As Israel’s Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu works to follow-up on his faxes sent a week ago to leaders around the world urging them to oppose any Palestinian change of status at the United Nations, and as the U.S. sent a message from Washington [hand-delivered to Jericho by the U.S. Consul-General in Jerusalem last Friday] threatening a cut-off of some half-billion dollars in aid per year if any Palestinian move is made, Ma’an News Agency has just reported that a group of men in the West Bank have forged ahead, and built a special chair intended to seat the State of Palestine in the United Nations.
[With regard to the reported U.S. threat to cut off aid to the Palestinians, it should also be noted that the Israeli Hebrew-language newspaper Yediot Ahronot reported that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Prime Minister Netanyahu in a recent phone call that the Obama Administration “would find it difficult” to support Israel’s position at the UN unless an apology is offered to Turkey for the deaths of 9 men killed during the Israeli naval interception of the Mavi Marmara on the high seas in the eastern Mediterranean on 31 May 2010…UPDATE: and it was just reported by the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet, here, that Netanyahu is asking for a six-month delay in the publication of the UN report which is being held up, pending a possible Israeli apology, a move that the paper says was not warmly welcomed in Ankara. According to Hurriyet, the report’s publication date is still set for Friday 2 September…]
According to the report, published here, engineer Sufian Al-Qawasmi told Ma’an that “the idea for the small blue chair came from Ramallah”:
The story says that the chair is made of “cloth from Nablus weaved [sic] in Hebron”, and put together in Jenin, “and two keys symbolizing refugees’ right to return were sent from Jerusalem, said Al-Qawasmi, who supervised the design of the chair. He said the olive-wood chair was made in 48 hours to represent 1948, the year of the Nakba when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forced to flee their homes as the state of Israel was established. ‘As the UN seat was a demand to represent Palestine as a state, we ourselves decided to send the seat of Palestine to the UN’, Al-Qawasmi said”.
Meanwhile, a debate has flared between some opposed to the Palestinian leadership’s possible/planned move at the UN, which somehow is popularly supposed to materialize on the 20th of September [though sometime in October, or in November. is also a possibility.]
The debate went ballistic with a “legal opinion” written by Guy Goodwin-Gil and posted in full here.
In this “legal opinion”, Goodwin-Gill wrote, in para (3), without further explanation: “I am advised that one possibility being debated involves the replacement of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and its ‘substitution’, within the United Nations, by the State of Palestine as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people”.
But, he did not say who, exactly, advised him of this… or what, exactly, is the factual basis for saying this.
We only learn, later [see below], who advised him. But, we are never given any factual basis…