U.S. shouldn’t veto Palestinian statehood

Tyler Davis | Contributing Writer

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For nearly two decades Israel and Palestine have been engaged in peace talks in hopes of ending a conflict that has existed since the conclusion of World War II. Recently, the Palestinian Authority has given up on direct negotiations with Israel as their only avenue to statehood, and last week the Chairman of the PLO, Mahmoud Abbas, officially applied for statehood through the United Nations. The announcement was met with cheers and exuberance within the chamber of the U.N., as well as throughout the Arab world; however, chances are these celebrations will soon cease to exist and be replaced with the sound of violence once again. Although this issue will come before the United Nations Security Council this week, the process is already being seen by many as merely symbolic due to the inevitable veto that will come from the United States. When the United States does in fact use their veto power later this week to smash the hopes of millions of displaced Palestinians living in refugee camps throughout the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, our country will be making a colossal mistake.

The United States has persistently stood behind its stance that in order for Palestine to obtain statehood, Israel must be directly involved in all peace negotiations. This is very understandable considering the United States strong, multi-lateral relationship with Israel; however, if America’s foreign policy goals are truly to bring peace to the Middle East and end global terrorism then the state should seriously reconsider its position on this topic. Currently throughout the Middle East, the majority of the Arabic nations share two definitive foreign policy characteristics: support for Palestine and their pursuit of statehood, and opposition to Israel in regards to just about everything. If Palestine were to obtain statehood through U.N. recognition, not only would Israel’s relationship with Palestine improve significantly, their foreign relations throughout the region would become much less tense as well. Also, a large portion of the violence being conducted by Palestine is being done under the direction of a terrorist organization known as Hamas. Unlike the PLO who have attempted to use diplomacy to achieve a two state solution, Hamas has resorted to aggressive tactics and are responsible for taking countless Israeli lives. Although this organization would not vanish if Palestine obtained statehood, they would definitely lose most of their support and means of operation. Currently, Hamas is funded mostly by non-Palestinians supporting the Palestinian cause. Once statehood is achieved, this support will begin to dissipate very quickly. By opposing Palestinian statehood further, the United States is only helping fuel this extremely deadly terrorist organization.

The central issue preventing Palestine and Israel from directly negotiating at the moment is the fact Israel wishes to be recognized as a Jewish state.  This is a requirement which Palestine feels is unnecessary considering 30 percent of Israel’s population consists of Christians and Muslims, a requirement which the United States should discard as well. This is a petty issue that, in the eyes of a secular America, should not even be relevant. Palestine has shown good faith in agreeing to continue direct negotiations with Israel immediately following United Nations recognition of statehood. Still, Israel and the United States stand in their way. If the United States is truly supportive of a peaceful two-state solution, then when the vote comes up later this week, our delegate should sit on his hands and allow United Nations recognition of Palestinian statehood to occur.