Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas proclaimed Monday at a news conference in Athens that the entity formed under the internationally recognized Oslo Accords — the Palestinian Authority — no longer exists; it has officially been replaced by the “State of Palestine.”
Following his meeting with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Abbas said:
“Regarding this issue of a passport under the name Palestine State, we are about to proceed to the passport replacement and the issuance of a new passport within one year or even less.
“We have already changed all documents issued by ministries and public services and they now bear the name ‘State of Palestine,’ he said.
“We no longer accept from anyone to use the name ‘Palestinian Authority.’”
The declaration made by Abbas — if taken seriously — could have some unique ramifications for those who live within PA-controlled territories and are “citizens” of those areas.
Israeli security personnel quietly support the entity in some delicate situations and basic energy infrastructure such as electricity, water and gas is provided through Israeli cooperation. Tax monies are also collected by Israel on behalf of the Palestinian Authority and transferred to the entity on a monthly basis, with a great hue and a cry if there is any delay.
If in fact Abbas now runs an entirely new nation, clearly there is no longer any need for any of this: all Israeli services can and may be cut off, possibly instantaneously.
Any aggression against Israel emanating from its territory could be construed as an act of war, perhaps justifying a “proportionate response.” How soon then might it be until Israel really invaded and re-occupied the territory that Arab instigators whine about as “occupied” ?
Meanwhile, although the Greek parliament voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve a resolution recognizing the Palestinian Authority as a new independent Arab country, the vote does not bind its government in any way.
There will be no formal recognition by Greece, according to a statement released by the Greek foreign ministry, so as “not to disturb good relations with Israel.”
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras recently met with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, in addition to his meeting with Abbas in Ramallah. The meeting between Tsipras and Netanyahu ended with both in good spirits.
“We must underline the imperative need to begin a substantial, a credible peace process, but with a clear political target,” Tsipras told reporters Monday after meeting with Abbas.
“A process that will give again hope to the Palestinian people, but also to the Israeli people, for a better future, for a peaceful coexistence of two peoples in the same region.”
More than half of PA citizens (60 percent) polled in September (1,397 adults) by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research, however, clearly support stabbing attacks and a violent intifada. Moreover, 66 percent believe an uptick in violence will serve them well.
In addition, more than half (54 percent) expressed outright opposition to the so-called “two-state solution” that has been consistently forced on both Israel and the Palestinian Authority by the United States and the European Union for decades. Even more – 70 percent – are opposed to a single-state “solution” in which Arabs and Jews will coexist with equal rights.
The bottom line: Palestinian Authority Arab citizens have not wavered one iota from their original belief in 1948 that the State of Israel must be annihilated and the Jews either exterminated or otherwise somehow removed from the region. The only question in their minds is how best to accomplish that goal.
For anyone outside of this region to delude themselves into thinking otherwise, and to form any foreign policy involving Israel’s interests based on such an error would be foolhardy and utterly dangerous for all Israeli citizens, be they Jews, Christians or Muslims.