The Third Intifada Is Here
The third intifada is already here, and it is being waged against Israel not on the streets of Gaza and Ramallah, but in the international arena.
This is a Diplomatic Intifada, aimed at rallying the world against Israel in the hope of forcing it to accept all of the Palestinian Authority's demands, first and foremost a full withdrawal to the pre-1967 armistice lines.
Palestinian officials are saying that even if their application for statehood membership in the UN Security Council fails, they will pursue the battle in the UN General Assembly, where the chances of success are guaranteed.
The Palestinian Authority has reached the conclusion that there is no point in continuing the negotiations with Israel because no Israeli government could give the Palestinians everything they want.
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has decided that it is better to negotiate with the UN than with Israel.
He is hoping that the UN will grant him what Israel is refusing to give at the negotiating table.
Palestinian Authority officials are hoping that international pressure will force Israel to its knees. They point out that similar measures forced Apartheid South Africa to eventually succumb to the will of the international community.
Success at the General Assembly, they explain, would pave the way for Palestinian membership in countless UN organizations and agencies, including the International Criminal Court and the World Health Organization.
Once the Palestinian Authority gains membership in these bodies, it is planning to launch a massive diplomatic campaign aimed at isolating Israel in the international arena. The ultimate goal is to seek Israel's expulsion from most UN bodies on the grounds that it is refusing to comply with UN resolutions concerning the Israeli-Arab conflict.
The Palestinian Authority says it wants to use its newly acquired membership in UNESCO to file a number of lawsuits against Israel in international courts and forums for alleged theft and destruction of archeological sites and antiquities in Jerusalem.
The Palestinian Authority also says it wants to accuse Israel of "changing and destroying the Arab and Islamic character and culture of Jerusalem and various holy sites in the city. "
Palestinian Authority representatives say they are also planning to seek a series of punitive measures against Israel in the international arena. One of the ideas being floated around in Ramallah is to seek the prosecution of hundreds of Israelis for alleged war crimes against Palestinians over the past few decades.
Talking to Palestinian officials in Ramallah, one is left with the impression that the Palestinian Authority is out to punish Israel more than achieve a state for its people.
The Palestinian Authority's new intifada against Israel in the international arena is only widening the gap and increasing tensions between Israelis and Palestinians. Many Israelis feel that Abbas is trying to push them against the wall by launching a worldwide campaign against Israel.
Abbas now risks losing the sympathy of a majority of Israelis who support the two-state solution and are ready for far-reaching concessions to the Palestinians. But the Palestinian leader clearly does not care anymore about what Israelis think and that explains why this week he told reporters in his office: "I will continue with the statehood bid at the UN and I don't care about anyone."
Reader comments on this item
|Palestinian excess [85 words]||Bob Powelson||Dec 14, 2011 16:27|
Comment on this item
by Khaled Abu Toameh
The "Arab Spring" did not erupt as a result of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Rather, it was the outcome of decades of tyranny and corruption in the Arab world. The Tunisians, Egyptians, Libyans and Yemenis who removed their dictators from power did not do so because of the lack of a "two-state solution." This is the last thing they had in mind.
The thousands of Muslims who are volunteering to join the Islamic State [IS] are not doing so because they are frustrated with the lack of progress in the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.
The only solution the Islamic State believes in is a Sunni Islamic Caliphate where the surviving non-Muslims who are not massacred would be subject to sharia law.
What Kerry perhaps does not know is that the Islamic State is not interested in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at all. Unlike Kerry, Sunni scholars fully understand that the Islamic State has more to do with Islam and terrorism than with any other conflict.
by Steven J. Rosen
Palestinian officials have generally been silent about security cooperation with Israel. They are loath to acknowledge how important it is for the survival of the Palestinian Authority [PA], and fear that critics, especially Hamas, will consider it "collaboration with the enemy."
"You smuggle weapons, explosives and cash to the West Bank, not for the fight with Israel, but for a coup against the Palestinian Authority. The Israeli intelligence chief visited me two weeks ago and told me about the [Hamas] group they arrested that was planning for a coup... We have a national unity government and you are thinking about a coup against me." — Mahmoud Abbas, PA President, to Khaled Mashaal, Hamas leader.
According to Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, if the IDF leaves the West Bank, Hamas will take over, and other terrorists groups such as the Islamic Jihad, Al-Qaeda and Islamic State would operate there.
In recent months, Abbas has been making a series of threats against Israel. If Abbas becomes another Arafat, it could be the Israeli side that loses interest in security cooperation.
by Burak Bekdil
It was the Islamists who, since they came to power in the 2000s, have reaped the biggest political gains from the "Palestine-fetish."
But the Turkish rhetoric on "solidarity" with our Palestinian brothers often seems askew to how solidarity should be.
by Raheel Raza
One blogger writes that Malala hates Pakistan's military. I believe it is the other way around.
I would so like to see the day when Malala is welcomed back in Pakistan, with the whole country cheering.
by Francesco Sisci
Democratic evolution in China was being seriously considered. The failures of U.S. support for democracy in Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt and Libya gave new food for thought to those opposed to democracy. Lastly, the United States did not strongly oppose the anti-democratic coup d'état that overthrew a democratically elected government in Thailand.
On the other hand, Russia -- dominated by Vladimir Putin, a new autocrat determined to stifle democracy in Russia -- provided a new model.
The whole of Eastern Europe and most of Latin America, formerly in the clutches of dictatorships, are now efficient democracies. This seems to indicate that while democracy cannot be parachuted into a country, there is a broader, longer-term global trend toward democracy and that its growth depends on local conditions.
As economic development needed careful planning, political reforms need even greater planning. The question remains: is China preparing for these political reforms?