Abbas Well-Deserved UN Applause
24 September 2011
When Binyamin Netanyahu addressed the US Congress some months ago he was given multiple standing ovations by America’s Senators and Congressmen. Yesterday the whole world, represented at the UN by their Ambassadors, sincerely and spontaneously gave Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas a standing ovation – with the exception of the US and Israel, who sat on their hands.
There is a great deal of difference between the two types of applause and their significance. Most of the world has now loudly demonstrated that it is in favour of the Palestinians’ rights against occupation, racism, walls, segregation barriers, and ethnic cleansing. The World is on the side of Palestine, its state, and its people. This is an achievement worthy of much rejoicing.
Yesterday, Friday 23 September 2011, was the day of Palestine par excellence, and the day of a historical setback for Israel and the United States, which is about to brandish the veto at the UN Security Council to support its aggression. This veto has become the badge of honour and the source of pride for the Palestinians, as much as it is the major denunciation of its owner.
We have disagreed many times with President Mahmud Abbas, and we may yet disagree with him again; however, we cannot deny or ignore that his speech of yesterday was a brave speech characterized by defiance, crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s, relating the sufferings of the Palestinian people in an effective, humane, and civilized way, emphasizing the constants of the conflict, and an unambiguous and explicit warning against the consequences of the Israeli policies that destroy peace and change the reality on the ground.
We have reproached the Palestinian president many times, because many times he has been soft in his criticism of the Israelis, has avoided embarrassing them, keen not to anger them, even ommiting to mention the suffering of his people under occupation, flattering the Israelis by ignoring the Palestinian catastrophe and the tragedies that stemmed from it for an entire people. Perhaps he has been doing this because he was suppressing his anger in order not to give the Israelis the opportunity to accuse him of hindering the peace process. However, in yesterday’s speech, Abbas did not leave one uprooted olive tree without mentioning it or a martyred or imprisoned Palestinian without expressing pain for his martyrdom or imprisonment.
President Abbas’s speech was a road map, a working programme, and a complete exposure of the occupation, the crimes of the occupation settlers, the Israeli state terrorism in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and the continuous settlement operations by confiscating land, Judaizing Jerusalem, and terrorizing the sons of the Palestinian people. Therefore, this speech has to be transformed immediately from the stage of words into the stage of practical implementation on the ground, and any deviation from its principles and points has to be accounted for.
The Palestinian president has replied forcefully to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama without mentioning them. He strongly opposed Israel’s demands that it be recognized as a Jewish state, insisting on the rights the 1.5 million 1948 Palestinian Arabs have to their land. He stressed the right of the Palestinian people -as the last people under occupation -to an independent state on the basis of the partition resolution, and without relinquishing the right to return for the Palestinian refugees.
The US President has failed the test of the Palestinian State, and proved by his opposition to their being recognized at the UN that he does not deserve the Noble Peace Prize, which was given to him to encourage him to establish peace in the world. Therefore, demands ought to be made for withdrawing the prize from him as soon as he uses the veto against the Palestinian State at the UN Security Council. A man, who sends aircraft and fleets under the banner of supporting the peoples in their demands for justice, freedom, and human right, while he supports an Israeli aggression backed by terrorism and internationally banned phosphoric bombs, and opposes legitimate aspirations for a homeland that are confirmed by international legitimacy resolutions, is a man who deserves to be despised and to be added to the list of dictators and not to the list of Noble Peace Laureates.
Achieving an independent Palestinian State cannot be done through negotiations as Netanyahu stresses, and as Obama repeats after him in a parrot-fashion way. It can only be achieved through legitimate resistance by all means and ways, and by following the course adopted by the various peoples of the world, including the US people.
President Abbas talks about this peaceful resistance, but now he ought to have as much courage and give the green light for launching it, the same as he gave the green light for staging the demonstrations supporting him at the Al-Manarah Square, or as Yasir Arafat did in Ramallah and in other Palestinian squares and cities.
The Palestinian issue has been liberated from the US and Israeli grip, and has returned to the United Nations after a deviation that has continued for 20 years in the Oslo corridors, the International Quartet, Tony Blair’s conspiracies, the economic peace, and the illusions of building the state infrastructure. What remains is to ensure that it will never return into this grip again, and that this direction is consolidated by popular activity on the ground.
The two-state solution has collapsed. Israel has thwarted it by its aggression, its settlements, and its imposition of illegitimate fait accompli on the ground. Also the Palestinian [National] Authority has collapsed after it reached a regrettable state of feebleness, humiliation, and degradation. It is inevitable to reply to this by real Palestinian unity on the ground of resistance, and of reintroducing the Palestinian State on the entire Palestinian soil against the racist Jewish State that Netanyahu pursues imposing with the support of Obama.
Today the US and Israeli stances coincide in rejecting the legitimate demands of the Palestinian people, and in standing in the same trench against both the Palestinian and Arab springs. Therefore, the deceitful and hypocritical US Administration that defends injustice and aggression ought to be dealt with in the same -if not stronger -way the Palestinian people and the Arab and Muslim people deal with Israel, its embassies, and its interests.
The Palestinian people have nothing more to lose, and they ought to start their spring immediately without any delay, and they ought to be aware and courageous. At the same time, the security cooperation with Israel ought to be stopped; there ought to be no return to the absurd negotiations, and no trust in Obama, Sarkozy, and Tony Blair; on the contrary, the latter ought to be expelled from the occupied territories, and he should be stripped of the capacity of peace envoy after he has been proved to be a distorted copy of Netanyahu.
President Abbas talked yesterday as the chairman of the PLO, but the PLO certainly is not the same organization about which and in whose name the martyr Palestinian President Yasir Arafat spoke in his similar address in 1974. Today’s PLO is an organization in tatters that has no link or similarity to the first. Therefore, the PLO ought to be restored to life, the bases of legitimacy ought to be restored to its institutions, and its blood ought to be renewed on the bases of democracy, transparency, and institutional decision making.
We will stand by President Abbas in this historic speech of his, and we will consider it a diplomatic victory and a turning point in his political march. This position of ours and the support of the entire Palestinian people will be stronger, and more lasting if the stage of resistance action starts on the ground, and the first step is not to acquiesce to the blackmail by the money of the donor countries, and the complete liberation from their pressure.
The Palestinian people have lived for more than 40 years without needing the money of the United States and Europe; moreover, the Palestinian people have triggered their first intifadah from a position of strength. The countries, and the rights and dignity of their people ought to come before the crumbs of the humiliating aid.
It is a great diplomatic victory for the Palestinian people that ought to be the strong cornerstone for the eruption of a comprehensive intifadah in all fields in order to confirm that the Palestinian people, who have started their spring earlier, are now reviving it, but in a stronger, more solid, and more creative way.
- Abdel Bari Atwan on Obama’s hypocrisy (ikners.com)
- Israeli-Palestinian Peace Talks: Netanyahu Welcomes Quartet’s Plan, With Reservations (huffingtonpost.com)
- Panetta warns Israel getting more isolated (sfgate.com)
- Leon Panetta warns Israel against growing isolation – USA Today (news.google.com)
- Panetta Warns Israel to Avoid Isolation in Region (foxnews.com)
- Panetta: Israel risks isolation (cbsnews.com)
- Def. Sec. Panetta: Israel risks isolation – CBS News (news.google.com)
- ‘We do not challenge legitimacy of Israel’ – Abbas (rt.com)
- Panetta Warns Israel Getting More Isolated – Fox News (news.google.com)
- Panetta Warns Israel Becoming More Isolated (huffingtonpost.com)
- Abbas does the right thing (at last) An Abdel Bari Atwan article (ikners.com)