Home
In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 9, 2011 / 3 Adar II, 5771

Revealed: Palestinians' risky gambit for statehood

By Edmund Sanders





Will calling the world's bluff -- and defying America -- work? Netanyahu is already weakening his positions


JewishWorldReview.com |

rAMALLAH — (MCT) Palestinian leaders are embarking on a risky statehood strategy that will seek to isolate Israel's hawkish government in the international community and rely less on U.S. backing, a move that reflects growing disappointment here with the Obama administration.

The campaign will include U.N. resolutions such as one proposed last month on Israeli settlement-building, boycotts against Israeli products, complaints in international courts and attempts to win formal recognition from as many countries as possible, Palestinian officials say.

They hope the effort will culminate this September in an internationally backed proposal for membership in the U.N. or a resolution recognizing a Palestinian state, even if it means invoking an obscure rule to circumvent the threat of a U.S. veto in the Security Council.

"We have moved into the internationalization stage," senior Palestinian official Nabil Shaath said in an interview.

The strategy is a long shot, no question. It risks alienating the United States, a longtime ally of Israel and also the major financial backer of the Palestinian Authority. Israelis are certain to fight back and are already dismissing the campaign as a ploy to bypass the negotiating table and unilaterally win statehood.



FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO INFLUENTIAL NEWSLETTER

Every weekday NewsAndOpinion.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.


The Palestinians' effort may already be drawing a reaction. Under pressure from the international community to show that Israel is making a good-faith effort to restart talks, Netanyahu is considering launching a new initiative in coming weeks that would offer Palestinians a provisional state with temporary borders, Israeli officials say. Palestinians have long rejected such interim peace plans as insufficient.

The biggest move so far in the Palestinian effort was last month's proposed Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements in the West Bank as illegal. The Obama administration lobbied hard against the resolution, saying it would only heighten tensions. In a 50-minute phone call, President Barack Obama warned Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas three times about "repercussions," Abbas aides say.

Abbas defied U.S. pressure, and the U.S. vetoed the measure in the Security Council. But even in defeat, Palestinians said they had crossed a fear barrier of sorts and now feel emboldened to take their campaign to other international forums.

The next step will come later this month, when Palestinians turn to the so-called Middle East Quartet, comprising the U.S., U.N., Russia and European Union. They hope to extract a public commitment for the first time that any peace deal be based on borders that existed before Israel seized the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967. Netanyahu, who rejects 1967 borders as a basis for talks, is reportedly boycotting the meeting.

Meanwhile, Palestinians are circling the globe to make their case. With formal recognition of statehood from 112 countries, including eight South American nations during the last few months, Palestinians aim to have as many as 150 countries recognizing them by September, including, they hope, Spain and Britain, said Riad Malki, the Palestinian Authority foreign minister.

The goal, Malki said, is to use the international momentum to win membership in the U.N. and then ask the international body to help impose a solution on the parties.

To overcome a possible U.S. veto in the Security Council, Palestinians say they plan to take their case to the General Assembly, where they believe they would have a majority of the votes. To give the resolution more teeth, they plan to invoke U.N. Resolution 377, which allows the General Assembly to approve binding — albeit harder to enforce — resolutions in the event of deadlock in the Security Council.

"No question we're getting more assertive," Malki said.

A senior Obama administration official, however, called the Palestinian approach "a strategic mistake. It's not going to be a successful strategy. Lining up countries to recognize a Palestinian state is not a substitute for successful negotiation with the Israelis. You're not going to solve the challenge of Jerusalem in Buenos Aires."

It's not the first time Palestinians have turned to the international community, but officials say prior efforts have been less effective because peace talks were under way at the same time.

"Whenever there's been an opportunity for serious talks, we've tried our best not to be adversarial in our international actions," Shaath said. "But when you lose hope and nothing serious is happening, that's the time you can become more adversarial."

The Palestinians have grown increasingly disenchanted with the Obama administration, which they say started out strong in 2009 by demanding that Israel halt all construction in the West Bank. But in December the administration formally backed away from that stance and last month stood alone in vetoing the U.N. anti-settlement resolution.

To many senior Palestinian leaders, who in recent years have held out U.S.-brokered peace talks as the only option for achieving statehood, the vote was the strongest signal yet that the Obama administration is unable or unwilling to deliver.

"We are going through a major turning point, away from the period that was characterized by the belief in the primacy of negotiations," said Palestinian pollster and analyst Khalil Shikaki. "For many Palestinian elite, the U.S. veto was the last straw."

The U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, rejected assertions that Washington wasn't trying hard enough. "The challenge right now is not a lack of U.S. interest," the official said. "It's the inability of Israelis and Palestinians to commit to a negotiation without having one issue or another interrupt."

The new Palestinian strategy is also an attempt by Abbas to prove to an increasingly skeptical Palestinian public that he has a Plan B. Alarmed by the regional unrest in the Arab world, Palestinian leaders over the last month have made a series of surprising announcements, including a call for national elections and a Cabinet reshuffling, which some critics say are signs of desperation.

"It seems they are scrambling and don't really know what they're doing," said Diana Buttu, an analyst and former Palestinian Authority negotiator.

Others warn there are no guarantees the strategy will change the situation on the ground.

"Let's say they declare a state in September," Shikaki said. "How does this in any way change the situation for Palestinians living under occupation?"

U.S. officials have come out against taking the conflict to the United Nations. Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg told lawmakers in February that the U.S. was working to block the Palestinian campaign to win recognition from other countries, calling such moves "counterproductive."

Israelis have also threatened to retaliate against Palestinians should they escalate their international activism. Among other things, Israel could increase the number of military checkpoints in the West Bank, tighten borders, ramp up settlement construction or withhold tax revenue, officials said.

But Palestinians predict such punishments would backfire.

Said Shaath: "Anything they do will only bring the wrath of the world against them and make it even more difficult for the U.S. to stand by them."

Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Interested in a private Judaic studies instructor — for free? Let us know by clicking here.

Comment by clicking here.

© 2011, Los Angeles Times. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.