The leaders of the Palestinian Authority have reached the conclusion that, under the current circumstances, it would be a waste of time to return to the negotiating table with Israel. They are convinced that the only way to get anything is by rallying pressure from the international community against Israel.
It is for this reason that representatives of the Palestinians have been negotiating with the Europeans and Americans about the peace process -- not with Israel.
The Palestinian leadership in Ramallah is negotiating about the peace process, but with the foreign ministers of France, Sweden, Norway, Germany and the UK and not with Israel. Almost every step this leadership takes is fully coordinated in advance with Western diplomats and their governments.
They believe that at present Israel is more isolated than ever in the international arena, particularly in light of the UN’s Gaza War report, the “Goldstone Report.”
The Palestinian leadership has chosen to confront Israel in the international arena, and not at the negotiating table. Abbas’s strategy is to further isolate Israel in the world through boycotts and anti-Israel resolutions at the UN and other international forums.
They see growing support for Palestinians in many European capitals, and are convinced that this will eventually be translated into heavy pressure on Israel.
Western governments are keeping the Palestinians from resuming peace talks with Israel. Instead of negotiating with Abbas, these governments should be urging him to return to the negotiations with Israel.
original drawing by Noah David Simon