Can Palestinians Start to Live on Their Feet?

mag-gaza-4-superJumboOn Dec. 30th, the UN Security Council voted down a proposal submitted by Jordan on behalf of the Palestinians that would have:

1) Set a one-year deadline for negotiations with Israel;

2) Established targets for Palestinian sovereignty, including a capital in East Jerusalem;

3) Called for the “full and phased withdrawal of Israeli forces” from the West Bank by the end of 2017.

Only 8 of the total of 15 nations voted for the resolution when at least 9 supporting members are needed for adoption. Oh, and that is irrelevant for the United States would have vetoed the resolution if it were to get the 9 votes anyways as the U.S. is a permanent member of the Security Council with veto power. Just saying… But the Palestinian Authority, led by Pres. Mahmoud Abbas, says it will apply again when members of the revolving Security Council are more sympathetic to the Palestinian cause.

Also, this past Wednesday Abbas moved to join the International Criminal Court in a symbolic step to put Israel on notice regarding prosecution for violations of international law, e.g., war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity. In response the Israelis have frozen $127 million in tax revenue which supports the Palestinian Authority (PA). These funds are provided to the PA under the Oslo Accords agreement to maintain stability. Israel collects $1 billion annually in customs and taxes on behalf of the PA and the money goes to the organization. It would probably collapse without it.

In light of the above actions by the Israeli government, a great analysis in the NYT yesterday explains the momentum is actually on the Palestinians’ side. And according to a couple of quotes from rank-and-file Palestinians in the article shows they may be able to live on their feet instead of their knees.

I hear it from my father for the first time: Even if we will not get our salaries and the economic situation will be worse, at least we can say we will get our rights,” Rula Salameh said of her father, who is 70 and relies on a Palestinian Authority pension.

Ms. Salameh said her sister, who is on the government payroll, “hears it also from her friends, her colleagues — they said even if we will not get our salaries, we need to feel like something is going on, tomorrow will be better than today.

 

 

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A Third Intifada?

21kidnap1-videoSixteenByNine600-v2Judging by reports, a third intifada could become a reality in Israel/Palestine if something does not break in the search for the three missing Israeli teenagers in the West Bank. Four Palestinians, one of them 15, have already been killed by Israeli troops and 340 have been arrested by their forces in an operation called Brother’s Keeper.

The photos of the Palestinian deceased have been hoisted at mass funerals for they are seen as martyrs in the liberation struggle.

Emotions are being ramped up more and more every day according to this NYT piece.

 

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Israel Playing The Victim

16ISRAEL-master675According to a NYT report today, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is blaming the new joint Palestinian Authority for the disappearance/kidnapping of three missing Israeli teenagers from West Bank settlements in public statements today made to the International community. He is placing blame more specifically on Hamas, who just reconciled with the West-Bank base Fatah party to form the new joint P.A., but he said that P.A. President Mahmoud Abbas is directly responsible.

So what does Israel do but completely overreact with extreme acts of violence even though there is no proof that Hamas is behind the kidnapping? The article reports:

Hamas members of Parliament, former ministers, imams and professors were among those arrested in the night raids in Nablus, Jenin, Ramallah and other West Bank cities, villages and refugee camps. Israel also carried out six airstrikes in the Gaza Strip overnight that Palestinian health officials said wounded a 15-year-old girl and a 27-year-old woman, and it closed its commercial and pedestrian crossings into Gaza with exceptions only for fuel deliveries and humanitarian emergencies.

Now if Hamas would be behind these kidnappings it would be a breach of international law and should be treated as such. But as Qadura Fares, the Palestinians’ former minister of prisoner affairs, said, “the kidnapping is the result of the peace-process stalemate,” and the Israeli’s are using the incident to “make political gains.” The frustration with Israel’s planted obstacles to peace has kindled much resentment amongst Palestinians.

But, as usual, Israel is playing the victim here. They played to the international community today with Netanyahu speaking English, to appeal to the West, and spewed their usual apocalyptic predictions of Israel’s destruction at the hands of Muslim extremists.

But do they not now threaten the region the most with their over-use of military power?

 

 

 

 

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Who’s More Invested: Palestine, Israel, or Kerry?

John KerryA good piece in The Guardian by Peter Beaumont argues that the United States, and Secy. of State John Kerry, specifically, is more invested and engaged with Mid-East peace talks than either Netanyahu or Abbas.

Beaumont’s analysis seems to be apparently true according to my opinion.

Read Here.

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Mid-East Talks Cancelled

02MIDEASTSUB2-articleLargeSec. of State John Kerry’s talks with the Palestinian Authorities Pres. Mahmoud Abbas were cancelled earlier today by Abbas, or by both. We do not exactly know.

The reason for the cancellation was that Abbas and the Palestinian Authority have moved to appeal to 15 international agencies for Palestinian statehood, a move that the Israelis and U.S. are strongly against.

The Palestinian Authority announced that this path was taken because the Israelis missed a deadline for a fourth prisoner release that was scheduled for the end of March.

This appeal to agencies such as the Vienna and Geneva Conventions, is a good move despite the threat from the U.S. and Israel that they will stop financial aid to the occupied territories if such actions are taken.

In my opinion the Palestinians never get reasonable concessions from Israel within the parameters of the Peace Talks. The main sticker is that the Israelis always find a way to keep building further settlements in Palestinian territory and East Jerusalem, which most of the world considers illegal.

Also, the Israelis complain about the release of “terrorists” and “militant” prisoners who were engaged in the Intifadas. But what about all of the offenses by the Israeli military with their murder of civilians? It’s absurd.

So I believe that the Palestinians should take the road that they seem set upon taking by applying to these 15 agencies for the Peace Talks lead them to nowhere.

 

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