UN majority agrees Palestinians must live in freedom, dignity on their own land with sovereignty, self-determination rights

Carolyn Ph.D.
Posted November 30, 2012 from United States
Dr. Hanan Ashrawi
Dr. Hanan Ashrawi
Dr. Hanan Ashrawi (1/4)

Urgency of the moment demands full engagement in “ending the cruel and illegal occupation” Editing by Carolyn Bennett

The question the international community should ask, Hanan Ashrawi wrote this week at the Guardian, “is not who wants negotiations, but who wants solutions.

The answer is clear – one side wants to negotiate a permanent solution, the other side wants permanent negotiations.

Who is Hanan Ashrawi?

Dr. Hanan Ashrawi is a Palestinian politician and peace negotiator “known for straight-talking diplomacy.” She is one of the most prominent speakers for the Palestinian people.

Born in 1946 in Ramallah (a town in the West Bank, administered as part of the British Mandate of Palestine from 1920 to 1948) into a family that included parents, Daoud Mikhail, a founding member of the Palestine Liberation Organization; a devout Christian mother of Lebanese descent; and relatives of Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Baptist and Muslim affiliation, Hanan Ashrawi is among few who have as visibly represented the Palestinian people.

Palestinian legislator, activist, and scholar Hanan Daoud Khalil Ashrawi was an important leader during the First Intifada. She has served as the official representative for the Palestinian Delegation to the Middle East peace process, since 1996 elected repeatedly to the Palestinian Legislative Council, and until 1998 minister of higher education for the Palestinian Authority. Dr. Ashrawi is a member of Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s Third Way Party and the first woman elected to the Palestinian National Council.

She serves on the Advisory Board of several international and local organizations including the World Bank Middle East and North Africa (MENA), United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) and the International Human Rights Council.

Dr. Ashrawi took academic credentials in Medieval and Comparative Literature (doctorate at the University of Virginia-United States) and in English (undergraduate and graduate degrees at the American University of Beirut, Lebanon).

Ashrawi continued her Guardian article the day before the General Assembly voted overwhelmingly for upgrading Palestinian status in the United Nations.

“We are farther today from having a serious peace partner than at any time since we began this [peace] ‘process,’” she said.

[Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, at best, views negotiations in the context of photo opportunities and handshakes to improve his international image and keep public opinion quiet. At worst, he exploits the ‘process’ to continue settlement expansion, the annexation of Jerusalem, and the ‘enjoyment’ of an American-led legal cover to enable him to act with impunity.

“This, in fact, represents a severe provocation to our people who have been on the receiving end of such an enormous injustice without responding violently or illegally. While we have met our commitments, Israel continues to renege on its obligations and to build on the 22 percent of the remaining Palestinian land designated for the free sovereign state of Palestine.

“… Rather than being perceived as a substitute for negotiations, our efforts are consistent with the international community’s objective of achieving a peaceful solution whereby Palestine and Israel can live side by side in peace and security.

“… [Countries choosing] not to vote with Palestine will find themselves on the wrong side of history ─ let alone morality, justice and international law.

“Israel is deliberately destroying the two-state solution, as well as the chances for peace and security in the region and beyond.

“It is high time that [wavering] countries recognize the urgency of the moment and become fully engaged in ─

Ending the cruel and illegal occupation and Enabling the Palestinians to exercise their right to self-determination and sovereignty and to live in freedom and dignity on their own land.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said yesterday to the 193-member UN General Assembly ─

The moment has arrived for the world to say clearly: enough of aggression, settlements and occupation. Issue a birth certificate of the reality of the State of Palestine. The window of opportunity is narrowing and time is quickly running out.

The United Nations General Assembly then voted overwhelmingly to accord Palestine ‘Non-Member Observer State’ status.

Vote on Status of Palestine at United Nations: The draft resolution on the Status of Palestine at the United Nations (document A/67/L.28) was adopted by a recorded vote of 138 in favor to 9 against, with 41 abstentions, as follows:

YES votes Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei Darussalam, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, China, Comoros, Congo, Costa Rica, Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Cyprus, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Denmark, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Honduras, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

NO votes Canada, Czech Republic, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Palau, Panama, United States

ABSTENTIONS(tantamount to no) Albania, Andorra, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Colombia, Croatia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Estonia, Fiji, Germany, Guatemala, Haiti, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malawi, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Poland, Republic of Korea, Republic of Moldova, Romania, Rwanda, Samoa, San Marino, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Togo, Tonga, United Kingdom, Vanuatu.

ABSENTEES (carelessly tantamount to no) Equatorial Guinea, Kiribati, Liberia, Madagascar, Ukraine.

Sources and notes

This episode of One on One can be seen from Saturday, September 26, at the following times GMT: Saturday: 0130, 1630; Sunday: 0430; Monday: 0300, 1230.


Peace prize for Ashrawi─ Palestinian MP and human rights activist Hanan Ashrawi has won the prestigious Sydney Peace Prize. Last Modified: 08 Aug 2003 17:49 GMThttp://www.worldtrek.org/odyssey/mideast/ashrawi/ashrawibio.html

Wikipedia notes, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hanan_Ashrawi


Ramallah is a town in the West Bank, adjacent to the town of Al-Bīrah (east) and north of Jerusalem. Administered as part of the British mandate of Palestine (1920–48).

Ramallah was part of the West Bank territory taken by Arab forces in the first of the Arab-Israeli wars (1948–49) and subsequently annexed by Jordan. After the Six-Day War of 1967, Ramallah was under Israeli control as part of the occupied West Bank territory until coming under the administration of the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the wake of the 1993 Oslo Accords.

It later became the centre of PA administration in the West Bank. As an ancient settlement, Ramallah has buildings incorporating masonry from the time of Herod the Great (reigned 37–4 BCE), but no complete structure antedates the Crusades of the 11th century. Britannica note

First Intifada

In December 1987, Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip killed an Arab youth engaged in a protest. Widespread unrest broke out in the Israeli-occupied territories, leading to 21 deaths in two weeks.

This was the start of the intifada (‘shaking’), a wave of Palestinian protests and Israeli reprisals that lent new urgency to Middle East diplomacy.

Israeli military rule of the West Bank then hardened and the Fatah faction of the PLO from bases in Lebanon stepped up actions. Britannica note

General Assembly Votes Overwhelmingly to Accord Palestine ‘Non-Member Observer State’ Status in United Nations

Objective to ‘Breathe New Life’ into Peace Process, Says Palestinian President

Israel’s Delegate Counters, Without Direct Negotiations, Peace Remains ‘Out of Reach’

General Assembly GA/11317, November 29, 2012, Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York, Sixty-seventh General Assembly General Assembly Plenary 44th & 45th Meetings (PM & Night), http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2012/ga11317.doc.htm

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Posted by Bennett's Study at 4:42 PM Labels: Hanan Ashrawi, Israelis and Palestinians, Mahmoud Abbas, Middle East conflict, Status of Palestine at the United Nations

Comments 3

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Jan Askin
Dec 12, 2012
Dec 12, 2012

Dear Bennett,

Thank you for bringing to broader attention the career of Dr. Ashrawi. As long as Palestinians' status remains as the "status quo" the status of women in Palestine will not improve.

By bringing to our attention the accomplishments of a woman of the stature of Dr. Ashrawi, we are reminded of the importance of equal rights for Palestinians.

With respect,

Jan Askin

Carolyn Ph.D.
Dec 12, 2012
Dec 12, 2012

Indeed. Thanks for your comments.

With respect to you as well, Jan Askin

Charlene Phung
Dec 21, 2012
Dec 21, 2012

I echo Jan's sentiments about the importance of highlighting the continued challenges in Palestine and in general that region.

As a Canadian I am disappointed in my government's vote. Women continue to be subjugated to violence and it saddens me that we are not doing anything about it.

Keep up your fight.