Barring a diplomatic breakthrough, Palestinian leaders plan to pursue a statehood resolution at the United Nations in September. Yet, the most striking feature of the debate surrounding this development is how little attention is being paid to the context of this initiative and what may happen the day after the UN vote. The UN move is as much a symptom as it is a cause, and unless understood in this way, the policy response is likely to be inadequate. Regardless of the outcome in New York, the downward spiral away from peacemaking seems to be intensifying at an alarming pace. In this Policy Note, former Israeli peace negotiator Tal Becker examines the scenarios most likely to unfold at the UN, the regional and domestic factors that have led the Palestinian leadership to pursue this course, and the various implications of potential UN recognition. The study examines different policy options available to the United States as it seeks a response that best balances conflicting interests and priorities, and best preserves the option of a negotiated solution in a volatile and changing regional environment.
Tal Becker, a former senior policy advisor and lead negotiator for the Israeli government, is an international associate of The Washington Institute. His previous publications include the Policy Focus report The Claim for Recognition of Israel as a Jewish State: A Reassessment.
- 18 pages