Palestinian "Statehood" Bid Part of a One-Two Punch Against Israel, Experts Say Ahead of the UN's "Anti-Racist" Durban III Conference

Sep 16, 2011, 16:21 ET from Hudson Institute

NEW YORK, Sept. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Palestinians risk finding themselves cut off from U.S. funding should they continue with their expected statehood bid at the United Nations – thereby distancing themselves from good-faith negotiations with Israel.

The warning from John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the UN, came today as he joined Dore Gold, former Israeli ambassador to the UN, U.S. Congressman Steve Chabot (R-OH) and other experts in a Media Conference Call hosted by the Hudson Institute and Touro College.

"There are going to be Congressional efforts to cut off funding for the Palestinian Authority," Bolton predicted.  "I think people are going to be outraged …. both at the Palestinian Authority and at the vote in the United Nations."

Ambassadors Bolton and Gold will also speak – alongside former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Elie Wiesel, and other major personalities – at a day-long conference next week titled "The Perils of Global Intolerance: The United Nations and Durban III" – across from UN Headquarters (see details below).

Chair of next week's conference will be Anne Bayefsky, Hudson Institute Senior Fellow and Director of the Touro College Institute on Human Rights & the Holocaust.

Speaking today at the Media Conference, Bayefsky argued that there is a direct link between the UN's Durban III gathering next Thursday, and the scheduled General Assembly address of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas the following day.

"It's clear that this is intended to be a one-two action: You label Israel racist, and then the next day you say you don't have to negotiate with it," Bayefsky said.

On the Durban III conference itself – intended to "commemorate" the 10th anniversary of the 2001 event within days of the 10th anniversary of 9/11 – Bayefsky said: "It's time for us to connect the dots between global hate mongering and violence."

During today's Media Conference Call, Bolton also accused U.S. President Barack Obama of not doing enough to head off the Palestinian effort, arguing that the administration's response suggests that it tacitly approves of what is taking place.

"Up until the past week or ten days, the administration has done precious little diplomatically to try and head off this Palestinian effort to get itself declared a state, admitted to the UN, or whatever it is they turn out to do," he said.

"The impression that's left diplomatically by that kind of inaction is that the administration is really not that opposed to what the Palestinians are trying to do. And other governments interpret the administration's inaction as really an unwillingness to cause itself domestic political trouble so that they would be just as happy if the UN declared Palestine a state, then they wouldn't have to take the lead on it."

Former Amb. Gold said the Palestinian action marked a "material breach of the Oslo agreement."

According to Gold, the agreement "basically states that neither side will change the status of the West Bank or Gaza Strip prior to the completion of permanent status negotiations."

Gold also predicted the Palestinian effort would entail serious consequences. "The fact that the Palestinians seek to change the status of the territories, either by going through the UN, or by other means, is an extremely serious development. And I believe that Israel will reserve the right on its part to respond after it sees what steps the Palestinians are going to undertake."

Rep. Chabot, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia, called the Palestinian move an "effort to circumvent good faith negotiations with Israel."

"A true Israeli-Palestinian peace will only be made between two peoples, and that's the Israelis and the Palestinians dealing face-to-face in good faith, and not the 191 other members of the General Assembly," he said.

"A unilateral declaration of independence: it's simply rejectionism by another name … it takes away any motivation from the Palestinians to negotiate and deal in good faith with Israel. Essentially, what you're doing – bottom line – is you're rewarding bad behavior."

Next week's "Perils of Global Intolerance" conference will take place Thursday September 22, 2011 at the Millennium UN Plaza Hotel in New York. It will serve as the day's leading event countering the UN General Assembly's same-day meeting marking the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action. That declaration emerged from the conference in the South African city that a wide array of critics have pointed to as dangerously anti-Semitic and anti-West.

Please note that next week's conference also takes place on the same day that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is scheduled to address the UN General Assembly – presenting journalists covering his speech with an opportunity to seek immediate reaction from the conference's speakers.

The "Perils of Global Intolerance" conference is hosted by the Hudson Institute and Touro College Institute on Human Rights & the Holocaust. Contact for general questions: conference@durbanwatch.com

SOURCE Hudson Institute