Friday, June 24, 2011

Mideast Media Sampler 06/24/2011

From DG:
1) I on the other hand am in the positions to do nothing

According to AP, Palestinians say they will seek UN membership even if peace talks with Israel are underway

The Palestinians will seek membership as an independent state at the U.N. in September even if peace negotiations with Israel are underway, the Palestinian U.N. envoy said Thursday.
Riyad Mansour said the Palestinians are working on three separate tracks — restarting negotiations, completing the institutions for an independent state and gaining additional recognition for a Palestinian state.
"[R]estarting negotiations?"

All Abbas has to do is sit down with Netanyahu. If restarting negotiations is something that the Palestinians are working towards, it means is that they're pushing Israel to make preemptive concessions.

The Palestinians are saying, "If you don't do what we want, we'll go to the UN; If you do what we want, we'll go to the UN."

To quote Barry Rubin again:

In other words, Abbas is acting as if he’s doing the United States a favor by taking its money, diplomatic support, and flattery when he does absolutely nothing in return, and then demands even more!
And the Obama Administration lets him get away with it.
The Palestinians demand everything and offer nothing. How then is Israel the intransigent party?

2) Area C

Jackson Diehl tweets a disturbing article by Daoud Kuttab.

The gist of the article isn't so bad. Kuttab argues that the Palestinians have failed to put the mechanisms in place to take advantage of UN recognition to change anything. It was one of the particulars that bothered me.

DURING THE first intifada, victory gardens were encouraged, as Palestinians were trying to become self-sufficient while rejecting goods coming from Israel. A plan must be designed to "liberate" zones listed as Area C, over which Israel now has direct administrative and security control.
Indeed, this arbitrary division of Palestinian lands into areas A, B and C should be declared null and void, since the Oslo Accords might become obsolete with the upcoming UN decision. Maybe the PA should issue land deeds and give them to any Palestinian willing to live, farm and stay put on lands that Israel continues to occupy.
No such preparation is taking place.
Furthermore, what about security disengagement? Has the breaking up of security coordination been studied? What are the possible scenarios for the day after such disengagement? Will Abbas give orders to the security forces to defend the newly recognized state?
Areas A, B, and C are defined here:

3. For the purpose of this Agreement and until the completion of the first phase of the further redeployments: 
a. "Area A" means the populated areas delineated by a red line and shaded in brown on attached map No. 1
b. "Area B" means the populated areas delineated by a red line and shaded in yellow on attached map No. 1, and the built-up area of the hamlets listed inAppendix 6 to Annex I, and 
c. "Area C" means areas of the West Bank outside Areas A and B, which, except for the issues that will be negotiated in the permanent status negotiations, will be gradually transferred to Palestinian jurisdiction in accordance with this Agreement. 
If I'm reading this correctly, Area C was not supposed to include areas that wouldn't be transferred to the PA. So Efrat, for example, wouldn't be part of Area C. But Kuttab is declaring the end to such designations. Further, he's questioning whether Abbas will defend "the newly recognized state." Is Kuttab implicitly suggesting that the PA should attack Israeli communities outside of the Green Line?

3) The implications of Palestinian statehood.

Daniel Schwammenthal commented on Europe's Mideat Muddle:
By recognizing a unilateral declaration of statehood, Europeans would divorce the creation of a Palestinian state from the ultimate goal of peace. And by accepting a Hamas-backed government, they would divorce the creation of that state from the humanitarian hopes expressed throughout the Arab Spring.
This is a welcome change from the punditry that argues that Palestinian statehood is part of the "Arab Spring."

And Emanuele Ottolenghi emphasizes The Real Palestinian Vision:

The Obama administration is busy renewing its push for Middle East peace talks and the Europeans aren't far behind. But how can these talks succeed when the Palestinians clearly don't support democratic ideals?
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas told the Arab League late last month that the future Palestinian state should be free of all Israelis, noting that their eviction could take place "in stages." Although he didn't explicitly single out Jews, there are few Christian, Druze and Muslim Israeli citizens living in the West Bank and Gaza. His message couldn't be clearer: a Palestinian state will be Judenrein, or free of Jews.
This is a disturbing vision, to say the least. No one who knows Mr. Abbas's history, however, should be surprised: He is a Palestinian nationalist who once wrote a thesis denying the Holocaust, and has shown little interest in a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. 
Abbas is too uncritically labeled a "moderate," which is due to the fact that he wasn't Yasser Arafat. He has never said that he would accept Israel as a Jewish state. (In contrast Netanyahu who is regularly labelled a "hard liner" has accepted the principle of two states.) "Moderate," unfortunately isn't a relative term.

Technorati Tag: and .

No comments: