"Neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations."
Article XXXI, Section 7 of the Oslo Accords
The Oslo Accords between the PLO and Israel will cease to exist the day after the UN votes in favor of upgrading the status of a Palestinian state to non-member, Abbas Zaki, member of the Fatah Central Committee, was quoted Thursday as saying.
Fatah: Oslo Accords will cease to exist after UN bid, Jerusalem Post, November 8, 2012
It should be obvious that the Palestinian Authority, which during Obama's first term has consistently avoided negotiations with Israel, is not about to start now seeking a peaceful, mutual and bilateral peace agreement.
Abbas Zaki makes that pretty clear.
Unfortunately, The New York Times appear not to have received the memo.
Instead, sticking to its agenda that Abbas and the Palestinian Authority are true, moderate peace partners, we read After Vote, Palestinians and Israel Search for the Next Step:
...Now that the United Nations has voted to grant the Palestinian territories status as a nonmember state, one question is whether the Palestinians will use their enhanced status for renewed negotiations in the spirit of peace and reconciliation or for confronting Israel in new ways through the United Nations system, and possibly the International Criminal Court.Hope springs eternal. Or at least the agenda of the New York Times does, which insists that a Palestinian government that incites its people to hate Israel makes for a really swell peace partner.
Similarly, we are told there is just this one point -- emphasized by Obama and taken up by Abbas -- that all that is needed to get talks going again is for Netanyahu to meet Palestinian preconditions:
Negotiations for a two-state solution have been stalled with the Palestinians, who insist on a halt to settlement building.Actually, over time, Arab Leaders in the PA have come up with a number of preconditions Israel must meet before Abbas will sit down to peace talks:
- Halt to all Israeli activity beyond the Green Line
- 1967 lines as the basis for peace negotiations with mutually agreed land swaps
- EU support for reconciliation talks between Hamas and Fatah
- EU support for Palestinian UN statehood bid
- EU acknowledgment that UN statehood bid does not contradict peace negotiations
- Releasing Marwan Barghouti and Ahmad Saadat.
- Ending the siege on the Gaza Strip
But there has been no uproar over these delaying tactics, just as there was no uproar over Abbas violating the Oslo Accords by going to the UN to change the status of the West Bank.
Instead, we see a pattern: just as the West and the media ignore the thousands of rockets fired by Hamas at Israeli civilians in violation of international law until Israel reacts -- so two no one has anything to say about violating Oslo and creating roadblocks to peace until Israel reacts to the betrayal of Oslo.
Thus the predictable New York Times wakes up and warns us Housing Move in Israel Seen as Setback for a Two-State Plan:
Israel is moving forward with development of Jewish settlements in a contentious area east of Jerusalem, defying the United States by advancing a project that has long been condemned by Washington as effectively dooming any prospect of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.In response to claims that Israel has single-handedly dealt the death blow to the ever-popular "two state solution," Alana Goodman writes about the hypocrisy behind the alarm sounded on Israel building in Jerusalem:
A day after the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to upgrade the status of the Palestinians, a senior Israeli official said the government would pursue “preliminary zoning and planning preparations” for a development that would separate the West Bank cities of Ramallah and Bethlehem from Jerusalem. If such a project were to go beyond blueprints, it could prevent the creation of a viable, contiguous Palestinian state.
The development, in an open, mostly empty area known as E1, would connect the large settlement town of Maale Adumim to Jerusalem. Israeli officials also authorized construction of 3,000 housing units in parts of East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Whatever your thoughts on the settlements, this is hardly an eye-for-an-eye retribution. It’s not an explicit violation of any agreements by Israel. Compare that to the PA’s UN bid, which violates article XXXI, sec. 7 of the Oslo accords, which states “Neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations.” (It’s not as if the PA was unaware of that — a member of the Fatah Central Committee said earlier this month that the day after the vote, Oslo would be null and void).Did everyone just wake up to the fact that gifting Abbas new status in the UN was a direct violation of the Oslo accords?
Israel made concessions under Oslo that can’t be unmade. The PA, which has been the beneficiary of these concessions, no longer wants to stand by its own obligations. And what’s Israel’s response? Not to tear up Oslo, not to try to collapse the PA, or block funds. But to resume building in East Jerusalem, something that wasn’t considered an insurmountable obstacle to talks until recently. You can argue the construction is unhelpful, but how much does that matter when the PA is openly flouting its signed agreements on one side and Hamas is shooting missiles across the border on the other?
Of course not.
Rather these members of the UN decided to do an end around those accords -- which have allowed Abbas and the PA to pocket all kinds of concessions -- and push events to create a Palestinian state.
Their tantrum is the result of the fact that Israel has decided to stand up for its own interests.
- Operation Pillar of Defense was conducted without violating international law.
- Similarly, the new building Israel will be doing is not in violation of the Oslo Accords.
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