Ashrawi and Tibi say Obama made it sound like Palestinians are occupying Israel
by Ira Glunts on September 21, 2011
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Hanan Ashrawi, who is part of the Palestinian delegation at the UN, reacted angrily to President Obama’s UN address. Here are some quotes from a Ha'aretz interview in Hebrew that took place immediately after the speech (Barak Ravid, “Palestinian Anger Over Obama Speech at the UN” (original title), Ha’aretz (Hebrew))
I did not believe what I heard, it sounded as if the Palestinians were occupying Israel. There was no empathy for the Palestinians, he only spoke of the Israeli problems.
He told us that it isn’t easy to achieve peace, thanks, we know this. He spoke about universal rights – Good, those same rights apply to Palestinians.
[The Americans] are applying enormous pressure on everybody at the UN, they are using threats and coercion. I wish they would invest the same energy in an attempt to promote peace, not threats.
Ahmad Tibi, a Palestinian member of the Israeli parliament, who is in NYC with the Palestinian delegation, was also interviewed by the newspaper. He echoed Ashrawi when speaking about the Obama address:
It is possible to think after hearing the President’s speech today, that the Israelis were demanding a state from their Palestinian occupiers.
Avoiding [mentioning] the ’67 borders was biting and clear.
His message is continued suffering for the Palestinians, accompanied by long and perpetual negotiations with Netanyahu.
The fact that Tibi, who is an Israeli politician, traveled with the PA delegation to the UN is viewed by many as controversial in Israel. Many Israelis take a very dim view of cooperation between Palestinians from Israel, with officials in the territories; they see it as disloyalty to the state. I know it sounds crazy, but that’s the way they think.
Both Tibi and Ashrawi insisted that despite the pressure, the Palestinians will go forward with the UN resolution as planned. According to an AP report, Mahmoud Abbas says that he will not agree to a delay in voting for the statehood resolution despite pressure from the US and France.