As the Palestinians prepare to unveil Thursday a draft of their resolution requesting United Nations’ recognition next month of an independent Palestinian state, many analysts believe such UN action is not inevitable.
James D. Besser
With the September target for Palestinian statehood action at the United Nations looming ever larger and new border clashes hinting of a change in Palestinian tactics, the pace of diplomacy aimed at restarting stalled Israeli-Palestinian negotiations picked up this week.
On Monday Israeli and Palestinian negotiators were in Washington for separate talks with U.S. officials in a last-ditch effort to find a formula for resuming direct negotiations before a UN vote officials here fear will further isolate Israel and undermine U.S. interests.
James D. Besser
Washington — In the corridors of the Washington Convention Center, the buzz among more than 10,000 charged-up pro-Israel activists at this week’s American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) policy conference was all about new U.S.-Israel tensions in the wake of President Barack Obama’s call for Israel-Palestinian negotiations based on the 1967 borders — with land swaps — and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s angry response.
Poznan, Poland — The eyes of Poland’s Jewish history are upon me when I come here for Passover.
Three years ago I led the seders, as a volunteer, in the Lublin yeshiva that that been renovated and returned to the Jewish community, in the eastern part of the country. It was established about 100 years ago by Rabbi Meir Shapiro, the scholar better known as founder of the Daf Yomi Talmud study project. As I moved around the meeting hall where the seders took place, a framed portrait of Rabbi Shapiro hung on the front wall, his eyes, I imagined, watching me.
In their quest to form a unity government, the rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah have apparently shoved aside Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, a move that analysts believe may doom their planned new enterprise.
“It would be very difficult without him,” said Jonathan Spyer, a senior research fellow at the Global Research in International Affairs Center. “I think [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas will have to take some steps back from this.”
Wednesday’s Hamas-Fatah reconciliation agreement, the result of secret negotiations in Cairo over a period of weeks, is yet another complication for an Obama administration facing a tidal wave of political change in the Middle East and new international pressure to resume active Israeli-Palestinian mediation.
According to press reports, the deal includes the creation of an interim government and elections to be called within a year.