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Ed Webb

A simple guide to Palestine's application for membership of the United Nations | Carne ... - 1 views

  • an overall feeling I have that the legal and political consequences of this initiative are in general being overstated.  Susan Rice has a point when saying that the consequences of the initiative on the ground are nil (though, in my view, that does not mean that the initiative is not worthwhile).  That said, already and at a minimum, the PLO has succeeded in putting the issue of Palestine at the top of the international agenda for UNGA Ministerial week.  This is no small achievement in a year that of such extraordinary events.
  • Despite the President's undertakings last year in his GA speech to support a 2-state solution based on exactly the parameters that everyone else agrees (with the exception of Israel), the US will be isolated at the UN in blocking the Palestinian initiative.  This will undoubtedly damage the US image in the Middle East in particular.  The desperate efforts by the US to stave off this diplomatic mess by getting Israel and the PLO to agree to talk again look unlikely to succeed in time.  If they do succeed, the initiative may, in a sense, have helped US efforts by forcing the issue to a head, and pressurizing Israel to the table (though the US would be loth to admit it).  But if they fail, as they appear likely to do, the fundamental weakness, if not to say bankruptcy, of US mediation efforts will be exposed in a very embarrassing fashion.  US arguments that the Palestinian initiative will damage the peace process are now treated with considerable and justifiable scepticism, as there is no substantive peace process to speak of, just lots of people (Quartet, Tony Blair etc) talking about a peace process.
  • note that it is the PLO that is leading this initiative, reflecting their traditional role as the international representative of the Palestinian people
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