The UN is not objecting to a ‘Plan B’ to annexation

People gather in Tel Aviv to protest against Israel's annexation plan of the West Bank (Mostafa Alkharouf - Anadolu Agency)

Ramona Wadi

Middle East Monitor  /  December 3, 2020

The UN’s hypocritical manner of dealing with the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People finds a contender in the way of the Palestinian Authority. On behalf of PA leader Mahmoud Abbas, Palestine’s Permanent Observer to the UN Riyad Mansour addressed a virtual UN meeting with a statement that portrayed the recognition of one paradox while creating others equally harmful to the Palestinian people’s political rights and liberation.

“It is paradoxical that as this organisation was adopting its Charter, and the international community was elaborating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Geneva Conventions, the Palestinian people were being deprived of the very rights enshrined in these instruments and to this day continue to live under occupation,” Abbas’ statement, delivered by Mansour, partly reads.

In what is being considered a warming of ties, the PA and Israel reached an agreement to resume security coordination and the transfer of withheld tax revenues. With no other avenue to turn towards as US President Donald Trump embarked upon politically ostracising measures against the PA, Abbas and Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh had attempted the “principles” stance, quietly biding their time until their main financial exploits could resume.

With Joe Biden set to assume the US leadership, the PA has clearly felt it is time to abandon its brief quest for principles in return for renewed submission under even more harmful political circumstances for the Palestinian people.

Abbas’ reiteration that the PA is willing to re-enter into negotiations with Israel based upon the two-state compromise has been made against a request for the international community to reject the shelved annexation plans. This rejection from the international community will never happen, even more when Trump’s departing legacy will be remembered in terms of the Arab countries’ normalisation of relations with Israel.

The Trump versus Biden scenario will likely not play out much longer, as Abbas is set to merely acquiesce to the Netanyahu-Trump scheming under a new alliance between the Israeli government and Biden.

Can Abbas at least admit that not only is the two-state paradigm defunct, but continued reference to this imposition only strengthens Israel’s annexation plans?

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’ “there is no Plan B” catchphrase is synonymous with the politics adopted by Abbas. There is no Plan B, but there are also no qualms about the PA re-entering into negotiations with Israel over the defunct two-state paradigm, as the means through which to facilitate the implementation of Israel’s annexation plans.

So, while the PA calls upon the international community to support Palestinian independence, not to mention requesting support for yet another futile and irrelevant peace conference, it is also normalising the UN’s treachery which will ultimately play along with annexation. Even though, according to Guterres, there is no other option apart from the two-state compromise.

Maybe the UN should clarify that “there is no Plan B” means it will not accept Palestinian initiatives that focus upon anti-colonial struggle. After all, it is still to issue an unequivocal statement, supported by action, against Israel’s forthcoming formalisation of its colonial expansion. But the PA thrives upon contradiction and compromise, so the status-quo of normalising political violations against the Palestinian people will not meet with any opposition, despite the existence of a “Plan B” that is merely waiting for implementation.

Ramona Wadi is an independent researcher, freelance journalist, book reviewer and blogger; her writing covers a range of themes in relation to Palestine, Chile and Latin America