Thursday, October 28, 2010

Abbas Wants To Declare A Palestinian State--Again

The last man nearly ruined this place, he didn't know what to do with it.
If you think this country's bad off now, just wait 'til I get through with it.
Duck Soup

The lines from the above song could just as well have been sung by Abbas in reference to Arafat and himself--and I'm sure that any similarity between the West Bank and Freedonia is purely coincidental.

But there is a Marxist (Groucho, not Karl) logic in the threat by Abbas and friends to declaring a Palestinian state.

After all--it's already been done.

Jackson Diehl reminds us that the UN already supported the declaration of a Palestinian state over 20 years ago:
On November 15, 1988, Yasser Arafat proudly read a declaration by his Palestinian Liberation Organization unilaterally proclaiming "the establishment of the State of Palestine on our Palestinian territory with its capital Jerusalem." Shortly afterward the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to support the declaration; within months 93 governments had recognized the state of Palestine.

That state, of course, never came into existence. The PLO declaration, the United Nations vote, even the recognition by scores of countries, proved meaningless. Yet Arafat's successor as PLO leader, Mahmoud Abbas, appears to be giving serious consideration to repeating the maneuver.
That's the declaration that lead to Arafat's speech to the UN, best remembered for Arafat brandishing a gun and threatening:
Today I have come bearing an olive branch and a freedom-fighter's gun. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand. I repeat: do not let the olive branch fall from my hand.
So what can the less than charismatic Abbas do to top Arafat and accomplish what Arafat could not?

Abbas's goals are more modest:
Seeking a UN declaration of statehood would have one big advantage for Abbas: It could give him an excuse to avoid further talks with Netanyahu indefinitely. The Palestinian leader has made it clear ever since the Israeli prime minister took office in early 2009 that he does not want to negotiate with him. That could be because Abbas doesn't believe that Netanyahu will ever offer acceptable terms for Palestinian statehood. Or, it could be that the aging Palestinian leader is unwilling to consider any realistic terms for peace, since those would involve major -- and dangerous -- compromises. An imaginary state, like that declared by Arafat, is a lot easier to found.
Hmmmm, declare an imaginary state...led by an imaginary leader.

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1 comment:

NormanF said...

Hamas won't cooperate and neither will Israel. Israel can simply dissolve the PA and resume direct rule over the PA area. Does Abu Bluff want to lose his job? He may think twice before making such a move.