Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas has jumped down from a weak limb and has essentially backtracked on all his red lines, except for declaring Israel a Jewish state, because all of his “concessions” are temporary.
His strategy duplicates Iran’s “concessions” that are stated on paper but have no meaning because they don’t need to demand conditions to achieve what they already have and because their commitments are written in sand.
The New York Times on Monday gave Abbas platform to look like U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s puppy dog while not questioning any of the obvious lies and deception in his interview with columnist Thomas Freidman and the Times’ Israeli bureau chief Jodi Rudoren.
Not by coincidence, the same newspaper last week acted as Kerry’s spokesman and published details of his “framework” that allows the United States to gracefully bow out of the peace talks fiasco and let the Palestinian Authority and Israel blow up the diplomatic bag of hot air.
Abbas, who once said no foreign troops would set foot on land in a Palestinian Authority state, now agrees to a U.S.-led NATO force to patrol in a future state and within areas of Jerusalem that would fall under PA sovereignty.
His supposed grand concession is a win-win situation because he knows that the United Nations considers a Jewish presence anywhere in post-1967 Jerusalem as “illegal.”
I saw the United Nations in action during Reserve duty in the Intifada in the early 1990s. I was manning a checkpoint near Bethlehem when a United Nations car approached with a Swiss United Nations official. When I asked him for his identification papers, he replied, “Why don’t you get out of this s—?” Quote unquote.
In recent years, U.N. officials and troops have been documented time after time helping Palestinian Authority Arabs uproot trees planted by Jews and even escorting Arabs in violent protests.
A NATO force for Abbas would be a plum because it automatically would be weighted against Israel. Every violent act by Arabs in Judea and Samaria would be followed by a plea from NATO to settlers to keep the calm, and every disturbance or even violence by Jews would be an excuse to kick them out.
Abbas even said that Israel soldiers could remain in Judea and Samaria – but only for five years. That is five years longer than he has agreed to in the past, so it sounds like a “painful” concession. But he is patient man. After five years, the settlements would be gone and so would the soldiers.
Remember the “Disengagement” and Hamas anyone?
Israel would then be dependent on the Palestinian Authority to defend the borders separating the new Arab country and whatever is left of Israel.
The biggest lie and deception that Abbas told Rudoren and Friedman is that the Palestinian Authority would be not have an army, and the veteran journalists, who “know” the Middle East by being based in Israel for a couple of years to become experts, didn’t raise a brow.
“Palestine, he said, would not have its own army, only a police force, so the NATO mission would be responsible for preventing the weapons smuggling and terrorism that Israel fears,” Abbas told the reporters “We will be demilitarized. Do you think we have any illusion that we can have any security if the Israelis do not feel they have security?”
They didn’t even think to ask about the commitments the Palestinian Authority made in the Oslo agreements not to have an army and to limit its “police force” to 30,000.
They didn’t think to ask because they don’t want to know.
Following is the language of the Oslo Accords: