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Abbas must seek recognition from UN, not U.S.

Since entering negotiations with Palestinians last July, Israeli policies have only led to a deeper entrenchment of the occupation. Now, Abbas must listen to left-wing Palestinian parties and put an end to peace talks.

By Uri Weltmann

Dancing the tango with a cactus is a bad idea. Not only are you dancing by yourself, you’re also going to be pricked by the thorns.

But this is exactly what Mahmoud Abbas has been doing since last July, when he agreed that peace negotiations between the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Israeli government would be mediated by the U.S. government, knowing full well that the U.S. is not a neutral broker, but rather the main backer of the occupation.

And so, the negotiations continue – yet the Israeli government announces the building of 1,400 new housing units in the settlements. Meanwhile, the United States is satisfied with nothing more than a weak condemnation.

Mahmoud Abbas and Shimon Peres in Jordan, May 26, 2013 (Mark Neiman / GPO)

Mahmoud Abbas and Shimon Peres in Jordan, May 26, 2013 (Mark Neiman / GPO)

The negotiations continue – yet the Israeli government continues to Judaize East Jerusalem. Meanwhile, the United States expresses disdain, yet continues to turn a blind eye.

The negotiations continue – yet the goal of an independent Palestinian state drifts further away. Meanwhile, the United States is busy demanding Abbas become a Zionist and “recognize Israel as a Jewish state.”

In light of all this, it is no wonder that four Palestinian left-wing parties in the occupied territories rightfully called on Abbas to put an end to the negotiations. The Palestinian People’s Party (PPP), the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and the Palestinian National Initiative published a joint statement calling on Abbas to withdraw from the talks with Israel, and apply for recognition by the United Nations instead.

According to the statement, “accepting the plan of Kerry to sign the framework peace deal is like committing a suicide, and this plan has many dangerous consequences on the Palestinian cause and our people’s legitimate rights.”

The Palestinian left has also been openly critical of the proposal made by Abbas in February, in which he proposed that an American-led NATO force would patrol a future Palestinian state indefinitely, with troops positioned throughout the territory, including Jerusalem. It is well known that NATO is not a peacekeeping force, but rather an aggressive military alliance, responsible for aggression against Serbia in the 90s, and more recently the intervention in Libya.

It is remarkable that although Abbas was willing to sacrifice the prospect of Palestinian national sovereignty by agreeing to become a de-facto U.S. protectorate, his concessions were not met with a more favorable attitude by Kerry. The U.S., however, did not budge an inch from its traditional position, which backs the policies of the Israeli occupation and places nearly all the demands on the Palestinians.

Instead of offering Prime Minister Netanyahu an alibi, thereby aiding him in creating a false pretense of peace negotiations, the Palestinian left is asking the tough questions: if the Israeli government intends to withdraw from the West Bank, why does it continue to build there? If the Israeli government believes in two capital cities in Jerusalem, why does it continue its policy of creeping Judaization of the eastern part of the city? If the Israeli government does not intend to do all these things, we can conclude that it is not a partner for peace.

Abbas must decide between the way of Netanyahu and the U.S. State Department, and the way proposed by the left. And not just him. The Israeli left must also decide: does it support peace or the United States?

Uri Weltmann is a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Israel, and teaches Mathematics at a technical college.

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    COMMENTS

    1. Bar

      So the author advocates another century of conflict? Amazing.

      Reply to Comment
      • The Trespasser

        Who cares how many more generations of Palestinians are going to be wasted if (hopefully) within a century or two Israel would fall?

        Reply to Comment
        • Bar

          Yes, apparently the author doesn’t care.

          Reply to Comment
    2. Kolumn9

      Resulting in a guaranteed US veto at the UNSC and a cut off in funding. Then what? The ‘way proposed by the left’ is ineffective. In effect you are telling Abbas to accept the framework and continue negotiations because you are offering him a dead end as an alternative.

      Reply to Comment
    3. This is right. What Abbas (PLO) should ask for, from the nations — not necessarily from the UNGA and almost certainly not from the UNSC [except to show up the USA] is for the nations — or as many as will — to begin to apply pressure to Israel with a single, unified, goal of inducing Israel to comply with international law, conventions,a greements, and human rights norms by removing all settlers from all occupied territories (including Golan and East Jerusalem), demolish the wall, demolish all settlement buildings and remove the rubble, remove wastes (toxics, garbage, sewage, etc., dumped into occupied territories by Israel and/or Israelis), and share water equitably (with compensation for aqifer water taken illegally over the years). Also the siege of Gaza must be lifted and potable water supplied to Gaza.

      It is not to be expected that ALL nations (or even, perhaps, many) will begin such sanctions, but small initial sanctions can be proposed such as withdrawal of ambassadors, cessation of commercial air-traffic) and stronger sanctions can be proposed for later — if and as Israel fails to meet or to begin to meet the demand within a small time such as 6 months for beginning and 1 year for completion.

      I have no reason to be sanguine that many nations would soon begin such programs of sanctions, but at least the PLO can talk about them and point out that something of the sort is a duty of most nations as signatories of Fourth Geneva Convention.

      And of course, joining ICC and other organizations should be done as soon as possible. Trusting or waiting for help from the USA should end.

      Reply to Comment
      • directrob

        Instead of justice you could offer Abas a Nobel prize.

        Reply to Comment
    4. “Dancing the tango with a cactus is a bad idea. Not only are you dancing by yourself, you’re also going to be pricked by the thorns.”

      A darkly humorous, painfully pathetic image, although I don’t agree with it completely.

      “The Palestinian left has also been openly critical of the proposal made by Abbas in February, in which he proposed that an American-led NATO force would patrol a future Palestinian state indefinitely, with troops positioned throughout the territory, including Jerusalem.”

      That the offer was made shows how Israel’s perceived security needs, at least in the dominant coalition which doesn’t seem to be falling anytime soon, has forced all into a corner. Such a deeply placed force would be put in political traps by many sides, and there are more than two sides. It is for this reason (the intransigence of defined security) that I see Greater Israel as inevitable and so think talks should move to an economic confederation with international investment for independent, co-national businesses. As a communist, this is probably absurd for you.

      I don’t really like the position I’ve reached, but my reason, such as it is, takes me there. In an age where nationalism is far from done, we find ourselves unable to actualize both nationalisms of this conflict at once. So, in great irony, a land of pure nationalism must find ways around nationalism. May necessity birth invention.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Vadim

      No, what Abbas really MUST do is to seek a way to improve the lives of his subjects.

      The best way to achieve this is by abandoning old fantasies and seeking a way to end the conflict. Ending the conflict is best achieved by finding a common ground with Israel. Everything else will just prolong the suffering and accomplish nothing.

      Ending the conflict is not achieving some cosmic justice, it’s not the ROR, it’s not a complete withdrawal of Israel from everywhere. It’s a compromise done to finally allow the people to have decent lives.

      As long as this desire does not exist, no amount of pressure on Israel will help. As soon as this desire will appear, Israel will compromise as well.

      Reply to Comment
      • Vadim

        “In light of all this, it is no wonder that four Palestinian left-wing parties … The Palestinian People’s Party (PPP), the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

        PFLP is described as a terrorist organization by the United States, Canada, European Union and Israel. It was responsible for the Fogel family murder several years ago and many suicide bombings around 10 years ago.

        DFLP did all kinds of stuff in the 70′ and 80′. It was considered a Terrorist organization by the US until 1999. It still murdered Israelis during the second Intifada.

        Wow, Terrorists call for Abbas to stop negotiations. I’m sure their call is right one, these guys are never wrong.

        Is this the Palestinian left? Are these the moderates? the liberals?

        The only ray of light in this is the PPP, which is the only Palestinian party without a military wing. However, it has less than 3% of the votes.

        Reply to Comment
      • Vadim

        “In light of all this, it is no wonder that four Palestinian left-wing parties … The Palestinian People’s Party (PPP), the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

        PFLP is described as a terrorist organization by the United States, Canada, European Union and Israel. It was responsible for the Fogel family murder several years ago and many suicide bombings around 10 years ago.

        DFLP did all kinds of stuff in the 70′ and 80′. It was considered a Terrorist organization by the US until 1999. It still murdered Israelis during the second Intifada.

        Wow, Terrorists call for Abbas to stop negotiations. I’m sure their call is right one, these guys are never wrong.

        Is this the Palestinian left? Are these the moderates? the liberals?

        The only ray of light in this is the PPP, which is the only Palestinian party without a military wing. However, it has less than 3% of the votes.

        Reply to Comment
      • Jan

        There will be no end to the conflict as long as Israel continues to build its settlements, all illegal under international law. There will be no end to the conflict as long as the IDF is in the West Bank to protect the illegal settlers and to brutalize the Palestinians.
        Frankly I do not believe that Israel really wants an end to the conflict until it has grabbed most of the land of the West Bank and has either expelled the Palestinians or confined them to South Africa apartheid-like bantustans.
        Every nail, every brick, every cement block going into a new settlement building proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that israel does not want to end the conflict on any terms that will not leave them the masters and the Palestinians the subjugated.

        Reply to Comment
        • Bar

          Actually, when Israel did exactly what you propose by leaving Gaza, it got attacked with thousands of rockets.

          Do you have any other suggestions?

          Reply to Comment
          • shmuel

            The wall and the evacuation of the ground settlements in Gaza are parts of the same national security logic of unilateral solutions that the settlements were – perpetuating and intensifying animosity and violence, rather than undoing them.

            In 2005, a few months before a stroke put him in a permanent coma, Sharon removed 7,000 settlers from Gaza, and simultaneously settled tens of thousands of others in settlements across the West Bank

            Reply to Comment
          • Bar

            Um, Israel tried bilateral logic. Remember Barak and Olmert’s peace proposals which were rejected by the Palestinians?

            Any other suggestions?

            Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn9

          There will be no end to the conflict as long as the Palestinians define the end of ‘subjugation’ as a situation in which Israel ceases to exist. When Saeb Erekat talks about refusing to compromise his ‘narrative’ that is what he means. He refuses to accept compromising the narrative that Israel is illegitimate and must be eliminated. That is after all, the Palestinian ‘narrative’ and without compromising it there is really no point for any peace agreement worth the paper or the ink.

          Reply to Comment
        • Vadim

          Jan –

          “There will be no end to the conflict as long as Israel continues to build its settlements”

          There was a freeze last year, did that help? No settlements in Gaza, did that help?

          “There will be no end to the conflict as long as the IDF is in the West Bank to protect the illegal settlers”

          The role of the IDF is to protect Israelis. That’s not going to change.

          “and to brutalize the Palestinians.”

          And use their blood on Passover. And their meat for BBQ.

          “Frankly I do not believe that Israel really wants an end to the conflict until it has grabbed most of the land of the West Bank and has either expelled the Palestinians or confined them to South Africa apartheid-like bantustans.”

          Most Israelis wish the conflict to end. We will press our government as soon as we’ll feel the desire is mutual. Right now it is not. Same as was done with Jordan. And Egypt. We are ready to give up lands if needed. Like with Sinai. Like with Gaza. So your belief is nothing more than a belief.

          “Every nail, every brick, every cement block going into a new settlement building proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that israel does not want to end the conflict on any terms”

          That’s simply wrong. Moshe building a new porch for his family does not hamper peace. Sayid building a new rocket to shoot at the porch does.

          “that will not leave them the masters and the Palestinians the subjugated.”

          You truly don’t understand, do you? We don’t want to be masters of the Palestinians. We don’t need them. They need us. This is the case for over a 100 years now.

          You may say that Israel doesn’t wish peace due to all sorts of reasons. Even if I’d agree with you – it’s irrelevant to the post and to my comment. All I said is the best path for Abbas and Palestinians is to seek out a way to end the conflict. They suffer much more than us from this conflict, yet it seems like they are in no hurry to end it.

          Reply to Comment
          • JG

            Get the fuck out of the Westbank with NO settlement at all. That would help.
            And not a so called “freeze” which is only a short break in agressive colonization.

            Reply to Comment
          • Tzutzik

            You get the fuck out of our face JG, you fool!

            Reply to Comment
    6. Danny

      When the world finally affixes a price tag to the occupation, in the form of real and sustained economic sanctions – the occupation will come to an end.

      Because if there’s one thing Israelis won’t put up with, it’s a regression to their lifestyle. They will demand an end to the occupation, and even Netanyahu won’t be able to resist it.

      This is the path the Palestinians must follow to get their state.

      Reply to Comment
      • Vadim

        Who told you they actually want a state?

        Reply to Comment
        • Kolumn9

          Technically they do want a state. They just wish that another would cease to exist to make space for theirs.

          Reply to Comment
    7. Noah Jordan

      this is crazy…besides the fact that you guys do nothing but hate on Israel with a passion, you just demanded to consult the UN, which looks the other way for every country except Israel…
      972, you’re anti-semitic…that’s all you are!

      Reply to Comment
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