Wild Card part IV: NYT puts unilateral move on the agenda

(Part I, Part II, Part III)

Wild Card part IV: NYT puts unilateral move on the agenda
Hillary Clinton (Photo: State Department)

Ethan Bronner of the NYTimes gives a nice big shove to the Wild Card, only to get a slap in the face from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton the next day.

Bronner says that:

The Palestinian leadership, near despair about attaining a negotiated agreement with Israel on a two-state solution, is increasingly focusing on how to get international bodies and courts to declare a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

The idea, being discussed in both formal and informal forums across the West Bank, is to appeal to the United Nations, the International Court of Justice and the signatories of the Geneva Conventions for opposition to Israeli settlements and occupation and ultimately a kind of global assertion of Palestinian statehood that will tie Israel’s hands.

Hanan Ashrawi told Bronner:

Wild Card part IV: NYT puts unilateral move on the agenda
Hanan Ashrawi (Photo: New America Foundation)

“We cannot go on this way,” said Hanan Ashrawi, a former peace negotiator who is a part of the inner ruling circle of the Palestine Liberation Organization, which oversees thePalestinian Authority. “The two-state solution is disappearing. If we cannot stop the settlements through the peace process, we have to go to the Security Council, the Human Rights Council and every international legal body.”
In an interview, she said that the P.L.O. was holding high-level discussions on these options this week.

The piece later deals with how seriously the Israeli are taking these moves:

The Israelis say that what is really going on is a Palestinian effort to secure a state without having to make the difficult decisions on the borders and settlements that negotiations would entail. They are pressing the Obama administration to take a firmer public stand against the new approach, but Washington has made no move to do so.

Clinton might have been listening to some of these Israeli remarks, and said yesterday that talks were still the only way to go:

“I know there are those who think that if they wait, scheme or fight long enough, they can avoid compromising or negotiating. But I am here to say that that is not the case. That will only guarantee more suffering, more sorrow, and more victims,” she said.

Aluf Benn’s analysis sheds some light on the current situation regarding a unilaterl move. He also talks about the wild card option, but notes the dangers of it as well – as I pointed out in my Jerusalem Post op-ed where I called for a grassroots movement to urge the U.S. to recognize a Palestinian declaration of independence:

Israel’s diplomacy has reached a turning point. Instead of dealing with the failed direct talks, from this point Israel will be orchestrating a diplomatic holding action against the Palestinian initiative to have the UN Security Council recognize Palestinian independence within the 1967 borders. Such a decision would deem Israel an invader and occupier, paving the way for measures against Israel. Obama could scuttle the process by casting an American veto. Would he do it? And at what price?

Barak is warning Netanyahu that Obama is determined to establish a Palestinian state, even if it requires political risks. The president doesn’t have to come out publicly against Israel, but can simply stand on the sidelines when the Security Council recognizes Palestine. The international movement to boycott Israel will gain massive encouragement when Europe, China and India turn their backs on Israel and erode the last remnants of its legitimacy. Gradually the Israeli public will also feel the diplomatic and economic stranglehold.

It’s not certain that this will happen. A U.S. Congress under Republican control would exert tremendous pressure on Obama to cast a U.S. veto at the United Nations. Of greater import, however, is that an international declaration that Israel is an occupier and trespasser could spark a new war here and the large amount of blood that would be shed would be on Obama’s hands, if he were to allow such a resolution to pass. This could deter the president, but he will ask for a quid pro quo from Israel.

Wild card supporters should not be dismayed by Clinton’s remarks. More and more people are talking about, the media is eating it up, the Palestinians are putting on the pressure and the Israeli right wing government is getting nervous. The wild card is still gaining momentum.

We all know the talks are dead. This is the only way left. Spread it around, folks.