Andrew responds to my post on the Palestinian statehood bid
The pragmatic consequences of UN recognition may well backfire, given the radical, religious nature of Israel’s government. But the Palestinians know that the Israelis have no intention, whatever blather they give us in public, of creating a genuine two-state solution anyway. And that goes for AIPAC as well. So why is this move worse than the hopeless status quo in which Israel has all the cards?
Things can always get worse. Why is this move worse than the status quo? Ziad Asali answers the question:
For Palestinians, it could mean a return to more restrictive forms of control by Israeli occupation authorities, more checkpoints and roadblocks, as well as other forms of retaliation, including punitive economic measures.
If such measures then goad Palestinians into launching an uprising, the failure of this maneuver will be complete. Annexation might conceivably follow, but after thinking about it a bit more I doubt that any Israeli government would be quite so rash. Besides, why bother with official annexation? Why not just continue the current policy of creeping, de facto control by way of settlements that makes the eventual establishment of a Palestinian state impossible? As one commenter suggested, annexation would create a new legal and political issue that might be turned to the advantage of the Palestinians.
I suppose there is the possibility that the Netanyahu government could react so clumsily and provocatively to the statehood bid that it loses some political support in the U.S., but nothing that has happened in the last ten (or forty) years suggests that there is anything that an Israeli government can do that will significantly diminish the support it has in Washington. The Palestinian statehood bid may be an understandable expression of frustration, but it is thoroughly self-defeating. Andrew likens this to a Hail Mary pass, but at least a last-second pass offers the possibility of victory. If U.N. recognition is a victory for Palestinians, it is going to be a Pyrrhic one.