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Palestine: statehood supersedes Oslo Accords and Roadmap

By David Singer - posted Tuesday, 1 May 2012


The Middle East changed dramatically with the recognition and admission of the State of Palestine to UNESCO on 31 October 2011 - resulting finally in the achievement of the two-state solution unsuccessfully sought for the last 19 years in negotiations conducted between Israel and the Palestinian Authority pursuant to the Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap. Yet these seminal developments do not appear to rate a mention in Mahmoud Abbas's latest letter of demand sent to Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The contents of that letter have not been officially revealed. However one published draft - if eventually authenticated - contains the following material errors or omissions that will certainly not be conducive to Israel furnishing any positive reply.

The letter is signed by Mahmoud Abbas as: "Chairman of the P.L.O Executive Committee and President of the Palestinian National Authority"

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Yet Mr Abbas has another distinguished title - "President of the State of Palestine" - which he somehow forgot to add.

This additional nomenclature appeared in the letter sent by Mr Abbas to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon when Palestine unsuccessfully applied for membership of the United Nations as a peace loving State in September 2011.

Why omit it now in this letter to Mr Netanyahu - especially as Palestine was admitted to UNESCO as its 195th member state one month later? Why omit to mention this development at UNESCO as well?

Mr Abbas's reluctance to sign the letter as "President of the State of Palestine" and to fail to mention the UNESCO decision is surely deliberate and not caused by mere oversight.

If Palestine has already been recognized as a State by UNESCO and Mr Abbas is its President - any negotiations for the creation of such a State - the "two-state vision"- as envisaged by the Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap - are extant.

If Mr Abbas still believes he can get Mr Netanyahu to resume negotiations for a Palestinian State under the Oslo Accords and the Roadmap by not stating he is "The President of Palestine" or mentioning the UNESCO decision - he must believe that there are fairies at the bottom of the garden.

Mr Abbas's unilateral approach to UNESCO to successfully procure recognition of Palestinian statehood has rendered any further negotiations under the Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap to achieve that identical goal totally meaningless.

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If Mr Abbas is now seeking to resume negotiations with Israel to claim further additional territory for the State of Palestine - there must be a new negotiating process to replace the Oslo Accords and the Roadmap - with specific parameters to be determined and first agreed on between Israel and Palestine.

The draft letter contains the following self-serving statement:

At the same token, I expect your understanding that settlement building is eroding the Palestinian trust in your commitment to reconciliation and the idea of the two states solution. The logic is simple: If you support the establishment of a Palestinian state, why do you build on its territory?
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About the Author

David Singer is an Australian Lawyer, a Foundation Member of the International Analyst Network and Convenor of Jordan is Palestine International - an organisation calling for sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza to be allocated between Israel and Jordan as the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine. Previous articles written by him can be found at www.jordanispalestine.blogspot.com.

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All articles by David Singer

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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