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If the Arab Spring hasn’t posed enough threats to the Middle East, a new danger looms on the horizon that threatens the safety and existence of Israel: the United Nations is considering a vote on establishing Palestinian statehood by September 2011.
Although the Obama Administration has suggested it would block statehood if it came up for a vote in the Security Council, there is the danger that the issue will be voted on in the U.N. General Assembly, in which Palestinian Arabs have the overwhelming support of the nations of the world and the U.S. does not have a veto. While votes in the General Assembly are only advisory, not binding, success of the Palestinian Arabs there can still be extremely dangerous. While it would be only “a symbolic diplomatic victory,” in practical effect it would mean much more since it would not prevent the international community from demanding that Israel comply with statehood provisions.
Recently, former UN Ambassador John Bolton explained to the Wall Street Journal why Palestinian statehood is dangerous:
“Recognizing ‘statehood’ does not mean U.N. membership, but it would nonetheless be a major Palestinian success. A resolution recognizing a Palestinian ‘state’ could also declare its boundary to be the 1967 borders (in actuality, merely the 1949 armistice lines), with or without President Obama’s caveat about ‘agreed upon swaps’ of land…If President Obama wants to block a General Assembly Palestinian statehood resolution, he should act essentially as President. Bush did — an act which involved a threat that the U.S. would withdraw financial support from the U. N. Yet Mr. Obama is highly unlikely to do anything so decisive, which is why many in America and Israel remain gravely concerned about this latest diplomatic ploy favoring the Palestinian Arabs.”
President Obama does appear to share some of the same understanding as Ambassador Bolton of the dangers of U.N. action on statehood:
“I strongly believe that for Palestinians to take the United Nations route [for establishing Palestinian Arab statehood] rather than the path of sitting down and talking with the Israelis is a mistake. The United Nations can achieve a lot of important work; what it is not going to be able to do is deliver a Palestinian state. The only way to see a Palestinian state is if Palestinians and Israelis agree on a just peace.”
But there are other problems concerning the very idea of establishing a new Arab state on territories now held by Israel. One of these is that peace agreements that have been made by the Palestinian Arabs have never been complied with. According to chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat, Palestinians reject peace negotiations, let alone the demand by Prime Minister Netanyahu that Arabs recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Nor are Arabs willing to relinquish their demands for the “right of return” of millions of Arabs, so-called refugees, to mainline Israel. This action, if carried out, would end the existence of Israel as a Jewish state, changing in borders beyond what Israel held in 1948, including that of Israeli control of Jerusalem. All are major stumbling blocks to agreements and reflect a basic reality: Palestinian Arabs fundamentally refuse lasting solutions for peace with Israel since their ambition has always been to push Jews into the sea.
Ambassador Bolton is correct. President Obama must act swiftly to prevent U.N. action on a Palestinian statehood resolution, lest the forces of chaos between Israel and the Arab Middle East become uncontrollable.
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