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Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Editorial: Palestinian Stunts Undermine Peace Efforts

A recent editorial in the Near East Report looks at what the Palestinian Authority has been doing to progress potential peace talks.
Over the past few months, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has been waging a campaign that has nothing to do with peacemaking. Instead, the PA is trying to isolate the Jewish state in the international arena. This campaign consists of a number of stunts that make a peace agreement less likely. 

First, the PA has persisted in its refusal to engage in direct negotiations with Israel. If the PA wanted to make peace with Israel, it would talk to Israel, at a minimum. Despite PA President Mahmoud Abbas' refusal to sit down for face-to-face talks, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has taken far-reaching steps to demonstrate his commitment to negotiations. In the past two years, he has announced his support for a Palestinian state alongside Israel multiple times and reduced barriers to movement in the West Bank. Netanyahu also implemented a 10-month freeze on housing construction in the West Bank, which Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lauded as "unprecedented."
It's not just that Abbas refuses to talk. He has led an international campaign to bypass negotiations by winning support for U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state. These efforts focus on seeking a U.N. Security Council vote in September recommending that the U.N. General Assembly recognize Palestinian statehood and admit the Palestinian state as a full U.N. member state. In case the United States vetoes the motion at the Security Council, Abbas plans to seek General Assembly recognition of Palestinian statehood without full U.N. membership. (Under the U.N. charter, admission to full U.N. membership requires a Security Council recommendation prior to General Assembly approval.)
 Read more at Near East Report

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