Jackson Diehl writes:
On November 15, 1988, Yasser Arafat proudly read a declaration by his Palestinian Liberation Organization unilaterally proclaiming “the establishment of the State of Palestine on our Palestinian territory with its capital Jerusalem.” Shortly afterward the United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to support the declaration; within months 93 governments had recognized the state of Palestine.
That state, of course, never came into existence. The PLO declaration, the United Nations vote, even the recognition by scores of countries, proved meaningless.
True enough. But it is not 1988. Obama is in the White House. The delegitimizers have been making the case for years that the Jewish state is illegitimate. So the reaction may be decidedly less blasé than it was more than 22 years ago. Diehl optimistically proclaims:
No country has taken steps to enforce the UN’s 1988 vote on Palestinian statehood — and none would be likely to in this case. In short, it’s hard to imagine how a state could be created without Israel’s agreement. Sanctions? Those are unlikely to win the support of either the United States or the European Union.
Is it so hard? And more important, would the Obama administration seek to find some “middle ground,” as occurred in the flotilla incident, perhaps abstaining on a “no settlement” resolution as some supposed compromise? The fact that this has not been an issue for 22 years tells us just how badly the Obama team has bollixed up Middle East diplomacy.