The New York Times’ editorial Thursday uncharacteristically criticized Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas and informed readers, “He has effectively given up on ever achieving a negotiated Palestinian state.”
The fact that The New York Times no longer is cheerleading Abbas is extremely significant because the newspaper and President Barack Obama often seem to be one and the same when it comes to Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
The editorial did not “balance” its disappointment with Abbas by dumping on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
It called Abbas a “bitter man,” and added:
[He is] increasingly unpopular among the Palestinians, and the Palestinian Authority he leads effectively controls only the West Bank since Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in 2007. His chief preoccupation lately has been on a series of gestures, largely futile, to gain international recognition of a Palestinian state, like the official raising of the Palestinian flag at the United Nations on Wednesday.
The newspaper’s comments on Abbas’ declaration that effectively invalidated the Oslo Accords were equally condemning. It noted “that there was so little left to disown,” an implicit admission that the Accords have been eroded over the years.
The editorial did not point out the Palestinian Authority’s abrogation of clause after clause of the Oslo Accords. The most egregious violation was Abbas’ officially ditching negotiations and turning to the United Nations to recognize the Palestinian Authority as an independent country based on its own territorial and political terms.
The New York Times also wrote that it would be “foolhardy” for Abbas to cut security and economic arrangements with Israel.