on the Palestinian statehood bid.

Posted: 22nd September 2011 by traumaturgist in politics

I won’t waste space here reiterating the basic arguments against Abbas’ upcoming bid for statehood at the UN – the uniformity with which these views have been reported means you can read them pretty much anywhere.  What I want to do here is rant about the sheer stupidity of America and Israel regarding this travesty.  A few points I wanted to put down here – points I have written elsewhere in commentaries to news articles:

  1. Nowhere have either America or Israel given any sort of rationale or thoughtful, detailed argument outlining why they think Abbas shouldn’t bid for statehood at the UN.  From Obama you hear all sorts of rhetoric like “we strongly disagree, precisely because it would be counterproductive” (this is a near-verbatim quote from a newspaper article…wish I could find it!); Israel warns rather ominously of dire consequences and punitive measures are often mentioned.  For what?  How is this bid perpetrating violence on either or two states that are clearly more powerful than any Palestinian state would be?  How is this anything more than schoolyard bullying?
  2. Abbas has repeatedly and clearly stated that the statehood bid (or statehood, for that matter) does not cancel out negotiations, as America and Israel so neurotically insist.  Seems as if America and Israel are unwilling or unable (both?) to realize this.
  3. I think it’s quite true that Palestine, in its bid, is calling out America on its seriously flawed Middle East policy – America insists on negotiations that have gone nowhere for decades; Palestinians are fed up with it and want to get things done, which is quite understandable.  Now America must veto (it would be a historical moment if they didn’t) just as assuredly as Abbas must move forward with the UN bid.  Change is coming…whatever it ends up being.
  4. All the nitpicking about whether or not the negotiations should conform to pre-1967 borders, then, is in a sense quite superfluous.  Irrespective of whether or not it passes, the bid for statehood is not going to resolve this question – nor was it meant to.  It’s meant to change the political topography against which the inevitable negotiations will take place.