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Obama. 'Needs firmer leadership'
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Benjamin Netanyahu
Photo: AFP
NYT criticizes Israel, US ahead of 'ruinous' UN vote
New York Times editorial describes Obama's attempt to convince Abbas to drop statehood bid in favor of talks as 'listless, unpersuasive'; slams Netanyahu for evading negotiations at every turn. PA leadership dubbed 'most moderate Palestinians have ever had'
The New York Times on Sunday leveled harsh criticism at the United States, Israel and Europe for failing to restart peace negotiations before the Palestinians take their statehood bid to the United Nations later this month in what it described as a "ruinous vote".

 

"The United States, Israel and Europe have shown insufficient urgency or boldness in trying to find a compromise solution," the editorial stated.

 

Extensive coverage of the Palestinian statehood bid :

 

"The need for action is even more acute after alarming tensions flared in recent days between Israel and two critical regional players — Egypt and Turkey."

 

The paper described the US' attempt to convince the Palestinians to drop their recognition bid in favor of peace talks as "listless and unpersuasive."

 

UN's General Assembly (Photo: AFP)
UN's General Assembly (Photo: AFP)
 

Noting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' remark that the US had come too late, the NYT said, "His frustration is understandable."

 

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was described as having "used any excuse to thwart peace efforts."

 

"Both sides share the blame with Mr. Obama and Arab leaders but the best path to statehood remains negotiations," it was stated.  

 

The paper urged the US and the Quartet to "put a map and a deal on the table, with a timeline for concluding negotiations and a formal UN statehood vote.

 

"The core element: a Palestinian state based on pre-1967 borders with mutually agreed land swaps and guarantees for Israel’s security. The Security Council and the Arab League need to throw their full weight behind any plan. "

 

The NYT described the prospect of a General Assembly vote thus: "Even the more modest General Assembly vote, which the Palestinians are sure to win, would pave the way for them to join dozens of UN bodies and conventions, and could strengthen their ability to pursue cases against Israel at the International Criminal Court."

 

Slamming Obama, Netanyahu

Noting the US' threat to cut PA aid money, the paper said that Congress should instead pressure Netanyahu to return to talks.

 

It also criticized Israel for threatening to cut millions of dollars in tax remittances to the PA, claiming such a move would only work to bring down the "most moderate leadership the Palestinians have ever had, empower Hamas and shred vital security cooperation between Israel and the authority."

 

The editorial then expressed its astonishment at the fact that "this late in the game" the US and Europe remain divided on such issues as Israel’s demand for recognition as a Jewish state.

 

The editorial concluded by urging US President Barack Obama to show firmer leadership in pressing Netanyahu and Abbas to resume talks.

 

Otherwise, "Washington and its partners would have to continue to finance the Palestinian Authority."

 

 

 

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