A Reckless Palestinian Bid for Unilateral Statehood at the UN

(Commentator-UK) Robin Shepherd - The Palestinian leadership will ask the UN Security Council for recognition of a Palestinian state on the basis of 1967 borders which are entirely indefensible for the State of Israel. This is a blatant attempt to avoid direct negotiations with Israel so as to obviate the need for the kind of concessions that meaningful negotiations always entail. The symbolic recognition is a gift to Bashar al-Assad in Syria who has already tried to use the Palestinian cause as a diversion from the appalling repression he is visiting on his own people. It is a gift to Hizbullah who, having rearmed following the 2006 Lebanon conflict, can be activated by their masters in Tehran at any moment. It is a gift to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt ahead of the country's elections. In short, it is a gift to anyone looking for a rallying cry against Israel. Britain supports a Palestinian state. So does the U.S. So does the EU. In fact, so does Israel. But there is one party that most emphatically does not support a Palestinian state, if that means long-term acceptance of the State of Israel: the Palestinians themselves. Opinion polls have consistently shown that the Palestinians only support the idea of a Palestinian state sitting side-by-side with Israel as a stepping stone to a future one-state solution in which they rule over the Jews. In other words, the Israelis have always been in the near impossible situation of being asked to negotiate with people who plainly don't want any long-term peace involving the acceptance of Israel as a legitimate state with a secure future, whatever their leaders say about recognizing Israel to gullible Western media. The writer is Director of International Affairs at the Henry Jackson Society.

2011-09-21 00:00:00

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