Palestinian minister slams Arab League for failure to confront US

Arab threats of retaliation are not followed by action, says PA minister, to the detriment of the Palestinians.

By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Following a meeting of foreign ministers of the Arab League in Cairo, Palestinian Authority (PA) Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki blamed the intergovernmental organization on Thursday for encouraging the United States “to continue with its unfortunate approach” regarding Jerusalem, reported Wafa, the official PA news site.

While the stated purposes of the Arab League are to strengthen ties among the member states, coordinate their policies, and promote their common interests, Maliki claimed that the organization fails to live up to to these goals.

“Our failure,” he said, “as Arab states, to implement our decisions throughout the past many years” was what led to America’s “baseless decision” regarding the declaration of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the recent announcement about starting the process of moving its embassy there by Israeli Independence Day in March.

Maliki expressly mentioned the 1980 Arab League summit in Jordan, when the 22-member states proclaimed that they would “sever all ties with states that transfer their embassies to Jerusalem or recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.”

The PA itself reacted to the US move by declaring that the Americans could no longer be a broker in the Middle East peace process, turning to the international community to take its place, recalling its top diplomat to Washington, and spearheading a UN General Assembly resolution condemning the US move.

However, no Arab country retaliated diplomatically. Egyptian and Jordanian leaders met Vice President Mike Pence when he came to the Middle East in January, while Saudi Arabia has even voiced cautious support for President Trump’s peace-plan-in-the-making, and the Saudi crown prince is reportedly going to Washington later this month.

Maliki backed up his criticism by pointing to Guatemala, the small Central American country that had the “audacity,” in his words, to declare that they will move their embassy two days after the US does. According to Wafa, he noted that his counterpart there said she would not accept any Arab pressure to cancel the decision, “simply because she is fully aware that the Arab countries do not have any means to pressure Guatemala to go back on its decision on moving the embassy to Jerusalem.”