Did someone here order the red meat?
I’m giving you today’s speech in its entirety in the second clip below, but if it’s pure Calgon-y UN-bashing you want to luxuriate in, stick with the first one. Abbas spoke several hours before he did and, well, you know how that went. What happens now? It’s … a bit hazy:
Shortly after President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority formally requested the Security Council to grant full United Nations membership on Friday, international powers reached an agreement on terms to restart talks between Israel and the Palestinians, diplomats and Obama administration officials said.
Details of the understanding by the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia, known as the quartet, were due to be announced later on Friday. But officials said they hoped the statement would lead to a new round of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian leadership after many months of stalemate…
“What we have tried to do is to set the framework in which they can have those discussions and reach agreement,” Ms. Ashton told a news conference. She said the most important aspect of the statement was the time frame: beginning talks within four weeks, making significant progress on borders and security within three months and reaching a full agreement by the end of 2012.
I’m sure it’ll work this time. And if it doesn’t…
[T]his U.N. debacle is likely to lead to a precipitous decline in the prestige of the entire Fatah movement, a process that will only accelerate once a triumphant Netanyahu and despondent Abbas return home. We can expect widespread Palestinian demonstrations in Judea and Samaria in coming weeks, and they may be targeting both the Israeli and the Palestinian leadership.
In that way, Abbas’s diminishment will mean Hamas’s empowerment. The Hamas movement is the only player in the Middle East, aside from Israel, that has vocally opposed the current Palestinian statehood bid. Needless to say, this is not the kind of ally that Israel should be wishing for…
Indeed, the most important political repercussions of this week’s U.N. diplomacy will not be felt in Jerusalem, but on places far outside of Israel’s control—namely, Cairo and Amman and elsewhere in the Arab world, as the masses there digest the scale of the Palestinian public humiliation and consider its consequences.
For precisely that reason, it may be that Abbas won’t accept the Quartet’s framework for new talks. Having rolled the dice on demanding statehood at the UN, he may be forced to keep pushing it unless the U.S. and Israel can make concessions that would let him save face among the Palestinians. Can Netanyahu do that when his majority in the Knesset depends on the support of Yisrael Beiteinu? Probably not. What now?