Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas penned an Op-Ed in Tuesday’s New York Times making the case for Palestine’s right to statehood and giving the reasons why it should be considered a legitimate member of the international community. Abbas wrote that Palestine’s plan to request international recognition in September should not be considered a “stunt” and the move is necessary because “we have been negotiating with the State of Israel for 20 years without coming any closer to realizing a state of our own.”
On Sunday, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was again exacerbated when Arab demonstrators mourning the loss of Palestinian territory to Israel clashed with police along four of Israel’s borders. And earlier this month, Abbas defied Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by reconciling Abbas’ party, Fatah, with the more radical Hamas to create a unified democratic government. At this rate, Abbas is on pace to leave a lasting legacy for his people. —KDG
Mahmoud Abbas writing in The New York Times:
Our quest for recognition as a state should not be seen as a stunt; too many of our men and women have been lost for us to engage in such political theater. We go to the United Nations now to secure the right to live free in the remaining 22 percent of our historic homeland because we have been negotiating with the State of Israel for 20 years without coming any closer to realizing a state of our own. We cannot wait indefinitely while Israel continues to send more settlers to the occupied West Bank and denies Palestinians access to most of our land and holy places, particularly in Jerusalem. Neither political pressure nor promises of rewards by the United States have stopped Israel’s settlement program.
Negotiations remain our first option, but due to their failure we are now compelled to turn to the international community to assist us in preserving the opportunity for a peaceful and just end to the conflict. Palestinian national unity is a key step in this regard. Contrary to what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel asserts, and can be expected to repeat this week during his visit to Washington, the choice is not between Palestinian unity or peace with Israel; it is between a two-state solution or settlement-colonies.