Last week, in a resounding vote of confidence for the two-state solution, the UN voted to upgrade the status of the Palestinians to that of "non-member observer state."
Rather than recognize this vote as a huge achievement for Israel - an achievement in which the entire Arab and Muslim worlds voted for a future Middle East that will be home to both Israel and Palestine - the Netanyahu government decided to exploit the vote as an opportunity to take actions that could well close the door on the two state-solution. Tell Secretary Clinton that if the Obama Administration is truly committed to Israel's security and its viability, it must intervene and compel the Netanyahu government to reverse its reckless, provocative, and dangerous decisions. These include the announcement of the approval of 3000 new settlement units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem - an announcement that, on its own, sends a message that Prime MInister Netanyahu is eager to undermine Abbas and pander to his right-wing political base in the run-up to Israeli elections early next year. Tell Secretary Clinton: Get tough now. If not now, soon it will be too late. But that wasn't all. The Netanyahu government decided to move ahead with the E-1 settlement - the construction of which virtually everyone agrees is a potential death blow to the viability of the two-state solution. E-1 would, by design, block off the narrow undeveloped land corridor which runs east of Jerusalem and which is necessary for any meaningful future connection between the southern and the northern parts of the West Bank. It would thus break the West Bank into two parts - north and south. It would also sever access to East Jerusalem for Palestinians in the West Bank, and sever access to the West Bank for Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem. Both of these situations are antithetical to the achievement of any real, durable peace agreement and the establishment of a viable, contiguous Palestinian state. Tell Secretary Clinton that if President Bush could convince Prime Minister Sharon to stop E-1, President Obama can certainly convince Netanyahu to do the same. And that still wasn't all. The Netanyahu government has also announced that it will withhold tax revenues it owes to the Palestinian Authority - a move that further undermines President Abbas and threatens to collapse the Palestinian Authority.Tell Secretary Clinton that unless the Obama Administration gets serious, now, about pressuring Netanyahu, President Obama will share responsibility with Netanyahu for the loss of the two-state solution.