Ten voices on the Palestinian bid for UN membership
Should the UN give full member status to the Palestinian Authority [PA]?
The views of the presidents of the U.S., Israel and the PA, as well as Prime Minister Stephen Harper, have been heard. Here are 10 other important voices weighing in on the issue:
Diana Buttu, Palestinian-Canadian lawyer now at Harvard University, legal advisor to the PLO in its negotiations with Israel, 2000-05:
"I also hope that the Palestinian leadership finally abandons its farcical support for negotiations with Israel and with it, the nonsensical belief that the US will liberate Palestinians from Israel's grip."
(From a Sept. 22 email to CBC News.)
Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France:
"But who could doubt that a veto at the Security Council risks engendering a cycle of violence in the Middle East?"
"Why not envisage offering Palestine the status of United Nations observer state? This would be an important step forward," Sarkozy said."Most important, it would mean emerging from a state of immobility that favours only the extremists. We would be restoring hope by marking progress towards the final status."
"The text for the application by the Palestinians hasn’t been presented yet .... For the Prime Minister to say that he’s opposed to something that he hasn’t even read is unfortunate, because what we want to see here is moving negotiations forward and some have noted that this might actually get things moving."
"There is one consensus point here amongst all parties in Canada and that is to have a two-state solution that’s negotiated."
"We reiterate our rejection of this bid."
"We repeat today that we are with the establishment of a Palestinian state on any liberated part of Palestinian land that is agreed upon by the Palestinian people, without recognizing Israel or conceding any inch of historical Palestine."
"Had the White House exerted leadership at the outset, the PA [Palestinian Authority] could have been dissuaded well before now, at little or no cost to it or the United States. Now, there is every likelihood of a diplomatic debacle, to the detriment of all concerned.
"So convoluted is the situation that Hamas, the terrorist group ruling the Gaza Strip, has condemned the PA move as "empty of content," one of the few accurate observations Hamas has ever made."
Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil:
(Rousseff was the opening speaker in the General Assembly, which she described as the first "woman voice," in UN history to open the Assembly's annual session. Rousseff said Brazil supports "full representation" for the Palestinians at the UN. Brazil now sits as a non-permanent member of the Security Council.)
The Canadian Jewish News, editorial:
Germany "supports the aim of a viable Palestinian state as a result of negotiations."
"However, steps that risk to make any progress towards a two-state-solution more difficult should be avoided."
"With a view to a possible Palestinian request to the UN, the decisive question was what would serve the peace process and what would hamper it."
Haaretz, Israeli newspaper, Sept. 22 lead editorial:
"We are indignant that certain Middle Eastern leaders have discarded the principle of direct negotiations between the sovereign nation of Israel and the Palestinian leadership, and we are equally indignant that the Obama administration's Middle East policy of appeasement has encouraged such an ominous act of bad faith.
"Simply put, we would not be here today at the precipice of such a dangerous move if the Obama Policy in the Middle East wasn't naïve, arrogant, misguided and dangerous."