Jones: Is a UN resolution on Palestinian statehood a step forward or backward for the Israel-Palestine conflict?

By: /
18 September, 2011
By: Bruce Jones
Director and Senior Fellow of the NYU Center on International Cooperation

It’s the counsel of despair. 

A General Assembly vote, which the PA will win, won’t create a state; a Security Council vote will, but that the PA will lose.

So why are they going for it? Because they face rising popular pressure for change, as Ramallah watches the Arab Spring. Because neither the PA nor their population nor the Europeans nor frankly the Obama Administration has the slightest confidence that Netanyahu intends real negotiations. Because a political victory at the General Assembly would feel good. (Crisis Group argues it would also give the PA a stronger card at the ICC – but Israel has several important protections against this tactic.)  

The wise move for the PA is to go for the GA vote, and skip the Security Council. Middle East diplomacy has been President Obama’s weakest game – but pissing off the President is still bad politics in the Middle East. 

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