September 27, 2011- Palestinians and Social Protesters Overreach
September has come and almost gone. It seems the fears of "how bad September would be" were unfounded. The Palestinians have come to the UN and its clear there will be no UN vote on their bid for statehood in the immediate future. The US would veto such a bid and seems to have gained a majority of the members of the Security Council who will vote with the US. The Palestinians could go to the General Assembly, and try to obtain "non-member" state status, which would be an upgrade from their current "observer" status.
While I would like to credit the Israeli government with the outcome, interestingly, I believe it was the Palestinians who sabotaged their own bid, by not be willing to compromise at all on the terms of the resolution. Their overreach was clear from any of the appearances of their spokesman, as well as by Abbas' speech to the UN. Even though they kept to script, and kept on saying they were not trying to delegitimize Israel, their words continued to "return to 1948" and that "the real tragedy was 1948 and not 1967". By doing so, they strengthened the line of the Israeli government's demand that Israel be recognized as a Jewish State. When asked, the Palestinian representatives would say that its not their job to recognize Israel as such, making the absurd statement that Israel could rename itself and then seek new recognition from the world. They all conveniently ignored the fact that it was the original UN partition plan that divided the land between a Jewish State and an Arab state.
This summer's protest movement may have come to an end with two dueling reports, the first done the government, led by Professor Trachtenburg. That report made a nuber of sweeping recommendations, all in the right direction. According to the protestors, the one major shortcoming of the government program, was the fact that the government commission recommendations kept all the changes within the current budget framework, while the protestors demanded the budget framework be changed in order to bring about real change. The present dynamic is problematic, since there are many entrenched interests who will oppose the Trachtenbug proposals; who while they do not go far enough, are clearly a step in the right direction. If the protestors continue to oppose Trachtenburg, then their opposition, combined with the opposition of the entrenched interests will make it very difficult to make any changes at all.
An article that is worth reading: The Titanic has set sail for Palestine puts the Israel decision making into a new perspective.