July 13, 2024
The Palestinians Miss Yet Another Opportunity
If the Palestinian leadership persists in its refusal to sit down and negotiate, they will only have themselves to blame for the lack of statehood. Pictured: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
If the Palestinian leadership persists in its refusal to sit down and negotiate, they will only have themselves to blame for the lack of statehood. Pictured: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

The great Israeli diplomat Abba Eban once presciently observed that the Palestinians “never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.” Well, they are about to miss yet another opportunity by staying away from the June 2019 meetings in Bahrain during which the United States might unveil the economic aspects of its proposed Middle East peace plan.

The history of the Palestinian leadership is a history of missed opportunities for statehood and economic viability. Had the Palestinian leaders accepted the United Nations Partition Plan of 1947 — two states for two peoples — there would have been a Palestinian state side-by-side with Israel. Had they accepted the peace plan offered by President Clinton and Prime Minister Ehud Barak in 2000-2001 or the even the more generous plan offered by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in 2008, there would now be a viable Palestinian state on 95 percent of the West Bank and Gaza. But no! Neither offer was accepted, much to the regret of many moderate Palestinians and Sunni Arabs in the region.

Now the United States is working on yet another peace plan which the Palestinian leadership has already rejected without even knowing its precise contents. It is enough for them to know that the plan is being proposed by the Trump administration, which recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights (which was never claimed to be part of any Palestinian state).

But neither of these recognitions undercuts the possibility of a Palestinian state or even of a Palestinian capital in part of Jerusalem. They are yet another pretext for missing an opportunity for Palestinian leaders to sit down and negotiate a good deal for the Palestinian people.

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See Also:

(1) The Iranian-Palestinian Plan to Thwart Trump’s Peace Plan

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