DEBKAfile Special Report September 14, 2011, 9:17 AM (GMT+02:00)
The tempest which Israel had tensely anticipated for September in the wake of a Palestinian bid for unilateral UN recognition of their state looks like fizzling out before it begins as a result of a massive US campaign to avert it, backed by Saudi Arabia, Europe and Egypt.
Early Wednesday, Sept. 14, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas decided crucially not to submit his application to the UN Security Council. He also notified Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal and European Union foreign executive Catherine Ashton in Cairo that he was considering watering down his application to the UN General Assembly – possibly by dropping the "state within 1967 borders" provision from the text.
Abbas said he would make his final decision known in a public address from Ramallah Friday, Sept 16 before flying to New York to join world leaders at the UN General Assembly's 66th session which began Tuesday.
But first, he meets Middle East Quartet envoy Tony Blair in Amman for a conversation which debkafile's exclusive sources term critical, because Blair will hand him a document termed by senior Washington sources "an outline" of a new format designed to oil Palestinian wheels into unlocking the long-stalled Palestinian dialogue with Israel. ["dialog"= make the public believe everyone is "working on it" till the genocide of Palestinians is fait accompli]
This outline has been endorsed by Washington, the EU and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. It is now subject to acceptance by Israel and the Palestinians. Moscow has not yet indicated whether it approves the document or wants changes.
By Wednesday morning, the Israeli government had not yet received a copy. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has no doubt that he will be called upon for concessions extreme enough to lure the Palestinian leader back to the table. Blair is expected to deliver the document to Netanyahu some time Thursday after Abbas has seen it. To tie up the ends, senior White House envoys, Dennis Ross and David Hale, are due back in Jerusalem and Ramallah Wednesday.
During his visit to Cairo, Mahmoud Abbas was sternly warned by Saud al Faisal, Ashton and Egyptian leaders of the grave consequences awaiting the Palestinians if he forced the US to exercise its veto against their statehood at the UN Security Council. US President Barack Obama Tuesday made it crystal clear that he "objects very strongly" to the Palestinian statehood motion as "counterproductive" and a distraction from "solving problems" that can only be addressed through
US sources report that the US President has refused to talk to Abbas for the past eight months owing to his refusal to join Israel for direct peace talks. He was advised by the Europeans, the Saudis and Egyptians this week that the US presidential boycott would almost certainly extend to fellow Palestinian leaders and US financial aid. The Palestinian Authority would thus be placed under American sanctions. However, if he withdrew his statehood bid from the Security Council and accepted the new position paper, Obama would consider restoring communications.
Tuesday, Sept. 13, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said: "The path to creating an independent Palestinian state lies through direct talks between Ramallah and Jerusalem – not New York," she said. Early Wednesday, the General Assembly President Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser of Qatar reported that the Palestinians had not yet submitted their request to the General Assembly. It would therefore not come up for debate before October.
debkafile's sources report that while Mahmoud Abbas appears to have been hassled into a partial climb-down from his original plan to bypass talks with Israel by gaining UN approval of Palestinian statehood, he may not have caved in completely. Neither is it clear whether Netanyahu will swallow the new blueprint Zionist lapdog Tony Blair is about to dish up.