In its deliberations last weekend in Libya, the Arab League once again put forward its best peace-making effort by repeatedly censuring and threatening Israel.
The league’s secretary general, Amr Moussa, set the tone by sounding a dire alarm and implying that something other than negotiations might soon be in order.
“We must prepare for the possibility that the peace process will be a complete failure,” Moussa said. “This is the time to stand up to Israel. (Our emphasis) We must find alternative options, because the situation appears to have reached a turning point.”
Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas sang high harmony to Moussa’s low tune.
As reported by the Jerusalem Post, Abbas promised there would be no peace agreement with Israel unless the Jewish state “ends the occupation of Palestinian land, first and foremost east Jerusalem.” The situation in Jerusalem was dangerous, Abbas said, and could ignite the entire Middle East. His final point of emphasis was that the PA would not resume peace talks with Israel, including indirect talks, until Israel stops construction in the settlements.
Not wishing to miss a free ride when it was offered them, the Arab leaders heartily jumped upon the American administration’s bandwagon, now heavily loaded and tilted from last month’s hyper-criticism of Israel.
Thus, Amr Moussa urged his fellow league members to “stand up to Israel” in the manner displayed by U.S. President Barack Obama last month with his very public show of pique and anger at Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Thus, Abbas repeated his more than year-long refusal to negotiate either directly or indirectly with Israel “until Israel stops construction in the settlements,” a pre-condition he adapted from Obama’s very own peace-making formula.
Joining the anti-Israel chorus was the specially invited guest, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the prime minister of Turkey.
“Jerusalem is the apple of the eye of each and every Muslim … and we cannot at all accept any Israeli violation in Jerusalem or in Muslim sites,” Erdogan said. (Our emphasis) Thus the Turkish prime minister’s merely echoed the U.S. president’s condemnation of Israel’s decision to continue to build houses in east Jerusalem.
It is hard to know how far the anti-Israel fallout will spin from Obama’s severe hectoring of Netanyahu. The implicit threats from the Arab League are simply the most recent result. They are of a piece with the fact that since the signing of the now discredited Oslo accords, the Obama administration is the first American administration under which there have been no peace talks of any kind between Israel and the PA.
Abbas refuses to talk Netanyahu. Netanyahu at every opportunity urges Abbas to resume talks. And Obama pressures Netanyahu.