President Mahmoud Abbas said Sunday that he has not scheduled to meet with US President Barack Obama during the 66th session of the UN General Assembly in New York, but is open to the possibility.Did Obama promise a Palestinian Arab state?
“Neither I, nor Obama asked for a meeting, so I don’t believe we will meet. However, if we meet, I will remind him that he promised last year that the state of Palestine would be a full member of the UN this year, and I came here on the grounds of the promise I heard,” Abbas told a Ma'an delegate.
Here are sections of the speech Abbas is referring to, to the UN General Assembly, on September 23, 2010:
Last year, I pledged my best efforts to support the goal of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, as part of a comprehensive peace between Israel and all of its neighbors. We have travelled a winding road over the last 12 months, with few peaks and many valleys. But this month, I am pleased that we have pursued direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians in Washington, Sharm el Sheikh and Jerusalem.Obama did not come close to promising anything. He said if the negotiations that just started that month would bear fruit, then by September 2011 there could be an agreement that would lead to an eventual Arab state in Palestine. And that ultimately it was up to the Palestinian Arabs and Israelis themselves to make such an agreement, not for it to be imposed externally.
...[W]e all have a choice to make. Each of us must choose the path of peace. Of course, that responsibility begins with the parties themselves, who must answer the call of history. Earlier this month at the White House, I was struck by the words of both the Israeli and Palestinian leaders. Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “I came here today to find a historic compromise that will enable both people to live in peace, security, and dignity.” And President Abbas said, “We will spare no effort and we will work diligently and tirelessly to ensure these negotiations achieve their cause.”
These words must now be followed by action and I believe that both leaders have the courage to do so. ...
The conflict between Israelis and Arabs is as old as this institution. And we can come back here next year, as we have for the last 60 years, and make long speeches about it. We can read familiar lists of grievances. We can table the same resolutions. We can further empower the forces of rejectionism and hate. And we can waste more time by carrying forward an argument that will not help a single Israeli or Palestinian child achieve a better life. We can do that.
Or, we can say that this time will be different -- that this time we will not let terror, or turbulence, or posturing, or petty politics stand in the way. This time, we will think not of ourselves, but of the young girl in Gaza who wants to have no ceiling on her dreams, or the young boy in Sderot who wants to sleep without the nightmare of rocket fire.
This time, we should draw upon the teachings of tolerance that lie at the heart of three great religions that see Jerusalem’s soil as sacred. This time we should reach for what’s best within ourselves. If we do, when we come back here next year, we can have an agreement that will lead to a new member of the United Nations -- an independent, sovereign state of Palestine, living in peace with Israel.
Earlier this month, there have been Palestinian Arab radio ads that implied a promise from Obama, and Abbas was reported to have called it"the Obama promise." But to have a putative head of state blatantly lie about what another head of state said publicly is a much bigger deal.
Yet again, Abbas is exposed as a liar. President Obama is being used by him. Will anyone in the media call him on it?