Palestinian “Resignations” and their exploitation of the Peace Process

Erekat and other PLO officials who keep threatening to quit are hoping that the Americans and Europeans will “freak out” at the thought of losing Palestinian “peace partners.”

Palestinians understand that the “resignations” are manly aimed at prompting the US and Western countries to exert pressure on Israel to make concessions to the PLO. The threats to quit are also intended to send a message to the Palestinian public, which long ago lost confidence in the PLO negotiators’ performance, that Erekat and his colleagues are “playing tough” with Israel.

Between 2002 and 2013, Erekat was reported to have quit at least another five times.

Erekat’s repeated “resignations” have obviously not stopped him from remaining in his job as chief PLO negotiator.

Erekat’s latest “resignation” has been rejected by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, according to Palestinian officials in Ramallah.

They said that Abbas has asked Erekat to remain in his post until the formation of a new negotiating team. Erekat, of course, cannot say no to the president and that, he explains, is why he will continue to lead the Palestinian negotiating team.

Erekat and other PLO officials who keep threatening to quit are hoping that the Americans and Europeans will “freak out” at the thought of losing Palestinian “peace partners.”

Abbas himself has also endorsed the ploy. Over the past eight years, he too has threatened to resign and dismantle the Palestinian Authority unless the Americans and Europeans forced Israel to make concessions.

In October 2010, Abbas informed former US envoy George Mitchell that settlement construction would prompt him to resign.

The message that Erekat and the PLO officials are sending to the world is: “Hold us back from resigning or else there will be no peace process.”

The “resignations” and threats to quit are also intended to send a message to the Palestinian public, which long ago lost confidence in the PLO negotiators’ performance, that Erekat and his colleagues are playing tough with Israel.

PLO officials are apparently convinced that they can “fool all of the people all of the time.” The next time the Americans and Europeans hear threats to resign from PLO officials, they need to react the same way as Palestinians do — with a wide smile.

They also need to be reminded that Abbas and his predecessor, Arafat, also threatened to quit at least 20 times since the beginning of the peace process.

 

View original Gatestone Institute publication at: http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4063/plo-resignations-peace-process

Khaled Abu Toameh, Journalist Facebook profile

Khaled Abu Toameh, Journalist Facebook profile

Khaled Abu Toameh is an Arab Muslim, a veteran award-winning journalist who has been covering Palestinian affairs for nearly three decades. He studied at Hebrew University and began his career as a reporter by working for a PLO-affiliated newspaper in Jerusalem.
Abu Toameh currently works for the international media, serving as the ‘eyes and ears’ of foreign journalists in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Abu Toameh’s articles have appeared in numerous newspapers around the world, including The Wall Street Journal, US News & World Report and The Sunday Times of London.
Since 2002 he has been writing on Palestinian affairs for The Jerusalem Post. Abu Toameh has also been working as a producer and consultant for NBC News since 1989.

For more IsraelandStuff articles from Khaled Abu Toameh, visit: https://www.israelandstuff.com/?s=Khaled+Abu+Toameh

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