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JIIS Bulletin - December 2012
The Palestinians move closer to the UN
Another step has been marked in the Palestinian request to become the 194th member of the United Nations. JIIS researcher Gilad Noamaddressed the issue in a policy paper last year – right after Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) made his first trip to New York in search of that goal. 

Noam’s paper (the Executive Summary in English is accessible here) focused particularly on the legal aspects and how they might affect the hitherto-unresolved conflict between the Palestinians and Israel. By definition, he says, these moves towards Palestinian statehood change the ball game considerably, diplomatically, politically and legally. And they raise many questions: how will the conflict be handled by both sides? What changes will Israel have to make in how it manages the territories beyond the green line? And what about the status of East Jerusalem?

Israel, Noam emphasizes, must consider the many present and future implications of these developments – including the possible admission of Palestine as a member of the UN in the foreseeable future. In his paper, “The Palestinian Petition to the United Nations for Recognition of a Palestinian State – A Legal/Political Analysis,” he examined the situation from a range of perspectives – among them the pros and cons of potential reactions by Israel to the different scenarios.

One of the aims of the paper was to encourage Israel to take steps to entice the Palestinians back to the path of bilateral negotiations. If this does not happen, the worry is, increasing Palestinian success in the world arena, specifically the UN, will lend them the confidence to take even more aggressive unilateral actions in the future. To avoid this, the JIIS policy paper suggested that Israel accept Palestinian statehood – with reservations; at the same time, the big issues must still be resolved by negotiations. The recommendation was that the two sides actually move straight to phase two of the Road Map, which discusses a period in which there is a full-fledged Palestinian state, but with temporary borders.

For earlier coverage on this topic, click here

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