Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Israel-Palestinian Peace Talks: Obama Put A Nail In The Coffin, But The UN Buried It

Barry Rubin writes about Murdered Diplomacy: How the Israel-Palestinian Conflict Has Been Totally Transformed -- people keep on talking about negotiations between the Palestinian Arabs and Israel:
But any talk of Israel-Palestinian negotiations, peace process activity, compromise diplomacy, and all that stuff is meaningless now and here's why:

The UN General Assembly made the Palestinian Authority (PA)-ruled entity a non-member state. Many in the West rationalized providing supporting votes or abstentions by saying this would do no harm and make Palestinians feel good.
By taking that step, the UN General Assembly has derailed peace talks even more efficiently than Obama did when he made Israeli settlements a pre-condition to talks that Abbas used as an excuse not to negotiate.

Here's why:
  • The only way the PA can get real possession of territory in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) is by negotiating with Israel and making a deal -- thus defining the state's borders. Abbas's refusal to negotiate with Israel thus guarantees failure.

  • The PA has demonstrated time after time that it is incapable of reaching a unity agreement with Hamas -- without this a single Palestinian state simply does not exist. This is a key point because historically, international law requires a state to have a single government, in control of a clearly defined territory.

  • In granting the Palestinian Authority upgraded observer status, the UN General Assembly trashed a series of internationally recognized and sponsored agreements, according to which a Israel-Palestinian peace accord was necessary to determine the status of a "Palestinian" state.

  • The UN upgrade encourages the PA’s impression that the "international community" recognized its claim to every inch of the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and east Jerusalem. This only bolstered their view that there was no need to compromise on anything nor need to reach an agreement with Israel. Thus the UN has guaranteed there will not be any negotiated peace agreement.
Rubin writes that the irrelevance of the issue of linkage is key, what with "revolutions and civil wars everywhere; Islamists fighting nationalists and democrats; Sunnis versus Shias; the conflicts involving Israel are clearly secondary at most."

The Abbas regime has been thrown a bone -- they are expected to now leave the West alone.

And now Abbas has insisted that they should be referred to not as the Palestinian National Authority, but as "the State of Palestine".
Hence, the official Palestinian position: There is no need to negotiate with Israel now or in future, nor is there any need to recognize Israel's future existence to get a Palestinian state with the pre-1967 (Egyptian and Jordanian) boundaries. At last, they have implemented the plan proposed by Amin al-Husaini to Yasir Arafat in 1968 and adopted by Arafat a few years later: Get a state without being bound by any commitments for peace with Israel; then use that state to destroy Israel.
Read the whole thing.

Meanwhile, the focus turns to the real powder kegs in the Middle East, as Israel waits to see which threats are mere rhetoric, and which are more.

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