December 3rd, 2012
05:20 PM ET

Did General Assembly get it right over Palestinians?

By Jason Miks

Last week, in light of a U.N. General Assembly vote in favor of granting the Palestinians non-member status at the United Nations, GPS asked readers whether the move went too far, not far enough – and what should happen next.

Unsurprisingly, the issue prompted some passionate responses on all sides of the argument, with many criticizing the position of the United States and others in opposing the move.

“Richard” in Toronto wrote:

It is unfortunate that the U.S. and my country – Canada – have adopted a one-sided view of this situation. Israel has a right to exist as a state and so does Palestine. If we fail to support and strengthen a moderate like [Abbas] then we no longer have someone to talk to because Hamas is a terrorist organization. Even in Israel there has been renewed interest with the formation of a new moderate left wing party. People want peace however their frustration has led them to electing leaders with extreme views. Netanyahu and Hamas are two wrongs that won't make it right. Europe knows this and has voted accordingly at the U.N. As for Canada, shame on you prime minister Harper.

“Adrian Rops” agreed. “It is obvious that the United States and Canada are out of step with the world community. The Canadian vote came as a complete surprise. It is time for both countries to recalibrate their Middle East policies,” he wrote. “Israel must be reminded by the international community that building an additional 3000 homes on the West Bank and in Jerusalem is an illegal and belligerent act and will not be condoned. A line must be drawn in the sand.”

Yet while some readers suggested that the vote should be a precursor to full statehood for the Palestinians, others, including “James Dickinson” posting on Facebook, suggested that the attacks on Israel would have to stop before any progress could be made, something he said he was not optimistic would ever happen.

“It does not matter which side you are on, it is not going to happen! Lobbing bombs at Israel from crowded school rooms and mosques in Gaza will certainly keep you as you are,” Dickinson wrote. “Palestine has to join the world of peace...or live in abject misery.”

This view found echoes in a comment posted by “Patrick Hippunk,” who argued that:

“The Western countries should not forget that Israel is surrounded by latent hostility against its very existence…If the Muslim leaders really want to solve the Israel/Palestine problem, they should gather and officially recognize Israel's existence, adopt a concilient [sic] attitude and give the necessary security. Then and only then, the conditions will be gathered for two states living peacefully side by side, and not by forcing Israel through different U.N. stratagems.”

But some readers suggested that the issue isn’t just about the tensions between Israel and the Palestinians, arguing instead that other countries are pulling the strings.

“Iran is having exactly the time they need to finish their atomic bomb,” wrote “Richard Suwelack.”

“Can't you see that the real player in this whole situation is Iran? They want to be out of the focus so they can work on their bomb in peace.”

And how to move forward? GPS host Fareed Zakaria had his own thoughts on the issue.

“[T]he vote doesn’t change the reality that the only way the Palestinians are going to get a state is if Israel decides that it is in its interests to make it happen,” Zakaria argued just after the result of the General Assembly vote was known.  “Israel has the power on the ground, The country’s leaders have made it clear that they are not going to be pressured by the U.N., defeated in battle, they are not going to be intimidated, they are not going to be terrorized – I think the history of the last three decades has made all of this very clear.”


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soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Van

    I don't think it was the right vote. It isn't up to the world community to decide how to chop up a legitimate nation, which Israel is. Whether we like it or not, Israel legally annexed the Palestinian territories from nations they defeated after they were invaded by said nations. Everyone who thinks that the UN made the right decision should ask themselves how they would feel if the majority of the UN decided that part of your nation needs to its own nation. The UN should removed Ireland and Scotland from the UK. Should Prussia be set loose from Germany? People of the UK and Germany probably think not, but the UN seems to think it trumps what those nations think.

    December 3, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Reply
    • j. von hettlingen

      True, Israel's strategy is "the survival of the fittest"! That's why it has the best military and the strongest economy in the region. Israel not only wants to survive, it also wants to dominate. Hamas' strategy is a zero-sum game. A Palestinian state without Israelis. A compromise and a co-existence is out of question. Hence, we have never see an end of the conflict.

      December 4, 2012 at 9:52 am | Reply
    • Taner

      So let me see if I get this right?

      Bunch of European and Asian Jews who have no ties to Palestine claim the land is theirs because of a myth called Bible. They decide to go and use brute force , use the Holocaust Card to steal land from the Palestinians and to oppress them and we are supposed to call these rednecks LEGITIMATE?

      The Palestinians are original Israelites who converted to Islam and Christianity. An Ashkenaz is a German, Polish or Hungarian, not Palestinian. Neither is a Khazara. What are these European rednecks doing in Palestine?

      Why are Palestinians being duped for what Germans, Russians, Polish, Hungarians, Belgians, etc. did during The Holocaust and Pogroms.

      If you are Jewish you should be ashamed of doing the same on another defenseless people like Palestinians.

      Why don't you go pick someone your own size? Coward or not?

      December 6, 2012 at 11:25 am | Reply
      • Ray

        50 percent of Israelis are from Arab countries. Vast majority of which were displaced from their homes in those countries by Islamic extremists. So now tell me who doesn't belong there.

        December 6, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
      • Taner

        That is not true.
        There is a huge influx of Jews from Morocco, Uzbekistan and Europe/USA.
        Majority is not from Arab countries.
        Even if they were, that still does not make them belong to Palestine/Israel.

        What makes you or anybody think it is okay to take over some defenseless people's lands just because you got kicked out of another country?

        That is ridiculous!

        December 6, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
      • DJones

        Your comment has a hole in it, and that is that most of the Palestinians are also immigrants that came to the region following Jewish Zionist and the employment they offered. So most of the Palestinians are even less indigenous than the immigrating Jews. Also you ignore that a large portion of the Jews were already there.

        December 7, 2012 at 11:24 am |
      • toronto girl

        @Taner

        There were hundreds of thousands of Jews living in Arab countries long before the creation of Ziionism OR Israel. They were citizens of Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Egypt etc. They were Jewish and loved their homeland, too. Some had been there BEFORE the creation of Islam, so please do not tell me that they didn't exist!! There were plenty of race riots ie pogroms to make them sudden 3rd class citizens.

        They were forced out of their homelands, either by being expelled or being forcibly stripped of lucrative businesses, property, $$$, jewellery etc. When they were leaving they were only allowed to take a small amount of $ and other things like jewellery etc were taken from them by force.

        I strongly suggest you read Edwin Blacks' "The Farhud"; an analysis of the3 day Iraqi pogrom that took place in 1941. You'll get some idea of what it was like to be a Jew in Arab lands.

        December 7, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
      • lana

        read the dna testing via google...jews and arabs are almost twins...No more lies about where jews came from. DNA facts. Dont create lies to live in a buble...it will burst into your face one day...

        December 7, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
      • Fire Fly

        Get your facts right friend..It is not the Israelis who screwed them, its the Arab League ...they forced these people into the position they are in..but no one wants to address that point...just easier to blame Israel..right?

        December 7, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • Jason

      Van: I dont know what you're talking about, the U.N recognized Israel, and at that time it was 1/3 of what it is now. Israel has seized and stole more land day by day by crying about "defense" all the while they were stealing more land, and you can only steal land by murdering the inhabitants.Israel has violated numerous U.N laws(which is composed of the world body not any one nation) one of them being seizing land they got through war and all the boundaries of land were laid out after ww2. When Israel was born as a state, it also stated that Israel can only be a jewish state as long as there is a Palestinian sate to which Israel had agreed to. Of course Israel reputation is agreeing to contracts and laws and than later breaking those contracts bc thats how Israel operates. Israel has no right to tell another country that they can not be independant nor have the right to exist

      December 6, 2012 at 1:49 pm | Reply
      • Me

        It's not that simple.

        Remember, Arabs rejected the creation of Palestine because they thought it would be more fun to slaughter ever last Jewish man, woman and child in Israel. International law isn't clear on territorial expansion on land without any national government.

        The Palestinians are where they are because of their own mindless bloodlust, they have nobody to blame but themselves.

        December 7, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
      • toronto girl

        @jason

        "Me" is correct. The Arabs were sure they could slaughter the Jews in the aftermath of the original UN vote!! Hey they were Jews, and aren't Jews weak? aren't they less than human?? we call them dhimmis for a reason. Israel agreed to the two state solution because it was the only way to get a piece of land on which to call home. The Arabs have been trying to have a "do over", over and over again because they cannot stand the fact that people they consider 'donkeys and pigs" have beaten them. Consistently.

        I imagine things would look very different if they had accepted it. Think of the thousands of people on both sides who might not have died, and the lives they might have lead had they been allowoed to live it.

        December 7, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • politicalobservor

      Van: Time to move on and smell the roses, the world has spoken, afters decades of ethnic cleansing people are saying enough blood on our hands. I like the way you re invent history to suit your side of the story, sorry the world is not buying that too. And oh, one more thing the world is tired of hearing on a daily basis "anti semetism".

      December 6, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Reply
    • Arthur

      The amount of errors in this post is staggering. First, Israel cannot "legally" annex Palestinian territory. Annexing territory is illegal according to international law (Fourth Geneva Convention). Second, Palestinians are not part of the Israeli nation, nor do they enjoy civil righs comparable to Scots or Prussians. The notion of national self-determination is recognized by international law (UN charter), and the UN is trying to give effect to this right, which is undermined by the occupation. Last, it was through a UN resolutation that Israel itself was created, so it is incoherent for you to claim that Israel is legitimate while denying that the legitimacy of UN resolutions. If the UN was justified in carving up Palestine in 1948 then why should't it be able to recognize a Palestinian state now? QED.

      December 7, 2012 at 10:03 pm | Reply
      • Robban

        Arthur: The U.N. has tried to create and support the notion of the "right to self determination". However, a Nation is not truly a Nation until it is recognized as a Nation. This means that it has to be recognized by Nations that actual have influence and power in the world. The main ones still remain: 1.) The United States, 2.) Russia, 3.) China, 4.) England and 4.) France. This accounts for why Kurdistan, Chechnya, Palestine and a few other places that probably fit the U.N.'s criteria for self determination have not and will not be nations anywhere in the near future. Also, point ten of the conditions for self determination under the U.N. charter ask that the would be nation exhaust all possibilities to work with the existing status quo and preexsisting framework that it finds itself. Palestein has shown not interests in doing this as it's leadership has again and again demonstrated that their goal is the destruction of Israel, a recognized nation.

        December 9, 2012 at 6:08 am |
    • Jesse

      Why not? Israel went to the U.N. when they wanted to become a nation. Seems like they accepted the U.N. authority back then. But, anytime Israel doesn't like what the U.N. says, like concerning all of Israel's Human Rights Violations against the Palestinians, then they decide that the U.N. has no standing. Either what the U.N. says has standing, or it doesn't. I wish Israel would play by the rules.....In the beginning, Palestine was asked to acknowledge Israel as a nation, now Palestine has to beg for the right to be recognized as a nation. Palestine has to beg for the right not to be thrown out of their homes daily. Israel has already confiscated most of the land and made it impossible for Palestinians to live freely, what more do they want? Another 3,000 homes being built is what they want, on Palestinian lands. Oh, and to get these homes they have to kick more Palestinians out of their villages and homes. The orders have already been given to do this. Israel is nothing more than a expansionist colony, trying to take all they can before anyone stops them....

      December 8, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Reply
  2. Mark

    Van, better take another look at Europe again. That’s exactly what the USSR did. The world has and is changing considerably, Israel needs to change with it.

    December 3, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Reply
  3. Truth2Power

    The US is on the wrong side of history. Imagine a couple of guys negotiating over how to split a pizza, while one of the guys gets to eat it.

    December 3, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Reply
    • Me

      The US is on the right side of history.

      Imagine if two guys were talking about splitting a pizza, and one of them pull out a knife and says I'm not going to split a pizza with you, you aren't a Muslim.. you have to die.

      December 7, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Reply
  4. Keep Dreaming

    The UN bid was undertaken by Abbas because he has been embezzling all of the money and is unable to pay wages or even the power bill. The construction of 3000 homes is on disputed territory not occupied territory. There is a difference, and anyway, what power has any UN resolution ever had? Israel will maintain its security and continue to build a prosperous nation. The Palestinians had their chance for a nation numerous times before, so enough with the rubbish that Israel is the problem. The surrounding countries need to stop crying because they lost a couple of wars to exterminate the jews. This is about killing and removing all jews from the middle east. It has nothing to do with creating a state, if this was the truth then there would have been a state of Palestine in 1948-9. If all of you who support palestine and blame Israel looked at the situation closely, you would realise that the arab countries have kept palestinian refugees in camps and in poverty as a propaganda tool. Gaza is just an ammunition dump and the West Bank is a remnant of the invading forces from Jordan all those years ago. Can everyone stop calling Abbas (Abu Mazen) a moderate. He financed the terrorists in Munich, he is a criminal.

    December 3, 2012 at 7:23 pm | Reply
    • Pat Cassin

      Evening KD
      the area is disputed but certainly occupied.

      December 3, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Reply
      • Taner

        According to International Law, the area is not disputed. UN and majority of the World, including USA, want to see a two-state solution based on 67 borders.

        Which annuls your claim that the lands are disputed. NO! West Bank and Gaza are Palestinian territories and are occupied by a colonial power called Israel!

        December 6, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
      • toronto girl

        When they declared war (when anyone declares war) those Arab countries took the chance that they just might lose. They probably didn't think they would because hey, it's those weak ghetto jews.

        War is not a do-over!! When you declare war, it's 50-50. Lose or win, toss of the coin. This isn't a street game of shinny where ifi you don't like the results you can call for a do-over. ,

        Why should Israel give up those territories?? Even if they did give them up through negotiation, I can just see the response of the Arabs. It would be the same as when Israel gave up the south and the Palestinians swooped in laughing, destroying the infrastructure (which they could have used!!) and smashing glass etc. They won!! They won!!

        And then it would start ALL over again, because hey, they got it back didn't they? so now they are free to start attacking us all over again. Israel would not gain a damn thing by giving land back; all it would gain is an enemy who would convenienetly forget what they had to go through to get it back. And they would have an enemy even closer to their main cities.

        December 7, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Jason

      Keep drreamsin: you are way off base, Abbas is the only leader in palestine willing to negotiate with Israel. Its claear Israel does not want to negotiate bc Israel feel as if there is nothing to negotiate over. Israel feels that murdering people will have them flee, he doesnt know the Palestinains too well, they will not flee and would rather die protecting their property, rights, liberty, and independance. Israel will not get away with murder and genocide and one day it will come to bite israel in the rear, even though israel spends more than 1 billions a year on bribes to congressman and elected officials in the world, the truth will prevail and justice will be served

      December 6, 2012 at 4:24 pm | Reply
  5. JAL

    There will be a point when our pragmaticism will unravel. How else are we to understand god?

    December 3, 2012 at 7:39 pm | Reply
  6. Pat Cassin

    Now Class. Class. CLASS!
    It is time everyone learned to play in the same sandbox or figure out what to do with a glass covered desert for the next 25,000 years. 3000 new homes? Hell, drop everything and move some place safe. Sooner or later some fool will loose a Nuke and the whole dam place just isn't that big.

    Israel was accepted into the UN as a state in 1949. Now, 63 years later, the Palestinians in nearly the same same space demand the same recognition and it is a party foul. Don't you just love religion.

    DUCK YOU SUCKERS!

    December 3, 2012 at 8:05 pm | Reply
    • fair is fair

      Which religion? Zionism?

      December 4, 2012 at 6:48 am | Reply
      • Taner

        Zionists are just as dangerous as Radical Taliban or Mullahs. If not even more dangerous because they campaign and manipulate the World powers and cause destruction. They create animosity and polarization in the World.

        December 6, 2012 at 3:09 pm |
  7. Matt

    If you ask the people in the street if the United States is their enemy, and conversely, are they an enemy of the United States, they *should* say YES. The problem isn't should there be a state or shouldn't there be a state, but what to do with an unabashed and unrelenting defeated enemy. The Palestinians are daring Israel to pogrom. History has shown that it will happen. When the Palestinians elected Hamas, in a "free and fair" election, they now own their fate.

    December 3, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Reply
  8. fair is fair

    Israel was accepted into the UN as a state in 1949, How would you feel if your state depended on an UN vote to be established? If you accept the UN ruling in 1949 why not accept the UN vote in 2012?

    Did the General Assemby get it right? I bet you would never run a headline "DId the US get it right about Iraq" just after Invasion of Iraq started. Your colours are showing.

    December 4, 2012 at 6:47 am | Reply
    • Me

      That goes both ways.

      If you rejected the UN when it established another state, why should you expect people to respect it's decisions when it would help you?

      December 7, 2012 at 4:18 pm | Reply
  9. JohnWV

    Our inseparable ally could serve to rescue America from the dread Fiscal Cliff. Reducing the Jewish state's huge extorted subsidy to zero would also reduce international hostility toward America thereby justifying many more reductions.

    December 4, 2012 at 7:21 am | Reply
  10. Hahahahahahahaha

    Didn't General Assembly bang a broad too? Hey GOPtards! Make General Assembly testify!!!!!! Hahahahhaahhaahah

    December 4, 2012 at 9:04 am | Reply
  11. randy

    Right or wrong; the world has expressed a different opinion. The US is taking an increasingly lonely road of being Israel's watchdog. Look at the media talk when Egypt was brokering a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel. Not a single anchor failed to mention that Egypt was walking a fine line, because they needed US aid. And Morsy drew and walked the line. But Netanyahu can insult the President in the W.H., and attempt to force the US to do its bidding in Iran, despite no clear evidence of a weapons program. And now it is building more illegal settlements.
    Why is the US an ally of Israel? What does Israel give back? Why are we funding Israel's military? Do we do all this so Israel can act like a rotten, spoiled child? If they are US friends, and if they are appreciative of US efforts, then they should sit at the negotiating table, and not get up, until an agreement has been reached. I am tired of Israel's words.
    Israelis from all levels used this line, "Who would tolerate bombs landing in their country?" So I put this question to them, Why should we be your friend? How long do you think we will try to balance our relationships in the world, with our relationship with you, when you spit in our face?

    December 4, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Reply
    • Ray

      Do you think that the US supports Israel because it is being NICE??! Are you so naive to think the US is not reaping benefits from the arrangement? Believe me good old USA doesn't give anyone that much money and support unless they are very happy about the results. Israel is the US's military laboratory. Israel has the most advanced military intelligence and technology in the world. The US gives them the funding and they develop ingenious weapons which the US and Israel then have exclusive rights to, therefore securing the US's military dominance. So remember next time when you complain about taxes going to israel that this very system is important to your own national security.

      December 6, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Reply
      • Arthur

        Generally I would agree with you that the United States foreign policy is largely dictated by it's own national interest, rather than just to be "nice". However, the Israeli case is something of a mystery...the damage it does to America's reputation in the middle east is significant. The US always risks getting drawn into a major regional conflict if the situation explodes. Furthermore, there are no major economic interests to compensate for these downsides. Israel represents an infinitessimally small proportion of US trade and has no major national resources. I don't buy your military technology argument. The US has plenty of opportunities to test it's weapons in its own wars.

        Something else is going on, and I suspect domestic politics is the answer. The pro-Israel lobby is strong and well organized, and has influence over both parties. And we know how much of a role lobbies and special interests play in American politics. Lastly, among your evangelical extremists in congress in the republican party there are religious motivations that cloud their judgement. These guys would support Israel whatever the cost.

        December 7, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
  12. Jeremiah

    The UN did not honestly establish Israel in 1948 – it simply recognied its existence in official circles. The jews had towns, cities, schools, hospitals, unioversities and government for fifty years prior to 1948 and, in fact, often referred to themselves as "Palestinians." During the sixty years that the "newly invented Palestinians were forced to live in refugee camps by their own Arab nations they did not establish anything beyond an unlawful "occupation" of land that the UN had ordained as territory of Israel. To say that Israel should abide by the UN's recent genuflecting because the UN accepted Israel's existence in 1948 is a pathetic statement because the mythological "Palestinians" never accepted the UN recognition of Israel which was the direct and only cause of their statelessness. Those who still do not acknowledge that the so-called Palestinians and their Arab masters simply want Jews 'out' of their world are simply being too charitable to a group of people who have monopolized the world's attention at the expense of millions in far greater need of charity and good will. The true cause of the Palestinians is xenaphobia and those who have willingly abandoned historical truth are performing a constant disservice to the Jews who created an incredible nation and culture on their very own hard-earned land. All of the Palestinian lies and mythologies together with all of the UN and African Union diabolical declarations cannot change the truth. One would honestly think that the world has finally slaked its thirst for Jewish blood. The Israelis are not going to commit suicide because you believe in intransigent and self-serving lies.

    December 4, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Reply
    • Udi

      Well said!
      The Palestinians along with their so-called Arab brethren, are 99% responsible for their condition. Israel takes the other 1%. More than a million Tibetans were massacred by China, their country overrun, their culture squashed. How many Chinese were relocated to Tibet (illegal settlements anyone?) How often do you hear about the plight of the Tibetan people, who have adopted a non-violent way to get the world's attention? How about other peoples. But of course the Palestinians have great PR and the Arabs have oil. And violence gets the attention of the media so the world rewards the violent. While I am against the settlements, Israel has time and again conceded territory for peace. The Sinai peninsula, a territory roughly three times the size of Israel (which is about the size of New Jersey) was given back to Egypt for a so-called peace. Israel withdrew from Gaza, pulling down settlements in the process and what did it get? People seem to have a short memory or they prefer to simply ignore facts. How many hundreds of Israelis were blown to bits by Palestinian terrorist attacks? That's why Israel created the blockade. But noone cares. It's all about Israel's so-called crimes. The UN is a sad joke. It had zero success in just about any confilict in the world. Dozens of anti-Israeli resolutions were accepted at the UN. How many against Iran, whose president calls for the destruction of Israel, a member of the UN? How many against Syria? Oh wait, until recently they had representatives in the human rights committee. No, the Israeli settlements are NOT the main reason there will be no peace. The main reason is the Arabs simply want to wipe out Israel, period. And don't believe me... believe THEM. After all, they keep saying it loud and clear. Arafat said it, Abbas said it, not to mention Hamas. World's a sad place.

      December 5, 2012 at 9:35 am | Reply
      • Taner

        Like Liberman did not call for nuking Gazans. How is that different than Iranian fanatics chanting for destruction of Israel?

        You are hypocrite.

        What makes you think UK can grant bunch of European rednecks a land that belongs to others?

        What makes you think you can punish Palestinians what white European Christians did to you?

        Last but not least, are you not ashamed of oppressing and stealing from people after it was done to you during the Holocaust and Pogroms?

        Shame on you man!

        Israel with her Zionism sickness is the reason why Muslim hates us today!

        December 6, 2012 at 11:45 am |
  13. Rick McDaniel

    No. The Palestinians have not demonstrated they are a "nation" by any stretch of the imagination. They have internal strife and conflicts, with opposing factions.

    December 6, 2012 at 1:59 pm | Reply
    • Taner

      That is what happens if you divide them into two parts and play the nonsense games to alliante one or the other group. That too is a doing of Israeli policies.

      Divide and conquer!

      In addition, Israel has an external conflict with the vast majority of the World. What do you say to that?

      December 6, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Reply
      • Me

        Well.. I would say to that: You need to learn what the term "vast majority" actually means.

        December 7, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  14. neauneau

    This is nothing new when a christian nation is the superpower it will be called isreal when an Arab nation becomes a superpower it will be an arb nation. same old story new chapter, have you people heard of the crusades well the latest one happened in the 1940s

    December 6, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Reply
  15. jake

    Hey just a second, I have to check the bottom of my shoes real quick . . . make sure I don't get any palestinians on the carpet.

    December 8, 2012 at 10:59 am | Reply

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