Sunday, February 27, 2011

Abbas to Palestinians: Rage On. Just Not Against Me

Abbas fearful that pro-Egyptian and Tunisian revolt
demonstrations would turn against the PA.
Just earlier this month the Palestinian Authority banned all West Bank demonstrations in support of the Tunisian and Egyptian revolts. So did Hamas in Gaza. Both regimes were fearful of having their authority challenged by the protests. But last week, ironically, Abbas etal, decided to harness all that people power energy in calling for Day of Rage against the US for vetoing that preposterously inappropriate UN Security Council Resolution against Israeli settlements. Why preposterous, why inappropriate? Because the UN is not the right venue for overcoming obstables that should be dealt with through negotiation. And since the ME is in the midst of revolutionary upheavals and the Security Council was urgently needed to respond especially to the Libyan regime's brutality against its own people, this was a serious waste of time and focus.

Sol Stern  in his article, Misdirected Palestinian Rage, believes the logic behind Abbas' move has more to do with obstructing peace negotiations because these will finally put an end the Right of Return fantasy. If, as the Palestinian Paper Leaks and recent reports, of how close Olmert and Abbas came to agreeing on land swaps and other end of claims issues, are true:

"The Palestinian leadership pushed hard for passage of a UN Security Council resolution declaring that the Israeli West Bank settlements were illegal. With the Middle East in an uproar from Tunis to Tripoli, President Obama was forced to call Abbas and plead with the Palestinian leader to accept a milder, nonbinding resolution that would retain the condemnation of Israel’s continued settlement activity. But Abbas nevertheless pushed ahead, knowing that the stronger resolution would put Obama between the proverbial rock and a hard place. In doing so, the Palestinian leader made it almost impossible for the American administration to serve as an honest broker and bring the parties together around the parameters of the stalled Olmert-Abbas negotiations.

"This is exactly what Abbas intended when he forced the Security Council to vote on the resolution calling the Israeli settlements illegal. The Palestinians would rather rage against the settlements than negotiate a land swap that would give them a state and make the settlement issue irrelevant. The reason for that intransigence is now clearer than ever. There is yet no Palestinian leader with the courage and vision to declare to the residents of the refugee camps that their 60-year-old dream of returning to their former homes in Israel is—and always was—a mirage. Until the Obama administration recognizes that truth and tells it to the Palestinians, its diplomatic approach to the Israel-Palestine conflict will remain as feckless as it is fruitless."

1 comment:

  1. A small - and probably unwelcome - piece of advice for Mr. Abbas...

    If the Israelis threaten thermo-nuclear war: convene a meeting of the UN Security Council.

    If the Israelis build a few apartments in the West Bank and you dispute their legality: Jerusalem town hall should br your first port of call.

    Cheers for the great blog Bella - keep it up.

    ReplyDelete

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