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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Uh oh... 'Settlement freeze' to be renewed before US midterms?

After a conversation with Prime Minister Netanyahu on Monday, Anti-Defamation League director Abe Foxman reports that a 'compromise' plan is in the works to restart 'direct talks' between Israel and the 'Palestinians.' The 'compromise' includes reinstatement of the 'settlement freeze.'
The US is busy working on a “compromise proposal” that will allow Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to “come down from the tree” and re-enter direct talks, senior diplomatic officials said Monday.

Although the officials did not provide details of what was being discussed, one source said it entailed Israel renewing the settlement construction moratorium before the US midterm elections on November 2.

Anti-Defamation League national director Abe Foxman, who met Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday, said there were “very serious efforts on the American and the Israeli side to find the vehicle to go back to direct talks.”

Foxman said his impression was that this vehicle would be found before the US elections.

There have recently been suggestions that in exchange for an extension of the settlement construction moratorium, the US would come out on the record against any Palestinian effort – now being discussed with increasing frequency – to get the US, the UN Security Council or the UN General Assembly to back a unilateral Palestinian declaration of a state along the pre-1967 lines.

So far, Washington, which has been very clear in its call to Israel to extend the settlement construction moratorium, has not been equally clear in opposing this type of unilateral Palestinian move, something that has caused concern in Jerusalem.
Sounds like blackmail to me.

There was an interesting article in Monday's JPost that argued that the UN Security Council cannot approve the unilateral declaration of a 'Palestinian state' under international law, because the 'Palestinians' do not fit the criteria set out by the 1933 Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, which is now part of what's known as 'customary international law.' (Customary international law is the principle source for international law; states cannot otherwise be bound to give up their sovereign right to do whatever they please except through it or by their own agreement). Of course, the article itself acknowledges that
Be that as it may, the more than 200 sovereign states of the world will largely decide whether or not to recognize a Palestinian state on the basis of their individual national interests and ideological outlook.

Israel will not be able to do much, if anything, to prevent other states from recognizing a Palestinian state.
So can Israel stop a 'Palestinian' drive for Security Council recognition by agreeing to a 'settlement freeze'? How long a 'settlement freeze'? Can we trust the US to keep its end of the bargain after the 'settlement freeze' has expired or after Obama is no longer President? I would guess that the answers to that question are no, perpetual and no, in which case I see no reason to agree to this 'compromise,' especially when Obama is vulnerable because of the upcoming midterm elections.


At 4:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What else will Israel have to "give" for guarantees that the US will block UNSCR recognition of a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood? This is worse than bad, it means Abbas has all the marbles because Obama is on his side.

At 5:12 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Israel should turn it down. What is Israel getting in exchange for the concession? A Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish State? The release of Jonathan Pollard?

Either of those two things could allow Israel to renew the freeze for a limited period of time. Anything else is blackmail and if Netanyahu caves in, it will be the end of his government.

Let's pray it doesn't happen.

What could go wrong indeed

At 5:13 PM, Blogger Eliana said...

Why is Obama so intent on getting direct talks going prior to the Mid-Term elections when few people believe they will do any good anyway?

There has been NO excitement among the American people for another round of phony "peace" talks.

It's just another news story.

Americans have watched this ridiculous peace process debacle for 17 years. It's a huge yawn in America.

Obama wants bragging rights before the Mid-Term elections - but bragging about what?? Getting the Israelis and "Palestinians" to talk to each other yet again while the peace process keeps going nowhere?

If the "Palestinians" make a unilateral move, this dissolves the Oslo Accords. Israel should annex Judea and Samaria at that point if only to change Israel's internal approach to these incredibly important and valuable Jewish communities on land that belongs to the Jewish people and no one else.

At 6:34 PM, Blogger Freedom Fighter said...

The US failing to use its UNSC veto would not only abrogate the Oslo Accords but the Road Map,which specifically prohibit either side from taking actions that involve a change in status outside direct negotiations between the parties.

Israel can simply say this publicly and let it be known that if it happens, they no longer consider themselves bound by these agreements.

The 'Pals' would be faced with having yet another unenforced UN Resolution, And the Israelis could then do what I've been advocating for over a decade..demarcate their border to suit themselves, tell the 'Pals' they can do whatever they like with the rest and then defend those borders zealously.

As Andrew Jackson once said about a court ruling on western lands he didn't like, "The judge has made his ruling. Now let him enforce it."

At 7:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eliana - if Israel annexes Judea and Samaria it will inherit a huge number of additional Arab citizens.

At 8:07 PM, Blogger Eliana said...

Professor Miao - If Israel annexes Judea and Samaria, it will keep another 4 or 5 million Jordanian, Lebanese, etc., "Palestinians" from trying to move into either Israel inside the green line or Judea/Samaria (possibly armed by Iran).

The "Palestinians" in Judea and Samaria have been exaggerating their numbers (and doing things like including Arabs in Jerusalem that Israel counts as residents) so Israel would only be inheriting a couple of million Arabs in Judea and Samaria.

The terror groups can be expelled since terrorism is illegal in Israel while the remaining Arabs can be allowed to apply for citizenship (knowing they would have to declare loyalty to the Jewish state) or else apply for resident status.

Whatever they do, the security fence would have to be finished and remain in place for generations, at least. The Arabs in Judea and Samaria wouldn't be allowed to travel across the fence at will because of past violence.

Israel would remain Jewish and the number of "Palestinians" would remain what it is now in Judea and Samaria (rather than getting much larger via Arabs from a number of other countries).

Israel could handle it. It would mean no more Oslo Accords and no more fake peace talks. Israel would develop Judea and Samaria as Israel sees fit to do so.


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