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Fatah official: UK pressuring PLO to abandon UN bid
Published Thursday 08/11/2012 (updated) 17/11/2012 20:47
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BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The UK is pressuring the Palestinian Authority to abandon its bid to upgrade Palestine's status at the UN, a senior Fatah official said Thursday.

"Until this moment, there is no international pressure on the PA concerning the UN bid (from Europe), except from Britain," Nabil Shaath told Ma'an.

Shaath said London had pressured the PA to drop the bid and allow room for the US to launch new political initiatives, but he did not expect anything new until next year.

The US has threatened to cut off funding and take other measures if the Palestinians turn to the UN, but a British official said in September that UK aid was not at risk.

"The PA will not postpone the UN bid as it is a strategic decision," Shaath said, adding that the bid would be submitted by the end of November.

The Guardian newspaper reported in October that British diplomats have told Palestinian officials that a vote in the weeks following the US election would significantly decrease the chances of the next US administration taking steps to get peace negotiations re-started.

They are also warning of potentially serious financial consequences for the Palestinian Authority if it goes ahead, according to the report.

The Palestinians had postponed their initiative at the UN until after the US presidential election, which US President Barack Obama won on Tuesday.

Shaath welcomed the reelection of Obama and said he hoped the president would be more flexible in his second term. But, the PA cannot rely on a change in his approach and will not postpone the UN bid, he added.

"Obama is not Saladin for us but he's better than Richard the Lionheart Romney, who does not know anything about the Palestinian cause," Shaath said.

Saladin was a 12th century Muslim leader who defended Jerusalem against Richard the Lionheart, a Christian crusader.

Shaath said Obama's reelection was a defeat for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who had backed Romney in a move that drew criticism the Israeli premier was interfering in domestic US affairs.

The Fatah leader said Netanyahu's miscalculation could cost him support in upcoming Israeli elections.

In late October Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt met with PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat and expressed the UK's "deep concern about developments that threaten our shared goal" of a two-state solution, particularly settlements.

"Along with EU and international partners, we are urging both sides to focus on dialogue, avoid steps that could undermine the prospects for peace and to work towards the resumption of direct negotiations without preconditions," he said.

Shaath said there were European countries that might change their positions toward the UN bid after elections bring in more socialist parties.

Fatah is a member in the socialist faction that is consisted of Netherlands, Ukraine, and Lithuania. "We are trying to convince Germany to vote for the UN bid," he said.

He said Germany's Social Democratic Party supported the bid. The opposition party has promised to lobby the government to vote for Palestine's upgrade, he said.

A Palestinian delegation is currently visiting Germany to drum up support for the UN resolution.
1 ) Tobias / USA
08/11/2012 18:00
It is THE PLO's right to convince the UK and the USA,
that they NO LONGER DESERVE DONATIONS, with their UN Bid,
that will do nothing significant, except worsen Palestinian lives !!

2 ) betz55 / USA
08/11/2012 18:08
Don't listen to the UK, their empty rhetoric is an embarrassment, they cannot take a stand against Israel because they are sniveling weaklings. GO PALESTINIANS GO! Now is your chance, seize it, upgrade, and start taking Israel to court. Make them pay.

09/11/2012 00:17
According to Fatah official, Abbas Zaki, "the Oslo Accords between the PLO and Israel will cease to exist the day after the UN votes in favor of upgrading the status of a Palestinian state to non-member, but the PLO FOOLS don't seem to realize, that if the UN could make them a real state, with real borders then: 1- Kurdistan would already exist (It Doesn't), and 2- even states that previous existed, unlike Palestine, would have lost lands, like N. Ireland, returned to them (It Wasn't) !!!

4 ) ian / australia
09/11/2012 03:23
The article says basically nothing but it shows the "tipping point" is coming. Israel (read Jewish power) is heading for its Ceausescu balcony moment. Europeans like justice. Their wars were cathartic. They became more moral (and serious about being moral...unlike America, the flabby, complacent victor, which learnt nothing) as a result. Europe will eventually do the right thing by Palestine, because the moral imperative won't change...and coersion by a well-connected, well-funded global lobby/

5 ) ian / australia
09/11/2012 03:24
(contd.) network won't always work. (Witness the US election.) And really...what does the UK, a peripheral European player, care about Palestine? Alistair Burt's "deep concern" sounds so stage-managed, perfunctory and inauthentic because it is...and convinces no-one. And a killer line from Nabil Shaath, expressing quiet confidence: "Obama is not Saladin for us but he's better than Richard the Lionheart Romney, who does not know anything about the Palestinian cause." LMAO

6 ) r cummings / uk
09/11/2012 07:19
Better to die on your feet than live on your knees, Tobias. We've seen enough of the Jews lording it over the Palestinians now to know that it is not the way forward. The fact that the world community does not support occupation, land theft, water theft, illegal settlement building and Israel's absurd attempt at colonising the Palestinian Arab territory will be made abundantly clear in the UN vote. Sod the donations, look forward to Israel being hauled before the International Criminal Court.

7 ) brent / USA
09/11/2012 09:01
with all of the money they'll make from suing the israeli government once palestine is given access to the international judiciary system, foreign aid won't be a concern. forget the threats of the west, it's time that palestine took matters into their own hands and exercised their own right to self-determination

8 ) gabi / australia
09/11/2012 12:12
#3 - remind me - who made Israel a "real state"? The UN. And when they did that they gave them land that did not belong to them. But that was to make up to them for the Holocaust, so that's all right then. All the Palestinians are asking for is their land back. Seems fair.

9 ) @ RC-6 & Brent-7 / USA too
09/11/2012 16:05
6- The militants' choice "to die on your feet," is what forces
the civilians "to live on your knees", where clearly
IF Gaza's militants would only stop attacking Israel,
THEN Israel would both stop attacking Gaza,
and end the naval blockade, and open trade again !!!

7- There will be NO "money from suing," and "PLO-3" is right,
that the PLO are a bunch of fools to think the UN can give them
the borders they claim, but never actually had (go ask the Kurds) !!!

10 ) Plain / Truth
09/11/2012 20:42
What should be focused on is the reason the PA is attempting to go the UN route. They have no mandate for, or intention of achieving a two state solution. Their situation is no different than it was in Arafat's day when he exasperated Bill Clinton and the rest of the world by turning down the best offer Pals would ever get. The Pal leadership is committed to a single Palestinian state, with no Israel, and no Jews. Acknowledge that fact, and we might start to make progress.
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