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Palestine recognition at the United Nations
By Ray Hanania — There is no doubt that when the proposal to recognize Palestine as a sovereign state this Fall is introduced to the United Nations, the United States, in contradiction of its principles, will be the only nation to veto it.
But that won’t prevent Palestine from being recognized.
The Palestinians have done everything possible to get Israel to stop taking lands and to stop expanding settlements in the West Bank, especially around East Jerusalem which was occupied in a war launch by Israel 44 years ago.
They fought against Israel and then they turned to peace talks and negotiations. Although the Israelis contend extremists like Hamas and other groups used terrorism to destroy the peace process, Israel’s military did as much to do the same.
Although the Israelis argue that they offered the Palestinians the “best offer” they have ever made to compromise, the proposal was a sham and fell far short of meeting the fundamental basics of achieving a lasting peace.
In the past 63 years since Israel was created by a United Nations vote after a brief war in 1948, Israel has done everything to prevent Palestinians expelled from their lands and homes from returning. The Israelis claimed, in the beginning, that they would be willing to make peace with the Arab World if the Arab World would recognize Israel.
That finally happened in 1988 when the Palestinians agreed to abandon violent resistance and recognize Israel’s “right to exist.”
The problem is that the Israelis wanted peace with the “Arab World” but not with the Palestinians.
Although Palestinians have accepted the concept of two-states, the Israelis have not. They was demonstrated in the failure of negotiations last year when militant Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that he would not freeze settlement expansion as a fundamental basis to resume peace talks.
Israel’s governments have always put the expansion of settlements above the achievement of peace and an end to the conflict.
That’s too bad. But their word and by their deed, the Israeli government has suffocated the peace process. And if there are no peace talks, that means the Palestinians have only two choices left, either return to violent resistance — what any Israeli or Jew would do to win back their own lands and homes. Or, to take their case to the United Nations and declare statehood.
If the United Nations Security Council fails to recognize a Palestine State because of an expected American veto, then the Palestinians can take their case to the United Nations General Assembly where an investigation of the Security Council’s rejection of a statehood request could force a formal recognition of Palestine.
Recognizing a Palestine State is the beginning of the end to violence. But peace also puts Israel in a precarious and new circumstance they have never experienced. In conflict, Israel thrives with huge monetary support from the economically strapped United States. In peace, those American taxpayer support could easily come to an end.
In peace, Israel is forced to live up to its government’s empty words and abide by the delineation of borders.
That’s exactly what Israel’s governments do not want. They don’t want borders. They want everything. All of historic Palestine. They want to also eventually push the Palestinian Christian and Muslims out of their Jewish State and take their lands, too.
That continuation of the conflict will be Israel’s undoing. It means that the conflict will not end and Israel will forever have to be on guard to defend itself against Palestinian and Arab attempts to take back their lands and homes in conflict. And Arab victory would force Israel to become a secular state where Jews, Christians and Muslims would be forced to live together as equals, something that does not exist in Israel today.
The way I see it, the recognition by the United Nations of a Palestine State will prevent this almost certain future disaster for Israel.
When the United States vetoes the move in the Security Council it will set a new stage for the resumption of militant violence and eventually spark a regional war.
Clearly, despite the spin of the Western news media, the Arab protesters throughout the Middle East will not embrace Israel as long as Israel refuses to recognize Arab rights. And that Arab Spring will one day become Israel’s Winter, or maybe, its Fall.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist. He can be reached at www.hanania.com. To reprint, contact Creators Syndicate at www.Creators.com.)
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Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.
Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com. He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites TheArabDailyNews.com and NewsAmericaNetwork.com (Illinois News Network at IllinoisNewsNetwork.com).
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post, YNetNews.com, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.
Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.
His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania
Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com