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Abbas’ Op-Ed Hammers Last Nails in Oslo Accords

Abbas wrote in the New York Times the UN must declare it a state based on its demands, with no negotiations except for the issue of foreign Arabs.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 5/17/2011, 7:33 AM / Last Update: 5/17/2011, 7:44 AM

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Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas wrote in The New York Times Monday that the United Nations must declare it a state based on its territorial demands, with no negotiations except for the issue of the status of several million foreign Arabs.

His op-ed explicitly buries the Oslo Accords signed by the PA and Israel nearly 20 years ago, calling for negotiations for the creation of the Palestinian Authority as a new country, inside Israel’s borders. Abbas stated that the entry of the PA into the UN as a full-fledged member “would pave the way for the internationalization of the conflict as a legal matter, not only a political one.”

Since Abbas took over the helm of the PA after the death of Yasser Arafat in 2004, he has simultaneously gone through the motions of talks with Israel while launching a globe-trotting campaign to curry diplomatic support.

He has laid his cards on the table in recent months, rejecting talks with Israel unless they are based on acceptance of the PA's demands, without compromise, for a PA state to be based on the temporary 1949 Armistice Lines that were in effect until the Six-Day War in 1967. During the conflict with surrounding Arab countries, all of Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria were restored to Israel.

He crafted his article by beginning with his personal story of being a young boy in Tzfat (Safed) when his family allegedly was forced to move to Syria during the War for Independence. Abbas skillfully skipped over the war, begun by six Arab nations the day after Israel's independence was declared in an attempt to destroy the fledgling Jewish state, and instead wrote:

“It is important to note that the last time the question of Palestinian statehood took center stage at the General Assembly, the question posed to the international community was whether our homeland should be partitioned into two states. In November 1947, the General Assembly made its recommendation and answered in the affirmative. Shortly thereafter, Zionist forces expelled Palestinian Arabs to ensure a decisive Jewish majority in the future state of Israel, and Arab armies intervened. War and further expulsions ensued.”

Abbas omitted the rejection of the partition plan by the Arab world and the fact that most Arabs living in Israel left because they were told to do so by their leaders, who promised them that they would return after Israel was quickly annihilated.

Declaring that a future PA state “intends to be a peace-loving nation, committed to human rights, democracy, the rule of law and the principles of the United Nations Charter,” he declared that its entry into the UN would allow the PA “to pursue claims against Israel at the United Nations, human rights treaty bodies and the International Court of Justice.”

Abbas’ op-ed was published only hours before Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the Knesset that negotiations with the Palestinian Authority would be conditioned on retention of areas in Judea and Samaria with large Jewish population centers, meaning Maaleh Adumin, Gush Etzion and Ariel; recognition of Israel by the PA as a Jewish state, a declared end to the conflict; a demilitarized PA state; and the immigration of foreign Arabs into the Palestinian Authority and not Israel.