Ever since the United Nations GA Resolution 181 (II) called for the coexistence of a Palestinian state and a Jewish state in 1947, the Palestinians have been without unanimous worldwide recognition of sovereign statehood. This coming September, however, chairman of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas will likely petition the UN General Assembly for official statehood.
The establishment of a Palestinian state is long overdue. In the West Bank, the Palestinians are becoming increasingly economically independent, with their own cultural and financial institutions set firmly in place. A Palestinian state will help to put the bickering over border issues with Israel in the proverbial worldwide political arena and to shelve the controversy surrounding Hamas (widely known as a terrorist organization). What has slowed down the peace process over the years is the tendency to run away from negotiations at first sign of turbulence. For instance, border disputes could be better discussed between two sovereign countries than between Israel and an abstract concept, which is what the geographically dispersed and politically divided Palestinian Authority has so far been.
The new resolution, pitched by the Palestinian Authority, now including Hamas, could feasibly receive the necessary two-thirds majority among the 192 members in the world body — although one single veto from the 15-member Security Council would see the plan derailed.
This May, U.S. President Barack Obama gave an interview with Andrew Marr of BBC in which he insisted, despite pressuring Israel to negotiate with the Palestinian Authority regarding land swaps, that the United States would not support Abbas’ impetus for “formal recognition of statehood” from the United Nations. “The notion that you can solve this problem in the United Nations is unrealistic,” he said, further asserting that it was not worth the world’s time to negotiate with Hamas. However, the truth is that Palestine’s statehood has no bearing on the future of Hamas. Hamas will not dissolve, regardless of whether a Palestinian state is declared or not.
Should the Palestinians demonstrate an inability to control terrorist activity directed at Israel while in possession of their own state, Israel would have the right to defend her civilians and her borders. Israel would not be forced into unwinnable, abstract “Intifada” games. Instead of a Sisyphean struggle of a war against a stateless, faceless people, there would exist a war against a real state responsible for its own actions. Israel, in turn, would be freed of its unearned pariah status and the stigma of South Africa-esque colonialism.
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