Aug 26, 2012

Obama to Palestinians: Delay Statehood Until Election Over

Aaron KleinBy Aaron Klein
Klein Online

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The Obama administration has asked the Palestinian Authority to delay its bid to unilaterally declare a state at the United Nations until after November’s presidential election, a senior PA official told KleinOnline.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the request was passed to PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ office by the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem earlier this month.

The official said the PA has not yet made a decision about the timing of its application with the U.N. General Assembly for accepting “Palestine” as a non-member state. The official, however, did indicate Abbas is inclined toward waiting until after the U.S. presidential election.

Any U.N. push by the PA prior to the election would thrust the Obama administration into the position of having to deal with the U.N. statehood question in the middle of an election.

Last September, the PA failed to secure enough votes to declare a state at the U.N. Security Council after the U.S. played a key role in scuttling the statehood attempt. The PA pledged to take a similar request to the General Assembly, where it expects to garner the support of more than 130 countries.

Any General Assembly recognition of a state would be considered mostly symbolic. Still, it would be a step toward possible future Security Council approval which would grant full recognition of a state.

The U.S. and Israel oppose the declaration of a Palestinian state outside the framework of direct negotiations between both parties.

2012 Republican convention

Two-state solution still in GOP platform

Mitt Romney has not been asked about his position concerning the U.N. declaration of state.

His campaign reportedly played a role earlier this week in ensuring the Republican Party platform committee reject a series of amendments to the party’s manifesto that would have removed language supportive of a so-called two-state solution in the Middle East.

All U.S administrations since Bill Clinton’s have accepted the path of negotiations leading to a Palestinian state. journalist Zeke Miller reported the Romney campaign helped to draft the language of a GOP platform that envisions “two democratic states”—Israel and a Palestinian state—drawing fire from several members of the platform committee.

Three separate amendments to the draft platform that removed the two-state language were offered and shot down after Sen. Jim Talent, a Romney surrogate tasked with ensuring the platform document is in line with Romney’s policy proposals, objected to each, Buzzfeed reported.