This is a cross-post from Marc Goldberg
Anyone who has followed even a fraction of my blogs here at TOI [Times of Israel] will know that I spend an awful lot of my time pointing out the failings of our Prime Minister and his government, my opinions in that regard haven’t changed. The thing is in spite of the differences I have with my government the PA simply cannot be excused for the fact they seem to behave as though a State of Palestine is barely on their collective consciousness at all.
When Mahmoud Abbas went to the United Nations to gain non-member observer status I didn’t blame him, when Bibi and the rest of the government decided to announce punitive measures I thought it was a bad move and I still do. But undermining any potential peace process is quite simply the fact that the Palestinian Authority has remained well away from the negotiating table. The hard truth is that they can get all of the UN statuses that they like but the path to statehood lies through Jerusalem not New York.
According to polls conducted by the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace detailed in this article a majority of Likud-Beiteinu and of Habayit Hayehudi voters would support a deal that would result in a Palestinian state. If even those Israelis voting for Right wing parties are prepared to see a Palestinian state why on earth can’t the PA find it within themselves to step up and do their utmost to make sure that one comes into being? The polls tell me that whereas the voting patterns of Israelis may have shifted our opinions haven’t really changed regarding the existence of a state of Palestine. What has certainly changed is the belief that Palestinians are serious about actually negotiating their state into existence and I am finding it harder and harder to argue with them.
Getting their shiny new UN status hasn’t brought Palestinians one iota closer to a state of their own nor will it. For that to happen Abbas is going to have to sit down with the Israeli government and hammer out a deal. He has done literally everything else that it’s possible for him to do and all to no avail. It’s enough to make me wonder whether Abbas believes his own propaganda about just how bad the Israeli occupation is, if he truly believes that living with an Israeli army in what could be sovereign Palestinian territory is so bad why is that sitting across the table from Bibi and negotiating a deal that removes it is an evil that cannot be fathomed?
Abbas could be remembered as the man who signs the deal that turns the vast majority of the West Bank into a real Palestinian state. Perhapssurveys and statistics on the comparative size of Jewish and Arab populations are giving him some cause for hope for the future, I honestly can’t think why that might be when Israel is constantly chiselling more and more of the territory that he (presumably) wants to be responsible for as President of the state of Palestine. Neither them nor us have the time for this constant waiting and political inaction and even Likud-Beiteinu and Habayit Hayehudi supporters wouldn’t stand in the way of one.
This very day Abbas made a speech calling for a resumption of negotiations, why is he talking about it rather than doing it? Why isn’t he hammering at the Americans to make a conference happen so that he can bring a state of Palestine into being as soon as is humanly possible? Why is he waiting as if he has all of the time in the world? Now is the time for Palestinian politicians to step up and prove their worth and actually start pushing to bring a real state of their own into the United Nations rather than a technical one!
The only question is do they have what it takes?
I fear we already know what the answer to that question is.