Why Jews Should Back Palestinian U.N. Bid

Statehood Move Affirms Need for Two-State Solution

Two-State Statesman: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is pushing for statehood at the United Nations. Before rejecting the move, Jews would do well to actually read what he is proposing.
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Two-State Statesman: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is pushing for statehood at the United Nations. Before rejecting the move, Jews would do well to actually read what he is proposing.

By Leonard Fein

Published November 28, 2012, issue of December 07, 2012.
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I rather doubt that more than a few of those whose knees have jerked in opposition to the planned request by the PLO that its status at the United Nations be upgraded have actually read the resolution. Instead, they rely on Israel’s bitter opposition and on America’s predictable opposition. Israel has ludicrously announced that if the Palestinians go forward, it will regard the Oslo Accords as dead, the very Oslo Accords that both Israel and the Palestinians have long since effectively abandoned and which Benjamin Netanyahu vigorously opposed nearly 20 years ago. And America has so far chosen to discourage the Palestinians, a battle it is bound to lose.

The trouble with all this is that once you read the resolution, due to be presented on November 29th, the anniversary of Resolution 181, the original Partition Resolution of 1947, you learn that it is a perfectly statesmanlike proposal. It will come before the General Assembly, where it is certain to be endorsed by an overwhelming majority of the G.A. members.

The operative heart of the proposed resolution is the change from the Palestinian’s current UN status as the “Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine” to the enhanced status of a “Palestine Observer State.” But the remarkable aspect of the proposal is in its fifth operative paragraph, wherein the Palestinians “Affirm [their] determination to contribute to the achievement of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people and the attainment of a peaceful settlement in the Middle East that ends the occupation that began in 1967 and fulfills the vision of two states, an independent, sovereign, democratic, contiguous and viable state of Palestine, living side by side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbors, on the basis of the pre-1967 borders, with delineation of borders to be determined in final status negotiations.”

And then, in the very next paragraph, the proposal “expresses the urgent need for the resumption and acceleration of negotiations … that resolve all outstanding core issues, namely the Palestine refugees, Jerusalem, settlements, borders, security, water and prisoners.”

In other words, the proposal is that negotiations be resumed. Even the vexing issue of borders is left to “final status negotiations.”


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