The Palestinians’ home court advantage

The unilateral initiative by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the U.N. General Assembly, at the completion of which Palestine will be recognized as a nonmember observer state, allows the West, or at least part of the West led by France, to rectify a past wrong: After having criticized Hamas and embraced Israel (perhaps a bit more than planned), it is time to get back in line and support the Palestinian Authority and its initiatives. What about the spirit of the Oslo Accords? Approval of the one-sided Palestinian bid would only push Oslo further away. All we are left with is the spirit.

It is important to understand that Abbas' move is futile, as far as Israel is concerned. It was wrong for Jerusalem to try to confront Abbas at the U.N. General Assembly. After all, it was only a year ago that then French President Nicolas Sarkozy explained to Abbas that efforts to gain Palestinian membership in the U.N. Security Council were hopeless. Sarkozy even advised Abbas what he should do. It is no wonder that Sarkozy's successor, Franois Hollande, is leading Western support of the current bid (along with Spain, Portugal, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway and even Britain, with certain caveats).

The Palestinians and Abbas enjoy a home court advantage in the U.N. General Assembly. That is why Israel's efforts initially to prevent and ultimately to soften the resolution are odd. But Abbas should be fully aware of the implications of this move. It is safe to assume that these implications, and there will be implications, will prompt Abbas to continue complaining that Israel is weakening him. He must admit that this move, today, contributes to this greatly....

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.