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Crowdsourcing the Palestinian UN Document

Help me find the controversial language

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Having read through the draft of the Palestinian application for an upgrade to nonmember status, which in itself sounds like a very non-committal way of convincing an ambivalent partner to be your girlfriend/boyfriend on Facebook, I thought I would hand it over to you, Tablet’s decidedly not ambivalent commentariat, for your perusal.

I know this issue is controversial. What I’m looking for is help from the community in finding the controversial language (if you believe there is any) and, perhaps, some very brief explanations of why it’s troubling. What do you think that Israel advocates and people opposing the UN bid will get riled up about? And if you think that this is a tepid, toothless political document, I’d be curious to hear about that too.

NOW, I know that this is, perhaps, the worst idea in the history of the internet, so I am asking if you can find it in your heart to limit the polemics, vitriolic language, and miscellaneous wiggings out, as well as the length, it would be greatly appreciated. Looking for serious, sober, insightful, and rational.

The General Assembly,

Guided by the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, and stressing in this regard the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples,

Recalling its resolution 2625 (XXV) of 24 October 1970[1], affirming, inter alia, the duty of every State to promote through joint and separate action realization of the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples;

Stressing the importance of maintaining and strengthening international peace founded upon freedom, equality, justice and respect for fundamental human rights;

Recalling its resolution 181 (II) of 29 November 1947;

Reaffirming the Charter principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by force;

Reaffirming relevant Security Council resolutions, including, inter alia, resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), 446 (1979), 478 (1980), 1397 (2002), 1515 (2003) and 1850 (2008);

Reaffirming the applicability of the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, of 12 August 1949, to the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, including, inter alia, with regard to the matter of prisoners;

Reaffirming its resolution 3236 (XXIX) of 22 November 1974, and all relevant resolutions, including resolution 66/146 of 19 December 2011, reaffirming the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination, including the right to their independent State of Palestine;

Reaffirming its resolution 43/176 of 15 December 1988, resolution 66/17 of 30 November 2011, and all relevant resolutions regarding the “Peaceful Settlement of the Question of Palestine”, which, inter alia, stress the need for (a) the withdrawal of Israel from the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem; (b) the realization of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, primarily the right to self-determination and the right to their independent State; (c) a just resolution of the problem of the Palestine refugees in conformity with resolution 194 (III) of 11 December 1948; and (d) the complete cessation of all Israeli settlement activities in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem;

Reaffirming also its resolution 66/18 of 30 November 2011 and all relevant resolutions regarding the status of Jerusalem, bearing in mind that the annexation of East Jerusalem is not recognized by the international community, and emphasizing the need for a way to be found through negotiations to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the capital of two States;

Recalling the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice of 9 July 2004;

Reaffirming its resolution 58/292 of 6 May 2004, affirming, inter alia, that the status of the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, remains one of military occupation, and that in accordance with international law and relevant United Nations resolutions, the Palestinian people have the right to self-determination and to sovereignty over their territory;

Recalling its resolutions 3210 (XXIX) of 14 October 1974 and 3237 (XXIX) of 22 November 1974, by which, respectively, the Palestine Liberation Organization was invited to participate in the deliberations of the General Assembly as the representative of the Palestinian people and was granted observer status;

Recalling also its resolution 43/177 of 15 December 1988, by which it, inter alia, acknowledged the proclamation of the State of Palestine by the Palestine National Council on 15 November 1988, and decided that the designation “Palestine” should be used in place of the designation “Palestine Liberation Organization” in the United Nations system, without prejudice to the observer status and functions of the Palestine Liberation Organization within the United Nations system;

Taking into consideration that the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, in accordance with a decision by the Palestine National Council, is entrusted with the powers and responsibilities of the Provisional Government of the State of Palestine[2];

Recalling its resolution 52/250 of 7 July 1998, by which additional rights and privileges were accorded toPalestine in its capacity as observer;

Recalling the Arab Peace Initiative adopted in March 2002 by the League of Arab States;

Reaffirming its commitment, in accordance with international law, to the two-State solution of an independent, sovereign, democratic, viable and contiguous State of Palestine living side by side with Israel in peace and security on the basis of the pre-1967 borders;

Bearing in mind the mutual recognition of 9 September 1993 between the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people;

Affirming the right of all States in the region to live in peace within secure and internationally recognized borders;

Commending the Palestinian National Authority’s 2009 plan for constructing the institutions of an independent Palestinian State within a two-year period, and welcoming the positive assessments in this regard about readiness for Statehood by the World Bank, the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund and as reflected in the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee Chair Conclusions of April 2011 and subsequent Chair Conclusions, which determined that the Palestinian Authority is above the threshold for a functioning State in key sectors studied;

Recognizing that full membership is enjoyed by Palestine in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, and the Group of Asian States and is also a full member as in the League of Arab States, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the Group of 77 and China;

Recognizing that, to date, 132 States Members of the United Nations have accorded recognition to the State of Palestine;

Taking note of the 11 November 2011 report of the Security Council Committee on the Admission of New Members;

Stressing the permanent responsibility of the United Nations towards the question of Palestine until it is satisfactorily resolved in all its aspects;

Reaffirming the principle of universality of membership of the United Nations;

Reaffirms the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to independence in their State of Palestine on the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967;

Decides to accord to Palestine Non-member Observer State status in the United Nations, without prejudice to the acquired rights, privileges and role of the Palestine Liberation Organization in the United Nations as the representative of the Palestinian people, in accordance with the relevant resolutions and practice;

Expresses the hope that the Security Council will consider favorably the application submitted on 23 September 2011 by the State of Palestine for admission to full membership in the United Nations;

Affirms its determination to contribute to the achievement of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the attainment of a peaceful settlement in the Middle East that ends the occupation that began in 1967 and fulfills the vision of two States, an independent, sovereign, democratic, contiguous and viable State of Palestine, living side by side in peace and security with Israel, on the basis of the pre-1967 borders;

Expresses the urgent need for the resumption and acceleration of negotiations within the Middle East peace process, based on the relevant United Nations resolutions, the Madrid terms of reference, including the principle of land for peace, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet Roadmap, for the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace settlement between the Palestinian and Israeli sides that resolves all outstanding core issues, namely the Palestine refugees, Jerusalem, settlements, borders, security and water;

Urges all States and the specialized agencies and organizations of the United Nations system to continue to support and assist the Palestinian people in the early realization of their right to self-determination, independence and freedom;

Requests the Secretary-General to take the necessary measures to implement the present resolution and to report to the Assembly within three months on progress made in this regard.

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I believe PALESTINIANS is an anagram for: IN A LIP ASSENT. Moreover, Palestine clearly conceals the phrase: NIT PLEASE

Does anyone see where they have to recognize the right of Israel to exist? Relinquish their dream of driving the Jews into the Mediterranean? All I see is “living side by side in peace…”.

I see a contradiction between “based on pre-1967 borders” and a “contiguous State of Palestine”. A contiguous Palestine will have to exclude Gaza, which would not be good for Israelis. Who would govern it?
I also missed references to Israeli and to American peace initiatives. It seems from the document that Arab countries and the UN have been struggling relentlessly for peace since the beggining of times. Well, it the peace they want is the one Arab countries have been offering and the UN endorsing, that’s not a good start…

henrytobias says:

I believe that ‘causus belli’ for the 1967 war was the closing by Egypt of the Straits of Tiran. This forced Israel to fight a war of self-defence. So as I understand the situation, from reading the work of the late Prof. Julius Stone, an expert on International Law, Israel can keep the land. Other experts agree with this. I doubt however, that in this day and age, any disinterested law expert will be willing to support Israel. As to the ICC in the Hague, the chips are stacked heavily against Israel. Only faith and an American veto, if needed, can save Israel at the UN Security Council. I don’t know if I trust Obama to stand by Israel. No one has pointed out that the Partition Plan of 1947 gave the Arabs a state alongside Israel, but they took 65 years to wake up to the fact that they missed the boat, and now blame Israel.

    Actually, 1967 was a preemptive strike. Egypt, Jordan, and Syria were massing troops and tanks on Israel’s borders, so war was imminent. Israel just struck first, and they struck hard.

    Israel and the Jewish people are in dire trouble if they have to trust Obama to stand by Israel and against most of the world (even if most of those are tyrannies).

There is no such thing as a “Palestinian” people. The current Arab grouping acting to extinguish Israel by exerting “inalienable rights” are a group that are linguistically, historically, culturally, socially and ethnically identical to other Arabs living in the other 24 vast Arab countries. Senior Arab officials have, since the PLO’s birth in 1964, repeatedly admitted that the creation of a Palestinian Arab people was for one purpose, to use as a tool to eradicate Israel. Thus, a claim to a people’s rights over the area previously governed by the British Mandate for Palestine, being a region not a country, under the authority of the League of Nations cannot be exercised if no such people exist.

    Actually, Palestinians are different from other Arabs. There is a separate dialect, Palestinian Arabic, that has different pronunciations from other dialects of Levantine Arabic and incorporates a lot of Hebrew into its vocabulary, and socially the fact that they are kept in refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria, and Jordan proves that they are not in the same social class as the people in those countries.

      I submit that these “differences” are historically recent, and specifically caused by positions taken caused by Arab leadership and events post 1945. Simply placing a section of your people in separate residential zones, or restricting their professions as in Lebanon, does not mean that a new people is created. The Arab society across the whole region is still clan driven and that is what defines “class”, but the social structure remains the same. Modern Hebrew has incorporated a lot of Arabic but again, it does not mean that there is a new Jewish people created for those that use those words.

        The fact isn’t how new they are, the fact is that they exist. The majority of Palestinians have been born into the Palestinian identity, just as the majority of Israelis have been born into the Israeli identity. Also, Judaism is an unfair label here because it is a religion, not a culture or a nationality. If we wanted to compare Jews to the Palestinians, we can go into the vast cultural differences between Jews around the world. Ashkenazi Jews are very different from Sephardic Jews. American Ashkenazi Jews are different from European Ashkenazi Jews. Russian Jews are very different from German or Polish Jews. The facts on the ground is that Israel was formed based on a unified religious identity while Arab states are based on nationalities, historical kingdoms, or what the British and French told them the borders were. At this point, everybody agrees that the Palestinians are a separate people, and over the past 64 years (almost as long as North and South Korea have been separate). They have clearly forged themselves a new identity. The only question left is what to do with them. You can’t stuff them in camps, or keep them under a military occupation and expect the problem to go away. The world knows it, the middle east knows it, the Israeli leadership knows it, so it is time for you to learn it.

          henrytobias says:

          Militarily, Israel struck the first blow, but the Egyptians declared hostilities by closing the Tiran Straits.

      henrytobias says:

      This is not true. The ‘Palestinians’ speak the same dialect as the Syrians, because that is where they came from, about 150 years ago. They are not native to The Land of Israel. The refugee issue is only from 1948, and was and remains a political ruse. The Israeli army teaches the same ‘Arabic’ to those who serve in intelligence, on the ‘Palestinian’ and Syrian fronts.

        A quick trip to the internet would show both your issues to be wrong. Arabic is just as fragmented into dialects and accents as English is in America. The differences are subtle, but they are there. I talk different than a guy from Texas, but I can still understand exactly what he’s saying even though he uses words like Cola and speaks in a drawl. It’s the same with Arabic. There are several breakdowns in the Levantine Arabic family, one of which is Palestinian Arabic, and there are two separate types of Syrian Arabic. However, the dialects are close enough that you can pretty much understand what the other guy is saying, even if if may sound a bit funny.

        Also, if you look at genetics and history, the Palestinians of the West Bank are much more closely related to Jordanians than they are to Syrians. Also, while many Arabs moved to Israel proper with the Jews coming in the first aliyahs, there was already a large Arab presence in many cities including Jaffa, Haifa, Gaza, and Jerusalem, and a population large enough living in what is now the West Bank to actually launch rebellions against the Ottomans in the early 19th century and have 10,000 people deported to Egypt. But more and more historians are coming to believe that the Arabs in Israel and the West Bank (save the Bedouin) may simply be people who lived on the land, such as Jews and Byzantines, and converted to Islam and were Arabadized with the rest of the conquests throughout the Middle East and North Africa. Genetic studies of Palestinians show them to share massive amounts of DNA with Jewish groups from around the world, so for all we know, Palestinians could have simply been Jews who were converted to Islam in the 7th Century when the Arabs arrived.

“Bearing in mind the mutual recognition of 9 September 1993 between the Government of the State of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the representative of the Palestinian people” Part of the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements that arose out of the mutual recognition and the Oslo Accord was that neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of
the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, in accordance with the Interim Agreement. Hard to argue that this act at the UN by the PLO is not an abrogation of the Agreement. The Agreement also called for the PLO to renounce terrorism, something else they did not do and is an abrogation of it.

On a less technical view, doesn’t the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 exclude Israeli control of any biblical Jewish holy sites? Going back to being a body without a soul.

The “Palestinian” move at the UN is yet another obvious violation of the pledges they made under the Oslo Accords, and is further evidence that their word and signed undertakings are worthless.
The UN violated international norms by declaring “palestine” to be a “state.”
This “state” possesses none of the attributes which are required for statehood under international norms.
Israel, however, being the only Jewish nation-state, and a vulnerable small state, can be pushed around with impunity, while genocidal entities like the “Palestinian Authority”, Hamas and Iran are respected members of the “international community.”


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Crowdsourcing the Palestinian UN Document

Help me find the controversial language

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