Mahmoud Abbas(Getty)
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Plan to Delegitimize Israel Unfolding

Today’s release of a scathing United Nations report is the latest step

Adam Chandler
January 31, 2013
Mahmoud Abbas(Getty)

Writing in Ynet yesterday, Ron Ben-Yishai detailed the Palestinian plan to delegitimize Israel and fashion a state based on international frustration with and contempt for Israel. He wrote:

Information obtained by Israeli officials from the Palestinian territories and abroad indicates that the plan has already entered its first phase of implementation, despite the fact that Abbas and his aides are aware of the difficulties in executing it. The Palestinians must convince the five permanent members of the Security Council – headed by the US – not to veto a draft resolution on the establishment of a Palestinian state. The Palestinians must also secure a majority for this resolution within the Security Council.

In the current diplomatic situation there is no chance that the Security Council will support such a resolution, but Abbas believes he can turn things around within two to three years through intense diplomatic efforts and a media campaign.

Ben-Yishai isn’t the first person to say this–the strategy was announced at the end of last year–but his timing was perfect. Just hours later (this morning), the United Nations released a report that essentially said that if Israel doesn’t withdraw from the settlements, Palestinian representatives ought to take Israel to the International Criminal Court and accuse it of war crimes. This is the first tangible upshot of what the Palestinians upgraded status at the United Nations has empowered its leaders to do.

Supporters of Israel can decry the United Nations bias–the newly minted Vice-President of the UN’s Economic and Social Council, which regulates human rights, is Sudan after all–and view this report in a greater context of the selective prosecution of Israel by the United Nations. It’s more than fair to ask why has the language about war crimes been saved up for settlements considering the atrocities taking place mere miles away from the West Bank.

But what’s more troubling is that there don’t seem to be any real plans in place to combat the delegitimization campaign that has hatched. If anything, today shows that the plan has teeth and is building. It’s also difficult to know what can realistically be done to stop it. Even if the rationale behind it is hypocritical, a successfully isolated Israel will flounder. It’s as simple as that.

Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.

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