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Did you ever ask a question that you sincerely wanted an answer to, but that people thought was rhetorical? Or that people just didn't react to, and you wonder why?

I have asked a question in three different Israel/Palestine diaries because I really wanted to find out what the answer was, and I haven't gotten a straight answer yet. In two cases, people who previously had been arguing volubly became silent; in one, I was attacked with a "You're only asking that because..." statement, but no answer was provided. They went on to other minutiae about the whole Israel/Palestine question.

So I am asking the question all by itself, so there are no side issues to clutter things up. It is a question for those who say that a Palestinian State can only happen through a process of negotiation.

If that is true, and Israel must agree with all particulars of any treaty, why shouldn't Israel assign a junior diplomat to show up to negotiate every day and never, ever agree with anything?  

You out there who believe that the Israelis should have a veto over the whole peace process - tell me, what is the penalty the Israelis should pay for negotiating in bad faith? If there is no deadline, no penalty for failure, then Israel should appoint a Minister In Charge Of Agreeing To Nothing, and let him sit at a table and argue for another twenty years while Israel takes more land, more water, and establishes more "facts on the ground" for settlers who swear they will never leave  no matter what.

So tell me already if I am missing something, and according to your view the Israeli's smartest strategy isn't to stall forever while insisting that "the only valid basis for the establishment of a state is through negotiation."

I am listening.  

Originally posted to PoliticallyNonEuclidean on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 06:46 PM PDT.

Also republished by Adalah — A Just Middle East.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I wish this (0+ / 0-)

    was a just world. But, it is not. The way of the world is simple: "might is right." So goes for the I/P issue.
    Thanks for your post and your voice.

    •  The UN statehood bid is the last gasp for 2 States (8+ / 0-)

      IMHO. If this statehood bid doesn't move things forward I doubt there will even be a Palestinian Authority 2 years from now, and things will have shifted to a drive for Palestinian citizenship rights within Israel IMHO.  

      Gasoline made from the tar sands gives a Toyota Prius the same impact on climate as a Hummer using gasoline made from oil. ~ Al Gore

      by Lefty Coaster on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 08:32:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I can't see that happening... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mslat27

        If the Israelis gave Palestinians citizenship rights, Jews would become a minority in a greater Israel. Keeping them in serf-like conditions as they are now, with no political rights or chance of economic advancement, would suit the hard-liners.

      •  I've always thought both Israel and Palestine are (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Foreign Devil

        doomed to failure, and both for the same reason----there is simply no way for a democratic state to exist when it's basis is one ethnic or religious group out of several.

        Inevitably, it must act undemocratically to avoid losing power to the other groups, by either removing them or by disenfranchising them.

        That is why "the Jewish state" of Israel will fail, and so will "the Islamic state" of Palestine.

        Democratic theocracies are simply an impossibility--and so is a democratic ethnic state in a multi-ethnic region. It can't be done.

        •  Why do you assume Palestine (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dont Call It, Anorish

          would be an Islamic state?

          First defeat, then deceit, then you're totally in denial (old Egyptian proverb)

          by Ptah the Great on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 02:10:16 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I don't (0+ / 0-)

            Although that is of course the goal of Hamas, and Hamas will be the dominant political power in any Palestinian state.

            But even if Palestine is a secular state (like, uh, Israel), the argument still applies. There's no way to have a democratic ethnically-based state in a population that also contains other ethnic groups. The dominant group (whether it's Jews or Palestinians) will inevitably be able to maintain power over the subject group (whether it's Palestinians or Jews) only through nondemocratic methods (whether it's removal or disenfranchisement).

            •  Why do you assume (0+ / 0-)

              Hamas will be the dominant political power?

              And many countries are based on ethnic groups (e.g. most European countries) but are able to accommodate other ethnic groups.  

              Not saying Palestine will succeed, but I'm not convinced it will fail either.

              First defeat, then deceit, then you're totally in denial (old Egyptian proverb)

              by Ptah the Great on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 09:27:15 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  because Hamas is the best organized and (0+ / 0-)

                best financed.  

                Other countries are able to exist as multi-ethnic democracies only if the ethnicities don't matter.

                In places where they DO matter, they fail utterly as democracies (reference: Yugoslavia).

                In both Israel and Palestine, of course, ethnicities matter.

                •  as an aside, I think Palestine has a better chance (0+ / 0-)

                  than Israel.  Israel is by definition a "Jewish state"---it inevitably must use non-democratic methods to prevent non-Jews from gaining any power, either by removing them or by disenfranchising them.

                  Palestine COULD potentially exist as a secular non-ethnic non-religious state where citizens of all religions and ethnicities are welcome as equal citizens (something Israel simply cannot do). But alas I think that will be very difficult, and deep down inside I don't think that's what they really want.

                  So I see both states inevitably failing as democracies, and descending into either apartheid or ethnic cleansing.

                •  Hamas is not the best financed (0+ / 0-)

                  Hamas funding is in the tens of millions whereas the PA funding in the billions both from domestic and international aid sources.

  •  Isn't that basically what they've been doing? (10+ / 0-)

    The current situation is obviously not sustainable, but Israel won't move without a "legitimate negotiating partner", but the preconditions for that are things that the Palestinians can't or won't agree to, so Israel just says, "hey we're waiting for the Palestinians to come to the negotiating table", all the white creating more and more favorable "facts on the ground".

  •  Yeah, I haven't heard a very convincing (10+ / 0-)

    argument as to why the failed negotiation process is the only valid basis--or why a UN bid isn't.

    That's all it takes, really...pressure and time.

    by Flyswatterbanjo on Fri Sep 16, 2011 at 08:39:32 PM PDT

  •  You are missing something (9+ / 0-)

    The vast majority of the Israeli public is interested in both a two state solution and peace with the Palestinians. They correctly recognize there is no future in endless negotiating designed to fail.

    So a Minister In Charge Of Agreeing To Nothing would be counterproductive to their interests, and in fact has never been their tactic. The Israelis have demonstrated repeatedly their willingness to give land for peace.

    But you might ask your same silly questions of the Palestinians. Why the long, long history of saying no to everything? Why the unwillingness to compromise on a negotiated settlement. Why the concerted efforts to avoid the peace table? Why is their focus more to harming the Israelis than to achieving a state?

  •  It only works until the Cylons attack the base? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Justanothernyer, yaque

    OK, sorry, that was flip. Seriously, the status quo is untenable, so even if Israel thought it was a good idea, it would get them nowhere. Soone ror later, violence on the ground could not be ignored, nor could international pressure.

    In a way, the Minister of Disagreement is what they have now, just not so obviously tied up in one man.

    But I'm obviously not the person who is the target of the question... :)

  •  statehood (5+ / 0-)

    "The significance of the (Gaza) disengagement plan is the freezing of the peace process. [...] Prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state, and you prevent a discussion on refugees, the borders and Jerusalem.   Effectively this whole package called the Palestinian state, with all that entails, has been removed indefinitely from our agenda..." "The disengagement is actually formaldehyde." - Israeli PM Ariel Sharon's senior advisor, Dov Weisglass during an interview published in Ha'aretz, 2004.

  •  Why should Israel negotiate seriously? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BWildered, yaque

    Israel has negotiated seriously under Prime Ministers Rabin, Barak and (possibly) Olmert.  Clearly there has in the past been reason for Israel to negotiate seriously.

    Why might Israel desire to negotiate seriously now? Substantially the same reasons.

    The occupation has direct and indirect economic costs.   It also has political costs, straining relations with Turkey, Egypt, Jordan and the EU.  Finally, a significant portion of the Israeli public believes in democracy and human rights and the occupation poses significant moral and ethical problems for that portion of the Israeli public.

  •  Public opinion, trade with Arab world (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yaque

    Israel is, despite what some believe, motivated by world public opinion. Not primarily but significantly.  Why else would they devote significant resources and energy to fighting bad publicity and trying to present evidence to refute charges against them?  It's not their strongest motivation, compared to existential anxiety or security fears or appeasing factions that keep a coalition together but were those significantly reduced, concern about their image would by default become a stronger factor in what they worry about and what drives them.  So if Palestinians were negotiating with them at all and in good faith and Israel had progressively less justification to point to for sabotaging negotiations, it would be damaging to their reputation and image to transparently do so in the way you hypothesize.  And with other motives weakened, it would be a stronger incentive to bargain in good faith.  As a matter of fact, since UN member status won't change anything in reality, this very move itself is simply part of the effort to damage Israel's public image as a form of pressure.  I think the step would be more effective if Israel were doing what you speculate instead of being able to point to the Palestinians not negotiating with them.

  •  What part of delaying (5+ / 0-)

    has been anything less than beneficial, useful, practical, pragmatic and deliberate policy to the "Israeli right"?

    What portion of the moderate Israeli constituency is comfortable with having the "Israeli right" take the heat for policies that augment intransigence and expansion.

    The whole idea of commercial and cultural boycotts and diplomatic isolation is to break up a notion.  The notion that is no serious price to pay for Israeli territorial incrementalism.  

    Non-negotiation, non-agreement, ...stalling.. has turned this rather enthusiastic supporter of Israel for the first THIRTY YEARS of occupation into an exhausted and frustrated antagonist for the last FIFTEEN YEARS.

    Israel has had the world's number one super-power on its side for the duration.  It has had the most sophisticated weapons systems in its region.  It has been the sole nuclear armed state in its region.  It has been the recepient of patient and generous support from organizations as diverse as Zionist supporters around the world to Christians United For Israel  ('s obliteration).

    It is the side that comes to the table with those cards who can afford to compromise.

    I believed for a very long time that Yasser Arafat "walked away" from the best deal the Palestinians would ever be offered.

    Then I saw the map of what Arafat was offered.

    If DeKlerk offered that to Mandela?

    Israel can't apologize for civilian deaths on the high seas in violation of international law.  They have lost Turkey and deserve to have lost Turkey.

    Israel has suddenly warmed up to Greece.  Things just get worse.  

    •  If Israel can get the 1915 Armenian Genocide (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yaque

      … finally recognized as such by the U.S. Congress—as an official suggested Israel might do as an act of retaliation in order to hurt Turkish interests—that might be a small plus in a bad situation overall.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      48forEastAfrica - Donate to Oxfam The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

      by lotlizard on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 02:26:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Huh? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Terra Mystica

        What does that have to do with anything?  From what I recall, Israel and other pro-Israel groups lobbied hard to not have congress address the Armenian Genocide.  That is, until the recent falling out with Turkey.

        The Armenian Genocide is a stain on Turkey.  There is no doubt about that.  That, however, does not take away the absurdity of how the United States defines genocide.

        United States of America

        Reservations:
               "(1) That with reference to article IX of the Convention, be fore any dispute to which the United States is a party may be submitted to the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice under this article, the specific consent of the United States is required in each case.
               (2) That nothing in the Convention requires or authorizes legislation or other action by the United States of America prohibited by the Constitution of the United States as interpreted by the United States."

        Understandings:
               "(1) That the term `intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group as such' appearing in article II means the specific intent to destroy, in whole or in substantial part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group as such by the acts specified in article II.
               (2) That the term `mental harm' in article II (b) means permanent impairment of mental faculties through drugs, torture or similar techniques.
               (3) That the pledge to grant extradition in accordance with a state's laws and treaties in force found in article VII extends only to acts which are criminal under the laws of both the requesting and the requested state and nothing in article VI affects the right of any state to bring to trial before its own tribunals any of its nationals for acts committed outside a state.
               (4) That acts in the course of armed conflicts committed without the specific intent required by article II are not sufficient to constitute genocide as defined by this Convention.
               (5) That with regard to the reference to an international penal tribunal in article VI of the Convention, the United States declares that it reserves the right to effect its participation in any such tribunal only by a treaty entered into specifically for that purpose with the advice and consent of the Senate."

        The most objections to another nations implementation by others signatories is towards the USA for a reason.  Since the USA has effectively declared itself immune to the treaty.  It has also declared that the declaration of genocide by the USA is an internal political matter regardless of the convention's international roll in genocide prevention or criminal prosecution.  Making the convention little more then a cruel and sick joke when it comes to US application.

        If the USA votes to say that the Armenian Genocide was real (It was!) then it will finally be a step forward.  The truth is, however ugly, that USA foreign policy doesn't give a damn about genocide.  USA foreign policy only gives a damn about it's "interests".

        A democratic come back

        by Dont Call It on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 04:59:15 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Now if we could get (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Dont Call It

        the U.S. to recognize the genocide of native Americans.

        First defeat, then deceit, then you're totally in denial (old Egyptian proverb)

        by Ptah the Great on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 11:37:06 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  not gonna happen until (0+ / 0-)

          they're driven from Hawaii.

          Another 50 years, when it doesn't matter anymore.  You know, same as when Israel will recognize its crimes.

          Global warming is the inconvenient truth, nuclear power is the inconvenient alternative.

          by eigenlambda on Sun Sep 18, 2011 at 10:06:52 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  The answer is really quite simple (3+ / 0-)

    and it has never stopped the discussion. It has been given time and time again.

    The cost to Israel in not negotiating in good faith is ongoing small scale war, huge defense costs, and lack of peace.

    The key to understanding it is to recognize that Israel is a parliamentary democracy with a majority that want peace. They want it it, though, with the following requirements. First, they will not give up their holy sites.* Second, they will not make a peace that they perceive as a significant step toward war, one that makes their enemy stronger and more of a threat. As long as Hamas remains a viable potential government for the Palestinians, as long as the PA says one thing in English to us and another to their people in Arabic, as long as the goal of much of the Arab world remains the eradication of Israel, as long as Israel is used as the scapegoat for Arab governments to justify what it does to its own people, as long as Israel looks around and has good faith reasons to believe it is threatened, any peace with the Palestinians is seen as a risky gamble, a step one in a two-step process of annihilation. It may sound paranoid, but that's what 1948, 1967, 1973, and all the rhetoric lead to. You see, it's not paranoia when somebody really is trying to kill you, and jut like any other government, it is Israel's duty to not play dice with the lives of its people.

    If, on the other hand, there were to be a breakthrough that guaranteed both control of holy sites and security for the people of Israel, and the Israeli government still acted in bad faith, a no confidence vote would follow and there would be a new government in Israel.

    See, it didn't stop the conversation at all.

    Are you still listening?

    *The Palestinians play a blatantly fraudulent game here, one that bars any possibility of peace. They say, on the one hand, that any peace will mean giving Jews access to all their holy sites, but on the other hand, that there just don't happen to be any holy sites in East Jerusalem, that the Temple was never there, etc. In other words, peace under those conditions means a return to 1948-1967, with Jewish holy sites barred to them and desecrated.

    Done with politics for the night? Have a nice glass of wine with Palate Press: The online wine magazine.

    by dhonig on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 03:38:00 AM PDT

    •  That isn't true at all. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Terra Mystica, Lib Dem FoP

      The Palestinian Papers show that what you are saying isn't true in regards to Palestinian negotiations.  It is also extremely deceptive of you to blame the Palestinians for the actions of the Jordanian kingdom's military.  

      If you want to talk about whom is barred and desecrated NOW we can talk about how young individuals are barred by the IDF from going to prayers at the Dome of the rock.  We could talk about how settlers burn down mosques in occupied west bank as well.

      If you want to talk about what the Jordanian military did 60 odd years ago after occupying the west bank.  We should then also talk about how Israel bulldozed the Moroccan Quarter in it's war of aggression in 67.  

      You don't mention those things though.  

      The way you frame it is that Palestinians are not Palestinians.  They are Israel's "enemies".  That is the mentality in which no peace can ever be achieved.  Since you (and the most right wing Israeli government in recent history) can't see Palestinians as human beings with the same rights as any Israeli has.  Deserving of self determination.  Since they are the "enemy".

      A democratic come back

      by Dont Call It on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 05:13:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Absurd (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        hkorens

        Sorry, but that's simply absurd.

        The PA's position on the Temple Mount is quite clear, and it is one that Israel cannot, and will not, ever accept. The PA's position is that there is no Temple Mount. That would have the same effect as Jordan's actions from '48 to '67. In other words, I am not blaming the Palestinians for Jordan's actions. I am comparing them and saying the result would be the same.

        As for who are Israel's "enemies," it would be disingenuous to describe Hamas as anything but Israel's enemy, given the plain statements in its charter. It would also be disingenuous to refuse to recognize the possibility that Hamas could lead a government in a future Palestine. A nation, any nation, can act with the best intentions, but it must do so without ignoring the worst plausible scenario. That is the responsibility every country has to its people.

        Describing the 1967 war as Israel's "war of aggression" is comical. It was only Israel's "war of aggression" if you operate under the assumption that Egypt's acts of war don't count, that Syria's acts of war don't count, and that only Israel is without the ability to defend itself. Yes, in June of 1967 Israeli planes surprised the Arab League. But that followed not just an announcement by Nassar that he was going to destroy Israel, but also by a specific act of war, the announcement of the mining of the Straits of Tiran. That followed a mutual defense pact between Egypt and Syria, Jordan allowing Iraq to amass troops and armor in Jordan on the border of Israel, Egyptian troops joining them, and Egypt throwing out the UNESCO peace keeping troops between them and Israel. Egypt also put 100,000 troops and t 2,000 tanks and artillery pieces in Syria. Three days before Israel's surprise attack, Jordan called up all its reserves, telling them they would be in Tel Aviv in three days.

        In other words, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and Iraq were planning to attack and destroy Israel. Israel, instead of waiting for that to happen, after Egypt had already committed a clear act of war, destroyed the air forces essential to its destruction or survival. Only somebody who believes that Israel, of all nations in the world, has no right to defend itself or its people would call 1967 a war of aggression.

        Done with politics for the night? Have a nice glass of wine with Palate Press: The online wine magazine.

        by dhonig on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 06:50:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  LOL (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Dont Call It, Terra Mystica

          Your grasp of the facts (lack of) is showing again.

          That followed a mutual defense pact between Egypt and Syria, Jordan allowing Iraq to amass troops and armor in Jordan on the border of Israel, Egyptian troops joining them, and Egypt throwing out the UNESCO peace keeping troops between them and Israel

          UNESCOis the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

          So which countries put forward troops to this UNESCO mission?  Were they armed with bunsen burners and copies of Shakespeare?

          Fight poverty, oppression, hunger, ignorance, disease and aggression wherever they occur.

          by Lib Dem FoP on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 08:03:40 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Why are we fighting 1967 all over again (0+ / 0-)

          when all the scholarly work has shown that Israel, in fact, started that war?

          Roland Popp in his paper "Stumbling decidedly into the Six-Day War" in the Middle East Journal v60 n2 Spring 2006 shows that the unlike Benny Morris' view of a 'error and miscalculation' and Avi Shlaim's view of Israel fighting a 'defensive war' that all parties stumbled into inadvertently or that there was a Soviet or Egyptian master plan, Popp shows that Egypt and Syria did not want the war and were not prepared for it. Using recently declassified documents (some from the United States as well as the Soviet Union and Eastern European countries) as well as IDF and Israeli historians, Popp shows that

          while misperception and miscalculation were certainly factors during the crisis, the initiation of hostilities by Israel itself was certainly not an example of Israel losing control of the political process but a clear-cut rational decision in a situation where the balance of forces made military defeat virtually impossible.

          And the force that you are referring to is UNEF not UNESCO. United Nations Emergency Force was created by the UN in 1956 to secure the ending of the Suez Crisis.

      •  Also, as for the personal attack, the claim (0+ / 0-)

        I can't see Palestinians as human beings, it is entirely uncalled for, baseless, and frankly a complete load of bullshit.

        Done with politics for the night? Have a nice glass of wine with Palate Press: The online wine magazine.

        by dhonig on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 06:51:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, still listening. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Terra Mystica

      I will have to look into the holy sites question and whether the PA as a group, rather than its craziest members, who take the policy you describe. I have not heard about this before. I try to not judge any society or group by the statements of its most radical members.

      As for Hamas being a viable potential government, I firmly believe that the intransigence of the Israeli right is the biggest recruiting tool for Hamas. Give them a chance to have progress peacefully, and the appeal of the radicals will wither. This is especially true of economics; the Israeli stranglehold on Gaza and the West Bank has to be the most counterproductive policy possible. Are Palestinians whose olive trees are destroyed by settlers with the assistance of the IDF supposed to happily trust their security to the same force? Palestinian fishermen are killed by the Israeli navy if they sail into the Med to fish - not have their boats checked to see if they have something other than fish, there is a shoot on sight policy. As long as Palestinians have no way of making a living legally and peacefully, they will do so illegally and violently.    

      I am neither Arab or Jewish and used to be a partisan for Israel, but have been revolted by Israeli policies - keeping Palestinian ambulances waiting for hours to go through checkpoints was particularly disgusting. If Israel is ever to have peace, Palestinians must have economic potential, and building walls between people and their fields and keeping their produce rotting where it can not be sold is incredibly cruel. Destroying people's homes and then denying them building materials under the pretext that it could be used to build fortifications? Bombing the electric plant in Gaza? What kind of breakthrough could happen in such circumstances? If Israel wants to not feel threatened, then give the Palestinians something else to do than sulk in ruins. People who have no hope will join Hamas - people with a stake in an economy and society will support moderates. In the same way, Hamas is probably the best recruiting tool for the Israeli Right wing.  

    •  You missed 1956 (0+ / 0-)

      First defeat, then deceit, then you're totally in denial (old Egyptian proverb)

      by Ptah the Great on Sat Sep 17, 2011 at 11:39:15 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Brave post... (3+ / 0-)

    Negotiations, per se, do not lead to justice, and without justice there will be no peace.  No justice, no peace, that is a prerequisite.  I'm not claiming that justice is all that is required for peace, after all, there are terribly bruised feelings all around, and a lot of history to get beyond, but I do believe that justice must form the foundation from which a lasting peace could be built.  Without it...well, that is where we are today, no?

    The Palestinians have learned that negotiations with Israel do not come within a light year of justice.  Who, in their right mind would return to a poker game (negotiations) where one player (Israel) can steal chips (settlements) from the kitty (the land to partition) with impunity and where the dealer (U.S.) hands the other player cards (U.N. vetoes, military aid, financial aid, citizens) under the table.  

    So, what actions take us in the direction of justice?  I would argue that the Palestinian moves in the UN do exactly that.  By improving their "legal" status as a state, they can at least begin to firm up the 1967 borders as a basis for territorial integrity and begin to use the court system to extract some modicum of justice.  I think that course of action makes perfect sense from a Palestinian perspective.  What else do they have but the poker game from hell?

    •  Trying the new dealer (0+ / 0-)

      ...who called for an agreement based on the 67 borders with mutual land swaps.  I don't think they'll reach any deal with this Israeli government (both need to change), but negotiate anyway for posturing.  After all, the UN move is itself posturing since it won't change anything practically speaking and negotiations remain the path forward.

      •  As I understand it... (0+ / 0-)

        If they achieve "nonmember state" status in the U.N., which is not vetoable by the U.S., that would give them legal status in the world court and they could pursue legal remedies regarding territory seized by the Israelis on the Palestinian side of the 1967 borders.

        Since the U.S. veto of the condemnation of the settlements last February, the U.S. support for the 1967 borders as a basis of negotiations has become very suspect.  Without a clear legal claim to the territories, Israel has the upper hand.

        I think there is more here than posturing.  I think the Palestinians are trying to firm up a broader consensus that the 1967 borders represent a legal basis from which negotiations can proceed.

      •  The Taiwan example... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        capelza

        It can change things to some degree - the vote of a great majority of UN members will strengthen the Palestinian state even in the absence of full recognition. Those states that are finally put on the record as supporting statehood are likely to open embassies, recognize Palestinian-issued passports, and negotiate trade deals. Such contacts will give the Palestinians a chance to develop a more experienced foreign service and state bureaucracy.
        And full recognition isn't everything. Taiwan is another state not recognized by the UN that has generally recognized rights of freedom of navigation, and that everyone deals with as a real state. So is Somaliland, which has effective control over their own territory and sea lanes in a way that Somalia does not.

  •  This is exactly what both sides in I/P conflict (0+ / 0-)

    have been doing most of the time since mid-90s.

  •  Excellent point by the diarist. (2+ / 0-)

    Subverting the negotiation process with pure bad faith has of course been the MO of the current occupant of Israel's Prime Minister office, both in his first 1996-1999 term and now.

    Memory refresher: the 2001 video that resurfaced last year, in which Bibi (then out office) details his strategy to settlers.

    A similar strategy with even more dramatic talent was implemented in 1999-2001 by Ehud Barak - the man who physically buried the Oslo accords while blaming the Palestinians. Now Bibi's defense minister, he has lost all credibility after dismantling and deserting his Labor party to save his governmet seat.

    A Palestinian negotiator once likened this strategy to "negotiating with someone over how to divide a pizza, while you eat the pizza in front of their eyes."

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