Palestine and the UN: Questions and Answers
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
1) WHY ARE YOU INSISTING ON GOING TO THE UN IN SEPTEMBER?
Palestinians want to go to the UN in order to get international recognition for their future – a Palestinian State – and to legitimize Palestinian claims for freedom, independence and statehood.
2) WILL THE UN HELP IN MATERIALIZING THOSE GOALS?
The majority of countries in the world support Palestinian statehood. The goal is to abolish the four and half decades of Israeli occupation in the Palestinian territories. Gaining staehood would open open up several new avenues for Palestine to pursue and end to the occupation and denial of human rights, such as the ICJ.
3) CAN YOU IDENTIFY THOSE OCCUPIED TERRITORIES?
The Occupied Territories are situated in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. They are within the 1967 border lines which are violently and illegally occupied by Israel. Their combined area makes up approximately 22% of historical Palestine.
4) WHY IS ISRAEL OPPOSED TO THE PALESTINIAN DRIVE TO GO TO THE UN IN SEPTEMBER?
Israel is opposed due to its ongoing denial of Palestinian rights and rejection of Palestinian statehood. Israel intends to keep the Occupied Territories and enlarge its “lebensraum” at the expense of the Palestinian people and their land properties. In keeping the Occupied Territories, Israel will carry on with its policy of building settlements and walls in order to fragment the territories so that they cannot be united into any one Palestinian State.
5) HOW CAN ISRAEL ALONE DEFY THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY AND CHALLENGE THE UN RESOLUTION?
Unfortunately, Israel has been shielded by multiple US vetoes (43) since 1967 providing Israel with all the support needed to carry on its violations against the Palestinian people and their landm on every level. At the same time, in the US, Israel has the world’s largest superpower as it’s strongest ally.
6) CAN WE SAY THAT THE WASHINGTON-TEL AVIV AXIS IS THE MAIN OBSTACLE TO PEACE IN THE MIDDLE EAST?
YES …. when we see the blind support of successive US Administrations, including the current Obama Administration towards Israeli aggression and occupation, we can conclude that the US is a major obstacle to peaceful coexistence in the Region as well.
Can you elaborate more on this issue?
• Look at the unlimited financial support of billions of US Dollars provided to Israel every year, which are used to build illegal settlements on Palestinian land;
• Also, the military and the technical support and cooperation between Israel and the US military industries;
• The US vetoes used at the UN Security Council to block the condemnation of Israeli violations of international resolutions including human rights violations in the occupied territories;
• The falsification of the facts and the US biased media coverage of the events in the Middle East which demonize Palestinians and their legal rights; while favoring Israel and its illegal occupation and aggression;
• Look at the empathic support of the Congress and the standing ovations during Netanyahu’s speech defying Obama’s “moderation”;
• All this and many other indications testify the so-called ‘unbreakable bonds’ (Obama) between Israel and the US in which Palestinians are the victims.
7) WHAT HAPPENED TO DIRECT NEGOTIATIONS WITH ISRAEL?
Heading to the UN in September is not a substitute for direct and honest negotiations. However the extreme right-wing Israeli leadership has closed all the doors to honest and tangible negotiations. Negotiating and simultaneously confiscating Palestinian land by expanding settlement building reflects the dishonest mentality of Israel’s leaders. That’s why President Abbas asked for settlements to stop in order to open the way for honest and serious negotiations.
8 ) WHAT ABOUT DELEGETIMIZING ISRAEL?
Going to the UN and obtaining international recognition for a PALESTINIAN STATE on the 1967 borders doesn’t mean delegitimizing the state of Israel as such, but the illegal occupation of Israel in these lands. The military occupation of Israel in the West Bank and Gaza is illegal through Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 in addition to other agreements and treaties (Madrid, Oslo agreements, Road Map, Annapolis Statement and others). Yet Israel and the US are blocking the withdrawal from those occupied Palestinian territories. International law considers Israel’s occupation as illegal, yet Israel is intentionally blurring the line between the 1967 borders and its illegal occupation and expansion.
9) WILL THERE BE RIOTS IN THE PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES DURING PRESIDENT ABBAS’ SPEECH AT THE UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY?
Palestinians will celebrate an INDEPENDENCE DAY on the day of his speech, which will be delivered to the International Community in an attempt to obtain freedom for Palestinians, by establishing a free and independent Palestinian State. There will be no riots or confrontations with Israeli soldiers. There will however be a great show of support for President Abbas’ speech in New York along with an even greater rejection of the Israeli occupation.
10) WHAT KIND OF RELATIONS WILL THE NEW PALESTINIAN STATE (THE 194TH UN MEMBER STATE) HAVE WITH ITS NEIGHBORS?
The 194th member state, the State of Palestine will be peaceful, democratic and secular (not religious). It will be a state for all its citizens and entertain peaceful relations with all states of the region, Israel in particular. The Palestinian state will be a peaceful contributor to a turbulent Middle East, in the hope that all nations can live, coexist, and flourish peacefully together.