Palestine under pressure to drop bid

2011-09-21 08:29

New York - The Palestinians on Tuesday came under intense pressure to drop a bid for UN membership as a state as diplomats worked frantically behind the scenes to head off a clash.

The White House announced that US President Barack Obama would meet with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday, after talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier in the day.

The United States has been leading the drive to stop the Palestinians submitting their application for full UN membership on Friday as threatened, and has vowed to veto any such bid to the UN Security Council.

And Israel has slammed the move as a bid to circumvent the peace talks that ground to a halt a year ago after Israel refused to extend a moratorium on settlement building.

Before leaving for New York, Netanyahu said "the path to peace is through dialogue and not through unilateral declarations.

"Israel does not want a worthless piece of paper, but a veritable peace with arrangements for security, a peace that will not disappear before it is even signed," he told a meeting of MPs and local officials from his Likud party.

Palestinians urge US to drop opposition

But Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki called on the US to drop its fierce opposition.

"I hope that the United States will change its position and follow the majority of countries which want to support the Palestinian right to self-determination and an independent state," Maliki said after meeting his Venezuelan counterpart Nicolas Maduro.

He reaffirmed the Palestinians will seek Security Council recognition of an independent Palestinian state, and said they believed they could win the necessary votes of nine of the council's 15 members.

European nations are working behind the scenes to try to avert the confrontation, with the Middle East Quartet also seeking to draw up a statement that would coax Israel and the Palestinians back to talks.

Netanyahu, who is due to arrive in New York early on Wednesday, said: "It is very easy to yield to pressure and gain the applause of the international community.

"But Israel must preserve its interests, and a precipitous arrangement risks leading to rocket fire targeting all of Israel."

No progress on envoys’ statements

He has also called on Abbas to open up direct talks in New York and resume them in Jerusalem and Ramallah.

In response, Abbas told Fox News he would "meet any Israeli official any time" but said there would be no point in meeting if they had "nothing tangible" to offer.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met on Monday with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to discuss the Quartet statement. But British Foreign Secretary William Hague, who met Abbas on Tuesday, said "no progress" had yet been made on drafting it.

In a letter to Britain's shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander, Hague said he was working to find a way forward and "create the strongest possible foundation for a return to negotiations".

Britain had deliberately withheld its position on the issue of Palestinian statehood at the UN, along with European partners, as it "maintains the pressure on both sides to show the flexibility needed to enable a return to negotiations", he wrote.

The Palestinians however have been buoyed by about 120 countries that have already bilaterally recognised a state of Palestine or backed such a position.

9 Security Council votes needed

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Tuesday sent a letter to UN chief Ban backing the Palestinians' bid.

"This represents an act of historic justice towards a people who carry with them, from time immemorial, all the pain and suffering of the world," he wrote.

And Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said: "Turkey is supporting this application fully and believes that this has been the commitment of the UN from the 1948 resolution 181 until now.

"And the recognition of Palestine does not mean the end of the negotiation."

If the Palestinians fail to win over nine of the 15 Security Council members, any resolution would fail, saving Obama from an embarrassing US veto.

Another option could then be for the UN General Assembly to welcome the Palestinians as an enhanced observer non-member state, a status so far enjoyed only by the Vatican.

  • GH - 2011-09-21 09:16

    You cannot have an independant state and at the same time allow them to continue their agression towards Israel. It's either peace or war. They must choose.

      Waheed - 2011-09-21 10:51

      Recognition of an independent state will legitimize territorial boundaries...which is essentially what the fighting is about. Resolving this issue will therefore bring peace.

      negro.please - 2011-09-21 12:28

      Fragile: I know you'll be reading this at some time today since it's a topic that interests you. Just thought I'd tell you I left a response to your call out here: Thought you should read it. Apologies to the rest of you. My narcistic side couldn't help put a Huisgenoot reader like Fragile in his place.

      Matt :-) - 2011-09-21 12:34

      Just wondering. Seeing how the Arab Peninsula is a large sandpit, why have neighbouring countries not helped out by letting the Palestinians reside there? Maybe build a few nice cities in the desert and create an economy... or is it easier for Arab countries to just let them rot and curse Israel?

      willieman - 2011-09-21 12:53

      This is ransom on the path of Israel.Borders should be defined then the occupation should end.In that fashion the whole world will be able to see who is the aggressor.

  • observer - 2011-09-21 09:34

    The first step on the road to peace is that the Palestinians recognise Israel's right to exist. How do you negotiate with someone who thinks you shouldn't be there at all?

      willieman - 2011-09-21 13:01

      The first step on the road to peace is that the Israel should end the occupation. How do you negotiate with someone who thinks he's got the right to ocuupy your land illegally

      Mike - 2011-09-29 22:24

      Willieman why should Israel release land to a "nation" hell bent on their destruction? Israel would be well advised to retain whatever advantage they can over those plotting their destruction included retaining land legitimately occupied.

  • Magezi - 2011-09-21 10:47

    Let the Palestians proceed with this basic human right need, and in the process, expose the prostituted veto action of USA for the world to see. The so called negotiations stalled last year, for heaven's sake. What is it that will make Israel negotiate in good faith this time? We need openness and honesty for any negotiation to succeed, and these are characteristics lacking in both USA and Israel. Furthermore, the UN needs to show the entire world community that it exists for fairness and justice to the world, not just for America and Israel.

      Zee - 2011-09-21 10:57

      How they can allow ONE state to veto the rest of the world is completely against the principles behind the forming of the UN! Why even have a UN then? May as well just have the US and nothing else.. makes zero sense whatsoever.

      observer - 2011-09-21 11:15

      @Zee The US is not the only country with the right to veto a decision.

  • Patrick - 2011-09-21 10:48

    Unfortunately I think that Abbas is an izzy stooge and Fayyad is just as dodgy and they will purposely blow it.

  • Tolerant - 2011-09-21 11:19

    Peace through negotiations are better than another war. Rather make peace Palestinians, as you are unlikely to win a war. The winner takes it all.

      kubs - 2011-09-21 12:57

      Wrong..Accroding to international law no land can be won by war..If like Israel you dont want to live by laws..go live in the jungle with animals

      Mike - 2011-09-29 22:08

      Oh dear ignorant Kubs - try a more thorough research on international law which allows for land captured from an aggressor to be occupied or retained by the attacked nation. Israel is thus fully entitled to retain land won from the Arab aggressors in the 6 day war.

  • TheWally - 2011-09-21 12:00

    yep, this says it all: Miko Peled is a peace activist who dares to say in public what others still choose to deny. Born in Jerusalem in 1961 into a well known Zionist family, his grandfather, Dr. Avraham Katsnelson was a Zionist leader and signer of the Israeli Declaration of Independence. His Father, Matti Peled, was a young officer in the war of 1948 and a general in the war of 1967 when Israel conquered the West Bank, Gaza, Golan Heights and Sinai. Miko's unlikely opinions reflect his father's legacy. General Peled was a war hero turned peacemaker. full interview here:

  • anwar.daniels - 2011-09-21 12:08

    Whether or not Palestine recognises Israel, should have nothing to do with Palestine's international rights. Israel has their own views about the middle east which so many disagree with, this does not mean they should or should not be recognised. Give the Palestinians some human dignity.

      BrassCopper - 2011-09-21 15:27

      that would be correct... but problem comes in where the Pal want to declare their capital on top of Israel's capital. thus... un bid = declaration of war.

      anwar.daniels - 2011-09-23 09:56

      At BrassCopper, Jerusalem, is not automatically Israel's capital. It may have significance to the Jewish religion, but it also has significance for Christians and moslems. And what is in question is land, not religion. In any event, in recent history Israel has probably been the most aggressive wrt acts of war on its neighbors, shall we remove their sovereignty then?

  • negro.please - 2011-09-21 12:19

    Fragile: I know you'll be reading this at some time today since it's a topic that interests you. Just thought I'd tell you I left a response to your call out here: Thought you should read it. Apologies to the rest of you. My narcistic side couldn't help put a Huisgenoot reader like Fragile in his place.

  • Jon - 2011-09-21 12:47

    Waheed there will never be peace as long as the arabs continue the way they do. If you give them a finger they want the whole arm they keep "taking" land and want more and more and its their greed that keeps them going thats why Israel WILL NOT GIVE ANY OF THE LAND THAT IS RIGHTFULLY THEIRS!!!!

      Matt :-) - 2011-09-21 13:08

      You make them sound like ANCYL and Cosatu...

      j4truth - 2011-09-21 14:16

      Check history - The whole of Trans Jordan was given to the 'palestinians' for that reason years ago!!!

      BrassCopper - 2011-09-21 15:29

      Palestine = Jordan Jordan = Palestine

      willieman - 2011-09-21 16:50

      Obviously you do not undestand the history

  • j4truth - 2011-09-21 14:13

    Yippee! AFRIFORUM can ask for a Afrikaans speaking state incl. Pretoria TOMMY BEDFORD can ask for a English speaking state in NATAL The Nigerians and Somalies can get a two party state near Cape Town!! How stupid can a Muslim and the gullible Europe Be?

      Law01 - 2011-09-21 22:21

      well the Afrikaners etc are not suffering the brutal oppression and killing like the Palestinians are. they are denied basic rights that we take for granted, go and Visit Palestine and witness it for yourself, go on J4truth!

  • Deset Rat - 2011-09-21 14:22

    The best way to the solve the problem is for Palestinians to convert to Judaism then they can all argue together as one big happy family.It is a well known truth that if two Jews get together, they will never agree!! The same applies with Muslims, so let them all agree to disagree together.

      Romans8 - 2011-09-21 18:55

      The only solution to the problem is Jesus Christ. There will be no lasting peace till he sets up His kingdom, which by the way is not too far away.

      Law01 - 2011-09-21 22:25

      The Jews would not except them, Judaism is the older than Islam and Chrsitianity, wonder why today there are just 15 million jews, they have pride and cannot accept other races into their religion, they feel they superior to the Palestinians. They do not openly invite people to their religion unlike Muslims/Christins.

      Romans8 - 2011-09-22 08:31

      @Law01 - that is where you are wrong. When Jesus comes back they will accept him. Zec 12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. Can you tell me who they (the Jews) pierced? It was Jesus! Zec 13:6 And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.

  • Ken - 2011-09-22 08:08

    Soemthing must be done to expose the apartheid US/Israeli state for the hypocracy it is. US/Israel has no interest in any just peace deal fro Palestine

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