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Wild Card

  • Wild Card - last chapter: Bibi and Obama pave the way for one-state solution

    SAVE THE DATE: September 23, 2011. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will give his “truth” speech at the UN General Assembly. The “truth” will actually be the annihilation of a two-state solution, and thus with it, the end of Zionism In October 2010 I started writing the “Wild card” campaign. To make a long story short, it was an effort to convince people of the need for  the U.S. to support a unilateral declaration of independence at the UN. The reasoning behind the campaign was that a unilateral declaration would not immediately bring about a Palestinian state, but that American support…

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  • Are Palestinians walking into a trap at the UN?

    When the South African government tried to build non-sovereign states for its blacks they were soundly rejected by the world community. But now the Palestinians appear to be the ones seeking to legitimise their own Bantustan. Virginia Tilley has  a very important post up on Electronic Intifada, discussing the possibility the Palestinian bid at the UN is a political suicide of sorts. She argues they are defiantly riding into the very trap the South African national movement managed to avoid: International recognition for divided, isolated, powerless cantons as a "nation state" solution for national aspirations of the oppressed.  She suggests:…

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  • September: The rules of the game have already changed

    Israel's new ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, gave a fumbling interview to Haaretz, illustrating the panic growing in Israeli diplomatic circles ahead of September. The vote won't bring the Palestinians a state - but rules of the game have plainly already changed, before the vote even happened. The summer will be spent largely aligning pieces for the big September showdown at the UN. Luckily for the Palestinians and supporters of Palestinian statehood, the Israel effort to stop the General Assembly will be spearheaded by Ron Prosor. For those of you who haven't had the guilty pleasure of following Prosor's…

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  • U.S. headed for major embarrassment come September

    4 comments on the D.C. Debating Championship and what lies ahead 1. What a talent Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech in Congress should be entered into the Guinness Book of World Records. It’s obviously the longest time any human being has taken (45 minutes) to say only one word: “NO”. And if they don’t accept him, then he should at least be nominated for a Tony, or even better - a guest appearance on Glee. I mean, let’s face it: the acting talent, the drama, the way he paused for effect, the comic timing - he’s got the whole package. In fact,…

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  • Palestinian statehood 2011: Biggest event the left isn’t debating

    The upcoming vote on Palestinian statehood, that will most probably take place this September at the UN General Assembly, has a lot of people talking - and a certain government panicking. Rightfully so - it’s the region’s biggest event of 2011. So why is the left in Israel and abroad keeping mum? The fact that Benjamin Netanyahu is a staller is well-known to many in Israel and around the world. These days, readers yawn in boredom whenever they read once again about his inability to lead, his non-commitment to peace, and his lack of vision. Lately, the criticism has focused…

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  • Wild Card - Part XI: Southern Sudan as a precedent for Palestine

    U.S. President Barack Obama announces intent to formally recognize Southern Sudan in July The White House just released the following statement about recognizing Southern Sudan. The wording of this statement is very similar to what I imagine the future statement about recognizing Palestine this summer would  look like (with some minor changes, of course) if Obama plays the Wild Card. THE WHITE HOUSE Office of the Press Secretary February 7, 2011 Statement by the President on the Intent to Recognize Southern Sudan On behalf of the people of the United States, I congratulate the people of Southern Sudan for a…

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  • Wild Card Pt. X: unilateralism is the only way left

    There are two things to learn from the Palestine Papers (which we already knew): America’s role has come to an end, and there’s no longer a need for negotiations The Palestine Papers are indeed quite a leak - but just like its sister-leak in Wikileaks (the diplomatic cables), which were labeled as one of the biggest stories of the decade, they are destined to be forgotten in the next few days. I can barely remember what the diplomatic cables were about, and haven’t seen any of the much-hyped damage turn into reality. As is the case around the world, and…

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  • Wild Card part IX: Obama’s first litmus test just around the corner

    The Palestinians are bringing their first challenge of the year to the UN. Hopefully, Barack Obama will just sit back and watch U.S. President Barack Obama may be put to the test as early as next week. Reports say that the Palestinians are planning on bringing their resolution condemning settlements to the Security Council in the next few days. This is a critical junction in the Wild Card campaign (a call for the U.S. to recognize Palestinian statehood in the summer of 2011). Palestinians claim it will be hard for the U.S. to veto this resolution based on official U.S.…

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  • Wild Card part VIII: AIPAC flexes its muscle - who cares?

    Congress passes a resolution against Palestinian unilaterlism. Yawn... Shocking news coming out of D.C.: AIPAC managed to get members of Congress to pass a resolution that’s pro-Israel and anti-Palestinian. Wow. I’m glad I was sitting down when I read the headlines: “House opposes unilateral declaration of Palestine”! The congressman who pushed the resolution through is Rep. Howard Berman (CA Dem) who told the Forward at the time of his appointment to the chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee: “Even before I was a Democrat, I was a Zionist”. According to the Washington Report in Middle East Affairs, Berman has…

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  • Wild Card Part VII: EU sets the ground for recognition of Palestine (updated)

    EU foreign ministers issue a statement regarded by most in the media as weak and good for Israel. I beg to differ The EU yesterday stopped short of recognising a Palestinian state, saying it would do so at “the appropriate time”. At a meeting in Brussels, the ministers reiterated that negotiations are still the way to go. Israeli officials in Jerusalem must have been extremely happy with this, despite the little slap on the wrist the statement gave concerning the “illegal settlements”. More importantly, the statement didn’t call for sanctions on Israel, even though former EU officials, such as former…

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  • Peace talks officially dead: time to move on to Plan B

    Now that negotiations have officially failed, it's time for the U.S. to join three South American countries and endorse Palestinian unilateralism. True, a viable Palestinian state will not be ready by August 2011, but that's besides the point. This declaration is only a means to an end As expected, the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians are now officially dead. Last night, Israeli and U.S. officials confirmed that the Obama administration is abandoning its effort to renew the freeze on settlement building in the West Bank. As the NY Times reports: After three weeks of fruitless haggling with the Israeli…

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  • Did Netanyahu refuse a moratorium to hurt Obama in midterms?

    Aluf Benn, Haaretz's diplomatic correspondent, had this weekend an analysis piece on the possibility the Palestinian Authority will ask a UN recognition of a unilateral declaration of independence. Benn urged the Israeli government not to automatically object such a move. Israel, he writes, would be better off taking part in shaping a Security Council resolution than in just opposing one. As Ami Kaufman notes, given Israel's mistrust towards international institutions, it's a very surprising idea. Equally interesting is a paragraph in Benn's piece on Benjamin Netanyahu's recent diplomatic moves (my bold): Netanyahu rejected Obama's request for a two-month extension of…

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  • Wild Card - part V: If you can't beat 'em...

    Abu Mazen threatens, Netanyahu responds, the right wingers go berserk and Haaretz pundit has a strange plan: if you can’t beat the wild card - join it. Plus - a small surprise The talk about unilateral moves by Palestinians was all over the media the past few days - but unfortunately, still little talk about the Wild Card (U.S. recognition of such a move). Still, even a little is better than nothing. We’ll keep waiting for a leading pundit to pitch it and for an official American response against or for the Wild Card. But there's a surprise at the…

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