Back to Palestine, Thanks to the Auspices of Al Jazeera; US Deeply Dismayed, But Not Really; Withdrawal of UN Resolution Drafted by the UAE; UAE Criticized; Diplomatic Advice to Blinken; News of More Tremors in Turkey and Syria; Not Going to California Relying on November 2022 Blog; Photos of Art by Jean Paul Langlois; Photographs of UAE Friends; Family Day in Canada

I was sorely attempting to refocus my energies and attention. My aim was no politics, no United States politics and particularly no Middle East politics. But I am but back at it again. This morning, all because of Al Jazeera, this  appeared in my Inbox which has been almost completely shorn of news of the world. 

“The United States says it is “deeply dismayed” by Israeli settlement expansion plans. It also says a United Nations proposal to denounce the same settlements is “unhelpful”. Palestinian rights advocates say the contradiction underscores President Joe Biden’s unwillingness to meaningfully counter violations that Israel’s far-right government has committed against Palestinians.” 

The article continues, quoting an individual that knows what he is talking about, which is one of the reasons I follow Al Jazeera not other news media. “Without action, mere statements against Israeli policies are “meaningless”, said Khalil Jahshan, executive director of the Arab Center Washington DC, a think tank. “Israel knows it’s just an expression of dissatisfaction. Whether it’s a ‘regret’ or ‘deep concern’, whatever the diplomatic term du jour is, still the administration will not do anything practical about it to hold Israel responsible for its behaviour,” Jahshan told Al Jazeera.” 

We do know that Blinken is ‘over there’ causing more problems rather than solving any, but he did play a minor role, after he got permission. “US President Joe Biden is a self-proclaimed Zionist and hawkish supporter of Israel. But on Monday, his administration issued rare, unsolicited criticism of an Israeli plan to build 10,000 settlement units in the occupied Palestinian West Bank, saying Washington was “deeply troubled” by the move.”

“A day later, Secretary of State Antony Blinken joined the foreign ministers of France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom in rejecting the Israeli move.” 

“But an hour or so later, when State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel was asked about a draft UN Security Council resolution that would call on Israel to cease settlement activity, he denounced the measure. “The introduction of this resolution is unhelpful in supporting the conditions necessary to advance negotiations for a two-state solution,” Patel told reporters without confirming whether Washington would veto the proposal.” 

This may be a moment for Alexis, the diplomat to appear. This is what I would say to Anthony Blinken.  

Me: You are a diplomat but you keep blinking at the wrong moment. 

He: Thanks Alexis. But it is not easy being a diplomat.  

Me: I realize that! But I have some advice for you. 

He: What’s that?

Me: Quit while you are ahead. And stop changing your mind all the time. 

He: I am not ahead. And it is not me that changes my mind, it is him. 

Me: I realize that, but you are going to get further behind, the way you are going. Just say, I do not go back on my word. 

Al Jazeera called upon another expert. “The contradiction of the Biden administration’s stated position ‘opposing’ Israel’s settlement expansion yet rejecting any attempt to hold them legally accountable is proof of their complicity in the continuation of Israeli occupation and apartheid,” said Tariq Kenney-Shawa, US policy fellow at Al-Shabaka, a Palestinian think tank. 

‘Prance and pander is the stance of the UAE it seems to me.’ Faithful readers may surmise that this is another attempt to get my statistics up to catastrophic heights as it seems that criticizing the UAE is the best thing ever.  

This came from Al Jazeera as well. It was speaking of the resolution before the UN which did not quite make it apparently, this was the subheading. 

“”The UAE, which had drafted the resolution along with PA officials, has dropped the resolution and the vote apparently amid US pressure, reports say.” 

The Palestinian Authority (PA) has backtracked on pushing for a United Nations Security Council (UNSC) draft resolution condemning illegal Israeli settlement activity after pressure from Washington, according to several reports.

The Reuters news agency said on Monday that the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which had drafted the resolution along with PA officials, informed the UNSC that the resolution and the vote would be dropped.

Reports by several other US and Israeli news outlets citing diplomatic sources said the PA agreed to drop pursuit of the vote amid pressure from the US government, including promises of a financial aid package as well as a temporary suspension of announcements on new Israeli settlement units and Palestinian home demolitions. 

The PA has not released any official statement about the reports, but local media quoted a Fatah official as saying that “the steps that will be taken by the Palestinian Authority will serve only the interests of the Palestinian people”.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, longtime Palestinian politician Mustafa Barghouti said a decision by the PA to withdraw the vote “goes against the Palestinian national struggle”. “We call on the Palestinian Authority not to approve withdrawing the resolution,” Barghouti added.

Then another in authority spoke to Al Jazeera. “In response to the dropping of the UNSC vote, Martin Konecny, head of the European Middle East Project, said “anyone framing this as a US diplomatic success is taking a very narrow & biased lens”. “This is the US arm-twisting Palestinians to shelve entirely legitimate resolution, sidelining UNSC as guardian of int’l order & shielding Israel’s expansionism,” he added.” 

I agree with Konecny’s statement but one question remains? Why was the PA relying on the UAE to write the sanction in the first place? It was a mistake . Why? The UAE would submit to US pressures. Why? The UAE is a known hypocrite, the Quran tells us that hypocrites are known for breaking their covenants. The Prophet (PBUH) would attempt to renegotiate time and time again but finally he refused and that brought the conquest of Mecca. (Lings, Muhammed pg. 310 et. seq.) 

I am powerless to do anything about this state of affairs and nobody listens to me anyway. Well, maybe they do, but nothing happens as a result.   

While writing this blog a major event occurred – another tremor rocked Turkey and Syria. That was a message and it is something I can do something about. At this moment I live in Edmonton – no fault line here, no earthquakes ever been reported (as far as I know). As all know I will never return to the US to live but there was a possibility of a visit because my possessions are in Marin County, California. My November 22, 2022 blog spoke of earthquake ‘possibilities’ in California. The former me will be in quotes. 

“Not only do I feel incredibly blessed to be in Edmonton for all of these reasons but then I came across  a New Yorker article made me feel even more blessed to be away from my California coastal community. An article, written by Kathryn Schulz announced: “When the big earthquake hits, she observes, the northwest edge of the United States may drop by as much as six feet, triggering destructive tsunamis and resulting in tens of thousands of lives lost. Schulz crafts her piece like a scientific detective story, seeking to discover whether it’s even possible to prepare for such a catastrophic event. Her writing delves beneath the surface of her subject, making visceral the as yet unrealized future. In her expert hands, a tale about geology and earthquakes becomes a stark warning about the consequences of denying the reality of the natural world around us.”  Here is the link to the entire article: “

I travel to earthquake land to retrieve my possessions and the earthquake jiggles everything up. I do not think so. Thank you Allah (SWT) for the great advice. 

Then another message. One of the major items I wish to retrieve is the painting I purchased from Jean Paul Langlois, one of the world’s greatest painters and muralists (as far as I am concerned). A post appeared on Instagram, a magnificent mountain painting with polka dots. 

Me: Do they mail? At least I live in Canada now. 

He: Yes, I ship all over. 

Me: It is probably cheaper than getting your previous treasure out of storage in California. 

We are now negotiating a price which shall not be revealed. I do not want to be outbid by a devoted follower. 

Photographs shall include a photo of the one painting hiding in California and a current painting not in hiding which may find a new home in Edmonton. There are mountains in Alberta, but none of them have polka dots. (Hahaha ??). 

Another photo is my dining alcove wall. It consists of precious people, known and loved who live in the UAE. I am convinced I will never see them again, but they dine with me. It is of comfort to me, perhaps them as some know of their existence on my wall.

Today is Family Day in Canada. Just received the following text. 

She: I am dropping off my son 2times today that’s a family day ????

Me: You have a weird family. Dropping of your son 2 times and having me as a Canadian Mom???????