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Thursday, June 23, 2011

September Vote?

More and more the sense I'm getting is that the Palestinians aren't all that keen with moving forward on their plan to go to the UN in September to seek international recognition. For a while now Palestinian leaders have been saying that if negotiations with Israel resume they will put the UN plan on hold. They told us that when we were in Ramallah in May. More recently they have agreed in principle to Obama's outline for restarting talks which did not include their prior demand for a total settlement freeze which scuttled talks last September. Today, the AP reports that senior Palestinians are willing to re-enter negotiations based on a partial settlement moratorium.

The US clearly opposes any effort to go to the UN. I don't recall Abbas taking any action against American wishes. And now it appears that he is looking to climb down from the UN tree. I don't know if this is a result of American pressure or Palestinian internal calculations. But right now, if I were a betting man, I wouldn't put any money on a September vote.

The US is still waiting to hear back from Israel with respect to Obama's proposal to renew negotiations, on a borders and security basis first, borders meaning 1967 borders with swaps. When the White House asked Israel to commit to its proposal they informed Israel that the Palestinians would need to begin the UN process in July. So the next couple weeks should be telling.

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