By Barry Rubin

From Agence France Presse, October 24:

The United States warned [today] that the Palestinian bid for U.N. membership could “derail” Middle East peace efforts, ahead of a new international attempt to bring Israelis and Palestinians back to negotiations. … The Palestinian membership campaign “will not advance the peace process, but rather will complicate, delay and perhaps derail prospects for a negotiated settlement,” U.S. ambassador Susan Rice told the Security Council meeting.

And this took until late October 2011 to figure out? They should have been saying this in October 2010, when the PA was not responding to Israel’s ten-month-long freeze on building within existing settlements; or even October 2009, after the PA rejected Obama’s plea for intense talks to be held in Washington.

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Now, if the Palestinian Authority’s actions are so terrible, damaging peace efforts and perhaps destroying them, might the Obama Administration take action against the PA? Of course not.

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His book, Israel: An Introduction, will be published by Yale University Press in January. Latest books include The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). The website of the GLORIA Center is at and of his blog, Rubin Reports,  

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