Haaretz reports the confusing news that the EU’s foreign minister has devised an entirely new UN sub-state category and proposes that the General Assembly approve an upgrade of Palestinian status to such a rank. This would preclude Palestine from bringing claims before the International Criminal Court. As you can imagine, Bibi Netanyahu loves the idea and the Palestinians hate it (though Ynetnews argues, fatuously I believe, that the Palestinians are seriously considering the proposal).
One purpose of the proposal, whether intended or not, is to divide the 27 EU member votes and thus fragment support for Palestine’s GA proposal. I doubt this will work. In fact, Haaretz notes that a number of EU states have derided Catherine Ashton Taylor for her proposal, saying she did so on her own initiative without consulting them. So I think this is yet another “flyer” born out of U.S.-Israel desperation that the GA vote will bring Palestine into the UN as a nonvoting member state. This would enable it to call Israel to account for its policies in clear violation of international law including settlements, Operations Cast Lead, the first Lebanon war, the assassination of Salah Shehadeh, etc. Obama and Netanyahu are scared shitless that the day after this vote the ICC will have to hang a symbolic shingle outside its front door saying: “Welcome Palestine: Open for Business.”
Haaretz also notes that Bibi will indeed go to the UN and address it on the same day the Palestinians will bring their proposal to the body. It seems a fool’s errand and destined to re-emphasize the isolation of Israel on this issue. But let it not be said that Bibi is afraid of entering the lion’s den. Though I think that discretion should be the better part of valor in cases like this; and discretion is one quality he lacks.
Haaretz also reports the astonishing news that the Ministry of Yvet (aka the ministry of foreign affairs) summoned five EU ambassadors and explicitly directed their countries to vote against Palestinian statehood in the UN:
…The Israeli officials…said: “What we expect from your countries is simply to vote against any resolution.”
Only in Israel would they tell diplomats of countries that can eat Israel for breakfast what their foreign policy must be regarding Palestine. The funny thing is that one of them, Germany, is known to be sympathetic to Israel’s position. But with chutzpah like this there’s liable to be a backlash, with Israel even losing the Holocaust-induced guilty sympathy of that nation.Buffer