themcglynn.com

24 Sep

Palestine – full membership in the United Nations

Speech

President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, presented a bid for the
state of Palestine for full membership in the United Nations.

 Dear The McGlynn,Today, the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, presented a bid for the
state of Palestine, based on the 1967 borders, to be considered by the Security
Council for full membership in the United Nations.Shortly afterward, he addressed the General Assembly, where he reviewed, from the 1948
Nakba until today, the multitude of ways in which Israel has suppressed
Palestinians’ rights. While the question remains if the UN statehood bid
adequately addresses the larger issue of Palestinian rights, Abbas’ address
importantly gave voice to the Palestinian struggle for self-determination. While
there is no uniform support for this UN bid, today was undoubtedly a historic
and moving day. After over 63 years struggling for global recognition, it was
moving to see the countries of the world represented in the UN general assembly
give President Abbas a rousing standing ovation.Not so for Prime Minister Netanyahu, who spoke shortly after Abbas. Netanyahu responded to
the Palestinian leader with diversion and doublespeak instead of honest
engagement, and peace slogans couched in hostility, aggression, and denial of
Palestinian claims—a continuation of the standard Israeli tactic. We know from
history that this empty rhetoric has been used by Israeli government for decades
and will only mean further pain and oppression for Palestinians in Gaza, the
West Bank, East Jerusalem, and all over the world.

As a Jewish-American organization, we believe it is important to remain focused on
our primary responsibility:  having an impact on U.S. policy. As such, we will
continue to speak out strongly against the U.S. using its veto power in the
Security Council to reject this bid for statehood.

We know now that President Obama will not do the right thing. Speaking at the UN on
Wednesday, Obama lauded the Arab Spring—but rejected the Palestinian Autumn. The
president retreated from his earlier positions that demanded Israeli
accountability for its military occupation, and he did not acknowledge the
ongoing role of the U.S. in maintaining that imbalance through its extraordinary
economic, military, and diplomatic support for Israel, even when its actions
violate international law, human rights, and U.S. policy.  And he didn’t
acknowledge that twenty years of the “peace process” has brought only a more
entrenched occupation. Instead, Obama merely said that both sides should “sit
down together, to listen to each other, and to understand each other’s hopes and
fears.” (1)

While this week has not been an easy one, we at JVP actually feel a redoubled assurance in
the promise of our strategy to change the dynamics on display at the United
Nations.  We know now, more than ever, that the President or Congress will not
change on their own.  The array of power and money is simply too strong—for
now.  We know, as with the examples of the civil rights movement and the
anti-apartheid movement, to name just two, that it is movements like ours that
force our governments to change their policies.  It was the steadfastness, the
creativity, the demonstrations, the local organizing, and the BDS tactics that
helped these movements and so many others for social justice eventually
succeed.  So we’ll let the politicians play their games, and meanwhile, our work
will continue.

Onward,

Jewish
Voice for Peace

(1) http://www.nationaljournal.com/whitehouse/obama-s-speech-to-the-un-general-assembly-as-prepared-20110921

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