October 26, 2010
One possibility would be asking the United Nations to recognise a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, territories Israel occupied in the 1967 Mideast war.
That would not dislodge the Israeli military from the West Bank, dismantle the 120 Jewish settlements there or give Palestinians free access to East Jerusalem. But it could isolate Israel and change the diplomatic equation.
Now, I like the sound of that last sentence. But, if the Palestinians get any small piece of what they deserve or some form of justice, it will isolate Israel and change the diplomatic equation. One state will produce a more familiar form of apartheid, after all.
Of course, Netanyahu said only direct talks would produce peace. Hmmm. What, then, was the Gaza disengagement? Was that through direct talks? How was Israel formed?? Did Israel talk to Palestinians about that? Direct talks (i.e. filtering any national ambitions through Israel's sieve) are fine for Palestinians, but Israel is above all of this and must control any and all outcomes?
I've often thought scrapping talks and declaring a state should be the way to go, especially if you're going for two states. The only one who doesn't recognize Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem as Palestinian territory is Israel, who considers it Israel. They really shouldn't encounter too many problems... Except the US's unreasonable and predictable objections.
This seems like a bold move for Abbas, who has lacked backbone in dealing with the US and Israel. This article speculates that it's only a threat to move things along or pressure Israel. I hope they can make good on this if they need to. I think it could be the only way they will get anything from Israel.
And on a sort of related note, an UNRWA person telling Palestinians to not count on a state; just work on assimilating into whichever country took you in. I wonder if he is commenting on how likely Israel is to allow a state or on what he thinks Palestinians have a right to do...
The formatting was crazy on this email (below), so I got rid of it. Now I have to fix it, but maybe it won't be too annoying to read:
November 1, 2010
For Immediate Release
ACTION ALERT: DEMAND THE IMMEDIATE DISMISSAL of UNRWA OFFICIAL ANDREW WHITLEY
Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition is shocked and dismayed that a senior UNRWA official, Andrew Whitley, made a statement to the National Council of US-Arab Relations on October 21, 2010, that the Palestinian refugees should not entertain the "cruel illusion" that they will ever exercise their inalienable Right of Return and that they should start considering "their own role in the societies where they are", or elsewhere. This statement is a grave breach of duty and betrayal by Whitley of the trust vested in UNWRA by the world community and, particularly, by the refugees themselves. As a UN official, Mr Wiltley undermined the integrity and the credibility of UNRWA and exposed himself as the enemy of the people he is supposed to serve. In 1948, The UN General Assembly passed Resolution 194 which calls for the return of the Palestinian refugees to their homes, and affirmed this resolution 110 times so far. This same resolution created UNCCP to repatriate the refugees. UNRWA was established in accordance with Resolution 302 which, in paragraph 20, requires UNRWA to uphold Resolution 194. Thus, while the UN affirms every year the call for the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and lands of origin, in order to reverse the ethnic cleansing of 1948, this UN official has called for the perpetuation of the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian refugees; such ethnic cleansing is a war crime according to the Rome Statute of 1998. ACTION
Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition calls on all its members, supporters and people of conscience to write to His Excellency Ban Ki-Moon, The Secretary General of the United Nations to demand the immediate dismissal of Mr. Andrew Whitley.
His Excellency Ban Ki-Moon
The Secretary General of the United Nations
I was shocked and dismayed that a senior UNRWA official, Andrew Whitley, made a statement to the National Council of US-Arab Relations on October 21, 2010, that the Palestinian refugees should not entertain the "cruel illusion" that they will ever exercise their inalienable Right of Return and that they should start considering "their own role in the societies where they are", or elsewhere.
While the UN affirms every year the call for the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and lands of origin, in order to reverse the ethnic cleansing of 1948, this UN official has called for the perpetuation of the ethnic cleansing of Palestinian refugees; such ethnic cleansing is a war crime according to the Rome Statute of 1998.
Therefore I call on your Excellency
1. To dismiss Andrew Whitley from his UN position immediately
2. To censor him for his breach of his duties as UNRWA official and disavow his statements.
Such measures are necessary to maintain the integrity of the UN's main agency, UNRWA, and the confidence of all people, especially the Palestinian refugees, in this unique agency.
Please address messages to: firstname.lastname@example.org and cc email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Please cc us at firstname.lastname@example.org on all your correspondence Until Return,
Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition
PO Box 131352
Carlsbad, CA 92013, USA
Al-Awda, The Palestine Right to Return Coalition (PRRC) is the largest network of grassroots activists and students dedicated to education and advocacy for the restoration of Palestinian human, national, legal, political and historical rights in full with particular emphasis on the right of Palestinians to return to their homes and lands of origin from which they have been dispossessed since 1948. PRRC is a not for profit tax-exempt educational and charitable 501(c)(3) organization as defined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the United States of America. Under IRS guidelines, your donations to PRRC are tax-deductible. To donate, go to http://www.al-awda.org/donate.html and follow the instructions. To become a member, go to http://www.al-awda.org/membership.html