Wednesday 21 September 2011

Demo & Counter Demo

Earlier this evening I went up to London support a demonstration Downing Street calling for the United Nations to vote against the bid by the Palestinian authority to be recognised as a sovereign state. It was actually a counter demonstration because a pro-Palestinian demonstration had been organised.

The counter demo was well supported with some 350 people in attendance. As with other Zionist demonstration I've attended, the crowd was good-natured, well behaved and without abusive calls or gestures, even when one or two supporters for the other side made aggressive gestures as they passed.

As with all demos, there was noise. All I could hear from the other camp were angry chants initiated by shrill young females. The anger was countered by the singing of Heveinu shalom aleichem (We bring you peace).

Sadly, we had a nutter over on our side, a highly strung character called Paul who thought he was Christ when he was just a pain in the tuchas. Paul was in full flow when I arrived, shouting New Testament verses about 'vain traditions' and so on. I was alarmed because of what the Jewish people would think, so I took him aside to talk to him. What was Paul not preaching his message of judgement to the other side too? Because he’d been sent to the Jews and to the Gentiles, the others’ time hadn’t come yet. One of the organised assured me that no one was upset by Paul's incoherent ramblings, so I stepped back and left him to continue yelling.

If their supporters are anything to judge by, what the Palestinians primarily want is not so much their own state as the demise of Israel.

There are some hopes that the bid for statehood will fail. A joint statement issued on 26 June 2009 by the United States, the European Union, the Russian Federation and the United Nations makes clear:

Unilateral actions taken by either party cannot prejudge the outcome of negotiations, and will not be recognized by the international community.

Also, any unilateral act by either Israel or the Palestinian Authority is in direct contravention of the Oslo Accords of both 1993 and 1995, which specifically call for a negotiated resolution to the permanent status of Palestinian statehood. The Accords, signed by the PLO on behalf of the PA, explicitly forbid either side from acting in the manner that the Palestinians are now threatening. If the Mahmoud Abbas violates those agreements the whole premise of future negotiations will be undermined and even the legitimacy of the PA itself will be called into question.

A final agreement has to be precisely final and that is why it must be reached by negotiation between the parties. Anything else will be a dangerous mirage for the Palestinians. (Former Spanish PM Jose Maria Aznar, 6 September 2011)

The Palestinian action is also a direct violation of UN Resolutions 242 and 338, the main resolutions pertaining to the 1967 borders, as they both call for negotiated agreements leading to ‘secure and recognized boundaries’. As pointed out in my last but one posting, 1967 and all that, the 1967 lines were never seen as international borders but rather as armistice lines from 1948. A Pal;estinian unilateral declaration of statehood based on the 1967 lines is thus in defiance of these UN Resolutions.

If this motion passes the UN General Assembly, it is widely accepted that future negotiations betweeen Israel and the Palestinians will be significantly more difficult and complicated, as it will be harder for the Palestinians to compromise on their positions. The Palestinians will also have less incentive to achieve a negotiated settlement while continuing to attempt to isolate Israel in the international arena.

A unilateral declaration of statehood by the Palestinians at the United Nations can lead to a stalemate between the sides especially when a peace agreement can be achieved through direct negotiations. (Israel President Shimon Peres, 4 September 2011).

To view a video that shows a peace process that is working, view Israelis and Palestinians Make Peace

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