Aaron Miller says move by PA for recognition is dumb

By Ted Belman

Aaron David Miller, writing in the Washington Post, says the Palestinian attempt to get recognition from the UN is the dumbest move they have ever made. He then lists the ways,

    First, a paper resolution, even one with monitoring and the threat of some collective action against Israel if no movement is made toward statehood, won’t produce a state. In fact, a U.N. campaign for statehood will reflect Palestinian weakness, not resolve. The Palestinian national movement today is divided; there are no guarantees that Hamas would support a U.N. campaign. The Palestinian Authority doesn’t control Gaza, most of the West Bank or its putative capital in East Jerusalem. An empty resolution in New York will score points where it doesn’t count and reflect a lack of capacity where it does — on the ground. Hamas gets more attention from Israel through its rockets than the Palestinians have gotten from their resolutions.

    Second, actions produce reactions. No matter how artful and skillful the U.N. campaign is, the United States will almost certainly oppose it. Washington will veto the resolution in the Security Council. While it can’t block resolutions in the General Assembly, the United States won’t concede either the principle of declaring statehood outside of negotiations or marshaling international pressure against Israel.

    The timing makes the Palestinian idea even more anomalous. To say that the Obama administration won’t risk spending political capital on an international campaign to isolate Israel in the U.N. General Assembly the year before a presidential election is probably the understatement of the century. And if the campaign pressuring Israel gets serious, Congress will be only too ready to restrict critical aid to the Palestinians and perhaps to Egypt as well if it helps lead the effort.

    Third, there’s Israel, which is worried about isolation and de-legitimatization and very concerned about the Palestinian campaign. Time and again, however, the Israelis have shown that they will defy rather than submit to international pressure. Anti-Israeli resolutions at the United Nations will give Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu a perfect issue to rally support and to claim (yet again) that Israel has no partner with which to make peace. The Palestinian campaign will also prompt intensified Israeli settlement activity in an effort to remind Palestinians that Israeli actions are real, not virtual. Should the Palestinians declare statehood, Israel will probably act to demarcate what part of the West Bank it intends to keep.

and concludes,

    Today, though, we won’t be nearly as lucky. Averting a train wreck on Palestinian statehood in New York this fall will require a serious Israeli approach to negotiations, a display of guts and strategy from the Obama administration, and a Palestinian national movement ready to make tough choices. If none of this materializes, we’ll have a leadership vacuum. And sadly, what’s likely to fill it are paper resolutions, rhetoric, more violence and empty promises.

Aaron David Miller, a former Middle East negotiator for the State Department, is at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars and the author of the forthcoming book “Can America Have Another Great President?”

April 15, 2011 | 7 Comments »

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7 Comments / 7 Comments

  1. I concur with all previous posts. The psychopathology of antisemitism produces so much suffering for Jews and Gentiles. Just doesn’t let the facts be examined. It has created a cognitive bias that has anchored itself in the DNA of many: just can’t see beyond their antisemitic prejudices. It is true that: “The Pal Arabs don’t actually want a state; the want the Jews to not have a state.” It is part of the aspiration for the Ummah, or world calipahte by Muslims, conquer the entire world for Allah. Whomever ignores Islamists’ objetives, well, can believe in “peace negotiations”. Israel is one of the many fronts where Islamists attack the non-Muslim world.

  2. All of you are so “Right on”.. this has nothing to do with anything but wanting to kill all of the Jews.. Why has The whole World decided to make the same mistake all over again.. We are not in a Ghetto anymore … and Jews are spread out all over the World and not just in Israel.. like “Bland Oatmeal” says, “Israel has title to this Land. It was given to the People there by God and The Torah and The Bible of all people of all Faith’s”. It is the only country where Jews and Christians and people of all Faiths or Color or Ethnic human beings .. are not descrimated upon.. and are living in Peace together …. They have Mosques, Churches and Synagogues… Can any of you except for Muslims go to Mecca??? For God Sake.. Israel has no Oil.. it is a tiny little strip of desert Land that they have worked very hard on to bring it to *the Beautiful Land of Milk and Honey* that it is.. it was nothing before. Why can’t they just let Israel and it’s people live in Peace?? We need to do away with the Evil UN!!

  3. Miller is highly respected for his intellect and knowledge on Mid East affairs and on the Israel-Palestinin war. It is interesting that he, like so many other experts in the field, still hold onto the hope of peace through negotiations, whether those experts blame the Palestinians or Israel for the failure of peace to be achieved.

    Regardless of whose side one is on, you would think that experts would have after a century of intractable Arab Jew hatred and over 60 years of intractable Israel hatred come to accept that whether it be Israel’s cherished beliefs and aspirations or Palestinian aspirations spelled out in the Hamas and PA/Fatah charters that have prevented peace from breaking out, the fact is that unless there is fundamental change on either side on these hard facts, peace cannot break out.

    It appears even experts like Miller simply cannot come to grips with these hard fact realities. They thus continue to analyze and postulate how peace can break out and put their fingers on a number of collateral and side issues that need to be resolved. It won’t help. They persist in willfully ignoring the hard facts/issues that have kept and will keep peace from breaking out.

  4. Meanwhile, the Turks continue to occupy W. Armenia, N. Kurdistan and N. Cyprus; the Russians continue to occupy all of Ossetia, Chechnya and Abkhazia; the Pakistanis continue to occupy E. Baluchistan and E. Afghanistan; the Iranians continue to occupy SE Kurdistan, W. Baluchistan, Khuzestan, Luristan, etc… Wherever a nation has the will to hold its territory, it stands a good chance of doing so, in spite of international non-recognition.

    Israel has every title deed — from the boundaries set by God in Torah, to Persian, Greek and Roman provincial boundaries, to the recognition of the Maccabee Kingdom by the Spartans and Romans, to the Balfour Declaration, to the League of Nations Mandate. All of these proclaim Judea to be the land of the Jews. On the other hand, there has never been a title deed to any “Palestinian” nation. What’s more, if the UN recognizes the 1949 Armistice lines as the final border, the “Palestinian” state will be failed from the onset: Its water and electricity come from Israel, and its long-term economic survival is dependent on good relations with Israel. It will have all the viability of a South African bantustan — a curious result, for an entity created by a body (the UN) that condemns Israel for the supposed practice of “apartheid”.

    Randy Texas is right: The Pals have no intention of establishing a state; they just want yet another pretext for attacking Jews.

  5. I agree with the 2 prevous posters plus the pal feel that time is on their side and so far they appear correct. the idea is that world opion and sanctions will deliver israel. so far the are gaining

  6. My thinking is similar to Randy’s. The Pal Arabs don’t actually want a state; the want the Jews to not have a state. That’s why there was no significant movement for statehood when the West Bank and Gaza were under control of Jordan and Egypt.

    UN recognition of “Palestine” might not bring a Pal Arab state any closer, but it will embarrass Israel, which is pretty obviously the goal.

  7. I think Miller doesn’t give enough weight to the fact that Palestinian actions are aimed at creation of provocation more than the gain by smart politics of diplomatic advantage.

    First, a paper resolution, even one with monitoring and the threat of some collective action against Israel if no movement is made toward statehood, won’t produce a state.

    Do Palestinians want a state beside Israel? The objective is to create an occasion against Israel that foolish Europeans will support. They are not trying to gain politically, they want to start a war.

    The Palestinian campaign will also prompt intensified Israeli settlement activity in an effort to remind Palestinians that Israeli actions are real, not virtual.

    Again, its all about provocation, not gain by diplomacy on the part of Palestinians.