The Israel Project issued a response to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ statement ahead of his plans to seek a vote at the United Nations’ General Assembly that began on Monday. Media have reported Abbas’ intent as wanting UN members to vote for a Palestinian state.
The Israel Project said that’s not all Abbas will ask for—“[H]e is going to ask them to vote for the exact physical boundaries of that state.”
"We are trying to get a full membership in the U.N., on the 67 borders, so we will be able, afterwards, to go back to negotiations…during which we will discuss final status issues, Jerusalem, refugees, borders, water, security, settlements and the issue of our prisoners, that by that stage will be prisoners of war, not terrorists or criminals. Even if this won't be the case, they will be our top priority."
The vote presents a dilemma for President Barack Obama who is perceived as being less supportive of Israel than his predecessor. That is ironic because in the U.S. progressive Jews usually vote for Democrats. Obama is expected to veto the PA plan.
TIP included a statement about Obama, saying the president had called for “the 1967 lines with mutually agreed upon swaps…”
However, most conservatives viewed Obama’s May speech as a major blunder. Obama issued a blanket call for negotiating around the 1967 borders. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ‘politely but firmly set Obama straight’ on that matter, as I wrote shortly after the president’s speech.
Jonathan S. Tobin at Commentary put it more bluntly: “The UN disaster is Obama’s fault.”
Tobin wrote, “Though peace talks were stalled when he took office in January 2009, the deterioration of a relatively stable standoff into the volatile situation that exists today is due in no small measure to the blunders that the president’s team has committed over the past 32 months.”
Israel has repeatedly made concessions in an effort towards peace. One significant barrier is the lack of cohesive leadership in the PA. Besides Abbas, the Iran-backed Hamas wields power, and Hamas is considered a terrorist organization by the U.S., the European Union and others. The Hamas charter, noted TIP, “calls for the destruction of Israel and to ‘kill the Jews.’”
I interviewed political analyst Roger Stone shortly before the 2008 general election. Stone commented on Obama: “Two years from now, nothing will change. There’s nothing new about this guy, except he’ll have warmed up to his Palestinian friends by then.”
Stone’s prediction proved true. Obama’s approach to the Mideast is in line with the UN bureaucracy—a policy of appeasement to the Arab world and hostility to both Israel and the U.S. Legacy media in the U.S. have followed suit.
TIP recounted the consequences of Israel’s earlier attempts at compromise. “We already saw what happened in Gaza when Israel withdrew: Palestinian terrorists used the area as a launching pad to fire thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians. Those attacks have continued as recently as last week. People are still dying but still Abbas has been unwilling to come to the negotiating table.”
Historically, PA leaders have rebuffed attempts at compromise. In the book Inside Israel, Paul Johnson wrote, “Hence, at every stage, during the mandate and after, the Jews were flexible and willing to accept any reasonable partition proposal put to them.”
Johnson explained that Israel even accepted some terms reluctantly. Of one plan, Johnson wrote, “The Arabs, who would have been given three-quarters of Palestine, turned it down without discussion.”
Al Jazeera said Abbas would address the UN Assembly on Friday.
TIP said the number of rockets and mortars fired from Gaza into Israel nearly doubled in 2011—528 compared to 238 in 2010.
Legacy media have downplayed what many conservatives see as a situation forcing Israel to fight for her life. US media often shy away from issues that harm Democrats during key election seasons.
Obama conflicted over Palestine question (The Financial Times )
Obama’s call for Israel concessions, more aid to Arabs (The US Report)
(Analysis by Kay B. Day/Sept. 19, 2011)
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