Ever since the world decided to grant the Palestinian Authority the lethal weapon of statehood in a United Nations General Assembly vote, we and many others have been waiting to see how it would first be used against Israel. The question was would it be used to go to the International Criminal Court charging numerous Israeli leaders both civilian and military with various crimes ranging from war crimes to crimes against humanity or would the Palestinian Authority first petition anew for full member statehood in the Security Council, this time with the full backing of the Arab League, the Nonaligned Movement and the European Union or would they simply play it safe and attempt to be included in as many ancillary United Nations organizations like they had received prematurely from UNESCO and use these organizations and agencies to slowly build an unstoppable series of decisions awarding them advantages political and on the ground against Israel. Reports on discussions between Mahmoud Abbas, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Kamel Amr and Arab League Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi this past weekend gave the world their first glance at the near future in the Arab war against Israel through their surrogates the Palestinians. Here are some of the options that were intimated during these meetings in Ramallah.
Nabil al-Arabi was quoted offering this request, “We hope that the new American administration adopts a policy of conflict resolution rather than conflict management.” He called on US President Barack Obama to be more active and to make a concerted effort towards ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There were also discussions concerning the promised financial safety net which was supposed to be forthcoming from the Arab League though no payments were made or yet scheduled. There was mentioned the intent for other Arab foreign ministers to visit Ramallah in the near future, again with no specifics. Al-Arabi reported that he and Abbas discussed that resultant from the United Nations vote recognizing Palestinian statehood there were “joint Arab political steps that should be taken after Palestine secured non-member state representation at the United Nations, in order to implement Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian land occupied since 1967.” Arabi additionally referenced that the Palestinians would “return to the Security Council with full support from Arab countries and in agreement with European Union nations,” though it was not made clear for what direct purpose such a move would entail. From all direct reports it was left very vague exactly what was decided during the four-hour meeting beyond requesting President Obama to be more active by which one can assume they intend that such activity be in a way of forcing concessions on the Israelis.
This meeting does offer an opportunity to discuss some of the other claims and threats which have come out of Ramallah since the Palestinians received their coveted recognition of statehood, though said recognition did not define borders, capital city, or any other necessity required of any normal state. There was the grandstanding just this past week when while being interviewed on Israeli media Abbas threatened, “If there is no progress even after the election I will take the phone and call Netanyahu. I'll tell him...Sit in the chair here instead of me, take the keys, and you will be responsible for the Palestinian Authority. Once the new government in Israel is in place, Netanyahu will have to decide -- yes or no.” Of course he spent much of the rest of his interview putting forth the Palestinian list of demands that are not demands but obligations that Abbas knows Israel must accomplish if they truly desire peace and wish to negotiate. Abbas once again upon returning to Ramallah reiterated with his customary refusal to recognize Israel as the Jewish State, requiring Israel return to the pre-1967 War borders, surrender East Jerusalem along with the Temple Mount and all of the Old City, giving up on the resistance until all of Palestine is freed from the occupiers and all the Jews have been dealt with or relent on his demand that all Palestinian prisoners be released from Israeli custody. I can rest assured that given more time the rest of the Abbas laundry list of demands would follow which include better armament for Palestinian security forces, open borders for the import of weapons commensurate with statehood, entering treaties with other nations and holding military exercises within the borders of Palestine as the Palestinian government sees necessary. Some people just do not know when to stop and insist on proving they will never be satisfied which is usually when Abbas insists on his final term, the Right of Return to within Israel of five to seven million Muslim refugees and their families on to the nth generation.
Needless to say, there are a number of friends of Israel who would have absolutely no problem allowing for Mahmoud Abbas to disband the Palestinian Authority and simply hand the keys to Prime Minister Netanyahu and walk off into the sunrise, sunset would have him entering Israel, we would rather he go into Jordan or further. Unfortunately, this is just another cry out to anybody ignorant enough or predisposed to listening to Abbas and get attention in the hope that somewhere in the world somebody will panic and put pressure on Israel to prevent the catastrophe of Abbas actually following through on his threat, though I can hardly see the catastrophe in his leaving for good. I must give Abbas credit as he has improved markedly on his previous threats of resigning, threat made almost countless times with current count at a minimum of nine times or his threat to stop payment of the Palestinian Authority employees if the world does not shower him with money. Actually, this is simply a more advanced version of not meeting the payroll.
Wasn’t Mahmoud Abbas supposed to face an election back sometime in 2009, I remember something about he couldn’t hold elections in the middle of negotiations. Now he is threatening to take drastic measures if negotiations are not restarted immediately. Perhaps Prime Minister Netanyahu should insist that the Palestinian authority hold elections now that Abbas has recognized that negotiations are not being pursued at this time which should allow a perfect reprieve in which elections can be held. Prime Minister Netanyahu could even promise to start negotiations as soon as the newly elected leader of the Palestinians is comfortable in coming to the table with absolutely no preconditions and a relatively open mind. The United Nations should have demanded the much overdue elections to have been held before recognizing this usurper as the leader of a nonmember state, that would have made for a far superior result. Meanwhile, nothing has changed but we can simply wait and see which of those opposing Prime Minister Netanyahu is first to claim that now he has gone and done it, Netanyahu is on the verge of ending the Palestinian occupation of Judea and Samaria with the end of Mahmoud Abbas and his merry band of terrorists.
Events have progressed since the writing of the original article and need to be included due to the serious nature and scope. Today the Fatah Party, the progenitor of the PLO and the Palestinian Authority, celebrated their 48th anniversary of the founding by Yasser Arafat with Mahmoud Abbas as his second in command. The celebration was marked by numerous marches throughout Judea and Samaria. There was an extra special touch added to the event in Hevron where the marchers included masked and armed Fatah members firing automatic rifles in the air as seen in this video. This was an area marked by an increase in confrontations the last few weeks, usually in the form of rock and Molotov cocktails being hurled at the city’s Jewish residents. Additionally, the Fatah Party released a new and special logo marking their 48th anniversary which includes a map with the PA flag and a map of Israel that appears to be a depiction of the black and white checkered kefiyah resembling the one always worn by Yasser Arafat, a symbol of the violent intifada, and the slogan “the state and victory. These new symbols will very likely lead to the making public the claim that has been often spoken in Arabic while being denied in English that Palestine is all of Israel including Gaza, Judea, Samaria, and the lands inside the Green Line constituting the recognized lands of Israel.
Beyond the Cusp