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UN bid

  • Settlements as punishment prove Palestinian lives are bargaining chip

    By using settlements as a punitive response to Palestinian political actions, Israel proves they come at the direct expense of Palestinian statehood, and that it holds all the power in this conflict. Here we go again. Palestinians do something Israel doesn't approve of, and Israel retaliates by using its unchecked power and leverage to block the possibility of a Palestinian state ever becoming a reality. By announcing the advancement of about 3,300 settlement units on Thursday, as a retaliatory measure that it unabashedly admits is punishment for the formation of the temporary Palestinian unity government, Israel is proving that settlements…

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  • 'PLO to join 48 int'l organizations, treaties if talks fail'

    The current round of peace talks can only continue if the U.S. changes its approach, a senior Fatah official says.   The PLO will seek membership in an additional 48 international organizations, treaties and conventions if peace talks are not salvaged by the end of this month, Ma’an news agency quoted senior Palestinian official and Fatah Executive Committee member Nabil Shaath as saying on Monday. PLO Chairman -- and PA President -- Mahmoud Abbas began the process of acceding to 15 international treaties and conventions last week after Israel failed to follow through with the release of a fourth group of…

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  • The peace process is dead, long live the peace process

    Abbas stopped a few steps short of 'going back to the UN,' which he committed to not doing. So where does that leave Kerry's peace talks? The peace process is dead; long live the peace process. That was the mood Tuesday night among journalists covering the Middle East as news broke that PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas was signing onto 15 international treaties – an act which he sort of said he wouldn’t do until next month. Much of the media immediately assumed that Abbas was “going back to the UN,” or joining UN institutions, or doing something big. That he…

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  • A sad day of 'victory' in Ramallah

    In spite of the headlines, the international media attention, and the flow of pictures showing celebrating Palestinians waving flags – the UN resolution sparked little excitement or joy in the streets of Ramallah, which is still surrounded by walls and settlements on all sides. If anything, it was an evening of sadness and despair. Traveling to Ramallah for the late-night public screening of Palestine's UN bid, I was not expecting much. Journalists who spent the day in the West Bank had already reported that very little was going on, that PA sponsored rallies had attracted only few people in the…

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  • PHOTOS: Palestinians celebrate UN victory

    Palestinians throughout the West Bank gathered, first in anticipation, then in celebration of their bid for upgraded status at the United Nations. In a  138-9 vote, with 41 abstentions, the UN General Assembly voted to change Palestine's status from "nonmember observer entity" to "nonmember observer state."  The landslide victory, including many European nations that changed their vote in the final days from opposing to supporting or abstaining, handed a major diplomatic triumph to President Mahmoud Abbas despite fierce opposition from the United States and Israel. The only other UN members who voted against the bid were Panama, Palau, Canada, Marshall…

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  • In response to Palestinian statehood bid, government issues empty threats

    Foreign Minister Lieberman may offer the Palestinians a 'temporary state' with no borders, which actually translates to no state at all. The Israeli government is so threatened by the Palestinian Authority's bid to go to the UN in order to achieve non-member observer state status, that it has gone through a series of moves in recent weeks that began with threats, and has now transitioned into what is being called an "offer" by the Foreign Ministry. According to a report in Haaretz on Wednesday,  Foreign Minister Lieberman is considering offering the Palestinians recognition of statehood within "provisional borders" in exchange for…

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  • Last week at the UN, Israel lost America

    “Tafasta meruba, lo tafasta,” is a Hebrew saying that means, “If you get too greedy, you end up with nothing,” and it fits well to the arm-twisting job Israel just did on Obama at the UN. By leaning on him too single-handedly to block the Palestinian statehood bid, to pressure countries like Gabon and Bosnia-Herzegovina to go along, and to give a speech that Avigdor Lieberman said he would “sign with both hands,” Israel bent Obama too far, until he just broke. In the eyes of Palestinians, Muslims of the Middle East and probably everybody else in the world, the…

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  • Netanyahu's bold initiative: Another "historic" speech

    Just like in his Washington visit last spring, the Prime Minister will not bring new political ideas to the UN, only rhetoric directed at the anxious public at home The Israeli morning papers are reporting today (Sunday) that the United States has all but secured the 7 Security Council votes necessary to block the Palestinian request to become a member state of the UN, and therefore a veto won't be necessary. According to Yedioth Ahronoth Daily, Germany, Britain and France are likely to vote against the Palestinian bid, and so is Columbia. The paper quotes sources in Washington saying that…

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