Chavez meets Abbas, calls for Palestinian state

October 15, 2011  

Chaves meets AbbasCARACAS, Venezuela (Ma’an) — Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Tuesday welcomed his counterpart Mahmoud Abbas in the capital.

Chavez has long championed the Palestinian cause and has hosted Abbas on previous occasions.

Before meeting Abbas at the presidential palace in Caracas, Chavez reiterated his support for a Palestinian state.

Chavez said the Palestinians “have gone 63 years enduring abuses, invasions, bombardments, aggressions and UN resolutions” against them.

“I invite the entire Venezuelan people to support the cause of the Palestinian people,” he said.

Chavez said he hoped to establish a joint Palestinian-Venezuelan committee headed by the foreign minister that would be responsible for agriculture and trade cooperation. Read more

Vote now to bring Palestine into UN

October 5, 2011  

Ali Kazak  October 4, 2011
Opinion
Australia will soon have to choose which course to take at the United Nations General Assembly in a vote for Palestine's membership of the UN.

Israel and its influential lobby are pushing hard for the government to vote against Palestine’s membership, but the government has a duty to put Australia’s national interests, its international standing, values and commitments, above its own narrow party interests and that of Israel’s.

Australia should do the right thing and be on the right side of history, not appease the extreme-right Israeli government and its lobby.

Australian support of Palestinian membership will reflect the moral values Australia upholds, serve its standing in the international community and give credibility to the role it is working hard to achieve internationally. It is also a golden opportunity to correct its biased Middle East policy since the creation of Israel in Palestine in 1948. Read more

It’s now time for the West to recognise Palestinian statehood

October 4, 2011  

Malcolm Fraser

Opinion

The current negative approach is damaging and can’t be justified.

THE arguments against recognition of a Palestinian state seem to rest on the simple proposition that agreement must be reached through negotiation and that a resolution granting statehood would set that process back.

If that argument was valid it would have been true in 1948 when the United Nations recognised Israel as an independent state. People should then have argued the Israelis must negotiate with the Palestinians, the people who were being pushed out, and once they had come to an agreement, we could recognise Israel.

If the argument is so thin, why are some Western powers so strongly against recognition of a Palestinian state? I suggest it is because of the lock that Israel has over the policies of too many Western countries. There is an Israeli lobby that governments are not prepared to offend.

There have been two major stumbling blocks to peace. The first is the expansion of illegal settlements in the West Bank, the daily diminution of what might become Palestine. President Barack Obama, to his credit, tried to get Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to stop the expansions. He did not succeed. If other Western countries had supported President Obama at the time, that result may have been better. Read more