Cat’s coming out of the bag on what’s really on the minds of certain people after the U.S. election and it sure as heck isn’t Iran.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak (Photo: Marc Sellem/JPost)
Yep, now that the US election is over key political figures in Israel are revealing how freaked out they are. As time ticks away towards November 29th we can expect squawks of discontent turning regularly into loud roars of threatening disapproval, more repercussions and insertions of “the Hague” cropping up in news reports.
Israel and the US must delay Palestinian unilateral statehood moves at the UN until after the Israeli elections, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Wednesday night.
He spoke on Channel 10 hours after US President Barack Obama was elected to a second four-year term.
“We have a joint interest, ours and theirs, to delay the Palestinian UN bid for nonmember state,” he said. “This has to be done now, immediately.”
On election eve when Netanyahu was giving his ‘we don’t need America to attack Iran interview, nine Israeli ministers were in a closed meeting discussing ways to threaten Palestinians over their bid. The day after the election Haaretz reported a long list of retributions, characterized as harsh sanctions towards the Palestinian Authority in response to the PLO seeking the UN upgrade.
Among the other possible sanctions that Foreign Ministry officials presented at the meeting were reinstating limits on travel within the West Bank, including revoking VIP permits currently held by senior PA officials, which allow them to cross Israel Defense Forces checkpoints more easily. Another proposal included economic sanctions, such as revoking permits for Palestinian workers, as well as freezing the tax funds that Israel collects monthly for the Palestinian Authority, which would prevent the PA from paying the salaries of its employees and security personnel.
The Foreign Ministry officials also proposed cancelling the Paris agreement, an economic appendix of the Oslo accords that regulates economic ties between Israel and the PA.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak, as well as other Defense Ministry officials who participated in the meeting claimed that an economic collapse of the Palestinian Authority would cause a breakdown of Palestinian security forces, and put an end to Israeli-Palestinian security cooperation in the West Bank, and undermine stability there.
Abbas Zaki (Photo: Reuters)
The Palestinians don’t seem scared. On the contrary, they are deflecting and hitting back. They want to be “free of all commitments” signed under Oslo. How shocking, they sound like they don’t even care about the agreement. It sounds as tho Abbas Zaki, member of Fatah’s central committee (of “big lesson” fame), is taunting Israel again.
Jerusalem Post, Fatah: Oslo Accords will cease to exist after UN bid:
Zaki said that once the status of a Palestinian state is upgraded, the Palestinians would be able to pursue Israel for “war crimes” in the International Criminal Court.
“Once we become a recognized state, we will go to all UN agencies to force the international community to take legal action against Israel,” Zaki told the London-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper.
He said that after the UN votes in favor of the PA request, “the case of the Oslo Accords and the Palestinian Authority will be closed. We will have a state parliament and not a Palestinian Legislative Council.” Zaki denied that some Arab countries have been exerting pressure on the PA leadership to refrain from the statehood bid.
“Until this moment, no one has dared to ask us not to go to the UN,” he stressed. “We have no other choice. Some European countries, like Britain, have only asked us to delay the statehood bid for three months. But we are determined to go to the UN General Assembly this month.”
Saleh Ra’fat, member of the PLO Executive Committee, warned that the PA leadership would abrogate economic and security agreements with Israel if the Israeli government imposed sanctions on the Palestinians in response to the statehood bid.
“The Palestinian leadership will respond if the Israeli government carries out its threats against the Palestinian Authority,” Ra’fat told the Jerusalem-based Al-Quds daily.
He said that the PA would consider itself free of all its commitments under the agreements signed with Israel, including economic and security obligations.
Meanwhile, let’s have more peace talks! Back to the Jerusalem Post link:
Barak was not the only politician and diplomat whose thoughts immediately turned to the frozen Israel Palestinian peace talks, immediately upon hearing of Obama’s victory.
Netanyahu is practically begging Abbas to get back to the (fruitless) negotiating table. Tony Blair was on it lickety-split yesterday. Check out this dynamic video of a meeting between Blair and Netanyahu the very day after Obama’s victory. Note Blair’s reference to ‘re-energizing this process’ as well as the remarkably compelling hand gestures of both men.
Palestinians just circulated a draft resolution to the General Assembly’s 193 U.N. member states today, the first step required to upgrade their status from an observer to a nonmember observer state.
The draft resolution, first tweeted by Inner City Press and later obtained by The Associated Press, would have the General Assembly decide “to accord to Palestine Observer State status in the United Nations system, without prejudice to the acquired rights, privileges and role of the Palestine Liberation Organization as the representative of the Palestinian people, in accordance with the relevant resolutions and practice.”