September 19, 2011
The BBC's Understanding Of 'Narrow Support'
The headline BBC poll shows narrow support for Palestinian state seems to express that the poll found only a few more people supporting a Palestinian state than not supporting it. But already the second sentence in the article states:
Across the 19 countries surveyed, 49% supported the proposal while 21% said their government should oppose it.
And it later continues:
Even in countries where opposition was strongest, more people polled supported the resolution than were against it.
The United States and the Philippines both polled 36% against the resolution. But 45% of Americans and 56% of Filipinos backed recognition.
The lowest level of support was in India, with 32% in favour and 25% opposed, with many undecided.
Support was strongest in Egypt, where 90% were in favour and only 9% opposed.
Overall, 30% opted for not giving a definite answer as they thought their country should abstain, or "it depends", or they did not offer a view.
So we have in total 49% yes, 21% no and 30% abstained. That is a solid 70% of those answering for a Palestinian state with only 30% against it.
How did the BBC headline writer get from there to "narrow support"? What in the headline writers mind would constitute "broad support"? A totalitarian 98% yes vote?
While a big majority supports a Palestinian state, I doubt that many will do so in the form the current drive at the UN might achieve it.
The Palestinian Authority, which is the pseudo West Bank government of Mahmud Abbas and his Fatah party, plans to ask the United Nation's Security Council to get admitted as a sovereign nation.
Other Palestinian parties, Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and well know Palestinians like Omar Barghouti, one of the leaders of the Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement, have spoken out against this move. Indeed many Palestinian writers assert that this move will certainly have bad consequences for Palestinians.
The Palestinian state Abbas wants would replace the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) with the West Bank Palestinian Authority (PA). Palestinian refugees outside of the West Bank and Gaza would then be without representation. This would also recognize Israel on 78% of the ground of the original Palestine. For what gain please?
Abbas has no longer legitimacy as president of the PA. His Fatah party had lost the 2006 election against Hamas but a USrael arranged coup against it prevented it from taking power. Abbas official time in office ended in 2009. He is only still sitting on his current chair because new elections have been prevented from being held. Just like Mubarak was, Abbas is now just one of the usual colonial puppet dictators. (His lack of legitimacy on its own should be reason enough for any liberal to be against his UN move.)
Abbas fears a public "Arab spring" rebellion against himself. He wants to stay relevant and in his well paid job. He therefore needs some action just to show that he is still somewhat useful and, if possible, to even increase his own position. As the Palestinian Papers have shown he is willing to sell out any Palestinian right plus his grandmother to achieve that. His personal motivation, not Palestinian rights, is the sole reason he started this UN admission ploy that may well turn out to be just theater.
One wonders why Abbas recently has chosen the Security Council as the way to go. The General Assembly could just as well decide the issue and there a majority "yes" vote would be a certainty while the vote through the Security Council is likely more difficult to get. Indeed as the NYT writes:
American, European and Israeli officials are now quietly arguing that the Security Council may prove easier for diplomats seeking a formula to get the Israelis and Palestinians back to negotiations. The application through the Security Council will take longer because it will involve letters, committee formation and most likely requests for more time to study the situation.
What deal was made with Abbas over this?
Posted by b on September 19, 2011 at 05:58 AM | Permalink
The BBC is often this unreliable. Thanks for catching them yet again.
Posted by: Joseph | Sep 19, 2011 7:59:32 AM | 1
"So we have in total 49% yes, 21% no and 30% abstained."
I don't see how you conclude from that "That is a solid 70% of those answering for a Palestinian state with only 30% against it."
Wouldn't it be a solid 49%?
Posted by: Oscar Romero | Sep 19, 2011 12:42:44 PM | 3
hamas may have 'spoken out' against statehood but the statement on their website doesn't.
there's been much talk about Goodwin-Gill’s op ed but immediately following it FRANCIS A. BOYLE. advisor to arafat.
Hence all rights will be preserved: for all Palestinians and for the PLO. No one will be disenfranchised. The PLO will not lose its status. This legal arrangement does not violate the Palestinian Charter, but was approved already by the PNC.
Unfortunately, an Oxford professor calleed Guy Goodwill-Gill has circulated a memo full of distortions. The memo is based on many erroneous assumption. This professor is not aware of all the legal and constitutional technicalities that were originally built into the Palestinian Declaration of Independence to make sure that his doomsday scenario does not materialize–at my advice.
All rights have been protected and will be protected by Palestine becoming a Member State of the United Nations, including the Right of Return. Indeed, in the Memo I originally did for President Arafat and the PLO back in 1988, I explained how we could obtain UN Membership.
All of the advice that I gave to President Arafat and the PLO in 1987 to 1989 was originally premised on the assumption that someday we would apply for UN Membership. That day has come.
furthermore it is my understanding abbas is representing the PLO in the bid for statehood, not the PA.
Posted by: annie | Sep 19, 2011 12:59:00 PM | 4
plus, according to this WSJ article from two days ago, boyle is still the advisor to abbas (i would imagine as the advisor to the plo).
here's boyle in 07:
only the PLO has the authority under international law to negotiate on behalf of the Palestinian People and the State of Palestine. That is why the Chairman of the PLO Yasser Arafat signed the Oslo Agreement in the name of the PLO. The Palestinian Authority has no authorization under international law to negotiate on behalf of the
Palestinian People, let alone the State of Palestine, whose Provisional Government is the PLO Executive Committee. Indeed, an entire series of UN General Assembly Resolutions have made it clear that only the PLO is the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian People. Hence this delegation of the Palestinian Authority to the Annapolis Conference has no legal authority under international law to conclude anything on behalf of the Palestinian People, let alone the State of Palestine.
WAPO:Abbas formally announces U.N. membership bid
Countering arguments that U.N. recognition of a state along the 1967 boundaries with Israel would push aside the Palestine Liberation Organization, which currently has observer status in the United Nations, Abbas asserted that the organization would continue to represent Palestinians everywhere.
The PLO, Abbas said, remains “the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people” until it achieves independence and all outstanding disputes with Israel are resolved — primarily the issue of Palestinian refugees — and the results are implemented on the ground.
actually, i went to find that link because i know when i first read it the announcement said the plo was hosting the announcement calling for celebration in ramallah. maybe that was wapo publishing the origianl AP story. anyway, my point is that the PA has no authority to represent the palestinians in their bid and abbas is not addressing the UN as a rep of the PA.
Posted by: annie | Sep 19, 2011 1:16:08 PM | 5
Among those with an opinion, for every three respondents against Palestinian statehood there are seven in favor. Is that better?
Posted by: noncompusmentus | Sep 19, 2011 1:20:55 PM | 6
great link moshe
Posted by: annie | Sep 19, 2011 1:31:06 PM | 7
@Oscar Romero - Wouldn't it be a solid 49%?
Stupid you, not me. If you take away the abstained and count the people that really voted, as is done in all "democratic" elections, 70% to 30% is very clear.
@annie - it would have been nice if you would have linked to Guy S. Goodwin-Gill legal opinion instead of just quoting an Abbas consultant. I see, like Goodwin-Gill, a serious legal risk here and an Abbas who is only interested in his own position.
As Joseph Massad says:
Whether the UN grants the PA status as a state or refuses to do so, either outcome will be in Israel's interest.
Why doesn't Abbas first works on a real union government with Hamas, who at least are elected. Then agree on the next steps and work on them. Abbas is a dictator and now, playing the U.S./Israeli book. That will end badly for the Palestinians.
Posted by: b | Sep 19, 2011 2:32:43 PM | 8
I had a simple question after reading your post. I was not calling you stupid. I'm not sure why you call me that. After all, polling is not the same as elections.
Posted by: Oscar Romero | Sep 19, 2011 3:10:16 PM | 9
NYT's Helen Thomas, ostracised for daring to speak the truth about the Jews, shone a bright light on the problem with the global MSM press corps.
They spend their time waiting, in Press Galleries, for unmitigated liars to tell them what to report and how to report it. The leverage applied to ensure conformity is the threat of temporary, or permanent, banishment from the Gallery.
Seen in this light, the BBC's unimaginatively docile reporting should surprise no-one.
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 19, 2011 11:29:55 PM | 10
sorry for not providing more supporting doc's b. i figured anyone reading yours (omar barghouti whom i greatly respect) could read about gil's and he linked to it. also omar sent his article out on the list serve over a week ago or thereabouts and people (in the movement) have been discussing the goodwin-gil for almost a month or thereabouts..
i am not a fan of abbas or the PA and my comments were not intended to suggest i was.
my understanding is boyle is an advisor to the plo and is advising abbas in that capacity.it is also my understanding (rumor) if the un bid is not accepted the pa will fold.
i think the overwhelming significance of this move is to force a recognition the US is not in any position to be a broker (they will veto and at risk to our reputation throughout the ME as the recent declaration from SA underlines. it signifies the palestinians have run the gamut wrt 'negotiations' and the 'peace process' and are taking it to the international community which i think is a good thing in the sense it is movement.
with all due respect to barghouti (and i do respect him very much) he is not an international lawyer. there is a consensus within the legal community this is a bold move which is why the US/IS is fighting so hard to bring it down. from a legal perspective it is my understanding the regugees are protected. the pa is a colonial gov set up for colonial purposes. they have no authority to sign away the international rights of palestinians already codified in international law.
Posted by: annie | Sep 19, 2011 11:56:58 PM | 11
another thing. if this bid makes it thru the GA(it will) it changes the status of the occupation to an occupation of a state as opposed to a territory which bind israel to legal obligations under interantional law. it also opens the UN courts, in particular the ICC, to palestinians.
but to answer your question and reiterate what i mentioned in the previous comment. taking it to the security council forces the US to veto it (unless they can find proxies which is what they are scrambling to do now). by vetoing the palestinian bid for statehood the US cannot go on pretending it is advocating for 2 states. israel didn't get it's mandate thru negotiation with palestine, after all. did you read Veto a State, Lose an Ally ? how much is the US willing to loose over israel? the security council bid was the right way to go and if they do not succeed they can still go to the GA. it opens up a multitude of possibilities in the legal arena.
Posted by: annie | Sep 20, 2011 12:10:02 AM | 12
The Anglo Press is seriously and purposefully garbling the issues here.
As a country, or a territory, one can be recognized as a State by other countries or States.
Palestine has been recognized as a State by a large no. of countries, in bi-lateral agreements or ‘spontaneous’ declarations, called ‘diplomatic recognition.’ Wiki: Of the 193 member states of the United Nations, 126 have recognized the State of Palestine. That does not confer statehood in UN terms.
At the UN, one can:
1) have observer status.
Observers can be any entity - organisations, associations, groupings of citizens, etc. Participation as ‘observers’, is arbitrarily regulated by the UN - what they can or cannot do - speak, appear, propose texts, participate in meetings, committees, etc.
Palestine (that is, the PLO as an org) has had observer status since 1974, with Palestine, recognized, moreover, as ‘occupied territory.’
Interpol has observer status, as does, e.g. the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, the EU itself, the In’tl org. of Francophonia, the Islamic Devp. Group, the International Olympics.... Wiki also lists the International fund for saving the Aral Sea, which I had never heard of.
There are only two so-called permanent observers (i.e. there are *two grades* of observers):
The Vatican and Palestine.
2) Be a non-member State. Kosovo, Taiwan, the Vatican are non-member states, as was CH until 2002.
(With observer status: The Vatican, and CH before 2002, or not: Kosovo.)
A majority of 2/3 amongst the present members of the General Assembly (member states) is required. Palestine would appear to have the votes, if one refers to the number of countries that recognize it.
(Note the difference between Kosovo and Palestine: Kosovo recognized as a State, without any bilateral negotiations...)
Being a non-member State confers Statehood! With all its privileges...including the International Court!
3) Be a member state. Impossible for Palestine because a member of the Security Council can veto. (USA.)
I disagree with much of what the ‘anti’ statehood articles say.
Why are the Israelis terrified and lobbying like mad - pulling every card they can - to stop this initiative?
In polls, 80 to more than 90% of Palestinians support.
The PA / PLO may be ‘illegitimate’ - quite so. The only way to get rid of them is to ...become a democratic State. As for the right to return, Palestine could just deliver passports to whomever it wants, only to return to its own territory, of course.
Yes, it is the two-state solution, which one may disapprove of.
Posted by: Noirette | Sep 20, 2011 5:31:59 AM | 13
Love to see the UN push for a Palestinian state,but, I'll have to see it to believe it. Regardless, does anyone believe the powers that be will ever let that happen, or force Israel to live up to any agreement reached? Considering the UN, with it's decision to give lands that they didn't own, to others who didn't own them, it would be the right thing to do. Real statehood for the Palestinians is the only solution to the problem. At least, it would be one helluva starting point.
Posted by: ben | Sep 20, 2011 9:29:08 AM | 14
does anyone believe the powers that be will ever let that happen, or force Israel to live up to any agreement reached?
i think it is a slow process but i think what it boils down to is how it bears on international law in general. this point was made by npr yesterday.
If conquest - if we're going to throw out the U.N. charter and we're going to throw out everything that has emerged since World War II in the way of international law and say that conquest is a basis to throw out U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, the acquisition of territory by force is perfectly okay.
it speaks to the heart of colonialism and individual rights, the universal declaration of human rights, the 4th geneva convention rules of war adopted in 1949 by the international community specifically in response to atrocities in ww2.
so do we throw all that out the window for israel? i can't think of an event that has riveted the international law community like this statehood bid and this is the reason for that. imho.
Posted by: annie | Sep 20, 2011 3:29:41 PM | 15
sorry, supposed to read 'the point made by Rashid Khalidi on npr yesterday.'
Posted by: annie | Sep 20, 2011 3:30:44 PM | 16
sorry, supposed to read 'the point made by Rashid Khalidi on npr yesterday.'
Posted by: annie | Sep 20, 2011 3:30:46 PM | 17
international law doesn't exist
it has already become yet another perversion of jurisprudence of those who rule from the roll of dollars
Posted by: remembereringgiap | Sep 20, 2011 5:24:40 PM | 18
so do we throw all that out the window for israel?
The answer is two parts.
1.) No, not for Israel, and it's not "we", although "they" want us to believe it is "we". Israel's a chess piece, not the end all be all. It is a means to a much larger end that never really ends until we all end.
2.) It was thrown out the moment it was adopted, because the rules were never intended for the Victors, only for the Losers.
Ben, Israel may one day be sacrificed, but when that day is...is hard to say. Regardless of what some here say, Israel is not the one running the show. Yes, they have significant clout and influence, but in the end, Israel is the one that's being played, and its people will be made to suffer for its Leader's sins....whilst the Leaders slip away to safety with their billions.
Posted by: Morocco Bama | Sep 20, 2011 5:28:06 PM | 19
U.S. Plans to Delay Vote on Palestinian Statehood
Officials briefed on diplomacy said Washington and its European allies are going to refrain from a quick vote on the Palestinian initiative at the Security Council and instead refer the application to a panel for further study.
This process, which could take months, will allow the so-called Quartet of powers seeking to broker Middle East peace—which comprises the U.S., U.N., European Union, and Russia—to continue negotiating with the Palestinians and Israelis to try to create a new negotiating framework acceptable to both sides.
Officials also said Mr. Abbas could seek enhanced observer states at the U.N. through a vote at the General Assembly, which would allow the Palestinians to join such international groups as the U.N. Human Rights Committee and the International Criminal Court. If so, the U.S. and Europeans would try to water down the resolution in a way that might keep the peace process alive. Officials are calling this option "GA Light."
U.N. officials said this week that Mr. Abbas was taking a large diplomatic risk by going to the Security Council, as it was unclear if he could garner the nine votes—of a total 15 members—needed to pass the resolution. Falling short would be an embarrassment for Mr. Abbas and let the U.S. avoid employing a veto.
Posted by: b | Sep 21, 2011 2:42:16 AM | 20
b. yeah, this doesn't surprise me but remember this is lobby framing, wsj. let's see what transpires. fat lady not singing.
Posted by: annie | Sep 21, 2011 4:21:22 AM | 21
r'giap. if colonialists (and corporations) can transfer people, shove them around and replace them with inciteful religious freaks as a matter of course then let's scream it from the rooftops now.
Posted by: annie | Sep 21, 2011 4:26:00 AM | 22
r'giap @ 18: I'm afraid you're right, given the way the West has made their own rules from Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya etc. International Law is an illusion fostered by the elites. It only applies to the peons of the world.
Posted by: ben | Sep 21, 2011 8:17:04 AM | 23
The BBC is one of the cowed. They have honest journalists, and at 6 am, you will hear good stories. At 8 am, when most are listening, the story will have changed, and there will be an interview with the Israeli spokesman. It's not unusual, they just don't want to face up to the storm of pro-Israeli complaints.
Posted by: alexno | Sep 21, 2011 5:37:38 PM | 24
On the question of the Palestinian demand at the UN for recognition, I appreciate that there are some Palestinians who are opposed. For example, Joseph Massad says that Israel wins in either case.
In my view, the fact that Israel is resisting so strongly, proves that it is worth doing. Even if the US vetoes, it's a victory. Much more difficult to exterminate the Palestinians if their state is recognised by the General Assembly.
Posted by: alexno | Sep 21, 2011 6:01:14 PM | 25
looks like it's gonna get hung up in committee forever, or until they can convince abbas not to go the the GA. what a sham.
Posted by: annie | Sep 22, 2011 6:26:48 AM | 26
From an historical perspective it's sorta funny that the Leveretts chose to refer to Obama's craven ineptitude. Gore Vidal once described Bush II as eerily inept.
It would seem that ineptitude of one kind or another is a prerequisite for Presidential candidacy in the US of A.
(John McCain, Sarah Palin etc.)
If you're not a vacuous ideologue, a religious crank, a coward, a fool, or an intellectual pygmy, there's not much point seeking nomination.
Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Sep 22, 2011 10:35:58 AM | 28
So I finally got around to read Mr Obamas speech at the UN. Two things it makes clear beyond any doubt:
* The US is now a fully owned subsidiary of Israel-zionism Inc.
* Mr Obama is applying for the post of CEO of APAIC, the foreign investments arm of said Israel-zionism Inc corporation.
(in other words, Mr Obama humiliated himself once again in front of the whole world. It is not even fun to watch anymore).
I agree with alexno in comment 25 - even if the request lingers for a while in UN sec. council committees, it is a victory for the Palestinians – forcing the US to be so blatantly direct and making a fool of themselves.
Posted by: philippe | Sep 22, 2011 11:42:21 PM | 29