Friday, December 7, 2012


This letter was published in the Waterbury Republican-American on Friday, December 7, 2012.

The United Nations has adopted a resolution recognizing the Palestinian Authority (PA) as a "non-member observer state" (Nov. 29 article, "Palestinians hope for leverage from U.N. recognition"). This disregards the fact the PA, essentially an independent state for more than a decade, does not possess the legal attributes that define a state. After all, given the composition of the U.N., if the Palestinian Arabs offered a resolution condemning Israel for the devastation brought on by Hurricane Sandy, it would pass overwhelmingly.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas says U.N. recognition will "enable" him to resume negotiations with Israel, negotiations he has assiduously avoided for the last four years after not even responding to an Israeli offer to give him just about everything he claims he wants.

The PA already has blatantly violated just about every important commitment it made in the 1993 Oslo agreements. Launching more than 10,000 rockets at Israel after pledging to abandon terrorism is just one of many examples. This bid for U.N. recognition is another, since the agreements specify neither party will act unilaterally to change the status of the disputed territories.

Even if Abbas returns to the negotiating table, why would Israel or any other country expect any agreement reached with him (or a successor) would be worth the parchment it's written on?

Alan Stein
The writer is president emeritus of PRIMER-Connecticut (Promoting Responsibility in Middle East Reporting; www.primerct. org).

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