The irrevocable Palestinian push for UN recognition

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The irrevocable  Palestinian push for UN recognition
By Ray Hanania — In 1947, Israel sought recognition from the United Nations, demanding that Palestine, a recognized mandate under British control, should be divided in to two countries, one for Jews and the other for everyone else.

The idea of dividing Palestine and separating people based on their religion was offensive to most Arabs and many in the world. Israel’s founders launched a war to control the land and the Arabs fought back seeking to keep it together.

History has not been kind to truth, in part because the Arab World has never understood the impact of strategic communications and PR. But Israel did, and it portrayed itself as a tiny nation seeking to protect itself from a vicious, blood-thirsty Arab World.

The United States was one of the first nations to recognize it and they pushed for the recognition that accepted Israel as a member state at the United Nations.

Israel then insisted in its massive PR campaigns in the 63 years since that it supports dividing the land in to two states, one Jewish and one Arab. But they were lying. Their entire existence has been marked by Israeli government policies that have sought to reduce and eliminate the non-Jewish residents of Israel while occupying more and more of Palestine’s lands to place under their control.

The Arabs for their part finally accepted what appeared to be the reality of two-states. But in typical Israeli fashion, the Israelis rejected the acceptance. The Arabs recognized Israel’s “right to exist.” The Arabs recognized Israel’s right to keep all of the lands it captured, the ones assigned to it by the United Nations and the ones it grabbed in 1948 during the war it was equal in provoking. The Arabs abandoned their demand for one Democratic State for all people regardless of religion. The Arabs did almost everything for peace, while Israel has done almost nothing.

When an Israeli prime minister finally agreed to two-states, he was murdered by a rightwing fanatic who was a follower of the Israeli leaders who eventually took his place.

Today, the same movement is taking place again, but this time the Palestinians are asking that their side of Palestine be recognized as a Palestinian State. Ironically, but not surprisingly, the United States and Israel are seeking to prevent that recognition.

The Israelis do not want a Palestinian State because they believe they can have all of Palestine. They believe they can take Palestine even with its large non-Jewish population because their policies over the years have shown that they can reduce the non-Jewish populations through racism, bigotry, hypocrisies and even violence.

Both sides have engaged in violence but when you listen to the Israeli side, it is a fantasy of lies which insist that it has sought peace while the Arabs have sought to destroy Israel.

Every new step forward to create two-states and to end the conflict with Israel has been met by Israeli rejection, including denying to the Palestinians what they demanded for themselves. Statehood.

The Palestinians deserve statehood. They deserve to have Israel abandon its campaign to settle Jews-only on Palestinian lands. They deserve the right to have equality, equality denied by Israeli policies. They deserve the right to nationhood and statehood and sovereignty.

Instead of embracing peace, Israel is leaning on its allies in the United States to undermine the peace. The U.S. Congress is threatening massive retaliations if Palestine seeks statehood. President Obama, whose administration is filled with big dreams that have been deflated and extinguished by his failed leadership, is in a contest to counter the pro-Israel pandering for votes by self-proclaimed Christian leaders like presidential contender Rick Perry.

The reality is that Palestine would not only represent Muslim Arabs but also give final status rights and recognition to the Palestinian Christians who are the true ancestors of the founder of Christianity, Jesus. Palestinian Christians are being pushed aside by the Christian Evangelists and haters like Perry who claim they support Israel because it is a Christian issue. Yet, when it comes to protecting Christian Rights in Palestine and in Israel, American Christians turn the other cheek and close their eyes and ears.

Ignorance isn’t a disease, though it acts like one to destroy. It is a choice. American Christians chose to be ignorant, hiding behind the lies of fears that demonize Muslims and disguise the crimes committed by the Israelis while blaming all violence on the Arabs.

Israel has the power to make peace. It always has. But after Yitzhak Rabin was murdered by a rightwing Israeli fanatic because he made the right choice for peace, the extremists in Israel have taken over. They continue to push for conflict rather than peace.

Israel has vowed to punish Palestinians if they seek statehood, but the Palestinians must push forward in this move and if it brings Israel and Palestine to a crisis, so be it. That crisis will result either in two equal states or one embattled country where violence and terrorism and murder and hatred will continue to plague both peoples.

If a Palestinian State is not recognized, then both sides will face an uncertain future. The Palestinians have no choice in this matter. The Israelis do. Their choice will determine if Palestine and Israel remain in conflict forever with mounting deaths and destruction, or if the two sides can finally put aside their differences, mutually respect each other, set aside the partisan inflammatory rhetoric and hate and embrace peace.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist. He can be reached at

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and Columnist who began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He covered Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992 (Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley) and has expanded to writing for newspapers around the world focussed on Middle East and American politics.

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 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 and (Illinois News Network at

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,, 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.

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