So yesterday, something of a stink was made about the fact that Israel is talking about “cancelling” the Oslo Accords if the Palestinians insist on going to the UN in September to ask for recognition as a state.
Only it doesn’t really seem that Israel is necessarily considering such a move with any seriousness — they’re just kicking around a few reeaally stupid, self-defeatist, panicky ideas. You know, like they do.
Anyhoo, after appearing on Russia Today (the English-language Russian news channel) in May, I was asked back today to talk about that mess! And so, of course, I said yes. (Last time, I was worried I looked like a moron; this time, I’m more worried about looking like a cadaver. [LIGHTING! MAKEUP!] Whatevs. I manged to slip in the word “Jedi,” in a totally appropriate context, so I’m good).
Following is the clip (in which, I’m certain, you’ll notice that my focus and attention were really rather impressive, given all the stuff going on around me), and after the clip, a little compendium of links to the articles I was scouring last night and this morning to make sure I sounded smart this afternoon. Very little of it came into play in my 4+ minutes — for instance, I didn’t get a chance to mention that just this past Saturday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said, and I quote, “Our first, second and third choice is to return to negotiations [over going to the UN]” — but hey! It’s all good. Smarter is better.
- Palestine’s White September: An Historic Opportunity – an excellent, brief starting point, by author, journalist and Tel Aviv University professor Carlo Strenger, spelling out the Palestinian bid, and its risks and possible benefits for Palestinians, Israelis, and the Obama Administration.
- Who is “delegitimizing” whom? – also excellent, also brief. By director for the Council on Foreign Relations U.S./Middle East Project (and former executive director of the American Jewish Congress) Henry Siegman, explaining why, exactly, the Palestinian bid is, by and large, the exact opposite of everything Israel is trying to tell you it is.
- Palestine, Israel, the UN and America’s attempted Quartet sophistry – rather more “thorough” than “brief,” but really good at dispelling a bunch of myths and giving more detail to all the possible outcomes, by Daniel Levy, director of the Middle East Task Force at the New America Foundation and a former member of the Israeli negotiating team.
- September Song – by law professor and former legal adviser to the Palestinian negotiating team Omar Dajani, a much-needed Palestinian take on the Palestinian decision to turn to the UN, with some great legal and political analysis.
- No choice but the UN for the Palestinians - Lara Friedman, director of policy and government relations for Americans for Peace Now, briefly explains just why the Palestinians really are left with no other choice.
- “Former [Israeli] diplomats: Recognize Palestine” – Ynet news. Three former diplomats (one of whom, Robbie Seibel, is the dad of my late friend Danny, and a really lovely man!) who think Israel’s approach is doing more harm than good.
- Israel looking into revoking Oslo Accords in response to Palestinian UN bid – HaAretz. The wishy-washy “maybe they will, but they’re not really sold on it” report that got the world talking.
- FM: Israel would not dare to cancel Oslo deal – Maan News Agency. The Palestinian Authority responds to the reports.
- Peres: Oslo Accords still hold – JTA. Peres thinks the whole thing isn’t even real to begin with. (Also, please note that his description of the behavior of Syrian protestors for which he has such deep admiration could apply equally well to Palestinian protestors, and of course, he is entirely unaware. I’m sure he would say that the Israeli government is no Assad, and in that he would be right, but dude: Every single word he says here could be applied to the very people his government has been occupying for 44 years…! The willed and willful ignorance sometimes just makes me want to weep).