On January 4, Abbas signed a presidential decree. The State of Palestine was acknowledged. "All Palestinian stamps, signs and official letterhead will henceforth be changed to bear the new name."
The Palestine News & Information Agency WAFA announced it. It said PLO Central Council officials will meet in a few days. They'll "discuss political developments" following Palestine's UN upgrade.
Required PA changes will be addressed. So will relations among the PLO, PA, and other Palestinian institutions. An earlier decision delegated PA government and parliamentary duties to the Central Committee.
Acknowledging Palestinian statehood stops short of governing like one. Full UN membership isn't sought. Nor is filing war crimes charges against culpable Israeli officials at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
On January 4, Ilan Pappe headlined "Can we find compassion for Israelis in 2013?"
He visited old Haifa acquaintances. They're embarrassed about today's Israel. It's "painfully" evident in plain sight. Pappe understood decades ago. He forthrightly explained in books, articles, and public addresses.
He quoted Britain's Thomas Rapp's 1950 comments. He "foresaw the future." He "warned his superiors," saying:
"The younger generation is being brought up in an environment of militarism and thus a permanent threat to the Middle East tranquillity is thereby being created and Israel would thus tend to move away from the democratic way of life towards totalitarianisms of the right or the left."
Pappe said today's Israel reflects "the totalitarianism of the right." Many "so-called liberal Zionists" acknowledge it. They experienced an epiphany. They "discover(ed) the immoral foundations of the state."
They could have done more but didn't. They still don't. Few Israeli profiles in courage exist. Pappe is a rare except. Most others deny truth and guilt. Born-again Zionism became "more extreme and obnoxious."
Another epiphany isn't likely. Perhaps enlightened children will make up for their parents' moral cowardice. "One can only hope," Pappe added.
He's saving compassion for when conflict resolution is nearer and Palestine is free and democratic. So far, it's nowhere in sight.
The same day the PA acknowledged the State of Palestine, hundreds of thousands celebrated Fatah's 48th anniversary. Officials in Gaza City's al-Saraya square estimated a nearly one million turnout.
Abbas didn't show up for the occasion. His recorded address substituted. "Soon we will achieve unity and end of the occupation," he said.
He's done nothing as PA president to further it. Rhetoric belies his agenda. Palestinians deserve much better.
His acknowledgement of statehood is in name only. Hamas is Palestine's legitimate government. Abbas represents coup d'etat authority. He and likeminded Fatah officials have no legitimacy whatever.