Yes, I know. I too choked on my cornflakes when I read this article in the Jerusalem Post today (all emphases mine):
In return for status in Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Palestinians say they willl hold “free and fair elections.”
The Palestinians on Tuesday welcomed as “historic” a decision by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) to grant the PLO’s parliament-in-exile, the Palestinian National Council (PNC), the status of “Partner for Democracy.”
The new status, which is reserved for parliamentarians from countries neighboring the Council of Europe, enables members of the PNC to speak before the PACE assembly and most of its committees.
The Palestinians would also be allowed to participate in all the discussions of the Council of Europe, but would not enjoy voting privileges.
The resolution was approved by the assembly with 110 in favor, five against and 10 abstentions.
According to a statement issued by PACE, the Palestinians pledged in return to pursue the “values upheld by the Council of Europe, hold free and fair elections and work toward abolishing the death penalty, among other commitments.”
The assembly will also monitor other key issues, such as concluding negotiations for a national unity government and making the 669-member PNC a democratically- elected body.
Other issues include refraining from violence, rejecting terrorism, recognizing Israel’s right to exist and freeing IDF solider Gilad Schalit.
The assembly will review progress on these issues within two years.
I do not know on what basis the Europeans are so confident that the Palestinians will carry through on their pledges, especially when one considers that the Palestinian “President” himself, Mahmoud Abbas, is still in power despite his original term of office having run out over 2 years ago, and the vote in which he was elected in the first place was condemned by his rivals as being rigged and unfair.
Once again, this farcical enterprise will be a case of “I’ll believe it when I see it”.
The European wishful thinking continues:
Presenting the report at Tuesday’s meeting in Strasbourg, Tiny Kox (Netherlands, UEL) said the status “created new opportunities for the Palestinian people” and could be seen as part of the Arab Spring.
The Europeans though are not the only ones to engage in daydreams:
Bassam Salhi, a member of the Palestinian delegation to Strasbourg, said the decision would “enhance” the PA’s application for full membership of a Palestinian state in the UN. Salhi also said it reflected growing worldwide support for the rights of the Palestinians, first and foremost through the establishment of a Palestinian state on all the territories captured by Israel in 1967.
I think if he checks, Mr. Salhi might find that although there is wide support for the idea of a Palestinian state, this does not mean that the world believes that Israel has to return every inch of those territories.
Middle East politics: great entertainment for wishful thinkers and delusionists. For everyone else – keep a safe distance for your own mental health.