World View: Palestinian President Abbas to Return to the U.N. on September 27

This morning's key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com
  • China backs down on forcing Hong Kong schools to teach 'patriotism'
  • The 'Arab Spring' begins in West Bank as unemployment and prices soar
  • Palestinian president Abbas to return to the U.N. on September 27

China backs down on forcing Hong Kong schools to teach 'patriotism'

Hong Kong - Tens of thousands of protesters cross their arms, symbolically saying 'Stop' to the government. (AP)
Hong Kong - Tens of thousands of protesters cross their arms, symbolically saying 'Stop' to the government. (AP)

China has backed down on a plan to force Hong Kong children to take patriotism classes that whitewash the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre and the 1959 Great Leap Forward that killed tens of millions people through starvation, and containing concepts such as,
"China's one party system is progressive, unifying and selfless, as opposed to western multiparty systems that are divisive and unhealthy."
The public has been increasingly furious about the plan for months, and when it was finally rolled out two weeks ago, it faced nine days of large protests, culminating in almost 100,000 protesters on Saturday outside government headquarters. Some protesters staged hunger strikes, and students had erected a replica of the democracy statue that symbolised the student-led 1989 Tiananmen protests in mainland China. As a result, the government backed down and said that the program would be "voluntary."

The rift between Hong Kong and Beijing seems to be growing every day, and Hong Kongers are increasingly contemptuous of mainlanders. As we reported last spring, the song "Locust World" is popular in Hong Kong, describing tourists from mainland China as "experts in stealing, cheating, deceiving and lying." Hong Kong speaks Cantonese, different from Mandarin that elite mainlanders speak. In China's last generational crisis civil war, Mao's Communist Revolution that climaxed in 1949, those who were able to escape to Formosa (Taiwan) did so by passing through Hong Kong. It's likely that Hong Kong will again play a pivotal role in China's next crisis civil war. Al-Jazeera and Telegraph (London)

The 'Arab Spring' begins in West Bank as unemployment and prices soar

It was high food prices that sparked the "Arab Spring" uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and Syria early last year, and now soaring food and fuel prices are sparking a wave of social protest across the West Bank, as thousands of Palestinians took to the streets. The problems are exacerbated by a very high unemployment rate, and by the fact that many of those employed by the government are not being paid because of a budget crunch facing the Palestinian Authority (PA). International doners have slashed their support from $2 billion in 2008 to less than $1 billion this year, of which only half has been delivered. Of the $500 million that has been pledged but not delivered this year, 40% is due from the United States, but is being held up by Congress. The rest of the undelivered funds were pledged by Arab states. AFP and LA Times

Palestinian president Abbas to return to the U.N. on September 27

PA Presideht Mahmoud Abbas (R) at press conference in Ramallah on Saturday (AP)
PA Presideht Mahmoud Abbas (R) at press conference in Ramallah on Saturday (AP)



Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas said on Saturday that the ongoing protests are legitimate and that:
"The PA will not intervene, but we will stand in the face of those who may try to sabotage or set fire or damage (public properties). We are ready to respond as much as we can, but protests must be civilized and popular. ...

We do not play around with the people’s fate. I am against armed uprisings. I am against opening fire because I know how the consequences of doing so affect our people. I am pro-peaceful popular demonstrations whether they are against the [Israeli] occupation or against the PA."

At the same news conference, Abbas said that the PA would go to the United Nations General Assembly seeking non-member status on September 27, despite United States opposition:

"When we go to the UN, we will say we are a state under occupation … we have 133 states who recognize a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, in addition to dozens of other countries with whom we have good relations and diplomatic representation.

We have before us two hard options; either we go to the UN knowing what to expect after that, or we don’t go and yet by so doing we will be losing out."

Abbas would like to get U.N. Security Council recognition of a Palestinian state, but the U.S. has said it would veto any such proposal. A vote by the General Assembly would give the Palestinian territories non-member status, but not full recognition. Abbas had intended to go to the United Nations last year, but was deterred by a worldwide lobbying effort by the United States. Ma'an News (Bethlehem)


KEYS: Generational Dynamics, China, Hong Kong, Arab Spring, West Bank, Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, United Nations
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