Growing tensions within Palestinian leadership over U.N. September move
Tensions are mounting after the Palestinian Authority (PA) determined it would head to the United Nations in September to seek recognition for a Palestinian State along the 1967 borders, and membership with the organization. This decision has received opposition from the United States and some sections of the international community. Voices have also recently been raised in Jordan, claiming the plan is not quite on track.
More importantly, these differences of opinion have gradually penetrated the Palestinian leadership’s ranks. Former Foreign Minister Nabil Amr recently criticized the PA’s decision in an article published in Asharq Alawsat, saying, “much effort has been expended for nothing; substantial efforts to gain symbolic results. It is really frightening that we are chasing shadows on five continents only to find that the Israelis create the reality on the ground, and are about to roll out their expansionist and annexationist program. There is simply no remedy to be found for this in Canada or Australia or even China.”
Mr. Amr’s viewpoint is shared by many prominent Palestinian figures, including the current Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, his predecessor Ahmed Qurei (Abu Alaa), and former Palestinian Representative to the UN Nasser al-Qudwa. They believe that going to the UN will damage the PA’s relations with US President Barack Obama and Congress, which has threatened to freeze aid to the Authority. For its part, the United States announced that it will veto the motion when put forward to the Security Council.
The Palestinian leadership also fears that it could lose its rein on power as any unilateral declaration of statehood will not deliver desired results, and could compound the state of despair and frustration of many Palestinians. The result could lead to protests against the PA. Furthermore, the PA is suffering financially, with many civil servants receiving only partial salaries.
A poll of 1000 Palestinians showed that 80% think the PA’s priority should be the creation of job opportunities, whilst only 4% believe it should focus on announcing statehood in September.
The question is, does the Palestinian leadership realize it may return from the UN in September empty-handed and must then confront the bitter reality in October, February and beyond? (Source: www.yallafinance.com)