Trump and Israel are holding themselves beyond any accountability whatsoever and are willfully eliminating Palestinian rights.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas sits before addressing the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Sept. 20, 2017. (AP/Jason DeCrow)
As the UN General Assembly meeting approaches, the entire international community is engaged in a collective spectacle discussing the obsolete two-state compromise as the only way forward for Palestinians. There is no debate about how the facts on the ground contradict the diplomatic hyperbole.
Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas is reportedly holding a side meeting with officials, excluding the US and Israel, to seek ways in which negotiations about the two-state paradigm can be restarted; Israel’s illegal settlement expansion can be countered; and UN agencies that protect the rights of Palestinian refugees can be safeguarded.
The illusion of two camps – Israel and the US purportedly opposing the Palestinian Authority and the international community – is being promoted by Abbas, and none of the political actors are averse to the gimmick. As US President Donald Trump surpasses the pro-Israel approach of previous US presidents, it has become easier to focus on the current contempt for international law and ignore the subtle manoeuvres which paved the way for the Zionist colonisation of Palestine. Yet it is impossible to ignore one main fact: Trump and Israel are holding themselves beyond any accountability whatsoever and are willfully eliminating Palestinian rights, while the international community and the PA hold conferences and meetings, and give meaningless speeches, in which support is professed but action is withheld.
While in Paris last week for a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, Abbas declared his willingness to resume negotiations with Israel sponsored by the Middle East Quartet. The previous illusion of opposing camps blurs even more with the inclusion of the US in such a scenario. Despite Trump closing down the PLO office in Washington and unilaterally recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the PA is still dependent upon the US for its survival and the continuation of security coordination with the Israeli occupation authorities. Its refusal of Trump’s so-called “deal of the century” is only one facet of its dealings with Washington and is weakened by the PA’s own structure, which needs the power of stronger entities to survive while creating collateral damage out of the Palestinian people.
Abbas is merely ambling around in the international community’s deconstruction of Palestine, attempting to highlight favourable endeavours where there are none. Following his meeting with Macron, he declared that France is “increasingly studying the possibility of recognising a Palestinian state.” Apart from the fact that recognition of a Palestinian state without defining both the concept and what remains of Palestinian land available for a state is vague, to say the least, such recognition by more than 130 countries has rendered nothing tangible for Palestinians on the diplomatic front. France, like other countries claiming to support Palestine, is engaging in isolating facets to weaken the Palestinian cause, and the PA is playing along with the charade.
In all likelihood, the forthcoming meeting will reap a tacit acceptance of stripping Palestinians of their rights. The two-state compromise is obsolete, but its rhetoric still hasn’t been extinguished. The blocking of Palestinian rights at an international level is endorsed by the PA, and as long as the entire world community and the Ramallah-based authority are able to delay the inclusion of Palestinians into the political process, Israel stands to gain regardless of any outcome. The meeting is superfluous in comparison to what Palestinians need; it is now common knowledge that Palestinian needs and the deprivation of such needs have become fodder for sustaining the international community’s duplicitous agenda.