Recognise Palestine 20


I urge you to sign the Avaaz petition for the recognition of a Palestinian state by the UN. These petitions have more effect than you might imagine – politicians are scared of voters, and the Murdoch petitions on Avaaz undoubtedly had a role in thwarting his BSkyB bid.

I do not hold out enormous hope for recognition – this is an area where the EU’s adoption of “common positions” on foreign policy holds back progress. I also am no fan of a two state solution, much preferring a single, secular, ethnicity-blind state on the lands of Israel and Palestine. But recognition as a state by the UN would greatly strengthen the hand of the Palestinians in a variety of extremely important ways. Please sign,


20 thoughts on “Recognise Palestine

  • Jon

    With your encouragement, I’ve signed. I was in two minds about doing so precisely for the reason you state – I felt it was getting behind the mainstream two-state solution, which could well be a blind alley. I sense that the pro-Israel right much prefer the left to be chasing the two-state solution because they know it is electorally impossible in Israel to move settlers back to the 1967 borders.
    .
    Side note – there was an interesting front-page piece in the Telegraph (I think) in the last year or two, citing support for the one-state solution in Britain as evidence of its growing anti-semitism. You couldn’t make it up!

  • Jaded.

    MAry – ‘The ghastly Zionist supporting Julia Gillard hosts Blair in Melbourne.’

    Yes, they can!

  • ingo

    Thanks Craig for highlighting the petition. I also share your pessimist thought over recognition, most of Congress was able to vote on this issue, no doubt due to some vigourous lobbying pressure within their pockets, but they are unable to deal with their 14.5 trillion federal debt not to speak of the 35trillion in bond debt.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Two states will still lead back to one set of prolems:-

    1. An exisiting de jure state of Israel – with what – 20%, 25% Arab/Palestinian population – but – how do you operate and sustain an “ethnic Jewish sate” with that type of demograhics? Well – you disenfranchise and discriminate – how else are you going to hold it all together for the “chosen people”? I don’t want to be perceived as “anti-semitic”( the buzz word anytime issues are raised) – but – do I have a point here or don’t I? Come on with the answers.

    2. A state that already exists de facto – with Apartheid walls surrounding it – Palestine. So – the majority of the UN does the right thing and the US and Israel are the odd ones out who do not want to accept that the Palestinians too have rights.

    3. One state heavily subsidised by the US being a palgue in the lives of the next state next to the “chosen people” and what do think will happen?

    Let the debate begin.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Mary,

    With regard to:-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=XGYxLWUKwWo

    1. He fudges on the 1967 border – makes artful dodges.
    2. Under international law – a military victory does not give the vicor a right to territory that formerly was within the country of the defeated enemy.
    3. Israel is wrong on the settlement issue. It clearly can’t be right to profess a desire for peace with secure boundaries while simultaneously, having F-16s and an arsenal of nuclear weapons and an Apartheid wall and effective Bantustans established – then tell the world that:-

    A. A democratic election that is recognised a free and fair cannot be accepted because you do not like the victor. No doubt, by partity of reasoning, the Palestinians do not like Likud victories at Israeli elections – but ( assuming they had the power) what would the conscience of the international community say if the Palestininans in reverse invaded, occcupied, built settlements and refused to recognise the established government? Therein is the rub – because the whole injust goes right back to the 1948 commencement and the diplacement of some 700,000 Palestinians ( a fact Israel choses to forget; a fact the Palestinians find too painful to forget).
    B. The Norweigans set out to broker a deal within the Oslo peace accord. Is it not quite telling that Norway is preparing and ready to recognise Palestinian statehood – having themself, as a nation, been central for a prolonged period in seeking to broker a peace deal. Is it Israel that does not want a just peace – or – are the Palestinians at fault for wanting a return to a homeland that they were displaced from in the 1940s?
    C. How does Isreal maintain itself as a “chosen people” state – when the demographics of Israel and the region within which Israel has implanted itself – does not support the sustenance of an ethnically based state?

    These are just a few thoughts in response to the commentators – commentary on you tube. I invite response – but please, please, please, – don’t come with the old anti-semitic labels. Must I say – some of my best friends are Jews ( truly).

  • Courtenay Barnett

    ( Here is a re-post to correct the typos and tighten up some points. Those on the other side of justice might unkindly say – the whole post should be corrected – so – tell me why)

    1. Mary,
    With regard to:-
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=XGYxLWUKwWo”
    1. He fudges on the 1967 border – makes artful dodges.
    2. Under international law – a military victory does not give the victor a right to territory that formerly was within the country ( read: territory of Palestine) of the defeated enemy.
    3. Israel is wrong on the settlement issue. It clearly can’t be right to profess a desire for peace with secure boundaries while simultaneously, having F-16s and an arsenal of nuclear weapons and an Apartheid wall and effective Bantustans established – tell the world that:-
    A. A democratic election that is recognised as free and fair cannot be accepted because you do not like the victor. No doubt, by parity of reasoning, the Palestinians do not like Likud victories at Israeli elections – but ( assuming they had the power) what would the conscience of the international community say if the Palestinians in reverse invaded, occupied, built settlements and refused to recognise the government that had been freely and fairly voted in? Therein is the rub – because the whole injustice goes right back to the 1948 commencement and the displacement of some 700,000 Palestinians ( a fact Israel chooses to forget; a fact the Palestinians find too painful to forget). The 1948 Palestinian exodus (Arabic: الهجرة الفلسطينية‎, al-Hijra al-Filasṭīnīya), is known as the Nakba. The Palestinians have not forgotten – the Jewish state will not compromise. Consider that the founder of Likud, Menachem Begin was a terrorist by any fairly applied definition of the word. Is the pot calling the kettle – black – when it comes to the free and fair election of Hamas? It was Begin who headed Irgun and it was he who gave the directive to bomb the King David Hotel.
    B. The Norweigans set out to broker a deal within the Oslo peace accord. Is it not quite telling that Norway is prepared and ready to recognise Palestinian statehood – them self, as a nation, having been central for a prolonged period in seeking to broker a peace deal? Is it Israel that does not want a just peace – or – are the Palestinians at fault for wanting a return to a homeland that they were displaced from in the 1940s – without compensation – without justice?
    C. How does Israel maintain itself as a “chosen people” state – when the demographics of Israel and the region within which Israel has implanted itself – do not support the sustenance of an ethnically based state?
    These are just a few thoughts in response to the commentator’s commentary on you tube. I invite response – but please, please, please, – don’t come with the old anti-Semitic labels and bs. If my “facts” are wrong – say so and why so. If my reasoning is wrong – say so and why so. But – don’t say that he does not like Jews. You can truthfully say that – he questions the polices of Israel – that is true.
    Come now – must I say – some of my best friends are Jews ( truly).

  • Courtenay Barnett

    The arguments cut against the Israeli thesis:-
    1. An armistice line is not a recognized international boundary – thus Israel says it has a right to go beyond the internationally recognised “armistice” 1967 boundaries.
    2. The flip side to 1 above is that the non-recognition of the 1967 boundary would take the Palestinians right back to the pre-1948 Palestinian mandate position.
    3. The so-called “international community” and international lawyers – inclusive of Stephen Schwebel ( who the commentator relies on in support of his argument posted on you tube – was also President of the International Court of Justice. One, would not deny his legal eminence. However, despite that, his position ultimately is a bit of a fudge. He sets out to establish Israel’s right to West Bank territory by going to the six-day war and identifying the aggressors as the Arabs/Palestinians. Thus, he reasons that the pre six day war lines can be altered because of that aggression. I have already said ( see my post above) that by reason of victory the victorious forces do not under international law acquire territory. To put the point bluntly – the Nazis were the aggressors in the Second World War – so – how much German territory ( by reason of that fact) has been acquired by any of the victorious allied countries?
    4. It is actually a practically indefensible position to resort to this concept of “defensible borders” as a mechanism to keep the shifting boundaries lines of justification for settlement expansions and land-grab extensions ruse going. If Israel can’t defend its border next to southern Lebanon – then unless the walls are going to be constructed by Gaza and around the whole of Israel , so high, that no simple missile can be launched over the wall into Israel – then the argument fundamentally has no credible basis when the reality on the ground is honestly examined. In a sense, if I were to be truly facetious, then I would comment – the Chinese have realized long ago that as a military defence tool, the Great Wall of China is more of historical significance than it is a contemporary military device of effective defence. But, even in the contemporary world – can nuclear weapons – F-16s – the world’s best military technology stop simple missiles being launched out of Southern Lebanon or Gaza by aggrieved Palestinians militants? – methinks not.
    From day one –with the mass settlements by the Jews in Palestine I ask the following questions:-
    A. With Jewish money, such as it was and is in the world – could there not have been a significant negotiation with reparations – long ago – to address and redress the fundamental source problem of the dispute of the displacement of some 700,000 Palestinians? That is the first question.
    B. Why is it that the injustice of occupation, discrimination, disenfranchisement, marginalisation is so hard to accept – when finally after so many decades countries and peoples of conscience around the world are accepting is a fact in the relations between Israel and Palestinians? Norway, clearly has grown truly fed-up, frustrated and displeased with the Israeli approach to negotiations and is now on the cusp of recognizing a Palestinian state – the Oslo negotiations are dead.
    C. Why does the US consistently embrace what any person of conscience – viewing, reviewing, weighing the dispute in its historical and contemporary context – see as mass injustice against Palestinian rights?
    All are welcomed to respond and debate – for – that is how I truly see it!

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Israel – the US – Palestine – Iraq – Pakistan – Iran – Iraq – Libya – all flash points that could be flashpoints for global conflagrations.
    On this thread – we are focused on one potential source of escalated warfare – Israel and Palestine.
    Let’s consider:-
    Is there a just solution for the Palestinian people?
    I share these thoughts.
    Let’s put events in chronological sequence:-
    1. During and subsequent to 1948 some 700,000 Palestinians were forcibly expelled from what is today Israel. Viewed through the eyes of the law, one may consider this fact conjunctively with fact 2 below.
    2. Subsequent to the recognition of the 1967 borders as Israel’s territorial area, Israel has continued with a policy of settling on lands outside that territorial area.
    The law might be considered in light of the factual situation at 1 and 2 above:-
    The Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, known as the Fourth Geneva Convention: –
    Article 49: Individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive. … The Occupying Power shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.
    The United Nations Charter, Article 51 reads:-
    Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.
    Comment
    If one were to put the matter in basic human terms, forgetting the legality for a moment, maybe in the most humane way I might ask:-
    If you lived on a stretch of land for some ten generations, or more, and inherited your family home there, I assume that you would have some sense of belonging and ownership in respect of the home and the land upon which your home is built.
    If someone forcibly expelled you, then in self-defence you would, I assume, retaliate.
    The sense of displacement, might, I also assume, lead to a sense of grievance, which if not fairly addressed would extend to violent acts at some stage.
    Some personal reflections
    As a student at London University, I saw posted one day, a discussion between a Palestinian Professor and a Jewish Professor. Young man that I was then, with dreams of one day being a lawyer, I learned a lesson about civil debate. Both men impressed me with the degree of civility and intellectual clarity with which they addressed the question of the Palestinian/ Israeli conflict. In summary, both articulated two narratives of the histories of both people and their placement in Palestine/Israel.
    I listened keenly, made notes, and reflected deeply on what both men said. At a later stage I read a book written by Abba Eban, and again, the clarity of thought and articulate expressions were impressive.
    Having said all that, myself a lawyer, these many years later, with a multitude of cases behind me, I ask a fundamental question, noting both the
    Israeli – Yom Ha’atzmaut (Independence Day)
    And
    The Palestinain – Nakba Day ( “day of the catastrophe”)
    I ask the question – what does constitute justice for the Palestinian people if not the right of a homeland which they had before 1948?
    The Palestinian intellectual, Edward Said, on a PBS interview in the US, made the observation that the only solution was a one state solution. He raised the issue of the demographics of the region. It seems that the state of Israel, based as it is on an assumption of conferred rights derived from ethnicity, must also transfer that de facto assumption into a de jure format, for the continued functioning of the Jewish state. How does one then give equal rights under the law to non-Jews, and over time maintain Jewish statehood if one does not discriminate as regards the electoral rights of those who are non-Jews in the Jewish state, if it is to be a Jewish majority that is to determine the character and nature of “the Jewish state”?
    The action of extending occupation beyond the 1967 borders does not find support under international law.
    I recall discussions with white South Africans, when the status quo of Apartheid was all they knew. Resistance, peaceful at first, then of a military nature was the sequence that events unfolded in response to injustice. Any people faced with injustice will over time react. At first the articulation of concern about the wrong, then maybe legal representations about the injustice, then violent responses, then an escalation of the violence if the just redress is not forthcoming. This has been the cycle in the Palestinian/Israeli conflict.
    So far as the future of any likely negotiated settlement on the Palestinian/Israeli conflict is concerned, the fact of the US giving blind partisan support to all Israeli actions, does not proffer well for any honest brokerage or for any just peace anytime soon. The recent official US response to the boarding by the IDF of the ships carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza, is sufficiently indicative of why the problem’s intractability is made all the more intractable.
    The conscience of the world does speak, when the Swedish dock workers react in protest against the Israeli actions of inflicting collective punishment against the Palestinian people.
    Might does not make right and an oppressed and disenfranchised people do have a right to resist injustice.
    Aluta continua.

  • mary

    Letter to the Israeli Embassy from my brother. The reference to the Israeli Symphony Orchestra is to their appearance at the Proms on September 1st.
    ,
    To Ms Sharron Harnoy Director of Cultural Affairs
    .
    Dear Ms Harnoy,
    .
    Please read http://poeticinjustice.net/news/freedom-theatre-attacked.html – written in the early hours of today in a ghetto where a little theatre flourishes 1500 miles to the east.
    .
    Israel trumpets its cultural life and achievements. Yesterday the BBC was speaking of its breadth with the inclusion of Wagner by the Israeli Chamber Orchestra at Bayreuth. We hear of its ‘culture’ every day. On the other hand, the world hears little of IDF soldiers wrecking people, little theatres, hope, justice – the lot.
    .
    Is there no echo of Krystallnacht for you in the story I have linked you to?
    .
    Have no fear. The promenaders at the Albert Hall will applaud any offering from the only democracy in the Middle East. But there will come a time when everyone will know the depth of your brutality and lawlessness.

    For truth, reason and justice

  • mary

    Kim Petersen is co-editor of Dissident Voice and Canadian. He writes here of the support for Zionist Israel in the Canadian government and poses some questions.
    .
    http://dissidentvoice.org/2011/07/canadas-values/
    .
    In early Novenber 2010, politicians from more than 40 countries gathered at the second conference of the Inter-Parliamentary Coalition for Combating Anti-Semitism (in Ottawa)described as “largely aimed at exposing what its members say is the ‘new anti-Semitism,’ which is defined as excessive and unjust criticism of the state of Israel.”

    Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper defended Israel, saying: “But when Israel, the only country in the world whose very existence is under attack, is consistently and conspicuously singled out for condemnation, I believe we are …..
    .
    The first conference was held in London at Lancaster House in 2009. John Mann MP is the British representative on the ssteering committee of the ICCA along with representatives from Israel, American, Canada, Italy and Germany. {http://www.antisem.org/steering-committee/}

  • mary

    Avaaz – Update: 26 July 2011
    .
    620,467 have signed the petition. We reached our 500,000 goal in 4 days! Help us get to our new target of 750,000
    .
    Our voices are being heard right inside the United Nations! Palestinian Ambassador Mansour just referred to our campaign in his announcement that Palestinians want to be the 194th member of the United Nations and thanked all of us for our willingness “to join this march [with the Palestinian people]…to end occupation..achieve independence and…allow justice and peace to prevail.”

  • mary

    Couldn’t make this up for abject cruelty and oppression. Demolish Bedouin homes, evict them and charge them for doing it.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-14314883
    .
    27 July 2011 Last updated at 16:14
    Israel sues Bedouin for $500,000 in eviction costsBy Yolande Knell
    BBC News, Jerusalem

    Bedouin in al-Araqib at a recent event to mark the anniversary of a major demolition by Israeli forces
    Israel is suing a group of Bedouin in the Negev desert for the costs of demolishing their village each time they rebuild it.

    The claim for more than $500,000 in damages was lodged at an Israeli court on Tuesday.

    Israel’s justice ministry says the aim is to “maintain the rule of law and the public purse”.

    The Bedouin say they will continue to reconstruct their homes in al-Araqib, to which they claim historic rights.

    The Israeli state is the registered owner of the land to the south of the Negev city of Rahat.

    The Bedouin say they have repeatedly asked for planning permits for their makeshift homes but they have been refused. The Israeli authorities say the land is reserved for agricultural use.

    Last July, an eviction order was issued and Israeli security forces moved in to destroy 45 homes, animal pens and other structures.

    Since then the Israeli authorities have demolished structures in al-Araqib more than 20 times. Each time, the Bedouin return and rebuild.

    Bedouin defiance

    Israel’s justice ministry says the defendants have not respected legal rulings and continue to build illegally.

    In a long statement it said the civil lawsuit was launched to reclaim the “heavy costs to the state” of demolitions – including the use of heavy equipment and police security.

    The case brought by the Southern District Prosecution is directed at 34 people.

    “What’s happening is political at the end of the day,” a Bedouin spokesman, Awad Abu Freih, told the BBC. “They want to scare us in order to prevent us from rebuilding. They want to make Araqib an example to others.

    “But that will never happen. This court case will not deter us. We are going to rebuild again,” he said.

    Some 300 people are said to live in al-Araqib, about half of them children.

    Rights groups have previously called for the Israeli government to stop the demolitions of homes of Bedouin citizens.

    Human Rights Watch says that nearly 90,000 Palestinian Arab Bedouins in the Negev region of southern Israel live in dozens of unrecognised towns and villages.

  • mary

    UN urges restraint after Israeli soldiers kill 2 Palestinians
    Published yesterday 21:22
    .
    Palestinian relatives of Mutasim Issa Udwan mourn during his funeral in
    Qalandiya. Udwan, 22, and 23-year-old Ali Khalifa, were killed by soldiers as
    they carried out arrests in the camp on the road from Ramallah to Jerusalem.
    [AFP/Abbas Momani]
    .
    JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — UN envoy Robert Serry on Monday urged Israeli authorities to exercise restraint after soldiers killed two Palestinians in a dawn raid on a refugee camp near Ramallah.
    .
    The UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East said he was “deeply concerned” by the killings and urged Israeli authorities “to exercise maximum restraint and thoroughly investigate the incident, a statement said.
    .
    Serry also emphasized the need for calm “from all sides.”
    .
    Mutasim Issa Udwan, 22, and Ali Khalifa, 23, were killed by soldiers who entered Qalandiya refugee camp in what the army said was a “routine arrest procedure.”
    .
    Witnesses told Ma’an that confrontations erupted as the troops ransacked homes. Udwan was shot in the head and Khalifa sustained a gun shot wound to the stomach when Israeli forces opened fire indiscriminately, residents said.
    .
    An Israeli army spokeswoman said forces opened fire after five soldiers were injured by stones.
    .
    Hours after the deaths, thousands of mourners packed into Qalandiya for the funerals of the two men.
    .
    Palestinian officials harshly criticized the Israeli military and called for an immediate investigation.

    “Residents of Qalandiya camp were preparing themselves for the first day of Ramadan and going to the dawn prayers, when they were met by Israeli forces which violently stormed the camp to conduct illegal arrests and kidnapping of residents,” a statement by the PA Government Media Center said.
    .
    “Yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu sent a message of greetings to the Arab and Muslim world on the start of the holy month of Ramadan. His greetings were shortly followed by a deadly attack against Palestinians.”
    .
    President Mahmoud Abbas’ office denounced the deadly operation, his spokesman said.
    .
    Nabil Abu Rudeina told government media that the raid amounted to “an Israeli attempt to escalate things ahead of September,” when the PLO plans to seek recognition of statehood from the United Nations.
    .
    AFP contributed to this report
    http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=410217

  • mary

    Hewn from rock, the cavernous cisterns which dot the desert beyond Bethlehem have for centuries harvested winter rain to provide shepherds and their flocks with water through summer.
    .
    Under a baking sun, an elderly Bedouin explains how cisterns he remembers from childhood, many of them restored to full working order in the last few years, are once again helping his goat-herding community to survive.
    [….]
    Israel has demolished 20 rainwater collection cisterns in the West Bank in the first half of this year, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), which monitors conditions in the Palestinian territories.
    /…
    http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/07/28/us-palestinians-israel-cisterns-idUSTRE76R1HY20110728

  • mary

    2nd August 2011…….. Protestors in Israel accuse foreign media of burying their heads in the sand over of the biggest anti-government protests the country has seen in decades. Tens of thousands of people are staging demonstrations over deteriorating living standards.
    .
    The events, however, are little known outside of Israel, because their story is not receiving the coverage which protests in Egypt and other Arab countries did.
    .
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jlD-zMKatpM&feature=player_embedded#at=96

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