The dust has settled now on the two speeches at the UN by Mr Abbas and Benjamin Netanyahu. There is still a process to be gone through before we will know if, or to what extent, the Palestinians have achieved their stated goal of world recognition as a state – even one with no borders, limited territorial control, no real government and no desire for peace with their neighbours!
Neither Benjamin Netanyahu nor Mahmoud Abbas is falling in line with the expectations and demands of the Quartet, which is no doubt very frustrating for the ambitions of Western leaders looking for the place in history that a Middle East peace treaty would bring! Mr Abbas is outright resisting all efforts to bring him back to the negotiating table and Mr Netanyahu is resisting the huge international pressure to allow indefensible borders to be imposed on him and the pressure to cave in and give up part of Jerusalem for a Palestinian capital – he’s even allowing plans to go ahead for further “setttlements” in East Jerusalem (tut tut)!
What many have missed, however – or choose to appear to miss – is the blatant way in which Mahmoud Abbas played with dates to reveal his true intentions; a Palestinian state on every square inch of Israeli territory! Did you miss it too? Here’s what he said.
The thrust of Western peace efforts is to see a Palestinian state based on the “1967 lines” (a weighted phrase in itself). All offers and negotiating positions offered by the Israelis down the decades have been basedon the same lines; the armistice lines formed when Israeli and Arab forces ceased fighting in 1949. these armistice lines remained until 1967, when Israel took the West Bank from the occupying Jordanian army – so the 1949 lines became the 1967 lines. That was some 44 years ago. A peace treaty based thus would give the Palestinians a state on the areas known as Judea and Samaria and leave Israel with roughly her current borders.
So tell me why Mr Abbas, in his UN speech, says, “I come before you today… to say, after 63 years of suffering… It is time for the Palestinian people to gain their freedom and independence.”?
Do the maths – 63 years takes us back to 1948, the year Israel became a nation on territory they accepted under a UN partition plan.
Let’s face it; what Mahmoud Abbas asked for in his speech was the removal of Israel and its replacement “from the river to the sea” with a Muslim, Jew-free Palestinian state. Time to wake up and smell the (Arabic) coffee!