The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) has called upon the Obama Administration to publicly declare that it will veto any attempt by the Palestinian Authority (PA) and its allies within the United Nations to have the U.N. Security Council pass a resolution to establish a Palestinian state unilaterally and not as an outcome of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. The ZOA has also called upon all Jewish and Christian Zionist organizations to join the ZOA in this effort.
Negotiations between Israel and the PA have been non-existent until the last month of Israels unprecedented, unilateral 10-month freeze on Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria. During this period, the PA did not fulfill its Oslo and other written agreements to arrest anti-Israel terrorists or end the incitement to hatred and murder against Israel and Jews within the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps that feed extremism and violence. It did not respond with any other concessions in response to the major, unprecedented Israeli concession of a freeze, nor did it enter negotiations. Abbas and the PA have refused further talks unless Israel freezes all Jewish construction.
In late August, an Appointment with Freedom plan presented by PA prime minister Salaam Fayyad foreshadowed that the PA is not thinking in terms of negotiations but in terms of obtaining a Palestinian state without dealing with Israel. The aim is to mobilize international support for establishing a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria along the pre-1967 armistice lines with its capital in the eastern half of Jerusalem. Such a resolution would ask for a state along the 1949 armistice lines, which means simply that the P.A. would get land and a state with no compromise or concessions, while also delegitimizing legitimate Israeli claims and interests (Appointment with Freedom plan, published by WAFA, PLO news agency, August 30, 2010, translated in Official PA plan for diplomatic war against Israel, August 30, 2010, independent Media Review & Analysis).
Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., John Bolton, has warned that the Palestinians may seek a U.N. Security Council resolution affirming a Palestinian state and that the U.S., under President Obama, might abstain. A U.S. abstention would permit the resolution to pass. Israel would then confront a dramatic change in its international posture, facing a political equivalency with the new state of Palestine. Whats more, customary international laws definition of statehood requires that a putative state have clear boundaries. This is why the potential Security Council resolution would refer to Palestine as a state within the 1967 borders, or some such language
A Security Council resolution fixing the 1967 lines as borders would call into question even Israels legitimacy, dramatically undercutting prospects for security and defensibility. By defining Palestine to include territory Israel considers its own, such a resolution would delegitimize both Israels authority and settlements beyond the 1967 lines, and its goal of an undivided Jerusalem as its capital
Mr. Obama has unmistakably left open the possibility of defaulting to the 1967 borders. In his September 2009 speech at the U.N., for example, he supported a Palestinian state with contiguous territory that ends the occupation that began in 1967 (John Bolton, Obama and the Coming Palestinian State, Wall Street Journal, October 20, 2010).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, The ZOA has repeatedly pointed to the unreconstructed extremism, the protection of terrorists and incitement to hatred and murder that permeates the PA. In these circumstances, no peace is possible.
Abbas and the PA know this and have been working for some time to find a way around accepting Israel as a Jewish state and making concessions. An effort to have the Security Council create a Palestinian state and obviate the need for one to emerge by agreement with Israel is precisely what the Obama Administration should veto. If the UN would unilaterally support a PA state, it would add to the ongoing delegitimization campaign against Israel. It could also leave 600,000 Jews living beyond the 49 armistice line in limbo. An agreement must be negotiated and finalized by the two sides.
President Obama has insisted repeatedly that a negotiated peace is vital and a priority of his Administration. If that is the case, President Obama should immediately and publicly quash any suspicion that the U.S. would agree to support or abstain from voting on a Security Council resolution affirming a Palestinian state. He should say unequivocally that the U.S. would veto any such resolution. Failure to do so merely gives the PA an incentive not to negotiate and to attempt this exercise in the Security Council.
Only by foreshadowing that the U.S. will veto any such resolution in the Security Council can President Obama deter the PA from pursuing this course of action. Conversely, any failure by President Obama to indicate clearly and publicly that the U.S. will veto any such resolution would be a failure to support Israels vital and legitimate interests, to which President Obama has said he is firmly committed.
The ZOA calls upon every American Jewish, pro-Zionist and Christian Zionist organizations and indeed all Americans of goodwill to urge President Obama to state publicly that the U.S. will oppose any effort to create a Palestinian state through the U.N. Security Council in accordance with U.S. policy under successive U.S. administrations, all of which have affirmed that a peace agreement must be agreed upon by the parties.