Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

Mahmoud Abbas and the UN General Assembly

November 29, 2012 11:39 am 0 comments

PA Chairman Abbas and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Mahmoud Abbas’s drive for unilateral Palestinian recognition at the United Nations is like a train running full steam ahead — except this one is going the wrong direction. It is a move that will intensify rather than end the conflict, setting the entire peace process back by decades.

Having failed to achieve recognition of Palestinian statehood where it really mattered, at the UN Security Council last year, this Thursday, President Abbas will go to the UN General Assembly, where he has submitted a draft resolution seeking to elevate the Palestinians’ status from an ‘Observer Entity’ to ‘Non-Member State.’

Abba Eban, the famous Israeli diplomat and former Ambassador to the UN, once quipped that “if Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would pass by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions.”

Eban’s sentiment is indicative of the Palestinians’ automatic anti-Israeli majority at the UN General Assembly, where Abbas’s resolution is guaranteed to pass.

Abbas has repeatedly said that he is going to the UN in order to seek a “just peace.” However, his comments are inconsistent at best, and his actions are misleading and contrary at worst.

More accurately, the Palestinians’ UN bid is part of their larger ongoing ‘lawfare’ campaign against the Jewish state, whereby they have sought to manipulate and abuse international law for political purposes.

In a New York Times op-ed in May 2011, Abbas was very explicit, when he revealed his true intentions, saying:

“Palestine’s admission to the United Nations would pave the way for the internationalization of the conflict as a legal matter, not only a political one. It would also pave the way for us to pursue claims against Israel at the United Nations, human rights treaty bodies and the International Court of Justice.”

The truth of the matter is, had Abbas really wanted a “just peace,” he would have accepted any one of the umpteenth number of offers from this Israeli government to negotiate a Two-State Solution without pre-conditions in the last four years.

Instead, Abbas shunned each one of those requests — including during Israel’s historic settlement freeze in 2009/10 and has sought to embrace Hamas (which is deemed a terrorist organization by both the United States and the EU) into his government.

In fact just this week, in the aftermath of Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza, the Aksa Martyrs’ Brigades, a terrorist group affiliated with Abbas’s Fatah party, proudly proclaimed to reporters that they too fought alongside Hamas, firing as many as 500 rockets at Israel.

Is this really the sign of someone who seeks a “just peace?”

In going to the UN, Abbas risks damaging the entire peace process beyond repair, and in the process crushing the hopes of millions of his own people.

Firstly, it would open a ‘pandora’s box’ of potential responses from Israel, including annexation of land, withholding of PA tax revenue and even circumventing Abbas altogether on key policy decisions regarding security and the economy. Simply put, Israel would not be able to stand idly by in the face of what Foreign Minister Liberman has called Abbas’s “diplomatic terror.”

It would also constitute a fundamental breach of the Oslo Accords, to which Abbas himself signed on behalf of the PLO in 1993.

Furthermore, it would severely undermine previous UN Security Council resolutions, specifically Resolutions 242 and 338, which call for ‘agreement’ and ‘negotiations’ between the parties as a means of establishing a just and durable peace. Both resolutions, together with the Oslo Accords, are the backbone to the entire peace process.

This gambit will also undo many years of cooperation and achievement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, primarily in the areas of joint security and economic development, which have produced significant gains, particularly in the West Bank.

The international community must consider all these factors before casting their ballot on November 29.

The United States has repeatedly said that direct negotiations are the only way to achieve a comprehensive and lasting resolution to the conflict, a call that has been echoed an equal number of times by Catherine Ashton, the EU Foreign Policy Chief. Regrettably, both calls have fallen on deaf ears in Ramallah.

The entities consisting of the Quartet, including the United Nations and the EU, together with the U.S. and Russia have been the guardians of the peace process. It is therefore incumbent upon them to uphold past agreements between the two sides instead of acquiescing to the Palestinians’ destructive demands or allowing them to believe they can act with impunity. In view of the fact that Abbas’s resolution will be voted on this Thursday, anything less than a vote ‘against’ would be a derogation of that duty.

Ultimately, a successful vote at the UN General Assembly will not help the Palestinians realize their elusive dream of an independent state. This will be no more than a hollow ‘victory’ that will push the two sides even further apart.

A ‘just peace’ will only come about through painful compromises in the context of a negotiated settlement.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Features World Graves of Jewish Pirates in Jamaica Give Caribbean Tourists Taste of Little-Known History

    Graves of Jewish Pirates in Jamaica Give Caribbean Tourists Taste of Little-Known History

    Tour operators are calling attention to Jamaica’s little-known Jewish heritage by arranging visits to historic Jewish sites on the Caribbean island, including a cemetery where Jewish pirates are buried. A report in Travel and Leisure magazine describes the Hunts Bay Cemetery in Kingston, where there are seven tombstones engraved with Hebrew benedictions and skull and crossbones insignia. According to the report, centuries ago, Jewish pirates sailed the waters of Jamaica and settled in Port Royal. The town, once known as “the wickedest city in the […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Filmmaker Eyal Resh Embraces the Challenge of Telling Israel’s Story (VIDEO)

    Filmmaker Eyal Resh Embraces the Challenge of Telling Israel’s Story (VIDEO)

    JNS.org – Telling Israel’s story. It’s the specific title of a short film that Eyal Resh created last year. It’s also the theme behind the 27-year-old Israeli filmmaker’s broader body of work. The widely viewed “Telling Israel’s Story” film—directed by Resh for a gala event hosted by the Times of Israel online news outlet—seemingly begins as a promotional tourism video, but quickly evolves to offer a multilayered perspective. “I want to tell you a story about a special place for me,” a young woman whispers […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Israel Geeks Out: Science, Art and Tech Event Embodies Jewish State’s ‘DNA’

    Israel Geeks Out: Science, Art and Tech Event Embodies Jewish State’s ‘DNA’

    JNS.org – The entrance to Jerusalem’s Sacher Park was transformed from April 25-27 by a fire-breathing robotic dragon, which flailed its arms and attempted to take flight. The robot, a signature feature at Jerusalem’s first-ever “Geek Picnic,” was one of more than 150 scientific amusements available for the public to experience. This particular dragon was designed by students from Moscow’s Art Industrial Institute in conjunction with the Flacon design factory, said Anatasia Shaminer, a student who helped facilitate the display. Children […]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Opinion The Syrian Virgin (REVIEW)

    The Syrian Virgin (REVIEW)

    The Syrian Virgin, by Zack Love. CreateSpace, 2015. The Syrian Virgin, by Zack Love, is a very interesting novel. Equally a political and romantic thriller, at times a real page-turner, it gets you intimately involved in the dire situation in today’s Syria, as well as in the romantic entanglements of its mostly New York-based characters — whose entanglements just might determine the fate of that dire situation in Syria. Along the way it introduces a really important idea that somehow […]

    Read more →
  • Features Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region

    Unpacking the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict and Its Ripple Effect on Israel’s Region

    JNS.org – Aside from Israel itself, those with a vested interest in the Jewish state are accustomed to tracking developments related to Middle East players such as Iran, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. But much global attention has recently focused on the Caucasus region at the Europe-Asia border, specifically on the suddenly intensified violence between Azerbaijan and Armenia in the mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh area of western Azerbaijan. The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, while not taking place in Israel’s immediate neighborhood, does have what one scholar called […]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Features Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy

    Earth Day 2016: Israel Shines in Water Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy

    JNS.org – On Friday, April 22, 196 nations across the world mark Earth Day, the annual day dedicated to environmental protection that was enacted in 1970. Not to be forgotten on this day is Israel, which is known as the “start-up nation” for its disproportionate amount of technological innovation, including in the area of protecting the environment. For Earth Day 2016, JNS.org presents a sampling of the Jewish state’s internal achievements and global contributions in the environmental realm. Water conservation Israeli […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture World New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    New Documentary Explores Holocaust Humor, Role That Laughter Played in Death Camps

    Holocaust humor and the role that laughter played in the lives of Jews during World War II are the focus of a documentary that made its world premiere on Monday at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City. In The Last Laugh, first- and second-generation survivors, as well as famous Jewish and non-Jewish comedians, discuss their thoughts on when joking about the death camps is appropriate or taboo. “Nazi humor, that’s OK. Holocaust humor, no,” Jewish comedic giant, actor and filmmaker Mel Brooks says in the film. “Anything I […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror

    Tragedy Culminates in ‘Celebration,’ Says Israeli Author Who Lost Son to Terror

    JNS.org – Sherri Mandell’s life was devastated on May 8, 2001, when her 13-year-old son Koby was murdered by terrorists on the outskirts of the Israeli Jewish community of Tekoa. Yet Mandell not only shares the story of her loss, but also celebrates the lessons she has learned from tragedy. Indeed, “celebrate” is this Israeli-American author’s word choice. Her second book, The Road to Resilience: From Chaos to Celebration (Toby Press), came out earlier this year. The lesson: in every celebration, there is […]

    Read more →