Monday, October 06, 2014

Palestine’s ‘Nuclear Option’

Ali Jarbawi, NYT
OCT. 6, 2014

RAMALLAH, West Bank — The latest speech by Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, before the United Nations General Assembly represented a significant departure in his thinking. Until last week, Mr. Abbas had been the firmest believer in and most loyal champion of direct negotiations with Israel under the exclusive sponsorship of the United States. He insisted constantly that these negotiations were the only way to reach a political settlement to the conflict.

Over the years, he was extremely conciliatory toward Israel, and offered up one concession after another on several key issues, presuming that that would enable him to appease Israel and convince it to end its occupation and work with him to achieve a political settlement, which would finally allow for the creation of the long-awaited Palestinian state.

None of Mr. Abbas’s conciliations or concessions to Israel ever bore fruit. In fact, over time, the country tilted increasingly rightward and its stubbornness and intractability toward the Palestinians grew. There has not been the slightest indication that Israel may change its stance. Yet Mr. Abbas was expected, both by Israel and by the United States, to continue to accept the status quo, hidden by useless and fruitless negotiations.

Mr. Abbas drew out the process for as long as he could — until the latest Israeli war against Gaza, with its unprecedented level of destruction and killing, brought an end to his dawdling. The internal pressure left him with only one option, to see things as they truly are, and not as he wished them to be.

(More here.)

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