Friday, November 30, 2012

Irsael/Palestine in a Nutshell

Finally, recognition by the UN, in a symbolic step, but a still significant one:

The historic General Assembly decision late Thursday to accept “Palestine” as a non-member observer state won’t actually grant independence to the 4.3 million Palestinians who live in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

Israel remains an occupying force in the first two territories and continues to severely restrict access to Gaza, ruled by the Hamas militant group. Nor does the vote plaster over the rift in the Palestinian leadership that has led to the emergence of dueling governments in the West Bank and Gaza.

But by gaining approval at a world forum overwhelmingly sympathetic to their quest, Palestinians hope to make it harder for Israel to resist global pressure to negotiate the borders of a future Palestine based on lines Israel held before capturing the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza in 1967.

The massive international recognition of the Palestinians’ right to a state — only nine of 193 General Assembly members voted against it — gave them hope that the tide had turned in their favor.

“It’s a great feeling to have a state, even if in name only,” said civil servant Mohammed Srour, 28, standing in a flag-waving a crowd of more than 2,000 packed into a square in the West Bank city of Ramallah late Thursday. “The most beautiful dream of any man is to have an independent state, particularly for us Palestinians who have lived under occupation for a long time.”

But even though the resolution did not immediately change their lives, Palestinians say the recognition isn’t just symbolic. They believe it will strengthen their hand in any future talks with Israel, which has attacked the Palestinian move as an attempt to bypass such negotiations.
Israel's response was fitting of the colonial state that they are:

JERUSALEM — Israel approved the construction of 3,000 homes in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, a government official said Friday, drawing swift criticism from the Palestinians a day after their successful U.N. recognition bid.

The Palestinians strongly condemned the announcement and repeated their refusal to start peace negotiations while building continued. With Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu apparently poised for re-election and insisting that any negotiations begin without preconditions, prospects for peace appear to be going into deep freeze.

The unusually large building plan came a day after the United Nations voted overwhelmingly to accept a Palestinian state in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem as a non-member observer state, setting off jubilant celebrations among Palestinians.
The irony here is that Israel is actually screwing themselves royally in the long run. Building more settlements in Palestinian territory doesn't get rid of Palestinians (although they're trying their best, see Gaza). What it actually does is make a two state solution impossible, and it makes it much more likely that the only workable solution in the future is with one state where everyone has equal voting rights.


  1. on the single-state solution: does anyone on either side even remotely want that?

    I mean, I expect telling a group of Palestinians that they're now full Israeli citizens would go over about as well as walking into a bar in the deep south and congratulating the occupants on their newly-acquired Russian citizenship. During the cold war.

    1. or perhaps more like walking into a bar full of marines and congratulating them on their North-Vietnamese citizenship. The cold war didn't have nearly enough shooting for this analogy

  2. suckmyass your welcome