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.
getty images
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.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(page 2 of 2)

Whence, then, Israel’s opposition? Avigdor Lieberman, Israel’s foreign minister, has said that “Abbas’s appeal to the U.N. is pure political terror. We have made it clear to all parties concerned that this means breaking all the rules, and this act will have long term consequences” and he has instructed his diplomats to press their host countries to oppose the idea. Ha’aretz of November 15 reports that “Even today, the atmosphere in the Prime Minister’s Bureau is one of ‘this time, we’ll show them what’s what,’ said a former senior official who was involved in discussions on the matter between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his aides. ‘Likud ministers will pressure him, the polls will scare him. And from there it’s not far to a response that would bring about a violent conflagration or the collapse of the Palestinian Authority.’”

Alas, once again the Israelis are determined to prove that the Palestinians have no partner for peace. And if America goes along with the Israelis, rejecting even so temperate a proposal, and if indeed the Palestine Authority collapses, what then? Does that not strengthen Hamas? Does it not strengthen rejectionists in Egypt? Does it not poison America’s capacity to play a constructive role in the area? Does it not promote chaos in the West Bank?

Yes, the Palestinians rejected the Partition Resolution when it was approved by a vote of 33-13 in 1947. Now, evidently, they have come around to accepting it. True, it is late in the day, and many of the salient facts have changed. (In that connection, it is well to note that the Palestinians are not calling for a return to the cramped Israeli borders of 1947. That would be madness, and President Abbas is canny, not mad.)

Abba Eban, Israel’s late foreign minister, was fond of saying that the Partition Resolution was Israel’s birth certificate. My own experience with the resolution was considerably less august than Eban’s, but I remember the day vividly. Habonim, the Labor Zionist youth movement, had a three-story building on Eutaw Place in Baltimore. I was assigned to monitor the vote taking place in Lake Success, New York, and when the vote was tallied and the result announced, I raced down the stairs to inform my comrades. All of us immediately went out onto the street, as did very many people from what was then a largely Jewish neighborhood. And oh, did we sing and dance.

It will be a while, most likely the way things are going these days a long while, before the Palestinians get to sing and dance, as we should all hope they one day will. In the meantime, why oppose a proposal that will be formally put forward on the 65th anniversary of the Partition Resolution and that makes the commitments this proposal does?

Leonard Fein can be reached at feedback@forward.com


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • Why are peace activists getting beat up in Tel Aviv? http://jd.fo/s4YsG
  • Backstreet's...not back.
  • Before there was 'Homeland,' there was 'Prisoners of War.' And before there was Claire Danes, there was Adi Ezroni. Share this with 'Homeland' fans!
  • BREAKING: Was an Israeli soldier just kidnapped in Gaza? Hamas' military wing says yes.
  • What's a "telegenically dead" Palestinian?
  • 13 Israeli soldiers die in Gaza — the deadliest day for the IDF in decades. So much for 'precision' strikes and easy exit strategies.
  • What do a Southern staple like okra and an Israeli favorite like tahini have in common? New Orleans chef Alon Shaya brings sabra tastes to the Big Easy.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.