The Palestinian stated aim of going to the UN in September to seek a resolution in favour of statehood is classic pressure tactic. It puts the US somewhat on the horns of a dilemma. Back such a resolution and they would be accused of endorsing terrorism (as things stand Hamas is back in the fold as a participant in the Palestinian Authority). Veto any such resolution and the US will be accused of being insincere about finding a resolution that addresses Palestinian needs. It’s small wonder that the US is currently spending a lot of energy trying to move Middle East negotiations forward.

This kind of pressure tactic has its dangers though. First the US may not like being put under pressure – few of us do. This may undo some US goodwill that presently exists towards the Palestinian cause.

Secondly going to the UN may not secure the Palestinians the kind of decisive resolution they want. Once the UN is debating the issue all sorts of political self-interest and horse trading between countries will influence the outcome – none of which the Palestinians can control.

Thirdly, Israel is unlikely to be moved by any such resolution – quite the reverse. Ultimately this conflict can only be resolved by the parties themselves wanting peace. In order to achieve that all concerned, including the US and the Palestinians should be working on incentivising that state of mind rather than using pressure tactics.

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