While the timing of the Israeli settlement announcement may not be the best, the Palestinian unilateral bid for statehood on November 29 violates United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 that call for Israel-PA negotiated land-for-peace agreements leading to “secure and recognized boundaries.”
The Oslo Accords forbid either side from taking unilateral steps that would prejudge the final status of all disputed territory. That is why the editorial, “Count on Israel to sabotage its one path to peace” (TNT, 12-3), is correct when it says, rather sarcastically, that the Palestinian Authority “wasn’t supposed to seek a certificate of statehood except as part of peace negotiations with Israel.”
A durable peace can only come about through direct negotiations, not unilateral declarations. Diplomatic processes are no longer valuable when one party walks out on them and tries to achieve its own ends without considering the basic needs of the other party. It’s in the interest of both parties for President Abbas to resume negotiations with Israel.