Between The Lines of The Abbas Speech ~ by @YasirTineh

September 25, 2011 | Yasir M. Tineh

This is going to be a thorough analysis of the speech Mahmoud Abbas gave at the 66th session of the UNGA after he submit the application for Palestinian statehood to the Secretary General of the United Nation Ban Ki-moon.

The Transcript of the speech can be found here in (Arabic) (English)

Abbas started his speech by thoroughly praising the UN and its member states, sending specials regards to the newly formed and admitted state of South Sudan wishing them as a government and people a prosperous future. Also he congradulated the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on his successful re-election to his position as SG.

It is important to note that the Sudan issue is of particular interest here because it shows a somewhat “successful” implementation of a two-state solution as a method for conflict resolution. As to the re-election of Ban Ki-moon; Abbas stated that his proves that the world values and appreciates the efforts he has embarked on in his first term, its is absurd that a Palestinian representative would be the one saying such a thing specially considering that during his first term the war on Gaza (Operation Cast-Lead) took place where 1500+innocent civilians were collectively punished and perished in the ensuing war in addition to 5000 injuries; Whereas the UN was unable to take any action or force Israel into complying to any statements or resolutions passed, as was the investigation carried out by the UN fact finding mission hindered by the state of Israel itself; not forget mentioning that UN schools designated to keep civilians safe were intentionally bombed during the war constituting a war crime.

The first shock in the speech comes when Abbas mentions and particularly uses the word Nakba “Catastrophe” when talking about the ensuing problems and struggle of the Refugees Israel created after the invasion in 1948 and the declaration of the Zionist state; This word is considered offensive to the Zionists due to their denial and any form of commemoration of the Nakba in Israel is lawfully illegal.

Abbas then goes to talk about the negotiations but only goes back in his calender to September 2010 when addressing the failure of the proposed “peace process”, disregarding the reality of the fact which is that Palestinian have been at the negotiations table with the Zionist entity only to face hurdles and losses to the cause as early as 1947. He further goes to embarrass himself by expressing how hard he and the PA staff worked to pursue any possible success to the negotiations by “trying every possible channel and knocking on every door possible but to no avail’. When you have a right you don’t go around chasing that whom robbed you of it, you pressure him, you extort him and if all fails you fight him even if not in the armed resistance sense you fight him in a political sense.

Abbas addresses the issue of the settlements and calls them the core mentality of the colonial nature of the Zionist entity, stating their illegality under International Law; while at the same time ironically addressing the UN whom is responsible for implementing that International Law. Abbas calls the settlements that main cause of the failure of so many opportunities and hopes since the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, seemingly disregarding the fact that it is because of Oslo we have ended up with an application for a state that lies on 22% of the land of historic Palestine and that most Palestinian now understand that Oslo was a trap to give us false hopes and aspirations while secretly robbing us slowly of our rights.

He goes on in his speech to talk about the expanding settlement campaign that Israel is undergoing and the separation wall which is reminiscent to the (Berlin Wall). What he doesn’t realize is that lots of Palestinians have not forgotten the Palestine Papers released earlier this year by Aljazeera which clearly stated that the PA helps in supplying cheap Palestinian labour and material for the construction of both settlements and the separation wall.

Shocker number two; Abbas uses the phrase “Ethnic Cleansing” a big surprise to hear such a word from a member of the PA which many refugees now consider directly complicit in whitewashing Apartheid,  He talked about ethnic cleansing in reference to the policy of home demolitions and banishing of Palestinian civilians which has become systematic in the Palestinian reality. Can we forget though that the PA as documented by wikileaks has practices torture on Palestinians imprisoned in PA jails and that they have a strong tendency to arrest Palestinians under the caluse of political crimes; I could go as far as saying that the PA acts as another arm for the Israeli policy of “Ethnic Cleansing”

As he talks about the ongoing settler violence and constant calls as Jerusalem being “the eternal capital of Israel’; the ongoing siege on Gaza; the targeting of holy cities; collective punishment and many more of what has become normal Israeli behaviour, he fails to really emphasize the suffering of the people and their daily struggle but rather what concerns him more is the slow death of any possibility left at a chance of a two-state solution. Yet he claims he will not allow any harm upon the 1.5 million Palestinian living inside Israel while the reality of a two-state solution would mean that those Palestinians would have to continue suffering under the wings of Apartheid.

Shocker number three although this shocker is not due to something he said towards the Zionist entity but more towards the confidence he displayed while clearly stating that he wants to fix all the injustice Palestinians have suffered through 63+ years of occupation but accepting the creation of a Palestinian state on 22% of the land which is redundant in its essence as this is only going to cause us more suffering because I know every Palestinian will keep fighting for the cause and dream of bringing back all of historic Palestine thus asking for a One-State solution would seem like the only way for Palestinian justice yet Abbas chooses to ignore the wish of the people and the reality of the death of the two-state solution.

He also goes to demand and appeal for the release of all Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails while the blunt truth is that he has no leverage what so ever to make demands; in-fact with regards to that demand I believe Hamas has more leverage than the PA with the one Israeli prisoner they have (Gilad Shalit). He still states that he is persistent in pursuing justice through negotiations even after how he started his speech calling them a failure and obviously displaying his bluff of the statehood bid to what in my opinion was a move to garner internal support for the PA as it is evident dictatorial regime are falling due to the severe turmoil in the region.

I could go on to detail what he went onto to say throughout the end of the speech but I won’t as it was mostly repetitive and honestly he was stating the obvious with regards to the inhumanity that we suffer and the struggle for a free Palestine that we go through every day. To the untrained ears and the uneducated mind that speech was rather good for Abbas it was larger than the character that Palestinians were used to; as you examine his words closer though you begin to see an underlying reason for all of this.

Abbas is firstly trying to gain as much support as possible for the PA not for Palestine, we know that the PA framework has been failing ever-since the 2006 elections which Hamas swept, he is trying to re-establish himself and his organisation as the representative of Palestinians; Also it is a method of appeasing the new governments and regimes as he has lost some of his allies in the (Arab Spring).

It is inevitable that the statehood bid fails because the US was quick to announce that it will veto it, this brings to the light a mysterious factor as the PA has not declared what might happen when the bid fails to pass, it has previously threatened to dismantle the PA though highly unlikely because it would mean giving up his current status and we have seen how that has been for other ruling regimes in the reason they seem to be stuck to their chairs; also I wonder all these supporters of the UN statehood bid where will their anger and disappointment be directed, sadly Palestinian in the West Bank seem to be celebrating already as if the bid has passed; leaving me with the question of could this spawn an new intifada?.

Source & More at Yasir M. Tineh’s Weblog Must Check It Out!

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