Abbas Feeling Heavy-Handed Pressure - by Stephen Lendman
Abbas is yielding to Washington/Israeli pressure as expected. Statehood chances are zero - for now, but coming later under responsible, committed leaders.
Washington wants Abbas' UN membership Security Council application tabled in limbo for months. On September 28, it was sent to a standing admissions committee.
On September 30, New York Times writer Neil MacFarquhar headlined, "Palestinian Request Sent to Experts," saying:
"The Security Council membership committee referred the Palestinian request for full (UN) membership to its experts on Friday to evaluate whether it meets the criteria for statehood."
In fact, Palestine's been fully qualified and ready for 63 years. An initial UN report may be issued by mid-October. However, Washington, Israel, and key EU allies want further action conditional on restarting peace process talks that never worked before and won't now.
On September 29, The Palestine Telegraph (PT) headlined, "Exclusive: The last minute deal of Abbas-Obama - Reviving Peace Process," saying:
A "(w)ell informed (PT) source (said) a deal had been struck between" Washington and the PA before Abbas' September 23 General Assembly address.
Meeting with Secretary of State Clinton, Abbas and chief negotiator Saeb Erekat were "threatened) with sanctions" if full UN membership was pursued.
A face saving way was discussed to back down. Both sides also agreed to resume peace process talks even though Abbas up to now refused unless settlement construction stops.
Obama then applied more pressure privately to drop UN membership plans entirely. According to the unnamed source, Abbas said if he agreed he'd "be politically dead. Palestinian Authority will be dead and peace will never be achieved."
An agreement was reached for Abbas to moderate his planned UN address. Obama also "requested that the Palestinian Authority ease the diplomatic pressure on the UN bodies. The meeting and its outcome was never announced."
Nonetheless, Abbas returned to Ramallah with marching orders to resume talks while settlement construction on stolen Palestinian land continues apace.
In near daily articles for weeks, this writer rated chances for official statehood recognition and full UN membership zero. If PT's source is accurate, it's virtually certain.
There's more. On October 1, Haaretz writer Shlomo Shamir headlined, "Source: UN won't advance Palestinian statehood bid until diplomacy option exhausted," saying:
Membership discussions will "continue to deliberate over technical matters as long as (Quartet members) are leading efforts to renew (peace) negotiations...."