September 29, 2011 |
Everyone knows that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' bid for statehood through the United Nations Security Council will fail. Even if the Palestinians get the nine votes needed , the United States will veto it. And yet the strategy is brilliant. Why? Because the Palestinians win even if they lose. To understand how this seemingly doomed effort is designed to work, one has to recognize the strategic game Abbas is playing. Abbas knows that time and public opinion are on his side.
September 24, 2011 |
As Israel considers its reaction to the Palestinian drive for recognition of statehood at the U.N., officials are weighing calls for swift retaliation against fear that tough measures could be counterproductive. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he is evaluating Israel's next step. But key members of his right-wing coalition are pushing for a firm response, which they say would discourage Palestinians from pursuing their strategy of gaining United Nations recognition or taking other unilateral steps away from the negotiating table.
September 23, 2011
A deadly mistake Re "Georgia puts convict to death despite protest," Sept. 22 The reason I am against the death penalty is perfectly exemplified by Troy Davis' execution Wednesday night. In case no one noticed, people are fallible. We make mistakes; we fail to take all circumstances into account; we are led by preconceptions; we have some personal quirks, such as the desire to "close the case. " We also are loathe to consider that all the facts are not necessarily at our disposal.
September 23, 2011 |
At first the Kamal family wasn't even sure they'd watch. As an exuberant crowd of thousands gathered a few blocks away to listen to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas ask for U.N. recognition, the family preferred the quiet of their living room. After years of stalemate with Israel, their expectations were low. And as Nihad Kamal, a 38-year-old investment manager, explained: "We're not big fans of demonstrations. " But ultimately, the Kamals did tune their flat-panel television to watch Abbas.
September 22, 2011 |
President Obama told world leaders Wednesday that the U.S. commitment to the security of Israel was "unshakable," winning rare praise from the Israeli prime minister and mending some frayed relations with a politically important domestic constituency. Obama also could take solace from apparently being able to delay — although not deter — the Palestinian Authority from seeking an immediate vote this week on its effort to join the United Nations, a move the White House warns could spark further turmoil in the Middle East.
September 22, 2011 |
It goes without saying that Palestinians and Arabs are outraged by the idea that the United States is threatening to block recognition of a Palestinian state at the United Nations. What is less obvious, perhaps, is that some of the most vociferous critics of the Palestinian bid for upgraded U.N. recognition are Palestinians themselves. How could it be that advocates of Palestinian rights could be suspicious of, if not altogether opposed to, the U.N. gambit? Isn't the creation of an internationally recognized independent state the goal shared by all Palestinians?
September 21, 2011 |
With world leaders in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, Republican presidential hopefuls used the opportunity Tuesday to blame President Obama for the most contentious issues looming over the gathering, saying he had emboldened the Palestinians to push for statehood and endangered Israel by kowtowing to Iran, Muslim militants, and, in the words of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, "the orchestrators of terrorism. " Perry, speaking at a Manhattan hotel, made a pitch to Jewish voters by calling for Jerusalem — including East Jerusalem, which the Palestinians envision as the capital of their future state — to be the undisputed territory of Israel.
September 21, 2011 |
The Palestinians on Friday plan to ask the United Nations to admit them as a member nation. Here are answers to some of the questions arising from their bid. Why are the Palestinians turning to the United Nations and what do they hope to achieve? After nearly 20 years of failed peace talks, the Palestinians say they hope their application for U.N. membership will put the Mideast conflict back atop the international agenda, break the deadlock in U.S.-brokered negotiations by increasing pressure on Israel and give their drive for statehood a boost.
September 20, 2011 |
Diplomats on Tuesday raced to nail down a plan to deflect the Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations, crafting a face-saving formula that could lessen the immediate prospect of a Security Council veto, which the Obama administration desperately sought to avoid. Under the plan, the council decision on the application for recognition, which Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas plans to make Friday, would be put off indefinitely. That would buy time for the U.S. to try to restart negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, and would keep $600 million a year in American aid and other international assistance flowing to the Palestinians.
September 17, 2011 |
With efforts stymied to head off a U.N. resolution on Palestinian statehood, some Obama administration officials hope to make the most of a silver lining — the chance to emphasize the president's solidarity with Israel by casting a high-profile veto in the Security Council. For months, U.S. and Israeli diplomats worked to forestall a plan by the Palestinians to present their resolution to the Security Council. Now, however, with Obama facing restiveness among some Jewish supporters, the prospect of a veto comes at a politically useful moment.