Abbas Should be Congratulated for Victory of Beleaguered
Palestine (Estadao, Brazil)
the construction of an approximately 430-mile-long 'safety barrier' that
isolates Palestinians, and with an influx of labor from other parts of the
world, they became invisible to Israel. ... The vote in the U.N. last Thursday
was an unprecedented triumph for the Palestinians, marked a return of the
Palestinian Authority to the global stage, and represents the greatest personal
achievement of the septuagenarian Abbas."
Together, predictably, Israel and its sole unconditional
ally in the world, the United States, argued that the decision of the U.N.
General Assembly to upgrade the status of the Palestinian Authority from a "non-member
observer entity" to a "non-member observer state" is, at the
very least, counterproductive. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Secretary
of State Hillary Clinton insist that from now on, it will only be more
difficult to resume direct negotiations between the parties for a lasting peace and security
between the two neighboring states. This is as if the
Israeli government were working hard to reach an agreement giving Palestinians
sovereignty and territorial independence - and the Palestinians were only
inventing pretexts to avoid recognizing Israel (which, strictly speaking, they
already did in talks that led to the 1993 Oslo Accords).
Since the abortive talks mediated by then President Bill
Clinton between Ehud Barak and Yasser Arafat in 2000, when according to an
American analyst who followed the meetings, "Arafat refused the peace that
Barak didn't offer him" - only one Israeli leader, Ehud Olmert, who fell into disgrace after being accused of
corruption, made an attempt to reach an agreement with Arafat's successor Mahmoud
Abbas. The rest is history.
Back in power in 2009, as successor to Olmert,
Netanyahu only sought to expand Israeli colonization of the West Bank and the
removal of the Arab population from East Jerusalem. Both of these actions were
condemned, in vain, by the White House. To preserve what remains of his
popularity, Abbas refused to return to the
negotiating table until settlement expansion ceases. That was what Netanyahu wanted.
Furthermore, with the construction of an approximately 430-mile-long
"safety barrier" that isolates Palestinians, and with an influx of labor
from other parts of the world, they became invisible to Israel. If not for the
missiles fired by Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip and is surrounded on all
sides, except for a border crossing with Egypt, for many Israelis, the "Palestinian
issue" would already be a closed chapter. As if that wasn't enough,
Jerusalem has issued more demands for any agreement with Ramallah: Palestinian territory
should be an unarmed state, and Israel should be recognized as a "Jewish
state" - which would transform the 1.4 million Israeli Arabs into third-class
citizens (they're already second class), as they comprise 20 percent of the nation's
population. According to the newspaper Haaretz, a third of Israelis want to deprive them of the
right to vote - and nearly half would prefer that they be removed from the
Israel's hegemonic mentality appears to resemble that of the
ultranationalists. For them, a Palestinian state already exists - in Jordan -
and a closed Jewish state should include biblical Judea and Samaria. In this
scenario, Abbas wasn't at the U.N. to promote peace
with Israel - "a state established years ago" as he said, but to
obtain multilateral recognition of Palestine as a state as well, with the
borders as they were before the 1967
War. With that, among other things, Israel's presence on the West Bank
could be legally redefined as occupying a state, rather than occupying a
territory. That would pave the way to bringing the occupier to trial for the
commission crimes at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
The vote in the U.N. last Thursday was an unprecedented
triumph for the Palestinians, marked a return of the Palestinian Authority to
the global stage, and represents the greatest personal achievement of the
septuagenarian Abbas. Of the 193 member states, 188
voted. Among them, 138, including France, Spain, Italy and Switzerland, and all
the BRICS countries, supported Palestinian statehood. "There
is no reason to oppose the initiative," acknowledged former Israeli Prime
Minister Ehud Olmert.
Forty one delegations abstained, including Great Britain and
Germany - and Berlin competes only with Washington in its support for Jerusalem.
Besides Israel, the U.S., Canada and the Czech Republic, those countries voting
"no" included the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and
Panama. On the same day, 65 years ago, the U.N. approved the partition of Palestine
into two States.