The Palestinians' Mistake in Seeking Statehood from the UN

(Washington Post) Aaron David Miller - The notion Palestinians are cooking up, for UN action on Palestinian statehood this fall, won't deliver them a state or even bring them closer to one. The result will be the opposite: forcing the U.S. to oppose Palestinian efforts, energizing Congress to restrict assistance to Palestinian institution-building, and probably prompting Israel to do very real things on the ground. The Palestinian Authority doesn't control Gaza, most of the West Bank or its putative capital in east Jerusalem. An empty resolution in New York will score points where it doesn't count and reflect a lack of capacity where it does - on the ground. No matter how artful and skillful the UN campaign is, the U.S. will almost certainly oppose it. Washington will veto the resolution in the Security Council, and won't concede the principle of declaring statehood outside of negotiations. To say that the Obama administration won't risk spending political capital on an international campaign to isolate Israel in the UN General Assembly the year before a presidential election is probably the understatement of the century. Then there's Israel. Time and again, the Israelis have shown that they will defy rather than submit to international pressure. The writer, a former Middle East negotiator, is at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

2011-04-15 00:00:00

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