Why Mahmoud Abbas Insists on Failure

After rejecting a highly favorable American proposal for the creation of a Palestinian state, the PA president is now insisting on bringing a statehood resolution to the UN, despite knowing that it will never pass. The editors of the Washington Post speculate why.

Mr. Abbas is now pushing yet another quixotic attempt to have the UN Security Council impose Palestinian terms for a settlement on Israel. . . . [T]his text has no chance of being approved. . . . Yet Mr. Abbas appears ready to insist on failing, just a few months after turning aside a U.S. initiative that had at least some chance of delivering the state he says he wants.

What could explain such maneuvering? Some diplomats suspect Mr. Abbas wants his maximalist resolution to be voted down. . . . By not forcing the United States into a veto, the Palestinian leader could preserve his lines of communication with Washington while obtaining a pretext to move on to his next pointless initiative. . . .

Mr. Abbas does, of course, have a choice. He could endorse the framework laboriously negotiated by Secretary of State John F. Kerry and challenge Mr. Netanyahu—or his successor after Israel’s upcoming election—to resume negotiations. . . . [B]ut the seventy-nine-year-old Palestinian leader would have to commit himself formally to compromises he has until now discussed only in private with U.S. and Israeli leaders. Rather than lobby at the United Nations, he would have to attempt for the first time to sell those concessions to his own people.

Mr. Abbas has, on several previous occasions, dodged that challenge. So no one should be surprised if he now insists on losing another vote at the United Nations.

Read more at Washington Post

More about: Barack Obama, John Kerry, Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian statehood, Peace Process, United Nations

The IDF’s First Investigation of Its Conduct on October 7 Is Out

For several months, the Israel Defense Forces has been investigating its own actions on and preparedness for October 7, with an eye to understanding its failures. The first of what are expected to be many reports stemming from this investigation was released yesterday, and it showed a series of colossal strategic and tactical errors surrounding the battle at Kibbutz Be’eri, writes Emanuel Fabian. The probe, he reports, was led by Maj. Gen. (res.) Mickey Edelstein.

Edelstein and his team—none of whom had any involvement in the events themselves, according to the IDF—spent hundreds of hours investigating the onslaught and battle at Be’eri, reviewing every possible source of information, from residents’ WhatsApp messages to both Israeli and Hamas radio communications, as well as surveillance videos, aerial footage, interviews of survivors and those who fought, plus visits to the scene.

There will be a series of further reports issued this summer.

IDF chief Halevi in a statement issued alongside the probe said that while this was just the first investigation into the onslaught, which does not reflect the entire picture of October 7, it “clearly illustrates the magnitude of the failure and the dimensions of the disaster that befell the residents of the south who protected their families with their bodies for many hours, and the IDF was not there to protect them.” . . .

The IDF hopes to present all battle investigations by the end of August.

The IDF’s probes are strictly limited to its own conduct. For a broader look at what went wrong, Israel will have to wait for a formal state commission of inquiry to be appointed—which happens to be the subject of this month’s featured essay in Mosaic.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Gaza War 2023, IDF, Israel & Zionism, October 7