domingo, 2 de diciembre de 2012

Recommended: Regarding Palestinian recognition at the UN

 "What ought to give us hope are not more empty gestures at the UN, but the growing Palestinian-led grassroots solidarity movement, pushing to hold Israel accountable. This movement scored a significant milestone this week when international music legend Stevie Wonder pulled out of a benefit gig for the Israeli army after an activist campaign.
Actions like this by prominent cultural figures indicate that the Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, modelled on the one that helped end apartheid in South Africa, is gaining strength and legitimacy. It is a movement based not on trading Palestinian rights for a West Bank mini-state under a dictatorial US-backed regime, but on restoring the rights of all Palestinians everywhere."

"By recognising a diminished Palestinian state, the vote effectively abandons the UN understanding of the "Jewish state" as one that has no right to discriminate against or ethnically cleanse non-Jews. The new arrangement confers the blessing of this international forum on the Israeli understanding of what a "Jewish state" entails– namely, the actually existing legal discrimination and ethnic cleansing practised by Israel –as acceptable. That this occurred on 29 November, the date of the partition plan, reiterates this date as one of continuing defeats for the Palestinians who continue to suffer from Israel's colonial laws, and repeats UN guilt in denying Palestinians their rights not to suffer dispossession and racism. The Palestinians, however, whose majority is not represented by the PA, will no more heed this new partition plan than they did the last one and will continue to resist Israeli colonialism until it comes to an end and until Israel becomes a state for all its citizens with equal rights to all regardless of national, religious, or ethnic background."

"For much of the past year there has been justified skepticism about Abbas's intentions. He repeatedly delayed. First, Abbas parked the application at the UN Security Council, where it was guaranteed to languish under US custodianship. Then, he postponed it until after the US presidential elections. Finally, he appeared to want to procrastinate further until after the January 2013 Israeli elections. Since Abbas remains confident Obama will commence the liberation of Palestine in 2013 or 2014, he most likely would have continued delaying matters.
What then happened was that events (and Abbas's own conduct) essentially forced his hand. First, he informed Israeli television of his personal disinterest in the right of return in order to assuage Israeli fears about Palestinian rights. This created an instantaneous firestorm among Palestinian public opinion, and put Abbas in the position of needing a quick fix to arrest the rapidly accelerating collapse of his remaining legitimacy. Then came the recent Israeli assault on the Gaza Strip, and the resulting perception that Hamas is successfully confronting Israel while Abbas is hapless, helpless and (more dangerous yet) irrelevant in equal measure. This left him no choice but to go to New York. Presumably, he came under significant pressure from what is left of Fatah to act and act speedily as well."

"The symbolism of the UN vote is clear. The status of the PA was upgraded to that of a non-member state. However, in as far as the Palestinians’ ultimate goal is independence and sovereignty, the new status means very little. The state of Palestine is nothing close to historic Palestine, which Abbas tossed aside recently when he disavowed the Palestinians’ right of return. Statehood in this case may just be little more than a slight change in wording to the non-member observer status that the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) held since November 1975. A majority of UN members previously recognized Palestine as a state, and many did so after Yasser Arafat’s unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood in 1988.
The symbolism is also embedded in the status of President Abbas and the PA itself: PA authority is only accepted in the West Bank since the split between Fatah and Hamas in 2007. Moreover, Abbas’s term of office expired in 2009, but because of the split (among other factors) there have been no Palestinian elections since 2006. The PA’s provisional mandate as the “self-governing authority” in the territories expired in 2000. In fact, Abbas had no popular mandate even to ask the UN to recognize a state."

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