Israel Prepares Its Response to Statehood Vote

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1. Israel’s response to the PA statehood vote will be low key, focusing on legalities rather than drama. The Jerusalem Post writes:

The source said that if Jerusalem, as some in the international community feared, greeted the Palestinian move with a decision to build thousands of new housing units in the settlements, then that would become the center of attention, not the Palestinian step . . .

One idea being raised is that the legal consequences of the UN General Assembly accepting the Palestinians as a non-member observer state would not be retroactive.

This means that if, as a result of this decision, the PA is able to take Israel to the International Criminal Court, it will not be able to make claims against it for anything that happened before the GA resolution was passed.

Haaretz adds:

If the day after the vote the Palestinians will make do with celebrations in Ramallah and a renewal of negotiations with Israel, as they have declared, then no more punitive steps will be taken. But if Abbas opts to prosecute Israelis in the International Criminal Court in the Hague, the reaction will be harsh . . .

Israeli ambassadors worldwide have been instructed to pressure every country to publish an announcement, regardless of how they will vote, emphasizing that the borders of the Palestinian state and the other core issues will be decided only by direct negotiations with Israel.

2. A graph leaked to AP indicates that Iran is working on a nuclear weapon three times more powerful than the atomic bomb which destroyed Hiroshima.

The IAEA report mentioning the diagrams last year did not give details of what they showed. But the diagram seen by the AP shows a bell curve – with variables of time in micro-seconds, and power and energy both in kilotons – the traditional measurement of the energy output, and hence the destructive power of nuclear weapons.

The curve peaks at just above 50 kilotons at around 2 microseconds, reflecting the full force of the weapon being modeled . . .

The diagram has a caption in Farsi: “Changes in output and in energy released as a function of time through power pulse.” The number “5” is part of the title, suggesting it is part of a series.

3. Nationwide protests against Mohammed Morsi continue — 200,000 demonstrated in Tahrir Square and clashes reported in several Egyptian cities. AP says the turmoil will continue.

Palestinian Statehood Vote

Daniel Schwammenthal asks the million dollar question:

By supporting the unilateral UN bid, EU member states would not only assist the Palestinians in violating their contractual obligations, they would also undermine the EU’s own standing, which after all signed the Oslo Accords as a witness.

And how will violating past agreements encourage Israelis to trust Palestinians to abide by future agreements?

A staff-ed in the Sydney Daily Telegraph takes Canberra to task for allowing party politics to trump principle and not oppose Palestinian statehood:

In the wake of those recent attacks by Hamas, the political entity that rules Gaza, it was more than reasonable that Australia vote against the resolution. A vote in favour could appear to be a reward for Hamas tactics of terror. Yet Gillard’s decision was undermined by her own cabinet and backbenchers, who preferred that Australia simply abstain from the voting.

Basically, they want to wimp it.

For commentary/analysis on the statehood bid, see Elliott Abrams, David Harris, The Australian, Sydney Morning Herald, Christian Science Monitor, Jeffrey Goldberg, and Rabbi Michael Lerner.

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