Obama to Palestinians: Could you guys back off that UN request?; Abbas: No.
posted at 4:21 pm on November 12, 2012 by Erika Johnsen
Last year, the United States promised to flat-out veto the Palestinians’ efforts to obtain a full recognition of statehood from the United Nations — but the point became moot, since the U.N. decided not to afford the Palestinians that chance anyway.
The United States and Israel have long maintained that the establishment of a Palestinian state needs to come through direct negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis, but direct diplomatic talks have been on the fritz for about four years, and the open invitation has done nothing to put a damper on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s bid to attain some measure of legitimacy through more theatrical, globalist channels.
Abbas is again going after recognition from the United Nations, this time for a slightly less ambitious upgrade from their current nonmember observer-entity status to a nonmember observer-state status, President Obama’s attempt at a friendly chat on Sunday night notwithstanding, via the AP:
A spokesman for the Palestinian president says the Palestinians will proceed with asking the U.N. General Assembly to recognize a Palestinian state, despite a personal call from President Barack Obama to abandon the bid. …
He said Obama “expresses his opposition to this step,” but Abbas replied he would carry on.
In Washington, the White House press office said that Obama “reiterated the United States’ opposition to unilateral efforts at the United Nations.”
Obama also “reaffirmed his commitment to Middle East peace and his strong support for direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians” for a peace accord, the White House said.
The U.S. and Israel are still looking out for a two-state solution, but this is apparently the way that Abbas and the Palestinians feel that their time is better spent — I remain mystified as to what it is he thinks he’s going to tangibly achieve with this. Meanwhile, the violence only continues, from Reuters:
Sporadic missile fire from the Gaza Strip hit southern Israel Monday for a fourth straight day, with Egypt trying to secure a truce and Israel warning it would toughen its response if the violence continued.
The Israeli military said Palestinian militants had fired 11 rockets through the morning, ending an overnight lull and adding to more than 110 launched in the preceding 72 hours. …
Six Palestinians have been killed by Israeli shells fired on Gaza, including four civilians, and 40 wounded. Eight Israelis have also been wounded in the cross-border attacks.