Palestine’s Mahmoud Abbas To UN: “Hour Of Independence Of The State Of Palestine Has Arrived.”

Posted on September 27, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

aaa-41Millions of men, women, and children around the Earth agree with head of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas when he told the United Nations (UN) General Assembly – and the world community – that it is time for Palestine to become an independent, sovereign nation.

Here is a partial transcript of Mahmoud Abbas’ historic address plus a video with the address in its entirety.

“… this war came after long, difficult negotiations for more than eight months under the auspices of the United States, the efforts of President Barack Obama, and the tenacious efforts of his Secretary of State John Kerry. We engaged in this endeavor which opened minds in good faith and a positive spirit. We engaged with the efforts of the American administration and put forth our firm positions based on resolutions of international legitimacy. We genuinely respected all of our commitments and our standards. As we watched ongoing and escalating Israeli violations we exercised unimaginable self-restraint, silencing our cries and tending to our wounds in order to give American efforts the best possible chance for success”.

“However, as usual, the Israeli government did not miss the opportunity without undermining chances for peace. throughout the months of the negotiations, settlement construction, land confiscations, home demolitions, killing and arrest campaigns, forced displacement on a large scale on the West Bank continued unabated, and the unjust blockade on the Gaza Strip was tightened. The occupation’s campaign specifically targeted the City of Jerusalem and its inhabitants, attempting to artificially alter the spirit, identity, and character of the Holy City… threatening grave consequences”.

“At the same time, racist and armed gangs of settlers persisted in their crimes against the Palestinian people, the land, mosques, property, and olive trees. As usual, the Israeli government once again failed the test of peace. It breeched an agreement with the American administration regarding the release of a number of Palestinian prisoners in the occupation’s jails, and we continue to insist on releasing all of them. When confronted with simple questions in direct negotiations or through the American mediator, it did not, the Israeli government did not, hesitate to reveal its true position”.

“Israel refuses to end its occupation of the State of Palestine, which it occupied in 1967, rather it seeks its continuation and entrenchment. It rejects the Palestinian state. It refuses to find a just solution to the plight of the Palestinian refugees. This is the official position of the government of Israel. The future proposed by the Israeli government for the Palestine people is, at best, isolated ghettos for Palestinians on fragmented lands without borders, and without sovereignty over its airspace, water, and natural resources, which will be under the subjugation and control of the racist settlers and the army of occupation”.

“And, at worst, will be an abhorrent form of apartheid. Some of them say we are for two states. Where is the State of Palestine? These are the characteristics they intend for the State of Palestine. Israel has confirmed in the course of negotiations that it rejects making peace with its victims – the Palestinian people. This has all been done concurrently with an attempt to give a religious nature to the conflict, and with the rising and rampant racism in the Israeli political and media discourse, its entrenchment in the school curriculum, and in a series of laws and practices of the occupation and its settlers. This culture of racism incitement and hatred was glaringly manifested in the despicable, appalling crime committed months ago by fascist settlers who abducted the young Jerusalem boy, burnt him alive, and then killed him”.

“This reminds them of something else in history. Over the past years, the occupying power has also pursued a policy aimed at deliberately debilitating the Palestinian National Authority, to undermining it, and in essence to fully negate its role. Occupation targeted the work we have been relentlessly undertaking to establish the foundations of the State of Palestine; that we want a sovereign and independent state, living in peace and building bridges of mutual cooperation with its neighbors that respect commitments, obligations, and agreements, strengthens the values of citizenship, equality, non-discrimination, human rights, the rule of law, and pluralism”.

“…deepens the Palestinian enlightened tradition of tolerance, co-existence, and non-exclusion. Strengthens the culture of peace, promotes the role of women, establishes effective administration committed to the standards of good governance. The occupation wants to impose its own model, because it is the antithesis of its settlement policies; because it wants to destroy the chance for the realization of the Palestinian existence in an independent state, within the framework of the two-state solution. When our efforts to end the internal division through national dialogue succeeded a few months ago, and we prepared to restore the unity of our land, nation, and institutions, we formed a national consensus government and began the process to lead to the holding of residential and legislative elections”.

“All states of the world welcomed that achievement with the exception of Israel, which has constantly sought to fragment our land and our national unity”.

“Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen,     Now, where do we go from here? The idea that it is possible to simply return to the work which repeatedly fails is naïve at best, and in any case erroneous, as it knows the fact that it is no longer acceptable nor possible to repeat methods that have proven futile, or continue approaches that have repeatedly failed and require comprehensive review and radical correction. It is impossible – I repeat, it is impossible – to return to the, where and when the cycle of negotiations that failed to deal with the substance of the matter and the fundamental questions. There is neither credibility nor seriousness in negotiations in which Israel pre-determines the results”.

“There is no meaning or value in negotiations  for which the agreed objective is not ending the Israeli occupation and achieving the independence of the State of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital on the entire Palestinian territory occupied in 1967 war. There is no value in negotiations which are not linked to affirm the timetable for the implementation of this goal. It’s high time for this settlement and occupation to end now”.

“… The people of Palestine are actually the ones who need immediate international protection; we are seeking this through international organizations. We are in need of security and peace more than any other people. The children of Palestine are worthy of the world’s efforts to ensure that their childhood dreams and lives will not be devastated again. It is time for the chapter of this prolonged, ongoing tragedy to be closed. Those who were uprooted from their homes, good land, and beautiful country during nakhba 66 years ago, pushed in the misery and life lived as a refugee, now being forced into new ways of expulsion onto the ships of death in the world seas, are in need of assurances that they will not be displaced from their homes once again”.

“That their homes will not be destroyed again, and that they will not spend their lives awaiting the explosion of a new war. It is time for this long tragedy to come to an end”.

“We will not accept or forever be the ones being demanded to prove their good intentions, by making concessions at the expense of their rights, and to remain silent as they are killed and their land is devoured. … We are trying to exercise our primordial life to dream about more beautiful days, to expect a stable and ordinary tomorrow, and for our youth to be able to plan their coming days and years safely in peace and freedom over our land like all other peoples of the world. The time has come for real, just peace to prevail in the land of peace”.

“As I mentioned more than once, we are the only people remaining under occupation in the world”.

“Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen,    We, along with all the Arab countries, have constantly cautioned about the disastrous consequences of the continuation of the Israeli occupation and the denial of freedom and independence for the people of Palestine. We have repeatedly drawn attention to the fact that allowing Israel to act as a state above the law with impunity and without any accountability or punishment for its policies, aggression, and defiance of the international will and legitimacy, has absolutely provided fertile ground and an environment conducive for the growth of extremism, hatred, and terrorism in our region; confronting the terrorism that plagues our region by groups such as ISIL and others, that have no basis whatsoever in the tolerant Islamic religion, or with humanity”.

” They are committing brutal and heinous atrocities. This requires more than military confrontation; this is an urgent matter. It requires more than condemnations and declarations of positions, which of course are necessary. This requires a comprehensive and credible strategy to dry up the sources of terrorism and eradicate its roots in all political, intellectual, economic, and social spheres in our region. It requires the creation of solid foundations for a reasonable, practical consensus that makes the fight against all forms of terrorism, in any place everyone, a collective task that is undertaken by the alliance of nations, peoples, and civilizations”.

“It requires in this context, and as a priority, bringing an end to the Israeli occupation of our country, which constitutes in its practice and perpetuation an abhorrent form of state terrorism, and breeding ground for incitement of tension and hatred”.

“Mr. President,    At a time when we are still suffering for the horrors of war, we face a formidable challenge to reconstruct what has been destroyed by occupation. This is the 3rd time to reconstruct the destruction waged upon us by occupation. At the invitation of the Arab Republic of Egypt and the kingdom of Norway, which we deeply appreciate, the city of Cairo will host next month an international conference for the relief and reconstruction of the Gaza Strip. Our government will present comprehensive reports to the conference on the loss inflicted by the aggression on the different sectors of society, and it will provide details of the plans and programs that will rapidly be implemented and supervised in the Gaza Strip to meet immediate relief and the requirements for reconstruction in full coordination with United Nations agencies and bodies”.

“Everything will take place under the supervision of the UN. More than two days ago, the Palestinian faction emphasized its support for Gaza to facilitate reconstruction. While we reiterate our appreciation on to, and gratitude to all states and organizations that rushed to provide assistance to the people of Palestine in the course and after the war, we are confident that brotherly and friendly countries will not waver in supporting support and plans and programs. … We are also confident that the conference will achieve practical results that fulfill expectations and needs of the victims of this aggression”.

“We reaffirm here that the primary prerequisite for the success of all those plans and efforts is an end to the ongoing Israeli despicable blockade that has for years suffocated the Gaza Strip and turned it into the largest prison in the world for nearly two million Palestinian citizens. At the same time we affirm our commitment and need to consolidate the ceasefire through negotiations under the auspices of Egypt. However, in order to avert repeating the cycle of war and the whirlwind of reconstruction every two or three years, it is imperative to focus on the fundamental issue, the starting point, that is the suffering of Gaza will not be completely terminated except by ending the occupation and the achievement of the independence of the States of Palestine”.

“Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen,   During the past two weeks, Palestine and the Arab group undertook intensive contacts with the various regional groups and the United Nations to prepare for the introduction of a draft resolution to be adopted by the Security Council on the Israel-Palestine conflict, and to push forward the efforts to achieve peace. We still believe in peace through international legitimacy. This endeavor reaffirms our commitment to achieve a just peace through a negotiated solution, and our adoption of a diplomatic and political effort through United nations bodies. This endeavor was inspired by and based fully on the spirit and provisions of the many resolutions you have approved in the General Assembly and those adopted by the Security Council, which have set the foundations for a lasting solution and just peace”.

“There is nothing new. All those are adopted resolutions. This endeavor aspires to correct the deficiency of previous efforts to achieve peace by affirming the goal of ending the Israeli occupation and achieving the two-state solution. The State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital over the entire territory occupied in 1967, alongside the State of Israel and reaching a just and agreed solution to the plight of the Palestine refugees on the basis of Resolution 194, with a specific timeframe for the implementation of these objectives, as stipulated in the Arab Peace Initiative”.

“There must be a timeframe for the implementation of these objectives. This will be linked to the immediate resumption of negotiations between Palestine and Israel to demarcate the borders, reach a detailed and comprehensive agreement, draft a peace treaty between them; detailed and comprehensive agreement on all issues of the final status and a comprehensive peace treaty between us and them. We are confident that this endeavor receives all-out support by those who are committed to ensuring that our country will not witness new wars and atrocities. By those who wish to support a campaign to combat terrorism; those who believe that it is necessary to act expeditiously to rectify the historical injustice inflicted by the nakhba on the people of Palestine, and those who wish to see peace prevail in the land of monolithic religions”.

“The adoption of this resolution will affirm what you strove to realize in this year as the “International Year of Solidarity With the People of Palestine”, who will continue their struggle and steadfastness and will rise brave and strong from the rubble of destruction. We are infected with an incurable disease – that is hope. We are infected with an incurable disease that is hope. We love life if we are given the chance for it”.

“Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen,    There is an occupation that must end now. There is a people that must be freed immediately. The hour of independence of the State of Palestine has arrived. Thank you very much”.  

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(RT – Headphones suggested)

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Justice For Children Of Gaza, Children Of Earth.

Posted on August 11, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

aaa-7While driving on the highway yesterday, a young deer/fawn dashed from the left shoulder in trying to cross. It ran in front of the Toyota pickup ahead and was unfortunately struck head-on. The man driving the Toyota pulled over on the shoulder to inspect for any damage to the front of his late-model truck – probably minor to none because the deer was so young and small; perhaps 40-50 pounds.

For whatever reasons, thoughts turned to the more than 400 Palestinian children who were killed in the last month during Israel’s bombing campaign, as the car continued down the highway. The man driving the Toyota pickup must have felt more than concern for damage to his vehicle and the insurance hassle; like any human being would, he probably felt bad that the young deer was most likely going to die. One can imagine thoughts going through his mind such as “if only the fawn had crossed a minute earlier” or “if I’d only looked up a few seconds before…”

The man driving the Toyota truck had no intention of killing that deer fawn. It was an unfortunate accident which is not uncommon in the northern part of Michigan where deer are present everywhere.

But the hundreds of young boys and girls who died in Gaza were murdered intentionally – and that makes all the difference in the world. There is no escaping the fact that intentionally killing hundreds of human beings is mass murder. The predicament humanity is in now necessitates determination of what measures to take legally against the mass murderers. For any who feel mass murder is a harsh term, the crime of mass murder was carried out – this is the reality. The plain truth is Benjamin Netanyahu and others in Israel’s government made the intentional decisions and are guilty of mass murder; on the international law level: genocide.

It is impossible for any man or woman with eyes to see – despite any media efforts to spin, propagandize, excuse, or obfuscate the facts – to truthfully say that Israeli officials aren’t guilty of war crimes. Period. End of story.

If the leaders of this world had any real sense of law and order, Benjamin Netanyahu and his co-criminal associates would already have been placed under arrest and locked away behind prison bars. Law enforcement agencies small and large around the Earth share the common experience of dealing with crimes that vary on the scale from easily solved to difficult. What Israel’s political leaders did to the men, women, and children of Gaza – the war crimes Israel’s leaders carried out – are those that law enforcement officers call an “open and shut case.”

Failure to hold war criminals accountable for their actions allows the next group of war criminals to become emboldened through their sense of absence of law and order deterrence. There is no difference between allowing a known individual mass killer to escape justice and freely walk the Earth and allowing the same for those who carry out mass murder on the largest scale. One doesn’t need to hire a legal expert to know and understand such a fundamental premise of the world’s almost universally practiced legal theory/framework.

There is no debate that in a world operating under the rules of law and order, Israel’s accountable political leaders must stand before a war crimes tribunal, all evidence presented and witnesses called to testify, legal arguments made, then punishment assigned and enforced in proportion to the crimes proven committed. To those who, from a legal standpoint, see this major offense against the nearly 2,000 Palestinians killed, against some 10,000 injured, along with the crime of an estimated $6 billion of property destruction, in any other way, please answer the following question: “Are you for real?”

War criminals are now evading and eluding international law enforcement, with the very real potential/threat to commit even more grave crimes. The world’s people must agree on and acknowledge the common morality, powerfully rise to meet this historic ethical challenge – then do the right thing.

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Media reporting on Gaza

Both Canadians, Middle East Professor Ariel Salzmann and law student/activist Azeezah Kanji engage in a very timely, important discussion about recent Israel-Palestine media coverage in their country.

(Thank you to TheRealNews at YouTube)

The Israel-Palestine Catastrophe: Humanity’s Great Challenge.

Posted on August 4, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

aaa-33While governments around the Earth call for a ceasefire, then end, to the inhumane violence in Gaza, the number of killed and injured Palestinians and Israelis climbs. Mainstream media corporations continue to “spin” the narratives about world events including Gaza, while independent and alternative news groups continue calling them out and portraying the real facts and circumstances on the ground. One can only wish and pray the time soon arrives when telling the truth becomes acknowledged and practiced widely, where both corporate news journalists and those in the independent press are on the same truthful page most of the time – only failing to share the truth because of rare unintentional errors.

If one gives those who turn reality upside down by saying Israel has the right to “defend itself” the benefit of the doubt, it is still impossible to ignore how truly lopsided is the “score” of deaths and injuries between the “sides”. Palestinian deaths have surpassed 1,800, and the videos of destroyed buildings show the world that Israel is “winning” the war – whatever winning means here. There doesn’t seem available any videos of Israeli buildings destroyed, or scenes from frantic Israeli hospital emergency rooms.

Democracy Now and Amy Goodman recently interviewed an expert about the Iron Dome that Israel claims to have shot down most of the “thousands” of rockets Gazans have fired toward Israel. The gentleman said on air that the Iron Dome could be the worst security investment any nation could make, because the system in his view could conceivably successfully stop Hamas rockets 5-8% of the time. If his assessment of the Iron Dome is correct, then thousands of Hamas rockets got through the Iron Dome, yet the reports on television aren’t showing the destructive results of those rockets to Israeli people, homes, or buildings.

Certain elected politicians in the United States have called Israel’s bombing of United Nations facilities where thousands of Gazans have fled for protection as “unacceptable” – then voted for hundreds of millions of dollars worth of military weapons for Israel. Israel blamed Hamas for the kidnap and murder of three Israeli teenagers, the genesis of the four-week bombing campaign, then recently admitted that Hamas wasn’t responsible. Then the reason for continued bombing became the “terror tunnels”, which could have been destroyed in less intense ways long ago, and not requiring the massive bombing campaign. The agreed upon 72-hour ceasefire was over in 2 hours because Israel blamed Palestinians for kidnapping an Israeli soldier, then it became reported that the soldier died in action.

Israel has blamed Hamas for the deaths of Palestinian civilians because Hamas, according to Israel, uses civilians as “human shields”, then reports come from journalists in Gaza that they’ve “never seen evidence that Hamas is using civilians as human shields.” Israel-leaning media have been consistent in their reporting of Hamas’ firing rockets at Israel, but never take a guess about why. According to British MP George Galloway, Palestinians are firing rockets because their country, Gaza, is being “wiped off the map by Israel.”

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, after the latest Israeli bombing of a UN school (Palestinian refuge from the bombs), said, “…nothing more shameful than killing children in their sleep.”  A recent United Nations vote condemning Israel’s actions passed 27-1 – with the United States the lone dissenting vote – resulted in Republican Senator Graham from South Carolina saying on the Senate floor that the UN Human Rights Council was: “out of touch with reality.”

Other US Senators accused Hamas of “forcing men, women, and children to remain in homes which received Israeli warnings to leave, so that Hamas could use pictures and statistics of dead Palestinians.” So Hamas, not Israel, is responsible for Palestinian civilian deaths according to certain US Senators, but after Senator Ayotte of New Hampshire said, “Hamas does this to get what they want”, she failed to articulate exactly what Hamas and all Palestinians in Gaza simply want: no longer living in the world’s largest open-air, apartheid prison.

Listening to people defending Israel’s brutal four week bombing of Gaza, one hears an upside down, irrational logic which makes the victims look like the bad guys. The Congress of the United States must hear from the American people demanding hearings to consider whether to continue sending over $3 billion annually to Israel – one of the wealthiest populations on Earth – and bring the most well-informed witnesses from the Palestinian and Israeli perspectives to fully and truthfully discuss both Israel-Palestine history and the current tragic situation.

The United States is the single nation which has the power to end the violence, because the Israeli people will not – 95% of Israelis support the brutal military operation against Gaza. Until the American people make their voices heard in the halls of Congress leading to full-scale hearings, the people of the world are increasingly placing pressure on Israel. The combined actions of demonstrations around the Earth, a creative, effective, and growing “Boycott, Divest, Sanction” movement based on the model which brought down apartheid in South Africa, and leaders from more countries calling for steps to stop military violence has only begun to gain the momentum for eventually taking down Israeli apartheid.

Israel, as well as America, understands the stakes involved in continuing the policies which the world’s people are perceiving in larger and larger numbers as plainly and obviously wrong. Israelis and Americans risk becoming viewed as “on the wrong side of history” now, because apartheid in Israel is most certainly going the way of apartheid in South Africa. The sooner citizens and leaders of both nations, as well as western states’ politicians siding with Israel, understand that inevitability, the sooner the violence will stop.

The moral way forward for these people and nations is simple enough for a child to understand: admit the Palestinian people have been clearly, sadly, tragically, enormously wronged.

Then right that wrong. 

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(Thank you to Press TV News Videos at YouTube)

Middle East Peace Conference Will Bring Historic Achievements.

Posted on July 29, 2014

by Jerry Alatalo

“There are no warlike people – just warlike leaders.”

– RALPH J. BUNCHE (1904-1971) American diplomat

aaa-40What would happen if a Middle East Peace Conference were held? The results could be such that circumstances and events continue as they have, circumstances and events worsen while violence increases, violence decreases to the extent that coöperation and understanding became generated, near total peace comes to the Middle East after agreed upon steps become written into a regional treaty and signed, or some other eventuality between the worst and best outcomes.

As millions of men, women, and children around the world have taken to the streets in their nations to try to stop the warring and deaths of innocents in Gaza, the West Bank, and Israel, it would probably be a safe bet that those millions of people have the view a peace conference is a good path to seriously consider. A civilized, enlightened path.

This is a serious proposal meant to reach the world’s leaders, convince them that such a conference could bring peace to the long-suffering Middle East people, and to find out which world leaders truly want to see peace in the region – and which do not. To those leaders and politicians who do not wish for peace in the Middle East and everywhere on Earth, who believe that killing innocent people is an acceptable way of “doing business”, let it be said here on behalf of humanity that you need to resign from your leadership position. For you are not a leader.

In 2014, taking the lives of innocent human beings is no longer acceptable.

Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu said recently that the people of his country need to get prepared for a long military campaign. Instead of saying this, why wasn’t Mr. Netanyahu calling for a Middle East Peace Conference? Has any leader in the Middle East – in the world for that matter – suggested the idea of a peace meeting? Millions of men, women, and children have lost their lives in past and current wars in the Middle East, many more millions have suffered life-long injuries both physical and psychological, trillions of US dollars were wasted, countless $billions worth of homes, land, infrastructure, and commercial buildings were destroyed, and generational hatreds – leading to even more violence – were created/intensified through these wars.

As the death toll in Gaza passes 1,200, wouldn’t it make sense now to arrange for – as soon as possible – a week-long peace conference attended by the leader of every Middle East nation and relevant group of people, as well as the five permanent United Nations Security Council countries? The conference attendee/speakers’ rules would be very simple. Each speaker shall be allowed to speak extemporaneously (without written speeches) for as long as they wish. After every speaker has taken their turn and spoken, each attendee will be once more allowed to speak for as long as they wish. The same simple formula will be followed for a total of four unlimited rounds/talks per attendee.

If – when – such an event takes place, good ideas for peace in the lands of the Middle East would certainly come forward and enter each attendees’ consciousness, along with the world’s people watching and listening on television or the internet. The greatest benefit of such a peace talk conference/meeting is that the attendees won’t be shooting anything at each other but ideas for peace. Looking at the results of United Nations’ time-limited rules for speakers, the idea of unlimited, no-restrictions dialogue may allow for enough time to explain and fully convey good ideas which are impossible to explain in 20 minutes, a half hour, or sixty minutes.

University lecturers in every field of study fill entire semesters and years of classes on subjects like Middle East Studies, International Relations, Political Science, Economics, History, and so on. It is worthwhile to compare the university professor to members at the United Nations Security Council, become aware of those members’ really inadequate time to fully delve into highly involved matters of war and peace, and then see the need for a peace conference without speaking time limits. Considering the high level of violence taking place in the current situation in the Middle East, unlimited dialogue is necessary to explain/arrive at good options and peaceful results.

If – when – a Middle East Peace Conference is held, the world’s people would be served well because their hearing of ideas and viewpoints will both increase awareness and eliminate information that is incorrect, rumor, or been disseminated to intentionally deceive. What this means is that the world’s people will become more aware of the truth about events and circumstances in the Middle East, and better informed about the world they live in and share with all people. Besides the possible, great achievement of creating peace in the Middle East – the only purpose of the conference for attendees – a major added benefit is the rejection of erroneous thoughts, speech and actions by people around the Earth who will now, after hearing truth, base their thoughts, words and deeds on truth.

A Middle East Peace Conference, made available for the world’s people to view and hear, would raise awareness and consciousness in profoundly positive ways and could literally transform life on Earth for the better. A Middle East Peace Conference would be – will be – a win/win/win for humanity…

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(Thank you to The Real News Network at YouTube)