Erekat, in a study published Sunday, accused Congress and the Israeli government of “waging war” on the Palestinian national project following the UN vote last November.
He predicted that the “war” would continue. “The decisions they have taken are only the beginning,” Erekat said, referring to Israel’s decision to withhold tax and customs revenues, and threats by Congress to suspend financial aid to the Palestinians.
Erekat also recommended that the PA leadership prepare a working plan for the resumption of peace talks with Israel from the point where they ended in November 2008.There is no way that anyone in this country is going to agree to start negotiating from Olmert's suicidal concessions. I don't believe that any Israeli government - even one (God forbid) led by the Left - would agree to such a thing. Even Tzipi Livni criticized Olmert for going too far at the time, because he was trying to save his own skin by becoming the 'hero' who reached an agreement.
He said such talks should be limited to six months, only during which time Israel would freeze construction in West Bank settlements and east Jerusalem and release Palestinian prisoners, especially those who were incarcerated before the signing of the Oslo Accords.We've frozen construction in the 'West Bank' before, and much as I would hate to see it happen, it's conceivable that enough pressure could be brought on the government to make it happen again. We've also frozen construction in 'east' Jerusalem (de facto) before and I could even see that happening again with a wink and a nod, although there is no way that any Israeli government is going to put any part of Jerusalem into play by making such an agreement explicitly.
But as to releasing 'Palestinian prisoners,' he's living in Never Never Land. What are we going to do after six months? Recapture them when we don't reach a deal?
And then there's the six-month thing. A deadline can be an impetus to finish negotiations when there's are real consequences to both parties if the negotiations aren't concluded. But it has to be a realistic deadline and it has to have consequences for both sides (that's why so many business deals get done at year's end). For example (and I'm not proposing this), if the US were to say, "you guys have x years to work out a deal and if you don't work it out, Israel will never again get a penny in US aid and we will never again propose or support or cajole Israel to allow the existence of a 'Palestinian state,' both sides would have an impetus to compromise and then a deadline might make sense. Of course, this kind of ultimatum would never happen, because other countries (hello, Eurabia) would continue to attempt to force Israel to acquiesce to a 'Palestinian state.'
Erekat said that if Israel insisted on building in E1 and Givat Hamatos, the Palestinians should take the matter to the UN Security Council.
“If the effort does not succeed because of a veto, the case should be taken to the UN General Assembly to make a decision regarding building settlements in the occupied State of Palestine,” Erekat recommended.That would accomplish a lot (not!) - the General Assembly is powerless. Of course, what they could do is to go to the International Criminal Court (if they are ever admitted to it), but then they run the risk that someone raises this little war crime called 'Palestinian terrorism'....
Didn't they join UNESCO last year? World Bank? Just what the World Bank needs: Another basket case economy.Erekat disclosed that a special Palestinian legal team was now studying measures needed to obtain membership in 17 UN agencies, including the International Criminal Court, the World Health Organization, UNESCO and the World Bank.
What could go wrong?