December 21, 2006

A FATE ACCOMPLI:

State Department Weighs Plan for Palestinian State (Nathan Guttman, Dec 22, 2006, The Forward)

The Bush administration is considering a plan to declare an independent Palestinian state with provisional borders by the end of 2007.

The idea has been “kicked around” in the State Department for several weeks, according to sources. It could be one element of a new American Middle East peace plan, the sources added, if President Bush decides to push forward with the Israeli-Palestinian peace process as part of a fresh Middle East policy he is constructing. [...]

The idea of an independent Palestinian state with temporary borders is based on the American-backed peace plan known as the road map. The second phase of the plan, which was formally accepted by both Israelis and Palestinians, calls for a declaration of an independent state even before final borders are agreed upon between both sides. [...]

A diplomatic source, briefed by administration officials on the idea of a state with provisional borders, said this week that the most significant advantage the plan has is that it would allow President Bush to achieve his goal of a two-state solution within a reasonable timeframe. If implemented, such a plan also could help generate support for the United States among moderate Arab countries and possibly assist the American efforts to gain stability in Iraq.

In a meeting with Jewish educators and students this week, President Bush mentioned the need for improving ties with moderate Arab countries, saying, according to one participant, that “as time evolves, strange relationships evolve.”

A Washington source close to the issue said the administration believes that the idea of an independent state with temporary borders could be accepted by the Israelis, especially in light of Olmert’s latest remarks on his willingness to give up land and push for a two-state solution.

The idea, however, may turn out to be a hard sell for both Israelis and Palestinians.


Who asked them? If we recognize a state of Palestine there is one.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 21, 2006 5:39 PM
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