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Sunday, October 31, 2010

Will Obama let the 'Palestinians' avoid negotiations?

A disturbing editorial that appeared on Friday in the Christian Science Monitor (which has a well-deserved reputation for being unfair to Israel).
President Obama may soon have an unusual chance to serve the cause of Middle East peace by remaining silent.

He could quietly acquiesce to a move being considered by Palestinian leaders to ask the United Nations to recognize a state of Palestine.

Such a request would only be necessary in one case: if Israel effectively ends any hope of renewed peace negotiations by continuing to build Jewish settlements on Palestinian territory in the West Bank.

Mr. Obama has good reason to give a quiet wink to such a Palestinian request. He is deeply frustrated that Israel renewed its settlement construction last month. That move forced Palestinians to quit bilateral peace talks. It also caused them to contemplate the prospect that the US is no longer a reliable mediator or able to press Israel to make concessions.

As a last resort, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he is considering asking for Obama’s support in seeking recognition by UN bodies of Palestinian sovereignty over the West Bank, Gaza, and east Jerusalem, territories Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war.

Seeking statehood this way is not ideal. Israel could retaliate by cutting off many vital services to Palestinians, such as trade to the outside world. And there is a possibility that China or Russia, facing calls for independence by groups within their own countries, might veto a Security Council resolution on Palestinian independence.

At the least, however, allowing the issue to be debated in UN bodies may force Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian land.

If the UN declarees a state of Palestine, Israeli settlements would then clearly be in violation of international law.
There's more too.

But Obama would not accomplish anything by doing this. As Martin Kramer points out, the very existence of a dialogue at the Security Council would have no effect on Israel. And if the Obama administration actually failed to veto such a resolution, it would prove to those Israelis who don't believe it yet that the Obama administration is not to be trusted. It would finally and completely burn any bridges that remain between the State of Israel and this administration. There would be no more negotiations until there is a change in Washington - and in New York.

For the record, no one 'forced' the 'Palestinians' to quit the peace talks. They're not babies and no one forced them to do anything. They decided all by themselves to quit the talks as a result of Obama's attempt to be more 'Palestinian' than the 'Palestinians.' But no one took away their freedom of choice. It's time that the 'Palestinians' be held accountable for their own actions. No one is forcing them to do anything.


At 9:34 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Israel can start by annexing Yesha and applying Israeli law, jurisdiction and sovereignty to it and terminating its 43 year old military occupation.

There is no longer a need to keep things on hold forever.

At 12:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Israel would have to reimpose its military occupation on Palestinian areas of control before abolishing it--AFIK vis a vis Palestinian-inhabited areas the old military occupation authorities are gone and "settlements" already fall under Israeli jurisdiction and law.


At 12:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

...Oslo changed legal status for areas A, B, and C--one big change was that you couldn't presume that territories being negotiated over *were* "Palestinian land". Of course, there's always been enough enough doubletalk so that Palestinians keep thumping on their "right' to all territory east of the Green line (for starters). But AFIK the occupational authority and structures that were in place back in the day are gone, no? The Defense Ministry approves permits for settlement construction directly, etc.


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