palestinian president mahmoud abbas


Father Roy writes:

The report pasted below is in today’s news.  It’s self-explanatory.  I did a bit of highlighting in the first paragraph so that y’all can get the gist of the report with a mere glance.

Scroll down to the concluding paragraphs and you can read about the recent exchange of words between Palestine’s President Abbas and Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.  Peers, what do you have to say about the exchange?  My off-line neighbor, George, with whom I frequently talk politics on the ground, describes Lieberman as a “raving lunatic” who should be denied the dignity of responses.  George seldom hesitates to express his feelings.  George thinks that I should be more honest with my feelings, also.  It’s futile to argue with George, but I occasionally suggest that he learn the LOD (the language of diplomacy).  I’ve offered to give him lessons.

Peers, one must never misunderestimate the efficacy of the LOD.  Whatever it is that a person has to say, he or she can always find a nicer way to say it.  It’s a true story we’re living, so let’s lighten up.  Let’s have a good laugh at ourselves, just for fun, to start off the month of September.  Remember the story of Ambassador Daniel Bernard which caused a media sensation in 1971?  It was an international incident.  Israel seeks head of French Envoy.   It is alleged that France’s Ambassador to the Court of St. James was overheard making comments about “that shitty little country who could cause another world war” … while he was attending a cocktail party … wearing a tux and sipping gin … in London.  Whatever happened to Ambassador Bernard?  Does anybody know?  Is he still in the French Diplomatic Service?  Perhaps CMEP’s Warren Clark would know.  Perhaps Paula, Dante’s grandmother, would know.  Please read on.



P.S.   Reminder….  Let’s mark our calendars.  Benjamin Netanyahu will be in New York City from 27 September (Thursday) until 30 September (Sunday), and he intends to address the United Nations General Assembly.

Britain to Support PA Financially Despite UN Bid

British official confirms his country will not suspend financial aid to the PA even if it turns to the UN for recognition as a state.

By Elad Benari

Britain will not suspend financial aid to the Palestinian Authority if the latter submits a new application to the UN seeking recognition of Palestine as a non-member state of the General Assembly, a British official confirmed Friday.

The PA recently announced its intention to turn to the UN General Assembly for recognition as a state.

In September 2011, Abbas applied for full UN membership at the UN Security Council. Israel and the U.S. staunchly opposed the bid, which failed due to a lack of support in the 15-member council.

Speaking to the Bethlehem-based Ma’an news agency on Friday, UK deputy-consul general in Jerusalem Ben Saoul highlighted that the British government would continue to support the PA financially until 2015 to help build a Palestinian state and support economic development.

Britain’s financial aid to the Palestinians is about $160 million per year, he said. A portion of this aid goes directly to the PA’s treasury, and the rest goes through UNRWA and non-governmental organizations.

The deputy consul-general said he met with representatives of European donor organizations to discuss the financial crisis in the PA. Ending this crisis, he said, is a top priority for Britain and for the European Union.

The PA government currently faces its worst financial crisis since its 1994 establishment. The PA’s labor minister recently warned that a shortfall in the delivery of aid from Arab donor nations means the PA will be unable to pay employees their July salaries or pay off debts it owes to private businesses.

PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad warned several months ago that the Palestinian Authority may soon fail financially and cease to exist.

A PA economist predicted that the PA is on the verge of collapse, warning that the later it happens, the harder it will be.

Asked whether his country would vote for or against the new UN bid, Saoul did not give a clear answer, telling Ma’an, “We don’t want to jump to conclusions.”

Lieberman wrote a letter to the European Union’s foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, in which he said that Abbas is an obstacle to peace and does not act in the interests of his own people.

Lieberman also wrote that Abbas should be replaced because he “apparently is uninterested or unable… to reach an agreement which would bring an end to the conflict.”

Abbas responded to Lieberman’s letter by saying he “doesn’t deserve an answer” and adding, “When he talks about the use of diplomatic terror he does not deserve anything. Everyone knows that we want peace between the two states, and for them to live and stability and security.”

Lieberman responded to Abbas’ remarks by saying the PA Chairman “is busy financing and glorifying terrorists and devotes all his time to political terrorism against Israel

The highlights in this report are mine.   Peace, Roy 

Nouran El-Behairy  July 25, 2012

Palestine seeking to upgrade UN status at the General Assembly despite warnings

Arab League representatives announced their full support on Sunday for upgrading the status of the Palestinian territories to a non-member state at the United Nations.

The announcement was made during a meeting of a follow up committee on the Palestinian peace process attended by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas previously announced his intention to seek non-member status last year but the United States and Israel both expressed dismay over the move.

“The Arabs decided to go to the UN to seek non-member state status for Palestine,” Palestinian Peace Negotiator Saeb Erekat told AFP. “It has been agreed that we will start preparing the legal, procedural and political file relating to the Palestinian application for non-state membership.”

Erekat added that they will begin consulting UN groups like the African Group, the Non-Aligned Movement, the European Union and the South American Bloc in order to garner their support for the Palestinian request.

The appeal to the General Assembly will be prepared by a separate committee and reported to the next Arab League meeting scheduled 5 September in Cairo, where the date for presenting the application will be specified.

Palestinian officials are seeking General Assembly recognition in order to reaffirm the pre-1967 borders, leaving East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza within the borders of a Palestinian state. The areas were lost to Israel in the 1967 war and since then Israel has moved up to 500,000 settlers to east Jerusalem and West Bank in an effort to blur the pre-1967 borders.

Abbas made a bid for full Palestinian membership to the Security Council in September 2011, in a move that incurred the wrath of the US and Israel who believe negotiations are the only way for the recognition of Palestinian state. Abbas failed to muster the required votes.

This time, Palestinian officials feel confident in acquiring the simple majority required to win a seat at the General Assembly. The Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad El-Malki told Ma’an News agency that he expects Palestine to get a majority of roughly 130-140 votes.

Another important detail about the bid is itstiming. If the Palestinians make their move before November this could affect the course of the US presidential elections.

Earlier this month, news reports mentioned that United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Abbas in Paris that if they sought a bid before the US elections, the Palestinian Authority would be subjected to political and economic sanctions.

El-Malki told Ma’an news that Palestinian officials do not fear US sanctions. “The decision is that the Palestinian leadership will go to the General Assembly despite the consequences,” Malki said.