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Mr. Secretary, you are no Jimmy Carter

Israel/Palestine
on 40 Comments
Carter and Kerry
Carter and Kerry, in a meeting of the Secretary of State with The Elders, global leaders, earlier this week

I wonder what it is that other people see about Secretary of State John Kerry’s Israeli-Palestinian breakthrough that I’m missing.

The fundamentals haven’t changed. The Palestinian Authority’s goal is to achieve a peace agreement with Israel in which it (yet again) recognizes Israel and Israel agrees to the establishment of a Palestinian state in the occupied territories of the West Bank (including east Jerusalem) and Gaza.

This has been the Palestinian position since the Oslo agreement of 1993, the one that produced the famous handshake between Yitzhak Rabin and Yasir Arafat. The Palestinians have never changed their position. They insist on taking possession of 100% of those occupied territories, with “land swaps” that will permit a few settlement blocs to stay under Israeli jurisdiction in exchange for equal acreage now inside Israel.  It, of course, should be noted that 100% of the West Bank and Gaza represents only 22% of historic Palestine (Israel plus the West Bank and Gaza). Israel would still control 78%.

That is important to remember when you read a report that Palestinians are being obstinate for not agreeing to accept 90%. That is because the 90% is of the 22% which would reduce their portion to 18%.

The Palestinian position has been consistent since the days of Arafat. And even Hamas has endorsed it in its more realistic moments.

But no Israeli government has ever agreed to the 78-22% deal, certainly not Netanyahu’s (Ehud Olmert came closest but it was at the very end of his term and the Palestinians knew that he couldn’t deliver).  On the contrary, Netanyahu says that he will never yield any part of Jerusalem, that although he would conceivably grant Palestinians 90% of the West Bank, he would insist on the presence of Israeli forces on a demilitarized Palestinian state’s border with Jordan and even on retaining Ariel, the Israeli city deep in the West Bank.  Additionally, he would keep Ma’aleh Adumim, a huge settlement a few miles from Jerusalem and fill the (E-1) corridor which, separates it from Jerusalem, with 3000 settler homes to permanently divide the northern West Bank from the southern part.

Nothing that Kerry or any Israeli official has said since the “breakthrough” indicates that Netanyahu has modified these positions.

And the Palestinians, rightly, will never accept them. After all, they have considerably compromised from their pre-Oslo demand for the return of all of Palestine to 22% of it. They have recognized Israel’s right to security and, even without a peace treaty, they work hand-in-hand with the Israeli Defense Forces to defend Israel. Additionally, under international law, the occupied territories are just that – occupied – and must be returned to them.

What are they supposed to compromise on? They have nothing to give to Israel except an enhanced version of the security guarantees they already implement. Netanyahu likes to say that he will not sacrifice Israel’s security for any peace agreement. But he knows that he will never be asked to. Every significant proposal for Israeli-Palestinian peace contains extensive security guarantees for Israel. Notably, the Palestinians, who are infinitely weaker than Israel, don’t demand security guarantees, just their territory.

There is one last point as to why Kerry’s agreement will go nowhere. The Palestinians cannot trust the United States to be an impartial mediator, far from it. Even beyond the fact that the U.S. official expected to be chosen as mediator, Ambassador Martin Indyk, was long affiliated with AIPAC and then with the think-tank it created, the Washington Institute For Near East Policy, is the simple fact that the United States has unambiguously taken Israel’s side for decades.

The Palestinians understand the role of the Israel lobby in keeping Congress in line behind Israel, with Congress doing the job of making sure the administration doesn’t stray. As recently as 2012, the United States led the opposition to a resolution granting Palestine observer status at the United Nations (only seven countries voted with us).  In March of this year, President Obama visited Israel to deliver, both in words and symbolic actions, the message  that the United States and Israel were essentially one, a vivid demonstration of Vice President Biden’s oft-repeated pledge that there must be “no daylight, no daylight” between U.S. and Israeli policies.

Exactly why would the Palestinians trust the United States? The answer is that they don’t and they shouldn’t because, during two presidencies in a row, we have made not the slightest attempt to play “honest broker,” remaining  even more “Israel’s lawyer” than we were when Clinton-era negotiator, Aaron Miller first used the term to describe our modus operandi.

This is significant.  The only successful U.S. mediation between Israelis and Arabs was conducted by President Jimmy Carter at Camp David in 1978. Carter managed to bridge the gaps that had led Israel and Egypt to go to war three times previously by being the ultimate honest broker.

In his book about Camp David, Gen. Moshe Dayan, who was then Israel’s foreign minister, described how Carter would keep the pressure on both sides equally, telling President Sadat and Prime Minister Begin, in turn, that if the talks failed, he would publicly name who was responsible. All during the long arduous process that produced a peace treaty that has survived 34 years, Carter refused to act as either side’s advocate. His only client was peace and that is how he achieved an agreement.

Can anyone seriously imagine that the Obama administration with its “no daylight” policy would ever do that? Occasionally, very occasionally, over the past 5 years it has laid blame equally on the two sides but, other than once in 2009 on the matter of settlement expansion, it has never blamed Israel for anything and, in that one case, it quickly flinched. That means that all Palestinians can expect in the Kerry negotiations is blame on them whenever anything goes wrong with Israel getting a pass.

The bottom line is that the Kerry initiative is dead even before arrival. And, sad to say, that is how it should be until the United States looks at the Palestinian and Israeli demands, side by side, and decides, honestly, that there is no moral equivalence between the demands of the occupier and the occupied. And then we can, just possibly, help achieve peace and security for Israelis and Palestinians. But not before.

This post first appeared on MJ Rosenberg’s blog.No Peace Process Til U.S. Becomes “Honest Broker” Not “Israel’s Lawyer”

MJ Rosenberg
About M.J. Rosenberg

M.J. Rosenberg served as a Senior Foreign Policy Fellow with Media Matters Action Network, and prior to that worked on Capitol Hill for various Democratic members of the House and Senate for 15 years. He was also a Clinton political appointee at USAID. In the early 1980s, he was editor of AIPACs weekly newsletter Near East Report. From 1998-2009, he was director of policy at Israel Policy Forum. You can follow his work at mjayrosenberg.com.

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40 Responses

  1. just
    just
    July 27, 2013, 11:23 am

    “The only successful U.S. mediation between Israelis and Palestinians was conducted by President Jimmy Carter at Camp David in 1978. Carter managed to bridge the gaps that had led Israel and Egypt to go to war three times previously by being the ultimate honest broker.

    In his book about Camp David, Gen. Moshe Dayan, who was then Israel’s foreign minister, described how Carter would keep the pressure on both sides equally, telling President Sadat and Prime Minister Begin, in turn, that if the talks failed, he would publicly name who was responsible. All during the long arduous process that produced a peace treaty that has survived 34 years, Carter refused to act as either side’s advocate. His only client was peace and that is how he achieved an agreement.”

    I’ll say it again: the only negotiator we should have involved yesterday, today and tomorrow is President James Earl Carter, Jr. and whatever team he chooses. I fear (believe) that we don’t really want peace in I/P and are perfectly content to let the status quo continue and deteriorate. So, Jimmy Carter is sidelined and denigrated by his own party and his own President. One of the most incredible and well- known Americans still left on the planet continues to make a difference here at home and in far- flung places where others fear to tread.

    • James Canning
      James Canning
      July 27, 2013, 7:07 pm

      Bravo, Just.

    • pmb1414
      pmb1414
      July 29, 2013, 11:19 pm

      Just, you said it far more eloquently than I can. Carter is an American President who actually earned his Nobel Peace Prize, and continues to earn it with every word he speaks, and every word he writes. President Carter carries no one’s water, and would be the perfect choice to moderate these all but impossible talks. But I just pinched myself…never mind.

  2. American
    American
    July 27, 2013, 11:40 am

    ”….and Israel agrees to the establishment of a Palestinian state in the occupied territories of the West Bank (including east Jerusalem) and Gaza.”

    ….and Israel agrees?
    Who gave Israel the authority to be the ‘decider’ of anyone’s statehood?
    No one…Israel has no such ‘authority…and the US has no such authority.
    That has been the mistake from the beginning…and that mistake has been solely because of the zionist grip on the US of A.
    Get Israel …every shred of it…out of America…..not only for Palestine, but for America…..period.

    • James Canning
      James Canning
      July 27, 2013, 7:06 pm

      Get Israel out of the West Bank. Rich and powerful American Jews will make sure Israel always remains in near-control of American foreign policy pertaining to Israel.

      • Daniel Rich
        Daniel Rich
        July 27, 2013, 8:08 pm

        @ James Canning

        Q: … Rich and powerful American Jews…

        R: What did I do to you to be paraphrased here?

        [OK, not funny]

        Anyways, taking over anyone’s home ain’t right regardless whether you’re a ‘Boer’, a Mayflower descendant or OT settler.

        Citing ancient scriptures is like reading tealeaves in a cup of coffee; you get no stars no matter how many bucks you slap on the counter

      • James Canning
        James Canning
        July 28, 2013, 1:45 pm

        @Daniel Rich – – You are arguing Palestinians should not accept West Bank and Gaza as Palestine?
        Or, that Jews illegally settled in Palestine must be removed?

  3. ckg
    ckg
    July 27, 2013, 12:51 pm

    Ah–but the good work of Sec. Kerry is that his destined failure will drive a stake in the heart of the two-state solution. A silver bullet in the Oslo vampire’s heart. It will nail the coffin shut. No one will be able to discuss I/P without acknowledgement of it. It’s a whole new ball game after that.

    • Citizen
      Citizen
      July 27, 2013, 7:10 pm

      And Kerry himself has said this is the last chance to get a 2 S solution, yet he won’t put any real pressure on Israel, while Abbas is pressured, as he has no power in the first place and US threatens to cut of his piddly aid package, while Kerry does not dare to threaten aid to Israel, even though its biggest chunk of US foreign aid, and sequester is alive. Also Israel may approve on Sunday release 0f 104 prisoners jailed since B4 ’93 Oslo Accords http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.538251
      Yet Israel will rearrest them as usual.

      Kerry’s a fool or deeply dishonest.

  4. American
    American
    July 27, 2013, 1:03 pm

    http://world.time.com/2013/07/25/the-illusion-of-peace-9-reasons-why-new-israel-palestinian-talks-may-fail/

    The Illusion of Progress: 9 Reasons Why Israel-Palestinian Talks May Fail

    The first
    1. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s vow to submit any agreement to a referendum. Bibi’s promise, made Sunday at the start of his weekly cabinet meeting, brought cries that he was shirking the leadership role required of a statesman, though acting consistent with his reputation for governing by poll. In any event, an Israeli plebiscite would likely sound the death knell for an agreement

    The last
    9. The Americans are involved. Historically, this is simply not an encouraging indicator. “Washington is a great place to celebrate an agreement ,” Barnea writes. “It’s a cemetery for negotiations.”

    The hokey phony 4 billion carrot in between

    6. The Palestinian Stock Market. It moved not a jot after Kerry took to the podium at a World Economic Fund conference at the Dead Sea in May, and with great pomp lifted the veil on a $4 billion plan to revitalize the Palestinian Territories through private investment. Palestinian business leaders understood the market’s indifference as a confirmation that Kerry was building castles in the air. The reality on the ground, they say, is that Israel controls the Palestinian territory and, far from allowing new industries to build there, for decades has dispatched bulldozers to knock down certain structures not approved by the Israeli military, which approves very few. The smart money was not on what Kerry said, but on what Israel does, and for 46 years, what Israel has done is invested billions in settlements, roads and industrial parks that signal an intention to retain the stunning Biblical landscape it calls Judea and Samaria. “A prosperous Palestine means losing control of the place,” says a downbeat Samir O. Hulileh, chief executive officer of Padico Holding, a major Palestinian private firm. “Occupation is control.”

    Go to the UN and the ICC Palestine….run,run,run!

    • piotr
      piotr
      July 27, 2013, 4:41 pm

      All those prospective “investments in Palestinian economy” have to get a myriad of Israeli permits, so it makes a little difference if the promised amount is 4 million or 4 trillion. To a normal, healthy Israeli bureaucrat, issuing a permit to the benefit of Palestinians is like carving a pound of flesh from his/her own body — the pain is unbearable.

      Those lists of reasons remind me the following vintage joke. A bit more than 200 years ago, Emperor Napoleon came to a town where he was greeted by a delegation headed by the mayor. The Emperor asked “why there was no gun salute?” The mayor started to reply: “There are twenty reasons, sire. First, we have no guns.” “Enough”, the emperor interrupted.

    • James Canning
      James Canning
      July 27, 2013, 7:04 pm

      Let’s hope most of the billions spent by Israeli in the West Bank inures to the benefit of Palestine. And that the Palestinians can continue to defend the 1967 borders, internationally.

      • Citizen
        Citizen
        July 27, 2013, 7:20 pm

        $4 billion to the PA? LOL. Israel gets that every year at $8.5 Million a day, from the US taxpayers. It’s a joke. Obama already promised to increase the $3.5 B a year to $4.5 Billion. And if the Israeli’s free 104 in prison since Oslo, they will just arrest and imprison them again, as they’ve done in the past. Does Kerry really think the World and informed Americans don’t see though his charade?

      • MHughes976
        MHughes976
        July 28, 2013, 9:01 am

        Thanks for ref to interesting Karl Vick article. His quotations from the intelligence officer are significant, I think – ‘we have to make a decent offer’. There has to be at least a show of that old black magical generosity.

  5. James Canning
    James Canning
    July 27, 2013, 7:01 pm

    Great piece.

  6. Sumud
    Sumud
    July 27, 2013, 8:17 pm

    What Kerry and his predecessors are doing is best described as assisted suicide for Israel.

    • James Canning
      James Canning
      July 28, 2013, 1:48 pm

      @Sumud – – My guess is that John Kerry fears Israel will try to expel enough non-Jews from the West Bank, to enable scheme of permanent retention.

      • RoHa
        RoHa
        July 28, 2013, 10:56 pm

        I’m sure Kerry fears that Israel might do that during his time as Sec. of S. It would be embarrassing for him. Far better for them to wait till he has left the post, so that all he needs to do is deplore very quietly from retirement.

        (And there should not be a comma after “West Bank”.)

  7. Hostage
    Hostage
    July 27, 2013, 10:56 pm

    I’ll say it again: the only negotiator we should have involved yesterday, today and tomorrow is President James Earl Carter, Jr. and whatever team he chooses.

    The only thing that brought about the Camp David Accords was the Zionist realization after the Yom Kippur war that the IDF couldn’t take on a Soviet-armed country ten times its size using fixed defensive positions, if its adversary could employ an adequate air defense umbrella to protect its advancing ground forces. For that we have to thank Sadat and his Generals.

    Let’s remember that Carter subsequently sent Secretary of State Muskie to the UN to stop sanctions against the Israeli annexation of Jerusalem from being adopted. He actually claimed that the Carter administration considered the prohibition in the draft resolution against member states moving their embassies to Jerusalem as being “non-binding” in nature. Then Carter rounded-out his Cabinet appointments with a fourth Jewish Secretary at Commerce (Brown at Defense, Blumenthal at Treasury, Goldschmidt at Transportation, and Klutznick at Commerce). In short, he pandered to Jewish donors and voters, just as badly as Obama did during his own unsuccessful bid for re-election and started the process of undermining the gains that had been made.

  8. jimby
    jimby
    July 27, 2013, 11:05 pm

    It is really a shame that Israel didn’t live up to it’s part of the Camp David agreement. It was agreed that Israel would return to the ’67 borders. Begin signed the agreement and the Knesset signed it as well. Of course they never acted on it. In essence all sides agreed to honor U.N. resolution 242. Israel might be a healthy country at this point instead of a rabid skunk.

  9. Hostage
    Hostage
    July 27, 2013, 11:25 pm

    They insist on taking possession of 100% of those occupied territories, with “land swaps” that will permit a few settlement blocs to stay under Israeli jurisdiction in exchange for equal acreage now inside Israel. It, of course, should be noted that 100% of the West Bank and Gaza represents only 22% of historic Palestine (Israel plus the West Bank and Gaza). Israel would still control 78%.

    That is important to remember when you read a report that Palestinians are being obstinate for not agreeing to accept 90%. That is because the 90% is of the 22% which would reduce their portion to 18%.

    I’m always amazed by the discussions about contiguity and viability. The only land swap the Palestinians are interested in is a corridor connecting Gaza with the West Bank. Israel will never grant permission for that, for the very same outmoded tactical reason the Palestinians oppose granting Israel permission to cut the West Bank in half with its transportation corridors. No one with any military training who remembers the carnage visited on the highway leaving Kuwait City during the first Gulf War should consider lines of communication for mutual trade and transit with much dread. The war of the roads in 1948 simply underscored both side’s lack of air power and main battle tanks.

    Netanyahu intends to hold on to more territory than Olmert, i.e. See Elkin: Netanyahu Would Give the PA 86% of Judea and Samaria, Deputy Foreign Minister: Netanyahu would give 86% of Judea and Samaria to the PA, but luckily they will never settle for that. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/170310

    • Obsidian
      Obsidian
      July 28, 2013, 6:32 am

      Let’s get real.

      The question isn’t whether the Palestinians get 95% or 86% of the West Bank or what is the measure of their sovereignty over East Jerusalem.

      They question is what will be the quality of governance of the Palestinian people, and that question is inexorably linked to economics.

      The West Bank and Gaza will have what kind of economy in their new State?
      Manufacturing? Doubt it. Service? Possibly. Agriculture? No. Finance? No.

      The Palestinian State will only have tourism, and tourism depends wholly on a stable government at peace with it’s neighbors.

      So when the international justice seekers and the hotheads and the irredentists finally go home, it’ll be up to the Palestinians what they want for the future.

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        July 29, 2013, 4:35 am

        The West Bank and Gaza will have what kind of economy in their new State?
        Manufacturing? Doubt it. Service? Possibly. Agriculture? No. Finance? No.

        Gaza does just fine exporting agricultural products when your goon squads don’t close the borders. Those other sectors you mention are precisely the ones that Zionists either exploit in Palestine today or are standing in line to exploit there in the future. Jewish companies are responsible for the establishment of the industrial zones, because costs associated with wages, health care costs, and safety codes in Israel are considered too high.

        Palestinians won’t have any trouble cutting deals in exchange for granting government-franchised monopolies or serving as an off-shore tax haven for capitalists. All they need to do that right now is their independence. Tourism isn’t the only way to raise revenues. The only reason that the settlers make such a fuss about their blocs staying under Israeli sovereignty is because those 650,000 resident aliens are an obvious source of revenue from customs, tolls, property taxes, and taxes on foreign-earned income.

      • Obsidian
        Obsidian
        July 29, 2013, 12:11 pm

        @Hostage

        ” those 650,000 resident aliens are an obvious source of revenue from customs, tolls, property taxes, and taxes on foreign-earned income.”

        Ahh. Now were getting somewhere.
        Hostage. If you were advising a future Palestinian State, would you recommend that it retain the 650,000 resident aliens (as an obvious source of revenue) or throw them back across the Green Line from whence they came illegally?

      • talknic
        talknic
        July 29, 2013, 7:28 am

        Obsidian
        The West Bank and Gaza will have what kind of economy in their new State?

        In the West Bank, the economy Israel now extracts from “territories occupied”. Gaza is well known for its fishing and growing food. What do you think the illegal Israeli settlers were doing there, growing warts? Then there’s the gas fields in Palestinian territorial waters ….

        ” when the international justice seekers and the hotheads and the irredentists finally go home… “

        Uh huh … They’re not stopping Palestine from developing an economy. Try … When Israel finally withdraws from all non-Israeli territory, it’ll be up to the Palestinians what they want for the future

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        July 29, 2013, 8:14 am

        Then there’s the gas fields in Palestinian territorial waters ….

        He’d probably like to forget that they would also be entitled to make a comfortable income off the several hundred million cubic meters of water carried out of their territory by those enormous Mekorot pipelines every year.

      • talknic
        talknic
        July 29, 2013, 10:40 am

        @ Hostage “He’d probably like to forget that …

        They always HAVE to forget something, change a word here and there, cherry pick or simply spout Red Heifer sh*te. Not that they care. Caring is not in a Hasbarristers brief.

      • ritzl
        ritzl
        July 29, 2013, 10:57 am

        Great comments, talknic and Hostage. Obsidian already has the Palestinian economy and political condition figured out – as if there was no Occupation.

        Shorter Obsidian: ‘Those lazy Palestinians just aren’t capable of bootstrapping themselves up like “we” did. Just look at ’em. All they have is tourism, and they can’t even do that well.’

        I think the Occupation is what s/he seems to be forgetting. The unwarranted yet omnipotent condescension gushes…

      • James Canning
        James Canning
        July 29, 2013, 7:25 pm

        Palestinians are hard working and able to exploit opportunity if such is available. No reason to think Palestine would not be prosperous country. Services, provided globally, for example.

    • James Canning
      James Canning
      July 28, 2013, 1:43 pm

      I agree we can expect the Palestinians to hold to the 1967 borders, with minor changes. Israeli-built roads etc will be Palestinian property.

  10. Hostage
    Hostage
    July 28, 2013, 1:11 am

    Notably, the Palestinians, who are infinitely weaker than Israel, don’t demand security guarantees, just their territory.

    See Abbas Wants US-led NATO Force for PA State
    PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas told US lawmakers he wants a US-led NATO force to provide security for the future ‘Palestinian state.’ http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/146691

    Abbas agrees on peacekeeping forces in future Palestinian state regardless of religion: aide http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/world/2010-08/07/c_13434667.htm

    • Justpassingby
      Justpassingby
      July 28, 2013, 9:59 am

      Apparently abbas traded his prison pals for 1967 borders.
      Corrupt anyone?

      • Hostage
        Hostage
        July 29, 2013, 3:43 am

        Apparently abbas traded his prison pals for 1967 borders.

        I can’t find a published Palestinian source that doesn’t include the 1967 borders among the criteria for resuming the talks.

        BTW, the Palestinians are still demanding treatment of all prisoners under the terms of the 4th Geneva Convention. The release of these prisoners was a goodwill gesture suggested at a time when Israel was willing to negotiate with Hamas on the release of prisoners, but wouldn’t sit down at the table with the PLO or PA to discuss the same subject.

  11. thankgodimatheist
    thankgodimatheist
    July 28, 2013, 2:31 am

    A reminder of an interesting book “Il n’y aura pas d’État palestinien”(“There Will be No Palestinian State”” and why:
    http://prrnblog.wordpress.com/2010/10/03/il-ny-aura-pas-detat-palestinien/

    • Walid
      Walid
      July 29, 2013, 6:19 am

      TGIA, the summary of the book doesn’t include anything about other Arab countries’ involvement in this.

  12. July 28, 2013, 11:53 am

    I am a HUGE Jimmy Carter fan, and haven’t read all the comments, but boy it seems you all have selective memories.

    Carter sold out the Palestinians bigtime. (As did Sadat.) Asking for a verbal promise from Begin to treat the Palestinians justly….

    Please, Jimmy. You rushed the deal. (Not that anything in writing matters to the Israelis, of course..)

    • Hostage
      Hostage
      July 29, 2013, 3:27 am

      I am a HUGE Jimmy Carter fan, and haven’t read all the comments, but boy it seems you all have selective memories.

      Many people here are still calling the State of Palestine the PA, even after the UN voted to recognize its status as a non-member state.

      Carter sold out the Palestinians bigtime. (As did Sadat.) Asking for a verbal promise from Begin to treat the Palestinians justly….

      It was actually worse than that. The Camp David Accords were an agreement between third party states to formally resurrect the colonial era practice of establishing an autonomous self-governing authority, devoid of sovereign equality and full statehood. The whole idea should have been a non-starter, since it violated UN Charter principles and the UN Declaration Granting Independence to Colonial Peoples.

      I’ve noted on many occasions that Abba Eban had already admitted to the Johnson administration that the era of establishing autonomous regions was over:

      Eban said they had also given thought to establishment of separate, autonomous Palestinian state on West Bank. This also has serious drawbacks. Days of autonomous dependent regions had really passed. Creation of Palestinian state might simply increase irredentist desires. There would be yet another Arab state on Arab scene. In a year or two it would ask for UN membership, and it would be admitted. Such prospects did not look attractive.

      http://history.state.gov/historicaldocuments/frus1964-68v19/d442

      But that is exactly what Carter’s Camp David Accords required, the establishment of an autonomous self-governing, but dependent, regional entity. The fact is that the West Bank had been an integral part of a full UN member state and was fully represented in its lawmaking bodies and in its Cabinet. So Egypt, Israel, and the USA were serving their own interests, not those of the Palestinians, and asking the West Bank Palestinians to give up their representation in UN organs and treaty bodies.

      For their own part, the Palestinians declared their independence and statehood before signing the Oslo Accords. They deliberately reserved their existing positions on that and other outstanding issues under the terms of the agreements, which did not include statehood or UN membership as final status issues that were subject to the DOP.

    • James Canning
      James Canning
      July 31, 2013, 4:12 pm

      Carter certainly regretted not being able to get Israel out of WB. Gaza and Golan H.

  13. James Canning
    James Canning
    July 28, 2013, 1:32 pm

    Yes, Hostage. Most informed observers think there will be a need for a large force of peacekeepers.

  14. Citizen
    Citizen
    July 29, 2013, 11:01 am

    Meanwhile, Barghouthi, Secretary General of the Palestinian National Initiative (PNI), said that Israel’s railway plan is its ultimate attempt to annex the West Bank.

    The Israeli Civil Administration’s approval to go ahead with the railway plan in the West Bank targets foiling any Palestinian attempt to establish a Palestinian state on West Bank territories, Barghouthi said.

    Israel’s not just expanding settlements to show it does not care about peace. Obama-Kerry ignored Israel spitting in America’s face even as it drains US treasure while impoverished Americans are under sequestration.

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