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Friday, September 23, 2011

Despite Washington, Tel Aviv — Palestine pushes on to UN

U.S officials in a new season persist in obstructionism, entrenched global policy of violence — but not all lie down and play dead
Re-reporting, editing, brief comment by Carolyn Bennett
Middle East incl Occupied Territories Britannica image

Palestinian President Delivers Full UN Membership Application

Mahmoud Abbas, President of the National Palestinian Authority today delivered an application and speech toward full Palestinian membership in the United Nations. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will transmit the application to the UN Security Council, whose recommendation is required before consideration by the General Assembly. These are excerpts from President Abbas’s statement.

“The occupation is racing against time to redraw the borders on our land according to what it wants and to impose a fait accompli on the ground that changes the realities and that is undermining the realistic potential for the existence of the State of Palestine.

“At the same time, the occupying Power continues to impose its blockade on the Gaza Strip and to target Palestinian civilians by assassinations, air strikes and artillery shelling, persisting with its war of aggression of three years ago on Gaza, which resulted in massive destruction of homes, schools, hospitals, and mosques, and the thousands of martyrs and wounded.

“The occupying Power also continues its incursions in areas of the Palestinian National Authority through raids, arrests and killings at the checkpoints. In recent years, the criminal actions of armed settler militias, who enjoy the special protection of the occupation army, has intensified with the perpetration of frequent attacks against our people, targeting their homes, schools, universities, mosques, fields, crops and trees. Despite our repeated warnings, the occupying Power has not acted to curb these attacks and we hold them fully responsible for the crimes of the settlers. These are just a few examples of the policy of the Israeli colonial settlement occupation, and this policy is responsible for the continued failure of the successive international attempts to salvage the peace process.

“This policy will destroy the chances of achieving a two-State solution upon which there is an international consensus, and here I caution aloud: This settlement policy threatens to also undermine the structure of the Palestinian National Authority and even end its existence.

“In addition, we now face the imposition of new conditions not previously raised — conditions that will transform the raging conflict in our inflamed region into a religious conflict and a threat to the future of a million and a half Christian and Muslim Palestinians, citizens of Israel — a matter we reject and being dragged into which [we do not] accept.

“All of these actions taken by Israel in our country are unilateral actions and are not based on any earlier agreements. Indeed, what we witness is a selective application of the agreements aimed at perpetuating the occupation.

Israel reoccupied the cities of the West Bank by a unilateral action, and reestablished the civil and military occupation by a unilateral action, and it is the one that determines whether or not a Palestinian citizen has the right to reside in any part of the Palestinian Territory.

It [Israel] is confiscating our land and our water and obstructing our movement as well as the movement of goods.

It [Israel] is the one obstructing our whole destiny.

All of this is unilateral.…

“… I confirm, on behalf of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people — which will remain so until the end of the conflict in all its aspects and until the resolution of all final status issues — the following:

  1. The goal of the Palestinian people is the realization of their inalienable national rights in their independent State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, on all the land of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, which Israel occupied in the June 1967 war, in conformity with the resolutions of international legitimacy and with the achievement of a just and agreed upon solution to the Palestine refugee issue in accordance with resolution 194, as stipulated in the Arab Peace Initiative which presented the consensus Arab vision to resolve the core Arab-Israeli conflict and to achieve a just and comprehensive peace. 
To this, we adhere and this is what we are working to achieve.

Achieving this desired peace also requires the release of political prisoners and detainees in Israeli prisons without delay.

  1. The PLO and the Palestinian people adhere to the renouncement of violence and rejection and condemning of terrorism in all its forms, especially State terrorism, and adhere to all agreements signed between the Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel.

  1. We adhere to the option of negotiating a lasting solution to the conflict in accordance with resolutions of international legitimacy. Here, I declare that the Palestine Liberation Organization is ready to return immediately to the negotiating table on the basis of the adopted terms of reference based on international legitimacy and a complete cessation of settlement activities.

  1. Our people will continue their popular peaceful resistance to the Israeli occupation and its settlement and apartheid policies and its construction of the racist annexation Wall, and they receive support for their resistance, which is consistent with international humanitarian law and international conventions and has the support of peace activists from Israel and around the world, reflecting an impressive, inspiring and courageous example of the strength of this defenseless people, armed only with their dreams, courage, hope and slogans in the face of bullets, tanks, tear gas and bulldozers.
5.     When we bring our plight and our case to this international podium, it is a confirmation of our reliance on the political and diplomatic option and is a confirmation that we do not undertake unilateral steps. Our efforts are not aimed at isolating Israel or de-legitimizing it; rather we want to gain legitimacy for the cause of the people of Palestine.

We only aim to de-legitimize the settlement activities, the occupation and apartheid and the logic of ruthless force, and we believe that all the countries of the world stand with us in this regard.

“On behalf of the Palestinian people and the Palestine Liberation Organization: We extend our hands to the Israeli government and the Israeli people for peacemaking.

“… Let us urgently build together a future for our children where they can enjoy freedom, security and prosperity. Let us build the bridges of dialogue instead of checkpoints and walls of separation, and build cooperative relations based on parity and equity between two neighboring States — Palestine and Israel — instead of policies of occupation, settlement, war and eliminating the other.…

“…[B]efore delivering this statement, I — in my capacity as President of the State of Palestine and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization — submitted to H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, an application for the admission of Palestine on the basis of the 4 June 1967 borders, with AI-Quds AI-Sharif as its capital, as a full member of the United Nations.

“I call upon Mr. Secretary-General to expedite transmittal of our request to the Security Council, and I call upon the distinguished members of the Security Council to vote in favor of our full membership. I also appeal to the States that have not yet recognized the State of Palestine to do so.…

“…The support of the countries of the world for our endeavor is a victory for truth, freedom, justice, law and international legitimacy, and it provides tremendous support for the peace option and enhances the chances of success of the negotiations.

“…Your support for the establishment of the State of Palestine and for its admission to the United Nations as a full member is the greatest contribution to peacemaking in the Holy Land.”

Who is right — Israel or Palestine? Pravda.Ru asked Sergei Demidenko, an expert of the Institute of Strategic Estimations and Analysis.

“From the legal point of view,” Demidenko said, “the USA and Israel are absolutely wrong.  There is a great deal of international agreements about the establishment of a separate Arab state in Palestine [and] Washington, by the way, recognized those agreements.”

Dark character
Evidenced among U.S. and Western allies, proxies and pawns

Pravda published this from what might be called the anti-war movement in Rome. They seemed to have been protesting a march in Rome but the substance is tellingly apropos.

Britannica image
“Do you not realize that [attacking Libya] aggressor countries (USA, France, Great Britain, Italy, NATO, Arab reactionary monarchies such as Qatar and Emirates) speaking of an alleged act of ‘civilian protection’ — instead of their true objective of regime change by force of arms — were violating the spirit and letter of the UN resolution?

“Do you not realize that the insurgents were constantly supplied with weapons, military and logistical support and entirely not willing to join any sort of negotiations?

“Do you not see that the only purpose of this operation is the sharing of stolen Libyan resources in a neo-colonial context?

“Why do you not have a word of condemnation on the bombings and military actions of the aggressors?

“The only explicit condemnation you have turned against another country [is] Syria, where the government has opened dialogue with the opposition more responsibly. However, even in this case, as in Libya, fringes of Al-Qaeda, radical Islamic fundamentalists and Afghanistan veterans are provided with weapons, and stirred up by the U.S., France, Britain and the reactionary Arab monarchies (Saudi Arabia head) to destabilize the government by refusing any dialogue.…

“All previous wars and aggression were preceded by blatant lies: weapons of mass destruction, Saddam’s massacre, 10,000 civilians never happened with Libya with false images of mass graves and justified with the rhetoric of ‘human rights’ violated.

“The result is that the moral and material conditions of civilians in Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan, Kosovo, and today Libya… The people of the Libyan cities of Sirte, Bani Walid and Sabha are now in danger of being massacred by the rebels, under the aegis of an approved UN operation ‘to protect civilians.’  Your silence gives consent and support.…

“Are conditions improved after the armed western ‘humanitarian’ interventions?” U.S. Citizens for Peace and Justice at Rome, Italy, asks and concludes:  “THE ONLY RESULTS ARE MILLIONS OF DEATHS AND REFUGEES, CIVIL WAR, HUMANITARIAN DISASTER, and COLLAPSE OF ALL LIVING CONDITIONS.”

Leading wars into the fall

U.S. to Israel 2,000-pound bombs

U.S. President Barack Obama [has] secretly authorized the sale of 55 powerful bunker-buster bombs to Israel,” Pravda re-reports a Newsweek magazine report.

“When Israel first asked to buy deep-penetrating GBU-28 bombs in 2005, [the George W. Bush government] refused to sell these bombs because at that time the Pentagon had frozen joint U.S.-Israeli defense projects due to fears of Israel transferring advanced military technology to China.”  But in 2007, the Bush government “informed then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that the bombs would be ready for delivery in 2009 or 2010… Unnamed officials said,” according to the article, that “in 2009 [the Obama government] authorized the delivery of the bunker-buster bombs — 2,000-pound bombs designed to destroy hard targets.”
Britannica image

Over the past few years, the security situation across Afghanistan has been deteriorating

Despite [or because of] the presence of some 150,000 foreign troops, violence has spread in the past year from Afghanistan’s volatile south to what had been relatively peaceful areas. Commensurately, anger has risen in the United States and in other NATO member states over the rising numbers of foreign troop casualties in Afghanistan.

Today, reports say five U.S.-led NATO soldiers died when road-side bombs exploded in eastern and western Afghanistan.

Three Italian soldiers were among the dead in Herat Province in western Afghanistan and two other soldiers died in eastern Afghanistan.

U.S. in BAHRAIN [home of U.S. fifth fleet]
Fake Democracy

Under brutal government attacks, hundreds of anti-government protesters reportedly marched today towards Pearl Square, the former epicenter of Bahrain’s revolution.

The reports said, amidst ongoing conflict, “Bahraini authorities have stepped up pressure on anti-government activists ahead of tomorrow’s elections and threatened jail for anyone calling for a boycott of the elections.

The top cleric, Sheikh Isa Qassim, accused Bahrain’s Al Khalifa dynasty (government) of practicing “‘fake democracy’” and called elections planned for Saturday “a meaningless vote.”

Today’s unconfirmed reports said countless people had been injured and arrested.  Witnesses reported regime forces maintained a heavy presence in central Manama, the capital, surrounded Pearl Square with barbed wire barricades, and fired tear gas on protesters.

Since January, hundreds of anti-regime protesters have died and many more have suffered injuries at the hand of riot police or supporters of Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Since Sunday, “more than 100 people are believed to have been killed.”

Today, Ali Abdullah Saleh reportedly returned to the Yemen after spending more than three months in Saudi Arabia for medical treatment. His return follows the regime’s intensified crackdown on anti-government protesters [AFP].

U.S. in IRAQ
After eight years, an estimated 50,000 U.S. soldiers remain in this country. Nearly one year after the U.S. military announced an official end to combat operations in Iraq, the relatively new U.S. Defense Secretary, Leon Panetta, disclosed in August that American forces had resumed military operations in this country.

On Wednesday, following a meeting with the U.S. ambassador to Baghdad (James Jeffrey), Iraqi vice president Khudair al-Khuzaie said, “U.S. forces deployed in the country will be withdrawn from Iraq by the end of this year.”

Drones in Southwest Asia, Horn of Africa

In northwestern Pakistan today, a U.S. drone strike reportedly left at least three people dead.

Losing allies
U.S. Admiral Mike Mullen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff lays accusations against Pakistan for “playing a double game in the war against al-Qaeda” and Pakistan’s foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar counters that the U.S. “cannot afford to alienate Pakistan [or] the Pakistani people.” Choosing to do so “will be at [the United States’] own cost.”

Escalating the crisis in relations between the two countries, Khar said, will cost the U.S. an ally.

UN News Agency image 
Suffering poverty, drought, disease unstable government, and U.S. drones

Cholera yesterday in Somalia claimed the lives of 36 more people. The disease has spread among hundreds of thousands of famine victims. The World Health Organization has reported an estimated 75 percent of all Somalia cases of highly infectious diarrhea occur “among children under the age of five.”

The victims who died Thursday evening were in Kismayo, the capital of the lower Juba region and a port city about 500 kilometers (310 miles) south of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu. More than 340 people suffering from cholera and waterborne diseases reportedly flocked Kismayo’s Alanley hospital for medical treatment.

Despite these horrendous conditions, United States officials — as they have done in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Iraq, and Yemen — have also used unmanned aircraft against Somalia. Today, a U.S. drone reportedly fired missiles in southern districts of Somalia. Eleven people (est.) died and dozens suffered wounds.

The U.S. assault near Taabto and Qooqani districts hit large numbers of livestock and many people, especially women and children, who fled their homes in fear of more attacks.

September 23, 2011
sites reporting (estimates only)

Iraq Body Count
Documented civilian deaths from violence
102,629 – 112,161
Full analysis of the WikiLeaks' Iraq War Logs may add 15,000 civilian deaths.

Icasualties dot org
1,779 U.S. • 2735 Coalition
4,475 U.S. • 4,793 Coalition

Antiwar dot com
Latest update September 19, 2011,
American Military Casualties in Iraq
The Human Cost of Occupation edited by Margaret Griffiths
Since Obama Inauguration (1/20/09): 247
Wounded: 33,145 Over 100000
320,000 Vets Have Brain Injuries
Vet Suicides Per Day: 18

Sources and notes

United Nations, New York September 23, 2011, http://www.unmultimedia.org/photo/detail.jsp?id=488/488092

Statement by H.E. Mr. Mahmoud Abbas, President of the State of Palestine, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, President of the Palestinian National Authority before United Nations General Assembly Sixty-sixth Session:
New York,   September 23, 2011, Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations, 115 East 65th St., New York, NY 10021, http://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/66/PS_en.pdf

“Abbas makes statehood bid at UN,” September 23, 2011, ttp://www.presstv.ir/detail/200801.html

“Washington destroys all peace initiatives for Palestine and Israel,” September 21, 2011,

“Wake up Italian anti-war movement,” NOWAR – Rome, U.S. Citizens for Peace and Justice – Rome, September 22, 2011, http://english.pravda.ru/world/europe/22-09-2011/119115-Wake_Up_Italian_antiwar_movement-0/

U.S. in Palestine
“‘U.S. secretly sold Israel bunker-busters,’” September 23, 2011, http://www.presstv.ir/detail/200798.html

U.S. in Afghanistan
“Five NATO soldiers die in Afghanistan,” September 23, 2011, http://www.presstv.ir/detail/200783.html

PERSIAN GULF (Arabian Gulf)
A shallow marginal sea of the Indian Ocean that
Lies between the Arabian Peninsula and southwestern Iran
Bordered on the north, northeast and east by Iran;
On the southeast and south by part of Oman and by the United Arab Emirates;
On the southwest and west by Qatar, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia; and
On the northwest by Kuwait and Iraq
The term Persian Gulf sometimes refers not only to Persian Gulf proper but
Also to its outlets —
The Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf of Oman, which open into the Arabian Sea

A deepwater basin that forms a natural sea link between the
Red Sea and the Arabian Sea
Named after the seaport of Aden, in southern Yemen,
The gulf lies between the coasts of Arabia and the Horn of Africa

U.S. in Bahrain
“Bahrainis attacked near Pearl Square,” September 23, 2011 [also “New video shows Bahraini police cruelty — A newly surfaced video shows another instance of police brutality in Bahrain as Saudi-backed security forces continue their violent crackdown on anti-regime protests,” September 22, 2011, http://www.presstv.ir/detail/200799.html

U.S. in Yemen
“‘Saleh returns to Yemen from S Arabia,’” September 23, 2011, http://www.presstv.ir/detail/200711.html

U.S. in Iraq
“Iraq VP: U.S. pull-out on schedule,” September 21, 2011, http://www.presstv.ir/detail/200457.html

Lies in the northwestern part of the Indian Ocean covering about 1,491,000 square miles
(3,862,000 square kilometers) and
Forming part of the principal sea route between Europe and India
Bounded to the west by the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula
To the west, the Gulf of Aden connects it with
Red Sea via the Bab el-Mandeb Strait
To the north by Iran and Pakistan
To the north, the Gulf of Oman connects
Arabian Sea with the Persian Gulf via the Strait of Hormuz
To the east by India
To the south by the remainder of the Indian Ocean
The Arabian Sea has a mean depth of 8,970 feet (2,734 meters)

U.S. in Pakistan
“U.S. drone kills three in Pakistan,” September 23, 2011, http://www.presstv.ir/section/3510204.html

“Pakistan says U.S. risks ‘losing an ally,’ — Officials hit back at Admiral Mike Mullen’s comments linking country’s spy agency to the Haqqani group,”  September 23, 2011, http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2011/09/20119239126513803.html

Also: “Police officers killed in Pakistan blast  — Senior officer escapes unhurt as suicide attack targets his home in Karachi, leaving at least eight dead,” September 19, 2011, http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2011/09/20119194194058327.html

U.S. in Somalia
“Cholera kills 36 in southern Somalia,” September 22, 2011, http://www.presstv.ir/detail/200656.html

“U.S. drone kills 11 in south Somalia,” September 23, 2011, http://www.presstv.ir/detail/200735.html


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