Why Israel should vote for Palestinian independence
A symbolic chair that a Palestinian delegation is using to campaign for membership in the United Nations September 15, 2011 at UN headquarters in New York. (Getty Images)
September 16th, 2011
09:56 AM ET

Why Israel should vote for Palestinian independence

Editor's Note: Isaac Herzog, a former Israeli cabinet minister, is a member of the Foreign and Defense Committee, on behalf of the Israeli Labor Party, in the Knesset.

By Isaac Herzog, Foreign Affairs

This coming week, the Palestinian Authority intends to ask the United Nations to vote for Palestinian statehood during the annual session of the General Assembly. The Palestinian bid represents Israel’s greatest political challenge in years. Although the United States has promised to veto the resolution in the Security Council, it is likely that more than 140 countries in the General Assembly will vote in favor and grant the Palestinians the status of non-member state in the UN.

Israel’s current leadership considers the resolution a dire threat to the country’s strategic interests and has made it a top priority to limit the Palestinians’ diplomatic coup. But Israel could achieve its own desperately needed coup by doing what no one expects: voting, under several critical conditions, for Palestinian statehood.

There is no question that the Palestinian state that could be recognized by this vote would be far different from the one that most Israelis envisage. The vast majority of Israelis support a two-state solution and want a Palestinian state to emerge from bilateral negotiations rather than from a unilateral action at the UN. The proposal put before the UN, for example, could claim the 1967 lines as its borders and East Jerusalem as its capital. Such a resolution would render any Israeli presence within these lines inherently illegal and consequently make it harder for Israel to retain control over Jewish holy sites, such as the Western Wall, and the major settlement blocs, which bolster Israeli security and are generally expected to remain a part of Israel in exchange for land swaps. Palestinians will subsequently have trouble compromising on such internationally endorsed positions, and Israelis will find it hard to negotiate under such one-sided terms of reference.

Any Israeli rejection of the resolution could also lead to violence on the ground. Israel could be forced to respond to unrest in a way that deepens its international isolation and paves the way for increasing calls to boycott Israeli goods and companies and for countries to levy sanctions on Israel.

Moreover, the showdown at the UN comes amid the historic transition now taking place across the Middle East, leaving Israel’s strategic position uncertain. Israelis have watched with concern as the revolution in Egypt has created a power vacuum in the Sinai Peninsula and sparked anti-Israel sentiment in Cairo. The protests against Bashar al-Assad in Syria have made Israel’s northern borders unpredictable as well. Relations with Turkey, Israel’s traditional ally, continue to deteriorate. And in the midst of the upheaval, Iran continues to develop its nuclear program.

Read: Another perspective on the UN vote and Palestinian statehood.

With instability and shifting sands all around them, Israeli leaders have called for caution and patience, especially in terms of advancing the peace process. The Israeli government has therefore launched a massive diplomatic campaign against the UN vote in September, attempting to build, in the words of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a “moral majority” of Western nations opposing the Palestinian effort.

But rather than oppose the resolution, Israel should seize the initiative and use it to its advantage by agreeing to support the Palestinian bid for statehood at the UN. Voting for Palestinian statehood may finally open the door for Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations, strengthen the possibility of a two-state solution, and greatly improve Israel’s position in the region and in the international community.

The peace process between Israel and the Palestinians has all but disintegrated over the past two years. The cooperative spirit of the Oslo process during the 1990s and the two rounds of serious permanent status negotiations over the last decade gave way to mutual distrust and blame.

This stalemate has proven dangerous to Israel. It has energized radicals on both sides of the conflict, fueled anti-Israel sentiment, harmed Israel’s international status, and jeopardized Israel’s alliances. But rather than attempt to break the deadlock and rescue Israel from these debilitating circumstances, Israel’s current leadership has resisted taking the lead. Last September, for example, Netanyahu refused U.S. President Barack Obama’s request that Israel extend its ten-month settlement freeze for an additional 60 to 90 days, harming Israel’s relations with its most important ally and painting the country as an obstacle to peace. Should Israel continue down this road, it may risk having a final settlement imposed on it by the international community.

Read: Globalization and unemployment.

To reverse course and revive the peace process, Israel should support Palestinian aspirations at the UN - but only in exchange for several preconditions to be agreed on with the Palestinians, who bear equal responsibility for moving negotiations forward. Israel should announce its support for the UN resolution on the condition that the Palestinians agree to return to the table as soon as possible and without preconditions, fully backed and supported by the international community, and to determine the final settlement through bilateral negotiations. The UN resolution must reflect this aspiration and include Israel’s perspective as well. In addition, the two parties must agree to a framework for an interim process that will allow for negotiations based on Israel’s recognition of a Palestinian state. This formula will defuse tensions and may prevent wide-scale violence from erupting.

As part of these understandings, Israel should affirm the parameters that former U.S. President Bill Clinton set in 2000 and which President Barack Obama further developed in May 2011: a two-state solution that realizes both the right to self-determination for both Jews and Palestinians, ends all historic claims, and establishes a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders with mutually agreed territorial swaps and security arrangements that meet Israel’s vital security needs. This will allow Israel to annex major settlement blocs and Jewish holy places - areas that most Israelis agree should remain part of their country.

To begin the interim negotiating process, Israel should take several meaningful steps, such as transferring additional security responsibility in the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority, freezing settlement construction on the other side of the security fence, offering compensation to Israeli settlers who wish to move back to Israel proper, and releasing prisoners of Fatah held in Israeli jails. The Palestinians, meanwhile, must agree to continue security cooperation in the West Bank, refrain from launching an international legal campaign against Israel, and avoid a power-sharing arrangement with Hamas. Questions regarding the status of Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees should be determined once both sides have taken these interim steps and begun negotiating borders and security.

Read: Europe's Palestine problem.

This proposal undoubtedly carries risks. For example, Palestinian refusal to implement the conditions for Israeli support of the UN resolution would further damage Israel’s strategic position. But the potential benefits of supporting the resolution far outweigh the perils. If Israel manages to garner solid international support by backing the Palestinian UN resolution, it may induce the Palestinians to return to negotiations. This would improve Israel’s international status, give it more diplomatic space to maneuver through the chaos in the Middle East, and allow it to shore up its security needs.

Most important, the above proposal may be the only way to preserve the idea of achieving peace through bilateral negotiations. By reaching a compromise with the Palestinian leadership over the UN resolution, Israel can halt the dangerous precedent of unilateral action for conflict resolution and instead preserve the principle of achieving a two-state solution through direct talks, a notion critical to Israel’s future. Such a concerted move would prevent a violent confrontation, give the Palestinians the dignity they seek, allow the parties to relaunch negotiations, and win Israel international favor while preserving its security needs. Now is the time not for prudence but for audacity.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of Isaac Herzog.

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soundoff (119 Responses)
  1. Ariely

    No difference between Arabs desire in 1947 and 2011.
    Destroying the Jewish state
    Only new tactics!(terror,boycode,deligitimization)
    In 2011 The Arabs want to get international approval to:
    *No to a Jewish state!
    *No to direct negotiations!
    *No to a peace that will remove the issues for conflict continuation!
    They want to bypass international resolutions:
    *UN creation of a Jewish state
    *Resolution 242 stating that negotiations should lead to peace and final boarders, end of conflict.
    The world need of Muslim oil combined with the wish to please the Islamism outcome is:
    –they are ready to give away all the moral values
    - pay to Muslims with the Israeli coin (remember Czechoslovakia)

    September 16, 2011 at 10:08 am | Reply
    • steven harnack

      I think that you need to look back at history and examine just how Israel BECAME a state. I think that you will find more parallels to the Palestinian cause than differences.

      September 16, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Reply
      • j. von hettlingen

        "I think that you will find more parallels to the Palestinian cause than differences."
        Indeed, but the Palestinian cause is the most prominent and the conflict the most protracted one in our modern history. The Israelis could vote for a Palestinian independence, but they know very well, that their ally, the U.S. would veto the Palestinian bid for statehood in the Security Council. In this case, Mahmoud Abbas would go home empty-handed. So the other realistic option for him might be to seek observer status in the General Assembly. An interesting week lies ahead of us.

        September 16, 2011 at 5:42 pm |
      • Thinker23

        Israel became a state just like most other states on this planet. The people of Israel FOUGHT for their freedom to exercise their right for self-determination. The main difference between Israelis and Palestinians is that the Israelis wanted to BUILD THEIR OWN STATE while the Palestinians want to DESTROY THE STATE OF THE JEWS.

        September 16, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
  2. obrus

    excellent, apparently there are also realistic thinking people in Israel and not only hawks

    September 16, 2011 at 10:29 am | Reply
  3. Sten Deadio

    Like mass murder? Keep supporting Israel.

    September 16, 2011 at 10:48 am | Reply
    • Marky

      Please explain PA statehood: the govts in Gaza and West Bank hate each other, Abbas said it will be Jew-free, they are still holding Gilad Shalit hostage, they are still bombing Israel from Gaza – it sounds like a racist anarchy to me. Am I missing something?

      September 16, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Reply
      • Montrealer

        Yes, what you're missing is this: If the Islamo-fascists succeed in taking Israel away from the Jews their next target is to turn the U.S. Muslim (by which I mean the more extreme version of the religion). The extremists (not all Muslims in the region) regard Israel as the "little Satan" and America as the "big Satan" and the so-called Palestinians are the pawns in this battle. It is a battle between Western civilization and freedom vs. medieval theocracy and bondage. Take your pick.

        September 17, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Jesus N God

      Mass murder will come from The Creator if His Covenant with Abraham is Broken!!!

      September 17, 2011 at 12:46 am | Reply
      • 2011cnn2011

        Palastinians are non thinking animals.....it seems like you people have no human qualities.

        September 17, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • 2011cnn2011

      like decades of problems because of ball buster Palastine...keep siding with them...My one ? is this...

      With the huge Arab world , all that vast land and tons of oil $$, why they dont give palastine land and $ and leave tiny Isreal alone?

      September 17, 2011 at 1:58 pm | Reply
  4. JGrosman

    This is what happens to an aging liberal politician. He once might have been a great man but he is still a liberal that wants peace at any cost. The Arabs have never recognized Israel, never. They only call for its destruction. When Israel gave them Gaza, the first thing they did was destroy all the greenhouses. Anything that has anything to do with Israel they want destroyed. For them it is either the Arab way or nothing. There can not be peace with them. The Arabs there put their children in front of the fighting. They train their children to kill Israel. Arabs never vote in the UN with anything that America wants. Why would anyone support them? Aging politician should be silent.

    September 16, 2011 at 10:53 am | Reply
    • Kar

      Wow. Way to lump all Arabs together. Clearly no Arabs have engaged in normalized relations with Israel. Not Egypt, Morocco, Turkey, or Jordan. It's that same kind of stereotyping you'd probably accuse Arabs of doing. You're perpetuating a cycle of ignorance.
      Also minor point: Israel never gave Arabs the West Bank. They evacuated settlements, and gave them to Palestinians. Once again, "Arabs" aren't a unified or monolithic group. Please be specific.

      September 16, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Reply
  5. Thinker23

    I've always said that Israel should support the recognition of an Arab state in Palestine. The UN, however, doe not have the authority to determine (and enforce) state borders. Only a negotiated agreement between two neighboring states can define borders between these two states. This means that the proper way to go is for the UN to recognize Palestine as a member-state and for the Palestinians to NEGOTIATE a peace agreement with Israel that will define, among oter things, the exact borders between the two states, the status of Jerusalem, the refugees problem, the evacuation of Israeli settlements from the Palestinian state and so on.

    It's unfortunate that the ultimate goal of the Palestinians and other Arabs is NOT a Palestinian state existing peacefull alongside Israel but destruction of Israel.

    September 16, 2011 at 10:56 am | Reply
    • steven harnack

      It seems to me that the U.N. must have the authority create borders since they created, from nothing, the borders that surround Israel, which was created completely by the U.N. If they can create Israel then they can also create Palestine.

      September 16, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Reply
      • Thinker23

        False assumptions lead to false conclusions, dear. It is easy to spot a false conclusion by comparing it to the facts on the ground. Try to do it some time, you may be surprised...

        September 16, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
  6. Joe Black

    this idea would backfire in Israel's face. If Israel votes for the PA state before any negotiations, Israel loses the Status Quo and PA doesn't have to agree to any other terms even if they are stipulated along with the resolution. There is no guarantee that future PA leaders including Hamas would even agree to continue negotiations with Israel and then there would be close to zero chance of reversing PA state.

    Furthermore should the International forum and UN General Assembley in the future become more hostile to Israel, they know have a real tangible platform to attack from.

    However way you look at it, Israel should NOT vote for the PA State. "Possession is nine tenths of the law"

    September 16, 2011 at 11:21 am | Reply
    • Thinker23

      Let me make the following VERY CLEAR: As long as there is no Palestinian state Israel has no one to negotiate with as the Palestinians do not have leadership that is ABLE AND WILLING to negotiate a peace agreement. Further, if a Palestinian state is recognized by the US, Israel and other states as well as the UN the status que WILL change in the following way: the tale about "poor stateless oppressed Palestinians" will end; the newborn Palestinian state will find itself AT WAR with Israel and will have to ask for peace or face the consequences; Israel will have EVERY RIGHT to end the war by FORCING the Palestinian state to ask for peace; the tale about Israel "preventing" a Palestinian state will end.

      Further, in case the UN including the US, Israel and other states will recognize a Palestinian state it is more probable than not that the Palestinians will REJECT it. This means that therre still will be no Palestinian state but the Palestinians will have to only blame themselves for it.

      September 16, 2011 at 11:39 am | Reply
      • Semper Fidelis

        Given that Hamas has already warned Abbas NOT to ask for membership of the UN because if he does they will have to negotiate directly with Israel – I'd say you are right on the button.

        September 18, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • steven harnack

      Possession is nine tenths of the law is not in the law books of any nation or any international body. It's just a bully's way of saying that they aren't going to give up stolen goods.

      September 16, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Reply
      • DD

        You may have read a law book or two but you apparently skipped history. The West Bank and Gaza Strip were gained by Israel in a defensive war in 1967. FYI that war was fought against Jordan, Egypt, and Syria. No Palestine/ Palestinian Territories / Palestinian Authority / Hamas mentioned at any time or in any part of any history book about that war, but I guess that's just too inconvenient for pro Palestinians to acknowledge

        September 18, 2011 at 8:02 am |
  7. Peikovian

    Will Gaza demand separate seating as a state independent of Palestine? Are the boundaries of Gaza and Palestine dependent on the territories acquired by Israel in the 1967 war or are they dependent on other events of a different year? Does Sinai which was also acquired by Israel in the 1967 war also deserve independence? Does the Golan Heights? Do any of these territories have a unique national culture apart from sharia and bombing Jewish schoolchildren? Will Israel have to permit flyovers so these new states can attack each other?

    September 16, 2011 at 11:29 am | Reply
    • Thinker23

      Borders between states can only be determined by NEGOTIATIONS. This means that the West Bank and Gaza can declare separate statehood and then NEGOTIATE their borders with their respective neighbors because these territories do not belong to any state. Sinai and Golan Heights can not do the same as these territories are parts of Israel and Egypt, respectively.

      September 16, 2011 at 11:45 am | Reply
  8. rogbahia

    It's amazing, but not surprising that this sort of article brings the extremists out of the woodwork, with fundamentalist comments and arguments—the pot calling the kettle black.
    Did anyone ever consider that if the Israelis had not gone to war and continued humiliating the Palestinians, Hamas would have no wind to sail their boat of hate and terrorism, Arab states would support and trade with Israel and, most importantly, Palestinians would be able to live in peace and prosper—as is any human being's right.
    Extremism begets extremism and the extremists in the USA have infiltrated government, religion (with an ever increasing melting of church and state) and common sense.
    Israeli's saying,"There will be grave consequences", if the Palestinian's pursue this vote is the worst sort of extreme arrogance; it is bringing the US to to its knees (economically and in international reputation) and, in the long run, will eventually be any other country's demise.
    The human anima is both capable of extreme good and extreme evil; it is for each and every one of us to choose which side we want to be on.

    September 16, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Reply
    • Thinker23

      "Did anyone ever consider that if the Israelis had not gone to war..."

      Hardly anyone considered it for the simple reason IT WERE THE ARABS WHO STARTED ALL WARS AGAINST ISRAEL.

      September 16, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Reply
      • woodofpine

        Get Real: After an anarchic start in '47; Israel attacked in '56 (neo-colonial with GB/Fr. over Suez) and then again in '67 to take the present disputed territory (remember the Arab airforce 'destroyed on the ground' – they weren't in the air attacking.. REMEMBER THE USS LIBERTY!!

        September 16, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
      • Thinker23

        woodofpine: According to definition of aggression contained in the UN Resolution 3314 blockade of sea ports of a sovereign state is a bona fide act of aggression. In 1956 Egypt blocked the Suez Canal to Israeli travel and in 1967 it blocked the Tiran Strait. This means that in both cases, it was EGYPT who started the war. Regarding the USS Liberty, it was an unfortunate mistake. Friendly fire cases happen during ANY war.

        September 16, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
    • Jane

      Excuse me? You must be reading those Arab websites for your information. You know, they're the same guys who censor all the internet sites, who don't let women drive, etc. The day after Independence was declared in 1948, all the surrounding nations attacked Israel. Better go back to school.

      September 16, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Reply
      • dan

        Israel has been the aggressor at times. The 1967 war began when ISRAEL attacked the Egyptian Air Force. They attacked first in 67 this is history and it is fact.

        September 16, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
      • woodofpine

        Speaking of school Egypt was a vaporous British puppet, Jordan and Syria came into existence about the same time as Israel – all of them my colonial pullout '46-47. The Europeans left no military and provided none. When folks talk about Arab 'nations' 'declared war' or 'attacked' – that's spin doctoring – there were no well established governments; attacked with what? The incoming Zionists were equally or better armed (they arrived with an agenda!). It was a free-for-all.

        September 16, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
      • Thinker23

        "The incoming Zionists were equally or better armed ..."

        By WHOM, genius?

        September 16, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • Harry Potter

      "Did anyone ever consider that if the Israelis had not gone to war and continued humiliating the Palestinians, Hamas would have no wind to sail their boat of hate and terrorism, Arab states would support and trade with Israel and, most importantly, Palestinians would be able to live in peace and prosper—as is any human being's right."
      Excellent Point! And looked at it in isolation, the point is very valid as well. BUT – you apparently don't have a sense of history where Islam is concerned. The problem with Islam (talking about Wahabbi Islam here) as compared to other religion is that it is political and militant at the same time, and has a history of subjugating by the sword other religions (Hindus/Buddhists in India, Christians in Europe – which triggered reaction in the form of crusades) as well as other sects within Islam itself (Ahmadiyas, Sufis – the really peaceful sects of Islam). Islamists converted several hundred thousands of hindus to Islam by the sword (people were buthered if they did not convert) or other means (Jaziyah – discriminatory tax for non-muslims) during islamic rule in India – and this is happening even today in regions of Pakistan. The real goal of Islam is to put together the caliphate from the days of Saladin and subjugate as much of the world under Islam.
      SO, with this background in place, IF Israel had not fought back, the Muslims would not only have ruled over them today, and subjugated them to Jaziyah, but also most Isralites would've been forced to convert to Islam.

      September 18, 2011 at 10:18 pm | Reply
  9. Kar

    The UN vote on statehood seems to be Abbas' way of saying that he's completely disillusioned with a peace process that has totally stalled in every meaningful way. It's a last-ditch effort to change the status quo, and it will likely amount to little more than dashed hopes and more violence.
    That being the case, the author proposes a new and creative solution to the question of what to do with a proposed Palestinian state. But it's also totally unrealistic in the current setting, where Netanyahu has doubled down.
    Realistically speaking, the only thing that would change Israel's views on the peace process short of change in PM is pressure from the US.

    September 16, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Reply
    • Thinker23

      "Realistically speaking, the only thing that would change Israel's views on the peace process short of change in PM is pressure from the US."

      I humbly disgree. As long as the Palestinians continue to reject the right of Israel to EXIST within ANY borders no amount of "pressure" will change Israeli views on the "peace process" with them.

      September 16, 2011 at 2:05 pm | Reply
      • Kar

        I misspoke: pressure would force Israel to re-engage in negotiations with the Palestinians. Otherwise they'd have to face increasing isolation by the international community without The US taking the heat for them.

        And yes they did. Arafat '88, reported by financial times. Stop bringing up dead issues like the Palestinian Covenant.

        September 16, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
      • Leondas

        You do not seem to have a perfect knowledge of the situation. Palestinans (namely Mahmood Abbas) recognized the existence of Israel more than twenty years ago and continue to do so. The current dispute is on the new request to recognize it as a "Jewish state'. This is a very different topic as it involves a difference de jure among citizens of Israel. It will also allow non israeli jewish citizens to come to Israel and possibly take land from the existing Arab-Israeli population (25pct circa). This request had never been made by any former Israeli government. No surprise that Abbas refuses to comply with it at it could potentially be seeing as betraying the Arab-Israeli citizens.

        September 17, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  10. BobA

    Mind boggling how facts can be twisted. The Palestinians in Gaza destroyed the greenhouses? Where do you get this stuff. Israelis settlements that were abandoned certainly were destroyed, blown up – by the departing settlers. Scorched earth. Leave nothing useful.

    September 16, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Reply
  11. Peikovian

    PALESTINIAN, n., An Arabicized semite of the Greater Syria region, alternately Syrian, Lebanese, Jordanian, Israeli, Palestinian or Gazan, held in prison camps in all but Israel. Known for corruption and suicidal violence, especially against non-Muslims.

    September 16, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Reply
    • Kar

      Racist much?

      September 16, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Reply
    • steven harnack

      You do know that every one of those countries were created by European Colonial Powers with no regard for the people who have lived there ever since the beginning of life? Now it's way past time to create a Palestine and then deal with it from that point on.

      September 16, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Reply
      • Thinker23

        A sovereign independent state was offered to Palestinian Arabs in 1948, 1967, 1978, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2009 and they've REJECTED it every single time. Even the UN can not shove a state into the Palestinian collective throat against their will.

        September 16, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • Peikovian

      No. Do you cry racist much? Of course you do. Exonerate Jordan and Egypt for annexing Palestine in 1948? Oh, yes, you all do that. Fun game with no rules and wild cards, right, boytoys?

      September 16, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Reply
  12. rogbahia

    It's not 'the Palestinians' who deny Israel's right to exist, it is Hamas and, as in the US, in a democracy extremists and radicals can get a voice; even rule the roost to the detriment of the larger population, as in the US..
    "Thinker23": so why did the Arabs 'start all the wars with Israel'?—when analyzing any situation, it's easy to start at a point in history that supports your argument—we hear that every day from Republicans (they start with criticizing Obama's administration, and not their own, that gave the run-up to the losing deck he was dealt).
    The simple fact is, it is our leader's (religious and governmental) who create conflicts and send our sons and daughters to be slaughtered and mentally damaged, not 'the people'.

    September 16, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Reply
    • Al

      didn't the Palestinians vote Hamas into power? How do you differentiate between the people and its elected representation?

      September 16, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Reply
      • Zach Canada

        yes Hamas was elected by the Palestinians.. they made their bed and now have to sleep in it.

        September 16, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
      • rogbahia

        Al. I differentiate between 'the people' and their 'elected representation by these two examples close to home:the American people voted the Republicans into power and the elected representation did exactly what Bin Laden was counting on; an overreaction that would take the US into an economic downward spiral. The people were against war and the leaders ignored them (as they did in the UK-84% against the Iraque war, their elected rep' for it).
        Then the people of the US wanting change, elected the democrats—principally Obama—and then a majority of the elected representation tried, and is succeeding, on torpedoing the hope of the people by doing their level best to block every attempt at governing responsibly—to the detriment of the people.
        A great majority of people throughout the world suffer because of the people they elect.

        September 16, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
      • Thinker23

        rogbahia: Let me understand... You want Israelis to allow themselves to be murdered by terrorists because it is possible that not every Palestinian voted for Hamas? Sorry, my friend, but it's the responsibility of the Palestinians to elect leadership they want and it's the Palestinians who will take responsibility for the actions of their elected leaders. Simple, is not it?

        September 16, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
  13. RememberHim

    I don't think this whole situation is was Churchill had in mind... this Israel/Palestine/Hamas/Intelligence/insert whatever else here debate has gone on long enough.

    September 16, 2011 at 3:35 pm | Reply
  14. Israeli Jerusalem

    And what, pray tell, will be the recognized capital of this Palestinian state? Surely it cannot be Jerusalem, as that is Israeli territory. The UN has never acknowledged Jerusalem as the capital because the Arabs (Who Declared War on Israel in 1948) REJECTED the idea of Jerusalem as an International Body. Now, the Arabs, who lost to the mighty Israel many times, want to turn back the clock all the way to 1948....it's no coincidence that the oil-greedy nations of the world still don't have embassies in West Jerusalem, which no one can reasonably dispute is not the land of Israel. This action by the UN is completely absurd, and nations such as Russia had better watch the precedent they are setting by allowing this unilateral and illegal Palestinian action.

    September 16, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Reply
    • steven harnack

      They better watch it or what? You'll hold your breath until you turn blue?

      September 16, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Reply
    • George

      Why is the notion of voting for palestinian freedom absurd? When Hitler was around The world came and gave you your freedom from persecution! Now we are asking the same thing under the same conditions. Yes, Palestinians view Israel as another nazi Germany. Even some of your own people support us Palestinians. Palestinians want freedom from pesecution, freedom to be able their lives to the fullest. Have you ever been to the other side? It is extremely deplorable how they are living. Israel has boxed us into a territory where they can be controlled easily, much like the camps during the holocaust.

      September 16, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Reply
      • Thinker23

        If the Palestinians did not like their conditions they would NEGOTIATE a better deal long ago. They had plenty of opportunities.

        September 16, 2011 at 6:13 pm |
    • mike

      , ".....nations such as Russia had better watch the precedent they are setting by allowing this unilateral and illegal Palestinian action." What is it that you can do? Sounds like you are implying a violent vibe to it. As America gets worse and worse, they wont be able to suckle you for long and with the Middle East revolting against their hypocritical leaders, there wont be any treaty left with any of the surrounding states to defend you. Thats when people in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, U.A.E, Oman, Yemen, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Sudan, Iraq, and Iran will watch and prepare themselves to lead us palestinians into glory and will wipe Israel off the map. It is all about timing. Your Evil reign is coming to end. We will however follow the shariah law and allow any jew who pledges allegiance to Palestine the right to live there, but they will have to pay the jizya(tax). There is No God But Allah and The Prophet Muhammad (Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him) is his messenger.

      September 16, 2011 at 5:22 pm | Reply
      • RHardy

        Death to all fanatical Muslims. Especially you.

        September 19, 2011 at 2:04 am |
  15. Jane

    Two state solution? That's what the Arabs rejected back in 1947. That's also what created Jordan in 1948. Jordan "is" the Palestinian State. Truth is that behind all this the westerners are incredibly gullible and naive because the Palestinian state that the "Palestininans" talk about is non other than all of Jewish Israel. Look at the demonstrations outside of Jordan, "the" Palestinian State created at the SAME time as Israel was. They are right up front about it: From the sea to the sea.

    September 16, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Reply
  16. rogbahia

    ...and I should have added: Abbas can't get enough support, to get an agreement with the Israelis, because part of his government (Hamas) doesn't agree/support him, as in the US! Join the club.

    September 16, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Reply
    • Thinker23

      Well, now you know why the Palestinians are UNABLE to negotiate a peace agreement. The other side of the Palestinian coin is that they're UNWILLING to negotiate a peace agreement because they hope that one day they will destroy Israel.

      September 16, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Reply
  17. woodofpine

    The problem is Jerusalem – never been fully recognized as Israel's. Why should it be? It is the center of the Christian faith and prior to '47 (relinquished by the Jews), it was a Christian capita. Granted that was during the 12th – 13th Centuries – but that gives us as good or better claim as the Israelis (whose military we bankroll) so why isn't it ours? Redicules eh? Israel exists – because the great Jewish psychiatric geniuses of the early-mid 20th C convinced guilt ridden European empires to salve their consciences by gifting – someone else's land!!

    September 16, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Reply
  18. Erky

    So why shouldn't Palestine be recognized as a state? So let's get this straight, they're not allowed to pursue legal and diplomatic redress against Israel, and they are not allowed to fight, or arm themselves for protection – all these things are a threat to Israel. So what is left for the Palestinians to do, except perish? And every UN member (except the US) is a threat to Israel for recognizing the Palestinians, even though it was the same UN that helped to create Israel. Either Israel is acting like a paranoid and spoiled child – or the entire world is out to get them because of antisemitism.

    September 16, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Reply
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