Tomorrow, the U.N. Security Council, is due to pass a historic resolution that will anchor establishing a Palestinian state in the principles established at the Nov. 2007 Annapolis conference last month’s Sharm el-Sheikh summit.
This will bind the U.N. to compel any future Israeli prime minister to recognize an independent, sovereign Palestinian state.
The policy would also be applied to Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu, an opponent of establishing a Palestinian state, if he should win the coming elections and become prime minister again.
Mr. Netanyahu’s spokesman told The Bulletin, Mr. Netanyahu vehemently opposes anything except “economic peace” with the Palestinians.
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In countless appearances over the past 25 years, Mr. Netanyahu has warned that an independent Palestinian state would represent an armed threat to all of Israel – even to Israel’s only international airport.
A Palestinian would have a similar striking distance to Israel’s only international airport as to that existing between Gaza and the Israeli cities of Ashkelon or Sderot. The Hamas government in Gaza has used its de facto independence to fire rockets against the two Israeli cities.
In April 2002, after more than 1,000 Israelis were murdered by Palestinian terrorists who infiltrated Israeli cities, the Israeli military launched Operation Defensive Shield. The Israeli army surrounded almost all Palestinian cities and villages in the West Bank and, by 2007, reduced Palestinian terrorist infiltration into Israeli cities to almost zero.
If Israel were to pull its army out of the areas surrounding Palestinian cities and villages and allow for Palestinian independence, the fear of a Palestinian terror threat to all of Israel likely would return.
However, all indications are that the Bush administration intends to make the U.N. resolution for a Palestinian state binding.
President George W. Bush leave office Jan. 20 and pass the reins to his successor, Barack Obama.
Mr. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice tried to pressure to Israel to agree to recognize an independent Palestinian state by the end of 2008, but without success.
David Bedein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.