Archive for December, 2014

French vote urges recognition of Palestinian state

December 02, 2014

PARIS (AP) — France’s lower house of Parliament voted Tuesday to urge the government to recognize a Palestinian state, in the hope that it would speed up peace efforts after decades of conflict.

The 339-151 vote is non-binding, but it’s a symbolic boost for the Palestinians, amid growing support in Europe for two states. The measure asks the government “to recognize the state of Palestine in view of reaching a definitive settlement to the conflict.”

France’s Socialist government supports a Palestinian state, but has said it’s too early for recognition. France, a veto-wielding member of the U.N. Security Council, wants peace talks to restart first.

Israel is committed to establishing a Palestinian state under a peace agreement, but says such resolutions encourage the Palestinians to avoid negotiations. “We believe that such a decision will only radicalize the positions of the Palestinians and will send the wrong message to the leaders and people in this region,” Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said. The only way to peace, he said, is direct negotiations.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the French initiative was a “courageous and encouraging step.” The militant Hamas group ruling Gaza opposes negotiations with “the occupation” (Israel), the organization’s spokesman, Ami Abu Zuhri, said. However, he told The Associated Press that Hamas views such European gestures as demonstrations of “the world’s recognition of the Palestinians’ right in gaining their national rights.”

Washington reacted to the vote by saying Palestinian statehood can only come “through direct negotiations between the parties that resolve the final status issues,” U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said.

On Oct. 30, Sweden’s government became the first Western European nation in the EU to recognize Palestinian statehood. Lawmakers in Britain, Spain and Ireland have approved non-binding motions urging recognition.

Mohammed Daraghmeh in Ramallah, West Bank, Fares Akram in Gaza City, and Matthew Lee in Washington, contributed to this report.

‘Viva Palestine’ film festival in Malaysia

23 September 2014 Tuesday

One of the important features of the Palestinian cause has always been art and cinema in which their sufferings struggle for freedom and justice are portrayed

The third film festival held in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, shares the same aim of deploying Palestinians’ message to people all around the world. Four Palestinian female artists who attended the festival with their works are working on creating awareness on the fight for peace, justice and independence taking place in their homeland.

Surely, the last Israeli attacks targeting Gaza have given special meaning to their artistic works on the Palestinian cause and interest towards the artists have risen sharply.

Viva Palestine, a non-governmental organization based in Malaysia, organized the event which focuses this year on a female approach to the Palestinian problem. Specifically the focal point of movies are peace, justice and freedom in Palestine as Dr. Datuk Musa the head of Viva Palestine said in his opening speech.

The event is not composed of only movies. It also includes a ‘bazaar’ in which traditional Palestinian dresses, foods and other accessories are sold. All the revenue will be sent to Palestine.

Deputy Head of Viva Palestine Siti Jamila said “In this third annual film festival, our aim is to present Palestinian culture with its all aspects.” Another woman who attended the festival from Italy, Jasmine Perni, said about Siti Jamila “She helps us a lot by reaching out to the Christian community in Malaysia.

Source: World Bulletin.