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Monday, October 12, 2009

Abu Mazen not solely to blame

Maurice Ostroff discusses the rather bizarre aftermath of the 'Palestinian' decision to postpone consideration of the Goldstone Report in the UN 'Human Rights Council.'
The furious condemnation directed at Abbas is bizarre while all the countries that actually effected the deferral are completely absolved. More worrisome is the complete negation of democratic procedures insofar as votes in the UNHRC continue to be determined only by political allegiances, with no debate about the merits of any particular resolution.

There is much speculation about why the PA made this unpopular decision. Some suggest that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton persuaded Abbas that ratification of the report would undermine American efforts to restart the stalled peace process. Others suggest that the Obama administration threatened to freeze financial aid to the PA government.

Implying conspiracy theories, Al-Ahram hinted at bribery, suggesting that Israel had threatened the PA with a refusal to license the new Palestinian mobile phone company, Wataniya, which is partially owned by one of Abbas's sons.

The Arab Monitor (October 2) was more blunt. Under the headline "Palestinian Authority sells human rights issue for Wataniya company's interests," it reported that "in the run-up to the current UN Human Rights Council meeting, Israel squarely blackmailed the PA, threatening to withhold frequencies for Wataniya altogether and indefinitely, unless the Palestinian delegation retract[ed] its endorsement of the Goldstone Report."

But in Al-Ahram's view, the most likely reason for the PA decision may have had to do with an Israeli threat to release records of conversations between Israeli and PA officials, implicating the latter pleading with the former to pursue the war on Gaza to the end and crush Hamas.

Whatever the real reasons for the deferral, the entire episode highlights serious shortcomings in the UNHRC that require urgent attention.
Indeed. In fact, the decision to convene another 'special meeting' to give the 'Palestinians' a 'do-over' (as seems likely to happen) is also an overtly political act.

Read the whole thing.


At 2:03 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The really funny thing out of this episode shot through with ironies is that Abbas is going to be rescued by the world from being held accountable for his own mistake. The Palestinians may miss opportunities but no one really wants to see their boat go down.

If you were Abbas, you could see how life could be charmed even if you were wrong.

What could go wrong indeed

At 2:30 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The other point to be made is that efforts by Israel to strengthen Abbas may do more harm than good. Israeli concessions have the paradoxical effect of undermining his position by making him look like an Israeli puppet. While the UN looks to save his bacon, Israel may end up unintentionally frying it beyond the point of recovery.

What's Abbas to do?



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