Karen lee Wald
A Phrasebook Guide
NATO's War on Libya
Abbas's New Gambit
Women of Corn
The CIA Returns to Campus
Native Eskimos Fight for Lost Land
Mexico's Indignados Have Had It
The Jobs Crisis
Revolts in Syria
Omar s. Dahl
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Abbas's New Gambit
When Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas decided to go to the United Nations to request the admission of
Abbas claims to be serious this time. Despite all U.S attempts at intimidation (for example, by threatening to withhold funds), and despite the intensifying of Israeli tactics (including the further arming of illegal Jewish settlers to combat possible Palestinian mobilization in the
“We are going to the Security Council. We need to have full membership in the United Nations...we need a state, and we need a seat at the UN,” Abbas told Palestinians in a televised speech on September 16.
For months, Palestinian intellectuals, historians, legal experts, and academicians warned against Abbas’s haphazard move. Some argued that if Abbas’s UN adventure was a tactical maneuver, its legal repercussions were too grave a price to pay for little or no return. If Palestine replaces the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)—currently recognized by the UN as the sole representative of the Palestinian people—then Palestinians risk losing the only unifying body they have in common (its replacement representing only two million Palestinians in the occupied West Bank).
“Most damaging is that this initiative changes our ability as a people to represent the totality of our inalienable rights,” said Abdel Razzaq Takriti, activist and political historian at
The PLO, which for decades served as a bulwark of the Palestinian national struggle, continues to exist, but only in theory. The Palestinian Authority, founded in 1994 as a temporary authority to oversee a Palestinian transition to statehood, has slowly hijacked and undercut PLO institutions. More, the PA has neither legitimacy nor credibility. Whatever remained of the latter was lost during the Israeli war on
As for its lack of legitimacy, the matter requires no leaked documents. In fact, Fatah’s refusal to concede to the 2006 election results led to the circumstances that exasperated a civil war in
All of this raises an urgent question: how can an authority that lacks legal legitimacy as a representative of the Palestinian people take on a role that could change the course of the entire Palestinian national project?
A leaked legal opinion by
This iniquitous situation would have continued were it not for the Arab Spring, which began demolishing the status quo governing Arab countries. Abbas’s corrupt regime was also a member of the ailing Arab political apparatus. Its existence, like others, was propped up by
More, the “the PA feels abandoned by the U.S which assigned it the role of collaborator with the Israeli occupation and feels frozen in a ‘peace process’ that does not seek an end goal.” According to Joseph Massad in Al Jazeera, “PA politicians opted for the UN vote to force the hand of the Americans and the Israelis, in the hope that a positive vote will grant the PA more political power and leverage to maximize its domination of the
The reasons behind the PA bid for statehood range from tactical politics (involving
“It is evident that Palestine needs newly-elected leadership through an inclusive democratic process encompassing all Palestinians, not just those in the West Bank and Gaza Strip,” wrote leading Palestinian historian Salman Abu Sitta in the Middle East Monitor (July 10, 2011). This, in fact, should be the task at hand, not wasting time and energy pursing political gambits, which, at best, will only yield symbolic victories.
Indeed, the Palestinian people are fed up with symbolic victories. They may have guaranteed Abbas and his men all the trappings of power, but they have failed to reclaim even one inch of occupied
Ramzy Baroud is an internationally-syndicated columnist and the editor of PalestineChronicle.com. His latest book is My Father Was a Freedom Fighter:
Z Magazine Archive
CUBAN 5 - From May 30 to June 5, supporters of the Cuban 5 will gather in Washington DC to raise awareness about the case and to demand a humanitarian solution that will allow the return of these men to their homeland.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com.
BIKES - Bikes Not Bombs is holding its 24th annual Bike- A-Thon and Green Roots Festival in Boston, MA on June 3, with several bike rides, music, exhibitors, and more.
Contact: Bikes Not Bombs, 284 Amory St., Jamaica Plain, MA 02130; 617-522-0222; mailbikesnotbombs.org; www.bikesnotbombs.org.
LEFT FORUM - The 2013 Left Forum will be held June 7-9, at Pace University in NYC.
Contact: 365 Fifth Avenue, CUNY Graduate Center, Sociology Dept., New York, NY 10016; http://www.leftforum.org/.
VEGAN FEST - Mad City Vegan Fest will be held in Madison, WI, June 8. The annual event features food, speakers, and exhibitors.
Contact: 122 State Street, Suite 405 B, Madison, WI 53701; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://veganfest.org/.
ADC CONFERENCE - The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) holds its annual conference June 13-16 in Washington, DC, with panel discussions and workshops.
Contact: 1990 M Street, Suite 610, Washington, DC, 20036; 202-244-2990; convention @adc. org http://convention.adc.org/.
CUBA/SOCIALISM - A Cuban-North American Dialog on Socialist Renewal and Global Capitalist Crisis will be held in Havana, Cuba, June 16-30. There will be a 5-day Seminar at the University of Havana, plus visits to a co-op and educational and medical institutions.
Contact: email@example.com; http://www.globaljustice center.org/.
NETROOTS - The 8th Annual Netroots Nation conference will take place June 20-23 in San Jose, CA. The event features panels, trainings, networking, screenings, and keynotes.
Contact: 164 Robles Way, #276, Vallejo, CA 94591; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.netrootsnation.org/.
MEDIA - The 15th annual Allied Media Conference will be held June 20-23, in Detroit.
Contact: 4126 Third Street, Detroit, MI 48201; http://alliedmedia.org/.
GRASSROOTS - The United We Stand Festival will be hosted by Free & Equal, June 22 in Little Rock, Arkansas. The festival aims to reform the electoral process in the U.S.
LITERACY - The National Association for Media Literacy Education (NAMLE) will hold its conference July 12-13 in Los Angeles.
Contact: 10 Laurel Hill Drive, Cherry Hill, NJ 08003; http://namle.net/conference/.
IWW - The North American Work People’s College will take place July 12-16 at Mesaba Co-op Park in northern Minnesota. The event will bring together Wobblies from across the continent to learn skills and build one big union.
PEACESTOCK - On July 13, the 11th Annual Peacestock will take place at Windbeam Farm in Hager City, WI. The event is a mixture of music, speakers, and community for peace. Sponsored by Veterans for Peace.
Contact: Bill Habedank, 1913 Grandview Ave., Red Wing, MN 55066; 651-388-7733; email@example.com; http://www. peacestockvfp.org.
LA RAZA - The annual National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Conference is scheduled for July 18-19 in New Orleans, with workshops, presentations, and panel discussions.
Contact: NCLR Headquarters Office, Raul Yzaguirre Building, 1126 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036; 202-785-1670; www.nclr.org.
ACTIVIST CAMP - Youth Empowered Action (YEA) Camp will have sessions in July and August in Ben Lomond, CA; Portland, OR; Charlton, MA. YEA Camp is designed for activists 12-17 years old who want to make a difference.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://yeacamp.org/.