by Stephen Lendman
Mahmoud Abbas is a longtime Israeli collaborator. It took him 24 years to acknowledge it. More on that below.
Palestinian statehood existed since November 15, 1988. It was proclaimed in Algiers. The PLO adopted the Palestinian Declaration of Independence.
Previous articles explained. PLO legal advisor Francis Boyle drafted it. He included safeguards to assure all sovereign state rights.
He excluded wiggle room loopholes. He made sure UN membership won't affect rights too important to compromise.
Palestine satisfies all essential criteria for sovereign independence. It's entitled to full de jure UN membership. PA officials haven't sought it. Why not they'll have to explain.
All UN Charter states (including America and Israel) provisionally recognized Palestinian independence in accordance with UN Charter article 80(1) and League Covenant article 22(4).
As the League's successor, the General Assembly has exclusive legal authority to designate the PLO as the Palestinian peoples' legitimate representative.
The Palestine National Council (PNC) is the PLO's legislative body. It's empowered to proclaim the existence of Palestine.
According to the binding 1925 Palestine Citizenship Order in Council, Palestinians, their children and grandchildren automatically become citizens.
So are diaspora Palestinians. Those living in Israel and Jordan have dual nationalities. Occupied Territory residents remain "protected persons."
Under Fourth Geneva, they'll remain so until conflict resolution and Palestinian liberation are achieved.
On January 5, Haaretz published an AP report. It headlined "Palestinian Authority officially changes name to State of Palestine," saying:
On January 4, Abbas signed a presidential decree. The State of Palestine was acknowledged. "All Palestinian stamps, signs and official letterhead will henceforth be changed to bear the new name."
The Palestine News & Information Agency WAFA announced it. It said PLO Central Council officials will meet in a few days. They'll "discuss political developments" following Palestine's UN upgrade.
Required PA changes will be addressed. So will relations among the PLO, PA, and other Palestinian institutions. An earlier decision delegated PA government and parliamentary duties to the Central Committee.
Acknowledging Palestinian statehood stops short of governing like one. Full UN membership isn't sought. Nor is filing war crimes charges against culpable Israeli officials at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
On January 4, Ilan Pappe headlined "Can we find compassion for Israelis in 2013?"
He visited old Haifa acquaintances. They're embarrassed about today's Israel. It's "painfully" evident in plain sight. Pappe understood decades ago. He forthrightly explained in books, articles, and public addresses.
He quoted Britain's Thomas Rapp's 1950 comments. He "foresaw the future." He "warned his superiors," saying:
"The younger generation is being brought up in an environment of militarism and thus a permanent threat to the Middle East tranquillity is thereby being created and Israel would thus tend to move away from the democratic way of life towards totalitarianisms of the right or the left."
Pappe said today's Israel reflects "the totalitarianism of the right." Many "so-called liberal Zionists" acknowledge it. They experienced an epiphany. They "discover(ed) the immoral foundations of the state."
They could have done more but didn't. They still don't. Few Israeli profiles in courage exist. Pappe is a rare except. Most others deny truth and guilt. Born-again Zionism became "more extreme and obnoxious."
Another epiphany isn't likely. Perhaps enlightened children will make up for their parents' moral cowardice. "One can only hope," Pappe added.
He's saving compassion for when conflict resolution is nearer and Palestine is free and democratic. So far, it's nowhere in sight.
The same day the PA acknowledged the State of Palestine, hundreds of thousands celebrated Fatah's 48th anniversary. Officials in Gaza City's al-Saraya square estimated a nearly one million turnout.
Abbas didn't show up for the occasion. His recorded address substituted. "Soon we will achieve unity and end of the occupation," he said.
He's done nothing as PA president to further it. Rhetoric belies his agenda. Palestinians deserve much better.
His acknowledgement of statehood is in name only. Hamas is Palestine's legitimate government. Abbas represents coup d'etat authority. He and likeminded Fatah officials have no legitimacy whatever.
Abbas disingenuously claimed "Soon we will regain our unity." Palestinians waited over five and a half years. They're still waiting.
Abbas is a longtime Israeli collaborator. He sold out long ago. He profited immensely in the process. He accumulated enormous wealth. It's stashed offshore out of sight in tax havens.
Palestinians smart enough to know better say his credibility to lead them is sorely lacking. He's Israel's enforcer. He violates the interests of his own people.
He's done it for years. He shows no signs of changing. He's Quisling's modern-day incarnation. He's nearing retirement. He's not about to mess up now.
Collaborating with Israel assured his future. He'll enjoy it in luxury when he steps down. Until then, he'll do nothing to rock his secure boat.
A Final Comment
The New York Times notoriously expresses one-sided support for Israel. Jewish rights alone matter. Occupation harshness goes unaddressed. So do inviolable rule of law principles.
On January 4, it published an AP report. It covered Fatah's 48th anniversary commemoration. It denigrated Hamas in the process.
It's "regarded by the US and Israel as a terrorist organization," it claimed. It's no such thing. It's Palestine's democratically elected government.
The report suggested that Jerusalem is an Israeli city. In 1947, the UN declared it an international one. It was designated a "corpus separatum." It remains so under a UN Trusteeship Council.
In 1967, Israel annexed East Jerusalem. It did so lawlessly. Judaization was planned. The city's cultural and spiritual character changed.
Palestinian land was stolen. Settlements were established and expanded. Palestinians were dispossessed and denied. Military occupation controls them.
Transformation continues relentless to this day. Israel wants the entire city Judaized. A greater Jerusalem is planned. Municipal boundaries are extended to achieve it. So does a matrix of control. World leaders do nothing to stop it.
Fundamental international law is ignored. On March 1, 1980, UN Security Council Resolution 465 declared that:
"all measures taken by Israel to change the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status of the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, or any part thereof, have no legal validity and that Israel's policy and practices of settling parts of its population and new immigrants in those territories constitute a flagrant (Fourth Geneva) violation....and also constitute a serious obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East."
On July 9, 2004, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled that "Israeli settlements in the Occupied Territory, including East Jerusalem, are illegal and an obstacle to peace and to economic and social development (and) have been established in breach of international law."
Israel spurns UN resolutions, other binding international laws, and ICJ rulings. It does so with impunity. It's been unaccountable for decades. Washington's support affords immunity.
Netanyahu calls Jerusalem sovereign Israeli territory. "Jerusalem was always ours and will always be ours," he claims. "It will never again be partitioned and divided."
He wants Palestinians dispossessed and removed. He wants unobstructed settlement expansions. He wants no restrictions put on Israeli "building in our sovereign capital."
He's getting away with it. He's not challenged. Western officials and media scoundrels support him. They call Palestinian territory "disputed," not "occupied." They suggest Jerusalem belongs to Israel.
They bow to Israeli Lobby bullying. They're in league with Zionist extremists. They proliferate pro-Israeli propaganda. They go out of their way to inflict harm.
Nonetheless, America and other countries maintain embassies in Tel Aviv. Jerusalem is international territory. Israel won't acknowledge it. Nor does AP, The New York Times, and other Western media scoundrels.
They turn a blind eye to international law. They ignore Israel's worse crimes. They spurn Palestinian rights. They let Israel get away with murder. Daily crimes against humanity continue. Ending them remains a distant hope.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.