Palestinians to ask UN for state by 2016; hmmm....
Why, pray tell, would the Palestinians postpone UN-declared state member status until Nov. 2016?
The United Nations General Assembly fall session runs into December, so what is magic about November? Could it be that November 8, 2016 is the date of the next US presidential election? And thus that after that day President Obama has a window of 73 days--until noon on Jan. 20, 2017--to unilaterally extend US diplomatic recognition of a Palestinian state?
Congress could not realistically stop the president from doing so, as no pressure of consequence could be exerted upon him as he prepares to leave office. Voters will not know of this before casting ballots in the fall 2016 election.
Such a state likely would encompass all the West Bank, all Gaza & all parts of Jerusalem held by the Arabs on the eve of the 1967 Six Day War. We can predict this because in 2011 Obama came out in favor of a Palestinian negotiation based upon the 1967 "borders"--the inaccurate term to describe the 1949 armistice lines; borders were not then formally recognized because in 1949 no Arab state would recognize the state of Israel. Obama floated this change in US policy while Israeli prime minister Netanyahu was literally floating over the Atlantic, en route to Washington. Put simply, he sandbagged Bibi.
Prior to Obama's shift, US policy, for 44 years, had been based upon UN Security Council Resolution 242, adopted November 22, 1967:
The Security Council,
Expressing its continuing concern with the grave situation in the Middle East,
Emphasizing the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war and the need to work for a just and lasting peace in which every State in the area can live in security,
Emphasizing further that all Member States in their acceptance of the Charter of the United Nations have undertaken a commitment to act in accordance with Article 2 of the Charter,
1. Affirms that the fulfilment of Charter principles requires the establishment of a just and lasting peace in the Middle East which should include the application of both the following principles:
(i) Withdrawal of Israel armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict;
(ii) Termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force;
2. Affirms further the necessity
(a) For guaranteeing freedom of navigation through international waterways in the area;
(b) For achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem;
(c) For guaranteeing the territorial inviolability and political independence of every State in the area, through measures including the establishment of demilitarized zones;
3. Requests the Secretary-General to designate a Special Representative to proceed to the Middle East to establish and maintain contacts with the States concerned in order to promote agreement and assist efforts to achieve a peaceful and accepted settlement in accordance with the provisions and principles in this resolution;
4. Requests the Secretary-General to report to the Security Council on the progress of the efforts of the Special Representative as soon as possible.
The operative words that matter are in section 1, clauses ii & iii. In cl. ii, "from territories" means that Israel would withdraw, but not from all territories. In cl. iii the key phrase is "secure and recognized boundaries." "Recognized" means that Israel would be formally recognized as a state. "Secure" means that the final borders would include territory retained by Israel, acquired during the 1967 war. Obama's position is to formalize Israel's border at the Green Line, so named because green ink was used to delineate the armistice lines. These lines the late-1960s Israeli foreign minister Abba Eban tartly termed "Auschwitz borders." Hence the need to award Israel added territory. Introducing Resolution 242, British foreign minister Lord Caradon made clear that the withdrawal contemplated was to be balanced with security:
As to the first operative paragraph, and with due respect for fulfillment of Charter principles, we consider it essential that there should be applied the principles of both withdrawal and security, and we have no doubt that the words set out throughout that paragraph are perfectly clear.
Again, had full withdrawal been contemplated it would have been a simple proposition to state that Israel was to withdraw fully from all territory it gained in the fighting. Arabs have insisted over the decades that withdrawal was to be from all lands seized. But the word "all" is not in the resolution and the word "secure" would be superfluous if Israel were to withdraw to the old boundaries. Legal interpretation aside, both US diplomats who negotiated the resolution language, Eugene Rostow & Joseph Sisco, made clear publicly that the choice of words was deliberate.
Team Obama's condemnation of Jews purchasing houses from Arabs in Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem shows his poisonous attitude. Responding on CBS, Israeli PM Netanyhu called it "not the American way" (3:26). Bibi noted that Arabs legally buy homes in Jewish West Jerusalem, and that vice-versa is equally legal. To hold otherwise amounts to, he said, an "anti-peace" stance & "enforced segregation."
Bottom Line. President Obama is likely to reward Palestinian intransigence with the diplomatic recognition they crave; unless reversed by Obama's presidential successor, the result will inflict catastrophic harm on US-Israeli relations.
Letter from the Capitol, LFTC, Foreign Policy, National Security, Conservative Politics