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Palestinians deserve more than non-member status

Dec. 1, 2012 5:11 P.M. (Updated: Dec. 2, 2012 2:27 P.M.)
By: Rashid Shahin
Up until the last moment, the United States and Israel were doing their utmost to change the positions of other countries, and to dilute the significance of the Palestinian step to upgrade the status of Palestine to non-member state observer status.

Since the Palestinians announced their intention to go to the UN, many Western countries, including the US, did everything possible to convince Palestinian leaders to drop the move, or at least postpone such a step.

In their contacts with the Palestinian leadership, European ministers, in particular the British, acted against the values and traditions to which Europe subscribes, values that call for freedom and human rights for all human beings around the globe.

It is obvious that some European politicians have not overcome what happened during and after World War II.

It is also clear that the Europeans have different attitudes to their governments.

This contradiction in the relationship between the peoples and governments in Europe is due to the absence or lack of statesmen like Churchill and Charles de Gaulle.

It is hard for Palestinians to understand why America, the UK and Germany were trying to frustrate the Palestinian move.

Palestinians consider the positions of these countries shameful, especially the UK, whom they judge not only responsible for the tragedy of the Palestinian people but revealing its immoral, inhuman and even hostile attitudes to Arabs and Muslims in general.

In 1947, Palestine was under the British Mandate when it was decided to divide Palestine into two states through the unfair Resolution 181, when 33 states encouraged, incited and in some cases threatened by the US and the UK, voted for the partition of Palestine, with 13 against and 10 abstentions.

Sixty-four years ago, part of the resolution was implemented: this part was the establishment of the State of Israel, while the other part which concerns the establishment of the Palestinian state was and still never has been put into practice.

Now, Britain, which the Palestinians consider the power behind their catastrophe, was against the idea of Palestine going to the UN to seek new status.

According to the BBC, the official position of the UK was that it would abstain from the vote unless the Palestinians promised to meet its condition which was "to seek public assurance by the Palestinians" that they will not use the new status to go to The Hague.

All peoples of the world who are suffering oppression and treated in an inhuman way, or are the victims of war crimes or crimes against humanity have the right to go to The Hague.

Such rights cannot be divisible or ignored because of color, origin, religion, race or any other reason, it can't be granted to the Jews or to the Serbians and banned for the Palestinians.

Equal rights for the people of the world is the core principle of democracy; demanding that anybody not to practice his rights is immoral and smacks of hypocrisy.

Imagine that it was Israel who demanded to go to The Hague for any reason? It would be difficult to see any of these politicians daring to ask her not to go.

Since Israel is a democratic state and allegedly never commits a war crime or crime against humanity, why are the Israeli leaders worried that Palestine will be part of the International Criminal Court-ICC-.

It is not easy for the Palestinians to understand the hostile attitude of the UK, especially when the UK and other Western countries keep demanding Palestinians abandon violence and respect international laws and conventions.

Palestinians wonder how they can trust the Western countries when they speak about a real independent state with full sovereignty, while opposing the symbolic step to have observer status.

William Hague, the British foreign secretary, who joined the Friends of Israel Society when he was only 16, will not understand the words of an old Palestinian man who was among thousands of Palestinians celebrating the event in the yard of the Nativity Church where Jesus was born.

The old Palestinian was saying, "Zionist leaders were betting on the fact that old Palestinians would die and new generations would forget."

The old man added, "Palestine will never be another Andalusia, there is much difference between here and there; here it is our land, it is the land of our ancestors, but there it was the land of others, we were the invaders, that is why the Arabs left.

"Palestine is not Andalusia; we were born here and we die here."

The author is a Palestinian journalist based in Bethlehem.
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