As Secretary of State John Kerry hammers out the principles for an Israeli-Palestinian “framework agreement,” many are speculating that he has formally adopted Jerusalem’s demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state. The importance of this step — both historically and for the future of U.S. peacemaking efforts in the region — should not be underestimated.
There are good reasons why the U.S. position on this issue has been slow to evolve. For one thing, the Israeli demand is relatively new; it was first explicitly tied to negotiations by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in 2007 and later adopted by Benjamin Netanyahu.… Seguir leyendo »
As the dust settles over the Israel-Gaza border, attention shifts to New York, where the Palestinian delegation will ask the United Nations next Thursday to upgrade its status to that of “nonmember state.” In short, to recognize Palestinian statehood.
The date, Nov. 29, is not random. On that late November day 65 years ago the U.N. General Assembly convened at temporary premises in Lake Success on Long Island, New York, and voted to approve the partition of British Mandatory Palestine into two states; one Jewish, one Arab. That vote was the legal basis for the establishment of the state of Israel six months later, and is the basis for the Palestinians’ claim to a state to this day.… Seguir leyendo »
Since taking office more than two years ago, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly pressed the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a “Jewish state.” In his speech before the U.S. Congress in May, Netanyahu even made this demand the linchpin of any future peace deal, promising “a far-reaching compromise” if only the Palestinian leader were to publicly declare “I will accept a Jewish state.”
Regrettably, the Obama administration has bought into Netanyahu’s idea and is currently working behind the scenes to press key allies to adopt a formula that would call on Israel and the Palestinians to resume negotiations on the basis of the 1967 lines and — for the first time in Mideast peacemaking — spell out international expectations that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state.… Seguir leyendo »
As Washington wrestles with the latest Mideast crisis in the aftermath of the flotilla attack, Europe might take a moment to mark an anniversary on its diplomatic calendar.
Thirty years ago, on a Friday the 13th in June, a declaration issued by the European Community broke new ground by backing “self-determination” for the Palestinian people and urging that the Palestine Liberation Organization be “associated with” the negotiations for peace in the Middle East.
Coming in the midst of U.S. efforts to launch negotiations between Israel and Egypt on Palestinian autonomy, in accordance with the peace treaty signed by the two countries a year earlier, the “Venice declaration” stunned Jerusalem and jarred some nerves in Washington.… Seguir leyendo »