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'UN Palestinian upgrade no danger for Israel'
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'UN Palestinian upgrade no danger for Israel'

Published: 30 Nov 2012 11:30 GMT+01:00
Updated: 30 Nov 2012 11:30 GMT+01:00

Germany decided to abstain from a vote granting the Palestinians non-member "Observer State" status at the United Nations. The Local's media roundup looks at the potential implications for the Middle East.

More than two thirds of the UN General Assembly voted in favour of the change, while urging the resumption of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, to lead to a permanent two-state solution.

"We did not come here seeking to delegitimize a state established years ago, and that is Israel; rather we came to affirm the legitimacy of the state which must now achieve its independence, and that is Palestine," the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas told the assembly before the vote.

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, said his delegation could not accept the resolution. “Because this resolution is so one-sided, it doesn't advance peace, it pushes it backwards,” he said, adding that peace could only be achieved through negotiations.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said on Friday in Berlin he was disappointed that the European Union had failed to vote together, with most of the bloc supporting the Palestinians, but Britain and Germany abstaining. The nine countries who opposed alongside the US and Israel were Canada, the Czech Republic, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau and Panama.

Westerwelle also said, "The vote must be taken as a prompt to start direct peace talks as soon as possible." He added it was important to prevent any long-lasting hardening of positions, and that rather, all efforts should be made to fine a just and fair two-state solution.

The centrist Tagesspiegel said in a scathing piece, that Germany was devaluing its foreign policy, and questioned whether, with the dearth of clear positions being taken on international issues, there was still any strategy being followed.

"Today no one has to ask the Foreign Ministry, or more specifically the foreign minister. His attitude is, when one is necessary, all too happily, to abstain. But that is no position. Trying to disguise indecision as cleverness is much more a sign of devaluation...

"Foreign policy - that is less about trips to far away places and more about the representation of the country's leading interests with consideration, clear positions and also the willingness to have arguments. At other times Germany was seen by the world as the European power which gave orientation. If this is continued, that will be over."

The left-wing Berliner Zeitung said there could be not doubt that Germany had a duty to avoid everything that endangered the interests of Israel. "But - although an upgrading of the Palestinians at the UN might not be in the interests of Prime Minister Netanjahu's government, it is not a danger for the state.

"Israel has an interest that the moderate Palestinian President Abbas is fortified. He has is interested in the lasting peace that can only be achieved with a two-state solution. Germany should have the courage to say this and to vote accordingly. Out of solidarity with Israel - and Europe."

The regional Stuttgarter Zeitung said, "Germany's influence in the region is not inconsiderable, but German diplomacy cannot achieve anything alone. Only a united Europe could force progress.

"A joint European line is necessary because the USA is visibly losing interest in the region and sees North Africa as well as the Middle East as increasingly Europe's backyard - in which the Europeans should in the future take care of things themselves. Washington's focus is firmly in the Pacific area."

The business daily Handelsblatt said, "The upgrading of the Palestinians to 'Observer State' status will in any case not stop the conflict. Rather, it will lead to a hardening of positions. Most of the global community is hoping for progress in the peace process which should lead to a two-state solution. Fresh ideas are needed. The acceptance of the resolution blocks the search for a new Middle East policy."

And the Saarbrücker Zeitung said the Palestinian upgrade should be seen as another missed chance in the history of the Middle East peace process. "Among other aspects, because of the USA and Germany. But both states are taking the correct path with the 'No' from Washington and Berlin's abstention.

"Because the Palestinians formally do not have anything what a state requires - there are essentially two autonomous regions - ruled by Hamas and Fatah. There is no functioning unitary government, just as there is no clear demarcation of borders, nor the intention to live in peace with their neighbour Israel."

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Your comments about this article

12:38 November 30, 2012 by raandy
Finally they have obtained UN observer status. With a 138 in favor vote , nations are now becoming more aware and less negative to these peoples plight.Palestine will now be able to negotiate from a stronger position. This is not a panacea to solving all their problems but a big step in the right direction.
13:06 November 30, 2012 by Eric1
The Palestinians and the UN are being used by Muslim hate groups to destroy Israel and to kill all Jews. With the help of the UN members voting this way, Israel won't exist in 15 years. This is the real goal. Real evil does exist, but just like under Nazism and Communism people just embrace it.
13:32 November 30, 2012 by ChrisRea
@ Eric1

I am not sure I understand your post. Can you substantiate your statements with facts, or is it just your opinion? When you talk about real evil, are you thinking of Zionism (along Nazism and Communism)?

Recognising Palestine as "non-member observer state" (instead of "non-member observer entity") is in line with looking for a two-state solution, just as former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert stated. Of course the solidarity with Palestine shown by the majority of the countries does not help the negotiation position of the Israeli government, but as the Berliner Zeitung says, it is not a danger for the Israeli state.
13:47 November 30, 2012 by MattyB
Palestinians already have their own state; it's called Jordan.
14:28 November 30, 2012 by JOHNATAN
The way to reach the 2 states solution are direct talks between the parties,in which everything must be negotiating,but of course one need a mutual recognition in the right of the two people to have a state inside secure borders,and every side will have to give up "its dreams" of forfilling all his wishes and will have to give up some of his wishes in order to come to the middle and common road,it concern the Israelie and the palestinians,and you have to have brave leaders like Begin and Sadat or Rabin and Hussein to reallize it
14:34 November 30, 2012 by antistar
Hey matty. forgetting for a moment that Palestine is a Bedouin country run by a Hashemite king, and that almost all the Palestinians living there are refugees, how exactly do you think they should rejoin Jordan? Ethnic cleansing? Or perhaps you think Jordan should swallow up the land... but that would include all the hundreds of thousands of Israelis that have settled there illegally.
14:36 November 30, 2012 by Eric1
Of course it's my opinion. I'm comparing the hatred of Jews by Nazis and communist to be equal to some members of the present UN, like Iran, and most of the Islamic states in the world..

The real Palestinian state is Jordan. The Palestinians are the "Gypsies" of the Middle East.
14:38 November 30, 2012 by antistar
I meant Jordan is a Bedouin country...
14:57 November 30, 2012 by Sashzilla
Can anyone tell me who are the real gypsies here? Who have traveled and moved for thousands of years? Hmm.. Anyways how can there be a peace process when Israel keeps eating up the Palestinian land? I guess true Jewish people know the truth and have sympathy for Palestine. Zionists are too blind to see what's going on. No one will tolerate hypocrisy anymore,and that's how other countries voted.
16:45 November 30, 2012 by ChrisRea
Unfortunately, the progress towards the two-states solution was pushed back by Israel's recent decision to illegally build an additional 3,000 housing units in Jerusalem and the West Bank. This constitutes a serious breach of the Oslo I Accord. So there is still a long way until peace will be achieved.
17:36 November 30, 2012 by JOHNATAN
Chris Rea,

I do not like what is going on, the socio-economic situation here and the damage to the middle class families and also the Israeli -Palistinian conflict,we are completly stucked. we do not want to control or govern by force another people,even Ariel Sharon reached the same conclusion and orded the withdrown from Gaza strip,For good or for bad Abu Mazen is a partner we can not find somebody else ,he is there and got his state allready years ago.

No other possibility but mutual recognition and definition of new borders between the 2 states,if not the conflict will go on,

The right wing parties made all possibile mistakes in the last 4 years in the internal politic and forgein politic.

we are going to vote on 22.1.13 for a new government.

the right parties will not get my card ,that is for a sure.
17:43 November 30, 2012 by trevzns
MattyB. The same applies to a pervious post of yours this week. The Local did not allow further comments on.... Germany will not support Palestine at the UN.

@MattyB

Palestinians make up the majority of the population in Jordan, yet are repressed, tortured, even killed there by the government and you cry about Israel?

@MattyB #4 Whats the difference?

Whether in Jordan, Palestine or in the occupied territories, torture is torture. Oppression is oppression and dead is dead. There is a reason why the majority of Palestinians live outside Palestine?

Occupation, Oppression and ethnic cleansing. When the Zionist arrived in Palestine with their Holy Land decree from the British government the majority population were non-jews.

Double standard nonsense.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton remarks this week regarding the UN vote.

The path to a two-state solution that fulfills the aspirations of the Palestinian people is through Jerusalem and Ramallah, not New York, she said. The only way to get a lasting solution is to commence direct negotiations.

The only way? Where did the Zionist negotiated the Balfour Declaration....England. Where was the UN resolution 181 negotiated....New York.
18:03 November 30, 2012 by jmclewis
Germany was so brave abstaining.
18:06 November 30, 2012 by JOHNATAN
trevzns

the sides must be pragmatic,

Balfour declaration was back long before 1947 and was made by Britain in order to get the support of the Jewish population in Palestine during the war against Hitler, it was a document without value because Britain opposed the Jewish ambitions to create their own state in Palestine and issued the white book with laws which limited that aspirations.You mention resolution 181 from 29.11.47 this resolution called to the partition of Palestine into 2 states a Jewish one and an Arab Palestinian one, if the arabs would have accepted that resolution, there would have been no wars,no refuggie, there would have been two states a very tiny Israel in pre 1948 cease fire borders and a Palestinian state living in peace side by side to Israel,of course without these terribile wars there would have no refuggie problem,they rejected any 2 states solution till Oslo agreement and that is real tragedy.
19:14 November 30, 2012 by Bulldawg82
Cracks me up how so many of you are for the Palestinians having a homeland (even tho Jordan is 80% Palestinian) but you don't want the Jews to have a homeland. The Jews fought and won their homeland just like most of the other nations of the world. the real beef the other M.E. nations have with Israel is that they aren't Muslim. They are greatly insulted and outraged that a non-Muslim nation exists in the heart of their religious empire. If Jews (and others)are "Zionists" for wanting the Jews to have their own country, then what are those called who want another Palestinian homeland? Palestinianists?
19:16 November 30, 2012 by raandy
Now the Israele Gov has authorized the construction of 3000 new homes on occupied territory as a reprisal to there right to obtain UN observer status. I find the biggest problem to any peace possibilities solidly in the hands of the occupier.
20:14 November 30, 2012 by Englishted
@Eric1#7

Many of the leaders of the October revolution were Jewish and the communists are not renowned as being anti-Semitic .

The only way to even begin to get peace in the middle east is for Israel to stop all building on occupied lands and the Palestinians to stop firing rockets and to grasp the fact Israel is there to stay and will not give up Jerusalem as a capital (I hope it can share it ) and will not allow a massive influx of "refugees" to return .

Hard facts that both sides need to address if there is any hope for the future in that part of the world.
23:44 November 30, 2012 by bernie1927
This is only a first step, but it will allow the Palestinians to have a larger sounding board. They will be able to bring their complaints in front of an international group and will be able to voice their grievances and - maybe - bring the other side to the table as well, in front of witnesses. In my view that can only help the process, so that we will end up with a fair and permanent settlement and peace.
23:56 November 30, 2012 by sonriete
So, Westerwelle pontificates as to how the resolution should be taken, while at the same time abstaining on the vote? That is completely ridiculous . And to complain that Europe did not vote together when it was his government that stood in the way of consensus? I honestly wonder where he comes up with these things.....
01:08 December 1, 2012 by antistar
Bulldawg82:

"Cracks me up how so many of you are for the Palestinians having a homeland (even tho Jordan is 80% Palestinian) but you don't want the Jews to have a homeland."

1. Nobody has said Israel doesn't have a right to exist. It obviously does.

2. Jordan is about 30% Palestinian, and almost all of those are refugees who are not allowed to return to their homes in Israel.

3. That Jordan is the homeland of Palestinians is meaningless propaganda put about by those who don't want the Palestinians to have their own state. It doesn't bear up to any scrutiny of the facts, and even if it was true, it doesn't make the occupation of the West Bank any less illegal.
09:14 December 1, 2012 by Hicham1st
With or without the support of Germany, Palestine is existing. It is funny to read here some people who are saying that Palestinians are the Gypsies of the Middle East and others say Jordan is their homeland. What an ignorance!!

I think you people do not know history because the real history has been changed and has been made fake. Palestinians are the legitimate people of Palestine and Isreal has been made by what's called The Balfour Declaration.
10:08 December 1, 2012 by MattyB
We can debate and debate and debate until we're all blue in the face. At the end of the day this all comes down to one simple fact. The Palestinian people, and their Arab Muslim brothers, actively preach and teach a doctrine of pure genocidal hate towards all Jews (not just Israelis). You can make all the excuses in the world about the conditions of the Palestinians, or who has the right to live there, etc, but you CANNOT ignore the sick and twisted doctrine that is taught in the Middle East regarding the Jewish people. I won't repeat what I've heard in many a Mosque sermon again, as it appears to be too much for some sensitive souls; however, suffice to say it was pure hatred and religiously motivated calls for genocide. I feel sympathy for the millions of Palestinians women and children who have to live and grow up in this system of hate, but at the end of the day the hateful religious ideology preached by these people and their Arab Muslims neighbors keeps me grounded in reality. It is easy for white europeans who have never traveled to these lands to sit and spew ignorance about poor, mistreated Palestinians, but until you've faced the evil there face to face, you do not have a clue about these matters.
10:14 December 1, 2012 by joysonabraham
There wont be no solution as long as both parties claim Jerusalem. This place is sacred to 3 Abrahamic religions. Only when Jerusalem come under UN administration, then only even any meaningful talks can happen. Otherwise everything will end up in blame game and chit chat, as always and all these guys will keep on killing each other and keep on dragging other countries to a never ending killing field.
11:37 December 1, 2012 by ChrisRea
@ MattyB

You are right, genocidal hate exists on both sides. And it is of course fueled by the illegal settlements in the occupied territories. One might argue that hate is also the cause for continuing to build those settlements. Both parties seem decided to exterminate their enemies.
13:49 December 1, 2012 by Englishted
@ChrisRea

Sadly your last sentence sum it all up and till that changes peace has no hope.

But you meant determined didn't you?
15:00 December 1, 2012 by ChrisRea
@ Englishted

Indeed, I used "decided" in the sense of "having clear opinions; resolute; determined".
15:17 December 1, 2012 by antistar
"The Palestinian people, and their Arab Muslim brothers, actively preach and teach a doctrine of pure genocidal hate towards all Jews (not just Israelis). You can make all the excuses in the world about the conditions of the Palestinians, or who has the right to live there, etc, but you CANNOT ignore the sick and twisted doctrine that is taught in the Middle East regarding the Jewish people."

When I was in Israel I visited a Christian Palestinian family in the West Bank. They were a normal family running a store in Bethlehem, birthplace of Jesus. Their business was ruined by Israeli restrictions. Their city was surrounded by a concrete Israeli wall. Their son had been kidnapped from their home at night repeatedly and held in an Israeli prison. They hated Israel as much as the Muslim Palestinians.

On the other hand Jews continue to live in Islamic countries, which is amazing if your claim of their genocidal beliefs is true. You'd think they'd all be dead. But in fact their rights are protected in constitutions across the region. In fact in one of the most extreme Islamic governments, in Iran, there is a legal requirement that a minimum number of Jewish MP's serve in the Iranian parliament.

The Palestinian-Jewish conflict is territorial in nature, but has been used by extremists on both sides to further their own agenda. Don't let yourself be a tool for extremists.
20:43 December 1, 2012 by MattyB
11:37 December 1, 2012 by ChrisRea

BOTH sides preach genocide hate? That kind of ignorance just sums up the twisted logic people like you use. I must have missed the Israeli children's programing teaching Jewish children to hate all Muslims, or the direct and open calls to kill all Muslims from Israeli Rabbis, or all the Israeli literature calling for the destruction of all Palestinians and Muslims, or the celebrations in Israeli cities when Palestinians or Muslims are killed.

15:17 December 1, 2012 by antistar

Again, what twisted logic people use. Yes, all those well known, flourishing, Jewish communities in Muslim nations (rolling eyes). We all know Jews from arond the world are lining up to move to places like Syria, Baghdad, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, etc. I won't even begin to address your assertion that their rights are protected, because it is so insane, so detached from reality, I can barely wrap my mind around how deluded you must be to make such a statement. There are many ancient Jewish communities across the Middle East, in places such as Baghdad and Cairo, that have ceased to exist over the last century due to the rise of Islamic extremism across the region.
07:40 December 2, 2012 by ChrisRea
@ MattyB

Yes, indeed, apparently you missed many facts by selecting only those that fit your ideas. For example, you seem unable to see the continuous targeting of Palestinian civilians (mostly women and children). "Nothing good will come out of it unless they keep fighting all the way until they wipe them all out", "There is only one way to deal with the cancer: you burn it out or you remove it", "They are forcing us to kill their children to defend our children". All this was said by Israelis while celebrating the death of Gaza children (you can find the video on Youtube).

So yes, it seems that you have all the information and if somebody disagrees with you, he/she must be an ignorant/insane person. They come with facts (ex. Jewish MPs in the Iranian parliament), you come with personal attacks. Sounds fair to you, right?
09:57 December 2, 2012 by MattyB
07:40 December 2, 2012 by ChrisRea

Deliberately targeting civilians?! Are you kidding me? Hamas blows up buses full of civilians, and fires rockets indiscriminately at civilians, and you want to complain that Israel is targeting civilians when they hit back at cowardly Hamas hiding their firing positions among women and children. And I don't want to hear that that is a bunch of Israeli propaganda. We've seen that in Iraq, Afghanistan, and in other middle east conflicts. These cowards set up firing positions and hide behind women and children. They sacrifice their own kids to score propaganda points.

Also, love that you post vague quotes and say "hey, go find it." What, you cannot post the link. It's not hard, let me show you a link you ought to check out:

http://www.memri.org/media-archives-antisemitism-holocaust-denial.html

As for Jewish MPs (pural) in Iranian parliament, there is only 1; Iran allows its various religious minorities only 1 slot each, and those reps are normally just propaganda figureheads with no real influence or power. In other words, its their job to "look" like the Iranian govt gives a crap about its minorities. They tow the official govt line, and don't speak about things like the FACT that Jews are banned from serving in top govt and military positions and often face educational and employment discrimination, or the fact that from time to time religious tensions flare up and Iran's religious minorities often find their places of worship burned, and persons physically attacked (largely with no legal consequence against the attackers). At the beginning of the 20th century Iran's Jewish communnity was near 100,000-150,000 strong; today that stands at less than 25,000 (some say as little as 8,000). Wonder why? Most Persian Jews today live in the US or Israel. Again, wonder why?
10:50 December 2, 2012 by raandy
I am wondering if Arafat is going to click when they run the geiger counter over his corpse.
15:24 December 2, 2012 by ChrisRea
@ MattyB

"What, you cannot post the link." - well, you might have thought that it is a rhetorical question, but TheLocal did not allow me to post the YouTube link. But by using "Israelis while celebrating the death of Gaza children" you should not have any problem finding the respective video. And yes, I dare you to show me how should I have posted the respective YouTube link.

So I show you Israeli hating Palestinians and you reply that there were Israeli civilians victims? That's exactly what my point was, that both parties act genocidal against each other. It is not about good guys and bad guys, but bad guys and bad guys.

Oh, you have the impression that Jews in Iran are discriminated and attacked? Let's see what an article in a Jewish newspaper says about Jews in Iran:

Start of quotes

I ask him whether he is not afraid to say that he is a Jew. He says no. ¦quot;All the Jews in Iran live like the Muslims. Everybody — Muslims, Jews, everyone — shares the economic problems here.¦quot;

In an AP interview last March, Moresadegh was quoted as saying, ¦quot;No matter who dares to attack our country, we will stand against the threats like other Iranian people. The Iranian Jewish community will stand by their compatriots under any circumstance, forever.¦quot;

¦quot;I never felt like I was being attacked because I was Jewish, or that my religious freedom was harmed,¦quot; he says. ¦quot;I have a good friend, a Muslim, who takes care of me.

¦quot;My best friends are Muslim, but I have no problem saying I¦#39;m Jewish.¦quot;

End of quote

Source http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=6065; October 12, 2012
16:14 December 2, 2012 by sonriete
@MattyB

If you are not aware of the cruel rhetoric that often comes out of the Israel side as well, then you are keeping yourself willfully ignorant.

You could start with the collected speeches of the currently serving Foreign Minister of Israel, Avraham Lieberman. there have been uncountable examples of The Israel leadership calling the Palestinian people animals, savages, less than human for many decades, look at Menachem Begin, the Sabra and Shatilla massacres ordered by him, Ariel Sharon and of course Netanyahu, the things that have come out of these men's mouths are indescribable, and often caught on camera, and yes those words are often followed by actions.

Whether they are "accidentally " obliterating UN refugee centers full of women and children in Lebanon, or building hundreds of thousands of settlement houses in a deliberate move to scuttle any two state solution, their values are obvious.

The fact that there are democratic elections in Israel does not excuse any of this, in fact it demonstrates that these cruel men have broad support among the population there which is even more disturbing.
16:27 December 2, 2012 by trevzns
MattyB #22

The animosity and rhetoric from an extremists Islamic state and other political, religious fundamentalists in the region preaching for the destruction of Israel and death to all Jews is counterproductive and indeed worsen the plight of the Palestinian people.

Using crimes committed during WWII, which has nothing to do with the senseless cycle of violence in the Middle East is self-serving propaganda. The annexation of land and control of resources while denying the rightful owners and indigenous population freedom of movement, human rights and independent national sovereignty is good reason for rebellion and retaliation.

In your grounded in reality view, you neglect to mention the other sick and twisted doctrine of bulldozing non-jewish homes and villages to establish illegal Jewish settlements. The abuse and torture of children, the indiscriminate killing of mothers and infants during the assassination of political or religious targets.

MattyB #30

Cowardly Hamas hiding their firing positions. They sacrifice their own kids to score propaganda points.

How much courage does it take to fly jets, drones and helicopters over a city, fire missiles and return safely without any or ineffective challenge from ground defense?
20:14 December 2, 2012 by raandy
Matty B whats up with you ,is the Israele Gov paying for this one sided view.?They targeted their leader which resulted in rocket attacks, Israel thinks it can strike with impunity when ever it wants, can built on occupied land when ever it wants, This country has caused more urest and world problems for the US than I would have thought possible. Reap all the sympathy you can but your not the solution you are the problem.
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