US tells Palestinians to forget about unilateral statehood

Wednesday, April 20, 2011 |  Ryan Jones

The Obama Administration on Tuesday signaled the Palestinian Authority that it will oppose efforts to unilaterally establish a Palestinian state at the UN in September.

The Palestinians and their allies plan to call on the UN to formally recognize an independent Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, with Jerusalem as its capital. They have threatened to follow through with this plan in September unless Israel offers compelling concessions before then.

The Americans are expected to veto the unilateral establishment of Palestine in the UN Security Council, but the motion is almost certain to pass in the General Assembly.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is confident that US President Barack Obama will eventually come around and that America, too, will support the birth of Palestine, even in the absence of a bilateral peace deal with Israel.

"We are counting on the words of US President Barack Obama who said his vision is to see a Palestinian state this coming September," Abbas said during a visit to Tunisia this week.

Abbas noted that it was Obama who originally set this coming September as the deadline for concluding negotiations leading to the creation of a Palestinian state. Those negotiations never happened thanks to Palestinian intransigence.

Abbas also suggested that the US will find itself isolated right along with Israel if it goes against the will of the international community. He pointed out that at present no fewer than 130 nations recognize the state of Palestine,and that UN General Assembly recognition will solidify that position.

Abbas is scheduled to meet with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in the coming weeks in order to secure European backing for a unilateral declaration of independence.

If Europe is among the backers of a Palestinian state in the UN General Assembly, that may be enough to convince the Americans to refrain from vetoing Security Council endorsement of the move.

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