As negotiating teams from Israel and the Palestinian Authority prepare to head to Washington for the first direct talks in more than two years, PA officials are quietly working hard to sabotage the effort.
The Independent Media Review Analysis (IMRA) watchdog agency discovered this week that PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad has presented an official plan to wage a diplomatic war against Israel, entitled “Appointment with Freedom.” The plan was published in Arabic by the PLO’s official WAFA news agency. It was approved Monday by the PA cabinet.
A partial translation of the plan shows under the subheading “International Relations Sector” that one of the overall objectives is to “highlight all forms of Israeli violations against the Palestinian people, their land and property in the relevant international forums.”
Another is to work to “support efforts to organize the reception and delegations of international solidarity with the peaceful popular resistance against the settlements and the wall [security fence].” Encouraging foreign Arabs to “visit Palestine,” persuading Arab leaders to “support the plan approved by the Jerusalem Arab summit in Sirte” are also on the list of objectives.
In addition, there are specific tasks meted out to specific ministries as well: For the PA “Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” an assignment to “work to pass a [United Nations] Security Council resolution condemning the settlement [enterprise] and order it to stop.
For the PA “Ministry of State for the Wall,” there is an order to “activate the case of the wall in the [U.N.] General Assembly and the Security Council on the basis of the ICJ advisory opinion on it, and to hold conferences, meetings and seminars to support this issue internationally, and in cooperation with the media.”
Fayyad also urges the PA government to “go to the United Nations to request an advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice (at The Hague) on the legal status of Palestinian prisoners under international law.”
The diplomatic war plan is an attempt to pre-empt the negotiations between Israel and the PA and influence the outcome before the talks even get off the ground.
Most, if not all of these issues, were listed in the failed U.S. Roadmap peace plan – another exchange in which Israel made numerous concessions to the PA, whose government repeatedly violated the terms of the agreement, IMRA noted. The PA sponsored weekly events in which television programs praised terrorism, public squares were named for murderers of Israeli civilians, and school textbooks continued incitement against the State of Israel.
The points listed in Fayyad’s current “Appointment with Freedom” plan are subject to negotiations between Israel and the PA and are due to come up for discussion in direct talks between the two sides – if not during the first meeting in Washington on Thursday, then in follow-up talks.