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A Long Hot Summer Approaches: The Two-State Solution and a Vote at the UN

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The Long, Hot Summer was a William Faulkner novel, a Paul Newman film, and a journalistic phrase applied to inner city riots and unrest during the late 1960s. In 2011, these words will apply to a new stage in the conflict between Jew and Arab that has beset the Near East since the Balfour Declaration. The birth pangs of a Palestinian state will manifest themselves this summer, and as the days draw on, they shall increase in both frequency and intensity.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad seek statehood for their people. Despite a diplomatic impasse over the issue of Israeli settlement expansion in the West Bank, Palestinian leaders are steering their people toward statehood through alternative measures. The Palestinian people approve of these measures (Tolan).

Palestinian politics currently run “against a return to armed struggle… Violence would compromise the foreign support upon which the Palestinian authority has become dependent” (Agha and Malley). Instead, President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad aim to secure United Nations recognition of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders (Traub, Bronner “Palestinians Shift Focus in Strategy for Statehood”).

Such recognition holds enormous significance for the Palestinian people, and their statehood is long overdue. However, such recognition would strengthen forces of conflict within both what was once British Mandatory Palestine and in the region surrounding it, a region roiling under the influence of the Arab Spring.

First, the Palestinians seek international recognition of their state (Traub). Their efforts cannot be dismissed as a ploy, but rather represent a serious attempt to gain statehood President Abbas writes,

Our quest for recognition as a state should not be seen as a stunt,…We go to the United Nations now to secure the right to live free in the remaining 22 percent of our historic homeland because we have been negotiating with the State of Israel for 20 years without coming any closer to realizing a state of our own. We cannot wait indefinitely while Israel continues to send more settlers to the occupied West Bank and denies Palestinians access to most of our land and holy places, particularly in Jerusalem. Neither political pressure nor promises of rewards by the United States have stopped Israel’s settlement program.

Already, over 100 states have recognized a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, including regional powers Turkey and Brazil (Aslan). Israeli political columnist Aluf Benn writes that every additional state that recognizes Palestine and the 1967 borders erodes Israel’s position in the Occupied Territories (“Israel Can’t Stop Palestinian Independence”). International recognition, rather than being merely symbolic and rhetorical, forms a vital component of a state’s international legitimacy, the others being government institutions, a loyal population, and a defined territory (Kelleher and Klein 16). Abbas and Fayyad have been busily shoring up the other elements of Palestinian legitimacy.

First, recent reports by the United Nations, World Bank, and International Monetary Fund confirm that the Palestinian Authority possesses institutions of government (Ackerman and Ferziger, Bronner “Bid for State of Palestine Gets Support From IMF,” Greenberg “UN Report: Palestinian Authority Ready for Statehood”).

Second, Fatah, the faction forming the Palestinian Authority, and its rival, Hamas, reached a rapprochement, indicating that the population seeks unity and is loyal to a future Palestinian state (Bronner “Palestinian Factions Sign Accord to End Rift”). This reconciliation mends a lack of unity between these factions that has hobbled the Palestinians’ struggle for statehood (Bronner and Kershner). This is a key step, for proper representation of the Palestinian people at the international level requires unity (Falk).

Third, the final requirement, defined territory, suggests a key motivation behind the Palestinian drive for recognition of a state within the 1967 borders. In sum, Palestinian efforts have created an entity that meets the legal standards of statehood. As Abbas writes,

Despite Israel’s attempt to deny us our long-awaited membership in the community of nations, we have met all prerequisites to statehood listed in the Montevideo Convention, the 1933 treaty that sets out the rights and duties of state. The permanent population of our land is the Palestinian people …Our territory is recognized as the lands framed by the 1967 border, though it is occupied by Israel.

We have the capacity to enter into relations with other states and have embassies and missions in more than 100 countries. The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the European Union have indicated that our institutions are developed to the level where we are now prepared for statehood. Only the occupation of our land hinders us from reaching our full national potential; it does not impede United Nations recognition.

The Palestinians intend to use international recognition to gain formal United Nations General Assembly recognition of their statehood (Mitnick “US Admits Defeat on Israeli Settlement Freeze”). A vote in the General Assembly will “almost certainly” end up ratifying statehood upon the Palestinians, “thus legally removing Palestine from Israeli authority” (Gelb). General Assembly passage of the resolution requires 128 votes; it is estimated that as many as 140 countries will vote for the resolution (Moubayed).

The United Nations General Assembly vote touches upon questions of legitimacy. While the United States could veto a resolution in the Security Council, the US cannot block a vote on a resolution presented to the General Assembly. The Palestinians seek to thus imitate the Israelis, whose locate their own statehood and international legitimacy in the United Nations General Assembly’s 1947 Resolution 181 concerning the partition of mandatory Palestine (Bronner “Palestinians Shift Focus in Strategy for Statehood”).

Recognition of Palestinian statehood will create certain advantages. It will represent a triumph for the international rule of law, and it may increase the chances for peace in the region.

In terms of the international rule of law, recognition of Palestinian statehood completes implementation of the full text of General Assembly Resolution 181. Tony Karon writes,

Israel’s declaration of independence in 1948 claimed recognition of its own statehood by referring to a 1947 resolution to partition the Holy Land into separate Jewish and Arab states. No Arab state came into being, of course—the 1948 war changed the contours of partition to give Israel a substantially bigger share than that envisaged by the UN plan, while the West Bank and Gaza were occupied by Jordan and Egypt respectively in 1948, and then by Israel in 1967. (“Will the Palestinians Take Their Case to the UN?”)

By legitimating Palestinian sovereignty over the West Bank, the resolution would delegitimize Israel’s occupation and perhaps end it. Middle East experts Hussein Agha and Robert Malley argue, “If it is delegitimization Israelis fear, then it must be delegitimization that will make them budge. Faced with the prospect of isolation, Israel might be persuaded to end its occupation.” University of Chicago professor of international relations John J. Mearsheimer carries this logic further when he states,

It is no accident that Israel finds itself increasingly isolated these days and constantly complains that it is being delegitimized. That situation will only get worse, as Israel comes to look more and more like white-ruled South Africa. UN recognition of a Palestinian state this September will further legitimize the Palestinian cause as well as the two-state solution, and it will further delegitimize the Occupation. This is why Israel is so worried about the general Assembly voting to recognize a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders. (Elliott)

Second, the attainment of the Palestinians’ paramount political demand may increase the probability of peace in the Middle East. It would remove a lingering excuse cited by several Arab states and extremist groups for neither recognizing Israel nor normalizing diplomatic relations with Tel Aviv, for the plight of the Palestinians people lingers on as a source of unrest and extremism (Gul). US military leadership perceives the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as compromising American interests because it poisons relations and increases tensions (Greenwald, Levy). Even though peace and happiness will not spontaneously erupt from a declaration of Palestinian statehood, the real causes of political and military tensions would no longer hide under cover of the “Palestinian question.” In laying the sources of those remaining tensions bare, and in removing the delaying tactic of waving the bloody Palestinian shirt, Palestinian statehood could clarify specific and underlying bases of conflict in the Middle East, perhaps revealing them be transitory and subject to good-faith diplomatic resolution.

Against these advantages stand grave disadvantages: forcing Israeli domestic politics further rightward; making Israel’s foreign relations even more hawkish; increasing regional tensions to the point that a conflict erupts; and, finally, failing to secure the interests of the Palestinian people themselves.

First, passage of a United Nations resolution recognizing Palestinian statehood will further distort Israel’s domestic politics. Already leaning quite rightwards, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government appears unwilling to accommodate itself with international pressure (Been “Israel Can’t Stop Palestinian Independence”). Additionally, the Israeli right opposes Palestinian statehood and any Israeli withdrawal from the Occupied Territories (Cole). Netanyahu—and President Obama, in a concession to the Israeli PM—harshly criticized the rapprochement between Fatah and Hamas, citing it as proof that Israel has no legitimate future neighbor or negotiating partner (Lazaroff). As already noted, this rapprochement is necessary for proper international representation of the Palestinian people. Thus, rejection of Palestinian unity is a rejection of Palestinian international legitimacy, and it represents another effort to delay (if not outright derail) Palestinian statehood. In fact, Netanyahu’s intransigent resistance to President Obama’s suggestions regarding a starting point for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations reflects his desire to solidify his right-wing credentials and thus his domestic political support (Khalidi, Federman). Israeli diplomatic correspondent Aluf Benn characterized Netanyahu’s recent speech before the US Congress as having been “designed to re-strengthen his position as the right-wing leader of Israel” (“Netanyahu Speech to US Congress: Preaching to the Choir”). A further rightward lurch in Israeli politics would only assure the continued subjugation of the Palestinian people and a continuation of the conflict (Chernus, Pillar “Israel Slides Further to the Right”).

Second, Israel’s foreign relations, characterized by a resolute promotion of Israel’s perceived vital national interests, dilute—if not outright negate—the ability of a United Nations resolution to solve the problems of Palestinian sovereignty. A hardheaded April 5 Jerusalem Post editorial, “Zionist Diplomacy,” argues that Israel’s legitimate security interests oblige it to hold territory beyond the limits of the 1967 borders while also calling for negotiations. Israel’s government has long viewed settlements as a strategic necessity to create buffer zones against Arab threats to Israel’s population centers (Gorenberg The Accidental Empire 224-5). In an anarchic world in which states are the sole guarantors of their vital national interests, Israel has no reason to believe that the international community will secure its vital national interests (“Zionist Diplomacy”). This represents fundament realist logic in international relations (Mearsheimer 33). “Zionist Diplomacy” argues from this perspective, stating that Israel’s diplomacy must begin with articulating Israel’s “red lines”—its nonnegotiable interests—including

no ‘right of return’ for Palestinians; that major settlement blocs will stay put; that Israel  will continue to have access to its important historical sites; that Israel’s security interests…must be respected; that final borders will be mutually and will require more extensive and realistic adjustments than those the Palestinians have prepared to accept thus far; and that the final agreement will mark the end of the conflict between Israel and the Arab world.

While clear, this list of requirements assumes that negotiations on these sensitive matters will end with Israel achieving all of its aims by security maximal expression of its perceived vital national interests. There is, in short, little room for actual negotiation, which is problematic, to say the least. Netanyahu’s public statements go beyond these requirements, and he has used misleading formulations that likely prevent finding solutions to problems arising from Israeli-Palestinian frictions (Gorenberg “Political Memory in the Mideast”). In fact, his public statements before the US Congress may well preclude any future agreement with the Palestinians (Rosenberg). Additionally, the tone and content of his statements in the United States seem to indicate that he fully embraces what passes for a vision of reality among advocates of further settlement-building in the West Bank:

According to Netanyahu, it’s in the vital interest of Israel to annex 100 percent of Jerusalem to the Jewish state, including neighborhoods that are inhabited nearly exclusively by Palestinians. Netanyahu also thinks it’s vital for Israel to prevent any hypothetical Republic of Palestine to have a military. But that’s not to say he thinks there should be no military on Palestinian soil; he just wants to make sure it’s an Israeli military stations in the Jordan River Valley. For good measure, he added that “in Judea and Samaria [that is, the West Bank], the Jewish people are not foreign occupiers.” (Ysglesias)

Third, recognition of a Palestinian state will increase regional tensions sufficiently to spark conflict both within and outside of Palestine. Former State Department Middle East negotiator Aaron David Miller argues that the resolution will be counterproductive is several ways:

Yet another resolution won’t deliver Palestinians a state or even bring them closer to one. The result will be the opposite of the Palestinians want: forcing the United States to oppose Palestinians’ efforts, energizing Congress to restrict much-needed assistance to Palestinian institution-building, and probably prompting Israel to do very real (and dumb) things on the ground. (“The Palestinians’ Mistake in Seeking Statehood from the UN”)

Thus, the aftermath of a United Nations resolution will be an upsurge in regional tensions. Leslie Gelb, President Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations, writes, “The stage is being set for calamity: The high risk of Palestinian riots to fully claim their state, followed by very tough Israeli crackdowns—adding fire to the unexpected and unpredictable popular upheavals across the Middle East.” The Jerusalem Post relates that Jordan’s king fears another Israeli-Palestinian war (“Insistent Intransigence”). Jonathan Schanzer, a research fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, warns that a Palestinian declaration of statehood without Israeli approval will lead to war, and his analysis embraces both Israel’s internal politics as well as the region’s political dynamic. He writes

Although a…declaration of statehood is a seemingly attractive alternative to negotiations and is gaining credence among a growing group of countries, it is an almost surefire recipe for war. If the Palestinian government unilaterally claims land where an estimated 400,000 Israeli settlers currently reside in the West Bank, don’t expect them simply to pull up and move, especially if they were not consulted on the matter. Expect them to fight.

From there, a border dispute with Israel becomes inevitable. And in the Middle East, border disputes are not settled through binding arbitration. Another military conflict is sure to follow.

Fourth, and most tragically, a United Nations General Assembly resolution will not secure the interests of the Palestinian people, for it will not actually alter international law with respect to the status of the Palestinian Authority. University of San Diego law professor Abraham Bell says it will not create a state out of something that is not a state (Mandel). United Nations recognition will not actually move the Palestinians closer to statehood, as Near East specialist Paul Pillar argues, writing

Any such affirmation would not bring the Palestinians materially closer to real statehood. The goal has Palestinian statehood has repeatedly been affirmed and supported internationally…So another affirmation almost seems superfluous. And an affirmation would not bring the Palestinians one inch closer to an actual sovereign state on the ground, where the determinative factor is continued Israeli military control of the West Bank supplemented by the daily creation of still more facts on the ground in the form of expanded Israeli settlements. (“The Palestinians’ Ploy”)

Hussein Agha and Robert Malley insist “[t]he greater danger to the Palestinian cause…is not the absence of a state. It is the premature creation of one.” Palestinian anthropologist and sociologist Dr. Khalil Nakleh argues that a UN resolution will not change anything for the Palestinian people at all, saying it is simply a

game about changing titles. If you push the idea that something is going to happen in September, then all dissenting views…are stymied…There is a big illusion that is being created. People who support or are not willing to argue about this September are the same people who accepted the notion of Oslo. A flag and a name in the United Nations will not get us anywhere, not one step toward liberating people or their minds.” (Hass)

Palestinian-American journalist Ali Abunimah concurs, calling the resolution a charade, a fantasy, and a mirage, arguing that the resolution “could push Palestinians even further away from real liberation and self-determination.” He compares the resulting relationship between Israel and the Palestinians to the pseudo-autonomous statelets created by South Africa during the apartheid era:

Many have accurately likened the Palestinian “state” envisaged by the [Palestinian Authority] and its sponsors to the “Bantustans” of apartheid South Africa. The Bantustans were nominally independent states set up by the apartheid regime to grant “citizenship” to blacks, as a way to derail demands for true equality…Recognition of a Palestinian “state” under Israeli occupation would certainly solidify and perpetuate the privileges and positions of unelected PA officials, while doing nothing to change the conditions or restore the rights of millions of Palestinians…Far from increasing international pressure on Israel, it may even allow state that have utterly failed in their duty to hold Israel accountable to international law to wash their hands of the question of Palestine, under the mantro [sic] of “we recognized Palestine, what more do you want from us? (Abunimah)

In fact, Israel may well respond to a declaration of Palestinian statehood by annexing the West Bank settlements, a course of action that more than half of the Israeli public supports, and one which certainly does not further the interests of the Palestinian people (Hoffman).

It defies credulity to assume Israel will either sit by idly as Palestinians move to take possession of the Occupied Territories or actively comply with the terms of the resolution. After all, the “Israelis have shown that they will defy rather than submit to international pressure” (Miller “The Palestinian Mistake in Seeking Statehood from the UN”). Miller reiterates how counterproductive seeking statehood through the United Nations General Assembly will prove, arguing that the “Palestinian campaign will also prompt intensified Israeli settlement activity in an effort to remind the Palestinians that Israeli actions are real, not virtual” (“The Palestinian Mistake in Seeking Statehood from the UN”).

Palestinian efforts to take control of territories granted them by a UN resolution recognizing a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders would provoke a violent Israeli response. May 15, Israeli Independence Day, a day the Palestinians call Nakba—Catastrophe—Day, saw Palestinians march up to the Israeli borders in such numbers that Israeli security forces fired on them, killing 12 and wounding hundreds (Bronner “Israeli Troops Fire as Marchers Breach Borders”). Eran Makov, of Israel’s Defense Ministry, called May 15 “a dress rehearsal for September” (Moubayed). There are already signs the Palestinians are organizing another uprising (“Insistent Intransigence,” Shaikh). Aluf Benn imagines the scene this way:

They will go out into Jerusalem’s summer heat and march down Saladin Street toward the Old City walls. Fifty Palestinians, then 100, then 200 and 1,000 and 10, 000. Marching and shouting “Istiqlal,” independence. Not because they support Ehud Barak’s new party…but to get Israel out of the territories beyond the Green Line and establish a Palestinian state there. Just like the demonstrators in Tunisia got rid of Zine al-Abedine Ben Ali.

How will Israel react?…

The scenario, which researchers Shaul Mishal and Doron Mazza call the White Intifada, may come to pass in August or September, as the target date the Palestinians have set for declaring an independent state approaches. (“Israel Can’t Stop Palestinian Independence”)

Amidst such a grim forecast, some suggest heading off the UN resolution by pursuing a negotiated settlement before the General Assembly can vote (“Zionist Diplomacy”). In the United States, Middle East experts have privately urged the articulation of a comprehensive American diplomatic approach designed to reach a final peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians (Gelb). Gelb writes,

Many Mideast experts, including in his own administration as well as many former senior officials, are pressing [Obama] to lay out a comprehensive US peace plan. This would include all the elements of compromise for both the Palestinians and Israelis, but mostly for the Israelis. They want him to do this even if it means taking this leap without any prior indication by the two parties that they’d accept US terms. It would be totally putting US prestige on the line, naked in public, and letting the chips fall where they may. It would be jumping off the cliff for peace.

Scott Lasensky, a fellow at the US Institute for Peace, writes that the best way to forestall the disadvantages of United Nations recognition is for the US to head off a Palestinian unilateral move for recognition by offering its own comprehensive peace plan. However, the risks for the United States loom as a significant disincentive to pursuing that action, for as Leslie Gelb soberly writes, “[I]f this grand leap fails, US credibility would virtually disappear, and the warring parties could be left without a viable intermediary. Then what?”

In addition to this consideration, there are several barriers to achieving any such agreement. First, during his recent visit to the United States, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu picked a fight with President Obama and displayed no interests in pursuing a peace agreement with the Palestinians (Walzer). Mere hours before Netanyahu travelled to the United States, the Israeli government approved the building of 1500 more settler homes in occupied East Jerusalem in a gesture sure to enrage the Palestinians (Weizman). Andrew Sullivan argues that the entirety of Netanyahu’s visit demonstrates that he supports, at most, the creation of apartheid-era arrangements in the West Bank and Gaza:

It appears that the maximum Netanyahu would allow in any two state solution are some kind of autonomous Bantustans in the West Bank, surrounded by Israeli military and security forces and buffered at the Jordan border with IDF troops…If this is Israel’s bottom line, there will be no peace…More to the point, Netanyahu is no longer on the Israeli fringe…there is very solid and wide support in Israel for such a maximalist position….

Aaron David Miller, a former State Department Middle East negotiator, notes that three factors necessary to avert a catastrophe:

Averting a train wreck on Palestinian statehood in New York this fall will require a serious Israeli approach to negotiations, a display of guts and strategy from the Obama administration, and a Palestinian national movement ready to make tough choices. If none of this materializes we’ll have a leadership vacuum. And sadly, what’s likely to fill it are paper resolutions, rhetoric, more violence and empty promises. (“The Palestinians Mistake in Seeking Statehood from the UN”)

Unfortunately, none of the three factors will appear, and calamity will ensue.

First, although The Jerusalem Post takes a hardheaded look at Israel’s interests and proposes to secure them via negotiations, Netanyahu demonstrated no willingness to be as “generous” as the Post would have him be. His speech before the United States Congress served, in part, as his “reelection platform,” reassuring the Israeli Right that he has their interests firmly in mind (Walzer). Netanyahu went out of his way to harangue Obama over formulation of a  Israeli-Palestinian agreement, even though Obama’s call for a two-state solution utilizing the 1967 borders as a basis for settlement represented no deviation from past American policy (Spitzer, Tolan). In rejecting this formulation, Netanyahu indicated that he actually opposes a two-state solution and has no interest in a peace agreement with the Palestinians (Elliot, Newman). University of Michigan professor Juan Cole argues that the “dispute” over the 1967 borders as the basis for a negotiated settlement is merely cover for continued Israeli expansion in the Occupied Territories:

[T]he whole tiff over “1967 borders” is a smokescreen for Israeli expansionism. The settler movement could put down settlements in much of the sparsely populated south of Israel proper with no problem Instead, they insist on taking Palestinian land. They are not colonizing the West Bank only to make it more “secure” (they are making it less so), but rather out of greed, ambition, and expansionism. It is not about defense, it is about offense.

Second, the United States has little, if any, traction in this matter. If Israel’s December refusal to extend a freeze on settlement expansion to facilitate further negotiations exposed the United States’ inability to manage the participants, then the reaction of Congress, AIPAC, and the American Right to Netanyahu’s scolding of President Obama and his bombastic speeches certainly demonstrated there is little American domestic political support for putting additional pressure on Israel. In such an environment, Obama has no incentive to spend political capital to further an agreement, particularly if he is serious about winning a second term in office (Greenwald). Already, Jewish campaign donors have warned Obama that pressure on Israel will cost him campaign contributions (Meckler). The President has pushed Israel as far and as hard as American domestic political circumstances allow. Andrew Sullivan cogently observes,

[N]o one seems to appreciate Obama’s political courage in all this. Obama seems to understand than equitable two-state solution is a key crucible for the change he is seeking with respect to the Muslim world…[H]e has pursued this, through humiliation after humiliation from the Israelis, who are openly trying to lobby the press, media, political parties, and Congress to isolate this president and destroy his vision for peace and the historic and generational potential his presidency still promises. To achieve this, he has to face down the apocalyptic Christianist right, the entire FNC-RNC media machine, a sizable chunk of his party’s financial base, and the US Congress. And yet on he pushes—civilly, rationally, patiently.

Third, given the near certainty of achieving UN recognition of their statehood, Palestinian leadership perceives no need to negotiate with the Israelis (Gelb, “Zionist Diplomacy”). For one thing, Abbas is deeply disappointed in Obama’s stance (Houry).  Also, Palestinian leaders view Netanyahu’s speech before Congress as a “declaration of war” (Associated Press). That speech guarantees that the Palestinians will declare independence in September (Tolan, “You Can’t Make Everyone Happy). M. J. Rosenberg, a Senior Foreign Policy Fellow at Media Matters for America, writes

If anyone had any doubt about whether the Palestinians would declare a state in September, they can’t have them now…Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu delivered a speech to Congress that essentially was a series of insults to Palestinians and every insult was met by applause and standing ovations…And that is why Palestinians have no choice but to unilaterally declare a state in the fall. They cannot count on America. As David Ben Gurion understood when he went to the General Assembly to achieve recognition of Israel, a small, powerless people must take its destiny into its own hands…And so we can look forward to a unilateral declaration of statehood in September.

Given past efforts by Palestinian leadership to compromise with Israel as reflected in the Palestine Papers, and given that the Israelis rejected those efforts, the Palestinians prefer to wait on the voice of the international community (Zacharia).

The outlook is thus bleak (“You Can’t Make Everyone Happy”). “Israeli, Palestinian and Western officials interviewed on the current impasse, most of them requesting anonymity, expressed an unusual degree of pessimism about a peaceful resolution” (Bronner “In Israel, Time for Peace Offer May Run Out”). Tensions in the Middle East will rise, and 2011 will witness a summer that will be both long and hot (Shaikh, Tolan).

 Semi-Annotated Bibliography

Abbas, Mahmoud. “The Long Overdue Palestinian State.” The New York Times. 16 May 2011. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/17/opinion/17abbas.html?_r=1&ref=westbank. Web. 17 May 2011. Mahmoud Abbas is the president of the Palestinian Authority.

Abunimah, Ali. “Recognising Palestine?” Al Jazeera. 13 April 2011. http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/04/2011413152522296883.htm.  Web. 13 April 2011. Ali Abunimah is a Palestinian-American journalist and a fellow at the Palestine Center. He contributes to both the Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times. His father is a former Jordanian diplomat who was ambassador to the United Nations.

Ackerman, Gwen and Jonathan Ferziger. “Fayyad Says State-Building Makes Palestine Inevitable.” Bloomberg Businessweek. 18 October 2010. www.businessweek.com/news/2010-10-18/fayyad-says-state-building-makes-palestine-inevitable.html. Web. 14 April 2011.

Agha, Hussein and Robert Malley. “Who’s Afraid of the Palestinians?” The New York Review of Books. 10 February 2011. http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/feb/10/whos-afraid-palestinians/. Web. 3 April 2011. Hussein Agha is Senior Associate Member of St. Antony’s College, Oxford, and co-author of A Framework for a Palestinian National Security Doctrine (2011). Robert Malley is Program Director for Middle East and North Africa at the International Crisis Group in Washington, D.C., and former Special Assistant to President Bill Clinton for Arab-Israeli Affairs.

Aslan, Reza. “Let the Palestinians Declare Statehood.” The Daily Beast. 8 December 2010. http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2010-12-08/palestinian-statehood-obamas-challenge-at-the-united-nations/. Web. 5 April 2011. An Iranian-American activist and religious scholar, Reza Azlan is on the faculty at the University of California, Riverside and author of No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam.

Associated Press. “Abbas Aide: Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress is ‘Declaration of War

Against Palestinians.” The Washington Post. 24 May 2011. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/abbas-aide-netanyahus-speech-to-congress-is-declaration-of-war-against-palestinians/2011/05/24/AFjDgYAH_sotry.html?hpid=z1. Web. 24 May 2011.

Ben-Ami, Shlomo. “Netanyahu’s Border War.” CNN.com. 24 May 2011. http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2011/05/24/netanyahu’s-border-war. Web. 26 May 2011. Ben-Ami is a former Israeli foreign minister and now serves as Vice President of the Toledo International Centre for Peace.

Benn, Aluf. “The Arab Revolution is Knocking at Israel’s Door.” Haaretz. 16 May 2011. http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/the-arab-revolution-is-knocking-at-israek-s-sdoor-1.361969. Web. 17 May 2011. Benn is the editor-at-large for Haaretz Newspaper as well as its diplomatic columnist. Haaretz is Israel’s left-wing newspaper.

—. “Israel Can’t Stop Palestinian Independence.” Haaretz. 19 January 2011. http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/israel-can-t-stop-palestinian-independence-1.337880. Web. 6 April 2011.

—. “Netanyahu Speech to US Congress: Preaching to the Choir.” Haaretz. 24 May 2011. http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/netanyahu-speech-to u-s-congress-preaching-to-the-choir-1.363873. Web. 24 May 2011.

Bromwich, David. “Obama’s Middle East: Rhetoric and Reality.” The New York Review of Books. 22 May 2011. http://www.nybooks.com/blogs/nyrblog/2011/may/22/rhetoric-and-reality/. Web. 26 May 2011. Bromwich is Sterling professor of English at Yale University.

Bronner, Ethan. “Bid for State of Palestine Gets Support From IMF.” The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/07/world/middleeast/07palestinians.html. Web. 14 April 2011. Ethan Bronner is the Jerusalem bureau chief of the New York Times.

—. “Hamas Leader Calls for Two-State Solution, but Refuses to Renounce Violence.” 5 May 2011. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/06/world/middleeast/06palestinians.html?ref=middleeast. Web. 5 May 2011.

—. “Israeli Troops Fire as Marchers Breach Borders.” The New York Times. 15 May 2011. http://www.nytimes/com/2011/05/16/world/middleeast/16mideast.html. Web. 16 May 2011.

—. “Palestinian Factions Sign Accord to End Rift.” The New York Times. 4 May 2011.http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/05/world/middleeast/05palestinians.html?ref=middleeast. Web. 5 May 2011.

—.  “Palestinians Shift Focus in Strategy for Statehood.” The New York Times. 20 October 2010. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/21/world/middleeast/21mideast.html. Web. 6 April 2011.

Bronner, Ethan and Isabel Kershner. “Fatah and Hamas Announce Outline of Deal.” The New York Times. 27 April 2011. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/28/world/middleeast/28mideast.html. Web. 28 April 2011.

Chernus, Ira. “Debunking Our Myths About Israel.” Salon.com. 26 May 2011. http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/2011/05/26/america_israel_myths. Web. 26 May 2011. Chernus is a professor of religious studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Cole, Juan. “What Lies Behind Netanyahu’s Bluster on ‘1967 Borders.’” Informed Comment. 24 May 2011. http://juancole.com/2011/05/what-lies-behind-netayahus-bluster-on-1967-borders.html. Web. 24 May 2011. Juan Cole is a professor of Middle Eastern history and culture at the University of Michigan.

Cooper, Helene. “Invitation to Israeli Leader Puts Obama on the Spot.” The New York Times. 20 April 2011. www.nytimes.com/2011/04/21/world/middleeast/21prexy.html?_r=1.  Web. 5 May 2011.

Diehl, Jackson. “Mahmoud Abbas’s Formula for War.” The Washington Post. 18 May 2011. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/mahmous-abbas-formula-for-war/2011/05/18/AFsdUl6G_story.html. Web. 19 May 2011. Diehl is deputy editorial editor at The Washington Post. He specializes in foreign affairs.

Dunne, Michele. “First, Obama Needs a Strategy.” The New York Times. 18 May 2011. http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/05/17/obamas-arab-israeli-options/first-obama-needs-a-strategy. Web. 19 May 2011. Michele Dunn is a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

Elliott, Justin. “Is Obama Really Getting Tough on Israel?” Salon.com. 23 May 2011. http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/05/23/mearsheimer_obama_israel_aipac/index.html. Web. 24 May 2011.

Falk, Richard. “Israel and Palestine: Obama’s Flawed Approach.” Al Jazeera. 21 May 2011. http://www.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/05/201152191452474596.html. Web. 22 May 2011. Richard Falk is the Albert G. Milbank Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University and Research Professor in Global and International Studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Federman, Josef. “Fact Check: Netanyahu’s Speech Ignores Rival Claims.” Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 24 May 2011. http://seattlepi.com/news/article/FACT-CHECK-Netanyahu-speech-ignores-rival-claims-1393835.php. Web. 24 May 2011. Federman is a correspondent for the Associated Press.

Frum, David. “Congress to Bibi: We’re Behind You.” Frum Forum. 24 May 2011. http://www.frumformum.com/congress-to-bib-were-behind-you#. Web. 24 May 2011. David Frum was a speechwriter for President George W. Bush, the formulator of the “Axis of Evil” line in Bush’s 2002 State of the Union Address, and currently a blogger and commentator arguing for the re-birth of a rational brand of American conservatism.

Gelb, Leslie. “The Israel-Palestine Vote Igniting the Mideast.” The Daily Beast. 24 April 2011. http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-04-24/the-israel-palestine-un-statehood-vote-igniting-the-mideast-behind-the-scenes/  Web. 25 April 2011. Longtime New York Times foreign correspondent, Leslie Gelb is currently the President Emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Goldberg, Jeffrey. “Why Palestinians Have Time on Their Side.” Bloomberg. 24 May 2011. http://bloomberg.com/news/2011-05-24/why-palestinians-have-time-on-their-side.html. Web. 26 May 2011.  Jeffrey Goldberg is a columnist and contributor to both The Atlantic Monthly and Bloomberg News.

Gorenberg, Gershom. The Accidental Empire: Israel and the Birth of the Settlements 1967-1977. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2006.

—. “Political Memory in the Mideast.” The American Prospect. 19 May 2011. http://prospect.org/cs/articles?article=poltical_memory_in_the_mideast. Web. 29 May 2011.  Gorenberg is a journalist and author whose most significant works include The End of Days: Fundamentalism and the Struggle for the Temple Mount and The Accidental Empire: Israel and the Birth of the Settlements, 1967-1977.

Greenberg, Joel. “Palestinians Protest Veto of Resolution Condemning Israel’s Settlement Policy.” The Washington Post. 20 February 2011. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/20/AR2011022002203.html.  Web. 14 April 2011. Joel Greenberg is a correspondent for the Washington Post.

—. “U.N. Report: Palestinian Authority Ready for Statehood.” http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp- dyn/content/article/2011/02/20/AR2011022002203.html.  Web. 14 April 2011.

Greenwald, Glenn. “Obama and the Israel Lobby.” Salon.com. 22 May 2011. http://www.salong.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/05/22/israel/index.html. 22 May 2011. Glenn Greenwald is a constitutional lawyer and blogger at Salon.com.

Gul, Abdullah. “The Revolution’s Missing Peace.” The New York Times. 20 April 2011. http://nytimes.com/2011/04/21/opinion/21gul.html?ref=westbank. Web. 17 May 2011. Abdullah Gul is the president of Turkey.

Hass, Amira. “Bracing for a Boomerang.” Haaretz. 16 May 2011. http://www.haaretz.com/misc/writers/amira-hass-1.278. Web. 21 May 2011. Amira Haas has been the Haaretz correspondent for the Occupied Territories since 1993.

Hoffman, Gil. “Likud to PM: We Will Need to Annex West Bank Settlements.” The Jerusalme Post. 16 May 2011. http://www.jpost.com/VideoArticles/Video/Article.aspx?ID=220783&R-R1. Web. 17 May 2011. Hoffman is a correspondent for The Jerusalem Post.

“Insistent Intransigence.” The Jerusalem Post. 23 May 2011. http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Editorials/Article.aspx?id-221893. Web. 25 May 2011.

Karon, Tony. “What If the Palestinians Turn to the U.N.?” Time. 21 December 2010. http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2037982,00.html.  Web. 14 April 2011. Tony Karon is a senior editor at Time Magazine. He provides commentary on international affairs.

—“Will the Palestinians Take Their Case to the U.N.?” Time. 27 October 2010. http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,2027994,00.html.  Web. 14 April 2011.

Khalidi, Rashid. “How Obama Enables Israel’s Worst Impulses.” Salon.com. 27 May 2011. http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/2011/05/27/rashid_khalidi_obama_palestine.

Web. 27 May 2011. Khalidi is the Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University.

Khouri, Jack. “Palestinian Source to Haaretz: Abbas Deeply Disappointed With Obama.” Haaretz. 24 May 2011. http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/palestinian-source-to-haaretz-abbas-deeply-disappointed-with-obama-1.363629. Web. 27 May 2011. Khoury is a correspondent for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

Klein, Joe. “How the US Should Support Middle East Reform.” Time. 10 February 2011. http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,2048150,00.html. 14 April 2011. Klein is a longtime Washington, D. C. journalist and columnist who writes for Time.

Kuhner, Jeffrey T. “Obama’s Anti-Israel Agenda.” The Washington Times. 17 February 2011. www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/feb/17obamas-anti-israel-agenda/. Web. 5 May 2011. Kuhner is a “journalist” for Reverend Sun Yung Moon’s right-wing rag, The Washington Times.

Lazaroff, Tovah. “Netanyahu: Fatah-Hamas Unity a Blow to Peace Process. The Jerusalem Post. 4 May 2011. http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=219170. Web. 5 May 2011. Tovah Lazaroff is a correspondent for The Jerusalem Post.

Levy, Daniel. “From Illusions to Solutions.” The New York Times. 18 May 2011. http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2011/05/17/obamas-arab-israeli-options/arab-israeli-peace-from-illusions-to-solutions. Web. 19 May 2001. Levy is a senior research fellow of the Middle East task force at the New America Foundation.

Mandel, Seth. “The Next Declaration of Palestinian Statehood.” FrontPage Magazine. 14 April 2011. http://frontpagemag.com/2011/04/14/the-next-declaration-of-palestinians-statehood/  Web. 17 April 2011. Seth Mandel is a freelance journalist based in Washington, D. C.

Mearsheimer, John J. The Tragedy of Great Power Politics. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2001. John Mearsheimer is a professor of international relations and the chairman of the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago.

Mearsheimer, John J. and Stephen Walt. “The Israel Lobby.” London Review of Books. 23 March 2006. Vol. 28, No. 6. www.lrb.co.uk/v28/n06/john-mearsheimer/the-israel-lobby. Web. 5 May 2011. Stephen Walt is a professor of international relations at Harvard University.

Meckler, Laura. “Jewish Donors Warn Obama on Israel.” The Wall Street Journal. 19 May 2011. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703509104576331661918527154.html. 19 May 2011. [Meckler is a correspondent for The Wall Street Journal.]

Miller, Aaron David. “The Palestinians’ Mistake in Seeking Statehood form the U.N.” The Washington Post. 14 April 2011. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-palestinians-mistake-in-seeking-statehood-from-the-un/2011/04/12/AFlWo8eD_story.html.  Web. 17 April 2011. Aaron David Miller is a former State Department negotiator who worked on Israeli-Palestinian affairs during the Clinton administration. He is now a public policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D. C., and he is the author of The Much Too Promised Land; America’s Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace (2008).

—. “President ‘Yes, I Can’ Meets Prime Minister ‘No, You Won’t.’” Foreign Policy. 17 May 2011. http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2011/05/17/president_yet_I_can_meets_prime_minister_no_you_wont. Web. 19 May 2011.

Mitnick, Joshua. “Israel’s Lieberman Tweaks Turkey. Is he Flanking Netanyahu?” The Christian Science Monitor. 27 December 2010. www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2010/1227/Israel-s-Liberman-tweaks-Turkey.-Is-he-flanking-Netanyahu. Web. 10 April 2011.

—. “US Admits Defeat on Israeli Settlement Freeze. Can It Still Broker Peace?” The Christian Science Monitor. 7 December 2010. http://www.csmonitory.com/World/Middle-East/2010/1207/US-admits-defeat-on-Israeli-settlement-freeze.-Can-it-still-broker-peace. Web. 10 May 2011. Mitnick is a correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor.

Moubayed, Sami. “Persistence Will Pay Off for Palestinians.” The Asia Times [Hong Kong]. 18 May 2011. http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/ME18AK03.html. Web. 19 May 2011. Moubayed is a university professor, historian, and journal editor in Syria.

Newman, David. “Borderline Views: Nothing New on the Peace Front.” The Jerusalem Post. 23 May 2011. http://www.jpost.com/ArtsAndCulture/Entertainment/Article.aspx?id=221906. Web. 24 May 2011. Newman is a professor of Political Geography at Ben-Gurion University and editor of the International Journal of Geopolitics.

Pillar, Paul. “Israel Slides Farther to the Right.” The National Interest. January 18, 2011. http://nationalinterest.org/blog/paul-pillar/Israel-slides-farther-the-right-4740. Web. 14 April 2011. Paul Pillar is a 28-year veteran of the Central Intelligence Agency, serving as the national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia; he is now a visiting professor for security studies at Georgetown University.

—. “The Palestinians’ Ploy.” The National Interest. October 21, 2010. http://nationalinterst.org/blog/paul-pillar/the-palestinians-ploy-4285. Web. 14 April 2011.  

Rosenberg, M. J. “Congress to Palestinians: Drop Dead.” Al Jazeera. 25 May 2011. http://english/aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/05/20115251263687256.html. Web. 25 May 2011. Rosenberg is a Senior Foreign Policy Fellow at Media Matters Action Network.

Schanzer, Jonathan. “A Palestinian State Means War.” Foreign Policy. 9 December 2010. http://mideast.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2010/12/09/a_palestinian_state_means_war.  Web. 14 April 2011. Jonathan Schanzer is a Middle East scholar and vice president of research at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. He has worked as a counterterrorism analyst for the Office of Intelligence and Analysis, He was also a Research Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Shaikh, Salman. “The Middle East Crisis That Just Won’t Go Away.” 22 May 2011. http://www.brookings.edu/articles/2011/0520_middle_east_shaikh.aspx. Web. 22 May 2011. Shaikh is the Director of the Brooking Institute’s Bookings Doha Center.

Shtrasler, Nehemia. “Netanyahu Is Not Ready for Any Deal With the Palestinians.” Haaretz. 24 May 2011. http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/netanyahu-is-not-ready-for-any-deal-with-the-palestinians-1.363666. Web. 25 May 2011. Shtrasler is a correspondent for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

Spitzer, Eliot. “Netanyahu Blew It.” Slate.com. 23 May 2011. http://www.slate.com/id/229503. Web. 24 May 2011. Spitzer is a former New York State Attorney General and Governor of New York. He also likes very high-priced call girls, but a man has to have hobbies.

Strenger, Carlo. “Netanyahu Has Nothing to Fear But Hope.” Haaretz. 20 May 2011. http://www. haaretz.com/blogs/stranger-than-fiction/netanyahy-has-nothing-to-fear-but-hope-1.363066. Web. 22 May 2011. Strenger is a professor at Tel Aviv University.

Sullivan, Andrew. “The Bibi-Barrack Chess Game.” The Dish. 21 May 2011. http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2011/05/the-bibi-barrack-chess-game.html. Web. 21 May 2011. A former editor of The New Republic and contributor to The Atlantic Monthly, Andrew Sullivan is a political commentator and blogger at The Daily Beast.

Tolan, Sandy. “The Surreal State Solution.” AlJazeera. 26 May 2011. http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opnion/2011/05/2011/526123420261590.html. Web. 27 May 2011. Tolan is associate professor at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California. His book, The Lemon Tree, is a brilliant popular introduction to the issues surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and is highly recommended.

Traub, James. “Two States, No Solutions.” Foreign Policy. 17 December 2010. http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/12/17/two_states_no_solutions. Web. 5 April 2011. 5 April 2011. James Traub is a contributor to The New York Times Magazine.  He is the author of The Best Intentions: Kofi Annan and the UN in the Era of American World Power (2006) and The Freedom Agenda: Why America Must Spread Democracy (Just Not the Way George Bush Did) (2006)

Verter, Yossi. “Haaretz Poll: Netanyahu’s Popularity Soaring Following Washington Trip.” Haaretz. 26 May 2011. http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/haaretz-poll-netanyahu-s-popularity-soaring-following-washington-trip-1.364068. Web. 26 May 2011.  Verter is a correspondent for the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

“The View from Palestine.” The Economist. 20 May 2011. http://www.economist.com/blogs/newbook/2011/05/obamas_speech. Web. 20 May 2011.

Walzer, Michael. “What Does Netanyahu Think He Is Doing?” Dissent. 26 May 2011. http://www.dissentmagazine.org/atw.php?id=461. Web. 27 May 2011. Micahel Walzer is a professor emeritus at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton University. He is the author of numerous works of political and moral philosophy.

Weinzman, Steve. “Israel Approves 1,500 Settler Home in East Jerusalem: NGO.” Agence France-Presse. 19 May 2011. http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20110519/wl_mideast_afp/israelpalestinainsconflictsettlerjerusalem_20110519175049. Web. 19 May 2011.

Wheatley, Drew. “GOP Leadership Slams Obama Stance on Israel.” The Hill. 15 March 2010. http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/86839-gop-leaders-slam-wh-stance-on-israel.  Web. 5 May 2011.

“You Can’t Make Everyone Happy.” The Economist. 26 May 2011. http://www.economist.com/node/18745128. Web. 26 May 2011.

Ysglesias, Matthew. “Friends Without Benefits.” The American Prospect. 26 May 2011. http://prospect.org/cs/articles?article=friends_without_benefits. Web. 29 May 2011. Ysglesias is a senior editor at the Center for American Progress.

Zacharia, Janine. “Al-Jazeera Releases Papers Claiming Palestinian Concessions to Israel.” The Washington Post. 23 January 2011. http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/al-jazeera-releases-papers-claiming-palestinian-concessions-to-israel/2011/01/23/AB6POMR_story.html.  Web. 5 May 2011. Janine Zacharia is a correspondent for The Washington Post.

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“Zionist Diplomacy.” Editorial. The Jerusalem Post. 5 April 2011. http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Editorials/Article.aspx?id=215314. Web. 5 April 2011.  The Jerusalem Post is Israel’s version of The Washington Post: the pages where the capital cross-pollinates its consensus.

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Written by jjvedamuthu

June 5, 2012 at 17:48