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Amitai Etzioni David Katz Harsh Pant - Middle East Forum

Amitai Etzioni David Katz Harsh Pant - Middle East Forum

The Palestinian campaign

The Palestinian campaign to have an independentstate declared at the earliest possible date regardlessof Israel’s consent received a major boost whenPresident Obama, in his remarks to the openingsession of the United Nations General Assembly onSeptember 22, 2010, proclaimed, “When we comeback here next year, we can have an agreement thatwill lead to a new member of the United Nations—an independent state of Palestine.”then a solution backed by the internationalcommunity should be put on thetable.” 5French foreign minister BernardKouchner moved in the same directionin February 2010: “One can imagine aPalestinian state being ... recognized bythe international community, even beforenegotiating its borders. I would betempted by that.” 6 Kouchner and hisSpanish counterpart Miguel AngelMoratinos wrote on February 23, 2010,that the European Union “must not confineitself to the … outlines of the finalsettlement” but “should collectivelyrecognize the Palestinian State ... Thereis no more time to lose. Europe must pavethe way.” 7 Then in July 2010, Kouchnersaid, “France supports the creation of aviable, independent, democratic Palestinianstate ... by the first quarter of2012.” 8But none of this happened. Solana,Moratinos, and Kouchner are no longerin their positions, and Europe has notdelivered what the Palestinians monitored ... based upon the consensus judgmentof the Quartet of whether conditions areappropriate to proceed.” 4For these reasons, the road map did notachieve its stated goal of “a final settlementwithin three years,” and European frustrationcontinued to mount. In July 2009, Europe’s thenforeignpolicy chief Javier Solana called for theU.N. Security Council to recognize a Palestinianstate by a certain deadline even if Israelis andPalestinians had failed to agree among themselves:“After a fixed deadline, a U.N. SecurityCouncil resolution should proclaim the adoptionof the two-state solution ... set a calendarfor implementation ... [and] accept the Palestinianstate as a full member of the UN. … If theparties are not able to stick to [the timetable],4 “Quartet Statement on the Middle East,” European Union @the United Nations, New York, Sept. 17, 2002.PALESTINIAN GAINSThe Palestinian leadership has taken itsown initiative to force a deadline for statehoodwithout negotiations. In a major address at al-Quds University on June 22, 2009, Salam Fayyadof the Palestinian Authority announced a 24-month program to build the institutions of statehood,so that “the Palestinian State [will] become—bythe end of next year or within twoyears at most—a firm reality.” He predicted thatthe “building of institutions ... within two yearswill enable us to swing back the position of the5 Reuters, July 12, 2009.6 France 24 TV, Feb. 22, 2010.7 Bernard Kouchner and Miguel Angel Moratinos, “A PalestinianState: When?” Le Monde (Paris), Feb. 23, 2010.8 Bernard Kouchner, “Viable Palestinian State by 2012,” Ma’anNews Agency (Bethlehem), July 27, 2010.54 / MIDDLE EAST QUARTERLY SPRING 2011

international community in supportof our right to an independent,fully sovereign State onthe 1967 border and with EastJerusalem as its capital.” 9 OnAugust 26, 2009, Fayyad issuedthe details of his program forbuilding statehood institutionswithin two years. 10His initiative was quicklyadopted by the Middle EastQuartet, which declared onMarch 19, 2010, that “negotiationsshould lead to a settlementnegotiated between the partieswithin 24 months.” 11“It’s not a coincidencethat the Europeans came outwith a landmark statement,”Fayyad boasted. “All of a suddeneveryone is talking abouta two-year timeline. The Quarteton March 19 of this yearsaid two years. Well, their two years is longerthan ours—we started a bit earlier.” 12 On August20, 2010, the Quartet made another statementshortening its timeline to match that ofFayyad, declaring that “a settlement ... canbe completed within one year” instead of thetwo years it had announced just five monthsearlier. 13Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announcedthe same timeline, saying, “Direct negotiationsto resolve all final status issues ...can be completed within one year.” 14 Special9 Salam Fayyad, address at al-Quds University, Abu Dis,Prime Minister’s Office, Palestinian National Authority, June22, 2009.10 “Ending the Occupation, Establishing the State: Program ofthe Thirteenth Government,” Palestinian National Authority,U.N. Information System on the Question of Palestine, Aug.2009.11 “Statement by Middle East Quartet,” Moscow, Mar. 19,2010.12 “Fayyad: ‘Build, build despite the occupation,’” PalestineNote website, Washington, D.C., July 30, 2010.13 Quartet statement, United Nations, New York, Aug. 20,2010.14 Political Transcript Wire, Aug. 20, 2010.Photo will not display.Palestinian Authority prime minister Salam Fayyad (left),here with Israel’s president Shimon Peres, New York,September 21, 2010, announced an ambitious 24-monthprogram to build the institutions of statehood, so that aPalestinian state would become “a firm reality” by the endof this period at most.Envoy George Mitchell gave Clinton’s reasons:Prime Minister Netanyahu said ... that hebelieved it could be done within a year. PresidentAbbas has expressed similar sentimentsto me. So we believe it can be done within ayear ... Both the United States and the Quartethave said that we believe there should bedirect talks without preconditions ... If thosenegotiations are conducted seriously ... theycan produce such an agreement within 12months. 15Indeed, Netanyahu did give a nod to the2011 target date, perhaps as an indication of hisown sincerity about peace talks. In his September8, 2010 Rosh Hoshana greeting, the primeminister said, “I believe that we should makeevery effort to reach a historic compromise forpeace over the coming year.” 16 Then during apress conference in Sderot on September 21,2010, Netanyahu added, “My goal is not to con-15 Ibid.16 “Rosh Hashanah Greeting from PM Netanyahu,” IsraelMinistry of Foreign Affairs, Jerusalem, Sept. 8, 2010.Rosen: Palestinian Statehood Resolution / 55

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