January 22, 2015 | Quote

It’s Over: Why the Palestinians Are Finally Giving Up on Obama and the US Peace Process

“I think [Abbas's faith in America] died during the Kerry talks,” Grant Rumley, a research analyst at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, says. “He's given up on Obama — on this government's ability to get concessions out of Israel.”

This sense of frustration extends well beyond the Palestinian leadership. Between the poverty and brutality of Hamas's Gaza and the Palestinian Authority's seeming inability to address the daily indignities of life under Israeli occupation, Palestinians have grown deeply cynical about the conflict's status quo. That very much includes the American-led peace process.

Expert opinion on this is divided. Some see the Palestinian unilateral campaign as merely a compliment to their negotiating strategy. “They can express public skepticism 'til the cows come home,” the ICG's Thrall says, “but the fact of the matter is that their strategy hasn't changed.”

“I definitely think there is a huge sense of frustration among the PLO executive committee,” he allows. But Abbas “will always be the die-hard, last believer in the Middle East peace process.”

Others, however, see a deeper shift in the Palestinian strategy: one that aims at eventually replacing US-brokered talks with a more international approach. “February [2014] is the month where the peace process died,” research analyst Rumley says. The Palestinians now “want the international community to get involved on a scale that dwarfs the US.”

Rumley thinks the Palestinians “are trying to create diplomatic momentum so that the international community gets more involved. And you're seeing the fruits of their labors: you're seeing reports in the French press that [France] might get to the point where [they] host a peace conference in Paris. That is exactly what the Palestinians want.”

Read full article here.


Palestinian Politics