Daily Israel Report

NY Times Calls on Obama to Draw Map for PA State

A New York Times editorial calls on Obama to do what he has said won’t do – outline a ”take it or leave it” Palestinian Authority state.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 8/8/2011, 9:53 AM

Obama speaking to Netanyahu
Obama speaking to Netanyahu
White House

A New York Times editorial has called on President Barack Obama to do what he has said won’t do – place a ”take it or leave it” Palestinian Authority state on the table.

President Obama has repeatedly said that he will not try to dictate to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Israel the territorial and political outlines of establishing the Palestinian Authority as a new Arab country within Israel’s borders.

Its editorial, headline “Palestinians and the U.N.” criticizes all sides – Abbas, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Obama – for the current lack of talks and Abbas’s appeal to the United Nations for recognizing the PA as a state.

“The United States and its partners should put a map and a deal on the table, with a timeline for concluding negotiations and a formal U.N. statehood vote,” the Times wrote. “The Security Council and the Arab League need to throw their full weight behind it.”

The editorial noted what nationalists – and lately mainstream media – have warned about for years: raising the expectations of the Arab world might spark further violence, if not war.

The Times warned that Abbas’s strategy of the United Nations probably will leave him “empty-handed,” with nothing more than a toothless resolution for a PA state.

The United States is expected to veto any attempt by the United Nations Security Council to recommend that the PA become a member state of the international body. Abbas’s alternative is for the pro-Arab General Assembly to pass a non-binding resolution.

“After the initial exhilaration, Palestinians would be even more alienated, while extremists would try to exploit that disaffection,” according to the Times.

The editorial then made another call for “negotiations” between the Palestinian Authority and Israel, although its “solution” of President Obama’s delivering his own final plan eradicates all possibilities of direct talks between Abbas and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

The Times blamed Prime Minister Netanyahu for having “used any excuse he can find (regional turmoil, the weakness of his coalition government) to avoid negotiations.” It blamed Republican party leaders “who seem mainly interested in embarrassing Mr. Obama [and who] have encouraged” the Prime Minister.

It also blamed Arabs leaders who “haven’t given the Israelis any incentive to compromise.”

If Abbas goes through with his United Nations strategy, “All sides will end up paying a high price,” the Times concluded.