This message & video link just arrived from Jewish Voice for Peace, in Washington DC:
Hours from now, Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority, will speak to the United Nations General Assembly and ask 193 countries to vote for non-member observer status for Palestine.
With support expected from as many as 150 countries, the bid will likely pass easily.
This vote will not create an independent Palestinian state. [MR: Only the Security Council can grant statehood; the US vetoed a Palestinian bid last year.] But despite its limitations, Jewish Voice for Peace supports this initiative in the General Assembly.
A successful bid will demonstrate that the majority of the world’s countries support Palestinian political and social rights. It could give Palestinians the ability to hold Israel accountable, for the first time ever, in the International Criminal Court.
Israel and the United States are lobbying furiously against the bid [MR: So is Canada]. Both countries claim they support Palestinian independence, but have worked non-stop against a just and lasting peace for both peoples. Should this bid succeed, Israel and the US have threatened retribution against the Palestinians and the UN. Powerful members of the U.S. Congress have already introduced an amendment to a budget bill that would pull U.S. funding from countries that support the bid, and to punish the U.N. itself.
Today represents a critical opportunity for the rest of us.
Today people will read, see, hear about Palestine/Israel in blogs, newspapers, Facebook, everywhere. They may wonder: why are Palestinians stateless? Why are they fighting? Why are Israel and the United States opposing most of the world?
At Jewish Voice for Peace we’ve put together a 6-minute animation that explains why Israelis and Palestinians are fighting. It’s not meant to be comprehensive, but a simple tool about the conflict as a struggle for equal rights.
Let’s help people to understand why this UN vote matters, why so-called ‘peace talks’ have failed, and how we can make a difference, now, in our homes and schools and workplaces.
Voices for a just peace will not be heard through the mainstream media. By posting and forwarding this video any way you can, you’ll help ensure that such voices get a hearing.
The video is here.