Palestinians now boycotting Arab League? Miffed at peace deal, they quit meetings

The Palestinians showed their displeasure with the new spirit of peace in the Middle East.

By David Isaac, World Israel News

True to form when not getting their way, the Palestinians have chosen to walk away from their current chairmanship of Arab League foreign minister meetings, Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki announced at a Ramallah press conference on Tuesday.

“Palestine has decided to concede its right to chair the League’s council [of foreign ministers] at its current session. There is no honor in seeing Arabs rush towards normalization during its presidency,” Maliki said.

The Palestinians were going to head the meetings for the next six months, Reuters reports.

The impetus for the Palestinian departure was the recent peace deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, which Bahrain also joined.

The UAE’s deal with Israel “created a deep crisis in the Arab League,” Maliki said, followed “by a similar collapse by the Kingdom of Bahrain.”

If those two deals hasn’t depressed the Palestinians enough, some five to six more are expected to come. President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made it clear the first two were just the start. Trump said even the Palestinians would come to the table, though none would be more surprised than themselves if that prediction becomes reality, given their behavior.

The Palestinian leadership, which has embraced rejectionism, cut off official ties with the U.S. in December 2017 after Trump announced he would move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, a promise he delivered on in May 2018.

The Palestinians have absorbed a number of diplomatic blows since Trump took office, including one at the Arab League itself when the body recently refused to condemn the UAE-Israel deal after being asked to do so by al-Maliki.

Earlier, Trump had cut funding to the Palestinian Authority (PA) and UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, which the U.S. administration said was helping to perpetuate rather than solve the conflict.

Trump also recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights and Israel’s right to settle in Judea and Samaria, areas claimed by the PA for a future Palestinian state. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Nov. 2019 said there was nothing illegal “per se” about Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria.