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Ayoon wa Azan ( We're Trying Means No ).

Once again, President Mahmoud Abbas was received with applause as he walked into the hall of the UN's General Assembly to give his speech for Palestine, now an observing member state at the UN. And once again, the participants did not applaud any other speaker. The applause for Palestine was loud as Abou Mazen was entering and exiting the hall. However, his speech was not interrupted with applause as it was two years ago. Abou Mazen made a calm speech echoing his calm nature. I believe that this nature of his fools some people, and some of these people want to be fooled.

The Israelis probably believe that the white-haired, kind and peace loving Palestinian president might just give them what they want. I however believe that Abou Mazen will not give up a thing at all. I know him more than they do and I take full responsibility for what I'm hereby saying.

While in New York, Abbas met with members of the Israeli lobby as well as other American Jewish organizations that support the occupying and criminal state of Israel. During these meetings, someone asked him if he would give up a part of East Jerusalem in a potential peace agreement to which Abou Mazen clearly said: I wouldn't give up as little as one centimeter.

This is how Abou Mazen is. For that reason, I believe that the negotiations with Israel will not succeed.

During a private meeting prior to his speech, I asked Abou Mazen: Do you really believe that the negotiations with Israel might succeed? He said: We try. This same answer was given by Prime Minister Dr. Rami al-Hamadallah, Dr. Saeb Erekat, Brother Yasser Abd Rabbu and others. Only one person told me, Never. To me, "we try" is a diplomatic way for saying "No."

Abou Mazen told me that the international circumstances are right since the USA and Israel are now isolated and the entire world is against the occupation. In addition, the European Union took an unprecedented position by boycotting the goods produced in the settlements. In the occupied Palestine, our brother Saed Erekat took dozens of western and other diplomats to see the barracks, isolation walls, and barbwire ripping through the cities and towns of the West Bank. They all returned in a state of anger and wrote pieces to condemn the occupation. Israel responded by objecting to their positions.

President Mahmoud Abbas is probably right in his assessment of the international support for the Palestinians. Indeed, in its quality as an observing member, the state of Palestine is now - or will soon become - affiliated to 63 international UN agencies. The state of Palestine also has the support of the Arab states, the Non-Aligned Movement, and more than fifty Muslim states at the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation as well as the Organization of African Unity and others. Who are the supporters of Israel on the other hand? A bunch of corrupted Congress men.

Abou Mazen and I both agreed that President Obama does aspire for a solution and that he believes that a solution will serve the US strategic interests in the Middle East. However, I am not very optimistic about the American president's ability to come up with an adequate solution. Obama has failed to achieve any of the promises that he made since his famous speech at the University of Cairo back in 2009.

When Abou Mazen gave his speech, the members of the Palestinian delegation distributed a detailed file concerning the Oslo process from 1993 to 2013 in addition to a report under the headline: Israel's Annexation Policy in the Jordan Valley, Destroying the Future of the Palestinian State. The report did not depict a point of view but rather included documented information. Israel wants to annex the Jordan Valley in order to build settlements there even though it represents 1,600 square kilometers, i.e. 28.5 percent of the West Bank area. The land there also represents a wealth of resources for the future Palestinian state.

The report also presented figures concerning the phase extending from January 1, 2013 to September 19, 2013 and alluding to the crimes of the occupation such as the killing, wounding, attacks, arrests, home destruction, property confiscation, house occupation, settlement activities, settlers' violence, and attacks against the Muslim and Christian religious locations.

These are Nazi-like crimes. I don't see any difference between the mass crimes committed by the Nazis against the Jews and the individual crimes committed by the Israeli occupation against the Palestinians. Death is one and the outcome is one.

Nevertheless, Abou Mazen is "trying." The Israelis will come to realize that he is a peace loving but not weak man. He will not give up on the Palestinian rights.







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Publication:Dar Al Hayat, International ed. (Beirut, Lebanon)
Article Type:Column
Date:Sep 29, 2013
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