Gulf News (Editorial)
July 18, 2011 - 12:00am

It is right that Palestine goes to the United Nations and seeks international recognition as a sovereign state. This is something that should happen without questions and starting that process should not be included in the increasingly bizarre bargaining process between the Palestinians and the ruthless Netanyahu government.

The so-called peace process has ground to a complete standstill, and neither the Israelis nor the US government is interested in restarting it.

The statehood of the Palestinians should be recognised by the world at large, even if that state has disputed borders and is largely occupied at the time of international recognition.

The Arab League finally agreed last week to support the Palestinians' demand to be recognised. It has taken far too long for the League to get this far, and it is important that it speaks with a united voice when the issue comes to the UN General Assembly.

It is important to note that recognition will not change anything on the ground, and the Palestinians should not allow their demand for international recognition to distract them from their main tasks. The reconciliation process between Hamas and Fatah still has to continue, and move to a far more durable solution than they have managed at present.

The split in the Palestinian leadership was a gift to the Israelis that the Palestinians should avoid at all costs. And the Israelis still have to withdraw from the Occupied Territories, taking their illegal colonies with them.

After international recognition, the Israelis will still face the same demands for a just and long-lasting peace based on complete Israeli withdrawal in return for complete peace. But what will change is that the Palestinians will know that they are seen by the community of nations as a nation in their own right.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017