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PLO leader slams US, German stance as 'counterproductive'
Published Wednesday 08/06/2011 (updated) 10/06/2011 11:23
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RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- "People do not negotiate their right to statehood. Rather, this is an inherent right," a PLO official lashed out Wednesday in the wake of US and German statements demanding Palestinian officials abort plans to seek UN recognition of statehood.

"Far from acting unilaterally, Palestinians are bringing their case for statehood before the United Nations, the world’s preeminent multilateral body. Self-determination and respect for the sovereignty of nations are principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter, making the UN a natural forum to resolve this issue," Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization's Executive Committee said in a statement.

The day before, US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke out at a news conference, saying they agreed that Palestinians should not seek recognition of a state at the UN in September, calling the move "unilateral."

Ashrawi's sharp statement appealed to the leaders, urging them to reflect on their position and "send a very different message" if they wanted to reinforce prospects for peace.

"For the last two years, we have built our state from the ground up. Our efforts have been internationally recognized and widely praised. We fulfill all the requirements of statehood as stipulated under Article 4 of the UN Charter and the Montevideo Convention. The sole obstacle that remains is Israel’s refusal to end its occupation," she said in a statement.

For peace to be realized, she continued, "You do not leave an occupied people at the mercy of those who occupy them and who act unilaterally in violation of international law by continuing to demolish homes, annex land, build settlements, erect apartheid walls and revoke IDs.

"On the contrary, come September, we expect President Obama and Chancellor Merkel to support the involvement of the United Nations as a positive step forward in efforts to secure regional peace and safeguard stability, and to recognize that the greatest threat to regional peace and security is Israel’s refusal to respect Palestinian rights and international law," Dr Ashrawi concluded.
1 ) Fred / UK
08/06/2011 19:09
Obama has been lectured well by his masters in Israel,that is why he is trying very hard to put pressure on his friends around the world to stop the Palestinian from taking their case to the UN.Dr Ashrawi is right the Palestinian must go ahead and take their case to the UN,you do not negotiate statehood with the occupied forces[Israel].Once Palestine is recognized as a state then proper negotiation can start between the two states under the supervision of the UN ,not the USA as they are biased.

2 ) Hussam / Palestine
08/06/2011 19:29
Very well said Dr. Ashrawi, thank you.

3 ) jabe7 / Canada
08/06/2011 19:57
So happy to hear Dr. Ashrawi affirm the fundamental rights of the Palestinians. Hopefully, the Palestinian leadership will remain resolute in their determination to go to the UN. Rightly, she points out Israel as the major obstacle obstructing resolution of the conflict. Aided by the unconscionable support of the US administration, Israel wishes to continue to prolong negotiations so that more settlements can be built and "facts on the ground" established. Palestinians need to stay strong!

4 ) Karen Nakamura / California
08/06/2011 20:20
I agree absolutely. After reporting on Palestinian/Israeli conflict for 20 years, I've always seen Palestinians trying and ISrael never doing a thing. Gaza pull back? World was pressuring Israel to treat the occupied humanely so it pulled out then locked Gaza in an open air prison and started shooting.

5 ) Amin / Netherlands
08/06/2011 21:05
Mrs. Ashrawi , your absolutly right. I hope this message shall reached president Obama and Chancellor Merkel. And that they realize that ending Isr. occupation the only way for peace and stablity is in the Mid.East.

6 ) Philly / Sweden
08/06/2011 22:02
God i love dr ashrawi. Truly a strong oalestinian leader. Our beloved Palestine needs more leaders like her!

7 ) Colin Wright / USA
08/06/2011 22:12
That is one of the few compensations of being an advocate for the Palestinians. You don't have to be very creative. All you have to do is speak the obvious truth -- and the phrases will ring. Now, being an advocate for Israel -- there's a toughie.

8 ) Josh / USA
08/06/2011 23:29
Ashrawi for PA President!

9 ) Mark of Lewiston / USA
09/06/2011 06:32
Time to Change Strategies - Israel's current government is bent on killing the two-state option for settling the conflict. They will no change . They think Palestinians will magically disappear or move, something that is very unlikely to happen. They cannot conceive that Israeli-citizen Palestinians will consider voting in mass for a single party. If this were done, 20% of the Knesset would be Arabs and have real political power. In Jerusalem, the city would be virtually controlled too.

10 ) Mark of Lewiston / USA
09/06/2011 06:38
The only thing that will move the stalemate off dead center is if the current powers that be see a real but nonviolent threat to their rule. That can only be accomplished through the ballot. And the first move in that new Knesset should be incorporation of the disenfranchised. Suddenly then, even Likud will move to establish two-states-for-two-peoples. And then Israeli and Palestinian Arabs can decide which option is preferable, one state will equal rights or two-states-for-two-peoples.

11 ) Outsider / EU
09/06/2011 11:27
Dr Ashrawi hit both nails on the head. And besides, Mr Netanyahu has been offered the chance to meet with Abbas in July. He can't say that the opportunities have not been given to Israel to resolve this issue bi-laterally.

12 ) Julie / USA
09/06/2011 11:56
BRILLIANT! good job, very well said Dr. Ashrawi!!!! her "sharp statement" is what everyone else is NOT saying enough of, they are watering down their words, minimizing their potency. Ashrawi is tough enough to nail the truth to the wall, point blank!!! :D

13 ) geeza / uk
09/06/2011 13:25
its like all things people stand back and do nothing hitler came to power in the same way now usa backs israel the world watches and dont lift a finger weak very very weak

14 ) Catherine / Canada
09/06/2011 14:33
People have to understand that Germany is still an occupied country; they do not have a constitution since WWII and do not have a peace treaty with the allies. Watching the spectacle of Netanyahu's speech in US Congress illustrates only too well who runs US foreign policy.

15 ) Anna / Canada
09/06/2011 15:46
What an embarrassing sight: Merkel, Obama and alli treat the Palestinian moves towards statehood like illegal actions, to be either dismissed or fought against.

16 ) Frank / USA
09/06/2011 18:04
Ashrawi's argument is based on logic, truth and international law. She has concisely articulated what every Palestinian official should say in response to the threats and pressure and all the naysayers out there. It's not possible that any response could logically be given by the US Government or anyone else to this argument that isn't based on empty pretexts, tired excuses and threats. Time for a new course in the Middle East and this is it - the truth and rights over lies and might!

17 ) Carlos / USA
09/06/2011 18:39
Hurray! The US and Germany should mind thier own business. They have done nothing to promote peace in the middle east. They make excuses for Israels crimes. Obama and Merkel make me sick to my stomach!

18 ) Alan B rego / India
09/06/2011 20:49
The "Palestinians" already have a state-Jordan.

19 ) Tobias / US
09/06/2011 21:25

You are right, that "the US, Germany (and the whole world)
should mind thier own business", and that
"they have done (and can do) nothing to promote peace" !!

Only after the two sides actually want peace, more than either destroying the other, or surrendering defensible borders, and are both willing to make significant compromises, should the world re-involve itself, at all,
in a Middle East peace process !!!
- It is pointless otherwise.

20 ) Robin Irvine / EU
09/06/2011 22:57
Shame on Germany and the US. Why cant Dr Ashrawi be the next Palestinian President? She gets my vote.

21 ) ABE / USA
10/06/2011 00:25
There is always just one little fact that Ashrawi leaves out. The fact that Hamas is dedicated to the destruction of the State of ISRAEL!! I know a lot of the names on this wall also believe in the Hamas solution.

22 ) southparkbear / usa
10/06/2011 03:35
what does it mean slams? asking for more money?

23 ) Keith / Europe
10/06/2011 09:22
Every attempt at peace has been torpedoed by the Palestinians. Every attempt!!! The Palis earn billions from the West in terms of aid, and nothing changes!!! Truth and lies over might?????!!!! I suggest that people like Frank do some study on the issue!! Ashrawis's argument is based on a deception that is swallowed without thought by most of the contributors here. What crimes has Israel committed Carlos??? People like you make me sick to the stomach-you are simply a non-thinking useful idiot.

24 ) Steve Brook / Australia
26/06/2011 04:18
It's tragic that there seem to be too few Ashrawis on the Israeli side. How about some cloning?

25 ) Anthony / UK
15/09/2011 21:38
Dear All, Dr Ashrawi is spot on. Moreover the Palestinians have the backing of over 150 UN Resolutions, the ruling of the International Court of Justice in the Hague and the support of approximately 130 countries that recognize Palestine as of now. In addition the Road Map - which Israel signed up to - demanded an end to settlements including natural growth ones, resolution to Jerusalem - which Mr Netanyahu has refused to abide to thus jeopardizing the prospect of a two-state solution. God bless
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