RAMALLAH, July 28 (JMCC) - Former Jordanian foreign minister Marwan Muasher makes a plea
for Washington to address the Palestinian-Israeli conflict with a plan of substance.
Just as Arabs will no longer accept a low level of governance, Palestinians will no longer accept the continuation of the occupation and the expansion of Israeli settlements. They will not forever hold out hope for negotiations while their land is being taken from them.
Nor will Palestinians wait for their destiny to be decided by domestic U.S. considerations. The Palestinian leadership is therefore fully prepared to go to the United Nations despite Washington's opposition. It's not a matter of defying the United States -- it is simply an expression of the Palestinian people's desire to take their future into their own hands and an acknowledgement of the absence of U.S. leadership on the issue. (And in reality, the Palestinian statehood bid is not even a unilateral move, as it has been described by Israeli leaders and in many news reports, as the United Nations is the world's most prominent multilateral organization.)
It's important to remember that a resolution will not result in a Palestinian state and that the United Nations can't admit a new member without a recommendation from the Security Council -- a step that Obama has promised to veto. But the passage of a resolution in the General Assembly would be a clear indication that the occupation is illegitimate. It would be a significant moral victory and show the world that it can't sit silently while the peace process continues to stagnate.
The United States needs to step up now to avoid such a confrontation. And Washington must be consistent: It can't truly be for freedom in Egypt if it is not for freedom in Palestine. Obama has recognized the sweeping changes occurring elsewhere in the Arab world -- if he wants to be on the right side when this struggle reaches Palestine, he must act now.