Palestinian song “Blue Chair” mocks PA’s UN statehood bid

A group of Palestinian youth activists who were sick of the western media protraying the Palestinians as a collective entity regarding the Palestinian Authority’s UN bid have produced a satirical video and song titled “Blue Chair”. In its simple sing-song lyrics, the video highlights sarcastically the fact that supporters of statehood have become obsessed with “magical” chairs rather than basic human rights. The lyrics, translated from Arabic, are below.

In one of the many Palestinian Authority (PA) campaigns to draw up support for UN membership, a mock Palestine UN chair was sent to travel around the world before reaching its final destination, naturally the United Nations building in New York. In the increasingly contested discourse about the PA’s bid for recognition of statehood, the symbolism the chair held won over many people as it carried with it the romanticized connotations of the world finally recognizing a Palestinian state.

Unfortunately, the same supporters fail to realize that this is basically just a PR stunt designed by the PA (who have forgotten the little scandal called the Palestine Papers and have vowed to resume negotiations with Israel) as the US will make good on its promise and veto such a request. Additionally, “statehood” is but a nonsensical diversion, drawing the attention of many to belittle the Palestinian cause — either knowingly or not — to a mere question: “Should Palestine be granted the right to statehood or not?”

A state on the 1967 borders is fruitless in that it cancels out the refugees’ right of return and impossible in that the land in the West Bank is not contiguous by virtue of the hundreds of illegal Israeli settlements and outposts. Furthermore, there are no specific “Arab only” roads or means that connect the West Bank to Gaza, which remains under siege. What is most sickening is the fact that the campaign carries the slogan “Palestine 194” signifying Palestine as the 194th member of the United Nations, while simultaneously abusing the number that holds so much significance for refugees as it is UN resolution 194 passed in 1948 that guarantees the Right of Return.

Compounded by the fact that the PA carries no legitimacy over the majority of the Palestinian people, in the diaspora and from within, the bid for statehood is nonrepresentative and fails to address the occupation directly, the crux of the whole conflict.

Translated lyrics:

The blue chair

This is the story of a magical blue chair… A blue chair that will
travel, soar and fly!
It comes in dark blue…and in white, Palestine, is drawn (2X)

This chair…is not just any chair (2X)
This chair is an extraordinary and magical kind!

This blue chair…can rise high
This blue chair…can achieve
It can a bring us a state
This chair is one magical blue chair!

This is the story of a magical blue chair…a blue chair that will
travel, soar and fly
It comes in dark blue…and in white, Palestine, is drawn
This Chair…is not just any Chair (2X)
This chair is an extraordinary and magical kind!

This blue chair… a chair for our refugees
This blue chair…will give us our “Right of Return”
This chair…will give us back Jerusalem and Palestine

This is the story of a magical blue chair…a blue chair that will
travel, soar and fly
It comes in dark blue…and in white, Palestine, is drawn
This Chair…is not just any Chair (2X)
This chair…is of an extraordinary kind

We’ve got our blue chair…with its own number too
An enemy to the settlements it serves

We are the Palestinians…with our magically dangerous blue chair
We are people…not like any other people
We are people… who have fallen in love with chairs!

(electronicintifada.net / 18.09.2011)

Irish leaders urge government to support Palestinian UN bid

DUBLIN (Ma’an) — Irish politicians, trade unionists, academics and civil society representatives are among 150 signatories to a statement calling on the Irish government to support Palestine’s bid for full UN membership.

The statement was published as a half-page advertisement in The Irish Times on Saturday, signed by Trade Union chief David Begg, Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams, singer Christy Moore, MEP Prionsiais  de Rossa and film director Ken Loach, many Irish parliamentarians and over 100 others.

“The Palestinian leadership wants a negotiated two-state solution. But Israel refuses to negotiate,” the statement notes, urging the Irish government to encourage other European nations to support Palestine’s membership of the UN.

“The Palestinian population, 60 percent of whom are under 25, are demanding their democratic rights not to live under Israeli military occupation,” the statement adds.

The advertisement was organized by Sadaka – the Ireland Palestine Alliance, and paid for by signatories.

Sadaka chair Marie Crawley said it sent “a powerful message of the will of the Irish people to its government.”

“Ireland has a long proud history of support for the people of Palestine.  There is an undeniable connection and warmth between our two peoples and to date that has been reflected in Irish government support for the Palestinian position in international fora.  It would be a travesty if that policy stance was to change.”

She added that it would be “shameful to the people of Ireland” if the government failed to support Palestine in a vote at the UN General Assembly.

“The creation of a Palestinian state is long overdue and it is time the international community spoke with a strong collective voice to Israel and the United States.  Ireland must be one of those voices.”

Ireland upgraded Palestinian representation to a full diplomatic mission headed by a Palestinian ambassador in January.

(www.maannews.net / 18.09.2011)

Netanyahu: Palestinian statehood bid at UN bound to fail

 

Prime Minister says Palestinians bound to ‘come to their senses’ and return to the negotiation table.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a cabinet meeting Sunday that “the Palestinians’ wish to become a permanent UN member… is bound to fail because they have to go through the Security Council.” He said that even though the Palestinians can opt to turn to the general assembly, “it does not have the same significance of the Security Council, and that is not the Palestinians’ stated goal.”

Netanyahu decided last week to address the UN General Assembly next Friday, the day the Palestinians will submit their statehood bid.

According to Netanyahu, the purpose of his visit to the UN is to make sure that the Palestinian “move to circumvent negotiations does not succeed, and… to present our truth, which is that we are not foreigners and we have rights going back 4,000 years.”

Netanyahu added that “we are ready to enter negotiations if the Palestinians want to. At the end of the day I believe that after the smoke clears the Palestinians will come to their senses and sit down for negotiations that will bring peace for us and our neighbors.”

“Peace can only be achieved through direct negotiations with Israel, a statement released by the prime minister’s office said on Friday, accusing the Palestinian Authority of consistently avoiding talks with Israel.

It concluded saying “when the Palestinian Authority will abandon its futile measures, firstly its unilateral decision to approach the UN, it will find Israel as a partner for negotiations and peace.”

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Friday that the Palestinians plan to approach the United Nations Security Council for full recognition, clarifying that they are seeking to delegitimize the occupation, not Israel, by taking the UN route for Palestinian statehood.

He stressed that Israel is a legitimate state, but that by continuing to build in the settlements and rejecting the internationally recognized borders of a future Palestinian state, they are engaging in illegitimate activity.

Netanyahu–”US veto will halt Palestinian state bid”
Netanyahu tells weekly cabinet meeting he’s not worried about General Assembly: “It is possible to pass any resolution there.”

jpost.com

Palestinians efforts to be accepted as a full member of the United Nations will fail because such a move must go through the Security Council, Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu said at the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, adding that he is convinced the United States will veto such a move.

Referring the possibility that the Palestinians may seek a resolution in the UN General Assembly, Netanyahu played down the significance of such a vote but admitted that any resolution could be passed in that body.

“It is possible to decide there that the sun rises in the West and sets in the East, and this would pass there,” he said, “But it has neither the same weight nor the same importance.”

The prime minister was scheduled to leave later this week for the United States in order to meet with US President Barack Obama and address the General Assembly.

He said that his trip to the United Nations has two goals: to “present our truth … our desire for peace,” and to ensure that the Palestinian statehood bid does not serve to bypass peace negotiations or succeed in the Security Council.

Discussing his UN speech, the prime minister noted that “the UN is not a place where Israel wins praise, but I think that it is important that I go there in order to represent both the State of Israel and the truth – and the truth is that Israel wants peace and the truth is that the Palestinians are doing everything to torpedo direct peace negotiations.”

In addition to Netanyahu’s trip, a flurry of intense diplomatic activity to prevent the Palestinians’ unilateral statehood bid at the United Nations this week is expected to take place in the next few days.

Envoys from the Middle East Quartet will meet on Sunday in New York as part of this last-ditch effort.

( theuglytruth.wordpress.com / 18.09.2011)

Revealed: how Israel offered to sell South Africa nuclear weapons

Exclusive: Secret apartheid-era papers give first official evidence of Israeli nuclear weapons

  •             Chris McGreal in Washington
  •      
The secret military agreement signed by Shimon Peres and P W Botha

The secret military agreement signed by Shimon Peres, now president of Israel, and P W Botha of South Africa. Photograph: Guardian

Secret South African documents reveal that Israel offered to sell nuclear warheads to the apartheid regime, providing the first official documentary evidence of the state’s possession of nuclear weapons.

The “top secret” minutes of meetings between senior officials from the two countries in 1975 show that South Africa‘s defence minister, PW Botha, asked for the warheads and Shimon Peres, then Israel’s defence minister and now its president, responded by offering them “in three sizes”. The two men also signed a broad-ranging agreement governing military ties between the two countries that included a clause declaring that “the very existence of this agreement” was to remain secret.

The documents, uncovered by an American academic, Sasha Polakow-Suransky, in research for a book on the close relationship between the two countries, provide evidence that Israel has nuclear weapons despite its policy of “ambiguity” in neither confirming nor denying their existence.

The Israeli authorities tried to stop South Africa‘s post-apartheid government declassifying the documents at Polakow-Suransky’s request and the revelations will be an embarrassment, particularly as this week’s nuclear non-proliferation talks in New York focus on the Middle East.

They will also undermine Israel’s attempts to suggest that, if it has nuclear weapons, it is a “responsible” power that would not misuse them, whereas countries such as Iran cannot be trusted.

A spokeswoman for Peres today said the report was baseless and there were “never any negotiations” between the two countries. She did not comment on the authenticity of the documents.

South African documents show that the apartheid-era military wanted the missiles as a deterrent and for potential strikes against neighbouring states.

The documents show both sides met on 31 March 1975. Polakow-Suransky writes in his book published in the US this week, The Unspoken Alliance: Israel’s secret alliance with apartheid South Africa. At the talks Israeli officials “formally offered to sell South Africa some of the nuclear-capable Jericho missiles in its arsenal”.

Among those attending the meeting was the South African military chief of staff, Lieutenant General RF Armstrong. He immediately drew up a memo in which he laid out the benefits of South Africa obtaining the Jericho missiles but only if they were fitted with nuclear weapons.

The memo, marked “top secret” and dated the same day as the meeting with the Israelis, has previously been revealed but its context was not fully understood because it was not known to be directly linked to the Israeli offer on the same day and that it was the basis for a direct request to Israel. In it, Armstrong writes: “In considering the merits of a weapon system such as the one being offered, certain assumptions have been made: a) That the missiles will be armed with nuclear warheads manufactured in RSA (Republic of South Africa) or acquired elsewhere.”

But South Africa was years from being able to build atomic weapons. A little more than two months later, on 4 June, Peres and Botha met in Zurich. By then the Jericho project had the codename Chalet.

The top secret minutes of the meeting record that: “Minister Botha expressed interest in a limited number of units of Chalet subject to the correct payload being available.” The document then records: “Minister Peres said the correct payload was available in three sizes. Minister Botha expressed his appreciation and said that he would ask for advice.” The “three sizes” are believed to refer to the conventional, chemical and nuclear weapons.

The use of a euphemism, the “correct payload”, reflects Israeli sensitivity over the nuclear issue and would not have been used had it been referring to conventional weapons. It can also only have meant nuclear warheads as Armstrong’s memorandum makes clear South Africa was interested in the Jericho missiles solely as a means of delivering nuclear weapons.

In addition, the only payload the South Africans would have needed to obtain from Israel was nuclear. The South Africans were capable of putting together other warheads.

Botha did not go ahead with the deal in part because of the cost. In addition, any deal would have to have had final approval by Israel’s prime minister and it is uncertain it would have been forthcoming.

South Africa eventually built its own nuclear bombs, albeit possibly with Israeli assistance. But the collaboration on military technology only grew over the following years. South Africa also provided much of the yellowcake uranium that Israel required to develop its weapons.

The documents confirm accounts by a former South African naval commander, Dieter Gerhardt – jailed in 1983 for spying for the Soviet Union. After his release with the collapse of apartheid, Gerhardt said there was an agreement between Israel and South Africa called Chalet which involved an offer by the Jewish state to arm eight Jericho missiles with “special warheads”. Gerhardt said these were atomic bombs. But until now there has been no documentary evidence of the offer.

Some weeks before Peres made his offer of nuclear warheads to Botha, the two defence ministers signed a covert agreement governing the military alliance known as Secment. It was so secret that it included a denial of its own existence: “It is hereby expressly agreed that the very existence of this agreement… shall be secret and shall not be disclosed by either party”.

The agreement also said that neither party could unilaterally renounce it.

The existence of Israel’s nuclear weapons programme was revealed by Mordechai Vanunu to the Sunday Times in 1986. He provided photographs taken inside the Dimona nuclear site and gave detailed descriptions of the processes involved  in producing part of the nuclear material but provided no written documentation.

Documents seized by Iranian students from the US embassy in Tehran after the 1979 revolution revealed the Shah expressed an interest to Israel in developing nuclear arms. But the South African documents offer confirmation Israel was in a position to arm Jericho missiles with nuclear warheads.

Israel pressured the present South African government not to declassify documents obtained by Polakow-Suransky. “The Israeli defence ministry tried to block my access to the Secment agreement on the grounds it was sensitive material, especially the signature and the date,” he said. “The South Africans didn’t seem to care; they blacked out a few lines and handed it over to me. The ANC government is not so worried about protecting the dirty laundry of the apartheid regime’s old allies.”

( www.guardian.co.uk /18.09.2011)

‘Hopeful Pakistan Conference’ (امید پاکستان کانفرینس)

Tijd
zondag 25 september · 6:30 – 9:00

Locatie
Kemari, Karachi, Pakistan


Gemaakt door:

Meer informatie
Event is orgnaized to bring hope in youth and to tell them about how will ‘All Pakistan Youth conference’ Will help there dreams of Empowered And Progressive Pakistan to be reality.
The guests of This event will be ‘Nazim e Al’a of Islami Jamiat Talba Syed Abur Rasheed’, ‘Bilal Ramadan’ Nazim e Zone South and Abdul Qadir Patel, Member of National Assembly (PPP)

Palestinian medics return from Libya

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinian medics arrived in Amman on Sunday on their way home from a humanitarian mission in Libya, Palestinian Authority Health Minister Fathi Abu Moghli said.

Moghli told Ma’an that the doctors spent 10 days assisting in hospitals and outdoor clinics in Libya treating people “regardless of their nationalities.”

The medics will return to the West Bank via the Allenby crossing.

“The Palestinian ministry of health will keep in touch with the Libyans and will be ready for any future aid if needed,” the minister added.

The delegation was mandated by President Mahmoud Abbas to offer aid to the Libyan people, where victorious rebels are preparing to unveil a new government as they battle regime loyalists in fugitive Moammar Gadhafi’s last strongholds.

(www.maannews.net / 18.09.2011)

Arab schools protest Israeli curriculum changes

JERUSALEM (Reuters) — A recent decision by Israeli authorities to implement an Israeli-approved curriculum in private Arab schools in East Jerusalem and remove Palestinian textbooks has incited fury among parents and community members.

The response has culminated in strikes and campaigns fighting the decision and many private schools have threatened to close amid refusal to adopt the new measures.

Earlier this year, the Jerusalem municipality sent a letter to the heads of private schools — schools that are allocated funds from Israeli authorities — in which they instructed the schools to only use textbooks prepared by the Jerusalem Educational Administration, a joint body of the municipality and the Israeli Ministry of Education.

Despite opposition to the plan by the Palestinian Authority, Waqf and private schools’ opposition to the plan, many of the books have already been used in the municipality’s schools.

The logo of the Palestinian Education Ministry has been removed from all new textbooks and parents complained the content of some books has been distorted.

“We received today a book that was assigned to private schools — a book for the fourth grade titled: “We Think, We Express”. All the writers featured in this book are Israeli. This shows private schools are now receiving Israeli curriculum, not just distorted versions of the Palestinian curriculum,” Abdel Karim Lafi, Head of the Parents’ Committee Union told reporters in a news conference in Jerusalem last week.

“This is the first step towards erasing everything that is Palestinian in this city,” Lafi added.

Palestinian students and members of the school system in Jerusalem held three days of protests between Tuesday [September 13] and Thursday [September 15] and have threatened to extend their strike until the new measures are reversed.

“They want to show us that we are the ones occupying them, not them occupying us. They want to show they are the ones worth our pity, not us — like we are not the ones being occupied. This is where they want to take us, but we refuse this,” Palestinian student Ahmed Adawia said.

The move to change the East Jerusalem curriculum came after Israeli parliament member Alex Miller from Yisrael Beiteinu party said in a meeting ‘unauthorized’ curricula was being studied in Palestinian East Jerusalem schools. He said “the whole curriculum should and must be Israeli.”

Miller heads the Knesset’s committee on education.

After Israel annexed East Jerusalem following the 1967 conflict — a move that was not recognized internationally — Palestinians in the city followed the Jordanian educational system.

When Palestinians and Israelis signed the Oslo agreement schools in East Jerusalem began using a curriculum set by the Palestinian Authority.

Based on 2010-2011 statistics by the East Jerusalem Education Directorate, the Israeli Jerusalem municipality runs 50 schools in East Jerusalem, which are attended by 48 percent of Palestinian students in the city.

Additionally, 52 percent of students attended 68 private, Waqf and Palestinian Authority schools in the holy city.

(www.maannews.net / 18.09.2011)

Palestine State 194

The decision of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, to seek membership of the State of Palestine in the United Nations constitutes the beginning of an important phase in the contemporary national struggle to end the occupation and achieve Palestine’s independence. As such, the energies, supportive efforts, and contribution of the Palestinian people to this effort are vital to its success as is the support of peoples worldwide.

Like other peoples, Palestinians aspire to a future of freedom, dignity, and prosperity. This goal, which Palestinians have long struggled to realize, is also deeply rooted in the
universal values of human rights. The right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and establishing its state is a natural, historical, and legal right. It is also a right guaranteed by all international laws and covenants, including the United Nations Charter and resolutions, at the forefront of which is UN General Assembly resolution 181 (II). Additionally, this step is in line with the rules of international law, the principles of the peace process, and related international resolutions.

As such, Palestine’s membership at the United Nations is an important step towards
freedom. An internationally recognized State of Palestine brings Palestinians closer to our goal: ending the occupation, exercising the Palestinians’ inalienable rights, including its right to self-determination and establishing its democratic state on the 1967 borders, with east Jerusalem as its capital, and the return of refugees on the basis of UN resolution 194.

With that in mind, we took the initiative to launch a national campaign to support the
Palestinian campaign to join the United Nations. We chose the banner “Palestine: State no. 194”, given that there are now 193 member states at the United Nations. This campaign was born out of a series of popular meetings of a wide array of sectors in Palestinian society, including unions, political groups, and independent figures. These consultations concluded with the establishment of a coordination office for the campaign, in charge of following up, coordinating, and organizing activities and events across the Palestinian homeland and in cooperation with the various supportive initiatives and actions in Arab and international capitals.

The National Campaign “Palestine: State no. 194” is a national and peaceful campaign that aims to achieve the widest possible popular participation of the Palestinian people, wherever they may be around the world, as well as friends of Palestine worldwide. We aim to organize activities and events starting at the beginning of September, peaking at the beginning of the United Nation’s 66th General Assembly Session on 21 September, and lasting until the achievement of our goal in the State of Palestine joining the United
Nations, to become member state 194.

(mideastnews-danmike.blogspot.com / 18.09.2011)

Haniyeh: Hamas will not back UN bid, support statehood

GAZA CITY (AFP) — Hamas on Sunday said it would not back a UN membership bid, and warned that no Palestinian leader had a mandate to sacrifice fundamental Palestinian rights.

Hamas prime minister Ismail Haniyeh, speaking in Gaza, said the group also continued to support the establishment of a Palestinian state on any part of “historical Palestine” but would not seek to disrupt the UN bid.

His comments came as Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas heads to New York to submit a formal bid for UN membership for a Palestinian state on the lines that existed before the 1967 Six Day War.

Speaking to a meeting of the Palestinian legislative council, Haniyeh warned that Palestinian rights must be protected.

“There is no mandate for any Palestinian leadership to infringe on Palestinian national rights, nor is there a mandate for any Palestinian actor to make historic concessions on Palestinian land or the right of the Palestinians, foremost among them the right of return,” he warned.

“Given this position, we reiterate our rejection of this bid,” he added.

But the leader of the Islamist group that rules the Gaza Strip stressed that Hamas would “not place obstacles in the way of the establishment of a Palestinian state with full sovereignty.”

“We repeat today that we are with the establishment of a Palestinian state on any liberated part of Palestinian land that is agreed upon by the Palestinian people, without recognizing Israel or conceding any inch of historical Palestine.”

Hamas has made clear it will not throw its support behind Abbas’s move, but has toed a cautious line, choosing not to condemn the plan directly.

Speaking during the meeting, senior Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya said the legislative council should approach the UN for recognition of a Palestinian state on all of “historical Palestine,” including areas now in Israel.

He called on the council to “apply for recognition of a Palestinian state on all the Palestinian territory and confirmation of the right of Palestinians to live within the borders of this state.”

“We appeal to the UN to invalidate the entity that took the decision to establish itself on the land of another,” Hayya said, in reference to Israel.

Hayya called on the international community to “apply pressure to ensure the implementation of international resolutions, particularly those that uphold the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.”

Abbas is expected to present later this week a formal request for UN membership of a Palestinian state on the pre-Six Day War lines, encompassing both Gaza and the West Bank, including annexed Arab east Jerusalem.

The bid is fiercely opposed by Israel and the United States and has divided much of the international community, with Europe and Washington organizing last-minute diplomacy in an attempt to head off a Security Council vote on the measure.

(www.maannews.net / 18.09.2011)

Veel doden tijdens protestmars Jemen

Zeker 20 betogers zijn vandaag in de Jemenitische hoofdstad Sanaa doodgeschoten tijdens een grote demonstratie tegen president Ali Abdullah Saleh. Dat meldden getuigen.

De betoging was een van de grootste van de afgelopen maanden. Veiligheidstroepen gebruikten traangas en openden het vuur toen betogers een kordon van de politie probeerden te doorbreken.
Staatsmedia beweerden later dat gewapende aanhangers van de oppositie op de demonstranten hadden geschoten.

In Jemen wordt inmiddels 8 maanden gedemonstreerd tegen Saleh. De president is al 33 jaar aan de macht en frustreert alle pogingen om tot een machtsoverdracht te komen, ondanks herhaalde toezeggingen mee te zullen werken.

Saleh herstelt in het naburige Saudi-Arabië van verwondingen. Hij liep die in juni op tijdens een aanval op zijn paleis.

(www.parool.nl / 18.09.2011)