The Palestinians will not accept anything less than full U.N. membership and do not want an upgrade to an observer state in the world body, their foreign minister said on Thursday.Now, what exactly does that mean?
Riyad al-Malki's remarks suggested the Palestinians would not seek such an upgrade once their bid for full state membership meets its widely expected fate -- failure due to opposition from the United States and other governments.
"We do not want, after all of these struggles, sacrifices, and efforts by the entire Palestinian people, to accept an observer state in the United Nations. We will not accept less than we deserve: a full member state," he said.
When a person says that something is unacceptable, there is an implied "or else" clause. It implies that Palestinian Arabs, who frame themselves as having nothing they can bargain with, will do something that will make people regret a decision of not giving them their full demands if they do not get what they want.
What is the "or else"?
Or else they will dissolve the PA? They will start a new intifada? They will ask Iran to start a war on their behalf? They will go back to their 1970s heyday of international airline terror? They will write nasty op-eds in Al Jazeera? Mahmoud Abbas will resign?
For a people who claim they are so desperate, they have no problem speaking as if they hold all the cards. There is a very real contradiction between their twin public positions of "we are helpless" and "you better do what we demand."
What is the implied leverage that Mahmoud Abbas has on the world to act like a mafioso?
Of course, Reuters being Reuters, rather than ask the natural follow up question "or else what?" they find some self-proclaimed "expert" to minimize the threat:
"This reads like a tactical move," said George Giacaman, a political analyst. "It could be directed toward the Americans, the Israelis, to show flexibility, but I would not view it as a final position."What Reuters doesn't say is that Giacaman is at Bir Zeit University.