The debate in the Security Council this week on the situation in the Middle East was the last before the opening of the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly - affording the United States an opportunity to state its position and issue a warning to those thinking of pushing for the recognition of a Palestinian State in September.
United States Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN - Rosemary DiCarlo - stated America's position unequivocally and unconditionally when she stated:
"My government has been clear all along. The only place where permanent status issues can be resolved, including borders and territory, is in negotiations between the parties-not in international fora such as the United Nations."
She warned the Security Council:
"Let there be no doubt: symbolic actions to isolate Israel at the United Nations in September will not create an independent Palestinian state. The United States will not support unilateral campaigns at the United Nations in September or any other time.
A viable and sustainable peace agreement can only be achieved by mutual agreement of the parties themselves. Only through serious and responsible negotiations can the parties achieve the shared goal of two states for two peoples, with a secure, Jewish state of Israel living side by side in peace and security with an independent, contiguous and viable state of Palestine.
This is the goal. This is the vision. But there are no short-cuts."
The United States has apparently given up on such a Palestinian State being democratic - contrary to the following provision of the Bush Roadmap:
"A two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will only be achieved through an end to violence and terrorism, when the Palestinian people have a leadership acting decisively against terror and willing and able to build a practicing democracy based on tolerance and liberty and through Israel's readiness to do what is necessary for a democratic Palestinian state to be established"
This seems a strange step backwards in the face of current calls for democracy and the end to despotic long term rulers in many Arab countries including Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Syria and Yemen.
In the absence of free and fair elections in the West Bank and Gaza - Israel is entitled to be concerned at the current - and future - political structures existing in both territories where:
political power is divided between separate governments headed by Hamas and Fatah and they remain unable to reconcile their political differences.
The constitutions of both Hamas and Fatah call for the destruction of Israel;
and the date for fresh elections keeps being postponed and continues to remain a perpetual pipedream.
Successful negotiations to conclude a binding and enforceable peace agreement are not remotely possible until the Palestinian Arabs sort themselves out and elect a Government that is prepared to:
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