Thursday, May 05, 2011

Come Together Right Now…

Though until this weekend the Arab Spring, especially Libya, Egypt and Syria have made headlines and have dominated the news cycle. However, while the Palestinian territories have been absent from the headlines, major developments have been occurring there. In early April, the IMF announced that the Palestinian Authority was “fully capable of running the economy of an independent state” (Frome Bid for State of Palestine Gets Support of IMF NYT) Today, Hamas and Fatah have signed an agreement, ending the rift that left Hamas ruling Gaza while Fatah took over the West Bank. This re-united Palestinian Authority, with the support they received from the IMF, plans on asking Israel and the UN for an independent Palestinian state.

This would place Palestine as the newest (and at the same time oldest) movement of the Arab Spring. With international pressure, will the US and Obama support Israel, or peace through a two state solution? While the US has claimed support for Israel, and for peace between Palestinians and Israelis, if the PA makes a serious bid for statehood, will the US support it. If the Palestinians declare independence within the next year, this will have major security implications for the US. Personally, I feel the US should work with both parties to reach two state solution. The major sticking point will be the status of East Jerusalem. However, the time has come for a Palestinian state, and even if East Jerusalem is not included, it seems likely that the Palestinians would try to seize and occupy it by force. Israel should begin dealing with the ultra orthodox who are the most against a Palestinian state for the reality. The US should also begin putting pressure on Israel to start working out plans to deal with a Palestinian state. An all out war between Israel and Palestine would possibly bring major instability to the region. a Israeli/Palestinian war could draw attention away from democracy movements in the Middle East as groups rally to support Palestine. If Syria and Lebanon were to unite with Palestine to fight Israel, would the US need to get involved? Israel would certainly think so. This would also be a chance for Iranian backed Hezbollah to directly attack Israel in way it has not been able to before.

The possible creation of a Palestinian state requires the US to begin its diplomacy working with both parties now to come to a peaceful two state solution so as not to be caught off guard or find itself dealing with a situation for which it has no real strategy 9 as Libya seems to be)

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