NZ to vote for Palestinian statehood

November 30th, 2012 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

The NZ Herald reports:

New Zealand is to vote in favour of a resolution giving recognition as a non-member observer state, Foreign Minister Murray McCully has announced.

However Mr McCully said the UN resolution was “a poor substitute for direct negotiations” between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The United Nations General Assembly is due to vote this morning on a resolution which would see the Palestinian status upgraded role from an observer entity to that of a non-member observer state.

Mr McCully said the primary reason for voting in favour of the resolution is it reflects the long-standing policy of the New Zealand Government.

“New Zealand is a long-standing supporter of the two state solution. We believe that Israel and a Palestinian state should exist side by side, each respecting the other’s right to peace. And we believe that they should arrive at that conclusion through direct talks.

“As I stated in my address to the UN General Assembly earlier this year, we have never regarded a UN resolution as an adequate substitute for direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. That is the only way of achieving a durable solution to this question.

The vote will not achieve an actual Palestinian state. That will only happen when there is a full peace settlement with Israel, which must involve land for peace (but land concessions without peace is not acceptable).

Mr McCully said officials have discussed the proposed text of the resolution with Palestinian representatives, who have “delivered a resolution that is moderate, constructive, and reflects our commitment to a two-state solution”.

“In our explanation of vote to the UN our Permanent Representative Hon Jim McLay will make clear our absolute commitment to Israel’s right to safety and security, and condemn the actions of Hamas extremists in recent weeks,” Mr McCully said.

“However, we will also assert our support for the moderate leadership of President [Mahmoud] Abbas, Prime Minister [Salam] Fayyad and others who are working to make a two-state solution a viable goal.

“The New Zealand Government is under no illusions as to the utility of a UN resolution. It will solve nothing. But in the absence of the direct talks we have called for, we will deal with the UN resolution on its merits.”

Which is code for we don’t think it will achieve anything, but we don’t want to vote against it, as we do support Palestine becoming a state.

For those interested, the only other current non-member observer state in the Holy See. Switzerland used to be one, but joined fully in 2002.

The Cook Islands and Niue are treated as non-member states but this is unofficial.

Taiwan is blocked by China from gaining membership.

Of interest West Germany was an observer only from 1952 to 1973.

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51 Responses to “NZ to vote for Palestinian statehood”

  1. bhudson (4,736 comments) says:

    Does this official status mean that Palestine must recognise Israel as a Jewish State?

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  2. scrubone (3,074 comments) says:

    Israel were very opposed to this.

    I do wonder if it poses a serious problem to them in the long run though. Well, it’s done now so I guess we shall see.

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  3. Harriet (4,607 comments) says:

    Israel will only ever accept everlasting security…..as ‘peace’ is an illusion of the West. That will forever be the reality! :cool:

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  4. kowtow (7,844 comments) says:

    As I said on GD ,we must sell more halal than kosher.

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  5. Graeme Edgeler (3,272 comments) says:

    Taiwan is blocked by China from gaining membership.

    How? If the US can’t block Palestine from having some form of UN membership, how does China stop Taiwan from having some form of UN membership?

    [DPF: Diplomacy and threats!]

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  6. OneTrack (2,726 comments) says:

    “bhudson (2,805) Says:
    November 30th, 2012 at 3:08 pm
    Does this official status mean that Palestine must recognise Israel as a Jewish State?”

    Nope.

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  7. Robinson 666 (115 comments) says:

    Peace will come… when the Zionists stop stealing Palestinian land.

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  8. OneTrack (2,726 comments) says:

    “Robinson 666 (115) Says:
    November 30th, 2012 at 3:37 pm
    Peace will come… when the Zionists stop stealing Palestinian land.

    Try peace will come when the rockets stop being sent into Israel and the suicide bombers stop going in as well.

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  9. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    That will only happen when there is a full peace settlement with Israel, which must involve land for peace (but land concessions without peace is not acceptable).

    [Emphasis added]

    Gee whiz, I had no idea that DPF was so influential in matters international! I’m stunned and impressed!

    But if DPF means Israel returns the land occupied since 1967 and guarantees by Israel to leave the new state of Palestine in peace at long last, well, it might be worth a shot! (Pun intentional, albeit in as bad taste as Israel’s reply to Abbas today at the UN).

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  10. Nigel Kearney (902 comments) says:

    Recognizing a state without specifying what its borders are seems pointless. But if this contributes to the UN further undermining its own credibility and eventually being abandoned by free and democratic nations, then I am very much in favour.

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  11. bringbackdemocracy (412 comments) says:

    So the USA, Australia and Great Britain didn’t vote for this. But we did along with Iran, Syria, Somalia and North Korea.
    Cave-in Key does it again I’m sure Keith Locke will be pleased.

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  12. gravedodger (1,526 comments) says:

    Whatever, who cares.
    The UN is just another trough that is continually filled by compulsion and emptied by corruption

    Can someone list any meaningful impacts on world events that have come about through the actions of that corrupt venal body.

    The closest the world came to annihilation in my lifetime was the Cuban Missile crisis, what exactly was the UN involvement in resolving that.

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  13. scrubone (3,074 comments) says:

    Taiwan is blocked by China from gaining membership.

    Hm, yes. A reminder of the more disgraceful episodes of the history of the UN.

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  14. Manolo (13,514 comments) says:

    Savages that belong to the 7th century. Despised by everyone around here, except Lucy.

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  15. coolas (109 comments) says:

    “…. which must involve land for peace (but land concessions without peace is not acceptable).”

    spot on DPF – Israel returns to its pre-1967 borders and peace at last.

    [DPF: It isn't quite that simple. Israel should give up land equal to the pre-67 borders. Both Palestinians and Israel accept it won't be exactly the same borders. The status of Jerusalem is extremely challenging. But even if you get agreement on that the hardest issue is can a Palestinian Govt guarantee no attacks on Israel from its territory.]

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  16. Dazzaman (1,129 comments) says:

    Harriet (776) Says:
    November 30th, 2012 at 3:20 pm
    Israel will only ever accept everlasting security…..as ‘peace’ is an illusion of the West. That will forever be the reality!

    Truth.

    The strips of land which the Arabs want to steal only make for continuing insecurity for the Israeli’s. Effectively, there can never be two states peacefully coexistent, even more so considering the deep seated animosity between the two, within the physical layout of the region. Remember now that Jordan (Trans-Jordan) is the area set aside for the Arabs…Move those Arab squatters!

    Stupid New Zealand.

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  17. Raphael (75 comments) says:

    Problem is that even if a separate Palestinian state is recognised, even if Israel returned to it’s pre 1967 borders, it won’t stop the violence as the stated goals of Hamas and Hezbollah is the complete removal of Israel.

    It’s a little hard to deal with people who have the attitude of: “yes there will be peace in this land….after we’ve killed all of you”.

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  18. Scott1 (478 comments) says:

    how did China vote on the issue? they obviously didn’t vote against but maybe they abstained? Otherwise can i call hypocrisy?

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  19. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Nigel Kearney (213) Says:

    November 30th, 2012 at 4:00 pm
    Recognizing a state without specifying what its borders are seems pointless.

    Israel has never specified its borders. Do you have the iimagination to work out why?

    In addition, although Israel is keen to downplay this vote, it proclaims UNGA 181 as its ‘birth certificate’.

    What’s good for the goose…?

    I have a different take on the matter of violence to DPF. It is a matter of historical record that the goal of the Zionist movement from its beginnings in the 1880s was to colonise Palestine and expel the local population. It was a goal waiting for an opportunity.

    That opportunity arose in 1947-48, even as the British mandate forces watched and refused to intervene to protect the Palestinians, and the Zionist forces, later the IDF, took good advantage of their military superiority.

    Even if one can point to early occasions where Palestinians were the first to resort to violence, the provocation was always the intrusion of the immigrant European Jews upon what the Palestinians saw as their birthright.

    The key to peace is not that Palestinians refrain from retaliation against dispossession, oppression and occupation but that Israel ceases to be the instigator of these acts and acts to redress past wrongs, as we do with our colonised people.

    And the issue of Jerusalem is not at all complex. Israel must withdraw from East Jerusalem. What is so complex about such a simple act of physical movenment?

    As I said, I differ from our host in the perspective I bring to bear on this issue.

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  20. Reid (16,061 comments) says:

    Have you listened to the Israeli, US and UK UN diplomats on this?

    Soundbites from Checkpoint here:

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/checkpoint/audio/2540195/un-vote-to-recognise-palestinians-welcomed-in-nz.asx

    What a bunch of disingenuous plonkers. How can anyone think these tossers can possibly claim the moral high ground? You’d have to be completely mental.

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  21. bringbackdemocracy (412 comments) says:

    Luc has Margaret Mutu been rewriting history for you?
    The Arabs who resided in southern Syria rejected a two-State partition in 1947, which would have given them more land than the so called 1967 borders.
    The pre 1967 borders had the “west-bank” annexed by Jorden.
    The last 60 years have shown they never miss an opportunity to “miss an opportunity”

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  22. Nostalgia-NZ (4,981 comments) says:

    Good on the NZ Government on this one, good on Mc Cully for pointing out that nevertheless it is a poor substitution for direct negotiations – still step by step. The reality is that peace is never achieved by talking with your allies about your enemies rather than directly to them, or by attempting to relegate them to a position that they should not be spoken to other than through intermediaries because that just strengthens their resolve.

    Can’t help but think that DPF followed this blog with another about Saudi Arabia to demonstrate his displeasure.

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  23. SPC (5,472 comments) says:

    This was the step missing in the Oslo Accord and Road Map process. It was all very well to talk about 67 border equivalence in any border changes, but first each party had to have their 67 border origin point for there to be two nation states in negotiation. A peace can only be made between two equal (state) parties. Without equality for Palestinians Israel was enabled/encourgaged to abuse their privileged place as occupier.

    That they did so by allowing American Jews to settle land outside 67 border Israel and yet gain Israeli citizenship in doing was a provocation. It was de facto annexation – a statement that while Palestine did not exist as a legal state on its 67 border any Jew in the world could come and become an Israeli by occupying a place in a Jewish settlement on Palestinian land. It was land claim by squatting and the Israeli passport granted to them indicated this was occuring as state policy. That the IDF established protective fences from settlement to settlement, confirmed what was already known this was a land grab by the Israeli state using these settlers as a front.

    Now Palestinians have a state “on 67 borders”, these settlers now know the world regards them as occupying another states territory without land ownership or right to residence. The Israeli state now knows the world sees them as using the IDF, the sttlers and the fence to occupy another states territory.

    The Sharon strategy of leaving Gaza to securely establish a Jewish majortiy in the still occupied areas has lost its credibility. A return to the Olmert plan – voluntary disengagement from areas of the West Bank – looks like an increasingly attractive option. Abbas has a card to play if they do not. It is to use the recognition of the new state to grant passports to all Palestinians, wherever they live in the world (if a Jew in the West Bank is an Israeli, then a Palestinian outside WB and Gaza is a Palestinian). Then to grant all those with a Palestinian passport the right to vote in Palestinian elections. With the state now recognised, the demographic war can finally end and with the Zionists losing – two states is all they have – and 67 or 67 border eqivalent are their only options.

    Welcome back to the 1947 partition plan where this all began.

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  24. SPC (5,472 comments) says:

    On the issue of the Palestine as a state, the Gaza West Bank political division and future (Arab spring) elections.

    When Abbas allowed Hamas to contest Palestinian Authority elections he made a misjudgment. He thought that Hamas would lose (and not be an alternative chosen to send a message about Fatah corruption) and by being involved they would embrace the peace process that formed the PA. Instead Hamas won and their PA governance was not recognised (internationally and later failed internally) because Hamas was not a party (and refused to be part of) to the peace process that formed the PA.

    Recognition of the Palestinian state – for Palestine is now collectively recognised as a state (only one withheld veto by Israel’s proxy in the UNSC from UN membership), now allows Hamas to contest PA elections. The PA is no longer dependent on the peace process for its existence as a representative of Palestinian self government. It is now represents the authority of an independent nation state albeit with the IDF occupying some if its territory and protecting/enabling illegal settlement of it.

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  25. Reid (16,061 comments) says:

    The US simply has to stop playing the double-game. It cannot continue to advocate for peace talks and pretend to be an honest broker and then take Israel’s side every single time bar-none no matter how outrageous Israel’s behaviour has been.

    Either it’s on Israel’s side or it’s a genuine neutral broker, one of the two, but this double-game is simply not acceptable, and if any other set of countries was doing it, most of you guys would be down on them like a ton of bricks.

    And you know it.

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  26. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    @

    bringbackdemocracy (75) Says:

    November 30th, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    The Arabs who resided in southern Syria rejected a two-State partition in 1947, which would have given them more land than the so called 1967 borders.

    I don’t recall the actual figures offhand but the land distribution was not only incredibly disadvantageous to the indigenous people, somethin like 50% of the worst land to 85% of the population while the 15% not only got the most arable land but got it for free, as well.

    That said, there is no moral code in the world that says such division is just without the consent of both populations.

    The first choice of the Arab peoples after WWII was that of a pan-Arab state. When that was delined by the allies, the second choice for Palestinans was to remain part of Syria – they did indeed consider themselves to be Southern Syrians in the wider context, but Palestinians on their home turf – think of New Zealand provincial identity.

    When even that was denied, the resolve then became to save Palestine, and they naturally became imbued with intense patriotic fervour in defence of their homeland against the invasion of those who were seeking to escape European persecution.

    The pre 1967 borders had the “west-bank” annexed by Jorden.

    So? Yet another invader with an eye on the treasures of Palestine. Jordan has since renounced any claim to Palestine.

    The last 60 years have shown they never miss an opportunity to “miss an opportunity”

    There have been no opportunities to miss, save for the mythical examples churned out by Israel’s propaganda machine.

    I suggest you look for books by the following authors: Tom Segev, Ilan Pappe, and even Benny Morris before he had the frighteners put on him by the establishment in Israel for speaking the truth – all Jewish and all Israeli citizens.

    Then get back to me with evidence based alternatives, by all means, but please, propaganda is not evidence and, as Chris Hitchens once wrote, “That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.”

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  27. SPC (5,472 comments) says:

    Reid, one has to wonder if Obama in his offer to mediate peace talks next year if the Palestinians withdrew their membership bid was anything more than Netanyahu’s hand puppet. Because of course this offer was really a threat to the PA that the Americans will otherwise continue their policy course – let Israel have its way.

    The threat is

    1. continue American license for Israeli occupation to continue and settlements to expand
    2. American funding cut to any world body including Palestine
    3. favour for ME regimes that Israel finds preferable (including in Egypt through US educated/influenced military etc)

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  28. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

    the indigenous people

    Horsepucky!

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  29. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Horsepucky!

    Your sources?

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  30. Scott Chris (5,940 comments) says:

    Horsepucky!

    Hmm, dunno about that:

    Indigenous peoples primarily refers to ethnic groups that have historical ties to groups that existed in a territory prior to colonization or formation of a nation state, and which normally preserve a degree of cultural and political separation from the mainstream culture and political system of the nation state within the border of which the indigenous group is located.

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  31. TimG_Oz (922 comments) says:

    The only internationally recognised Indigenous people (by the UN) of Israel are the Bedouin.

    The Bedouin are Israeli citizens and serve in the Israeli army, although there are a number in the West Bank.

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  32. F E Smith (3,302 comments) says:

    Scott,

    so does the timeline run from before the implementation of the State of Israel, or before the Ottoman Empire, which, although not a nation state, was most definitely a state. And, if you take it from just before the modern nation of Israel, does that mean that those of Armenian descent, as well as the Druze, are indigenous? Probably.

    Of course, using the definition you link to, the Jews are also an indigenous people of the area.

    EDIT: (for what it is worth, I don’t count any of them as being ‘indigenous’.)

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  33. Reid (16,061 comments) says:

    Reid, one has to wonder if Obama in his offer to mediate peace talks next year if the Palestinians withdrew their membership bid was anything more than Netanyahu’s hand puppet.

    No that was AIPAC’s power in action SPC. Obama noticed Bibi’s interference in his election process with his support for Romney so you’d have thought that he’d be real keen on paying them back, but no President is a free agent and the AIPAC influence covers all senate and congressional districts on both sides of the political divide, so what are you going to do?

    This is really sending Israel a message. They must have faced huge pressure to abort Operation Pillar of Cloud after only 148 innocent human beings were murdered (plus a few dozen thugs taken out). Last time it was 1440 innocents murdered.

    Good.

    It’s about time they had a “message.” Isn’t this civilised. Shame about the deaths isn’t it. I guess they were “unavoidable.”

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  34. TimG_Oz (922 comments) says:

    I can’t wait for the vote on Kurdistan as an member nation with Observer status. Turkey will love that.

    Tibet would also be a good one.

    Personally I think that the Palestinian recognition is a good thing. Now they have (kind of) defined their borders and recognised Israel. It also means they will be taking control of themselves – things like finally resettling those poor refugees that they have forced to live in the UNRWA camps for all this time. And enforcing the law over their own people. It’s a pity that the Palestinians have chosen to implement Apartheid by stating that Jews aren’t allowed to live in their country. I guess there are some precedents like Saudi Arabia that they want to follow.

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  35. Reid (16,061 comments) says:

    I can’t wait for the vote on Kurdistan as an member nation with Observer status. Turkey will love that.

    So would Iraq Tim, after all, that’s always been the plan. Divide Iraq into Sunni, Shi’ite and Kurd, the Kurds get most of the oil fields, and Israel’s been cuddling up to the Kurds since the US invaded, haven’t they.

    Tibet would also be a good one.

    Yes it would. Why does China need Tibet, is what I have never understood. So what if it’s the buffer country between it and India? So what? In today’s world with satellites and jets you can cover off that threat without having to invade the buffer nation.

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  36. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    The only internationally recognised Indigenous people (by the UN) of Israel are the Bedouin.

    One must beware of any so-called ‘facts’ trotted out by Tim_Oz, because, in fact,

    Any United Nations-system body has never adopted a definition of the concept of “indigenous peoples”.

    http://indigenouspeoples.nl/indigenous-peoples/definition-indigenous

    However, as regards Palestinians, there is this from UNHCR:

    http://www.unhcr.org/refworld/publisher,MRGI,,PSE,4954ce4d23,0.html

    Like I say, when Tim arrives, facts depart!

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  37. SPC (5,472 comments) says:

    Tim G

    I would suspect that two states could agree on that little matter of free movement of labour and residence across the border – thus Palestine once established and at peace with the state of Israel might well allow Jews to live and work on the West Bank in property/land they rented off owners. It’s just the land being illegally settled during occupation that is the problem. That and doing this while denying people born in Palestine pre 1948 the right to return to live in their own property.

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  38. SPC (5,472 comments) says:

    Reid, not that many people in Congress could tell the difference betweeen a Shia and Sunni Moslem back then and then some of those that could still did not know that Iraq was once ruled as 3 areas by the Ottomons.

    As to those that did, let’s guess they had colleagues within Project for a New American Century who knew the regions past well.

    However I doubt the plan was to take Kurdistan out of Iraq, but to distribute oil revenue away from the central government (to the 3 regions) so it was a less significant (military) player in any future regional conflict. An inactive (internally compromised/de-centralised) land buffer between Iran and Syria.

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  39. Scott (1,723 comments) says:

    Just remind me what is the difference between the National government and the far left? Gay marriage, anti smacking, and now a Palestinian state! Like when will this conservative centre right government ever actually do anything that is centre right? What is the difference between these guys and the far left loons of the deepest recesses of the Labour party?

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  40. Reid (16,061 comments) says:

    However I doubt the plan was to take Kurdistan out of Iraq

    Yes I’m not sure it will happen either SPC but wait and see if those events do come to pass.

    One thing I keep saying is that Israel’s leaders continually act to destroy Israel and I even gave the reason why on the conspiracy thread last weekend, and this event is a classic. Look what it has done.

    Just like Olmerts idiotic war in Lebanon, Israel once again looks like a bully, a thug, a pariah. This is not its people’s fault. They didn’t ask the govt to undertake Pillar of Cloud. They didn’t agitate for it, they didn’t press for it in any way. It was entirely a leadership initiative. But who gets blamed? The whole nation.

    The whole nation. Now a double-whammy. Humiliated by the UN in front of the entire world which the leadership must have calculated might occur as it was planning Operation Pillar of Cloud.

    If this was a board of any competent corporate, they would be fired.

    Instead, many of you, support them. The leadership I mean. Who have just clearly and demonstrably before your very eyes acted quite against the best interests of the people who I presume, are behind your sentiment of support for the nation of Israel?

    Which I share, BTW.

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  41. SPC (5,472 comments) says:

    Reid, my support is for two states living in peace – I don’t have much problem with 67 borders or the two sharing Jerusalem. (though there are ways to keep the city united while doing this). Interesting that it was Olmert who came out and said that he supported Palestinian recognition at the UN. As of course that leads to a possible unilateral Israel response – such as withdrawal from some/all West Bank settlements (once a policy of a government he led).

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  42. Reid (16,061 comments) says:

    I don’t have much problem with 67 borders or the two sharing Jerusalem.

    No SPC neither do I and I regret there are many who don’t and won’t ever, accept that.

    I’ve always been a two-stater. One side however doesn’t want that. So apparently, it’s just impossible. Can’t be done. Fini. Au revoir. C’est la vie. And all of that.

    For no apparent reason. At least none that I’ve ever heard.

    Meanwhile human beings keep killing each other and most people just shrug and move on.

    What are your thoughts on potential resolutions?

    The way I read it is it’s about Jerusalem and the inability to allow the Muslims to make that their capital, which is what they need, not want, to do. How does anyone resolve that inexplicable dilemma. In these ‘war on terror’ times, which makes it even more tricky?

    You have Jews, Muslims and Christians as the major political forces in the world, the Jews have the Christians in their pockets (as the Muslim’s see it), so the Muslims feel besieged already, two against one. Then you have the colonial operations like BP which started in Iran as the Anglo-Iranian Oil Corporation and there were plenty of others that did that as well all over the ME and in the SE Asian Muslim regions as well. Not to mention the war and all the govt overthrows, all coming from, to the Muslims a Christian-Jewish alliance. Whether or not there was is not the point, the point is, whether or not the Muslims perceived there to be one. And they have.

    This is because Muslims live in history. They’re not like Westerners, to whom 10 years past is a million miles away, they think in generations. And not long ago, in their terms, a lot of Westerners came and fucked them around sometimes quite badly, in terms of the interference said Westerners had on the way their govts were formed and how they ruled their people. Everyone knew for example Saddam Hussein murdered and tortured thousands of innocent Muslims, but no-one cared and the West supported him, right up until he invaded Kuwait. Stuff like that to them, is yesterday, not decades ago, like it is to us. This is why they behave like they do, with Israel.

    So what’s the answer?

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  43. SPC (5,472 comments) says:

    Reid, on Jerusalem I would recommend they consider recognising their equal claim to Jerusalem by accepting all of it is part of both Israel and Palestine. Then talking about arrangements for Jerusalem governance and security on that basis.

    That might mean inclusion of a wider area within this orbit and under a security shield. Thus the city is in no way divided between two states but is part of two states.

    The other problem is of course the so called holy sites that many not Israeli or Palestinian lay claim to – Peres has suggested some UN oversight to reassure external parties.

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  44. Reid (16,061 comments) says:

    It’s the Temple Mount that’s the only Holy site at issue here I reckon. I’m not sure what the detailed issues are that surround it but that seems to be the crucible.

    Do you know what the deal is with that?

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  45. cha (3,823 comments) says:

    The Caspian Rport looks at the Origins of Israel Palestinian Conflict.

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  46. SPC (5,472 comments) says:

    Reid, I’m not sure whether the various (international/religious) parties with a stake know what the deal is with the Mount let alone how they can resolve the matter. Who speaks for the Jews, local religious Zionists, the state of Israel or worldwide Jews? I’m not even going to try and quantify that – letting the UN supervise consultation (while the 2 states co-exist) is the simplest way to make that less of an obstacle.

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  47. SPC (5,472 comments) says:

    This is current and provides one perspective – related to a 2000 agreement between the Vatican and the PLO.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/29/vatican-palestinian-state_n_2215307.html

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  48. Reid (16,061 comments) says:

    Thanks SPC, most appreciated.

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  49. Fletch (6,092 comments) says:

    1. How can a place with no elected officials be considered a state?

    Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, last won an election in 2005. His term ended in 2009. The Palestinian Legislative Council was last elected in 2006. Much of the Palestinian Authority is run by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad who has never been elected to anything.

    The Palestinian Authority has refused to call elections, but found the time to put forward statehood bids. Shouldn’t there be an election before a statehood bid?

    2. How can Palestine be a state if it’s actually two mutually hostile states run by two different governments?

    The West Bank is governed by the Palestinian Authority. Gaza is run by Hamas. Each have their appointed politicians, militias and officials. Each is a mini-state. Despite several unity attempts, both remain divided between two mutually hostile armed camps, which are unable to agree on elections.

    Shouldn’t there at least be a single Palestinian government that runs both the West Bank and Gaza as a prerequisite for statehood?

    3. How can a place that is almost entirely subsidized by foreign aid qualify for statehood?

    The Palestinian Authority lives off American, European and Middle Eastern aid, including aid directed through the UN and a variety of international organizations. It hardly has anything resembling an economy and its domestic businesses are monopolies controlled by Palestinian Authority leaders.

    Shouldn’t the Palestinian Authority become self-sustaining before it becomes recognized as a state?

    4. How can a place that has made no progress in 20 years qualify for statehood?

    The Palestinian Authority has been around for nearly two decades. And two decades later it is not only struggling with the same problems of violence and corruption, but it has actually gone backward in many ways. The Palestinian Authority no longer even has elections or a united territory?

    Should a place that has actually gotten worse during its period of autonomy really become a state?

    http://frontpagemag.com/2012/dgreenfield/4-questions-for-anyone-who-supports-a-palestinian-state/#.ULjFNu67AhR.twitter

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  50. Twinkletoes (53 comments) says:

    Cha – the Caspian report does not mention that the Ottomans voluntarily joined the Austro/German alliance on the promise of having the Balkan countries returned to them when France and Britain lost WW1-_ it takes the premise that Britain invaded the ME countries in order to control the Suez and trade routes and gives the idea that it was Britain who was the aggressor. In fact Britain had begged the declining Ottoman Empire (the sick man of Europe)to stay out of the fray, they didn’t and they lost!

    And used WW1 as cover for the genocide of the Christian Armenians in Turkey.

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  51. SPC (5,472 comments) says:

    Fletch,

    1. Many states do not have elections – China and Saudi Arabia etc. The Prague spring and later Arab spring occured in countries that already had democracy? Israel was declared a state before it held elections.

    The refusal to call elections is based on lack of unitary control over the 67 territory. Not just Gaza but the refusal by Israel to allow Jerusalem Arabs to vote and all parties to contest the vote.

    Given that some of the recent PA problems in this regard result rom Israeli adovocacy for no western recognition of the 2006 election results, this objection is particularly cynical.

    2. West Germany and East Germany were both recognised as nation states before they became Germany and they shared Berlin. Yet it was always obvious that when the Cold War ended they would become a united Germany.

    So even initial separate self government for Gaza and the West Bank would be no real obstacle to a united Palestine statehood later.

    There are areas such as Somalia and Afghanistan that barely have a government over their territory – but they do not lose statehood recognition because of this. It is a recognition of an area where there can be sovereign self government separate from other nation states.

    3. Many countries are dependent on external help, this is not cited as a reason to turn them into dependent colonies of aid donors – deny them sovereign self-government. Particularly when the occupation (and de facto annexation) of their territory and control of its borders undermines tariff collection and trade, both externally and internally. It is of course extremely difficult for private companies/investors to flourish in an area where military conflict can result in the inability to get insurance. The risk has to be socialised in that environment.

    4. Precisely the Oslo Accord process, that made statehood for Palestine dependent on a peace agreement that never came, is clearly not the right course to continue on.

    Given 1 to 3 are caused by Israeli policy and the suggestion of the 4th objection is that Israel be rewarded for this obstructionism – one wonders at the connection between the front page contribution and the Israeli Foreign Ministry position that Israel needs to remove Abbas from power if the UN recognises Palestine as a non member observer “state”. First attempt to de-legitimise the PA for daring to depart from the Oslo Accord straight jacket used to perpetuate occupation, then cut off its head.

    The obvious Palestinian response is to hold elections in West Bank to elect a successor and seek recognition for an interim Palestinian state on the West Bank. Then Hamas and the Gaza problem are quarantined and do not delay international demands for the IDF and Jewish settlers to get out of the West Bank. And Israeli attempt to block elections and intensify occupation would be regarded internationally as an act of war against a state recognised by the UN. The US would veto in the SC but EU sanctions would destroy the Israeli economy.

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