By Ted Belman
In Who Speaks for the Palestinians?, Elliott Abrams makes the point that Abbas has put the fate of the Palestinians in the hands of the Arab League which is meeting today to decide whether to support indirect negotiations. By doing so he has disenfranchised the Palestinians and usurped their independence
Elliot suggests that Abbas has virtually given a veto to Syria who must also be convinced and suggests that’s why Obama is kissing Assad’s ass.
But this is not the first time Syria was given a veto. After King Abdullah announced the Saudi Plan, it was presented to the Arab League for endorsement and there it met with significant amendments demanded by Syria. It is now formally the Arab League Plan. Whereas the Saudi Plan just stipulated for a just settlement of the refugee issue pursuant to Res 194, the Arab League amended the Saudi Plan and gave Syria a veto over any settlement deal that left refugees in Syria.
A couple of months ago, the Arab League agreed to negotiations for only four months which coincided with the end of Netanyahu’s temporary freeze. Nothing has changed. Negotiations will be fruitless and resort will be had to imposing a plan.