Israel: P.A. Statehood a 'Diplomatic Tsunami'

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- The Palestinian Authority is now ready to function as a state, a new United Nations report concluded. The main obstacle to such a goal, the U.N. noted, is "Israeli occupation."

Palestinian leaders plan to ask the U.N. General Assembly in September for statehood recognition on all the territory Israel occupied in 1967, including Gaza.

If the P.A. is successful, Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak predicts a "diplomatic tsunami." 

"They are now refusing to sit to the table because they think -- and maybe rightly so -- that the support of almost two thirds of the countries that are represented at the General Assembly and they can get some kind of recognition of a state at the General Assembly," Gabriella Shalev, who served as Israel's U.N. ambassador for two years, told CBN News. 

Shalev is sounding the alarm that international recognition of a Palestinian state poses a grave threat to her country.

"Come September we are there - if nothing will happen in between - and there are still a few months that we can do many things, we are in for big trouble," she warned. 

Shalev says the Palestinians may well use an obscure U.N. resolution to bypass the Security Council where the U.S. holds veto power.   
 
"According to this resolution 377, if there is not a consensus within the Security Council, then it goes to the General Assembly which can take collective measures," she explained. 

CBN News Political Editor John Waage, who has worked for several years in Jersulem, explains the political implications for Israel and more.

Collective measures could have profound consequences for Israel including sanctions, boycotts, an arms embargo and even the use of force.  The U.N. might impose a Palestinian State on Israel and isolate the Jewish State.  

"If this will happen, we can be considered an occupying power in a state which is working for its independence and then sanctions can be inflicted on Israel," Shalev said.

That's why Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is under enormous pressure.  The left in Israel wants him to make dramatic concessions to the Palestinians.  He's also under pressure from Washington, where he will visit next month to meet President Obama and address Congress. 

Meanwhile, a new poll shows most Americans may have already made up their mind on the issue. 

The survey by the Israel Project found that 51 percent of U.S. registered voters oppose the Palestinian Authority if it "unilaterally declare(s) an independent Palestinian state without a signed peace treaty with Israel."  Only 31 percent support it.

Shalev told CBN News she sees hope in the American people.  

"The people of the United States are so important for us because they have an influence on the government, on the president," she said. "And we know and the Americans know that still, after everything takes place in the Middle East, our values are very much like the values of your founders." 

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