Diary

US plans for Palestine are clear as mud

The Palestinian strategy is clear – they are going to get some sort of UN recognition and will keep plugging until they get everything they want.

If the UN bid for Palestinian statehood should fail this month, Palestinian leadership would work first to gain membership to every UN organization and then resubmit their bid to the Security Council, senior Fatah official Nabil Shaath told the Ma’an news agency on Sunday.

The United States has made it clear that they would veto the vote later this month, making it impossible for the resolution to pass. However, the General Assembly could still upgrade the Palestinians’ status from observer status to that of a non-member state. This change would allow them to join a number of UN bodies and conventions.

The Jordanian king and others say to be careful what you ask for, as getting statehood would eliminate right of return. Abbas doesn’t care, so it’s clear the elimination of Israel is still more important than Palestinian statehood.

Abbas however, planned to move forward with his move, nonetheless, the report said.

The Palestinians will continue to demand the right of return for millions of refugees to their original homes inside Israel even after the UN recognizes a Palestinian state along the June 4, 1967, lines, Abbas said on Sunday.

So where is the US? Who knows? After spending 2-1/2 years sympathizing with the Palestinians, assigning the bulk of the blame for all Middle East problems to Israel, and making it clear Natanyahu was persona non grata at the White House, a light bulb seems to have gone off and Obama is asking for a do-over.

But no matter what the supposed “plan” is, the Obama administration looks like the Keystone Kops, except far less organized. He is getting ready to address the UN General Assembly again, and nothing he predicted a year ago has come to pass – quite the opposite in fact.

[L]ast year, speaking to the same UN General Assembly opening session, Obama voiced the hope that US-led diplomatic efforts would help achieve a negotiated agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians that would lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state this fall.

“Each of us must choose the path of peace,” Obama told world diplomats gathered in New York last September. “If we do, when we come back here next year, we can have an agreement that will lead to a new member of the United Nations — an independent, sovereign state of Palestine, living in peace with Israel.”

As that deadline fast approaches, however — Obama is set to address the UN General Assembly on September 20th, the White House said Thursday–the vision seems further away from reality than ever. Israelis and Palestinians have not even been at the negotiating table for eleven months.

Many people regard Hillary Clinton as being somewhat capable regardless of what else they think about her, but even she cannot overcome her boss’s complete screw-up of the situation here.

Where is Europe in all this? While not busy bailing out Greece, they have come to realize that Palestinian statehood – which in general they seem to support – is not a panacea and brings lots of problems.

Watching it all with growing unease are the Europeans, who have generally been relegated to a backseat role by Washington on Mideast peacemaking. But now, some diplomatic observers suggest that the Europeans may offer a way to avert a potential disaster on the issue: by introducing an alternative UN resolution that would recognize both Israel and a Palestinian state, living side by side, in peace, and calling for renewed negotiations.

It would seem they want to use whatever leverage there is to indicate that Palestine would leave Israel alone, but as indicated earlier this is a pipe dream. Abbas’s comments have made it clear that Golda Meir’s famous quote still holds: “Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.”

Meanwhile it’s clear the US officials have been spending too much time around a hookah.

U.S. diplomats declined to discuss the matter, describing any European alternative resolution planning as “vague talk” and “chatter.”

“As we move closer to the middle of September, we are very much aware of the situation and we’re talking with our close allies and partners about it,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner told journalists at the State Department Thursday when asked about the looming Palestinian UN September bid. “Our position couldn’t be clearer publicly or privately.”

So the European plan is “vague”; our plan “couldn’t be clearer”; and apparently Europe isn’t among “our close allies and partners”.

Lovely.

Gee, it’s looking pretty clear how this is all going to turn out.