Israel’s score-keeping media is reporting that Israel’s strategy is collapsing, with announcements of growing international support, hours ahead of the expected vote later today in the UN General Assembly on a draft resolution that will upgrade the status of Palestine to [non-member observer] state.
Reuters’ Noah Browning Tweeted [@sheikhnb] today” “My take: world map of #Palestine #UNbid votes. Yes in green, No red, Abstain grey. Most undecided will likely abstain pic.twitter.com/va7UPqTO” … The graphic he prepared is posted here.
In Ramallah, a long-disappointed population is warily beginning to celebrate.
One of the many thousands of children released early from school today to celebrate upcoming UNGA vote to upgrade Palestine status to State – photo taken in Ramallah’s Yasser Arafat square by Jihan Abdalla [Tweeted by @JihanAbdalla and posted here.
PLO Executive Member Hanan Ashrawi, who discussed the move with journalists in Ramallah yesterday, has written an op-ed entitled, “Supporting Palestine at the UN today is a vote for peace in the Middle East”, which is published today in The Guardian, here. In it, she said that this is, indeed, a unilateral story, but not one that resembles the unilateral scenario that Israel has been warning against, no.
Instead, Ashrawi wrote: “It is a story in which one side makes proposals for nothing in return; one side makes agreements that the other side breaks; and one side keeps commitments that the other side ignores…one side wants to negotiate a permanent solution and the other wants permanent negotiations”.
Ashrawi added: “Supporting our bid for enhanced status at the UN is a vote for the universal values of human rights embodied in the UN charter. Opposing it would make the Palestinian people the glaring exception to universal human rights, denying us the right to self-determination. Ironically, it would constitute a collective punitive measure against us for pursuing our freedom peacefully on the basis of international law and in adherence to what should be a global rule of law”.
And, she said: “We are as far from having a serious peace partner than at any time since we began this ‘process’. The Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, at best views negotiations in the context of photo opportunities and handshakes to improve his international image and keep public opinion quiet. At worst he exploits the ‘process’ to continue settlement expansion, the annexation of Jerusalem, and the ‘enjoyment’ of an American-led legal cover to enable him to act with impunity…our efforts are consistent with the international community’s objective of achieving a peaceful solution whereby Palestine and Israel can live side by side in peace and security. This aim will never be achieved by giving one of these states a veto on the other’s existence…It is high time that all those countries that recognise the urgency of the moment become fully engaged in ending the cruel and illegal occupation and enabling the Palestinians to exercise their right to self-determination and sovereignty and to live in freedom and dignity on their own land…Think for a moment of the absurdity of telling an occupied people to achieve their independence only by politely asking the occupier to kindly allow them to be free…”.
Ashrawi will be speaking on Blogtalk radio at 11:30AM EST, still several hours before debate is underway on the draft resolution later today in the UN General Assembly in New York. Her conversation on Blogtalk radio can be heard streaming over the internet here/
The PLO – Negotiations Affairs Department has published a paper, entitled “Palestine at the United Nations: A Vote for Peace and Justice”, posted here. They say that “copies will be distributed in a few hours to all member states of the United Nations before the vote to enhance Palestine’s status at the UN”.