OpinionMiddle East

Why is the PA so opposed to the Bahrain conference?

The Bahrain conference lies outside the U.N. framework, and therefore Palestinian participation in it would be tantamount to an admission that the PLO’s U.N. strategy has failed.

Manama, the capital of Bahrain. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Manama, the capital of Bahrain. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.
Pinhas Inbar (JCPA)
Pinhas Inbari
Pinhas Inbari is a veteran Arab affairs correspondent who formerly reported for Israel Radio and Al Hamishmar newspaper. He currently serves as an analyst for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

The Palestinian Authority’s Labor Ministry is currently busy slandering Israel to the United Nations International Labor Organization, accusing it of robbing Palestinians working in Israel proper of their rights.

Besides being outrageous—they should be thanking Israel for taking security risks to employ P.A. citizens, something the failing P.A. is either unable or unwilling to do—this incident also reveals the true reason the P.A. is so opposed to the upcoming U.S.-sponsored economic conference in Bahrain.

The U.N. framework includes most of the international organizations that have an automatic majority against Israel. By relying on this framework, the PLO has hoped to force Israel to make concessions it otherwise would not, for example with regard to the 1967 borders or the refugee question.

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman’s recent remarks on Israeli claims in Judea and Samaria only intensified Palestinian concerns regarding the loss of a primary lever for putting pressure on Israel, specifically, the United Nations and the international organizations connected with it.

The Bahrain conference is a regional framework outside the parameters of the U.N. Therefore, Palestinian participation in it would be tantamount to an admission that the PLO’s U.N. strategy has failed.

Furthermore, the Bahrain conference will focus on the Arab and Palestinian private sector. The private sector is perceived as having interests contrary to the “national interest” of the “Palestinian struggle.” The private sector wants stability. The “struggle” seeks instability.

The PLO has launched a series of “emergency meetings” on the issue. Palestinian diplomats are trying to rally the support of the countries in the United Nations, in the “third world,” China and Russia, and are also seriously considering issuing a denunciation of the Arab countries supporting U.S. President Donald Trump. However, they are very wary of displaying open discord with these Arab countries.

Another option to be discussed by the Palestinian Authority is a return to the Arab “masses” exerting pressure on their leadership.

The Bahrain assembly needs to inform the “Palestinian leadership” that the “Arab masses” have other troubles, and are no longer interested in the Palestinians.

Pinhas Inbari is a veteran Arab affairs correspondent who formerly reported for Israel Radio and “Al Hamishmar” newspaper. He currently serves as an analyst for the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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