Tuesday, January 03, 2012

New threats by Abbas

From Al Arabiya:

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned to take more unilateral steps if Israel does not agree to halt settlement building in the occupied West Bank and recognize the borders of a future Palestinian state.

Speaking ahead of talks in Jordan between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators, Abbas said Palestinians were ready to take "difficult" measures, but did not specify what they were.

Abbas said that if Israel agreed to halt settlement building and recognise "the vision and borders of the two-state solution", Palestinians would agree immediately to negotiations.

"If they don't ... there are measures that we could take. But we will not declare them now because they have not been finalized. But we will take measures that could be difficult," Abbas told a group of judges in Ramallah.

He said the two sides had until Jan. 26 to make progress. The date marks the three-month deadline, agreed on Oct. 26, for them to make proposals on issues of territory and security, with the aim of reaching a peace deal by the end of this year.
Ha'aretz has a list of what Abbas probably means:

* Asking the UN Security Council in February to pass a resolution that would condemn settlement construction and impose international sanctions on Israel. If a resolution were brought to a vote, all Security Council members other than the United States would be expected to vote in favor.

* Urging the International Criminal Court in The Hague to try Israel for war crimes related to Operation Cast Lead. If that fails, Palestinian officials are likely to encourage Palestinian citizens to file lawsuits against Israel in Western courts.

* Pushing for the implementation the articles of the Fourth Geneva Convention that ban the construction of communities and transfer of populations in occupied territory. The Palestinians have been trying for some time now to persuade the Swiss government to convene the signatories on the document for a special debate on the subject of applying the Geneva Convention in the West Bank.

* Asking the UN General Assembly or the UN Human Rights Council to send an international fact-finding committee to look into the settlement issue.

* Renewing efforts in the UN Security Council to secure full-membership status for Palestine, or asking the UN General Assembly for status as a nonmember state. A similar move was suspended last October after UNESCO, the United Nations' cultural agency, accepted Palestine as a member, in response to which Israel froze Palestinian tax revenues.

* Organizing mass rallies against Israel in the West Bank, as part of a non-violent popular uprising. In reconciliation talks between Hamas and Fatah, the head of the Hamas political bureau, Khaled Meshal, said the two movements would focus their activities on a popular uprising in an effort to draw international attention to the Israeli occupation.

Playing defense is not the way to win. Israel needs to do its own pro-active moves to put the PLO on the defensive - for example, lawfare for compensation for the terrorism committed during the intifada, or a call for a public investigation in Mahmoud Abbas' role in funding the Munich Olympic massacre.

Palestinian Arabs and their supporters use similar gimmicks all the time - so they would be far more offended when the same types of gimmicks are used against them.