Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Latest on Palestine

'It started here, absolutely. I think it is not unrealistic to try something new, or it isn't new, to try something very old, actually.'

So said Brian Urquhart, "a nonagenarian former under secretary general," in a New York Times article that provides useful historical background on the past role of the United Nations in the formation of Israel and the current international status of Palestine.
The article's intended as a runup to this week's anticipated bid for U.N. recognition of Palestine as a state.
(For further analysis, see the recent IntLawGrrls post by Yaël Ronen, as well as the ASIL Insight here, written by our colleague John Cerone.)
The planned Palestinian bid "set[s] the stage for" what The Times' Neil MacFarquhar aptly called

'the most dramatic annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly in years.'

A schedule of this week's U.N. events predicts that the bid will come Friday, when Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is set to speak to the General Assembly.
Many days yet for matters further to unfold, if yesterday's events (here and here) are any indication. Specifically:
► Abbas and Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon had what a U.N. statement called "a constructive meeting";
► Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu called for new Israel-Palestine talks;
► "Abbas said he had not been swayed"; and
► U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton maintained there might still be "a solution to the diplomatic crisis."
Time will tell.


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