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Incendiary UN resolution that partitioned Palestine turns 70

November 29, 2017 -

November 29, 2017, UNITED NATIONS, New political realities leave little chance that the 70th anniversary of United Nations Resolution 181, which partitioned Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, will prompt new Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Previous talks over the decades, mainly the initiative of Western leaders, were aimed at bringing about the so-called two-state solution, a concept that envisions an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel.

The bitterly contested 1947 vote produced a checkerboard state, and has reverberated violently down the decades. The Jewish community in Palestine
considered the resolution to be a legal basis for the establishment of Israel, a position rejected by the Arab community. The resolution was succeeded almost immediately by violence.

Foreign Policy Magazine in August described the chance of a breakthrough, or even renewed talks, as beyond reach for now because changes in the circumstances of three critical players in the peace issue – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and United States President Donald Trump – make forward movement virtually impossible.

Under investigation by the Israeli police on multiple allegations of corruption, according to the magazine, Netanyahu is fighting for his political life. He has turned for support to his right-wing political base, which is deeply opposed to any concessions for Palestinians. His supporters regarded his backing off of recent security measures at Temple Mount as capitulation. Endorsing an expansion of Greater Jerusalem to take in West Bank settlements and backing a settler takeover of a Palestinian-owned house in Hebron, he has doomed any renewal of peace talks.

Abbas, for his part, is less flexible than ever, according to the magazine, as the 82-year-old is in an escalating battle for legitimacy with Hamas and his bitter rival in his own Fatah party, Mohammed Dahlan. Hamas and Dahlan are now joining forces in Gaza.

Trump’s political survival at home is so threatened by problems that include falling poll numbers and protecting his legacy that he has little time for the Israeli-Palestinian conundrum. The magazine sees his so-called Middle East policy as “dead in the water.”

United Nations Resolution 181 (Encyclopedia Britannica)

Is Trump’s Middle East Peace Effort Dead in the Water? (Foreign Policy Aug 2017)
Is Trump’s Middle East Peace Effort Dead in the Water?