Akiva Eldar
October 14, 2009 - 12:00am

We should not get unnerved by the heartbreaking cries coming from Jerusalem regarding Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' decision to appeal to the UN Human Rights Council with an upgraded Goldstone report. Wise men have said in the past, "the worse it is, the better it is." The more extreme the Palestinian offer gets, the chance of it winning support in the West dwindles.

On the other hand, this is another chance for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to portray the new initiative as "proof" that Abbas is entrenched by Hamas. As a bonus, Netanyahu can celebrate the slap on the face the new Nobel Peace Prize laureate will receive, since the world knows that Barack Obama persistently plead with Abbas to pull the proposal in order to clear the way for a permanent peace agreement.

Abbas also understands that the upgraded report he served to Geneva will not go far. He doesn't really believe that Netanyahu will have to rescue Ehud Barak, Ehud Olmert, and Tzipi Livni from the claws of the International Court of Justice in The Hague. That was his only way to free his hands from his critics from Hamas and from his own party. Not only did he return the Goldstone report to the council in Geneva, but added more and more topics to it.

Abbas can assume that Washington will not be too excited about his return to Geneva. Just as Obama accepted the settlement building in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem, he will have to accept the Palestinian return to the Goldstone report.

Most importantly is that envoy George Mitchell can send invitations to the opening ceremony of negotiations on a permanent agreement before the Nobel Peace Prize award ceremony takes place.


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