At last we have an explanation for what has been going on with Israel-Palestinian talks. It is credible yet ridiculous. And it is very important.
Here is today’s New York Times.
“In recent weeks, Mr. Kerry and his aides have outlined several basic arguments for why his efforts might bear fruit. Perhaps the most important one, which Mr. Kerry advanced almost the moment he was picked for the State Department post, is that the United States does not have the luxury of staying on the sidelines.
“With the Palestinians poised to take their claim for statehood to the International by Text-Enhance” href=”http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/30/world/middleeast/kerry-appoints-veteran-diplomat-to-manage-mideast-talks.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0″ target=”_blank”>Criminal Court and United Nations bodies, American officials say the two sides were facing a downward spiral in which the Israelis would respond by cutting off financing to the Palestinian territories and European nations might curtail their investment in Israel, further isolating the Israelis.”
Now, what is this saying?
–The Palestinian Authority (PA) intends to violate all the pledges used over the last 20 years of negotiations and in obtaining the West Bank and, previously, Gaza Strip. (Not a good precedent for the likelihood of their keeping future commitments.)
–The PA will seek statehood not through negotiations with Israel but unilaterally. No Israel agreement will be necessary.
–Note a key assumption here: The United States either will not oppose, or effectively oppose, this effort. Let’s pause here. You mean the United States cannot lead or pressure such countries as Britain, France, Germany, or Italy in saying “”no.” The New York Times doesn’t point out what a failure of Obama Administration influence that would be. Let’s also note the incompetence and failure of that government to stop leading allies at the UN General Assembly to vote for non-member statehood (a non-binding vote) last year despite a one-year warning the PA would try this.
–To summarize, the United States proposes surrender to a development breaking its more than 20-year-long policy that no comprehensive solution would be achieved without real mutual agreement.
–After the “”success” of the unilateral independence for Palestine–remember, with no control of the PA over Gaza–Israel will take action, understandably since it has been sold out by its allies.
–European states, again with no effective action by America, will punish Israel and Israel will be worse off.
Where to begin in analyzing this remarkable foundation for policy?
First, as I pointed out, it presumes incompetence and betrayal by the Obama Administration. It presumes that any battle to block either unilateral independence or punishment of Israel for opposing it would be doomed. This includes a refusal for the United State or European states to punish the PA even while they are believed they will eagerly punish Israel.
Incidentally, this explains Kerry’s seeming slip about Palestine already being an independent country! Will the Obama Administration recognize a state of Palestine not achieved through negotiation with Israel?
Second, it presumes that after everything it has done for 20-40 years has proven to be based on false promises, Israel should base itself on more of such promises.