The Palestinian Authority blew off the Obama administration’s peace efforts in the last two years, not even deigning to negotiate during the west bank settlement freeze that Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu enacted last year. The PA feels sure that the majority of U.N, members will back its demands to vote at the General Assembly in September to recognize a Palestinian state in the west bank, Gaza, and Jerusalem.
Yet the U.S. is not helpless to stop this strategy. Rather, Washington could start putting serious pressure on the PA at last. Abbas depends on foreign aid to keep his corrupt authority in place and on Western military aid and Israeli protection to prevent a Hamas coup d’Ã©tat in the west bank. Were Obama to make it clear that the U.S. will not tolerate an initiative that disregards our interests, then it is more than possible that Abbas’ bluff would be called.