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Palestinian Flag Raised at UN: Symbol of ‘Hope’, But No Substitute For a State

21st Century Wire says…

It was a historic event for the Palestinian people, as their flag was raised in front of an enthuiastic crowd thousands at the United Nations today in New York City.

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas took the opportunity to declare in his speech that Palestinians ‘are no longer bound’ by the failed Oslo Accords with Israel, and that the world must recognize Palestine as a state under occupation.

1-Abbas-UN
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas aka ‘Abu Mazen’ speak to the world in New York City this week.

Predictably, the Israel leader Benjamin Netanyahu lashed out, describing the Palestinian leader’s speech as”deceitful”. The Prime Minister’s office added that, “Abu Mazen’s speech was deceitful and encourages incitement and lawlessness in the Middle East.”

Fearing an end to its status quo of their brutal military occupation over the native Palestinian population, the Israeli hard-line regime continue their policy of rejecting any Palestinian bid for diplomatic or sovereign status.

Is the world listening? For the Palestinian people, the road to self-determination and freedom is a long one, and one which will be measured by small victories – like this one…

The Palestinian flag flies beside the flag of the United Nations after being raised by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a ceremony during the United Nations General Assembly at the United Nations in Manhattan, New York
Chris McGreal

The Guardian

It was barely recognisable as a flag.

Clinging to the rain soaked pole, a strip of cloth with no immediately identifiable shape or national characteristics rose over the United Nations to clapping, cheers and an abundance of references to symbolism and hope.

Eventually a gust of wind caught it, and the black, green, red and white of the Palestinian flag fluttered free for the first time at the UN after the general assembly voted earlier this month to recognise the territory occupied by Israel as a state.

Diplomats and staff tramped across the rain-soaked grass of the UN’s Rose Garden on the banks of the East River to watch.

The UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, was the first to mention hope, although he was circumspect about what the flag-raising represented hope for. Not hope for a country anytime soon, but that one day it may happen, it seemed.

“This is a day of pride for Palestinians around the world. It is a day of hope. It’s a reminder that symbols are important,” he said. “May the raising of this flag give rise to the hope among the Palestinians and the international community that Palestinian statehood is achievable.”

It was also a reminder that symbols are not a substitute for a state.

“A flag is easy,” said a European official watching the ceremony. “There was a lot of noise against it from the Israelis and the Americans but at least it wasn’t a map. Just imagine trying to draw the borders.”

The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, proclaimed the flag-raising an omen. “The day of raising the flag over the state of Palestine is coming soon. Over Jerusalem, the capital of our state of Palestine,” he said…

Read more at The Guardian

READ MORE PALESTINE NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Palestine Files

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