[see bottom for Netanyahu's reaction]
As an acquaintance wrote me and others:
This is a very clear restatement of the Palestinian victimization narrative, probably written by one of sharp propagandists in the UK-EU funded NSU. It needs to be dissected, fisked and exposed in detail and repeatedly, in writing, YouTube, Twitter, etc.
Elder of Ziyon has done so.
In the past, it has been pointed out that
Let's also point out in the context of Abu Mazen's claims that the first refugees in the war were Jews, Jews from south Tel Aviv, parts of Jerusalem, etc. These Jews were fleeing in December 1947. Also, the first refugees in the 1947-1949 war who could not go home after it were Jews from the Shimon haTsadiq Quarter north of the American Colony Hotel on the way to Mt Scopus
Here is material on the refugee issue. And here on Abbas's own personal history, as opposed to how he opens his piece. In the Wall Street Journal on June 5, 2003, we read that
Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) penned an article in March 1976 in Falastin al-Thawra (cf. supra), the official journal of the PLO in Beirut: "The Arab armies entered Palestine to protect the Palestinians from the Zionist tyranny, but instead they abandoned them, forced them to emigrate and to leave their homeland, imposed upon them a political and ideological blockade and threw them into prisons similar to the ghettos in which the Jews used to live in Eastern Europe" (emphasis added).
Here is the op-ed and I've added my comments:
SIXTY-THREE years ago, a 13-year-old Palestinian boy was forced [due to the attempt of local Arabs and others from abroad to quash the UN recommendation and kill as many Jews as possible which they initiated] to leave his home in the Galilean city of Safed and flee with his family to Syria. He took up shelter in a canvas tent provided to all the arriving refugees. Though he and his family wished [not only that, they engaged in almost uninterrupted terror activty as first, fedayeen and then PLO] for decades to return to their home and homeland, they were denied that most basic of human rights. That child’s story, like that of so many other Palestinians, is mine.
This month, however, as we commemorate another year of our expulsion — which we call the nakba, or catastrophe — the Palestinian people have cause for hope: this September, at the United Nations General Assembly, we will request international recognition of the State of Palestine on the 1967 border and that our state be admitted as a full member of the United Nations.
Many are questioning what value there is to such recognition while the Israeli occupation continues. Others have accused us of imperiling the peace process. We believe, however, that there is tremendous value for all Palestinians — those living in the homeland, in exile and under occupation.
It is important to note that the last time the question of Palestinian statehood took center stage at the General Assembly, the question posed to the international community was whether our homeland [no, the League of Nations defined that territory as the homeland of the Jews, their national home, as such through historical connections] should be partitioned into two states. In November 1947, the General Assembly made its recommendation and answered in the affirmative. Shortly thereafter, Zionist forces expelled Palestinian Arabs [immediately thereafter, the Arabs attacked, shot and killed Jews on November 30th] to ensure a decisive Jewish majority in the future state of Israel, and Arab armies intervened. War and further expulsions ensued. [that's what happens when you go to war and lose] Indeed, it was the descendants of these expelled Palestinians who were shot and wounded by Israeli forces on Sunday as they tried to symbolically exercise their right to return to their families’ homes.[in pre-1967 Israel which the Arabs consider as belonging to an "occupied territory", rather than just Judea and Samaria]
Minutes after the State of Israel was established on May 14, 1948, the United States granted it recognition. Our Palestinian state, however, remains a promise unfulfilled. [but the Arabs refused to accept the establishment of the Arab state. don't blame us. you wanted all are are left with very little but that's your fault, not ours]
Palestine’s admission to the United Nations would pave the way for the internationalization of the conflict as a legal matter, [the 'interationalization of the conflict" was initiated by the Mufti immediately after the 1929 riots when he convened a Muslim Congress and then during the 1939-1939 riots, invited Egypt and Iraq to become involved] not only a political one. It would also pave the way for us to pursue claims against Israel at the United Nations, human rights treaty bodies and the International Court of Justice.
Our quest for recognition as a state should not be seen as a stunt; too many of our men and women have been lost for us to engage in such political theater. We go to the United Nations now to secure the right to live free in the remaining 22 percent of our historic homeland because we have been negotiating with the State of Israel for 20 years without coming any closer to realizing a state of our own. We cannot wait indefinitely while Israel continues to send more settlers [we were the ones who pulled the state of Israel after us] to the occupied West Bank and denies Palestinians access to most of our land and holy places, particularly in Jerusalem. Neither political pressure nor promises of rewards by the United States have stopped Israel’s settlement program.
Negotiations remain our first option, but due to their failure [due to your refusal to accept any compromise from Arafat-Barak in 2000, Clinton in 2001 and Olmert/Livni later] we are now compelled to turn to the international community to assist us in preserving the opportunity for a peaceful and just end to the conflict. Palestinian national unity is a key step in this regard. Contrary to what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel asserts, and can be expected to repeat this week during his visit to Washington, the choice is not between Palestinian unity [is it Fatah uniting with Hamas?] or peace with Israel; it is between a two-state solution or settlement-colonies.
Despite Israel’s attempt to deny us our long-awaited membership in the community of nations, we have met all prerequisites to statehood listed in the Montevideo Convention, the 1933 treaty that sets out the rights and duties of states. The permanent population of our land is the Palestinian people, whose right to self-determination has been repeatedly recognized by the United Nations, and by the International Court of Justice in 2004. Our territory is recognized as the lands framed by the 1967 border, though it is occupied by Israel.
We have the capacity to enter into relations with other states and have embassies and missions in more than 100 countries. The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the European Union have indicated that our institutions are developed to the level where we are now prepared for statehood. Only the occupation of our land hinders us from reaching our full national potential; it does not impede United Nations recognition.
The State of Palestine intends to be a peace-loving nation, committed to human rights, democracy, the rule of law and the principles of the United Nations Charter [which fulfills at presetn none of those values vis-a-vis Arabs so what can we expect for Jews?]. Once admitted to the United Nations, our state stands ready to negotiate all core issues of the conflict with Israel. A key focus of negotiations will be reaching a just solution for Palestinian refugees based on Resolution 194, which the General Assembly passed in 1948 [which applies to the rights of Jewish Palestine refugees to reurn to Gush Etzion, Bet HaAravah, Atarot, Neveh Yaakov, etc.].
Palestine would be negotiating from the position of one United Nations member whose territory is militarily occupied by another, however, and not as a vanquished people ready to accept whatever terms are put in front of us.
We call on all friendly, peace-loving nations to join us in realizing our national aspirations by recognizing the State of Palestine on the 1967 border and by supporting its admission to the United Nations. Only if the international community keeps the promise it made to us six decades ago, and ensures that a just resolution for Palestinian refugees is put into effect, can there be a future of hope and dignity for our people.
Carl's rewrite here.
More info received:
Abbas also tries to create the false impression that the Palestinian refugee issue caused the Arab aggression against Israel in 1948. The Palestinian refugees were the result, not the cause, of that war.
In fact, that war against Israel created two refugee problems -- one Jewish, the other Palestinian. Israel absorbed over 600,000 Jewish refugees that were thrown out of Arab countries in the wake of the 1948 war. Another roughly 300,000 Jewish refugees were absorbed in other countries, such as France, Canada and the United States.
In contrast, despite the Arab world’s vast territory and wealth, 600,000 Palestinian refugees were not absorbed by the Arab countries to which they fled. Instead, the refugees and their descendants have been used by the Palestinian leadership for four generations as a battering ram against the Jewish state.
No less disturbing in Abbas’s article is his admission that he intends to pursue the conflict against Israel from the improved position of a Palestinian state. “Palestine’s admission to the United Nations,” Abbas writes “would also pave the way for us to pursue claims against Israel at the United Nations, human rights treaty bodies and the International Court of Justice.”
Abbas’s strategy for the past two years has been to avoid a negotiated settlement with Israel. That’s why he avoided Netanyahu’s continued call for negotiations. That’s why he placed a settlement freeze as a precondition for negotiations, something he never did before in the 18 years of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. That’s why he walked away from peace talks last September. And that’s why he had no qualms about forging a pact with Hamas, which refuses to recognize the existence of Israel and refuses to abandon terrorism (Hamas has fired thousands of rockets at Israel’s cities, and last month, a Hamas terrorist fired an anti-tank rocket at a school bus). Two weeks ago, the leader of Hamas even condemned America for killing bin Laden, whom Hamas praised for being a Holy Warrior.
Based on this article, one can only conclude that Abbas has abandoned even the pretense of embracing the path of peace and instead chosen a strategy to establish a Palestinian state and use this improved position to wage a diplomatic and legal war against Israel.
Another rewrite here by EOZ.
And Netanyahu's reaction:-
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today said in response to Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas's article in the New York Times that, "This is a gross distortion of well-known and -documented historical facts. It was the Palestinians who rejected the partition plan for two states while the Jewish leadership accepted it. It was the armies of Arab countries – assisted by Palestinian forces – that attacked the Jewish state in order to destroy it. None of this is mentioned in the article. Moreover, one could conclude from the article that the Palestinian leadership views the establishment of a Palestinian state as a means to continue the conflict with Israel instead of ending it."