US in last ditch diplomatic effort to head off Palestinian UN vote
The United States is making one last appeal to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to delay his plans to get a General Assembly vote on the status of Palestinians in the world body.
The administration has circulated a proposal for renewed peace talks with the Israelis in the hopes of persuading the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, to abandon the bid for recognition at the annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly beginning Sept. 20.
The administration has made it clear to Mr. Abbas that it will veto any request presented to the United Nations Security Council to make a Palestinian state a new member outright.
But the United States does not have enough support to block a vote by the General Assembly to elevate the status of the Palestinians' nonvoting observer "entity" to that of a nonvoting observer state. The change would pave the way for the Palestinians to join dozens of United Nations bodies and conventions, and it could strengthen their ability to pursue cases against Israel at the International Criminal Court.
Senior officials said the administration wanted to avoid not only a veto but also the more symbolic and potent General Assembly vote that would leave the United States and only a handful of other nations in the opposition. The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss diplomatic maneuverings, said they feared that in either case a wave of anger could sweep the Palestinian territories and the wider Arab world at a time when the region is already in tumult. President Obama would be put in the position of threatening to veto recognition of the aspirations of most Palestinians or risk alienating Israel and its political supporters in the United States.
Why should Abbas hold out for a deal brokered by the US when he is about to get far more at the UN with very little effort?
Abbas is extremely short sighted. In the long term, any recognition of the Palestinians will work to their disadvantage with Israel in negotiations. And the US will be less likely to support Palestinian aspirations if Abbas runs to the World Court everytime Israel responds to a terrorist attack on its soil.
The world is about to become a much more dangerous place.