Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman’s letter to the Quartet last week calling for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s ouster is part of a campaign to get leading democracies to oppose the PA’s UN bid, a senior diplomatic official said Monday.
The idea behind the letter, the official said, was primarily to preempt Abbas’s move at the UN by putting on the public agenda his record of rejecting Israeli gestures and refusing to negotiate, while trying to diplomatically isolate Israel.
The official said that, like last year, Abbas is expected to deliver a blistering attack on Israel at the UN General Assembly in September, and indicate his intention to seek non-member state status in the organization. He is only expected to make that move, however, after the November 6 American elections so as not to complicate matters for US President Barack Obama.
Abbas knows that Obama needs “peace and quiet until November,” so he will raise the issue, but not act on it, until after the elections, the official said.