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Thursday, September 01, 2011

State Department presses Israel not to abrogate Oslo post-UDI

I guess this was to be expected. The State Department is pressing Israel not to abrogate the Oslo Accords in the aftermath of a 'Palestinian' unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) at the United Nations next month.
"Yesterday the Israeli ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren, said in an interview that all bilateral agreements between Israel and the Palestinian Authority could become null and void if they establish something called the government of Palestine," The Cable asked State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland at today's briefing. "And he suggested that U.S. agreements, bilateral agreements with the Palestinian Authority, could also become null and void, because they are not made with something called the government of Palestine. Was he accurate?"

"I think the interview was with you, if I'm not wrong there, Mr. Rogin," Nuland quipped, calling out your humble Cable guy for seeking to advance his own story.

Actually, Oren never used the words "null and void," but did say that, "We have a lot of agreements with the Palestinian Authority, we have no agreements with a ‘Government of Palestine," and that Israeli-PA and U.S.-PA agreements could be at risk if the Palestinian leadership moves forward with a U.N. statehood vote.

Nuland's response was, "We take seriously the prior commitments by all sides and we expect the parties to do the same. We will continue to urge both the Palestinians and the Israelis to honor their commitments fully."

Other press corps members tried to press Nuland on how the United States would manage its dealings with the PA if it is recognized as the government of a Palestinian state, but she wouldn't bite.

"We believe that prior commitments need to be respected by both sides and we're making that point," she said. "I'm not going to get into all kinds of hypotheticals and all kinds of crazy scenarios."

Some reporters at the briefing argued that since the PA seems determined to move forward at the United Nations, it's not such a "crazy scenario," but Nuland, eager not to get out ahead of the U.S. diplomacy on the issue, wouldn't budge.

"I'm not prepared to speak about contingency planning one way or the other," she said. "I am simply giving the view of the U.S. administration, which is that we take seriously the prior commitments made by all sides, and we expect them to continue to be met by and honored by all sides."
Why do they think we will honor agreements that the other side has breached? What could go wrong?

I'm hoping Netanyahu will respond to this. After all, if the Turks can threaten us, why can't we threaten the 'Palestinians'?

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At 8:47 PM, Blogger Hutzpan said...

What a nice name for the situation! "Nuland".

"Nuland void". Heh.

At 9:46 PM, Blogger Lori Lowenthal Marcus said...

well, maybe this is too optimistic, but so long as Nuland didn't say "even if the PA goes through with the UDI gambit Israel must still fulfill its pre-existing obligations...." the US isn't actually saying a breached contract is still enforceable against Israel. It hasn't said it yet, at least.

At 10:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What prior commitments have the Palestinians abided by?

At 12:21 AM, Blogger Sunlight said...

Prof Miao - That's the point. None of the new stuff requires anything from the Palestinians re not bombing and rocketing Israeli civilians. So if you vacate Oslo, there will be NOTHING in writing requiring the cessation of attacks on Israel. All the rest of the stuff will be pressured on Israel as usual. If I were Israel, I would NOT abrogate the only written document that requires a stop to attacks as the first step. The Palestinians need to be in breach of SOMETHING if they don't stop the attacks (which I don't think they will any time soon).

At 1:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Abrogation, could of course be followed by annexation. Attacks, or, for that, the continuing existence within Yesha of the PA or PLO organs, would then be in breach of the occupying authority.

Not that we are holding our breath.

At 2:38 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Israel should let Obama and Clinton know that if the PA goes forward to abrogate its agreements with Israel, Israel will respond in kind. They've got to be kidding in Washington Israel will continue to preserve an agreement the Palestinians have unilaterally chosen to discard in an attempt to dictate the facts on the ground.

And if the rest of the world backs this abrogation of existing agreements, its an object lesson to Israel on the value of Arab and Western witness promises. They mean nothing.

Netanyahu should tell Washington bluntly both sides must honor previous commitments and when one side chooses to break them, Israel will no longer be bound by them.

Its that simple.


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