January 16, 2019

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The PLO’s rose-colored glasses gamble


From Times of Israel:

The Palestine Liberation Organization’s top leadership opened the way to suspending its recognition of Israel on Saturday, but stopped short of ordering the drastic measure immediately.

Withdrawing the PLO’s 1988 recognition would threaten decades of Israeli relations with the moderate Palestinian leadership and raise doubts over security coordination between the two.

It would also be seen as a fatal blow to the two-state solution.

The PLO’s Executive Committee released a statement after a three-hour meeting Saturday saying it would set up a committee to study the derecognition move.

The body also called for the Palestinian Authority to cut off all ties with Israel, including security coordination in the West Bank.

The executive committee urged Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to “immediately start preparing plans and projects for disengagement steps with the Israeli occupation government at the political, administrative, economic, and security levels.”

The disengagement plans will be presented to the PLO Executive Committee for approval, the statement said, without setting a deadline.

From everything I can see, the PLO’s leaders (which means the PA’s leaders) honestly believe that the world will impose their will on Israel. They are willing to bet their existence, and their people’s autonomy, on it.

Boy, have they misjudged things. Again.

The Arab world no longer cares about them. Egypt and Jordan, the two nations that they think are the most on their side, rely on Israel for their defense. The Saudis and the rest of the Gulf have been so hostile that Palestinian pundits have already written them off.

The think that UN votes indicate real support for them – it doesn’t. There are lots of real refugees and real problems in the world, and a whiny wanna-be nation that refuses to talk to Israel is not in the world’d top 500 problems. Their ability to gain an automatic majority in the General Assembly or UNHRC is meaningless in the real world.

They think Europe is on their side. To an extent, that’s true, but the EU is not nearly as relevant as it pretends to be in the Middle East.

They think that BDS is making serious inroads to hurting Israel. It isn’t. There has always been a tiny but noisy minority of antisemites that have complained about Israel and its alleged human rights abuses since 1948. Most people think they are crackpots.

The PLO, seeing the world through their own media that won’t report the truth, is vastly overestimating how much the world cares about them. And all the while, Israel is making friends around the world – not so much in the halls of the UN but in real terms, with business dealings and exports and shared interests.

This decision to undo Oslo will be a historic mistake, just as deciding to take over Jordan in 1970 or supporting Saddam Hussein was.

This is not going to end well for the PLO.

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