Michael Freund is a former adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He is the founder and chairman of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), a Jerusalem-based organization which assists the Bnei Menashe and other “lost Jews” to return to the Jewish people.
Next month the Palestinian Authority is planning to seek United Nations recognition of its unilateral declaration of statehood.
Defying all attempts at dialogue, the Palestinian leadership is instead attempting to circumvent the bilateral negotiating process with Israel. Ignoring admonitions from Washington and Jerusalem, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas seems intent on taking his case to the UN General Assembly.
Make no mistake, this is a transparent attempt by the Palestinians to turn up the pressure on the Jewish state in order to squeeze out still more concessions.
After all, Abbas knows all too well that going to the UN will have no meaningful impact on the situation on the ground in the region.
With the threat of an American veto at the Security Council hovering in the air, there is simply no chance that the move at the UN will bring about the establishment of a Palestinian state.
It is therefore little more than an exercise in diplomatic futility – one that is doomed from the start to fail.
Nevertheless, while the move is of no practical consequence, it will most certainly prove to be a propaganda bonanza for the Palestinians, one that will be covered far and wide by the international press.
Country after country will line up to express support for the Palestinian cause, and Israel will undoubtedly be portrayed as the chief villain and scoundrel for defying world public opinion.
Calls for boycotting and sanctioning the Jewish state will grow louder and pro-Palestinian propagandists will have a field day highlighting Israel’s refusal to consent to its own demise.
It won’t matter one whit that the Palestinians are the ones who have refused to return to the negotiating table or that they rejected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s simple and basic demand to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.
Nor will even one tear be shed over the rockets that Palestinian terrorists continue to fire into southern Israel.
The show will go on, and it is the beleaguered Jewish state that will be the target of all the venom and vitriol.
In the run-up to this impending public-relations disaster, it is imperative that each one of us speaks out against this act of Palestinian diplomatic mischief.
We must implore our elected representatives and political leaders not to fall prey to Palestinian propaganda, and to reject their attempt to impose a solution at the halls of the UN.
Israel and its supporters need to underscore the continued Palestinian use of extremism and incitement to whip up fury and hatred.
Just a week ago, for example, Palestinian television broadcast a program called “The Best Mothers.”
According to the Palestinian Media Watch organization, one episode of the 10-minute show focused on celebrating the mother of Darin Abu Aisheh, a suicide bomber who blew herself up at a roadblock nine years ago, wounding three Israelis.
Can you imagine what the reaction would be if Israel Television were to devote a program to glorifying a murderer?
But the Palestinians do not just limit themselves to praising killers – they also put their money where their mouths are.
As the British Daily Mail reported on August 8, the Palestinian Authority introduced a new law which pays the families of suicide bombers directly out of the official Palestinian civil service budget.
Citing a report in the Palestinian newspaper Al-Hayat Al-Jadeeda, it noted that payments to the families of “martyrs” who died fighting Israel, including suicide terrorists, now total 3.5 percent of the Palestinian national budget.
In addition, some 5,500 Palestinian terrorists behind bars in Israel have also received payments from the Palestinian regime.
Is this the kind of leadership that deserves international support and praise, let alone the reward of statehood?
That is the question that needs to be posed to every president and foreign minister, every member of Congress and parliament.
Before they dare to ascend the UN podium in New York and issue calls for a Palestinian state, let each and every diplomat and ambassador be made aware of the true nature of the Palestinian leadership.