Middle East peace: Can Palestinians do an end run around Israel?
Palestinian leader Abbas tries to carry the Middle East peace process directly to the UN. But Israel's plans for 900 new homes in East Jerusalem only shows that it's just as willing to take unilateral action. No one wins when both sides refuse to negotiate.
Israel's announcement this week that it's moving forward with plans to build 900 new homes in an Israeli settlement in East Jerusalem – which Palestinians consider their capital – has sparked deserved outrage from just about everyone with an interest in Middle East peace.
President Obama warned on Fox News that the move "embitters the Palestinians in a way that could end up being very dangerous." After violent Palestinian uprisings, countless rocket attacks, suicide bombs, and Israeli military reaction and preemptive action, the president's warning is well understood.
Indeed, Palestinian frustration is rapidly rising.
Understandably dismayed by the stalled peace talks (they broke off last December), Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas looks to be tearing a page from the Sarah Palin playbook. He's "going rogue"; shaking things up.
He announced earlier this month he wants out of his job. He's fed up and won't seek reelection as president of the Palestinian Authority, which governs the West Bank (however, elections have since been delayed indefinitely).
Now he's dropped a diplomatic bombshell. He wants the United Nations Security Council to recognize a Palestinian state defined by pre-1967 borders – before Israel took over the West Bank and Gaza strip in the Arab-Israeli conflict and later annexed east Jerusalem.