Recent declarations by the Swedish government, the British parliament, and the Irish senate recognizing a fictive Palestinian state complement an ongoing campaign by Mahmoud Abbas to obtain recognition of a Palestinian state from international bodies, writes John Bolton. This move is simply the resurrection of a similar campaign launched by Arafat in 1989. That plan achieved negligible success, thanks to U.S. efforts to foil it:
Twenty-five years ago, President George H. W. Bush and Secretary of State James Baker conveyed their determination to squelch fanciful maneuverings in the international system, rather than addressing the Arab-Israeli conflict through direct negotiations between the parties themselves. United States resolve prevailed.
Under President Obama, by contrast, we saw American weakness. . . . Sensing that weakness, the Palestinians and their supporters struck, something they had feared to do for over 20 years. Accordingly, today’s Palestinian gambit will turn not on what happens in Stockholm, London, or UN headquarters in Turtle Bay. It will turn on how officials in Washington decide to react.