The PLO Council at a meeting in Ramallah on Monday, under the Chairmanship of Pres. Abbas of the PA, voted to suspend PLO recognition of Israel. Not only is this a backward step that would prevent any chances of negotiations and peace with Israel, but it is a farce, since the PLO Council, notwithstanding wide-spread belief to the contrary, never actually ratified its recognition of Israel and the Oslo Accords in 1993. Yasir Arafat, then Chairman of the PLO, famously shook hands with Israeli FM Peres and PM Rabin and Pres. Clinton, and signed the agreement on the White House lawn. However, the PLO Council, as required, never ratified the recognition. Hence the Oslo Accords were never actually legally implemented.
So now the PLO Council has reversed the recognition of Israel, that it never accepted in the first place. That is why Israel still regards the PLO as a terrorist organization, since it has never actually modified its Charter and still calls for the destruction of the State of Israel. This is why they still educate their children that martyrs are heroes and that they should aim to kill Jews.
The action that triggered this retrograde step by the PLO, the Fatah faction of which controls the PA, was Pres. Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel and the moving there of the US Embassy. Also, the recent passing of the Nation State Bill by the Israeli Knesset that proclaims the State of Israel to be the Nation State of the Jewish people. Both of these things are facts, Israel is the Nation State of the Jewish people and Jerusalem is its capital. But, the longer the Palestinian people and leadership are entrenched in their enmity to the very existence of Israel and Jews in their midst, there can be no peace.
Contrast this step to the direction of growing Arab State recognition of Israel, both as a legitimate country and as a possible ally in their fight against Iran. For Oman, the Gulf Emirates and Saudi Arabia, the threat of Shi’ite Iranian expansionism is far greater than their fear of Israel. While for the Palestinians it is the reverse. In fact, Hamas, which is the Palestinian Islamist terrorist group that controls the Gaza Strip, receives funding and arms from Iran, quite the reverse of the general approach of the Sunni Arab States. In fact during fighting between the two factions PLO and Hamas, the former often call the latter “Shia,” which is considered to be a terrible insult. It is likely that this divide between the Palestinians and the Sunni Arab States will grow greater with time.