In July, we speculated that --- given the Palestinian application for United Nations recognition, deadlocked negotiations, and collapsed diplomatic manoeuvres ---the Obama Administration might acknowledge Hamas behind closed doors, give Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas a guarantee that Ramallah will never need to recognise a “Jewish state”, and promise a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital in a year. None of that has happened; however, we also noted htat “a sign can be given to Netanyahu that he can be a peace-making hero ahead of Israeli elections. How? The release of Gilad Shalit, the detained Israel soldier, by Hamas.”
Entries in Palestine (248)
1835 GMT: Do You Think the Supreme Leader Knows? Hours after Ayatollah Khamenei opened Tehran's International Conference on the Palestinian Intifada by denouncing the Palestinian Authority's leadership, including Mahmoud Abbas, and its approach to the UN for recognition of Palestinian leadership, Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal sang a different tune, even in the cautious wording of the Tehran Times....
The article frames Meshaal's position as "the plan presented by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is worth mulling over", but in expressing his criticism that "the United States and the Zionists exposed their true face as they have started efforts to stymie the plan", the site portrays support for his Palestinian rival:
Meshaal said Abbas is resisting pressure exerted by the U.S. and Israel. “In this moment of history that the true face of the Zionists has been revealed, Mahmoud Abbas and our brothers in the Fatah movement as well as other independent figures should make efforts to achieve unity,” the Hamas political leader stated.
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Ladies and Gentlemen,
I come before you today from the Holy Land, the land of Palestine, the land of divine messages, ascension of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the birthplace of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him), to speak on behalf of the Palestinian people in the homeland and in the the Diaspora, to say, after 63 years of suffering of the ongoing Nakba: Enough. It is time for the Palestinian people to gain their freedom and independence.
The time has come to end the suffering and the plight of millions of Palestine refugees in the homeland and the Diaspora, to end their displacement and to realize their rights, some of them forced to take refuge more than once in different places of the world.
At a time when the Arab peoples affirm their quest for democracy --- the Arab Spring --- the time is now for the Palestinian Spring, the time for independence.
Israel's rulers must make a choice. They must see the fact that the real security comes with the real peace. They must see that it is not possible to maintain the state of conflict in the Middle East permanently. It is necessary to show that Israel is not above the law.
The most important step to be taken in this matter is the Palestine's taking part in the UN. Turkey's support to Palestine is unconditional.
This feature has been re-titled, "Turkey Feature: Erdoğan at UN --- A Blast at Israel, A Criticism of Assad, and a Warning to Cyprus", and moved to the top of EA Worldview....
Another forum in New York for President Ahmadinejad to put out his talking points --- "Show me one dictatorship in the world that has not been supported by the United States government or some European governments" --- while knocking back any thought of violations of political, civil, and legal rights after his disputed 2009 re-election: "Don’t you distinguish between those protestors who have something to say and who have some demands, and those who set buildings on fire?"
Like NBC News' Ann Curry in Tehran a week ago, ABC News' George Stephanopoulos gets his prize in the opening exchange with the prospect of a release of the US hikers Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer --- this time, it actually came true in the following 24 hours --- and then the rest of the interview is a broadcast wasteland.
Stephanopoulos is ill-prepared to follow up on some questions, such as the repression in Iran, and unable to to catch up with an evasive Ahmadinejad on others, such as Syria. While for once, this is an interview that doesn't put a priority on the nuclear issue, Stephanopoulos cannot even get the Iranian President to respond meaningfully on the US call for military communications with Tehran to avoid an accidental conflict --- Ahmadinejad shows his interviewer up, "You mean the US is in a Cold War with Iran? Is that what you mean?"
And there is even a gift tied with a bow for Ahmadinejad with Stephanopoulos' presentation of foreign-supported "regime change": "The Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said earlier this year that it’s just a matter of time before this revolution hits Iran. What did you make of that?"
STEPHANOPOULOS: Mr. President, thank you for joining us again. I want to begin with a topic that many Americans are interested [in], of course, the Americans, Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer. Last week you raised a lot of hopes here in the United States saying they would be released in a couple of days as a humanitarian gesture. Many expected them to come back here with you. Yet they’re still imprisoned in Iran. Why?
Part 1 of 3
One year ago, I stood at this podium and called for an independent Palestine. I believed then --- and I believe now --- that the Palestinian people deserve a state of their own. But what I also said is that genuine peace can only be realized between Israelis and Palestinians themselves. One year later, despite extensive efforts by America and others, the parties have not bridged their differences. Faced with this stalemate, I put forward a new basis for negotiations in May. That basis is clear, and well known to all of us here. Israelis must know that any agreement provides assurances for their security. Palestinians deserve to know the territorial basis of their state.
I know that many are frustrated by the lack of progress. So am I. But the question isn’t the goal we seek --- the question is how to reach it. And I am convinced that there is no short cut to the end of a conflict that has endured for decades. Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the UN --- if it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now. Ultimately, it is Israelis and Palestinians who must live side by side. Ultimately, it is Israelis and Palestinians --- not us --- who must reach agreement on the issues that divide them: on borders and security; on refugees and Jerusalem.
Israel-Palestine Feature: Trip by US Envoys Backfires, Palestinians Proceed to UN with Statehood Bid (DPA)
A last-ditch U.S. attempt to sway the Palestinian Authority away from its planned statehood bid at the United Nations and toward resumed negotiations with Israel achieved only in convincing the Palestinians that recognition in the UN was their only possibility, a PA official said on Saturday.
Speaking to reporters in Ramallah, Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath said that a plan
delivered at the last minute by U.S. envoys David Hale and Dennis Ross did not meet several Palestinian demands, thus convincing Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that the U.S. was not serious in trying to negotiate peace.
So an economic report from the World Bank gives clear advice to Ramallah not to insist on the UN vote on statehood, in the face of the resistance from Washington: with continuing, sustainable advances in its economy, the West Bank is an excellent candidate to become a state. In the meantime, there are steps to be taken: donations, an easing of Israeli restrictions, and a Palestinian Authority focused on institution-building. And the negotiating table is the "best" way of achieving the sustainable economy as well as political settlement.
A month after an unusual terror attack killed eight Israelis along a desert highway approaching the Red Sea, the incident remains shrouded in mystery, especially in Gaza, where Israeli officials insist the complex, military-style attack was orchestrated but where no group has taken responsibility. "Usually the problem is more than one group takes credit after a successful operation," says Taheri Al-Nunu, a spokesman for Hamas, the militant group that governs Gaza. Hamas had immediately denied knowledge of the attack, and hurriedly surveyed the other militant groups operating in the enclave. "All of them denied it."
Among them was the Popular Resistance Committees, the group Israel almost immediately blamed for the attack, and promptly launched what it called a reprisal strike. Before the fighting was finished in the desert outside the resort city of Eilat, a missile from an Israeli drone exploded outside a house in Rafah, near the Egyptian border. The PRC's top commander and two aides were killed, as well as a two-year-old child.