Forward Thinking

Unilateral Statehood, The Sequel

By Nathan Jeffay

  • Print
  • Share Share
getty images
Mahmoud Abbas

In Take 2 of its push for unilateral statehood the Palestinian Authority has announced it will ask the United Nations to upgrade its status from “observer entity” to “observer state.”

“After the U.N. vote … Palestine will become a country under occupation. Israel will not be able to say that this is a disputed area,” chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat reasoned. “The terms of reference for any negotiations will be about withdrawal, not over what the Israelis say is legal or not legal.”

Israel has long been opposed to unilateral moves by the Palestinians, and soon after details of the latest plan became public condemned it. “The Palestinians committed themselves to resolving all outstanding issues in negotiations, and such a unilateral action would be viewed as a violation,” said Mark Regev, spokesman for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

But is this the final word on the subject?

Could this approach change if it looks like the PA is about to get the outcome it hopes for at the UN? What about if it does win the vote? Or if there are elections in Israel and there’s a new Prime Minister with a different way of looking at things?

There is one school of thought according to which neither Israel nor the Palestinians are ready for a comprehensive settlement that deals with all points of conflict, yet unilateral actions by both sides could bring about a de-facto peace.

In other words, if the Palestinians look like they are about to get their way at the UN, or if have won a vote, it’s conceivable that the Israel, could stop declaring its opposition to unilateralism and either turn a blind eye, accept a declaration of statehood, or somewhere in-between.

In such a scenario, it’s possible that Israel would unilaterally pull out of some parts of the West Bank, as it did in Gaza during the disengagement, meaning that there would be a peace process, but not as we know it.

It sounds far fetched, especially if Netanyahu remains in office, but it is worth remembering that it’s not far from what Ariel Sharon did. He left Likud and set up Kadima in 2005 so he could proceed with the Gaza disengagement, and though he entered a coma before elections, he was expected to go to the polls on a plan of unilateral withdrawal from large parts of the West Bank.


Permalink | | Share | Email | Print | Filed under: palestinian, statehood bid, united nations, benjamin netanyahu, mahmoud abbas

The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.




Find us on Facebook!
  • “I don’t want to say, ‘Oh oh, I’m not Jewish,’ because when you say that, you sound like someone trying to get into a 1950s country club, “and I love the idea of being Jewish." Are you a fan of Seth Meyers?
  • "If you want my advice: more Palestinians, more checkpoints, just more reality." What do you think?
  • Happy birthday Barbra Streisand! Our favorite Funny Girl turns 72 today.
  • Clueless parenting advice from the star of "Clueless."
  • Why won't the city give an answer?
  • BREAKING NEWS: Israel has officially suspended peace talks with the Palestinians.
  • Can you guess what the most boring job in the army is?
  • What the foolish rabbi of Chelm teaches us about Israel and the Palestinian unity deal:
  • Mazel tov to Idina Menzel on making Variety "Power of Women" cover! http://jd.fo/f3Mms
  • "How much should I expect him and/or ask him to participate? Is it enough to have one parent reciting the prayers and observing the holidays?" What do you think?
  • New York and Montreal have been at odds for far too long. Stop the bagel wars, sign our bagel peace treaty!
  • Really, can you blame them?
  • “How I Stopped Hating Women of the Wall and Started Talking to My Mother.” Will you see it?
  • Taglit-Birthright Israel is redefining who they consider "Jewish" after a 17% drop in registration from 2011-2013. Is the "propaganda tag" keeping young people away?
  • Happy birthday William Shakespeare! Turns out, the Bard knew quite a bit about Jews.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.