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GUEST,livelylass Palestine (continuation) (759* d) RE: Palestine (continuation) 01 Nov 11

I was pleased to see the results of the UNESCO vote yesterday, less pleased to see the US response. But surprised by neither. The question now in this unfolding game of chess, is where from here? As said previously there has already been talk of an Israeli annexation of the West Bank, though I haven't seen such talk repeated in news thus far. As for now, one wonders what the consequences of withdrawal of US aid shall mean for stability and peace in the area however?

A thoughtful, and I believe unusually sympathetic, opinion piece in the Jerusalem Times on the potentially damaging consequences of US/Israeli economic punishment of the Palestinian bid for UN recognition:

"Palestinian logic to go to the UN was based on their sound assessment that no negotiated agreement could be reached with the current Israeli government.
The US, with support of the Israeli government, is using a diplomatic "stick" against the Palestinian Authority. US Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who chairs the House Committee on Foreign Relations, is using her prerogative to put a hold on more than $200 million already approved to be allocated to the Palestinians. Most of that money has already been authorized and contracted out through the auspices of the USAID mission in Tel Aviv responsible for supporting Palestinian state-building and economic development in the West Bank and Gaza.
The immediate impact of this is the firing of many young Palestinian academics working for various US contractors and for Palestinian nongovernmental institutions. The USAID mission is also in the process of immediately scaling down, and soon many of its staff are likely to receive notices that their employment is suspended or canceled.
The Palestinian economy is already in a fragile state. Losing over $200 million in one blow, with the extra burden of increased unemployment of young academics, could cause considerable social unrest.
This would be a disaster; it would make the Palestinian security services look entirely like an arm of the Israeli occupation, delegitimizing their very existence.
The US legislator holding back the funds to the Palestinian Authority is playing with fire that could easily erupt inside of Israel. There is no desire in the West Bank for a deterioration of the situation into another round of violence. President Abbas remains fully committed to a non-violent approach to achieving statehood. No, he does not do what Israel would like him to do, but he is acting as the Palestinian president in Palestine's best interests, as he and his colleagues understand it. US and Israeli punishment of Abbas for not "behaving" is dangerous and foolish."

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