Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gestures as he talks during the closing news conference following the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s Extraordinary Summit in Istanbul, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017. Muslim nations of the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation had rejecting U.S. President Donald Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and appear set to counter it with a declaration of east Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state. (AP Photo/Emrah Gurel)
As I said last week, the vote in the UN General Assembly to declare “null-and-void” the decision by President Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and commit the United States to moving our embassy there was not a defeat for the United States and it wasn’t a win for the Palestinians. The Palestinians had been confident of at least 150 votes in favor of the resolution. In the end they got a third less than that. Plus Nikki Haley put the UN General Assembly on notice that the days of voting against us and expecting our assistance were over.
In the aftermath of the vote, the Palestinians were apoplectic. They said they will no longer accept any peace proposal from the United States, this in addition to refusing to meet Vice President Mike Pence when he’s in the region…but they will continue to accept our money, thank you very much.
This has not gone down well in the Arab world. First, they have bigger fish to fry than the Palestinians. The Arab states are under pressure from Iran and they are seeing Hamas entering the same death spiral that resulted in Lebanese Hezbollah being a wholly owned entity of the IRGC. They are seeing restive Shia populations in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain being suborned by Iranian cash. They are seeing a frightful Iranian sponsored civil war in Yemen. None of this appeals to them.
Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia are displeased with the way the Palestinian Authority has reacted to U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and his decision to relocate the U.S. Embassy to the city, Israel Hayom has learned.
Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit announced over the weekend that he would head a new committee, comprising the foreign ministers of Egypt, Jordan, Saudia Arabia and the Palestinian Authority, to devise a new policy on Jerusalem.
Sources in Ramallah, Cairo and Amman told Israel Hayom that the decision to establish the committee was made after it became apparent that the Palestinian Authority’s efforts to counter Trump’s announcement had been ineffective.
Funny about how intransigence is a shi**y negotiating strategy if you hold absolutely no advantages. The Palestinians are faced with an Israeli government that is willing to accept the status quo indefinitely rather than give in on critical issues. They are faced with a US government that is hostile to them, that is supportive of Israel, and which has basically removed a lot of diplomatic impediments from Israel fixing this problem as it wishes. Its Arab neighbors are more worried about Iran than Israel. In fact, Saudi Arabia and Israel seem to be collaborating fairly extensively.
“The Palestinians’ efforts to sway public opinion have been a complete failure, and as a result, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has created a rift between us [the Arab world] and Trump. We are once again left with the demagogic, hollow and inflammatory rhetoric of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.”
Referring to the non-binding U.N. General Assembly resolution calling on the U.S. to reverse its decision on Jerusalem, the source said, “Washington has made its views clear and said it would take action against those nations that voted against it at the U.N. General Assembly last week. Now, when it is clear Trump is indeed going to punish those that voted against the U.S., most countries are trying to cut their losses.”
Someone needs to tell Joe Scarborough that he needs to go back to diplomatic expert school.
And everyone is noticing that the “Arab street” doesn’t give a flying f*** about the Palestinians:
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority has been disappointed that only several thousand Palestinians rioted in the wake of Trump’s Jerusalem proclamation. Officials in Ramallah have been particularly concerned by the weekly drop in the number of Palestinians protesters in the Gaza Strip and in Judea and Samaria.
The Palestinians’ doomsday warnings that the decision on Jerusalem would set the region ablaze have failed to materialize and the relative apathy on the Palestinian street has led to a mild response from the Arab world as well, particularly from the moderate Sunni states.
This apathy has important people worried:
A senior Jordanian official said that Arab states are closely monitoring the Palestinians.
“We are very worried that the Palestinians’ actions over Jerusalem, their efforts to shun the U.S. from the peace process and their insistence on international intervention, are a double-edged sword that could hurt first and foremost Jordan’s status in Jerusalem and could bring about the exact opposite of the intended result: Many more countries could do what the U.S. has done after seeing that the region has not been destabilized and only a few thousand protesters have taken to the streets,” the official said.
As late Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban said of the Palestinians, “[they] never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” So now, the power to negotiate is being taken away from the Palestinians and given to a committee in which they are but one vote. As someone famous said, those with little will find even that taken away.