Israel urged to reconsider punishing Palestinians over UN campaign

Harriet Sherwood
Guardian

September 19, 2011

US and European negotiators have urged Israel to refrain from taking punitive measures against the Palestinians if they press ahead with their bid to win recognition of a home state at the United Nations.

The Israeli government is considering a range of retaliatory steps, including withholding customs revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority under the terms of the Oslo accords. The amount, around 400m shekels (£69m), is forwarded to the PA each month.

Some Israeli ministers, including the extreme rightwing foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, and the finance minister, Yuval Steinitz, are calling for the money to be withheld. But US and EU diplomats fear this could seriously destabilise the PA and even possibly cause its collapse.

Dan Meridor, the deputy prime minister, who is believed to oppose such a move, said on Monday that no decisions had been taken by the Israeli cabinet. “I try not to use the language of threats,” he told a conference in Jerusalem.

Co-operation between the PA and Israel on security and economic issues “has been helpful to both sides”, he added. Any decisions, he said, would “need to take into account Israeli interests”. If the PA collapsed, Israel would be forced to take responsibility for the Palestinian territories, which it is reluctant to do.

Nabil Shaath, a senior member of the Palestinian team in New York, said at the weekend that the PA was not unduly concerned about Israeli threats to withhold customs revenues.

The US Congress has also threatened to halt American funding of the PA if the UN move goes ahead. “You don’t barter your rights for money,” said Shaath. He said Arab states had given the PA assurances that they would make up any shortfall, and the Europeans and Japanese had also pledged not to cut funds.

Other punitive measures proposed by Israeli ministers include annexing the West Bank settlements to Israel and tearing up the Oslo accords, under which the PA was given control of parts of the West Bank and Gaza.

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10 Responses to “Israel urged to reconsider punishing Palestinians over UN campaign”

  1. I’m 52 years old and still I can look into the deepest recesses of my memory and see “talks” between Israel and Palestine. Remember the dude who looked like Ringo Starr with a picnic blanket on his head (Yasser Arafat)? Arafat even won a Nobel Peace Prize for trying to get along with the Zionists (before he died of a mysterious, yet to be named illness and was buried without an autopsy).

    “Israel’s” idea of negotiating is to keep people in a room talking for years while continuing to steadily expand it’s settlements in the West Bank and Gaza… when questioned they like to tacitly remind everyone that they could just wipe the Palestinians off the face of the Earth if everyone doesn’t get off their backs and that every Palestinian should be grateful for the crust of bread and bowl of steam they are allowed for their dinner.

    Mahmoud Abbas knows all of this and that’s why he’s going to the UN to seek membership / recognition of Palestinian statehood. It’s life or death for what remains of the Palestinians. If he truly has something to lose he knows that it’s the same things he’ll lose eventually anyway, drop by drop.

    Besides, amid the controversy over Obama’s “kinetic action” in Libya where he was adamant that he needed no Congressional approval didn’t the President strongly suggest that the UN is the ultimate arbiter of US foreign policy? If that’s the case Mr. Obama or Soetoroe or whatever your name is then withhold the US veto and let the UN make it’s own decisions. Sure it’ll cost you votes in Florida and New York, but it’s better than further alienating the Arab world during a time those countries are forming new governments and new policies.

  2. Have we all had enough of the zionists yet?

  3. Isreal,do not attempt to punish the Palestinians as we will be forced to send you additional aid!

  4. Isreal is a big boy they can take care of themselves now as far as I am concerned. No more Isreal lobby. The US is not responible for Isreal anymore!

  5. Normally when jokes are told theres laughter…except in your case! (Raiwind Nizammudin!)

  6. I have decided that I will also apply for statehood. Since I have occupied SW Michigan for decades, I will claim the entire west coast as my own (Lake Michigan beaches are beautiful). I will also be taking the Manistee National Forest.

    The Palestinians have already claimed Detroit. Now it’s my turn.

    • Seriously, though…

      What (specifically) is required of a micronation, which would apply for official status?

      It seems the bologna mill will never take responsibility for their professed beliefs.

      • Sponsorship is probably the only requirement.

    • What would be the requirements for citizenship? Would you consider a dual citizenship from a Missouri citizen wanting to summer in your new nation?

      • Dual citizenship will not be allowed. You must also take firearm safety course and will be issued an automatic rifle and a sidearm.

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