World View: United Nations Creates the Nation 'Palestine'

World View: United Nations Creates the Nation 'Palestine'

This morning’s key headlines from

  • United Nations creates the nation ‘Palestine’
  • Mahmoud Abbas demands an end to the Israeli occupation
  • Israeli ambassador says that Palestinians don’t want peace
  • China to step up military confrontations in South China Sea
  • Philippine lawmakers call China’s new passports ‘laughable’

United Nations creates the nation ‘Palestine’

Palestinians celebrate in the West Bank city of Ramallah (BBC)
Palestinians celebrate in the West Bank city of Ramallah (BBC)

Schools and shops closed early across the West Bank and the GazaStrip, as Palestinians partied all day to celebrate the creation ofthe state of Palestine by the United Nations General Assembly, on theday of the 65th anniversary of the creation of the state of Israel.However, the vote was just symbolic in the sense that the state ofPalestine has no defined borders, and is a “non-member observer state”of the United Nations, not a full-fledged member. When the questioncame to a vote of the 193 U.N. member states, 138 voted in favor, 41abstained, and 9 voted against, including the United States andIsrael. According to analysts, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas isnow a crossroads with two distinct and mutually exclusive choices:

  • Return to negotiations with Israel on the “peace process.”
  • Take advantage of the upgraded status of Palestine to go to the International Criminal Court and bring war crimes charges against Israel.

Neither of these choices seems particularly good. Negotiating is awaste of time, as there never will be a “peace process,” and going tothe ICC will further polarize the Mideast and invite retribution.BBC

Mahmoud Abbas demands an end to the Israeli occupation

Here are some excerpts of the speech of Palestinian presidentMahmoud Abbas to the United Nations on Thursday:

“The Israeli aggression against our people in the GazaStrip has confirmed once again the urgent and pressing need to endthe Israeli occupation and for our people to gain their freedomand independence. This aggression also confirms the IsraeliGovernment’s adherence to the policy of occupation, brute forceand war, which in turn obliges the international community toshoulder its responsibilities towards the Palestinian people andtowards peace. …

I say with great pain and sorrow… there was certainly no one inthe world that required that tens of Palestinian children losetheir lives in order to reaffirm the above-mentioned facts. Therewas no need for thousands of deadly raids and tons of explosivesfor the world to be reminded that there is an occupation that mustcome to an end and that there are a people that must beliberated. And, there was no need for a new, devastating war inorder for us to be aware of the absence of peace. …

The Palestinian people, who miraculously recovered from the ashesof Al-Nakba [“the catastrophe”] of 1948, which was intended toextinguish their being and to expel them in order to uproot anderase their presence, which was rooted in the depths of their landand depths of history. In those dark days, when hundreds ofthousands of Palestinians were torn from their homes and displacedwithin and outside of their homeland, thrown from their beautiful,embracing, prosperous country to refugee camps in one of the mostdreadful campaigns of ethnic cleansing and dispossession in modernhistory. In those dark days, our people had looked to the UnitedNations as a beacon of hope and appealed for ending the injusticeand for achieving justice and peace, the realization of ourrights, and our people still believe in this and continue to wait.

This is why we are here today.”

Times of Israel

Israeli ambassador says that Palestinians don’t want peace

Here are some excerpts of the speech of Israeli ambassador to theUnited Nations Ron Prosor on Thursday:

“Today I stand before you tall and proud because Irepresent the world’s one and only Jewish state. A state built inthe Jewish people’s ancient homeland, with its eternal capitalJerusalem as its beating heart.

We are a nation with deep roots in the past and bright hopes forthe future. We are a nation that values idealism, but acts withpragmatism. Israel is a nation that never hesitates to defenditself, but will always extend its hand for peace. …

Israel has always extended its hand for peace and will alwaysextend its hand for peace. When we faced an Arab leader who wantedpeace, we made peace. That was the case with Egypt. That was thecase with Jordan.

Time and again, we have sought peace with the Palestinians. Timeand again, we have been met by rejection of our offers, denial ofour rights, and terrorism targeting our citizens.

President Abbas described today’s proceedings as “historic”. Butthe only thing historic about his speech is how much it ignoredhistory.

The truth is that 65 years ago today, the United Nations voted topartition the British Mandate into two states: a Jewish state, andan Arab state. Two states for two peoples.

Israel accepted this plan. The Palestinians and Arab nationsaround us rejected it and launched a war of annihilation to throwthe “Jews into the sea”.

The truth is that from 1948 until 1967, the West Bank was ruled byJordan, and Gaza was ruled by Egypt. The Arab states did not lifta finger to create a Palestinian state. Instead they soughtIsrael’s destruction, and were joined by newly formed Palestinianterrorist organizations. …

In fact, President Abbas, I did not hear you use the phrase “twostates for two peoples” this afternoon. In fact, I have neverheard you say the phrase “two states for two peoples”. Because thePalestinian leadership has never recognized that Israel is thenation-state of the Jewish people.

They have never been willing to accept what this very bodyrecognized 65 years ago. Israel is the Jewish state.

In fact, today you asked the world to recognize a Palestinianstate, but you still refuse to recognize the Jewishstate.”


China to step up military confrontations in South China Sea

China will be moving additional warships into the South China Sea andwill implement new military procedures, beginning in 2013. Under thenew procedures, China’s police will board and take control of any shipin what China considers to be its sovereign “territorial waters.” Aspart of China’s “Lebensraum” policy, China is demanding sovereigntyover the entire South China Sea, including areas that historicallyhave belonged to Brunei, the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan, andVietnam. China’s policy has become increasingly belligerent,especially since 2009, as China itself has become increasinglynationalistic and xenophobic. According to the Chinese, thefollowing will be illegal in the South China Sea:

  • Entering Hainan province’s territorial waters without permission. Hainan province itself has been extended to include much of the South China Sea.
  • Damaging coastal defense facilities.
  • Engaging in publicity that threatens national security.

The last one is a bit of a puzzle, at least to me, but I assumeit refers to news gathering operations, such as those thathave been conducted in the past by the BBC and al-Jazeera,using vessels to report on China’s warships and militarybuildup in the South China Sea.

It’s unclear how this new policy applies to commercial shippingthrough the South China Sea. The United States has taken the positionthat commercial shipping must continue completely unhindered, and theU.S. also occasionally sends its aircraft carrier, the USS GeorgeWashington, into the South China Sea. Obviously if China decides toconfront American commercial or military ships, then the U.S. will beforced to respond. Ironically, China’s increased belligerence andmilitary buildup have caused many countries in the region to uniteagainst China, and to wish to become full-fledged American allies.China Daily

Philippine lawmakers call China’s new passports ‘laughable’

As we reported last week ( “24-Nov-12 World View — China extends its ‘Lebensraum’ policy to its passports”), China is issuing new passportscontaining maps that designate the entire South China Sea,as well as parts of India’s territory, as being part of China.This is infuriating China’s neighbors. India is reacting bystamping the passport with a visa stamp that contains a “corrected”map. Vietnam and the Philippines are refusing to stamp anythinginto the passports, and instead are issuing visas on separatepieces of paper. According a Philippines lawmaker:

“Apart from being contemptible, China’s latest move isalso laughable. No country or international legal platformrecognizes the nine-dash line map.”

The “nine-dash line map” is China’s map that identifies the entireSouth China Sea as sovereign Chinese territory. GMA Network (Philippines) and VOA

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