Today we saw the news story, below, in news outlets around the world. It is a very touchy subject for me, but I have strong and optimistic views and I believe dialogue with others can help solve the problem. Please email me or post your opinions below the article.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas was greeted by sustained applause and appreciative whistles as he approached the dais in the General Assembly hall to deliver a speech outlining his people’s hopes and dreams of becoming a full member of the United Nations. Some members of the Israeli delegation, including Foreign Minister Avigdor Liebermann, left the hall as Mr. Abbas approached the podium.
Negotiations with Israel “will be meaningless” as long as it continues building on lands the Palestinians claim for that state, he declared, warning that his government could collapse if the construction persists.
“This policy is responsible for the continued failure of the successive international attempts to salvage the peace process,” said Mr. Abbas, who has refused to negotiate until the construction stops. “This settlement policy threatens to also undermine the structure of the Palestinian National Authority and even end its existence.”
To another round of applause, he held up a copy of the formal membership application and said he had asked U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon to expedite deliberation of his request to have the United Nations recognize a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem.
A senior Israeli official characterized President Abbas’ speech as “very disappointing.”
“It was a total turnoff,” the official said. “It was a demonizing speech with all the slogans of apartheid and ethnic cleansing and racism and endless complaints about Israeli evil and cruelty with no nuance.”
The strategy also put the Palestinians in direct confrontation with the U.S., which has threatened to veto their membership bid in the Council, reasoning, like Israel, that statehood can only be achieved through direct negotiations between the parties to end the long and bloody conflict.
“You can pass whatever resolution you like at the United Nations, or at the Security Council, and it doesn’t actually deliver you a state,” Mr. Blair told BBC Radio. “And if you don’t have a negotiation, whatever you do at the U.N. is going to be deeply confrontational.”
Gaza’s Hamas prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, accused Mr. Abbas on Friday of relinquishing Palestinian rights by seeking recognition for a state in the pre-1967 borders. Hamas’ founding charter calls for the destruction of Israel and a state in all of the territory between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River, though some Hamas officials have suggested they would support a peace deal based on the 1967 lines.
“The Palestinian people do not beg the world for a state, and the state can’t be created through decisions and initiatives,” Mr. Haniyeh said. “States liberate their land first and then the political body can be established.”
The problem I see with a Palestinian State right now is economic. I have no reservation as a Jew believing in Israel’s right to exist in saying that I hope for the creation of a Palestinian State. But now is not the time. Palestinians, for starters, are split between a completely unacceptable political party in Hamas and an unwilling and unready political partner led by Mr. Abbas.
Let me expound upon something. After the First World War, the German central bank allowed for hyperinflation due to perceived insults in the peace agreement. (If you are further interested in this issue, read this). The reason they did not care about the economic prudence of their central bank was because they did not care about the political prudence of the peace on the terms revengefully set by the Americans, English, and French.
Soon Germany would be captivated by a charismatic leader named Adolf Hitler. Almost everyone knows what happened to the world after his rise. My point in bringing up this epoch is simple. Palestine is one of the poorest nations in the world, and they still won’t listen to American leaders’ advice in handling the formation of their country despite the millions of dollars in foreign aid that we Americans are taxed to give them. I suggest our leaders take a harder stance on Palestine. They need to know that infrastructure needs to be put in place so that their economy can grow.
There are many plans for this kind of business cooperation, such as this one. Furthermore, with existential threats in Iran that scare Jewish people all the way from Beverly Hills to Tel Aviv how can Israel sit idly by and watch their military power diminish in an increasingly unstable region? They can do so by having dialogue with the world.
After Japan and America ceased hostilities, the Japanese agreed to a demilitarized state. Why can’t Palestine do the same? There needs to be a serious change in the rhetoric of Mr. Abbas for him to be taken seriously by President Obama and the Israeli people. Until then the Palestinian people need to figure out how they can look themselves in the mirror with the reality that they will have to talk to the Israelis for a state at some point.
Today was a step in the wrong direction, but hopefully there are more discussions going on behind the scenes that we do not know about. I encourage a dialogue on this subject, especially about how Palestine can create an economically sustainable infrastructure. The future Palestinian state will be one of the most densely populated in the world, but I believe there are some very smart Palestinian leaders willing to talk to Israeli leaders about a plan to make a peaceful future happen.