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Gerhon Baskin


Mural on Street in Bethlehem showing all of pre-67 Israel as "Palestine."
photo by Rhonda Spivak


View on the way to Beit Jalla.
photo by Rhonda Spivak


street in Bethlehem

 
ISRAELI ACADEMIC GERSHON BASKIN OF IPCRI SAID TWO YEARS AGO HE INITIATED IDEA OF UNILATERAL PA BID AT UN

By Rhonda Spivak, written August 2009, re-posted Nov 14, 2011

[Editor's note: I wrote this article over two years ago after attending a conference in Beit Jalla, outside  of Bethlehem. It was originally published in Israel Behind the News http://www.israelbehindthenews.com/bin/content.cgi?ID=3702&q  seems appropriate to reflect on it now, as  currently the Palestinians are at the UN  making their unilateral bid for a Palestinian state. A shorter version of the article was published in the  Canadian Jewish News in September 2009. More recently,Gershon Baskin had a part in the release of Gilad Shalit, as he was an intermediary with Hamas http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/news/the-israeli-academic-who-played-a-critical-role-in-the-shalit-deal-1.389789 ] 

IPCRI’S GERSHON BASKIN SAID TWO YEARS AGO HE INITIATED IDEA OF U.N. RECOGNIZING STATE OF PALESTINE UNILATERALLY, WITHOUT ISRAEL’S AGREEMENT

by Rhonda Spivak , August, 2009 

Gershon Baskin, Co-CEO of the Israel-Palestine Centre For Research and Information [IPCRI]said that that he was the one who “put forth” the idea to European Union Foreign Policy chief Javier Solana of having the United Nations Security Council recognize a Palestinian state, even if an agreement is not reached between Israel and the Palestinians.

Baskin told an IPCRI conference entitled “Education for Peace” on August 8 in Beit Jalla, at Talitha Kumi near Bethlehem that “He [Solana] heard it first from me, but it’s fine, let Solana get the credit.”

Baskin said under the proposed plan the United States would not use its veto power to prevent the U.N. Security Council from recognizing the existence of the State of Palestine within provisional borders.

Baskin told the conference that about two weeks ago he met for “secret talks in the U.S.” with five Palestinians, five Americans and five Israelis.

“[PA President] can submit a request [to the U.N. Security Council]that the State of Palestine become a member state of the U.N., and if the U.S. does not veto this, all of the Security Council members will vote in favour,” said Baskin, noting that currently the Palestinians only have observer status at the U.N.

After passing the Security Council, the State of Palestine would be recognized by the U.N. general Assembly and “from that moment, the State of Israel is now occupying the entire member state of Palestine,” he said. He added that once that happened the U.N. could create a mechanism to send in international forces to implement the two state solution, with Jerusalem as a capital for both states.

In addition to putting forth this idea to Solana, Baskin told the conference that he has presented his plan to the Americans. When asked specifically to whom this was sent, Baskin replied that his plan was presented to two Deputy Secretaries of State to Hillary Clinton, and was also sent to the office of Special Envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell.

Baskin also said that last week he met Rafik Husseini and presented the plan to him in preparation for it to be presented to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, noting that when the Fatah convention in Bethlehem was over, he expected the plan to be presented to Abbas.

On June 13, Ha’aretz reported that Soalana said in London that “After a fixed deadline, a U.N. Security Council resolution should proclaim the adoption of the two state solution.”’

It further reported that Solana said “It [the U.N.] would accept the Palestinian state as a full member of the U.N. and set a calendar fro implementation.”

Baskin told the conference that Solana’s comments on this plan were to have been co-ordinated first with Mitchell, but that Solana made his comments without first notifying Mitchell. Baskin suggested that Solana’s comments were intended as “a trial balloon.”

Baskin’s plan was presented at the conference through the use of a power point presentation which can be viewed at: http://www.ipcri.org/files/ending.pdf

In an abstract of his talk, Baskin noted that in his view “there will not be any successful bilateral Israeli-Palestinian negotiations at any time in the near future.”

In his view, the only possible plan is one whereby the international community imposes a Palestinian state on Israel.

Baskin also said that he spoke in Brussels [in the Parliament-I think but am not certain] and proposed that both Palestine and Israel ought to be granted EU status, which would give both sides a large incentive to approve of the two state solution ‘It wouldn’t be a big deal if a Palestinian worked in Tel-Aviv, when he could also work in Vienna.” But Baskin added that the Europeans he’d spoken with weren’t interested “ in having either of us join.”

Baskin noted that once the U.S. and U.N. take steps to recognize a Palestinian state, the peace camp in Israel will be able to rally around it and be revived.

He also proposed that once this happens, the PA ought to declare new elections (after a Palestinian state became a member of the U.N.)

He proposed that a condition for running in these elections would be recognition of the Palestinian state, but by recognizing the Palestinian state, Hamas would be recognizing the state of Israel. Hamas could only run in these elections if it recognized the Palestinian state and therefore the State of Israel.

Baskin also said that in the November 1988 Palestinian Declaration of Independence, declared at the PL

 
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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

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