It’s becoming less unthinkable by the day and by the hour that Barack Obama will recognize a Palestinian state by Jan. 20, the day he leaves office.
When John Kerry, Obama’s secretary of state, admitted that the U.S. played a role in engineering the U.N. Security Council vote condemning Israel, even to the point of craft the language of the resolution as to rule out a U.S. veto, he signaled near desperation for last-minute action by this administration.
Is it all over? Are they done? Or do they have more up their sleeve?
Could it be that the “smooth transition of power” Obama promised from one administration to the next will actually be a form of “transmutation of power” for perhaps the first time in American history?
Don’t discount it.
If Obama is committed to this path, he doesn’t need a U.N. resolution. He has the power as president to recognize a Palestinian state on whatever territory they claim.
The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled “the president alone” has the “power to recognize a foreign state and its territorial bounds.”
Should Obama do so, he would leave Israel and Donald Trump in a crisis not of their own making. Do you think that will be a deterrent to Obama, or an incentive?
If Obama takes this course of action, you can count on the anti-Israel European Union, Russia and China to follow suit immediately. By the time Trump is sworn in, a terrorist Palestinian state hostile to Israel could be a shocking reality.
After all, why wouldn’t Obama take such action give what Kerry said in his speech explaining the U.S. role in the U.N. vote?
He said “the two-state solution is the only way to ensure Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state, living in peace and security with its neighbors” as well as “the only way to ensure a future of freedom and dignity for the Palestinian people.”
Obama is desperate for a legacy. Much of what he has done over the last eight years stands on the precipice of reversal by a Trump administration and a Republican Congress. Yet, there is little either Israel or Trump could do following such a declaration by Obama because of what would predictably transpire as a result in the Middle East and around the world.
I’m hardly alone in suggesting this possibility.
- Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of the Palestinian Authority told the terrorist group Fatah that 2017 would be the year of the Palestinian state, hailing the recent U.N. resolution.
- The Palestinians are banking on the upcoming Mideast “peace conference” of 70 nations in France to rally support for the move.
- Obama’s silence on the question has raised speculation by many pundits and news outlets. President Barack Obama remains personally silent. Administration assurances quoted by the Associated Press, for instance, said he “has nearly ruled out any major last-ditch effort to put pressure on Israel over stalled peace negotiations with the Palestinians.” Take special note of that adverb “nearly.”
- And, of course, since Trump’s views on the matter are well-known, Obama could see his action as the last chance for saving his precious “two-state solution.”
It’s more than a “what-if” scenario. It could be a reality by Jan. 20, if Obama wants to rock Trump’s world and Israel’s.
Would you bet against it?
That’s why the incoming Trump administration should be actively preparing for just such an eventuality – one that could bring the Middle East to the brink of war not on Jan. 21, but even minutes or hours before he is sworn in as president.
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