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Thursday, 8 October 2009

Goldstone Report Withdrawal - Abbas Blackmailed by Israeli Tape


When I last posted on the subject of the PA’s capitulation to Israeli demands to withdraw a resolution from the UN’s Human Rights Committee endorsing the Goldstone Report, which called Israel's actions in Gaza 'war crimes', I suggested that it was linked to the question of lucrative mobile telephone contracts.

It seems from Al Jazeera that the explanation is even more sinister. Israel also threatened to release a tape showing Abbas and his Secretary-General urging Israel to not only invade and occupy Gaza but to perpetuate the war even longer.

If this is true then it is nothing less than naked blackmail which has prevented a vote and discussion on the Report. Since blackmail is normally considered a criminal offence, one wonders whether the UNHRC is going to allow it’s agenda or lack of it to be dictated by such considerations.

The latest revelations, that Abbas and the PA actually egged Israel on in its murderous mission, reveal the true agenda of this bastard fruit of Oslo. The sooner the Palestinian Authority is dismantled the better. They are like the Judenrat, the collaborating Jewish Councils of the Nazi era. Britain's Palestine Solidarity Campaign might want to explain how you can oppose the attack on Gaza and support Israel's client regime in supporting that attack!

PSC Executive Behave Like Trappist Monks
But to members of PSC Executive like Bernard Regan, PSC's Trade Union officer, who spoke in favour of a Communist Party of Britain (the old Morning Star Stalinists) resolution at the last AGM in January, a resolution that said Israel's attack on Gaza was an attack on the PA, any amount of somersaults are possible.

Meanwhile the abysmal Socialist Action leadership of Britain’s Palestine Solidarity Campaign are behaving like trappist monks. They have said absolutely nothing about what is happening. They prefer to refer people to what the Zionists think about the Goldstone Report: 'Israel to UN Body: Come to Your Senses on Goldstone Report'

For another good analysis of the PA's behaviour see an article by Jonathan Cook, a writer based in Nazareth.

And finally, an excellent letter was sent to Prof. Manuel Hassassian, the Palestine Delegate to Britain by Prof. Kamel Hawwash, who until recently was Vice Chair of Palestine Solidarity Campaign before he resigned.

Tony Greenstein

PA's Goldstone block linked to tape

Many Palestinians have protested against the delay in endorsing the Goldstone report [AFP]
A videotape is behind the decision by the Palestinian Authority (PA) to delay the vote on a UN report accusing Israel of war crimes during its offensive on the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian news agency has reported.

Quoting what it called reliable sources, Shahab news agency said on Tuesday that PA representatives at a meeting in Washington had initially rejected Israel's request not to endorse the report and were determined to stick to this position.

But, the agency added, Brigadier Eli Avraham played a videotape showing a meeting between Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, and Ehud Barak, the Israeli defence minister.
The meeting was also attended by Tzipi Livni, Israel's former foreign minister.

The video reportedly showed Abbas trying to convince Barak to continue the war on Gaza, while Barak looked hesitant, although Livni appeared to be in support of the plan, Shahab quoted its sources as saying.

The report by Shahab emerged on the same day that Libya called on the UN Security Council to hold an emergency meeting to consider the content of the report by Richard Goldstone, a former South African judge, which accused Israel of committing war crimes.

Palestine TV, the official television channel of the PA, reported that Abbas would send Riyadh al-Malki, the Palestinian foreign minister, to New York to assist in the Libyan bid to have the council address the report.

Israel launched a major offensive on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip in December 2008, saying it wanted to stop rockets fired by Hamas into its territory.

At least 1,400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis died during Israel's three-week war in Gaza.
Recorded phone call

Shahab also reported that Avraham played an audiotape of a telephone call between Dov Weissglas, the director of the Israeli chief of staff bureau, and al-Tayyib Abdul Rahim, secretary-general of the Palestinian presidency.

In the conversation, Abdul Rahim says that circumstances were suitable for entry of the Israeli army into Jabalya and al-Shatea refugee camps, and adds that the fall of these two camps would end Hamas's rule in Gaza Strip, Shahab says.

Weissglas then told Abdul Rahim that this operation would lead to the death of thousands of civilians, but, according to Shahab, Abdul Rahim said: "They have all elected Hamas, so they are the ones who have chosen their fate, not us."

Shehab said the Israeli delegation threatened the PA representatives that it would present the recorded material to the UN and news organisations, forcing the delegation to accede to Israel's demand to delay the vote on the report.

Meanwhile, a senior Qatari foreign ministry official said the Palestinians missed a rare chance by delaying the vote on the Goldstone report.

Sheikh Khaled bin Jassem al-Thani, the ministry's human rights department head, told Al Jazeera on Tuesday that the Palestinian representative to the UN Human Rights Council had requested a delay until the next meeting in March.

'Missed opportunity'

"The Palestinian decision was based on their wishes ... and member states could not take unilateral measures contrary to the wishes of the Palestinian Authority. "There were many countries that supported [the report and a vote] ... it could have been adopted, but I think that an opportunity was missed and it may not come back."
Israel and Hamas have been blamed by the UN report for war crimes [File: EPA]

Abbas is under pressure from the PA's executive council and the central committee of his Fatah movement has launched an investigation into the delay.

But there appears to be no respite for him from the barrage of criticism from Palestinians.
A senior member of Hamas has demanded that Abbas resign for supporting the postponement of the vote.

Mahmoud al-Zahar told Al Jazeera on Monday that Abbas was guilty of "a very big crime against the Palestinian people" over the PA's support to defer endorsing the report. "He is encouraging the Israeli military leaders to attack Gaza, to kill Hamas, and to kill people because they voted for Hamas; to postpone a very important report concerning the Israelis committing crimes against human beings," al-Zahar said.

"He should resign and he should seek a fair trial. He is not representing any of the Palestinian people."

The comments came as hundreds of people in the West Bank city of Ramallah protested against the delay in the vote on the report.

Protesters waved placards at Monday's events, saying the delay "insults the blood of the martyrs and wounds our people".

Protests were also held in Jerusalem, where pro-Palestinian activists demanded an apology from Abbas.

"If the government had anything to do with the decision we want it to resign," Muhammad Jadallah, the head of the Coalition for Jerusalem, said.

Thirty-two Palestinian groups in Europe also called on Abbas to immediately step down.

In a statement, the groups said "the step to delay the endorsement was not less dangerous than the atrocities committed by the Israeli occupation in Gaza".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwiEu7c6zx4&feature=player_embedded#

video


Open letter to Palestinian Delegate in UK, Prof. Manuel Hassassian
5 October 2009
Open Letter to the Palestinian Delegate in the UKHE
Professor Manuel Hassassian
Palestinian Delegation
5 Galena Road
Hammersmith
London
W60 LT

Dear Professor Hassassian

The Midlands Palestinian Community Association (MPCA)is shocked and dismayed at the decision of the Palestinian Authority (PA) to call for the postponement of the vote in the Human Rights Council to refer the Goldstone Commission Report to the United Nations Security Council until March next year. I am asking you to kindly communicate the MPCA’s condemnation of the PAs decision to the PA President Mr Mahmoud Abbas. This extremely important report has confirmed what we all saw on ourtelevision screens, that Israel committed war crimes and crimes againsthumanity in its war on Gaza back in January of this year.

The helplessPalestinians in Gaza have waited for far too long to see the International Community begin the process of bringing the Israeli criminal leadership to justice, only to find the process hindered bytheir own leadership. If the PAs leadership will not seek every avenue to bring Israeli war criminals to justice on behalf of the Palestinian People then it should step aside immediately so a more responsible leadership can take this on and carry the torch for liberation into the future.

Yours sincerely

Associate Professor Kamel Hawwash
Chair
Midlands Palestinian Community Association (MPCA)
PO Box 11986
Birmingham
B31 2ZL
UK

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