Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding


News, September 2011

Al-Jazeerah History


Mission & Name  

Conflict Terminology  


Gaza Holocaust  

Gulf War  




News Photos  

Opinion Editorials

US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)  




Editorial Note: The following news reports are summaries from original sources. They may also include corrections of Arabic names and political terminology. Comments are in parentheses.


New Palestinian Strategy to Avoid US Veto or EU Abstention, at the UN

Monday September 05, 2011 14:01 by A. Zarzar - Palestine News Network - PNN

Fatah’s leadership is re-wording the proposal for a Palestinian State to submit to the United Nations this month. The new version is designed so that the countries that are more reluctant to accept a Palestinian state will more likely support Palestine's bid for recognition, or at least abstain from voting.

Instead of posing the recognition of Palestine within the 1967 borders, the new draft asks for a state with permanent borders to be determined in later negotiations with Israel. The new borders would be based on the borders of 1967, but with more flexibility than the original draft proposed.

This approach will make it harder for the United States, and even for Israel, to vote against the proposal without damaging their external image. It will also make it possible for Hamas, the second largest political faction in Palestine, to join in on the call for independence.

For the time being, they have refused to take part on it alleging that the recognition of the 1967 borders before the signing of a final-status agreement means giving up the Right of Return.

European Union declared last August that its position will be decided in Poland’s summit next weekend, will depend on the content of the proposal.

According to Trinidad Jimenez, Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, the proposal must include three requisites to be supported: the recognition of the two states, safety guarantees for Israel and willingness to revive negotiations. “In order to vote for the document, it will have to satisfy these three conditions,” she said.

The new wording of the document has been drafted in recent days by the Fateh leadership, following the advice of a specialized team of Palestinian researchers, advisers and members of the Palestine Strategy Group.

Ashrawi urges Belgium to support UN bid

Published yesterday 21:37 BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) --

 Palestinian lawmaker Hanan Ashrawi urged Belgium to support the Palestinian UN bid for statehood during a meeting held Monday in Jerusalem.

“Belgium has always maintained a principled and constructive approach towards peace and Palestinian rights, and we urge the Prime Minister to recognize Palestinian statehood and vote in favor of Palestine’s membership at the United Nations,” Dr Asharwi said.

Ashrawi met with Prime Minister Yves Leterme of Belgium to discuss Palestinian initiatives at the UN in September and described the meeting as "positive and valuable."

“The two-state solution is not an open-ended proposition. What we are trying to do is place the pursuit of peace on a firm foundation of international law and multilateralism, and to stop unilateral and prejudicial Israeli measures from destroying what chances exist for peace,” she said.

Israel’s illegal annexation of Jerusalem, settlement activity and fragmentation of the West Bank through hundreds of checkpoints were all obstacles to peace, Ashrawi added.

Prime Minister Leterme stressed the importance of developing a unified EU position before September and reiterated his strong support for the ongoing efforts of EU policy chief Catherine Ashton in achieving a consensus position among EU members.

Ashrawi thanked Belgium on behalf of the Palestinian people for its recent resolution in support of Palestinian statehood and for its continued support of Palestinian rights.

Palestinians keeping options open on UN

Published yesterday (updated) 05/09/2011 17:16

By Tom Perry
RAMALLAH (Reuters) --

The Palestinians have yet to decide how they will press their statehood agenda at the United Nations this month, a Palestinian official said, indicating less certainty than had previously been signaled on details of the plan.

Hanan Ashrawi, a leading member of the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO], said the U.N. initiative was a step towards "breaking Israel's power hold over us and the American monopoly over peacemaking."

She also warned of "hysterical" Israeli responses to the diplomatic move, adding that reports of the Israeli army training Jewish settlers to confront possible Palestinian protests was a step "that could blow up in all our faces."

With the U.S.-backed peace process at a standstill, the Palestinians are heading to the U.N. General Assembly in New York with the aim of securing an upgrade to their current status as just an observer entity.

The Palestinians say the step is an attempt to strengthen their position before any resumption of peace talks aimed at securing their independence in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

Israel, which captured that land in 1967, sees the U.N. move as an attempt to undermine its own legitimacy. The United States, its closest ally, is opposed to the initiative, saying only bilateral talks can resolve the decades-old conflict.

Palestinian officials have said they will apply for full U.N. membership for Palestine -- a move diplomats say will draw a U.S. veto in the Security Council and strain ties with Washington, a major donor to the aid-dependent PA.

The Palestinian foreign ministry said last month President Mahmoud Abbas would submit the application during the meeting.

But Ashrawi, who is traveling to New York as part of the Palestinian delegation, said there was no decision as yet.

"We have several options and alternatives and we are keeping all our options and alternatives open. We are still discussing with all our friends ... the best, most effective means of addressing the U.N. and getting membership," she told Reuters.

"Hopefully we will take the decision soon but we will take it when we are in New York because we do not want to preempt any moves by having people trying to subvert our efforts."

Abbas has dispatched Ashrawi overseas in recent efforts to secure the broadest possible support for the U.N. initiative. She said the Palestinians now had recognitions from around 126 states -- a number which could grow to more than 130.

Given the certainty of failure in the Security Council, the Palestinians' best hope of success is to table a General Assembly resolution that would upgrade their status to that of "a non-member state" -- equal to the standing of the Vatican.

Ashrawi sees settler risk

Ashrawi said: "The Security Council is an option, the General Assembly is an option, full statehood is our objective. Even if we go through the General Assembly, we will also pursue full statehood."

Critics of the initiative say it will have little impact on the ground and bring Palestinians no closer to an independent state by ending the Israeli occupation in the short term.

Arguing the case for the move, Ashrawi said it would allow the Palestinians to better hold Israel to account. Recognition as a state is expected to give the Palestinians access to dozens of U.N. agencies and the International Criminal Court.

"The value is we are taking the Palestinian question back to the international community and international law," she said. "We are also designating our land as occupied territories and therefore Israel is an illegal belligerent occupant and has to be held accountable."

The Palestinian leadership has called for protests to add popular weight to their diplomatic drive.

Though the Palestinians have said their protests will be peaceful and some Israeli officials believe events will unfold calmly, the Israeli military has been making preparations including training Jewish settlers.

There are around 500,000 settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, some of who are armed.

A U.N. agency which documents violence says settler-related incidents resulting in injuries to Palestinians and their property have increased this year.

Ashrawi said: "It is very clear that the Israelis are planning something that could blow up in all our faces."

"The most important thing is this escalation in terms of creating a vigilante group of all the illegal settlers in the West Bank, they already are creating a reign of terror," she said. "This is absolute irresponsibility."

Palestinian official: Abbas met Israel's Barak

Published yesterday (updated) 05/09/2011 18:06  RAMALLAH (Reuters) -

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met Israeli occupation government so-called defense minister, Ehud Barak last week, Palestinian officials said on Monday, his first publicly declared meeting with an Israeli government official for almost a year.

Abbas told members of Fatah's Revolutionary Council that Barak had requested the meeting in Jordan to discuss the possibility of resuming negotiations which broke down a year ago because of the continuation of the illegal Israeli Jewish settlement expansion.

"The meeting did not produce any result," a Fatah official who heard him speak told Reuters, declining to be named because the meeting had been closed to the media.

Israel's Defense Ministry had no immediate comment.

With the peace process at a standstill, Abbas is planning to seek UN endorsement of Palestinian statehood at New York's General Assembly meeting later this month.

Israel and the Israeli-controlled United States are both opposed to the move. Israel sees it as an attempt to undermine its own legitimacy. The United States says the step is unhelpful to efforts to revive bilateral talks.

The Palestinians say UN endorsement of statehood in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, while changing nothing on the ground, will strengthen their position in future peace talks with Israel.

Fair Use Notice

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.





Opinions expressed in various sections are the sole responsibility of their authors and they may not represent Al-Jazeerah & &