The New York Times on Sunday criticized all parties involved in Middle East peace negotiations, including the Obama administration, and warned of "damaging consequences" to the Palestinian UN membership bid.
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"In little more than a month, the Palestinians are expected to ask the United Nations to recognize their state," the editorial said. "We have sympathy for their yearning and their frustration. For years, they have been promised a negotiated solution — President Obama called for a peace deal by September — and they are still empty-handed. But the consequences could be profoundly damaging for all involved."
The NYT stressed that the US will exercise its veto right in the UN "which will further isolate both Israel and Washington."
"The Palestinians may instead ask the General Assembly to recognize them as a state or give them observer status as a state," the article noted.
"Either would undoubtedly pass. But it would be in name only. After the initial exhilaration, Palestinians would be even more alienated, while extremists would try to exploit that disaffection."
The newspaper claimed that the only way to avoid the looming disaster is in serious negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. "The two sides haven’t even been in the same room together since September 2010," it noted.
President Obama and PM Netanyahu (Photo: Avi Ohayon, GPO)
The paper then pointed fingers at the usual suspects. "Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has used any excuse he can find to avoid negotiations. He has blustered and balked at President Obama’s prodding. Republican leaders in Washington — who seem mainly interested in embarrassing Mr. Obama — have encouraged his resistance."
Referring to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas the paper said, "(He) seemed to give up on diplomacy when Mr. Obama could not deliver a promised settlement freeze. We see no sign that he has thought even one step beyond the UN vote."
The NYT stressed that "to have any chance of inducing the Palestinians to drop their statehood bid — and finally move the peace process forward — the United States and its partners should put a map and a deal on the table, with a timeline for concluding negotiations and a formal UN statehood vote."
The article concluded thus: "We see no sign that Washington or the Israelis are thinking beyond the incremental. The United States can veto a statehood resolution. But all sides will end up paying a high price. "
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