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Friday, September 23, 2011

Abbas gives speech cementing his intransigence

Palestine Press Agency reports on a speech that Mahmoud Abbas gave last night to 200 representatives of American Arabs of Palestinian descent in New York.
In the name of God the Merciful, and with appreciation for the brothers and sisters here, each seeking the truth and to advocate for the free State of Palestine, God willing, I am with you to say, God willing, we will have the state of Palestine with its capital in Jerusalem.

My brothers, in a few hours I will head to the United Nations, but I have come to tell you something important. We are under huge pressure to change our decision to claim the recognition of the State of Palestine, but I tell you I am going to the Security Council and will never retract whatever the pressures. [applause]

We're going to implement the decision of the Palestinian leadership whatever the pressures and, of course, the U.S. administration has done all it can to pressure us not to go, but we continue to go no matter what the pressures and obstacles they put in us by our decision.

We are the only people who remained under occupation on this earth and I think that no one can bear more than we endured....

...I assure you that the negotiations with Israel has not achieved any progress at all, despite the fact that Israel and America, the Quartet and all brokers ask us to go back to negotiations, but we tell them again we will not [negotiate] without Netanyahu declaring his recognition of the State of Palestine on the borders of 1067 and his announcement and implementation of a settlement freeze.

Talking about the Jewish state, I tell them a final answer: We will not recognize the Jewish state .... [long applause]

They talk about many other issues they want to negotiate with us around for several more years, and I say we will not go back to the negotiations in this way; we will only accept that Palestine be free of settlers and soldiers and by the occupation, and it is better for Israel to get out of the agreement with us [than accept any Israeli Jews in the territories]. This is what we have said for all, this is our opinion and we will not give in at all.

Sarkozy made a proposal, and I'll tell you my response: I am the President and am not authorized to examine any suggestions other than the decision of the State of Palestine at the United Nations. If there are any other suggestions, then I am to go back to the Palestinian leadership, and study it first, I have here with a clear task to have the State of Palestine become a full member [of the UN.] As for any other suggestions, I say: I am not authorized, I am not authorized to accept them. I am only authorized to drive one thing, the State of Palestine becoming a full member at the United Nations.
That last part is very disingenuous - he did not seek approval from other Palestinian Arab leaders to do the UN stunt to begin with, only a close set of Fatah cronies.

Abbas has always used this gambit of saying that he must consult with others - often the Arab League - when he doesn't want to do something, but when he wants something done he does it without any consultations.

This way he can claim helplessness when it is to his advantage and then he can act like a ruthless dictator the rest of the time.

Even more ironic, Abbas accused Netanyahu of "acting like a child hiding behind his father" in the run up to the UN stunt.

Western diplomats don't call him on this.