Abbas Submits Weak UN Status Bid
by Stephen Lendman
Palestine deserves full UN membership. It's entitled to all rights and privileges afforded other Member States. Getting them is simple. It should have happened years ago.
Palestine satisfies all essential criteria. On November 15, 1988, it achieved statehood.
Previous articles explained. Security Council vetoes can't prevent UN admission. General Assembly Member States have sole authority.
A two-thirds majority admits full de jure members. A simple majority admits observer ones. Palestine has more than enough support for either.
Why Arafat didn't seek UN admission he can't explain. In 2004, Israel murdered him. It's indisputable. Clear evidence proves it.
Abbas has lots of explaining to do. He's a longtime Israeli collaborator. He's a traitor. Israel made him president for that reason.
Palestinians have good reason to expect a watered-down, meaningless UN bid. That's all they'll get. The fix is in. It shouldn't be that way.
Abbas seeks nonmember observer status. With it come significant rights. Getting them requires not requesting they be excluded or omitting them from draft text language.
Full rights permit joining specialized UN agencies. They include the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), Law of the Sea Treaty (LST), NPT, International Court of Justice (ICJ), and International Criminal Court (ICC).
Membership gives Palestine control of its territorial waters and air space. Other rights are afforded.
Suing Israel (at the ICJ) and Israeli officials (at the ICC) for genocide, as well as crimes of war and against humanity is permitted. By or after 2017, Israel can also be sued for criminal aggression.
November 29 is D-Day (decision day). UN Member States will vote. Palestine will easily gain upgraded nonmember observer status. At issue is what comes with it. It depends on what's excluded.
Abbas submitted a 316-word draft. It calls for resuming peace talks with Israel. Doing so is meaningless and insulting. Abbas knows it. Going through the motions is a charade.
Peace isn't possible without a legitimate partner. Palestine never had one. It doesn't now.
Talks were stillborn from inception. One observer called them "the most spectacular deception in modern diplomatic history."
Israel doesn't negotiate. It demands. Nothing short of unconditional surrender is acceptable. Decades of on and off talks were futile. Dealing with Netanyahu assures no resolution.
Israel spurns peace. Netanyahu calls pursuing it "a waste of time." The so-called "peace process" is more slogan than reality. It's a duplicitous charade.
Abbas' draft language said nothing about halting settlement construction. It doesn't request membership in UN agencies and treaties. That's key.
Without it, upgraded status is meaningless. Vital rights are denied. Abbas seems headed in that direction. It shouldn't surprise.
He sold out Palestinians at Oslo. He became Israel's enforcer. He supports occupation harshness.
Israel made him president. He lives a privileged lifestyle. His own people suffer. He's near retirement. He doesn't want to spoil things now.
On November 26, the London Guardian
headlined "Britain ready to back Palestinian statehood at UN."
Statehood is not at issue. Britain's "generosity" comes with strings. It wants Palestine denied all rights. It wants no anti-Israeli recriminations.
It wants Palestinians to behave like good little boys and girls and do whatever Israel wishes.
It wants occupation harshness continued. It wants no change in Gaza's siege.
It wants Israel allowed to steal all parts of Judea and Sumaria it wishes.
It wants settlement construction to continue unimpeded.
It wants peace process hypocrisy to resume without preconditions.
It wants Palestine's observer status to be impotent and meaningless.
Expect Abbas to accede to all demands. He cares only about his own status and welfare. He's a duplicitous traitor. He's also a pathetic spent force. Hamas emerged from Pillar of Cloud resolute and resilient.
Throughout eight days of terror bombing and shelling, Abbas was largely sidelined and silent. His support was rhetorical, not real. He wants Hamas destroyed.
He said so before Cast Lead began. He knew about it in advance. He endorsed it. He likely had advance Pillar of Cloud knowledge. He did nothing to help his own people. He spurns them. He's their enemy, not ally.
Expect pathetically little from his UN bid. Why else would Israel, Washington, and other Western states permit it.
On November 27, Haaretz
headlined "Israel, US hold secret talks on softening Palestinian Authority's UN bid," saying:
Israel and Washington conspire like they always do. At issue is neutralizing Palestine's bid. "Softening" means neutering or castrating.
On Sunday, Netanyahu's representative, Isaac Molho, left for Washington. He's meeting with senior administration and State Department officials.
Earlier, Israel and Washington went all-out to subvert Palestine's bid. It's proceeding as planned. Tactics changed. Focus now is on making it meaningless.
Obama officials say they "will try to soften the wording, in an attempt at damage limitation." It's more than that. They want full Israeli authority unimpeded.
They want no ICJ or ICC lawsuits. They want everything Britain demands and then some. They want Palestinians denied all rights. Obama and Netanyahu agree.
Language is being drafted. Washington and Israel want it inserted in Abbas' draft before Thursday's vote.
Earlier, Congress threatened to suspend, cut, or cease UN funding if Palestine gets nonmember observer status. Freezing or cutting off US funding supplied Palestine was also mentioned.
Israel promised tough retaliatory measures. Threats included revoking privileges afforded PA officials, canceling work permits for Palestinians in Israel, halting tax transfers, and greatly expanding settlement construction.
Avigdor Lieberman wants the PA destroyed. Softer language changes things. Haaretz said after the UN vote, "Israel will introduce sanctions against the Palestinians" but they won't be as harsh as originally planned.
"Only if the Palestinians use the UN decision to advance moves at the (ICC) will Israel consider more drastic steps."
An unnamed senior Israeli official said:
"We have to be clever, not just right. There will be measures in reaction, but they will be relatively moderate."
He has temporarily freezing tax revenues in mind. Doing so is easily "reversible." Israel wants Palestinian enforcers paid. They're needed. They're complicit in assuring occupation harshness.
Settlement construction will continue unimpeded. So will land theft and dispossessions. Palestinians will be forced off their own property. Their homes will be demolished. Jewish development will replace them.
Hundreds of new housing units will be announced. Illegal outposts will be authorized. Palestine will be shrunk in size to near extinction. UN status Palestine gets will be impotent to stop it.
Washington and Israel plan it that way. Expect Abbas to acquiesce. He always does. The fix is in. Palestinians always end up on the short end. Some day things will change. When, who knows.
A Final Comment
On November 27, at around 2PM regional time, Haaretz
headlined "Israel-US efforts to soften wording of Palestinian UN bid has failed, official says."
Abbas submitted his draft days earlier. PA negotiator Saeb Erekat said language won't change. Perhaps it doesn't matter. What's proposed is weak. The text left much to be desired.
Haaretz said Palestinians refused new language to "prevent them from filing (ICC) criminal charges…."
Having authority is toothless without using it. Abbas and other key PA officials spurned Palestinian rights for years. Expect no change now.
Haaretz said "Palestinians made clear to the US and several prominent European Union that they (will only) provide an oral guarantee" not to file ICC charges for about six months.
Before submitting his draft last week, Abbas inserted language some EU countries requested. It included:
- peace talks would resume with no preconditions; and
- a statement to the effect that Member States affirm the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, peace, and a two-state solution based on pre-1967 borders.
Haven't we heard all that before? It's repeated ad nauseam. It's gone on for decades. Policy doesn't follow rhetoric. Occupation harshness continues.
Peace talks are meaningless without a legitimate partner. Palestine never had one. It doesn't now.
For over 45 years, UN pledges and resolutions afforded Palestinians no rights. Nothing changed now. Measures without teeth are worthless.
Rhetoric falls woefully short. Nations able to help, don't. UN nonmember observer status changes nothing.
Palestinians remain isolated on their own. Occupation harshness won't change. Palestinian suffering continues. What matters is ending it. Nothing else.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at email@example.com.
His new book is titled "How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War"
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.