Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Quantum Uncertainty of Palestine

The Palestinians are in an inherently weaker position than the Israelis in any negotiations. I understand why Abbas would threaten to do various things that Israel would not like unless they live up to their agreement to release the next wave of prisoners. But it occurs to me that the two things he has threatened to do--(1) seek greater recognition of Palestine in the UN and other international organizations, and (2) dissolve the Palestinian Authority and hand responsibility for directly governing the West Bank back to the Israeli government --contradict one another. #1 is asking the world to recognize Palestine as a real country with a real government that can interact with international bodies. #2 is removing any pretense that the Palestinians have their own government.

Both are things that Israel does not want to happen because it would put them in a bad situation internationally. So it makes sense that Abbas would want to use both to gain leverage over Israel. He doesn't have that many other levers at his disposal. I just don't see how he can do both at the same time without having them undermine each other.