Newsletter : 11fx0909.txt
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Hizbullah Flag Flies in Toronto
The annual Al-Quds was marked is Toronto, Canada, where the traditional rally marking
Al-Quds Day was held on Sunday, August 28, at Queen's Park in front of the parliament of
The rally was attended by hundreds of people and extreme anti-Israel speeches were
heard. Zafar Bangash, president of the Islamic Society of York Region, attacked the U.S.
and Israel and expressed his belief that Palestine will soon be liberated from the current
US Confirms Palestinian Statehood Veto Threat
By David Gollust (VOA-State Department)
The United States on Thursday confirmed it will veto any bid by the Palestinians to
seek statehood recognition in the U.N. Security Council. Meanwhile, U.S. diplomats
continue an effort to reconvene direct Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and avert a
political showdown at the United Nations later this month.
The veto threat comes as no surprise because the Obama administration has long said
that a Palestinian statehood bid - without Israeli concurrence - would set back hopes for
Despite the U.S. stance, the Palestinian Authority says it is determined to win an
upgrade of international recognition when the new U.N. General Assembly convenes in New
York in less than two weeks.
In the absence of action in the Security Council due to a U.S. veto, Palestinians can
ask the General Assembly to elevate their U.N. status from an observer to a "non-state
The United States has no veto in the General Assembly and analysts say a Palestinian
measure there would likely be approved by a wide majority.
At a news briefing, State Department Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland downplayed the
significance of making the U.S. veto threat explicit. "It should not come as a shock to
anyone in this room that the U.S. opposes a move in New York by the Palestinians to
establish a state that can only be achieved through negotiations. So yes, if something
comes to a vote in the U.N. Security Council, the U.S. will veto," she said.
In a Middle East policy speech in May, President Obama for the first time called for a
two-state Middle East settlement based on Israel's pre-1967 borders, which is in line with
long-held Palestinian demands. But he also said symbolic Palestinian actions at the
United Nations will not create an independent state and that efforts to "delegitimize"
Israel will end in failure.
U.S. envoys Dennis Ross and David Hale were traveling back to Washington on Thursday
after what were depicted as last-ditch talks with Israeli and Palestinian officials on
resuming the dialogue.
Israel said it would return to the talks, but Palestinians say they will not unless
Israel ends settlement building and accepts the 1967 borders as a basis for an accord.
Palestinians say U.N. action does not jeopardize direct negotiations, but Israeli
officials say it could provoke violent unrest and scuttle the peace process.
Palestinians March for Statehood Recognition
Palestinians have launched a series of public relations efforts for their bid to join
the United Nations as a full member state, a day after U.S. envoys tried to persuade them
to drop the bid.
About 100 Palestinian officials and activists marched Thursday to the U.N. office in
Ramallah, where they presented a letter stating their intentions to a U.N. official. The
letter is addressed to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and asks that he support the
The Palestinians say they will hold a series of peaceful events ahead of the September
20th start of the U.N. General Assembly. A General Assembly vote in favor of Palestinian
state membership would be largely symbolic, but could give Palestinians international
support in their bid for an independent state.
They are expected to seek U.N. membership for a state based on boundaries that existed
before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. Israel rejects a return to those lines.
Turkey: Warships to Escort Gaza-Bound Aid Vessels
Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan threatened Thursday to dispatch Turkish warships
to escort aid ships from his country to Hamas-ruled Gaza. Erdogan also said that Turkey
had taken steps to stop Israel from unilaterally exploiting natural resources from the
eastern Mediterranean, according to Al Jazeera's Arabic translation of excerpts of the
interview, which was conducted in Turkish.
Erdogan's comments came as Turkey downgraded diplomatic ties with Israel and heated up
rhetoric against the Jewish State in the aftermath of the publication of the UN Palmer
Commission report on the Mavi Maramara raid and Israel's refusal to answer Turkish demands
to apologize for the incident.
Israel, in accordance with the Palmer Report's conclusion, has offered only to 'express
regret' for the deaths of 9 Turkish nationals who were a part of a mob that attempted to
lynch members of Israel's Shayetet-13 naval commando unit, who boarded the vessel.
Turkey was particularly incensed by the Palmer Report's conclusion Israel's blockade of
Gaza was "legal and appropriate" and rejected its findings saying the report was "biased."
Dispatching warships to violate Israel's blockade would almost certainly be regarded as an
Act of War in Jerusalem and could lead to a naval showdown akin to the US-Russian
confrontation during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962.
Turkey and Egypt will hold a joint naval exercise at the end of the year, according to
an unconfirmed report in Egyptian news Web site 'Masrawy' Thursday. An unnamed Egyptian
official told the web site the drill would help in the exchange of knowledge and combat
techniques between the countries.
Erdogan will make an official visit to Cairo next week and meet with high-ranking
Egyptian officials in a bid to strengthen strategic and business relations between the two
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