RAMALLAH, June 25 (JMCC) - Four Israelis, writing in
the New York Times
opinion pages, have proposed that Israel and the United States embrace the Palestinian move to have statehood recognized by the United Nations in September.
The Palestinians under Mahmoud Abbas want the United Nations to grant them a sovereign state based on the 1967 boundaries with East Jerusalem as its capital. That’s all. It is not asking the U.N. to solve the refugee /right-of-return issue or to determine who owns the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. It is opting to convert an intractable conflict between a state and a liberation movement into a state-to-state conflict with manageable parameters.
Why not offer the Palestinians what they want, but add elements that could render the resolution acceptable to a majority of Israelis?
Israel wants acceptance as a Jewish state with its recognized capital in Jerusalem. It needs assurances regarding the nature and priorities of future negotiations, with the truly intractable issues postponed to a later phase. It needs solid security arrangements, understandings regarding Hamas rule in Gaza, and a viable incentive from an Arab world that has long offered to reward it for moving forward with the Palestinians.
The authors go on to list the points that they believe Palestinians and Israelis could agree on in a draft UN resolution.
Both the US and Israel have come out opposed to any move by the UN to legitimize Palestinian statehood, saying instead that only negotiations can resolve the conflict.
(Disclosure: An author of this opinion piece, Yossi Alpher, is engaged in producing the various bitterlemons publications alongside the JMCC.