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US balks as Palestine gets state status

Palestinians celebrate their new UN status (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Palestinians celebrate their new UN status (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

The UN recently voted to change Palestine’s designation from “entity” to “nonmember observer state” — the same status enjoyed by the Vatican. The vote was 138-9, with 41 abstentions. Voting no were Israel, United States, Canada, the Czech Republic, Panama, and several Pacific island nations.

For the record, I approve the change. Rather than condemn the action as our government has, I applaud it as another step toward the two-state solution which requires, after all, two states. I think the U.S. is badly out of step on this one, but Israel counts on our support. Personally I think it’s not our fight. Israel has demonstrated it is more than capable of defending itself.

Not sure how the world will make one state out of three separate pieces — Gaza, the Western Bank, and the Golan Heights, but I assume they have some ideas. Israel’s immediate reaction was to announce another big land grab settlement in the West Bank. Doesn’t sound to me like a nation that wants peace. Look at the maps. If they can keep this fighting and unrest going for long enough, they will have absorbed all the Palestinian lands. Perhaps they’re intent on a one-state solution.


  1. I would agree with your support of the Two State solution, it’s a hope. I also agree with you that the settlement activity has to stop. I do have issue with your comment that Israel is a “nation that doesn’t want peace”. The current Likud government has played israeli fears in to political gain by playing on fears of war with Iran, war with Hezbollah and Hamas (Iranian proxies). THe announcement yesterday to expand neighborhoods in East Jerusalem were I believe in reaction to Abbas’s proclamation that the day when the flag of Palestine will fly over it’s capital in “Jerusalem”.

    Israeli’s are as divided as Americans are policy, there’s a very significant peace movement in Israel that attempt to reach out to Palestinian groups to come up with solutions that would bring understanding between the two sides and lead to a peaceful solution.

    The hold up on a two state solution has come down to three issues- Status of Jerusalem and specifically the Old City, resolution of the issue of 300,000 Israelis in the West Bank, and what to do about Hamas. Personally I think a solution for land swap with the settlements could be figured out and I think Hamas could be undermined by providing a path to economic growth and getting a handle on corruption in Fatah and Hamas. What to do about terror and the calls for Israels complete destruction, bigger questions.

    BTW, I also take issue with you map graphic. Not sure where you found it, PLO website perhaps? They do not reflect the situation on the ground in 1946, the Negev for example, 1/3 of the current state of Israel would better be described as Bedouin land in 1946 than Palestinian.

    • Hey, Sank, nice to see you again.

      It seems to me the settlements are a deliberate attempt to secure land for Israel. They have been condemned by most of the world, including the US, and are an obvious, deliberate provocation. I don’t see how Israel can continue to take that land and yet profess to want peace. It would be tantamount to an act of war to settle in another country’s territory, and I’m sure that’s the way the Palestinians view it. It fuels the terrorists’ fires and gives legitimacy to their fight against Israel, although it’s obvious to everyone that Israel as a state is not going away and they’ll just have to get used to it. In fact, if the Palestinians truly want peace, shouldn’t they, too, be trying to rein these people in?

      I see no solution for Jerusalem but to share it in some way, with both sides having free access. Two peaceful neighboring nations should be able to do that.

      The map appeared on several different sites and I didn’t pay much attention to where I got it. I just wanted a clear representation of how much land Israel has taken since 1967. Probably should have cropped it to just the last two, or looked for a different map (it was late and I was trying to wrap it up). Bottom line, I favor a return to the 1967 borders.

      Come to think of it, I should have just reprinted my post from three years ago, “Israelis plan yet another West Bank settlement,” with its map of the settlements:


      • I read every post. I just don’t comment so much anymore. Just as settlements fuel terrorists, rockets, race baiting and terror feeds Netanyahu and the far right in Israel. Terrible cycle. As I said I agree with the two state solution, I think there will have to be some adjustments to borders, 1967 can’t happen anymore, but I’m sure something equatable can be worked out.

        • It’s a terrible conundrum, I’ll admit. Both sides are so entrenched and each is so afraid to give an inch to the other. Yet without compromise from both sides, there will never be peace. I wish I shared your optimism.

          BTW, I just noticed your name isn’t linked to your blog. If you want it to be linked, be sure to include the URL on the form when you comment.

  2. It’s always such a disappointment for me to read something like this from someone whose writing I generally like. And I think I will leave it at that since I’m starting to see red and that’s never a good thing before bedtime.

  3. Agree with your assessment. If the situation degenerates into a “one nation solution,” that will be the end of a democratic Israel. Why not declare Jerusalem as an open city under United Nations control? Then it could serve as the capital of Palestine and Israel, or the capital of anybody else that wants to locate its seat of government there. We need to get tough with Israel and stop our all-out support if they do not demonstrate some common sense in their approach to the West Bank settlement question.

"Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it." ~ Mark Twain

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