Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Mahmoud Abbas is again insisting on failure - Washington Post Editorial Board

by Washington Post Editorial Board

Had Mr. Abbas signed on, the momentum toward statehood would have greatly accelerated, and Israel’s government would have been placed under enormous pressure to put forward reasonable terms.

IN A meeting with President Obama last March, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas refused to accept a U.S.-brokered “framework” for the creation of a Palestinian state. The U.S. draft would have backed key Palestinian demands, including a stipulation that the territory of the future Palestine be based on Israel’s 1967 borders. Had Mr. Abbas signed on, the momentum toward statehood would have greatly accelerated, and Israel’s government would have been placed under enormous pressure to put forward reasonable terms.

Instead, having refused to respond to Mr. Obama. Mr. Abbas is now pushing yet another quixotic attempt to have the U.N. Security Council impose Palestinian terms for a settlement on Israel. On Monday, Arab diplomats said they were reluctantly going along with a Palestinian demand to introduce a resolution to the Security Council — though Arab opposition may force a postponement of the Tuesday vote Mr. Abbas wants. The draft would set a one-year deadline for the conclusion of negotiations and mandate the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the West Bank by the end of 2017. Over the weekend, its language was toughened so that a reference to Jerusalem as the “shared capital” of the two states was changed so that Jersualem is mentioned only as the Palestinian capital.

Not only does this text have no chance of being approved — notwithstanding the tensions between the Obama administration and the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu, the United States would exercise its veto, if necessary — but the Palestinians’ support on the Security Council is weaker this week than it probably will be next month after a membership rotation. Yet Mr. Abbas appears ready to insist on failing, just a few months after turning aside a U.S. initiative that had at least some chance of delivering the state he says he wants.

What could explain such maneuvering? Some diplomats suspect Mr. Abbas wants his maximalist resolution to be voted down — just as previous Palestinian attempts failed to obtain the necessary eight of 15 votes. By not forcing the United States into a veto, the Palestinian leader could preserve his lines of communication with Washington while obtaining a pretext to move on to his next pointless initiative — which could be seeking Palestinian membership in the International Criminal Court. 

Accession to the court wouldn’t bring Palestinians any closer to statehood, and it might expose the Hamas movement to war crimes prosecution. It could cause Congress to cut off the U.S. aid that now sustains the Palestinian Authority. But Mr. Abbas and his aides have recently been suggesting they would have “no choice” but to proceed if they obtain no satisfaction from the Security Council.

Mr. Abbas does, of course, have a choice. He could endorse the framework laboriously negotiated by Secretary of State John F. Kerry and challenge Mr. Netanyahu — or his successor after Israel’s upcoming election — to resume negotiations. Statehood would then be on the table — but the 79-year-old Palestinian leader would have to commit himself formally to compromises he has until now discussed only in private with U.S. and Israeli leaders. Rather than lobby at the United Nations, he would have to attempt for the first time to sell those concessions to his own people.

Mr. Abbas has, on several previous occasions, dodged that challenge. So no one should be surprised if he now insists on losing another vote at the United Nations.

Hat tip: Dr. Carolyn Tal

Washington Post Editorial Board


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

1 comment:

mjazzguitar said...

Shurat Hadin, an Israeli NGO, in December slapped Mahmoud Abbas with a war crimes complaint in the International Criminal Court. The PA was not a signatory (at that time) but Abbas is a Jordanian citizen and Jordan is an ICC member state.

1.) Rocket attacks against civilians are war crimes.
2.) Abbas commands Fatah, and did during all of July and August, 2014.
3.) Fatah bragged about (read: confessed to) these launchings during the 2014 Gaza conflict:

On July 10, 2014, a Fatah military force launched two Grad rockets and four mortar shells at Kibbutz Nir Or, another location within Israel, and fired 112 millimeter and 107 millimeter rockets at Ashkelon, Sderot, Netivot, Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha and the Sufa Crossing from Gaza.

On July 25, 2014, Fatah terrorists launched three 107 mm rockets at Nirim.
On July 27, 2014, Fatah claimed credit for launching three model 107 rockets at Kfar Aza.
On August 8, 2014, the Fatah terrorists in Gaza fired four N103 rockets at Ashkelon and four 107 mm rockets.
Khaled Meshaal- leader of Hamas- is also a Jordanian citizen and has a similar Shurat Hadin complaint lodged against him. This one for crimes against his own people:
The complaint alleges that on August 22, 2014, Hamas “executed 18 so-called collaborators who had been convicted of no crime,” including “publicly execut[ing] seven of these ‘collaborators.’” Moreover, the complaint said that on July 28, 2014, Hamas summarily executed 20 Gazan civilians for engaging in anti-war protests against its rule in the Strip.

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