Lack of initiative? Bibi
Photo: AFP
Credit goes to Netanyahu
Op-ed: PM's spin doctors will say Israel must accept PA's upgraded UN status to ensure US support vis-à-vis Iran

Only Netanyahu can assure the Palestinians two states: Hamastan in Gaza and a UN member state in the West Bank. No, this is not an attack by the Left or the "Jewish" home. This is the reality on the ground after the recognition Netanyahu granted the Hamas government with the conclusion of Operation Pillar of Defense. In light of this recognition, a procession of heads of state is due to file into Gaza in the coming days for a photo op with Ismail Haniyeh.


Following Operation Cast Lead, despite the death of more than 1,000 Palestinians, European heads of state visited Israel as a show of support. And to think that just three weeks ago Lieberman suggested toppling the Palestinian Authority regime due to Abbas' "diplomatic terror."


Now things appear different. The Americans warned Netanyahu and Lieberman not to undermine Abbas' legitimacy ahead of his request for upgraded status in the UN. The Israeli leaders took their foot off the pedal, and even Yisrael Katz is no longer threatening to stop the supply of electricity to Gaza.


But despite this, on the day of the UN vote on the recognition of Palestine as a non-member observer state, Israel finds itself isolated in its opposition, along with the US, Canada and Micronesia.


Only spin remains. PM with bomb diagram at UNGA (Archive photo: Reuters)


The prime minister's spokespeople are already preparing the spins to justify the bleak reality we have been placed in. They will explain that Israel should accept the Palestinians' upgraded UN status in order to ensure America's continued assistance with regards to the Iranian issue. But this is just a spin: Based on the preparations and headlines of the past few months, we were supposed to be after an attack on Iran's nuclear installations by now.


The preparations for a strike cost more than NIS 10 billion, but it hasn’t come. Meanwhile, according to an International Atomic Energy Agency report, the ayatollahs' regime has completed a plan to hide the equipment that is needed to build a nuclear bomb. While this was going on we were busy intercepting rockets from Gaza and debating whether we should launch a ground offensive in the coastal enclave.


And so, the Iranian nuclear program has reached what Ehud Barak referred to as the "zone of immunity" stage – meaning Iran's nuclear facilities are immune from any potential Israeli military strike. Now, all that is left of the threatening bomb diagram Netanyahu displayed during his UN General Assembly speech is the spin.


Today, on the same stage, the Palestinians will mark a historic achievement with the overwhelming support of European countries, including some countries we never imagined would support the recognition of Palestine as an observer state. True, on the day after the UN vote Abbas will still be prohibited from leaving Ramallah without Israel's authorization – but we must not revel in this. If anything, it only serves as yet another indication that Netanyahu's lack of diplomatic initiative over the past four years will destroy any chance for an agreement with Abbas.



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