Will Obama Call Abbas’s UN Bluff?

Palestinian Authority sources told the media that Mahmoud Abbas’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly would be a “bombshell” and he did his best to live up to that claim. The PA leader told the world body that he no longer considered the Palestinians bound by the Oslo Accords. Israel’s violations of that pact rendered it null and void, and he therefore demanded that the UN vote to accept the Palestinians as a full-fledged member rather than its current observer status. That sounds like a very big deal since — in theory — the PA abandoning Oslo means that it would end security, economic, and civil cooperation with Israel. That might force the Jewish state to administer the West Bank directly as it did before Oslo set up the autonomy regime that first Yasir Arafat and now Abbas have ruled. But those expecting such a revolution on the ground shouldn’t hold their breath. Even the Palestinians are conceding that any changes on the ground will be put on hold as Abbas pursues UN recognition without the PA being forced to first make peace with and recognize Israel. Which is to say that it is a gigantic rhetorical bluff since Abbas benefits as much if not more from that cooperation than the Israelis. The only real question about this stunt, which was delivered in a speech that ignored the reality of routine Palestinian terror and the PA’s refusal to make peace, is whether the Obama administration will fall for it.

51
Shares
Google+ Print

Will Obama Call Abbas’s UN Bluff?

Must-Reads from Magazine

Mobs Win at CUNY and Duke

Undisciplined

I don’t envy university administrators the hard job of responding to student protests. But it’s not hard to understand that the job requires a clear view of what sets universities apart. Universities are supposed to be havens for rational inquiry into ideas, however unorthodox they may be. That is why they are uncommonly open to protesters, who often try to convey neglected ideas, and also why their rules are designed so that protests will, as much as possible, catalyze fresh thinking instead of hindering it. But sometimes administrators, either because they don’t understand universities or because they panic, neglect those rules and thereby do harm.

8
Shares
Google+ Print

The Conscious Act of Forgetting

A false innocence.

Trayon White, the Washington D.C. councilman who earned national scorn last month when he blamed this winter’s persistent snow on the work of a shadowy cabal of Jewish conspirators, is trying to broaden his perspective. His unpublicized attempts at penance have included attending a Passover seder, meeting with local Jewish leaders, and making a sojourn to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. That last bit went about as well as you might expect.

35
Shares
Google+ Print

The ADL Smears Mike Pompeo

Partisan hackery.

When the Anti-Defamation League tapped Jonathan Greenblatt to serve as its CEO in 2015, there were concerns that the Obama White House alumnus would turn the venerable civil-rights group into an arm of the Democratic Party. Alas, those concerns have proved well-founded. Witness Greenblatt’s letter this week opposing Mike Pompeo, President Trump’s choice for America’s next secretary of state, for the flimsiest of reasons.

54
Shares
Google+ Print

The Confused and the Confusing

"I don't get confused."

Nikki Haley, America’s ambassador to the United Nations, is not confused. “With all due respect,” she said in a pithy and empowering statement to Fox News anchor Dana Perino, “I don’t get confused.”

13
Shares
Google+ Print

Identity Politics in the Hereafter

Grievance even in grieving.

As if the peddlers of identity politics hadn’t done enough to poison Western culture in the here and now, they have now set their sights on the afterlife.

22
Shares
Google+ Print