Skip to comments.Abbas submits Palestine statehood bid to UN [UPDATE: Netanyahu is speaking live]
Posted on 09/23/2011 9:57:19 AM PDT by Eyes Unclouded
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has handed over a historic request to UN chief Ban Ki-moon asking the United Nations to admit the state of Palestine as a full member.
The Palestinian leader won huge applause and a standing ovation on Friday from some of the assembly as he entered the hall before beginning his speech.
Abbas said he was ready to return to the negotiations, saying he did not want to isolate or delegitimize Israel.
"Here I declare that the Palestine Liberation Organization is ready to return immediately to the negotiating table on the basis of the adopted terms of reference ... and a complete cessation of settlement activities," he told the UN General Assembly.
Palestinians across the West Bank celebrated the formal submission of their bid to become a United Nations member state, despite opposition from the United States and Israel.
In city centres, giant television screens were set up so residents could watch Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, deliver a historic address to the 193 member states of the UN General Assembly.
The Palestinian religious affairs ministry directed mosques to issue calls "thanking Allah and asking him to help president Abbas to fulfill our people's dreams".
In Ramallah, the political capital of the West Bank, many cars were flying the Palestinian flag, and posters of Abbas and his predecessor, the late Yasser Arafat, festooned in the streets.
Near the Muqataa, Abbas's presidential headquarters, flags of the more than 125 nations that have recognised a Palestinian state flew in a circle around a Palestinian flag.
But in a sign of mounting tension, one Palestinian man died after being shot by Israeli troops who intervened in a clash between villagers and Jewish settlers south of the West Bank city of Nablus.
Streets have been largely empty on Friday and many people hurried home after midday prayers to escape a fast-moving storm.
In the southern city of Hebron, the municipality building was draped with a three-metre poster of Abbas and "Palestine 194", and similar decorations were hung in the northern cities of Nablus and Jenin.
"In Ramallah today, we expect to see [a rally of] around 10,000 people or even more," said Al Jazeera's Cal Perry, reporting from Ramallah.
"But [tension] is now being magnified on a global scale because of what's happening in New York," our correspondent said. "People on the ground here know the world is watching."
At the Qalandia checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem, the Israeli army fired tear gas into the crowds, with a military spokeswoman saying "around 100 rioters" were throwing stones at the troops.
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that clashes also broke out in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Ras Al-Amud.
In Nabi Saleh village, protesters chanted support for the UN bid, but activists also burnt a picture of Barack Obama, the US president, who has vowed to veto the membership bid at the UN Security Council.
Full membership bid
Full UN membership can only be bestowed by the Security Council where Abbas' request will almost certainly be derailed, either by a failure to win the needed nine votes in the 15-member body or, if the necessary majority is obtained, by a veto.
The Palestinians say they are seeking full UN membership to underscore their right to statehood, but have left open the option of a lesser alternative - a non-member observer state.
Such status would be granted by the General Assembly, where the Palestinians maintain broad support.
Siding with Israel, Obama has said a Palestinian state can only be established as a result of negotiations, and that there is no short-cut to Palestinian independence.
Abbas has said negotiations remain his preference, but that he will not resume talks - frozen since 2008 - unless Israel agrees to the pre-1967 frontier as a baseline and freezes all settlement construction on occupied land.
"The American administration did everything in its power to disrupt our project, but we are going through with it despite the obstacles and the pressure because we are asking for our rights," Abbas said late on Thursday.
"There are small countries in the world that have gained their freedom and independence, but we still haven't got ours," he told the Palestinian community in New York.
Palestinian state television has carried wall-to-wall coverage of the diplomatic drama playing out in New York, interviewing local officials and politicians and running a series of advertisements backing the UN membership push.
One featured a jigsaw puzzle of the globe as depicted in the UN logo, but with with a missing piece.
From the side of the screen, a piece in the colours of the Palestinian flag flies across and slots into place, completing the puzzle.
The three main Palestinian newspapers also dedicated their front pages to the bid, and the inside pages were dotted with paid advertisements from individuals and businesses expressing their support for Abbas and the UN move.
"The president delivers his speech to the General Assembly and presents a request for recognition of the state of Palestine," read the headline in Al-Quds newspaper, emblazoned over pictures of pro-bid demonstrations.
Another cartoon in the paper used the famous image of US soldiers raising their flag during the battle of Iwo Jima, replacing the US flag with the Palestinian one and the soldiers with Palestinians, some in traditional garb.
Al-Ayyam's headline read: "The president presents a request for full membership for Palestine in front of the world", while on the back, a cartoon showed Abbas at the UN podium shouting into a loudspeaker: "Freedom for Palestine".
In the Gaza Strip, however, life was continuing as normal with no sign of any activity to mark the UN bid, which has not been backed by the territory's Hamas rulers. Hamas activists in the West Bank reportedly declared Friday a "day of rage".
Speaking hours before Abbas was due to speak, senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said the UN bid would not bring independence.
"Our Palestinian people do not beg for a state ... States are not built upon UN resolutions. States liberate their land and establish their entities," he said.
I guess he’s playing to the one audience he knows has his back.
The rest of the world will write off talking about Iran and 911 and anything not immediately relevant as a misdirection to earn support domestically in the US.
But, seeing as the rest of the world is more or less against Netenyahu it seems like a good idea. Recall his amazing shaming of the UN with the lists of names from the holocaust and demanding how any of them could deny it?
Obama should be such a patriot.....alas....no comparison.
Some of Bee-bee’s statements....
The world around Israel have become more dangerous.....Gaza Lebannon, Jordon...saying Israel must make compromises.
Peoeple say to me constantly just make a swweping off er everything will work out....in 2002 we met all Palestinians demands..rejected. 2008 Abbass wouldn’t repond to the offers....we withdrew from Lebannon and Gaza...it only brought the storm closer and stronger...firing rockets into Israel.
Moderates were devoured by the radicals....we left Gaza hoping for Peace...we got out...we pulled kids out and moved loved ones from their graves, we gave the keys to Abbass....theory said it should all work out....the entire world applauded when we withdrew as a bold act of peace...we didn’t get peace we got war..10, 000 missles supplied by Iran....
What’s to prevent this from happening again in the West bank...??????
Would you bring danger to your citizens as this....we are not prepared to have another Gaza in the West BAnk....
There has not been an assurance of Israel’s safety....
How do you protect a country in that narrow space alone....(Man hatten used as an example.
Abbass said if Palestinian was a state it would never accept an arrangement of Israel security over air space.
America can be crossed in Jet airplanes in hours...in Israel a jet can cross Israel in three minutes.
These are not theetrical problems..these are real and life threatening and must be addressed before a Palestinian state.
Palestinians must first make Peace with Israel...then a state.
“A man and a punk”.....Benjamim N. vs Barak S.
This puzzles me. After the way the 0 admin has been treating Israel I would have thought that Rice would be applauding.
My heart goes out to Benjamin....
He said....”it’s not the setttlements...they are a result of the conflict...the core of the conflict has always been the Palestinians refusal to recognize Israel at ANY border.”
Israel is the Jewish state...Pres. Abbass make Peace with us.
Jerusalem...we are called Jews because we come from Judia....there’s a name of the Jewish official...Netenyahu...on that ring found at the western wall....4000 years ago ...there has been Jewish people in this land for centuries...”Next year In Jerusalem” “Next year in the promised land”...by those who were disoursed from the land...never gave up hope for a Jewish state.
Benjamin invites Abbass to meet with him today...”we’re in the same building”...let’s listen to one another....”
I’ll tell you my needs and concerns you tell me yours...and with God we’ll find a way for peace”.
“I cannot make Peace alone..Pres. Abbass I extend my hand the hand of Israel in peace”
There was applause when Bee bee finished but nothing close to Abbass....it is apparent the Un is all about Abbass now.
This just is so discouraging for me today....I do not see this is going to end well when all is said and done. Palestine has zip money to sustain itself....it will be a welfare state at best.
AbbassHole will never do it. The mooslime scum will never allow it.
Gurantee that Abbass will not meet with Bee-Bee....at the Un or any time soon. He’s going to enjoy his victory along with the Palestinians.
Nope the “Mooslime scum” won’t. He’s on a roll now and will not let Bee-Bee take his thunder from him. All in all it’s pretty disgusting to me that the UN, as usaul, feeds discord and does nothing to secure the ME...nor on the International Stage. It’s all political theater.
Watch the UN now float Abbasses purposal for years....stall it from coming together.
Nah, he just wants to destroy her.
Just to carify Abbass’s firm stand on Israel:
Quote by Abbass.....
“They talk to us about the Jewish state, but I respond to them with a final answer:.......” WE SHALL NOT RECOGNIZE A JEWISH STATE”.......... Abbas said in a meeting with some 200 senior representatives of the Palestinian community in the US, shortly before taking the podium and delivering a speech at the United Nations General Assembly.”
Thus proof once again what Muslims state to the world and what they state to one another is completely opposite.....IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER!
To anyone who wants to missed it live here are the full speeches in video. Abbas’s speech you might think you should read instead but no you should listen to the reaction he gets from the hall at the UN. Netanyahu’s speech will be quoted for decades and contains many powerful moments including my favorite bit about a millennium old ring bearing the name of a Jewish official named Netanyahu.
Jump to 30 min 50 seconds to hear it in his voice:
I often hear them accuse Israel of Judaizing Jerusalem. Thats like accusing America of Americanizing Washington, or the British of Anglicizing London. You know why were called Jews? Because we come from Judea.
In my office in Jerusalem, theres a theres an ancient seal. Its a signet ring of a Jewish official from the time of the Bible. The seal was found right next to the Western Wall, and it dates back 2,700 years, to the time of King Hezekiah. Now, theres a name of the Jewish official inscribed on the ring in Hebrew. His name was Netanyahu. Thats my last name. My first name, Benjamin, dates back a thousand years earlier to Benjamin Binyamin the son of Jacob, who was also known as Israel. Jacob and his 12 sons roamed these same hills of Judea and Sumeria 4,000 years ago, and theres been a continuous Jewish presence in the land ever since.
And for those Jews who were exiled from our land, they never stopped dreaming of coming back: Jews in Spain, on the eve of their expulsion; Jews in the Ukraine, fleeing the pogroms; Jews fighting the Warsaw Ghetto, as the Nazis were circling around it. They never stopped praying, they never stopped yearning. They whispered: Next year in Jerusalem. Next year in the promised land.
As the prime minister of Israel, I speak for a hundred generations of Jews who were dispersed throughout the lands, who suffered every evil under the Sun, but who never gave up hope of restoring their national life in the one and only Jewish state.