One would think that the killings of 132 children in Pakistan at the hands of Taliban terrorists would cause the international community to focus on how to deal with the untrammeled mayhem and chaos caused by jihadi organizations.
Instead, that old favorite of multilateral organizations, bashing and marginalizing Israel, is back with a fury, but with some new twists. Over the past few months, a perfect storm of bias has come about: from the “recognition” of a Palestinian state by a growing number of European parliaments, to the convening of the signatories to the Geneva Convention to condemn Israel’s acting in self-defense during this summer’s Gaza conflict to the current attempt to impose a date and time certain for creation of a Palestinian state in the United Nations Security Council.
In some instances, and in some capitals, there are winks and nods to the need for negotiations to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian issue. But these efforts are not serious, being lame attempts to be politically correct.
Indeed, they are cover for an attempt to impose “peace” on the parties. The hypocrisy at play here is not hidden. Both the United Nations and the European Union are members of the Quartet, a group which also includes the United States and Russia. All four parties have endorsed face-to-face negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians as the only path to reaching an agreement that stands any chance of holding.
No one said this would be easy. The last attempt to accomplish such an outcome was this year’s initiative led by Secretary of State John Kerry, which at some point showed some promise, but ultimately faltered. During these talks the Palestinian side once again demonstrated its customary intransigence on a range of issues, including the right of return, recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, and a long-term Israeli security presence along the Jordan River line.
Why should we be surprised? The Palestinian Authority’s Mahmoud Abbas has a playbook whose objective is to win not by negotiating in good faith, but by simply running out the clock. Other pages from Abbas’ book include turning a blind eye to incitement against Israelis and frightening the international community into believing that only continued pressure on Israel without PA concessions will deliver the ultimate reward for the Palestinians. And what is that reward? Some suggest, an independent Palestinian state. Others say, not necessarily a state of their own, but an internationally ostracized and weakened Israel against which to continue their march to a “one state (i.e. Palestinian) solution.”
So Abbas and his minions work European parliamentary bodies, the EU Commission and the entire U.N. system into a tizzy, threatening to go to the International Criminal Court (ICC) and the Human Rights Council to brand Israel a perpetrator of war crimes and a serial abuser of human rights.
Their work is beginning to bear new fruit. The European Court of Justice has ruled that the EU’s listing of Hamas as a terrorist organization should be dropped on “procedural grounds;” that is, Hamas was listed on the basis of only media reports about its murderous track record of violence and terror. As they say, if this were not so serious, the ruling would be laughable. But it’s not.
The latest maneuver to force a resolution through the U.N. Security Council is not accidental. In January, two nations that have no formal diplomatic relations with Israel will join the council: Malaysia and Venezuela. They will take up non-permanent seats for two-year terms and the PA will be counting on their votes when the “recognition” issue is raised, forcing, perhaps, an American veto.
The United States Congress may well be the last hold-out to recognize the danger of any plan that uses the United Nations to marginalize Israel in the peace process. The spending bill Congress just passed actually cancels funding to the PA if it pushes for statehood absent negotiations with Israel.
The Palestinians agreed during the Oslo process to negotiate. What makes it right to negate that obligation now?
It is clear that they wish to circumvent any process that is not “my way or the highway.”
So forget the Pakistani children, the girls abducted by Boko Haram, the Syrian barrel bombs and the attacks on Christians by ISIL and others.
One would hope that key players in Europe, those in the U.N. system and the international diplomats dealing with this situation would understand that imposing a “solution” by excluding Israelis and a real negotiating process will lead absolutely nowhere. It’s inexplicable that all of the other issues roiling the Middle East and the rest of the world must take a back seat to this obsession with Israel. History will have to judge those who looked the other way at the wholesale killing and human rights abuses being carried out globally, real time.
If these folks really care about an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, they’d spend their time pressing the Palestinians to get serious, go to the table and work a deal. Anything short of that is precious time wasted.