by Khaled Abu Toameh
The Geneva accord and Washington's failed policies in Egypt and other Muslim countries have taught the Palestinians that it would be better to wait until the U.S. completely loses its influence so that other players such as Russia, China and the EU will step in and impose a solution on Israel.
The way the Palestinian Authority sees it, "If it worked with Iran, why shouldn't it work also with Israel?"
The Geneva agreement between Iran and the six big powers appears to have had a negative impact on the current US-sponsored Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
The Palestinians see the agreement as an opportunity to achieve their demands through international pressure, and not direct negotiations with Israel. They are also very happy to see growing tensions between the U.S. Administration and the Israeli government over a series of issues, including the Geneva deal.
Palestinian spokeswomen Hanan Ashrawi was quick to demand that the U.S. and the rest of the international community treat Israel the same way they treated Iran. She called on the international community to "impose sanctions on Israel and hold it accountable with the same will that led to an end to Iran's nuclear plan."
The Palestinian Authority, which has welcomed the accord, is now hoping that the international community will force Israel to comply with all its demands, above all, a full withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines.
As Nabil Abu Rudaineh, spokesman for Palestinian Authority [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas, explained, "The international efforts that succeeded in Geneva provide an opportunity for reviving the role of the Quartet [US, EU, UN and Russia] in ending the Palestinian-Israeli conflict."
Palestinian spokeswoman Hanan Ashrawi, pictured above in a 2007 photo, has called on the international community to "impose sanctions on Israel and hold it accountable with the same will that led to an end to Iran's nuclear plan." (Image source: Carsten Sohn/WikiMedia Commons)
Abu Rudaineh and other PA officials say they are encouraged by the deal with Iran because it would isolate Israel in the international arena and force it to make concessions to the Palestinians.
Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said that the agreement with Iran should serve as a model for forcing Israel to accept international law and resolutions.
According to Erekat, the international community should treat Israel the same way it dealt with Iran. "The first step should be to stop dealing with Israel as a state above the law and to find ways to hold it accountable," he added.
What the PA is actually saying is that there is no need to continue with "futile" peace talks when there is a chance that the U.S. and other big powers could impose a solution on Israel. The way the PA sees it, "If it worked with Iran, why shouldn't it work also with Israel?"
This thinking was reflected in an editorial of the semi-official Palestinian daily, Al-Quds, which wrote: "The time has come for the US and the international community to seriously move and use all available mechanisms to impose a just solution for the Palestinian cause and end half a century of unprecedented Palestinian suffering."
Some Palestinians see the Iran agreement as a sign of the "regression" of the U.S. Administration's influence in the Middle East. They believe that now, as the U.S. role in the region has been weakened as a result of the accord, the time has come to pave the way for other powers to intervene in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
"With the regression of the American role, there is a need for Russia, China and European permanent members of the UN Security Council to restore the reins from the American hand, which has had a monopoly over the peace process for the past two decades," wrote Palestinian commentator Adel Abdel Rahman, who is affiliated with the Palestinian Authority.
Abdel Rahman urged the PA leadership to take advantage of the Geneva accord between the six big powers and Iran to call for an international conference to discuss ways of imposing a solution on Israel.
The Palestinians are now convinced that that under President Barack Obama, the U.S. role in the region is continually receding. That is why they do not believe that the U.S.-sponsored peace talks with Israel will produce any results.
The Geneva accord and Washington's failed policies in Egypt and other Muslim countries have taught the Palestinians that it would be better to wait until the U.S. completely loses its influence so that other players such as Russia, China and the EU will step in to impose a solution on Israel.
Khaled Abu Toameh
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