Abbas to Obama: Impose your will on us

Rumor has it that Barack Obama will announce a peace plan for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that he will “impose” on the region, presumably uncomfortable for both sides.  However, at least one side seems to look forward to an American diktat, and it’s not the Israelis.  Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas begged Obama today to impose a settlement on Israelis and Palestinians, apparently banking on the animosity shown to the Israelis over the last few months:

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas urged the Obama administration on Saturday to impose a solution to the Middle East conflict that would give his people an independent state.

First question: How does an American diktat make a Palestinian state “independent”? Wouldn’t that make an eventual Palestine dependent on the US?

“Mr. President (Barack Obama) and members of the American administration, since you believe in this (an independent Palestinian state), it is your duty to take steps toward a solution and to impose this solution,” Abbas said in a speech.

Abbas made the remarks to members of his Fatah party in the West Bank city of Ramallah a day after talks there with Obama’s Middle East envoy. George Mitchell is in the region to try to revive peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

“We’ve asked them (the Obama administration) more than once: ‘Impose a solution’,” Abbas said.

Aha! Let’s test this theory. Let’s state that we will impose the deal Yasser Arafat rejected at Camp David at the end of the Clinton administration’s efforts to bring peace to southwest Asia, which Israel was prepared to accept. Palestinians don’t get any more of Jerusalem than they already have, they have to deal with some of the larger settlements remaining, and accept an end to their demand for a “right of return.” That deal still gave the Palestinians about 95% of their territorial claims and an independent state.

Will they accept it? Absolutely not. Abbas and his regime would get overthrown and another civil war would erupt, this time in the West Bank. Abbas knows this better than anyone. So why does he demand that the US “impose” a solution? He wants to leverage Obama’s hostility towards Israel to get a deal that the Israelis will refuse, and thus split the US and Israel even farther than Obama’s managed to accomplish so far.

I doubt Obama’s foolish enough to try it, although he will –like most of his predecessors — publish a “road map” of some sort that will go nowhere. Abbas isn’t interested in negotiating; he’s interested in total victory over Israel. He can’t get that while the US remains allied to Israel, and he knows it.

Jazz Shaw Jun 22, 2021 7:21 PM ET
Jazz Shaw Jun 22, 2021 6:01 PM ET