Palestinian bid at UN ends peace process as we know it (video)
The weak foundations of the Palestinian-Israeli peace process may well come tumbling down this week.
(Page 3 of 3)
"With most of the Arab world in upheaval, the 'special relationship' between Saudi Arabia and the United States would increasingly be seen as toxic by the vast majority of Arabs and Muslims," he wrote. "Saudi leaders would be forced by domestic and regional pressures to adopt a far more independent and assertive foreign policy. Like our recent military support for Bahrain’s monarchy, which America opposed, Saudi Arabia would pursue other policies at odds with those of the United States, including opposing the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in Iraq and refusing to open an embassy there despite American pressure to do so."Skip to next paragraph
The Arab League observer mission in Syria is likely to fail
Egypt's military rulers crack down on democracy groups
Iran's threats over Strait of Hormuz? Understandable, but not easy
Eastern Libya poll indicates political Islam will closely follow democracy
Iraq's Maliki threatens, Sunnis grumble, and Baghdad goes boom
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Israel's position is plummeting elsewhere around the region. Turkey has kicked out Israel's ambassador over anger at Israel's decision not to apologize for the killings of Turkish activists aboard the ill-fated Gaza flotilla, and Israel's ambassador had to flee Egypt after the country's military rulers failed to secure the embassy here from angry protesters.
Political change in Egypt means that the old formula of Egyptian support for Israel in exchange for US cash is almost certainly going to be reworked. From the left to the Islamists to the neoliberal right here in Cairo, anger at Israel is one of the few consensus positions. Jordan, the only other Arab state that has made peace with Israel, is likely going to come under popular pressure to distance itself from the Jewish state as well – further isolating Israel (and the US).
"Any thoughts of the Arab awakening 'proving' that Palestine was in fact a marginal concern in the region were unequivocally banished in recent weeks," former Israeli peace negotiator Daniel Levy wrote last week. "To imagine that a popular Arab push for democracy, freedom, and dignity would ignore Israel's denial of those same aspirations for Palestinians was a flight of fancy."
The one thing Israel could do to head off this vote – a West Bank settlement freeze, with teeth – is unlikely to come to pass, given the fervor and political power of the settlers.
Right-wing settlers, who have a strong voice in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition government, have been promising provocative marches against UN recognition this week and staking their claim to the West Bank. Settlers won't be "waiting at home so the Arabs might get close to their fences," Itamar Ben-Gvir told Ynet. "We're going to go out and make it clear to the Arabs who the home owners are. We're going to take the initiative and march towards Palestinian towns."
Whatever happens at the UN, events at the end of this week are going to prove a new marker over the decades long fight over creating a Palestinian state. Abbas' big bet isn't going to change the situation – or help his people – overnight. But it could chart a new course for a "process" that has, by and large, been a failure.