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PLO official hits out at US policy on UN bid
Published Wednesday 07/09/2011 (updated) 08/09/2011 12:41
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RAMALLAH (Reuters) -- The United States is showing "disdain" for Arabs by trying to prevent the Palestinians from gaining statehood recognition at the United Nations, senior Palestinian Liberation Organization official Yasser Abed Rabbo said Wednesday.

Washington fears the Palestinians' move at the United Nations, expected later this month, could further snarl flagging US efforts to revive Middle East peace talks, which broke down last year following a row over Jewish settlements.

David Hale, the US Middle East peace envoy, was due to meet President Mahmoud Abbas later on Wednesday in the latest American effort to halt the UN manoeuvrings and convince the two sides to return to direct negotiations.

Abed Rabbo, secretary general of the PLO, said US policy now appeared confined to one point: stopping the Palestinians from embarking on their diplomatic initiative at the United Nations.

"The subject is not settlements, or Palestinian independence or the rights of the Palestinian people, or halting the criminal violations perpetrated by the settlers against the Palestinian people," he said.

"All this is being ignored and the only issue has become the issue of us not going to the United Nations," he told Voice of Palestine radio.

"This shows not only disdain for the Palestinian position, but also scorn for what is happening in the Arab region -- a state of revival seeking justice for the Arab peoples and justice for the whole region." Popular uprisings have toppled Arab autocrats in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya this year.

Arguing that the two-decade old peace process has run out of gas, the Palestinians are seeking an upgrade in their diplomatic standing at the United Nations. They are presenting the move as a step towards leveling the playing field with Israel.

Like Washington, Israel opposes the move, saying it aims to undermine its own legitimacy and that Palestinian statehood can only be achieved through a negotiated deal.

Low expectations

The Palestinians are seeking an independent state in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem -- territories occupied by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war.

The last round of peace talks, which lasted only a few weeks, broke down last October over the issue of Jewish-only settlement expansion in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The Palestinians say the settlements undermine their chances of establishing sovereignty over the territories.

Hale and Dennis Ross, a senior White House official, met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Tuesday.

Hale's meeting with Abbas follows a phone call on Tuesday by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the Palestinian leader.

Clinton had urged Abbas to "continue to work hard with us to avoid a negative scenario in New York at the end of the month," a State Department spokesperson said, referring to the meeting of the General Assembly.

Asked about the visit by the US envoy, Abed Rabbo said: "We will see today, but our expectations are not at all high, especially in light of what we hear on the American position."

US opposition to the UN move will torpedo any Palestinian application for full membership of the world body. That requires the approval of the Security Council, where the United States wields veto power.

Anticipating that, Palestinian officials have said they could also table a General Assembly resolution that would upgrade their standing from an "entity" to a "non-member state" -- the status held by the Vatican.

Palestinian officials have in recent days rowed back from statements indicating that they plan to apply for full UN membership regardless of the US position. They now say their course of action has yet to be decided.
1 ) The US policy on / the UN bid
07/09/2011 16:14

For PLO officials "hitting out", speaking out, or just sitting out
IS ALL THE SAME, since regarding the UN bid:
- There will be a UN bid,
- The UN bid will NOT lead to a REAL sovereign state, and
- The UN bid may NOT even lead to a FANTASY of a state
called "Palestine", with a UN member "#194" !!!

So, hit, speak, or just sit out. IT IS ALL THE SAME.

2 ) christian palestinian / usa
07/09/2011 16:34
The US is indeed showing its true colors towards the Palestinian and Arab people by refusing to accept the idea of a free, independent, and sovereign state of Palestine. Obama and Hillary are just as pro-israel and pro-zionist as Bush and Cheney, and the world realizes this. Palestine is coming!

3 ) Mel / USA
07/09/2011 19:46
"Return to direct neogiations",lol! That's worked really well(for Zionism) since Camp David &Oslo? USG just won't share brokerage which may actually attain a legal Palestinian State on pre-67 borders&UN Resols. The "Road Map" leads to an apartheid iron wall. The "peace process" is a delay tactic to a 'whole piece' of Palest.for Erez Israel.The USG is not the whole planet&needs the planet more than Zionism.USG's biggest redeeming 'rapture'will be freeing Holy Land from political Zionism.

4 ) matt / usa
07/09/2011 21:18
saying it is disdain for "arabs" is like saying that the US is against all black people because some black people are criminals. Besides the us is for the democratic changes going on in the arab world. However the ones that are taking place in gaza and west bank are anything but democratic. Ex pres Carter was a huge supporter of the democratic voting process in gaza and the west bank, but even he states that the process was done but there are no democratic changes in gaza post election

08/09/2011 01:39
2 ) christian palestinian / usa LOOK TO THE EAST!!

You already have a state, its name is Jordan, which was carved out of the major portion (77%) of Palestine that was intended for the Jews, you do have a Soverign, Abdullah, the grandson of the the first Abdullah

Neither you or I will live long enough to see your Palestine


6 ) @ #2 / Reality
08/09/2011 03:05

Yes, "Palestine is coming", just like Santa Claus, and the Toothfairy, and
every year, for the last 63 years, it's farther from ever becoming a reality !!

7 ) ABE / USA
08/09/2011 08:17
You know why the US is pro ISRAEL ? Because ISRAEL has never killed an American! bottom line

8 ) Janus / SA
08/09/2011 08:34
The nonstate tribal arabs have a state -- it is the State of Jordan. A second state for them is not needed/wanted/desirable/necessary/useful. The chaotic disarray of their nonlives has a home. All the neighbor's homeland is, is envy's "lust point". Once they have it, then what? More chaotic disarray. The whole world will watch all their chaotic disarray spiral into nothing -- no dignity in failed-state status, now is there. And that's what it will become. Nothing. A failed state.

9 ) Outsider / EU
08/09/2011 09:50
It's true that given the wave of movements across the region (most recently in Israel), blocking the Palestinian bid is going against the tide of popular opinion. Recognising Palestine does not specifically threaten Israel per se, as negotiations would have to take place afterwards anyway. Yet slapping this diplomatic approach down now sends the message that the US and Israel will never accept to deal with Palestinians on an equal footing. Hamas will laugh again from the sidelines.
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