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Dual Debacles in the Middle East?

In case you thought the Middle East couldn’t become more contentious and unstable than it already is, there is this report:

The United Nations backs Palestinian efforts to be ready for statehood by August and believes they will achieve that goal, the organization’s Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert H. Serry said Monday.

“All international players are now in agreement that the Palestinians are ready for statehood at any point in the near future. We are in the homestretch of your agenda to reach that point by August next year, and you have our full support,” said Serry.

He added, “Palestinian statehood is not only a right, and in everyone’s interest: it is also doable.”

As I noted before, the legality of such a maneuver by the General Assembly is somewhat in doubt, but the impact on Israel and its foes would be serious. An Israel hand explains that the Palestinians may seek to be recognized “without a mention of exact borders in the resolution,” or they might opt for a straightforward anti-settlement resolution. The Israel guru notes, “So far, the Palestinians are keeping all their options open, using a variety of spokesmen who are not really authoritative.”

And we have gotten to this point because of diplomatic malpractice by the Obama administration. By distancing himself from Israel, condemning its building in its capital, elevating the settlement issue, and putting his own prestige on the line, Obama has made continued negotiations nearly impossible and UN gamesmanship quite likely. Where is the administration vowing not to allow the UN to dismantle Israel? Where is the pressure on the PA, financial and otherwise, to knock off this sort of talk? It’s not coming from the White House. It will be up to pro-Israel groups and the new Congress to insist that the Obama team head off the Jewish state’s dismemberment.

And while they are dealing with that potential calamity, the Obami might want to attend to Iran. The dual debacles — allowing a UN resolution to carve up Israel and allowing Iran to go nuclear — would define this presidency as one of the most feeble in history. Certainly the world it would leave to its successors would be infinitely more dangerous than the one it inherited.



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