Obama and the Coming Palestinian State

(Wall Street Journal) John Bolton - Direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, for 21 months the centerpiece of Obama administration Middle East policy, are moving inevitably toward collapse. Several ideas are circulating to skip bothersome negotiations with Israel and move immediately to Palestinian "statehood." In one, the PA would persuade the U.S. to recognize a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza, within the pre-1967 cease-fire lines (often characterized, wrongly, as "borders"). The other would have the UN Security Council call upon UN members to recognize "Palestine" within those lines. Israel would then confront a dramatic change in its international posture. Customary international law's definition of "statehood" requires that a putative state have clear boundaries. This is why the potential Security Council resolution would refer to Palestine as a state within the "1967 borders." A Security Council resolution fixing the 1967 lines as borders would call into question even Israel's legitimacy, dramatically undercutting prospects for security and defensibility. By defining "Palestine" to include territory Israel considers its own, such a resolution would delegitimize both Israel's authority and settlements beyond the 1967 lines, and its goal of an undivided Jerusalem as its capital.

2010-10-21 09:14:07

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