Palestinians Make Risky Gambit for Statehood

(Los Angeles Times) Edmund Sanders - Palestinian leaders are embarking on a risky statehood strategy that will include UN resolutions, boycotts against Israeli products, complaints in international courts, and attempts to win formal recognition from as many countries as possible, Palestinian officials say. Israelis dismiss the campaign as a ploy to bypass the negotiating table. The next step will come later this month when Palestinians hope to extract a public commitment from the Middle East Quartet that any peace deal be based on the pre-1967 armistice lines. Israel rejects the 1967 lines as a basis for talks. To overcome a possible U.S. veto at the Security Council, Palestinians say they plan to take their case to the UN General Assembly, where they believe they would have a majority of the votes. They plan to invoke UN Resolution 377, which allows the General Assembly to approve binding, albeit harder to enforce, resolutions in the event of deadlock at the Security Council. However, a senior Obama administration official called the Palestinian approach "a strategic mistake. It's not going to be a successful strategy. Lining up countries to recognize a Palestinian state is not a substitute for successful negotiation with the Israelis." U.S. officials have come out against taking the conflict to the UN. Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg told lawmakers in February that the U.S. was working to block the Palestinian campaign to win recognition from other countries, calling such moves "counterproductive."

2011-03-08 00:00:00

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