Thursday, December 8, 2011

Palestinians should also demand a UN Veto Protection Plan

This article was written on Nov. 17, 2010.

Israel has squeezed out a deal with the US for not doing what it should have been doing—freezing the building of the settlements. So why shouldn’t the Palestinians hold out for a few incentives of their own.
The incentive package that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton worked out with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week is like a parent allowing its child to run willy in a candy store. Israel will receive a gift of 20 stealth fighter jets and a UN veto protection plan for a year—a “get out of jail free” card. This is a terrible precedent to set.
If every time Israel does not do what the international community, including the US, wants it to do, the US would go broke giving away the store. All Israel would have to do is let its minority ministers threaten to prevent the peace process from moving forward. Then the spoiled Israeli prime minister would turn to the US and stretch out his hand and demand candy.
Well, what is good for the goose is good for the gander—bad precedent not withstanding. Why shouldn’t the Palestinians stretch out its hand to the US?

The Palestinians should demand that when the Israeli one year UN veto protection plan is over, they want their own veto protection plan. The US should assure the Palestinians that if final status negotiations are not concluded within a year, then the US will not veto a UN resolution recognizing a Palestinian State with 1967 borders.
Is this fair? Of course it is. I will explain why.
Israel will stall for 3 months, then build extensively between the 4th and 12th month during the UN veto protection plan and the Palestinians will not want to remain in peace talks beyond a year. Thus, the status quo will remain—the occupation will never end.
To prevent this, Israel needs an incentive to move forward. If the US provided the Palestinians an incentive package that it will not veto a UN resolution recognizing a Palestinian State with 1967 borders after one year, Israel will want to conclude final status negotiations on its own terms rather than a UN resolution—backed by its leading advocate, the US.
Of course, Israeli supports will be opposed to this evenhanded dealing—but us Palestinians are used to that. If the US rejects this Palestinian incentive request, then we should not re-enter talks with Israel. This is a test of whether the US wants to be an honest broker or not.
While the US taxpayers are so giving, Palestinians should also ask for a few billion dollars. Why not?

(  © Copyright, Fadi Zanayed.  Publication or distribution of this material is allowed provided its content is not altered and the source and its author are cited.)

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