Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas made a respectable, reserved appearance at the Feb. 11 session of the United Nations Security Council, regarding US President Donald Trump’s "deal of the century.” As anticipated, Abbas was excoriated. Danny Danon, Israel’s envoy to the UN and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-hand man, announced that so long as Abbas leads his nation, there is no chance for peace. After the speech, Ehud Olmert, former Israeli prime minister who spent time in prison afterward, met with Abbas in New York; this earned a hysterical announcement on Netanyahu’s part as he called their meeting “a historical low.” He did not explain what was Olmert’s “crime” in meeting with a Palestinian leader who signed an agreement with Israel, fights terror and calls the security cooperation with Israel “sacred.”
But as the days go by, the severity and the dangers of the deal become clearer. The Palestinians view it as a slap in the face because what is being offered to them is only partial autonomy, constituting an enclave within the State of Israel; a capital city on the very outskirts of East Jerusalem; and an Israeli veto on the number of Palestinian refugees they will be permitted to absorb in their country. Since the publication of the plan, the Palestinians succeeded in averting a positive response to it from the Arab League and from the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. As for the West Bank Palestinians, Abbas now enjoys sort of a comeback. On the one hand, he succeeded in orchestrating well-attended demonstrations against the program. On the other hand, Abbas managed so far to avert the deterioration of these protests into violent confrontations against Israeli security figures and Israeli citizens.