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Palestinians seek allies on statehood
Israel tries to blunt overtures to E. Europe
“This is what the Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu will ask when he comes here - to oppose it [the resolution],” Mr. Rav-Ner said in an interview with the Associated Press in Warsaw. “He is going to places where we can talk sense.”
It’s all part of an Israeli attempt to build a “moral opposition” to the Palestinian resolution by winning over countries with political weight and moral standing, Mr. Rav-Ner said.
None of the eastern European countries have yet said how they will vote, an indication of the discomfort they feel at being asked to choose between two parties they consider friends.
Yet it’s clear that some look askance at the Palestinian initiative, fearing it could derail the peace process. That raises the possibility that some could seek to avoid the question altogether by abstaining from a U.N. vote - an option that would not satisfy Israel.
Palestinian leaders say they are being forced to turn to the United Nations because of deadlock in the peace efforts.
The Slovak Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that it believes the Palestinian U.N. initiative “could become a significant obstacle for the revival of the [Middle East] peace process.”
A Polish government official also told the Associated Press that Warsaw opposes the Palestinian U.N. gambit, fearing it will derail the peace talks, and still hopes the Palestinian leadership will rethink the wisdom of the move.
“Poland wants the peace talks to be continued, and we think that any unilateral move would be counterproductive for that,” said the official, who is familiar with discussions on the issue but spoke on condition of anonymity because Poland’s government has not yet publicly stated its view on the issue.
In one example of European opposition to the Palestinian initiative, the president of the EU parliament, Jerzy Buzek, a former Polish prime minister, said during a visit to the West Bank on Tuesday that it could be “dangerous” because it could complicate peace efforts.
The Palestinians appear to have a better chance of winning the support of Serbia, which will face huge pressure to support the Palestinian declaration due to its own diplomatic efforts over Kosovo, the former province that declared its independence in 2008.
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