Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A Ladder for the PA, Please?

Khaled Abu Toameh

The Palestinian Authority is searching for a ladder to climb down the high tree it climbed up regarding its intention to ask the UN in September to recognize a Palestinian state along the pre-1967 lines.

Already this week there were signs that the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah may delay the statehood bid under certain circumstances.

The Palestinian leaders may have finally realized that their decision to go to the UN would have serious repercussions for the Palestinians. The US Administration has made it clear that it would veto a Palestinian-initiated resolution at the UN in September. The threat was relayed once again this week to two senior Palestinian envoys who visited Washington and held talks with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

Palestinian leaders in Ramallah are beginning to realize that the tree they climbed is high. Now they are waiting for someone to give them a ladder.

They now understand that it is not only the Americans who are opposed to their plan, but also several EU countries.

Palestinian officials have expressed fear that the Americans and Europeans would impose financial sanctions on the Palestinian Authority if it insisted on going ahead with its unilateral statehood bid.

This explains why the tone in Ramallah is now sounding different than before. Palestinian officials are now saying that they may abandon their plan in return for American and European guarantees that Israel would refrain from "creating new facts on the ground" in the coming months – a reference to construction of new homes in West Bank settlements and east Jerusalem neighborhoods.

In other words, the Palestinian Authority is no longer demanding a full cessation of settlement construction, but only that Israel refrain from creating new and irreversible facts on the ground.

Also, the Palestinians are now saying that they would be willing to return to the negotiating table with Israel if Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu openly declared his acceptance of US President Barack Obama's "two-state" speech at the State Department a few weeks ago.

The feeling in Ramallah is that the Palestinian Authority got itself into a mess with the statehood bid, and is now searching for a face-saving solution. What seems to have complicated matters for the Palestinian Authority is the fact that differences have erupted among its top leaders in Ramallah over the statehood idea. It remains now to be seen who will provide the ladder.

Comment: As much as I respect Toameh's work I beg to slightly disagree. One must understand who Obama really is-a Chicago politician-ruthless-as Abbas is nothing more than Arafat in a suit, so is Obama nothing more than Daley with a smooth delivery and gift of gab. Obama is setting up 2012 plan to abandon Israel. He is forcing Israel's hand believing that he can still convince Bibi to get us to say yes to "1967 lines" s a starting point-this is his objective. Given that Bibi may stand firm and reject again this request, Obama has set the world stage of opinion squarely on our shoulders. He will say: "All Israel had to do was say that the "1967 lines" were a starting point, that's all they had to say and then we would have rejected any PA attempt to unilaterally create a state. But no, Israel should not do this demonstrating, with regrets, that Israel is THE reason why peace cannot move forward. So, it is with great reluctance the USA must now...

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