THE BLOG
11/08/2014 04:31 pm ET Updated Jan 08, 2015

The Bogus Achievement for the Palestinian State

Some say the biggest achievement Mahmoud Abbas will be remembered for, is the magnitude of the pro-Palestinian campaign that has intensified during his 10 years as the official Palestinian leader. When you look over his record, it's easy to understand why: Abbas has managed to lose control of Gaza to Hamas eight years ago, to reject a generous peace offer by Ehud Olmert six years ago, to lose his economically gifted prime minister Salam Fayyad two years ago, and to refuse John Kerry's security demands during the peace talks last year. Still, despite this series of shortcomings, it seems that the world has never been more swept away with the pro-Palestinian cause.

But will this be a true achievement for Abbas or the Palestinians?

On the surface, when you look at the current trends, it may seem so. On Friday, Federica Mogherini, the new High Representative of the EU Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said she'd like to see a Palestinian state established during her five-year mandate. Last week, Sweden decided to unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state, and three weeks ago the British parliament voted for a similar motion. Socialist law-makers in France are now planning to do the same.
But on the ground, behind the declarations, the Palestinian leadership is crumbling. Hamas has no intention to demilitarize despite the fact that it lost support in the Arab world, and it is now trying to fuel up the terror in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem in order to regain strength. Abbas feels too weak and threatened to beat the violence, so he effectively supports it as well. The result is growing turmoil and terror in the streets, which the EU sees and condemns, but somehow doesn't use as a consideration in its plans. Or as the former Foreign Secretary of the UK Malcolm Rifkind put it, "the Palestinians lack the basic structures needed for a state at the moment, due to political splits between Hamas and Fatah, so simply voting for a motion could make ourselves feel important, while exacerbating existing problems".
Some say this current European attitude is a result of the growing Muslim population in countries like UK, Sweden and France. But while public opinion may derive from legitimate sentiments or from anti-Semitic ones, the true problem is that none of these enthusiastic law-makers are taking the time to wonder how a prospective Palestinian state will be run, once it's established.
Between the terror, exploitation and embezzlements of Hamas, and the growing hatred between Hamas and Fatah, instability is all the current Palestinian leadership has to offer.

The pro-Palestinian voices, especially in Europe, prefer to disconnect between supporting a Palestinian state, which is good, and dealing with Palestinian terror factions and violence, which significantly lower the chances of such a state to survive.

So while Hamas praises attackers in East Jerusalem, and Abbas sends his condolences to families of terrorists, judging by the attitude of the EU, there doesn't seem to be a price for violence. On the contrary -- there seems to be a prize. If peace is what you're striving for, that's not a very good start.

The two-state solution is what the vast majority of Israelis and Palestinians seem to want, but there are many issues to be addressed, and they will definitely not be solved by extremists.
Two leading liberal Israeli TV anchors wrote a piece about this phenomenon recently, and described it in a very clear way: "For Israelis, the dark reality is that a piece of land (Gaza) that was evacuated and turned over to the Palestinians, became a haven for terrorists who shot missiles into their homes and dug tunnels into communities in order to launch further attacks. So sanctions only on Israel won't do the job here, because between death and isolation, anyone would choose the latter."

In other words, the support from the EU will only become a true achievement if balanced with the other side of the equation: demands. The Palestinian leadership must be held accountable for demilitarizing terror, ending corruption, and putting a stop to violence.

What needs to become a success is not Abbas' campaign, but a negotiated two-state solution. Only an agreement in which both sides will take full responsibility for their present and future will be able to hold in the unexpected reality of the Middle-East. Otherwise, the dream of two states will simply not materialize, and all that will remain will be some vague memory of a good campaign.