Monday, July 13, 2009

Forcing Peace

Javier Solana, the European Union's foreign policy chief, said Saturday that if Israel and the Palestinians don't reach an agreement on their own by a certain deadline, then the United Nations Security Council should recognize the Palestinian state without Israel's consent. This is a horrible idea. As unhappy as I am with the lack of progress in the peace process, I think the international community can only nudge and push, but it must not impose a solution. Such a solution would be doomed to fail, and I fear it would lead to more bloodshed.

Also, what Palestinian State would the UN recognize? What would be its borders, its capital? What about the Palestinian refugees? Would the international community adopt one side's position on these issues or would it go with something in the middle? How would such a decision be implemented? Would an international force be sent in to drive Israel out of the newly recognized Palestine?

Which Palestinian faction would the United Nations recognize as Palestine's legitimate government? I doubt they'd go with the terrorist group Hamas, so if they recognize Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah, what would be the status of Gaza?

This is a horrible, unconstructive idea. I have a feeling even Solana doesn't believe in it and is using it more as a threat against Israel, and Israel alone. It doesn't threaten the Palestinians. No matter what they do and whether they negotiate with Israel or not, they'll end up with a state and probably almost all of their demands will be met by the UN. In fact, Solana inadvertently encourages Palestinian negotiators to stall.

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