Reprinted with permission from:
Welcome to the return of Fry'd Daze. Fry'd Daze has been a long running series on Daily Kos dedicated to dialogue in the Middle East. For a while I pulled it, but recently was asked to bring it back and decided that I should. These articles are not intended to be a flame forum, but rather something where community members can meet and exchange ideas about I/P and/or issues that concern the Middle East.
Generally, these articles take the form of four to five news articles and short commentary selected by the diarist. These stories however, are just a platform to get discussion going.
Our lead this week is:
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Friday that the Palestinians plan to approach the United Nations Security Council for full recognition, clarifying that they are seeking to delegitimize the occupation, not Israel, by taking the UN route for Palestinian statehood.
He stressed that Israel is a legitimate state, but that by continuing to build in the settlements and rejecting the internationally recognized borders of a future Palestinian state, they are engaging in illegitimate activity.
"What I will take to the UN will be the suffering and concerns of our people that have been taking place over 63 years living under the occupation," Abbas said, adding that the Palestinians, like every nation, deserve independence, adding that the Palestinians want a state based on 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
So, President Abbas is determined to take this to the U.N. Security Council where the U.S. has promised that it will veto the move.
I’m going to the UN in order to demand our legitimate rights and secure full membership for the state of Palestine," the Palestinian president said in Ramallah. "We hope to secure full membership."
We are not going to annul Israel's legitimacy," he said. "Nobody can annul Israel's legitimacy. It's a recognized state," he said. "We wish to isolate Israel's policy."
Israel's policy of occupation is the Palestinians' "catastrophe and nightmare," Abbas said, slamming Israeli arrests and attacks by settlers.
"We wish to isolate the legitimacy of the occupation, but not Israel's legitimacy," he said.
He also does go on to say that he does not advocate violence and he did urge that all marches and demonstrations be peaceful. Rumors in the area talk of the P.A. buying crowd control devices/weapons (the P.A. denies) from the Israelis so that they can better handle crowds and not allow for clashes between Israeli Settlers and Palestinians.
One thing about about Abbas' comments stands out to me. It is when he talks about 63 years of occupation. The 1967 war was 44 years ago so the 63 years he talks about is the founding of the State of Israel (1948). YET... he says that he doesn't want to delegitimize the State, he just wants to delegitimize the occupation. However, he considers the State of Israel as an occupation. So... What does this mean?
To me it says that he refuses to consider Israel as the National State and Homeland of the Jewish People. He seems willing to accept that there is a State of Israel but he also seems to want to insist on Palestinian Right of Return to that State. Hence the comment about occupation. In effect it seems that Mr. Abbas is talking about recognizing Palestine now and negotiating for Palestine within Israel of 1967.
The second question I have is where are the Palestinians going to get their funding for their State? By going to the U.N. Security Council, they force the U.S. into a corner. This move is obviously going to succeed in the United Nations General Assembly. Despite a promise of ethnic cleansing from Ambassador Areikat and the P.L.O. this move will pass. So the U.S. now needs to do something completely against regional and world general opinion. In doing this the U.S. puts its various alliances at risk and opens itself to losing regional influence to Turkey and Iran, two countries trying to force their own hegemonistic visions on the area.
Given that the U.S. is the largest single funder of the Palestinian Authority ($400 - $600 million per year), and is contemplating cutting off all funds to the P.A., exactly where do they think that money is going to come from? Their brother Arab States have been notoriously bad at keeping debt promises and the European Union simply doesn't have the kind of continual flow of money that the P.A. needs to sustain itself. Haaretz covers the myriad of congressional responses here:
Congress is considering taking punitive measures against the Palestinian Authority or closing the Palestinian Liberation Organization's mission in Washington should it go ahead with plans to seek full membership at the United Nations Security Council next Friday.
The Americans were frustrated that years of financial aid, currently comprising 600 million dollars annually, intended to promote peace negotiations and stability did not yield many material results.
At the discussions, which took place at the House of Committee on Foreign Affairs, some experts called to cut the aid, while others warned it might undermine the Palestinian-Israeli security cooperation, and would thereby undermine Israeli security.
Both President Abbas and PM Netanyahu will be addressing the U.N. next week AND President Obama will be meeting with both Israeli PM Netanyahu and Turkish Premier Erdogan in NY, so look for a great deal of movement on both sides in the coming seven days.
Our second story comes from Maan: Israel calls in Egypt envoy, says peace deal vital -
JERUSALEM (Reuters) -- Israel's Foreign Ministry called in the Egyptian ambassador on Friday to stress the importance of the two countries' historic peace accord, an Israeli official said, after Egypt's prime minister said the treaty was not "sacred".
Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf told Turkish television on Thursday that the 1979 peace accord with Israel could be changed for the benefit of the region.
An Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Foreign Ministry Director General Rafi Barak told Egyptian envoy Yasser Reda that treaties must be honored to the letter.
The Foreign Ministry summoned Egypt's ambassador to Israel to a meeting on Friday morning, in order to clarify remarks made by Egypt's interim Prime Minister that the Israel-Egypt peace treaty should be revised.
A source in the Foreign Ministry said that Foreign Ministry Director General Rafi Barak requested clarifications over the remarks, especially considering previous contradictory remarks made by the Egypt's military council that the peace treaty should be preserved.
Earlier in the week Egypt's ruling cabinet had called for an emergency meeting to deal with the aftermath and diplomatic repercussions of the incident when protesters had stormed the Israeli embassy and Egyptians commandos had to rescue the besieged Israelis.
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan stepped up his rhetoric against Syrian President Bashar Assad on Friday, saying those in Syria who inflict repression on the people will not survive.
Erdogan, who is visiting Libya, told a cheering crowd in Tripoli's Martyrs' Square, formerly Green Square, that by ousting Muammar Gadhafi the Libyan people had set an example to others seeking to throw off oppression.....
....The Turkish prime minister added, "do not forget this: those in Syria who inflict repression on the people will not be able to stand on their feet because oppression and prosperity cannot exist together."
In yesterday's column called "Suggested Reading" there is an article about Erdogan as the rising star of Middle Eastern politics. It is well worth a read after this.
Please participate. The only thing we ask is that you keep comments respectful, reality based and please no use of Anti-Semetic or Anti-Arab memes. Enjoy!