Since 2011, the Palestinian Authority’s president has pursued a strategy of “internationalization,” refusing direct talks with Israel and seeking recognition from various international bodies in the hope this will eventually result in official UN recognition of Palestinian independence. Grant Rumley and Adam Rasgon note that despite short-term successes, this course does not seem likely to achieve meaningful results:
[R]aising a Palestinian flag at Turtle Bay or joining the UN Convention on Biological Diversity has hardly changed the facts on the ground for many Palestinians.
For years, every step of the Palestinian international campaign had a contingency plan. After failing to go [for recognition] to the UN Security Council in 2011, the Palestinians went to the UN General Assembly in 2012. After joining several international organizations in 2014, the Palestinians went back to the Security Council. After they failed to win that vote, Abbas signed the Rome Statute and joined the International Criminal Court (ICC). Now, with the ICC failing to yield the type of returns Abbas had hoped for, the Palestinians are largely without a contingency plan. The French conference [held earlier this month] may lead to another summit and ultimately a push at the Security Council, but such a plan is likely only to antagonize Israel and thus amount to little more than another data point in the Palestinians’ failed diplomatic campaign for statehood.
The strategic goal, ostensibly, is to transform favorable international public opinion into a tangible international framework for statehood. . . . Such a [policy] may [seem] the only option available to a drifting Palestinian leadership, but it has so far proved unsuccessful, has alienated them from the Palestinian public, and angered traditional regional allies. In the grand history of the Palestinian national project, such [an approach] . . . may ultimately amount to nothing more than a diplomatic sideshow.