CMEP Bulletin: Summer Pressures, Your Chance to Act, and More
Calls for a meeting of the Middle East Quartet are just one of the latest signs of increasing diplomatic pressures on Israelis and Palestinians to resume negotiations. With September, and the possibility of a UN General Assembly vote only a few months away, efforts and rhetoric to avoid or limit the damage of a September confrontation at the United Nations are growing steadily more urgent. Statements by both Israelis and Palestinians hint at compromise, but so far there are only hints.
The U.S. approach to this diplomatic push currently seems to call on Israeli officials to accept the president’s suggested starting points for negotiations. Proposed in a speech last month, those negotiating points explicitly refer to the 1967 lines with agreed adjustments. If the Israeli government does not accept President Obama’s proposal, the U.S. administration seems to be indicating that there is little else it can do to deter the Europeans, including the UK, France, Germany, and Russia, from going along with action in the UN General Assembly.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s response so far has been to call for Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. This formula responds to Israel’s demographic fears of being someday outnumbered by Palestinians. But it also raises serious issues, like the status of minorities in Israel and the right of return, that probably can only be resolved as part of comprehensive final status negotiations. Palestinians point out that the PLO explicitly recognized Israel’s right to exist seventeen years ago.
Click here to read the rest of this CMEP Bulletin, including these items:
- Separate and un-annexed
- Palestinian dis-unity
- Take Action: Tell Congress to get behind push to peace
- More Congressional initiatives
- West Bank home demolitions
- Building permitted in Gaza
- New Israeli construction in East Jerusalem
- Successful protest in Bil`in
- Gaza rockets