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Abbas: $460 million in US aid "does not mean they dictate to us whatever they want”
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Abbas: $460 million in US aid
"does not mean they dictate to us
whatever they want"

PA leaders and official media attack Obama and the US
following US veto of UN resolution

by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik

Palestinian Authority leaders and its official media have attacked the US with a barrage of anti-American statements. This follows the US veto of a UN Security Council resolution last week on the issue of Israeli building in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

These verbal attacks come in spite of the continued substantial financial aid the PA receives from the US. A few weeks before the UN vote, Mahmoud Abbas already announced that US financial support of the Palestinian Authority will not allow the US "to dictate to us whatever they want." Abbas cited two examples of requests by the Obama administration that he personally had rejected:

Mahmoud Abbas: "The US is assisting us in the amount of $460 million annually. This does not mean that they dictate to us whatever they want, because we do what we view as beneficial to our cause. I recall that they said, 'Don't go to the Arab Summit in Damascus,' but we went. They demanded that we should not sign the Egyptian reconciliation document [between Fatah and Hamas], but we sent Azzam Al-Ahmed to sign it."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Jan. 24, 2011]

Since the UN vote, the Palestinian Authority has stepped up its verbal attacks directed at President Obama personally and the United States in general.

(Bold emphasis added by PMW)

From op-ed in official PA daily:
"[Headline] "Yes, we can"
"President Obama attaches no importance to values, morality, the principles of human rights, or international law. All that matters to him is his own interest and the interests of his country. He forgets that the world is changing, and is no longer a hostage to American interests."
"All he [Obama] can do is bow before Netanyahu and Liberman... President Obama is bowing before Israel."
"The Arab nations will soon begin to chant their old slogans, including 'America is the head of the snake.'"
"Our [Arab] nations have held back for a long time, but they will rise up, rebel, [bring about] change, and answer, 'Yes, we can.'"
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 20, 2011]

Jibril Rajoub, Deputy Secretary of the Fatah Central Committee:
The US veto "contradicts the values of freedom" and is "dictatorial behavior of the first order."
"The American administration has chosen unilateral aggression against human rights."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 20, 2011]

Hafez Barghouti, editor of official PA daily:
"We understand very well that the protests and revolutions blazing in the Arab countries have economic and social roots, and that they are related to corruption and social injustice. However, this is a result of police states which enforced oppression, first and foremost for the sake of their ties with the Americans. Every corrupt Arab has a foreign or Israeli partner, and the most corrupt and the richest in Egypt have partners in Israel in the field of gas and the like. Therefore, the rebellion against oppression and corruption must be directed towards the godfathers of the thieves of natural resources and the oppressors of nations, not only against their agents."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 20, 2011]
 

Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian Authority Chairman:
"The American veto will not stop our activity in relation to the international institutions."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 20, 2011]

It should be noted that not only is the US under the Obama administration a major financial supporter of the PA, but since its establishment in 1993, the PA has received more financial aid from the United States than any other country. According to the World Bank report in 2004, the US was the single largest supporter of Palestinians, giving more than $1.3 billion to the PA and NGOs. By 2007, the amount was more than $1.5 billion, and US aid has continued at high levels since. Most of the Palestinian infrastructure has benefited from US aid, including schools, hospitals, universities, water systems, road development, sports and more.

The following are detailed examples of PA leaders' statements and articles in the official PA daily in response to the US veto:

Article in official PA daily:
"President Mahmoud Abbas said that he believes that the fact that 14 countries voted in favor of the proposed resolution is a 'real victory of Palestinian diplomacy, despite the American veto'... For his part, PLO Secretary General Yasser Abd Rabbo told Agence France Presse: 'Our decision right now is to turn to the UN General Assembly to pass a UN resolution against settlements, denouncing them and emphasizing that they are illegal. Thereafter we will once again raise the proposal [i.e., proposed resolution] denouncing settlements before the Security Council... The American veto will not stop our activity in relation to the international institutions, nor will it cause us to stop wanting freedom and independence.'...
A senior Fatah member said that the American veto 'represents a strategic threat to US interests in the Middle East region'. Deputy Secretary of the Fatah Central Committee, Jibril Rajoub, told Agence France Presse: 'The veto contradicts the values of freedom promoted by the American administration in our region, and the values of the American people concerning respect for human rights. We view it as dictatorial behavior of the first order, and a blow to the resolutions of international legitimacy and to international and humanitarian law... The American administration has chosen unilateral aggression against human rights.'"
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 20, 2011]

Headline: "Palestinians burned again by the American veto fire..."
"Secretary of the Fatah movement in Nablus, Mahmoud Shtayyeh, told Al-Hayat Al-Jadida that the American veto represents a mark of Cain on the forehead of the Barack Obama administration, which boasts of extending its patronage to the peace process. Ashtiyeh stated that it is impossible to trust the American administration as the patron of the peace process following its declared agreement to continuation of construction in the settlements and in the occupied city of Jerusalem. He noted that for decades the American position has been the same, unchanging position, always leaning towards Israel's benefit."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 20, 2011]

Headline: "American veto destroys the negotiations"
"Secretary of the PLO Executive Committee, Yasser Abd Rabbo, announced that the leadership will re-examine the entire negotiations in the wake of the American veto at the [UN] Security Council... He emphasized that 'we shall re-examine our commitment to the entire process of the negotiations as a whole, because the American position is not balanced.'"
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 19, 2011]

Op-ed in official PA daily
Headline: "Yes, we can"
"Contrary to the campaign slogan upheld by President Obama in order to achieve the Presidency, 'Yes, we can', he has shown - by instructing that veto [power] be employed at the Security Council - that all he can do is bow before Netanyahu and Liberman... President Obama is bowing before Israel, which steals the rights of the Palestinian people, because he has begun planning for the campaign to extend his term of office in 2012.
Therefore he applied pressure to President Mahmoud Abbas in a conversation that lasted 50 minutes, by using threats to force the Palestinian leadership to withdraw the [proposed] resolution condemning the settlements and emphasizing their illegality... President Obama attaches no importance to values, morality, the principles of human rights, or international law. All that matters to him is his own interest and the interests of his country. He forgets that the world is changing, and is no longer a hostage to American interests... The Palestinian people, with its long history of resistance, knows that the Arab nations will soon begin to chant their old slogans, including, 'America is the head of the snake.' The Arab masses will emphasize that they are rising up not only against poverty and corruption, but also against degradation and humiliation [and seek] to restore their glory and their dignity. The symbol of the glory and dignity of the Arab masses is the conflict with Israel and its allies, following their escape from regimes which oppressed them, impoverished them, starved them, and which acted as a barrier between them and the stopping of the Zionist enterprise. All the sacrifices are insignificant, if the alternative is degradation and humiliation. Our nations have held back for a long time, but they will rise up, rebel, [bring about] change, and answer, 'Yes, we can.'"
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 20, 2011]

Hafez Barghouti, editor of official PA daily:
"We, as Palestinians, have to turn to our youth for them to make contact with their Arab peers via Facebook and warn them of the American and Western attempts to reap the fruits of the protests [going on in the Arab countries] and [their attempts] to appoint leaders over the youth to act for the sake of the American agendas, in order to establish subservience following the collapse of the regimes which served the American policy for many decades. The Palestinian leadership has succeeded in exposing American hypocrisy and the unbounded discrimination in favor of the occupation, as expressed in the use of its veto against the condemnation of settlements. This alone shows the essence of the American colonialist policy, which is hostile towards the Arab nation, and especially the Palestinian nation, and its aspirations for freedom, dignity and justice. We understand very well that the protests and revolutions blazing in the Arab countries have economic and social roots, and that they are related to corruption and social injustice. However, this is a result of police states which enforced oppression, first and foremost for the sake of their ties with the Americans. Every corrupt Arab has a foreign or Israeli partner, and the most corrupt and the richest in Egypt have partners in Israel in the field of gas and the like. Therefore, the rebellion against oppression and corruption must be directed towards the godfathers of the thieves of natural resources and the oppressors of nations, not only against their agents."
[Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Feb. 20, 2011]


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