In the wake of Palestinian determination to seek statehood in the UN General Assembly this month, some readers may wonder what it’s all about.
Through a series of questions and answers, perhaps one can be more enlightened on this decades-long struggle.
1) Why insist on going to the UN this month?
Palestinians want to go to the UN in order to get international recognition for their future state… And legitimize Palestinian claims for freedom, independence and statehood…
2) Will the UN help in materializing those goals?
The majority of world countries support the Palestinian statehood. The goal is to get rid of the four and a half decades of Israel’s tight occupation of the Palestinian territories…
3) What are those occupied territories?
The occupied territories are situated on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. They are within the 1967 border lines violently and illegally occupied by the Israeli armed forces; they constitute 22 percent of historical Palestine…
4) Why is Israel opposed to the Palestinian drive to go to the UN?
Israel is opposed because of its denial to the Palestinian rights and rejection of Palestinian statehood. Israel intends to keep the occupied territories and enlarge its “lebensraum” at the expense of the Palestinian people and their land properties. In keeping the occupied territories, Israel will carry on its policy of building settlements and walls in order to fragment the territories like a Swiss cheese and block the establishment of a Palestinian state.
5) How can Israel alone defy the international community and challenge UN resolution?
Unfortunately, Israel is shielded by multiple US vetoes (43) since 1967 providing Israel with all the needed aggressive spirit to carry on its violations against the Palestinian people and their land properties at all levels. So Israel is not alone in defying the international community and its peaceful resolutions.
6) Is the Washington-Tel Aviv axis the main obstacle to peace in the Middle East?
YES…. When we see the blind support of the successive US administrations, including the Obama administration to the Israeli aggression and occupation, we can conclude that the US is a major obstacle to peaceful coexistence in the region as well… To elaborate further, one has to look at the unlimited financial support in billions of US dollars provided to Israel every year to build illegal settlements on Palestinian lands, the military and the technical support and cooperation between Israel and US military industries.
Also, The US vetoes used at the UN Security Council to block the condemnation of Israeli violations of international resolutions including human rights violations in the occupied territories, in addition to the falsification of the facts and the biased media coverage in the US of the events in the Middle East demonizing Palestinians and their legal rights; while favoring Israel and its illegal occupation and aggression.
The recent empathic support of the Congress and the standing ovations in the US Congress during Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech defying the US president’s moderation, are but some of many other indications that testify to the so-called unbreakable bounds between Israel and the US in which Palestinians are the victims and have to pay a high price with their blood and properties.
7) Whatever happened to direct negotiations with Israel?
Heading to the UN in September is not a substitute for direct and honest negotiations. However the existing right-wing Israeli leadership has shut down all doors to honest and tangible negotiations. Negotiating and simultaneously confiscating Palestinian properties reflects Israeli mentality of fooling Palestinians and the world community. That’s why President Abbas asked for settlements to stop in order to open the way for honest and serious negotiations.
8) What about delegitimizing Israel?
Going to the UN and obtaining international recognition for a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders doesn’t mean de-legitimizing Israel as such, but only the illegal occupation of Israel. The military occupation by Israel of the West Bank and Gaza is illegal in view of UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338 in addition to other agreements and treaties (Madrid, Oslo agreements, road map, Annapolis statement and others). Yet Israel and the US are against withdrawal from those occupied Palestinian territories. Israel is intentionally mixing its proper existence with illegal occupation and expansion.
9) What kind of relations will the newborn state entertain with its neighbors?
The 194th member state, the State of Palestine, will be peaceful, democratic and secular (not theocratic). It will be a state for all its citizens and entertain peaceful relations with all states of the region, Israel in particular. The Palestinian state will be a peaceful contribution to a turbulent Middle East where all nations can live, coexist and flourish peacefully together.
Justice would have been dispensed to a long suffering people a long time ago had it not been for a US government throttled at the jugular by the powerful Israeli lobby working discreetly on its shores.