Carl at Israel Matzav has given Mahmoud Abbas, aka Abu Mazen, the nickame “Abu Bluff.”
The trip by Abbas to the U.N. this week ostensibly to obtain recognition of a Palestinian state is another bluff. Abbas doesn’t even have the support of his own people, as Hamas which controls Gaza and has great influence on the street in the West Bank is dead set against the move.
Abbas also knows that the U.S. will veto any move in the Security Council, as the U.S. position is that the creation of a state with defined borders can only be accomplished through negotiation, which necessarily would include recognizing Israel as a Jewish state and giving up claims for Palestinian refugees and their descendants to return to Israel proper. As posted earlier today, Abbas rejects these conditions.
The General Assembly can pass whatever it wants, but it will not change the facts on the ground or have any enforceable mechanism. And as it stands now, with Abbas rejecting all the terms essential to ending the conflict, a significant number of Western countries will vote against the move even in the General Assembly. Forcing a U.S. veto also will alienate the Obama administration and give strength to those in Congress seeking to cut off funding of the Palestinian Authority.
Abu Bluff is like the dog about to catch the car, the car being a U.S. veto in the Security Council.
So Abu Bluff desperately is seeking a way out, now offering to avoid the Security Council for a European agreement to vote with him in the General Assembly:
Palestinian Authority envoy in Germany Saleh Abdel-Shafi claimed Sunday that the Palestinians will drop their bid to achieve full UN membership in exchange for European Union recognition of the PA as a UN observer state at the General Assembly.
“We are still negotiating with the Europeans,” Abdel-Shafi told the Financial Times Deutschland. “We’ll be willing to forgo the Security Council bid if European states support us at the Assembly vote,” he said.
Call Abu Bluff’s bluff.
Maybe then it will sink in at least to the non-Hamas Palestinians that recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, giving up the demographic weapon, and coming to grips with history is the only road.
Update: Read Caroline Glick’s The Palestinian obsession:
Why have the senior peace-processors of Washington and Europe descended on Jerusalem and Ramallah, begging and pleading with the Palestinians to cancel their plans?
Why have the Americans and the Europeans been pressuring Israel to make massive concessions to the Palestinians in order to convince them to put out the diplomatic fire there have set at the UN?
Why are the White House and the State Department telling the media that the US will consider it a major diplomatic embarrassment if the Palestinians go through with their threats? Why in short, do the Americans and the Europeans care about this?
Also, Jeffrey Goldberg:
What, then, is Abbas’s true goal? It may be nothing more than an attempt to ensure his legacy, or to marginalize rivals like Fayyad. But he recently said something revealing: “We are going to complain that as Palestinians we have been under occupation for 63 years.”
The occupation, as it is generally understood, did not begin 63 years ago. Israel conquered the West Bank and Gaza 44 years ago. Sixty-three years ago is when Israel itself was founded. If Abbas’s goal at the UN is the enfranchisement of his people, then he will not succeed. If his goal to demonize and delegitimize his enemy, then he very well might.