State Dept., EU reject Palestinian unilateral statehood moves


The European Union on Wednesday rejected an effort to declare its support for Palestinian statehood outside the contours of bilateral Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, a decision that marked a setback for upcoming efforts by Ramallah to secure a United Nations Security Council resolution supporting unilateral moves toward statehood. State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki on Wednesday restated the American position that the U.S. “would not support unilateral actions … that would predetermine the outcome of negotiations” between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Palestinian moves to boost their diplomatic status outside of negotiations with Israel, which violate among other things Oslo Accord obligations – the specific commitment is to refrain from “steps that will change the status of the West Bank… pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations” – risk triggering U.S. legislation that conditions assistance on the Palestinians meeting treaty obligations banning unilateralism. Broad Palestinian failures to establish robust domestic institutions have long plagued efforts to achieve statehood. The Fatah-controlled Palestinian Authority, based in the West Bank, has failed to secure political legitimacy, with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the tenth year of the four-year term to which he was elected. The PA has failed to achieve economic stability and has failed to establish sovereignty over the territory it declares as Palestinian, with the opposing Fatah and Hamas factions in control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip respectively.


The US affiliate of Israel’s Energiya, an international solar development firm headed by Yosef Abramowitz, recently won a $30 million, 17.68 megawatt solar deal in southeastern Georgia, the first utility scale solar project in the region. The enormous 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with Georgia Power Company – to be called Project Glynn — will be constructed and interconnected by December 31, 2015. “Georgia Power is pleased to work with Energiya Global, and its US affiliate, Energiya USA, as part of the Advanced Solar Initiative,” said Norrie McKenzie, Vice President of Renewable Development, at Georgia Power Company. “With a shared commitment to innovative, clean energy solutions, our customers will benefit from this partnership today and in the future.” “Project Glynn is the first of a dozen utility-scale solar projects that Energiya USA plans to launch in the Southeastern market. We are proud to partner with Georgia Power Company in the deployment of renewable energy in the region,” said David M. Herskovits, CEO of Energiya USA. The Project Glynn solar energy project is the latest example of American-Israeli business and technology partnership. “”At a time when there is volatility in the world’s oil producing regions, Israel is proud to be on the forefront of the renewable energy revolution. The Consulate General of Israel to the Southeast is proud to be able to bring great partners like Energiya Global and Georgia Power together. This solar deal is a significant milestone in the long-standing, close relationship between Israel and the Southeast US,” said Opher Aviran, Consul General of Israel to the Southeast. (via Israel21c)

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