JERUSALEM, Israel -- Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas appears bent on rejecting every possible scenario that would move the peace process forward, despite predicting "difficult times" ahead after the U.N. statehood bid, according to one U.S. congressman.
Abbas told reporters traveling with him to New York overnight Monday that the "Palestinian approach" for unilateral recognition based on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital would bring "very difficult times."
In a speech Friday evening, Abbas said he would not be deterred from seeking the "legitimate right" to statehood that has "hit a dead end" after "20 years of on-off direct talks," the Agence France Press reported.
David Rubin - founder of Shiloh Children's Fund and the former mayor of Shiloh, Israel - offered his take on the P.A.'s demand for U.N. recognition, on the CBN News Channel's Midday News, Sept. 19.
Rep. Steve Chabot, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, characterized Abbas' position as "rejectionism."
"A unilateral declaration of independence is simply rejectionism by another name. It takes away any motivation from the Palestinians to negotiate and deal with good faith with Israel," the Ohio Republican said Friday in a conference call with reporters sponsored by the Hudson Institute and Touro College.
CBN News Senior Editor John Waage will be in New York covering the U.N. vote for a Palestinian state. Below, he gives analysis on what's at stake.
Over the weekend, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Office responded to Abbas' remarks.
"Peace is not achieved by taking unilateral steps at the U.N. and not by linking up with the Hamas terror organization. Peace can only be achieved through direct negotiations with Israel," a statement from his office said.
"The leadership of the Palestinian Authority has consistently evaded peace negotiations with Israel. When the Palestinian Authority will abandon these futile and unilateral measures at the UN, it will find Israel to be a genuine partner for direct peace negotiations," the statement read.
Meanwhile, last minute efforts by the Quartet -- the U.S., E.U., U.N. and Russia -- in New York have failed so far to convince P.A. leaders to choose direct negotiations with Israel rather than a confrontation at the United Nations at the week's end.
One sticking point: Abbas' refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state while urging Israel "not to miss out on a chance for peace" by recognizing the Palestinian state.
The U.S. has promised to veto the bid in the Security Council, but the chances of the General Assembly passing it is highly likely.
In an op-ed piece in the Los Angeles Times, Israeli U.N. Ambassador Ron Prosor said, "The basic premise of the Palestinians' U.N. bid is this: 'Give us everything without negotiations, and then we will negotiate about the rest.'"
"While Palestinian leaders are crying for unilateral recognition, those who support this measure may be soon crying about its consequences," Prosor said.