Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is “going for broke” in his bid for United Nations recognition of the PA and a moral victory in the face of what a Saudi Arabia news column called “Obama’s gutlessness.”
The Arab News column stated that Abbas has no choice but to go to the United Nations due to “Obama’s state of gutlessness and Netanyahu’s core expansionist agenda.”
It added, “Success in the UN General Assembly is not a recipe for changed facts on the ground, but if the world endorses their rightful demands it will provide Palestinians with a massive moral victory and illuminate America’s honest broker status as a sham. To avoid embarrassment and a split with numerous U.S. allies, President Obama has taken to using weasel words and empty promises he knows cannot be fulfilled.“
Most of the U.N. General Assembly members have stated they support recognizing the PA as a country despite the Palestinian Authority’s written commitment to reach statehood through negotiations with Israel in the “diplomatic process.” Otherwise known as the “peace process,” it died two years when Abbas placed pre-conditions on talks and rejected Israel’s demand that it be recognized as “Jewish state.”
President Barack Obama has not stated if he will direct his ambassador to the United Nations to veto a Palestinian Authority statehood proposal in the international body’s Security Council, but he has repeatedly stated his opposition to Abbas’ plan.
Abbas said that if he cannot achieve his goal through the Security Council, he will go to the General Assembly. However, U.N. spokesman Joseph Deiss has stated that the General Assembly cannot vote on a request for membership without a recommendation from the Security Council.
Abbas would then have to settle for a “moral victory,” such as receiving observer status.
He and his aides and officials are taking their case to China, India, Vietnam, Australia New Zealand, Russia and Portugal, among other countries, in a last-ditch effort to shore up more support.
Most of his support has come from Muslim and Asian countries, and he has had little backing from Western leaders. Even Norway, one of the most rabid pro-Arab European countries and home of the Oslo Accords that Abbas has scrapped, has declined to state whether it would vote in the United Nations in favor of recognizing the Palestinian Authority as a state based on its territorial demands.
PA officials are increasingly worried that a toothless U.N. measure could prompt popular frustration and anger.