U.S. National Intelligence Council predicts ‘incremental’ Palestine

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A Palestinian state will emerge by 2030, not through negotiations but incrementally, according to a group of intelligence advisers to President Obama.

The office of the director of national intelligence this week published the annual "Global Trends" report compiled by the National Intelligence Council, a group of current and former policy officials who serve as a bridge between the policy and intelligence communities.

Identifying the Middle East as a locus for developing instability, the report anticipated little progress in formal peace negotiations.

"Many of our interlocutors saw a Palestine emerging from Arab-Israeli exhaustion and an unwillingness of Israelis and Palestinians to engage in endless conflict," the report said. "Issues like ‘right of return,’ demilitarization, and Jerusalem will not be fully resolved by 2030, and there will be no complete end of conflict. The way forward toward a Palestinian state will be through a series of unofficial, independent actions known as ‘coordinated unilateralism,’ incrementally leading to statehood."

The report anticipated increased reconciliation between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority and predicted that "Palestine’s borders will be roughly along the 1967 borders with adjustments or land swaps along the Green Line, but other issues will remain unresolved."

Israel will remain "the strongest military power" in the region, it said, "but face continuing threats from low intensity warfare in addition to any nuclear one from Iran."

The report also described Muslim anger at the United States as likely to recede, with support for Israel its only remaining major focus.

"Although al-Qaeda and others have focused on the United States as a clear enemy, the appeal of the United States as  the ‘great enemy’ is declining," it said. "The impending withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq and decreases in U.S. forces in Afghanistan help to reduce the extent to which terrorists can draw on the United States as a lightning rod for anger. Soon, U.S. support for Israel could be the last remaining major focus of Muslim anger."

The outlook for Israel was more positive in the report’s concluding section, "Alternative Worlds," in which the authors outline "archetypal" scenarios for the future.

One scenario, imagining the launch of a "Center for Global Integration" in 2030, describes a "recent past" in which "mechanisms for global sharing of  innovation were established by China and the United States" and "global education exchanges flourished like never before."

This archetype posited that "Turkey, Russia, and Israel, for example, became creative hotbeds for cross-cultural fertilization. Knowledge industries spread into Africa and Latin America."

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