'The Palestinians Outmaneuvered Us'
Attorney Elyakim Haetzni, a former Knesset Member and an influential nationalist pundit, thinks Palestinian Authority (PA) chief Mahmoud Abbas has outmaneuvered Binyamin Netanyahu and Israel is in danger of losing more ground in the diplomatic chess game with the PA.
A worried Haetzni asked his Arutz Sheva interviewer where the famous Jewish cleverness had gone, in the face of the PA's moves. "Do we still not understand that Abbas made sure to first go to the UN for recognition, before signing the unity pact with Hamas? Now, after being recognized as a state by the UN, all avenues are open before them in the struggle over Israel's sovereignty.”
Until now, Haetzni explained, Israel has not been defined as an occupier, according to the Geneva convention. This could change now, however.
"The greatest jurists have always said that in the Six Day War, Israel did not occupy Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, because they had never belonged to another sovereign,” he elaborated. “There was never a Palestinian state, Jordan had invaded illegally, and before that, there were the British and the Turks.
"Judge Edmond Levy determined in his famous report that this is not occupied territory but disputed territory and therefore the international conventions do not apply to it. Now Abbas wants to change the picture. After the UN recognized the PA as a state, one can no longer claim that there is no sovereign power demanding its territory back. This is a Palestinian state that received a majority of UN votes, and therefore all of the international laws on occupation and all of the treaties apply to it.
In the future, Haetzni warned, historians will analyze the series of mistakes Netanyahu made in this face-off. “Netanyahu does not deny Abbas's claims,” he noted – and quoted a Talmudic precept that gives an advantage to a person who states with certainty that another person owes him a debt, when the other person is not certain that he does not owe the debt. “The world will gradually accept the Palestinian statehood bluff. Abbas made sure to first be accepted as a state by the UN, and only then connected to the Hanas gangsters. If he had done the opposite, the UN would never had accepted him. He is acting deliberately and we are improvising. They are playing chess at the UN and we are still playing at Oslo, and they might win the game.”