Well, partially anyway.

A short, opinion diary...

Recently the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) circulated the fundraising letter below:

Dear Xxxxx:

Next month, the Palestinian Authority plans to ask the United Nations to recognize a Palestinian state within the pre-1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital.

The United States has strongly objected to this approach, with Congress overwhelmingly passing resolutions threatening cuts in aid if the Palestinians continue to shun peace talks and go forward in their harmful efforts at the United Nations.

However, the Palestinians have not yet abandoned this path and more action is now needed to persuade them to change course and return to the negotiating table.

If America fails in this effort, the consequences could be immense: Israelis could be dragged into foreign courts and charged with human rights violations...nations could implement sweeping economic sanctions...the Jewish presence in east Jerusalem could come under severe international challenge.

That is why I am writing to ask for your help by joining the work of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee today.

In the coming weeks AIPAC and its members will be working with our leader in Washington to:

• Ensure the United States makes clear to the Palestinians that it will veto any such resolution at the U.N. Security Council.

• Urge our government to press the PA to return to the negotiating table with Israel.

• Urge the United States to press foreign leaders to oppose Palestinian intransigence and support direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

By joining AIPAC today with a gift of $50, $75, $100 or more you will help AIPAC work with Congress and the administration to address these vital issues in the weeks leading up to the September meeting of the U.N. General Assembly.

For nearly 60 years, AIPAC has worked to make Israel more secure by ensuring American support remains strong.

As an AIPAC member, you help us work year-round with both Democratic and Republican political leaders to enact public policy that strengthens the vital U.S.-Israel relationship.

Thank you for your support. Please watch for additional updates on the Palestinian U.N. bid in the coming weeks.

Onward Together,

Lee Rosenberg
AIPAC President

The part I agree with is in bold.  

Me, in comments:

I'm curious what happens when Brazil or China (3+ / 0-)

set up an embassy in Ramallah and a consular office in Gaza and start sending in diplomats.  Is Israel going to restrict their movement?  If so will there be escalating reciprocal diplomatic repercussions?

Can (has) an Occupying state restrict(ed) the diplomatic access of diplomats of countries with which it has good relations, within the Occupied state, without consequences?

Symbolic or not in the UN, this effort and vote will likely lead to real bilateral recognition from most of the countries in the world, including China, maybe half of Europe, and all of South America.  With the unprecedented rights (and responsibilities) that Palestinian statehood imparts (and demands) this is likely to substantially reorder the negotiating and power dynamics of the conflict, imho.  It'll be chaos for a while, but this may well be the end of Act I of the Occupation.

Hopefully the next two acts will be a bit shorter.

Sumud muqawim. Unadikum. Salaam.

by Terra Mystica on Fri Aug 26, 2011 at 07:30:14 PM CDT


As most people reading this know by now, next month the Palestinians are likely (it's not certain, again per the AIPAC letter and the resulting immense pressure Palestinians are under to NOT do this) to submit an application for admittance into the UN as a state.  They will start this process in the UN Security Council, where Lebanon currently holds the Presidency (h/t weasel), but where the US will almost certainly veto the application (per the AIPAC letter).  There will likely then be a UN General Assembly (UNGA) vote in which the general consensus is that 120± countries will vote FOR Palestinian inclusion as a state.

There's some debate about whether a UNGA vote in favor of Palestinian statehood/inclusion in the UN is symbolic or whether it could be used to initiate a process to override the US veto.  I think it's probably both.  But the main effect will be that 120± countries will have gone on public record, en masse, acknowledging that recognition of Palestinian statehood is an idea that's time has come.*  

If such an outpouring of acceptance happens in the UNGA, it means that broad bilateral recognition of the State of Palestine is imminent.  As AIPAC points out, this will open up new, focused, and more deterministic bilateral avenues for pressing long-standing and legitimate Palestinian grievances and/or claims through the court systems of countries that officially recognize Palestine as the 194th country.  

I agree.  Good!  Finally...

Broadly-recognized Palestinian statehood, if achieved, will be a pivot point in this conflict, one way or the other.••


* Palestinians declared a state in 1988 and there was maybe only one country, the USSR, that recognized it.

** The other being Israeli threats to unilaterally annex major tracts of the WB in response, including the Jordan Valley, thereby implementing a One State solution w/ reservations for the natives.  

Update:  As soysauce pointed out in comments, Palestinian statehood is also uncertain because there is considerable ambivalence within the Palestinian community about its flaws and/or merits.  See Friendlystranger's diary for a video of Palestinian street opinion on statehood.  If this diary sounded like I was assuming this is a welcome development by all Palestinians, I was, and stand corrected.

Originally posted to Terra Mystica on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 03:52 AM PDT.

Also republished by Adalah — A Just Middle East.

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