138 countries voted on Thursday (November 29, 2012) to upgrade Palestine to a “nonmember observer state” of the United Nations. 9 countries voted against this move and 41 countries abstained from voting. While the vote does little to bring Palestine closer to statehood, it does give Palestine access to international legal forums to challenge Israel on its activities in West Bank. This also reveals the world’s growing sympathy towards the cause of Palestine. However, not much change is expected because of this announcement. Hamas and Fatah have their fundamental differences. A spokesman for Hamas said recently, “We do not recognize Israel, nor the partition of Palestine, and Israel has no right in Palestine…Getting our membership in the U.N. bodies is our natural right, but without giving up any inch of Palestine’s soil.” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, however, is willing to pursue the two states UN Partition Plan of 1947, but will not open negotiations with Prime Minister Netanyahu while Israel is trying to develop the region of the West Bank. The US stand on Palestine has to undergo a metamorphosis. Rula Jebreal, of the Daily Beast writes, “The question that the US must ask is whether it wants to empower moderates or the more violent Palestinian factions. The status quo will only help Hamas and other extremist groups, and demonstrates the dysfunction and the double standards of American foreign policy in the region”. (11/29/2012) The US cannot promote cease-fire/truce as it did a week ago or curb the influence of Hamas in the region without acknowledging need for negotiations between Fatah and Israel.
He also acted in another hit series “I Dream of Jeannie” with Barbara Eden. His staid, uncomplicated character as the astronaut Major Anthony Nelson was endearing but as the Texas millionaire with wicked, wicked ways, he created a character viewers loved to hate. “I really can’t remember half of the people I’ve slept with, stabbed in the back or driven to suicide,” Hagman said of his character.
Republicans have finally accepted the role of Government in our daily lives. At least, the Republican Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie has. Here he is, grateful to President Obama for his support in the wake of Hurricane Sandy disaster. Snubbing Fox host Steve Doocy in an interview recently when asked if he would tour the disaster areas with Mitt Romney, Christie declared, “I have no idea, nor am I the least bit concerned or interested. I’ve a job to do here in New Jersey that’s much bigger than presidential politics and I could care less about any of that stuff. I’ve got 2.4 million people out of power. I’ve got devastation on the Shore. I’ve got floods in the northern part of my state. If you think right now I give a damn about presidential politics, then you don’t know me.”
Trees are down, damaging power lines. There are still 1.7 million homes without power and I have no hope of getting it within the next week. There is also a gas shortage. However, President Obama has taken steps to provide immediate disaster relief. Kudos to Governor Christie for putting aside partisan politics and taking care of NJ in distress.