The New York Times reports that the PA is increasingly considering abandoning negotiations with Israel and seeking international recognition of a PLO state instead.
Correspondent Ethan Bronner, whose son was drafted into the IDF earlier this year for 18 months of service, spoke with PLO officials Hanan Ashrawi and Hanna Amireh. They both implied that negotiations are not working for them, and that therefore they would have to try to get international bodies to intervene for them.
“If we cannot stop the settlements through the peace process,” Ashrawi said, “we have to go to the Security Council, the Human Rights Council and every international legal body.”
“We don’t have strong cards,” Amireh told Bronner from his Ramallah office, “but we want to convince the world to take a position and gain recognition of a Palestinian state.”
What the PA is Not Doing
The ongoing PA incitement against Israel on television and educational programs, its honoring of terrorists who had murdered Jews, its refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, its intransigence on border issues, and other issues were not mentioned in the article. Bronner wrote only that “The Israelis say that what is really going on is a Palestinian effort to secure a state without having to make the difficult decisions on the borders and settlements that negotiations would entail.”
It is noteworthy as well that when providing the background of the situation, Bronner wrote that the direct talks began in September, and added, “But a freeze on West Bank settlement construction by Israel ended four weeks later, and the Palestinians said they would not return to the table without an extension.” The article did not note that the freeze had been in effect for nine full months beforehand, for the express purpose of enticing the PA to negotiate.
As Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said at the time, “For ten months we have been waiting for the Palestinians to please come to the negotiations. They come at the last month - that’s their problem.”
Israeli officials reject the PA bid to detour the negotiations as unacceptable and a violation of the 1993 Oslo accords that govern Israeli-Palestinian relations, the article states.
Israel is attempting to get the Obama Administration on its side in this issue. Abraham H. Foxman, the American national director of the Anti-Defamation League, told the Times, “This is part of the delegitimization campaign against Israel. The Obama administration needs to have the same public moxie on the declaration of a pre-emptive state as it has had on Israeli settlements. All the exit doors have to be closed for the Palestinians so they have no choice but to negotiate.”
"The United States is pleading with the Palestinians not to give up hope,” the Times article reports, implying that Israel is the impediment to a successful negotiated solution.