Home inContext In Proximity Talks, PA Looks to the Past; Israel to the Future

In Proximity Talks, PA Looks to the Past; Israel to the Future

Samara Greenberg

Fatah is not ruling out the possibility of resuming an “armed struggle” against Israel if the U.S.-sponsored proximity talks fail, said Abbas Zaki, a senior Fatah official, on Saturday. Zaki, a member of the Fatah Central Committee and former Palestinian envoy to Lebanon, also said that the Palestinian people may demand the implementation of United Nations Resolution 181 if talks fail. Resolution 181, adopted in 1947, recommends partitioning the British Mandate of Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab state, with the Jerusalem-Bethlehem area being under special international protection. In 1947, the Jewish people accepted, while the Arab people rejected the resolution.

Zaki’s statement comes just three days after the Palestinian Authority announced it will increase its diplomatic and economic “intifada” against Israel. The PA’s plan to intensify a campaign of delegitimization against Israel, leading ultimately to its expulsion from the UN, was unveiled on Wednesday by Nabil Shaath, a member of the Fatah Central Committee and a chief architect of the Oslo Accords. According to Shaath, “There is a need to create and endorse new struggling tools, such as the popular resistance, and to increase our efforts in the international arena to isolate and punish Israel, prevent it from deepening its relations with the European Union and attempt to expel it from the United Nations.”

All the while the Israeli government is discussing possible methods of creating a positive environment for peace. Indeed, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office released a statement Thursday announcing the possibility of Israeli goodwill gestures toward the Palestinian people during the four months of indirect talks. According to government sources, Netanyahu is favorably examining a proposal to pave an access road to the new Palestinian city of Rawabi, being built north of Ramallah, on land slated for nearby settlements.

None of this is surprising, however. The Palestinian Authority has illustrated time and again its unwillingness to cooperate in peace talks with Israel. Unfortunately, in the end, the PA’s intransigence only works to short-change the Palestinian people who never obtain a state of their own. One begins to wonder if the Palestinian Authority actually wants to remain in a state of conflict to ensure their power and supremacy in the Palestinian political arena.