Not only has the Palestinian Authority lagged behind in matters of urgent decision making, but it also persists in making defeatist comments which will generate additional repercussions for the people of Palestine in relation to US President Donald Trump’s so-called “Deal of the Century”. In response to Trump’s statement that Israelis will “pay a higher price” during negotiations after his administration’s unilateral decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, for example, a diplomatic advisor to PA leader Mahmoud Abbas downplayed Palestinian rights over Jerusalem, describing them as “compensation”, according to a report in the Times of Israel.
Once again, the PA is seeking recognition of the State of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital and has demanded that Washington recognises the two-state paradigm as “the sole solution”. Meanwhile, Trump has been reiterating that his decision has taken Jerusalem off the negotiation agenda. The only suggestions from the PA centred on international conferences regarding Jerusalem and repeated rhetoric about two states, both of which require the least effort from the international community and the PA itself. Abbas has not undertaken one single endeavour that highlights a unified Jerusalem from a Palestinian approach. The reason is not an absence of legitimate claims, but decades of diluting and normalising Israel’s colonial expansion even by and within the purported Palestinian leadership. In line with such decisions, the PA will never be able to discuss Jerusalem beyond generic, meaningless statements. Read more.