Speaking to world leadersat the opening of the UN’s general assembly session yesterday, United States President Barack Hussein Obama proclaimed that a lasting solution to the long-running conflict would not be reached through “statements and resolutions at the United Nations:”
There is no short cut to the end of a conflict that has endured for decades. Peace is hard work.
Ultimately, it is Israelis and Palestinians who must live side by side. Ultimately, it is Israelis and Palestinians – not us – who must reach agreement on the issues that divide them: on borders and security, on refugees and Jerusalem.
Peace depends upon compromise among peoples who must live together long after our speeches are over, and our votes have been counted. That is the lesson of Northern Ireland, where ancient antagonists bridged their differences. That is the lesson of Sudan, where a negotiated settlement led to an independent state, and that is the path to a Palestinian state.
Of course, this 180 degree turn by Obama is nothing but an attempt to win back Jewish American voters, who are deserting him en masse. But, I digress…
Obama went on to laud the “extraordinary transformation” brought by the Arab spring. According to him, at the same event a year ago Tunisia, Egypt and Libya were all represented by authoritarian leaders now rejected by their people.
About those wonderful results of the Arab Spring, Scooter:
The first elections since the Arab Spring uprisings will be more about holding back change than expanding political freedoms: voting in three Gulf nations that poses no threat to old guard rulers or their efforts to unite against calls for fast-track reforms.
None of the planned elections this month will even slightly loosen the hold of rulers — the central aim of the street protests that have toppled leaders from Tunisia to Egypt and threaten to do the same in Syria and Yemen.
Yet each of the voting rounds — a stopgap parliamentary election in violence-battered Bahrain and tightly controlled balloting in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — tells a different story about the upheavals and the chances for change among the region’s wealthiest and most entrenched royal houses and ruling families.
“Each one, in their own way, reflects the new environment that the entire region faces,” said Salman Shaikh, director of The Brookings Doha Center in Qatar.
All three elections are bit players in the wider drama across the region. But any movement toward the ballot box takes on greater significance with the election process still unclear in Egypt and Tunisia, and Libya’s new leaders locked in fights with the remnants of Moammar Gadhafi’s regime.
And thanks to the wonderful aftermath of the Arab Spring, Netanyahu and Israel have more to worry about that just the Palestinians, per haaretz.com:
Shortly after the masses began crowding into Cairo’s Tahrir Square earlier this year, an adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told a senior official in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to prepare for a dramatic change in the relations between Israel and Egypt.
The adviser estimated that the nascent Egyptian protest movement would not stop at regime change, and told his counterpart in Jerusalem that if the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories continued, the new Arab world would show the Israelis that solidarity with oppressed brothers is not exclusively a Jewish tradition.
The Palestinian adviser warned that the day after the United Nations vote on recognizing Palestinian statehood, waves of anti-Israel protests would wash over the capitals of Arab and Muslim states.
It is unclear whether Israeli official passed this message on to the prime minister, or if he kept it to himself.
So, let me get this straight. Israel is surrounded by mortal enemies. The UN wants them to give up half of their country to a nomadic people who have never had a country of their own, basically the Gypsies of the Middle East. And when Israeli Prime Minister tries to take a stand,
UN leader Ban Ki-moon urged him yesterday
…to act with “restraint” and “wisdom” over the Palestinian bid for full state membership of the United Nations.
Israel has angrily rejected the Palestinian campaign, threatening unspecified diplomatic reprisals. “The secretary general urged the prime minister to act with responsibility, wisdom and restraint towards the Palestinian approach to the United Nations,” said UN spokesman Martin Nesirky.
The Palestinian Authority announced Wednesday that it won’t push for an immediate vote in the Security Council, because it doesn’t have enough support for its statehood bid…yet.
American diplomats will use the delay to lean on council members to change their vote and to stop the Palestinians.
According to Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath:
We will give some time to the Security Council to consider first our full membership request before heading to the General Assembly. If we fail, we will keep knocking on the door. We do not have a time limit.
The fact is, an admissions committee representing all 15 Security Council members can be set up to deliberate on the matter for days, weeks, or even months.
Next, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will speak at the UN General Assembly and then, will formally submit his letter of application to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. Moon will then give it to Lebanon, the country which presides this month over the Security Council.
Lebanon? Oy vey!
It’s the only Arab country in the 15-member body and it supports the Palestinian bid.
Can you say…stacked deck?