Palestine UN bid: Without courage, the cause of moderates will be lost

Israel, the Palestinians and other voting states in the UN Security Council must show courage. Without this the cause of moderates on both sides will be lost.

Whatever your view on the Palestinian UN statehood bid, one thing is certain: it has garnered huge international interest. Following the tumultuous recent years with Iraq, Afghanistan, relations with Iran and most recently the Arab spring, the Israel-Palestine debate has almost entirely fallen off the radar.

This is scandalous if you consider the debilitating impact of ongoing conflict in the region on both Israelis and Palestinians.

Peace talks were initiated some 20 years ago and little concrete progress has been made.

More embarrassingly still, President Obama is faced with exercising the US veto at the UN Security Council despite his support for a two-state solution articulated in May this year.

Having visited Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories as part of a Young Fabian delegation earlier this month, reading the press response has been depressing. Most British reporting focuses on whether the Palestinian bid should be supported or vetoed. Zero sum game politics is not an approach that will bring resolution in this matter.

The Palestinian bid for statehood is innovative and seeks to break the deadlock caused by the cessation of any meaningful peace talks. To respond with a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ is to miss the point.

There were two individuals we met as part of the delegation who particularly impressed me: one was Gilead Sher, a prominent Israeli negotiator at Camp David and the other was Dr Mohammad Shtayyeh, a Fatah minister. Sher emphasised the urgency of the situation; Fatah are good negotiating partners for peace but in the face of continued Israeli rebuffs cannot maintain legitimacy among their supporters.

The presence of Hamas in Gaza should be a constant reminder of this.

Undermining the Palestinian UN bid, which is essentially an instrument of Fatah, would be a hammer blow to Fatah’s credibility. On the other hand Dr Shtayyeh indicated awareness the UN bid was part of a process.

Both emphasised the need for creative thinking in resolving the process – deferring the Palestinian bid, vetoing it or abstaining is not a long term solution.

For these reasons we should support David Miliband’s calls in the Huffington Post for a creative approach from the Israelis. Complete opposition to Palestinian efforts to pursue peace through peaceful means such as their UN bid could have disastrous repercussions on the ground. It also leaves Israel very isolated.

However, Miliband is correct to point out that without serious discussions being restarted between the two any statehood bid would lack meaning. This must be within a framework set down by the international community and in particular with the involvement of the Arab League.

Palestinians deserve their own state. This can only be obtained if Israel can be satisfied that this new state can peacefully co-exist with Israel. Whilst there are real issues on both sides: security and the right to exist for Israel; refugees and settlements on the other – a permanent solution must be reached.

Peace will require difficult political decisions to be made. At the UN, Israel, the Palestinians and other voting states in the Security Council must show courage. Without this the cause of moderates on both sides will be lost.

17 Responses to “Palestine UN bid: Without courage, the cause of moderates will be lost”

  1. Sam hussain

    Palestine UN bid: Without courage, the cause of moderates will be lost: http://t.co/0CcX9gi3 writes @YoungFabians’ @Sara_E_Ibrahim

  2. Sara Ibrahim

    Palestine UN bid: Without courage, the cause of moderates will be lost: http://t.co/0CcX9gi3 writes @YoungFabians’ @Sara_E_Ibrahim

  3. Knut Cayce

    Palestine UN bid: Without courage, the cause of moderates will be lost: http://t.co/0CcX9gi3 writes @YoungFabians’ @Sara_E_Ibrahim

  4. Political Planet

    Palestine UN bid: Without courage, the cause of moderates will be lost: Israel, the Palestinians and other votin… http://t.co/FTt0Y0m7

  5. Alex Braithwaite

    RT @leftfootfwd: Palestine UN bid: Without courage, the cause of moderates will be lost http://t.co/iGbtlSHh

  6. Adam Langleben

    RT @leftfootfwd: Palestine UN bid: Without courage, the cause of moderates will be lost http://t.co/ypN9edCj

  7. Jose Rivera

    This is what it comes to: #Palestine #UN bid: Without courage, the cause of moderates will be lost http://t.co/Fa9LJAH4 RT @leftfootfwd

  8. Yvonne Lee

    RT @leftfootfwd: Palestine UN bid: Without courage, the cause of moderates will be lost http://t.co/0rHjWNx9

  9. Ben Lewis

    RT @leftfootfwd: Palestine UN bid: Without courage, the cause of moderates will be lost http://t.co/vWc23goO

  10. Knut Cayce

    RT @leftfootfwd: Can moderates deliver a solution for the Palestinian dilemma? http://t.co/wqrgxMg1

  11. Tom

    ‘Fatah are good negotiating partners for peace but in the face of continued Israeli rebuffs cannot maintain legitimacy among their supporters’

    Really? I thought it was Fatah’s unreasonable handling of the Camp David negotiations that ruined it. What did Clinton say on this? That Arafat stopped him being the great man – http://www.breakingnews.ie/archives/2004/0621/world/kfojmhmhidey/

    Israel cannot be blamed alone as Palestinians have sabotaged the process just as much.

  12. Moi

    As long as the Arab world calls for the obliteration of the state of Israel, there will never be peace or an agreement. As long as the Arab world fails to recognise the state of Israel, there will never be peace.
    Only a rapid and aggressive expansion of Israel will make them see sense.

  13. Dave Citizen

    Our ability to put aside narrow self interest and the advantages we can reap by playing chess with others’ lives is what makes human kind so special.

    I am clear in my mind what the right thing is in terms of children growing up in this part of the world and I’m pretty confident that those involved in taking these decisions do too.

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