Abbas: Resisting "Huge Pressure" From West
Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas proudly proclaimed "all hell has broken out" in response to his statehood bid at the United Nations. He chose a terrorist's mother to represent the effort.
According to the semi-official PA Ma'an news agency, Abbas told reporters on his flight to New York officials in Ramallah had "seriously discussed all proposals" put forward by the Middle East Quartet and its special envoy, Tony Blair.
Abbas lamented, however, that Quartet proposals did not support the goal of "a sovereign Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital."
Abbas also told the reporters the United States and European governments had pointedly warned him "matters will be bad" if he goes through with the statehood bid. He cast himself as a heroic figure resisting "huge pressure" from the West instead of what he really is: a mock leader, living on Western handouts and hoping to get all his demands without even recognizing the Jewish state from whom he is demanding them..
"We told them that any proposals which do not include a Palestinian state based on 1967 borders and an end to settlement expansion are unacceptable," Abbas said, repeating his mantra of maximalist preconditions that has rendered direct negotiations moribund.
"We decided to take this step and all hell has broken out against us," he said.
Abbas admitted the desperate fiscal crisis faced by the PA could be rendered acute should proposed financial sanctions stemming from his PA intransigence vis-à-vis the statehood bid come to pass.
Israel's deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon on Monday warned UN officials Israeli economic cooperation with the PA – critical to both PA revenue streams and banking functions – could be terminated.
And many U.S. lawmakers say they will pressure the White House to cut foreign aid, totaling some $500 million a year, if the PA refuses to back down. The UN help for 'refugees' is also in jeopardy if recognition of the PA as a state makes them non-stateless.
“We are now focusing on the U.N. Security Council, and other international institutions like the World Bank, which applauded our success in building state institutions," Abbas said, dismissing the magnitude of potential national bankruptcy before declaring, "Such remarks disprove the claims that we are not ready for statehood!”
But Abbas had no answers, with a U.S. veto looming in the Security Council, for how officials in Ramallah would deal with the consequences of their U.N. bid, which has increasingly alienated Western diplomats and created furor in Jerusalem.
"From now until I give the speech, we have only one choice: going to the Security Council. Afterward, we will sit and decide," Abbas said.