If nothing else, the Palestinians’ UN statehood gambit goes a long way towards
revealing the deep-seated European and US pathologies that enable and prolong
the Palestinian conflict with Israel.
In a nutshell, the Palestinian
Authority – or Fatah – or PLO initiative of asking the UN Security Council and
the General Assembly to upgrade its status to that of a sovereign UN member
state or a sovereign non-UN member state is an act of diplomatic
Eighteen years ago this week, on September 13, 1993, the PLO
signed the Declaration of Principles with Israel on the White House
There, the terror group committed itself to a peace process in
which all disputes between Israel and the PLO – including the issue of
Palestinian statehood – would be settled in the framework of bilateral
The PA was established on the basis of this accord. The
territory, money, arms and international legitimacy it has been given was due
entirely to the PLO pledge to resolve the Palestinian conflict with Israel
through bilateral negotiations.
By abandoning negotiations with Israel
two years ago, and opting instead to achieve its nationalist aims outside the
framework of a peace treaty with Israel, the Palestinians are destroying the
diplomatic edifice on which the entire concept of a peace process is based. They
are announcing that they have no intention of living at peace with Israel.
Rather they intend to move ahead at Israel’s expense.
In truth, there is
little new in the Palestinians’ behavior. They have been using the UN to weaken
Israel diplomatically since the early 1970s. Moreover, even if their bid does
provide them with upgraded diplomatic status, it won’t change the reality on the
ground, nor are the Palestinians particularly interested in changing the
situation on the ground.
As the PLO ambassador in Lebanon, Abdullah
Abdullah, made clear in an interview Wednesday with that country’s Daily Star,
in the event that the UN recognizes some form of Palestinian statehood at the
UN, the new “State of Palestine” will still expect the UN to support the
so-called Palestinian “refugees.” This is true, he said, even for the “refugees”
who live in Gaza, Judea and Samaria. That is, the same UN that the Palestinians
seek recognition of statehood from will be expected to provide relief to
Palestinian “refugees” living inside “Palestine.” As he put it, “Even
Palestinian refugees living in [refugee camps] inside the [Palestinian] state,
they are still refugees. They will not be considered citizens.”
nothing will change on the ground, why do the US and the EU care what the
Palestinians do at the UN next week with their automatic General Assembly
majority? 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?
have certainly never given either the Americans or the Europeans a good reason
to support their cause. Just this week, the PLO representative in Washington
told reporters that the future state of Palestine will ban Jews and
And yet, the Obama administration and the EU have made the
establishment of a racist, homophobic Palestinian state
the greatest aim of
their policies in the Middle East.
Every single Palestinian leader from
the supposedly moderate Fatah party has rejected Israel’s right to exist and
said that they will never set aside their demand that Israel accept millions of
foreign-born Arabs – the so-called Palestinian “refugees” – as citizens. They
say this with the full knowledge that this demand is nothing less than a demand
for Israel’s destruction.
And yet, both the US and the EU, which
certainly do not support the destruction of Israel, insist that it is imperative
to strengthen and support the supposedly moderate Fatah party which seeks the
destruction of Israel.
Every year, the US and Europe transfer
collectively approximately a billion dollars in various forms of aid to the
Palestinian Authority and yet, the PA has failed to develop a market economy
capable of supporting the Palestinians without foreign assistance. Rather, they
have developed a welfare society where most economic activity stems from foreign
Rather than feel embarrassment at their failures, PA leaders
use their economic corruption to continuously threaten their patrons. If aid is
cut off, they say, the PA will disintegrate and the far more popular Hamas
movement will take over, and then, woe of woes, the peace process will be
Of course, Hamas is also sustained by Western aid money. Every
month, the same PA that warns of the dangers of a rising Hamas transfers tens of
millions of dollars in foreign aid to Hamas-controlled Gaza to pay salaries of
Hamas “government” employees.
Yet despite its mafia economy, and its
exploitation of their aid funds to support a terrorist organization, the US and
EU insist on maintaining the PA’s status as the largest per capita foreign aid
recipient in human history. And they do so even as the Eurozone is on the brink
of collapse and the US is descending rapidly into a new
Finally, in the interest of maintaining the peace process,
aside from periodic pro forma statements, the US and the EU have turned blind
eyes to the PA’s routine and institutional glorification of terrorist mass
murderers and Nazi-style anti-Semitic indoctrination and incitement of
Given their absolute commitment to the so-called
peace process, it would be reasonable to expect the US and the EU to oppose the
Palestinians’ decision to move their conflict with Israel from the negotiating
table to the UN.
After all, in acting as they are, the Palestinians are
making clear that they are abandoning the sacrosanct peace process.
this is not the case.
The Obama administration is engaging in desperate
eleventh hour diplomacy to convince the Palestinians to cancel their UN plan,
because it does not wish to oppose it. Most EU member states are expected to
support the Palestinian bid at both the Security Council and the General
The fact that the US and the EU are reluctant to oppose the
Palestinian UN initiative, despite the fact that it destroys the foundations of
the peace process, tells us two things about the Americans and the Europeans.
First, their support for the Palestinians has more in common with a
psychological obsession than with a rational policy decision.
The Obama administration, the EU bureaucracy and most EU member states are obsessed with
the Palestinians. There is nothing the Palestinians can say or do to convince
them that the Palestinian case is anything other than wholly and completely
There are many possible explanations for how they arrived at this
obsession. But the fact is that it is an obsession. Like all obsessions, their
faith in the justice of the Palestinian cause is impermeable to contrary facts
or rational interests.
The flip side of this obsession is, of course, a
complementary obsession with blaming Israel for everything that goes wrong. For
if the Palestinians are always in the right, and they are fighting Israel, then
it naturally follows that Israel is always in the wrong.
Israel First” mindset was exposed in all its madness in a New York Times
editorial on Thursday.
Despite the Palestinians’ refusal to negotiate
with Israel, despite Fatah’s unity-government deal with Hamas, and despite their
rejection of Israel’s right to exist, the Times
argued that Israel is to blame
for the current crisis in relations.
In the paper’s view, Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu “has been the most intractable” party to the conflict.
Netanyahu’s crime? He has permitted Jews in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem to
exercise their property rights and build on land they own.
that is not how the Times
put it. In the Times
’ words, Netanyahu has been
Intrinsic to the Times
’ claim, (and to the Obama
administration’s EU-supported demand that Israel disregard Jewish property
rights in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria), is an embrace of the Palestinians’
bigoted position that Jews must be banned from the future Palestinian
That is, like the administration and the EU, the Times’ support
for the “just Palestinian cause” is so comprehensive that its editors never even
question whether it is reasonable for them to be completely committed to the
establishment of a racist state. It is this inability to consider the
significance of their actions that removes Western support for the Palestinians
from the realm of policy and into the sphere of neurosis.
lesson of the US and European unwillingness to oppose the Palestinians’ UN
statehood bid is that the Obama administration and the EU alike are obsessed
with getting on the right side of inherently anti-Western international
Here, too, the reason that the position is an obsession
rather than a considered policy is because no conceivable rational US or
European interest is advanced by strengthening the UN and similar
Administration officials have repeatedly said that they do not
wish to veto a Palestinian statehood resolution at the Security Council because
they do not want to isolate the US at the UN. It is due to their aversion to
isolation that the administration has worked so intensively in recent weeks to
convince the Palestinians to cancel their UN plans, by pressuring Israel to give
them massive concessions.
It never seems to have occurred to anyone at
the White House that standing alone at the UN more often than not means standing
up for US interests, and that standing with the crowd involves sacrificing US
As for the EU, their automatic support of the UN is somewhat
more reasonable. Although the UN majority systematically empowers states and
forces that are hostile to Europe, many EU member states share the UN majority’s
anti-Israel and anti-American positions. So by voting with the majority, EU
member states are able to act on their prejudices without having to own up to
them. Moreover, many EU states have irredentist Islamic minorities. Joining the
Israel-bashers at the UN is a low-cost way to appease them.
Netanyahu announced that he will address the UN General Assembly in New York
next week and put the truth about the Palestinian cause on the
Perhaps someone will be moved by his words.
But whether he makes a difference or not, at least reason will have
one defender at the UN next week.