resolution, what do you want?

    We are such wusses for Israel. Why don’t we tell the truth? AIPAC runs our fucking congress.

    Beacon of hope, my ass.

  • Anonymous

    As you say, Israel’s building settlements is illegal under international law. So why did we veto the resolution?.

  • http://www.balmorheaprogressive.blogspot.com/ BaileyWuXiang

    Israel’s systematic ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people delegitimizes any claims they have regarding the holocaust as justification for their colonization of Palestine.

  • http://www.balmorheaprogressive.blogspot.com/ BaileyWuXiang

    Because they threatened Obama with opposition to his reelection. Hence, Obama placed personal ambition over moral duty.

  • http://www.balmorheaprogressive.blogspot.com/ BaileyWuXiang

    They better cover their ass before the Revolution knocks at the gate.

  • spike91nz

    I still think their best strategy is to protest in black face and carry signs asking if they are black enough now to care about the Israeli apartheid. Or perhaps, all wearing yellow stars of David and dressed in concentration camp clothes in silent protest of the ghettoisation of them by the Israelis. A creative approach that catches the imagination of the world, when reason and principles fail. Apparently the irony of Israel becoming a fascistic oppressive state needing to expand its territory is not sufficient to bring people to their senses or make it sufficiently clear that at some point the “obnoxious little brother” can no longer assume the protection of the protective big brother. Better get busy trying to learn how to be a good neighbour. Stopping the taking of the land and water might be a good place to start.

  • Johnny Warbucks

    I was just reading an article over at AlterNet dealing with that very notion. If they were to disappear over night, I don’t think anybody would go looking for them.

  • Anonymous

    Ahmadijenad asked a very good question on Larry King Live, but of course they changed the subject immediately and most networks don’t have it anymore in their archives.
    He asked:
    What has the Palestinians done in WWII? Did they do anything , that has to do with the Holocaust?”

    The obvious answer is no. Of course Larry King refused to answer, instead he started attacking him about the Holocaust.
    And what is Israel now? A safe haven for war criminals. Their arrogant behavior of thinking that they could just go on and on to defy the UN and break the International law at every step is mind boggling. What do they think? They can just exterminate everyone who disagrees with them? That’s no different than Nazi Germany. I guess they picked up on it very well and the hunted became the hunter. And the “Greater Israel is a myth”. There was Judea, but it was never anything more than scattered villages with all sorts of people, no “homogeneous” “Jews” , not to mention most of Jews today has absolutely nothing to do with the ancient Judeah. Maybe the Moroccan jews and the Sephardi, but the Askhenazi is clearly the farthest away for living in Europe for 800-900 years, if not longer.

  • Anonymous

    He has a snowball chance in hell, with or without the veto. What’s worse is, I can’t even imagine what else he is gonna do for 2 more years!!! And what makes it EVEN more worse, is that I can’t think of anyone who could be a “better” president after him!!!! if I see Huckabee or Palin or Hillary “gaining in the polls” next year, that will be the last shovel of dirt on the grave of the country known as USA.

  • Taleisin

    You are right, but where did that get Galileo?
    Palestine is the gateway between Europe, Africa and Asia.
    Rule that and you can rule the world. god said so.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ZE52K2XCL5RXU3HTELYUDKCMOQ Satyr Priapus

    The answer is the following: The grandfather of palestinian nationalism was a nazi. he toured auschwitz, liked what he saw, and asked Hitler and Himmler for permission to setup similar death camps in Palestine. had germany won the war, it is likely Mohammad Amin al-Husayni would have gotten his wish.

    And what did the 1 million Jews who were exiled from Arab countries have to do with the Palestinian’s misfortune? Most of them were forced out of their homes, had most of their property and wealth stolen from them, despite the fact that they had been living in more than a dozen Arab Muslim countries for hundreds and hundreds of years.

    ethnic cleansing? really? that can only be true if the term loses all meaning.