Daily Israel Report

Op-Ed: Palestine - Kerry is Oblivious to the Demise of the PA

There is no more Palestinian Authority. Mahmoud Abbas has killed and buried it. With whom does Kerry think he is negotiating?
Published: Friday, February 21, 2014 10:04 AM


US Secretary of State John Kerry and the US State Department continue to cling to the illusion that the Palestinian Authority still exists – despite PLO insistence that it does not following this Decree on 3 January 2013:

Decree No. 1 for the year 2013

On the use of the name of the State of Palestine and its emblem on letterheads, seals and related official documents

President of the State of Palestine

Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization

Based on the Statute of the Palestine Liberation Organization

And after reviewing the Fundamental Law of 2003, as amended

Based on the Resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations No. GA 11317, deciding to upgrade the status of Palestine to the status of observer state in the United Nations Organization.

Based on the recommendations of the Palestinian Committee in charge of the steps to be taken in this regard, and based on the powers vested in us, and in conformity with the public interest,

We decided the following:

Article (1)

Official documents, seals, signs and letterheads of the Palestinian National Authority official and national institutions shall be amended by replacing the name 'Palestinian National Authority' whenever it appears by the name 'State of Palestine' and by adopting the emblem of the State of Palestine. The relevant authorities shall be in charge of monitoring the implementation of this Decree, taking into account the requirements of use.

Article (2)

Official documents, seals, signs and letterheads in the embassies of the State of Palestine and its missions abroad shall be amended by keeping the name 'State of Palestine' and emblem only and the name of 'mission' afterwards. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall be in charge of implementing these amendments. Dealing with States who do not recognize the State of Palestine shall also be taken into consideration.

Article (3)

No amendment shall be made to the name and emblem in official documents, seals, letterheads and signs of the institutions of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Article (4)

All competent authorities, each in their respective area, shall implement the provisions of this Decree starting from its date. This Decree shall be notified to those it may concern and shall be published in the Official Gazette.

Mahmoud Abbas

President of the State of Palestine

Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization
-- Translated from Maan News.

Kerry and the State Department’s inability to appreciate this major change in PLO policy became very apparent following Kerry’s visit to Paris last week to meet “President of the State of Palestine” and “Chairman of the Executive Committee of the PLO” - Mahmoud Abbas.

The State Department web site described Kerry’s visit in these terms:

“In Paris, Secretary Kerry will meet with Palestinian Authority President Abbas to discuss the ongoing negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis.”

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in Abu Dhabi - where Kerry was meeting United Arab Emirate officials:

"Secretary Kerry will meet with Palestinian Authority President Abbas in Paris, France on Wednesday to discuss the ongoing negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis,"

Lebanon’s Daily Star  – obviously embarrassed to report such Kerry and State Department nonsense - went so far as to deliberately hide Psaki’s reference to the Palestinian Authority:

“State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki confirmed the meeting, saying they would "discuss the ongoing negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis".

Wily long time PLO negotiator - Saeb Erekat - was however prepared to let Kerry wander along his path of blissful ignorance with these amazing remarks reported in Xinhua:

“A Palestinian official warned on Monday that the failure of the current Palestinian-Israeli peace talks will lead to the collapse of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA).

"The failure of negotiations means that things will go back to zero point," chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erikat told the official Voice of Palestine radio.

"This may lead Israel to reoccupy the Palestinian territories and thus the PNA will collapse," he said, adding that the PNA will approach the international organizations including the International Criminal Court (ICC) to sue the state of Israel if the talks do not succeed.

It is the first time a Palestinian official warns of a possible collapse of the PNA if the US-backed negotiations fail.”

Marie Harf – Deputy State Department Spokesman – in her daily press briefing on 19 February –still thought Kerry was meeting with the Palestinian Authority Chairman – the party to negotiations with Israel under the Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap:

“Today, Secretary Kerry is in Paris, where he has had meetings with French Foreign Minister Fabius and Jordanian Foreign Minister Judeh. Later tonight, he’s scheduled to meet with Palestinian Authority President Abbas.”

Kerry’s Public Schedule maintained the fiction for 20 February:

“2:00 p.m. LOCAL Secretary Kerry meets with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, in Paris, France.”

This picture, this picture and this picture on the State Department website - recording photo-ops with “Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas” – clearly indicate that Kerry is unaware that:

The Palestinian Authority no longer exists The State of Palestine exists on the soil of Palestine The Palestinian Arabs are no longer stateless or homeless Negotiations under Oslo and the Roadmap have become meaningless

Kerry and the State Department will have a lot of explaining to do if his framework agreement fails to take these crucial PLO changes into account.

“Kerry cops caning” would make an excellent headline.