Saturday, January 22, 2011

Is Netanyahu to Recognize a Provisional Palestinian State?

Aluf Ben at Ha'aretz reports that the Netanyahu's government response to the recent wave of South American recognitions of a unilateral deceleration of a Palestinian state in the '67 borders, is to recognize such a state at existing PA borders.
Netanyahu needs a countermeasure that will get Abbas off his back, depict Israel as an avid supporter of peace and, if possible, also paint the Palestinians as having yet again missed an opportunity to reach an agreement.
But Netanyahu's ability to offer compromises and territorial withdrawals in the West Bank are limited. Any territorial concession, even a theoretical offer of concession, could cost him the coalition he just shored up. What's a prime minister to do?
One option is to adopt the concept advanced by the Reut Institute, under which Israel would upgrade the PA's political status and recognize it as an independent state within its existing borders. The state that would be established in the Palestinian urban enclaves would negotiate with Israel over the remaining West Bank territories and all the other issues of the final-status agreement. This concept is built into the second phase of the so-called "Road Map," which called for the creation of a Palestinian state within provisional borders.
Ben describes this as a win-win situation for Israel:
Abbas has opposed a state with provisional borders in the past and can be expected to do so again, even if the offer comes from Netanyahu. If he changes his mind and says yes, Israel will come out looking good. If he refuses, Israeli public relations will have a field day: We offered them a state again, and they didn't want it. That's the best place for Netanyahu to be, with the Palestinians once more in the role of the nay-sayers and Israel not having to make payments in the form of territory or dismantling settlements. Until either the next counterpropaganda measure from Abbas, or the outbreak of a new intifada next fall, when hopes for a final agreement and Palestinian independence are ultimately dashed. 
I doubt the Palestinians want a state at all... the population just want either the IDF or the PLO off their backs... the PLO is living too comfortably as a welfare case. I don't think the PLO is ready to take the responsibilities of running a state.

But then, the prevailing philosophy of the day is that we should let them be, and not make it our problem. Perhaps this is what Debka was alluding to in the earlier article?


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