It’s been a bumpy road for the Palestinians lately.
Recent staged spectacles that were supposed to whip up sympathy for them and put Israel in a bad light again—the Nakba Day (May 15) and Naksa Day (June 4) marches on Israel’s borders, the flotilla, the flytilla—have been disappointments at best, if not outright flops. And the Palestinians’ long-hyped independent-statehood bid at the UN in September is meeting growing opposition from the West.
The Obama administration is believed to have signaled that it will veto the attempt in the Security Council. Germany and Italy have come out squarely against it, and last week 100 members of the European Parliament signed a letter decrying it, noting that “past agreements between the parties and international mediators clearly reject unilateral actions.”
This week a meeting of the Middle East Quartet—the U.S., EU, UN, and Russia—that was supposed to find a way to head off the Palestinians’ statehood bid and restart Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, ended inconclusively. Two Israeli newspapers (here and here) say the sticking point was—in return for Israeli diplomatic concessions—Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov backing the Palestinians’ ongoing rock-solid refusal to take that seemingly innocuous step.
It all left the Palestinians very upset with the U.S. Reuters reported that
the Palestinian leadership, in unusually harsh criticism of Washington, on Tuesday held the United States responsible for “racist” Israeli policies it said had sabotaged the peace process. …
The Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) executive committee convened in Ramallah after a meeting in Washington of the Quartet…failed to announce any progress toward reviving peace talks. …
“The only option facing the world today, especially the United States, is to use all tools to oblige the occupiers to halt their racist, expansionary policy,” the PLO said in a statement released after its meeting.
“The United States bears the prime responsibility for the continuation of this racist (Israeli) policy,” it said.
Somehow the “peace” cadences are hard to detect here—especially when you consider that “racist” Israel created the Palestinian Authority, has endured 17 years of terrorism from it without dissolving it, and last year froze the allegedly “expansionary” settlement construction for ten months in a fruitless bid to get the PA to discuss the two-state solution; and that the U.S., for its part, has showered the PA with $4 billion in aid since the mid-1990s and, particularly under Obama, for better or worse, made Palestinian statehood a central goal of its foreign policy.
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