- Borrowing the opening line from Dickens' "Tale of
- "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...."
- He referred to the French Revolution, promising "Liberte,
egalite and fraternite." Inspired by America's, it began in 1789,
ending 1,000 years of monarchal rule, benefitting the privileged only.
A republic replaced it.
- That was the good news. The bad was the wrong people
took power. The moderate Jacobins lost out to extremists, ushering in a
"reign of terror."
- Change doesn't always work out, but when intolerable
conditions exist, trying for something better is key. It holds for Palestinians
wanting freedom from Israel's repressive occupation. Statehood and full
de jure UN membership is step one toward it, though no guarantee.
- Palestinians have many global supporters, including Turkish
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Israeli crimes he opposes drew him
closer, and he's not shy about saying it and more.
- On September 13, Turkey's Today's Zaman headlined, "Erdogan
calls on Arab nations to unite, raise the Palestinian flag," addressing
a Tuesday Arab League meeting in Cairo.
- He asked Arab countries and Turkey to close ranks so
tightly "even daylight shall not pass between" us.
- Calling for solidarity, he continued:
- "We are living through a turning point in history,
and we are called upon to cooperate more closely than ever. It is time
for us to take responsibility for our common future."
- "Storms of applause" interrupted him several
- He particularly aimed at Israel, saying what few leaders
anywhere state publicly:
- "While the Israeli administration tries to legitimize
itself, it takes steps that shake its legitimacy in the region," referring
to Netanyahu's refusal to apologize for murdering nine Turkish nationals
aboard the Mavi Marmara aid ship in May 2010 as well as Cast Lead.
- "The aggression of the Israeli administration has
reached levels that threaten the future of the Israeli people," as
well as occupied Palestinians, especially in besieged Gaza.
- He called Israeli-Palestinian relations "the heart
of the conflict in the region." Ruling out normalization, he said
that won't change unless Israel apologizes, pays just compensation for
its crime, and ends its Gaza siege.
- He also stressed that Israel reached a point of no return,
calling the status quo "no longer sustainable." He reiterated
his intent to sue for ending Gaza's siege in the International Court of
- He asked Arab states for support, saying "let's
all unfurl the Palestinian flag together, and let that flag be the symbol
of peace and stability in the region."
- Whether he's a sometime or permanent Palestinian friend
matters less than what he'll do now to support them. He calls Israel's
mentality an obstacle to peace, adding that Israelis endure their own blockade
under Netanyahu and extremists around him - without naming names.
- They're in Washington as well as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Two of them headed back a second time to pressure Abbas - Middle East
envoy David Hale and special State Department advisor Dennis Ross (a notorious
- Ma'an News said the Obama administration is scrambling
to head off a Palestinian plan to seek full UN membership within 1967 borders
during next week's New York session.
- Smart money says Abbas already caved despite publicly
- PA presidential office head Muhammad Shtayyeh said:
- "We are going to the UN and to the Security Council
and we will ask for full membership for a Palestinian state on the borders
of 1967. This does not go against any efforts towards serious peace negotiations."
- Offering wiggle room, he added:
- "We are open-minded to any proposal. And we are
ready to engage with any proposal. But this is not a step to really stop
us from going to the (UN). If the whole idea of (an 11th hour US or Israeli)
proposal is to engage peacefully, then you don't really bring it in the
last five minutes of the hour."
- Abbas adviser Nabil Abu Rudeihah said:
- "Americans failed to provide us or the Israelis
with a platform for negotiations. They failed to stop or cease the settlement
- Abbas always was "ready for negotiations on this
clear basis, (including) 1967 borders with (agreed land) swaps, with a
cessation of settlements. For this, we are ready to come back to negotiations."
- "As long as negotiations are not there," the
UN is the "only option we have to protect our people and our interests.
We cannot keep this stalemate any more than this. That is why the UN is
the only place that we can assert our rights."
- He added that occupation must finally end, even though
statehood won't assure it. He wants it "built, and we are ready....We
are willing and ready to live side by side with an Israeli state."
- Israel and Washington, of course, object, with plenty
of financial, political and belligerent muscle for backup.
- As a result, neutral observers say it's unclear what
Abbas will propose. As noted above and in previous articles, smart money
says he'll cave.
- Criticizing his own government, Haaretz writer Gideon
Levy called the bunch "dangerous pyromaniacs without equal."
He scathed Netanyahu whose stubbornness is costing Israel regional allies.
- He called Avigdor Lieberman "our thuggish foreign
minister." He should have compared him to Hillary Clinton, matching
him blow for blow and then some.
- He asked what will Egypt do "now that Turkey has
almost entirely severed relations?....What new depths will this lead us
- He quoted Yiddish poet/songwriter Mordechai Gebirig (1887
- 1942) saying:
- "Our town is burning, brothers, burning. Our whole
town burns! And you stand looking on with folded arms and shake your heads.
You stand looking on with folded arms, while the fire spreads!"
- A Polish national under Nazi occupation, he tried to
mobilize Krakow's resistance before dying on "Bloody Thursday,"
June 4, 1942, in its ghetto. He remains the preeminent Yiddish literature
and song folk artist.
- Israel's fire today is self-inflicted. Why aren't Israelis
protesting against it along with calls for social justice?
- All just causes are inseparable, including for Palestinians
and Israeli Arabs. Yet Israel treats 20% of its population like fifth column
threats, not citizens.
- Where's the righteous indignation? Where's the national
awakening that Palestinians deserve rights like Jews? Where's the throw
the bums out mentality, but not for new ones? When comes understanding
that injustice to anyone affects all?
- Where's the spirit to rise up and act - courageously
for what's right over wrong, especially targeting rogue leaders needing
to be removed?
- It's high time Palestinians got "Liberte, Egalite,
and Fraternite," starting with statehood and full de jure UN membership.
- They need supportive Israelis for it as intensively as
for social justice, damning Netanyahu and Obama for opposing it.
- They need pressure applied to Abbas to deliver in New
York, not collaborate with Israel and Washington as now appears likely
for an unacceptable alternative.
- They need all the friends they can get when the moment
of truth arrives.
- It's days away. Will it be Palestinian spring or winter?
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
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