Daily Israel Report

Arab League Goes for Broke, Officially Abandons ‘Talks’

The Arab League snubs Obama and abandons the path of “talks” with Israel for creating a Palestinian Authority state and will ask the UN to do so.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 5/29/2011, 10:01 AM / Last Update: 5/29/2011, 10:08 AM

Flash 90

The Arab League has snubbed U.S. President Barack Obama and officially abandoned the path of “negotiations” with Israel for creating a Palestinian Authority state and will ask the United Nations to do so.

The 23-member League, which includes the Palestinian Authority, said on Saturday in Qatar that it backs PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' strategy for the United Nations to recognize the PA as a country based on its unilateral demands that it wants Israel to accept before “negotiations.”

The League held out the option of not turning to the United Nations if Israel shows it is “ready” to accept a Palestinian Authority state based on the Saudi Initiative of 2002, which includes the immigration to Israel of several million Arabs living in foreign countries, which have refused to grant them citizenship and a turning the 1949 indefensible Armistice lines into borders..

Turning to the United Nations is a direct dismissal of President Obama’s insistence last week that it is not practical to ask the UN to recognize the Palestinian Authority as an independent country.

The president said, “I strongly believe that for the Palestinians to take the United Nations route rather than the path of sitting down and talking with the Israelis is a mistake.”

In an interview with the BBC, he pointed out that it is not practical for the PA to be recognized by the United Nations. “Hamas still hasn't recognized Israel's right to exist and renounce violence, or recognize that negotiations are the right path for solving this problem,” he said. “And it's very difficult for Israel in a realistic way to say we're going to sit across the table from somebody who denies our right to exist. And so that's an issue that the Palestinians are going to have to resolve."

Earlier last week, President Obama disappointed the Arab world by not directly talking about the issues of the status of Jerusalem and the issue of foreign Arabs that Abbas wants to flood Israel. The president said Israel and the Palestinian Authority should discuss the two issues after agreeing on the boundaries of a proposed PA state.

"In these circumstances, it seems better to me that we freeze discussion of the peace process until there is a partner ready for peace," said Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani, who chaired the Arab League meting in Doha.

"The sound path is going through the United Nations and political struggle," Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa, told Reuters. "I believe that negotiations have become futile in light of all of these "nos." What will you negotiate on?"