November 9, 2009 - A Depressing State of Affairs

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A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

November 15, 2009 - Palestinians Talk Unilateral Statehood-

The leading story in the Israeli news today, has been the threat of the Palestinian Authority to unilaterally declare a state. Their plan is to go the UN Security Council and receive approval for a State based on the 1967 borders. It would not be an unprecedented action, but typically, under international law, you have to show you control the area you are declaring independent. To get the approval of the Security Council the Palestinians would have to get the US to agree not to veto the proposal, something that is very much in question. From the Palestinian point of view it’s a logical step, and would clearly put Israel on the diplomatic defensive. Prime Minister Netanyhu has stated Israel would then be free to take uniliateral actions... I assume, legally annexing certain areas. It's hard to tell how seriously to take the Palestinian Authority, but it’s a clear logical option for the Palestinians to follow, and after so many years of legal limbo, this option may be compelling for them.

Today, both Barak and Netanyahu called for reopening talks with the Syrians. There was a very intense exchange on TV between Moti Kirshenbaum and Deputy Prime Minister Silvan Shalom. After stating that the time was riper for a peace deal with Syria, Kirshenbaum asked Shalom, if the Syrians agreed to all your terms for peace, would you agree for a withdrawal from the Golan Heights. Shalom clearly answered "No". Kirshenbaum then call Shalom a liar and a fake, stating that one cannot be saying the time has come for peace with Syria, if one is not willing to accept what everyone knows is their price. Shalom called Kirshenbaum, a leftist who was only willing to accept the Syrian position. All of this being shouted at one another.

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