Unilateralism is bad when Israel practices it. Go read back a few years to hear the left shrieking about Ariel Sharon withdrawing from Gaza unilaterally, instead of working with the PA (or at least, pretending to work with them so they could get the credit for it). Hamas would claim victory, everyone said. Yes, they were right, but the point is—unilateralism is bad.
It was bad when George Bush the elder wanted to invade Iraq. He had to build a multinational force, including using pretend-Saudi pilots, in order for the war to get the go-ahead.
It was bad when George W. Bush wanted to track down the al Qaeda murderers and take them out. Didn’t matter if he was heading for Afghanistan or Iraq, the world shrieked about unilateralism and said that Cowboy George should not go it alone, but should get the world on his side first.
Now the Palestinians are threatening to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state. (They already did in 1988, and you can see how far that declaration got them.) But I hear no chorus of pundits and heads of state insisting that unilateral actions are the wrong way to go. In fact, the silence is deafening. But that’s not really the issue. The issue is misdirection. Why are the Palestinians suddenly threatening to unilaterally declare a Palestinian state? Because they refuse to come back to the negotiating table with Israel. And since the Obama administration has made it clear that it will no longer accept the excuse of settlement building as a reason not to negotiate, the Palestinians have come up with a little bit of misdirection that the media and Israel’s enemies can latch onto: Going to the UN to declare a state.
Oh, they don’t really believe it can happen. But that’s not the point. The point is, they’re hoping to get the world to back them on this, and to blame Israel for the lack of progress in negotiations. Will it work? Well. So far, everything else has. So let’s see how well this has worked so far today. We have three stories, three headlines, via the AP. Let’s take a look. First:
Palestinians to seek UN endorsement of statehood
Nov 15, 11:27 AM (ET)
Frustrated Palestinians to appeal to UN for state
Nov 15, 2:52 PM (ET)
And the last updated story last night:
Netanyahu Threatens to Retaliate if Palestinians Declare Statehood
Updated: Sunday, 15 Nov 2009, 10:46 PM EST
Yep. It’s working.