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.

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Will Obama Call Abbas’s UN Bluff?

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