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September 15, 2011 - Image 38

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2011-09-15

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News Analys

Publisher: Arthur M. Horwitz
Chief Operating Officer: F. Kevin Browett
Contributing Editor: Robert Sklar


Building Inspired Summers


Israeli soldiers scuffle with Palestinians during a demonstration near the West Bank village of Belt

Omar on Aug. 13. Some analysts have warned that a U.N. vote on Palestinian statehood could set off a

new wave of Palestinian-Israeli violence.

Palestinian Statehood Primer

Understanding the nuances of the U.N. vote.

Uriel Heilman

New York/JTA


n Sept. 20, when the annual session
of the U.N. General Assembly opens,
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud
Abbas is expected to ask U.N. Secretary-
General Ban Ki-moon to present a Palestinian
request for statehood recognition to the U.N.
Security Council.
The long-anticipated request will kick
off a chain of events that some analysts
are warning could result in a new par-
oxysm of violence in the Middle East.
Here is a guide to what might
happen and what it might mean.
• What do the Palestinians
want the United Nations to
The Palestinians want recognition of
the "state of Palestine" in the entirety of the West
Bank, Gaza and eastern Jerusalem. The West Bank
— an area controlled by Jordan from the end of
Israel's War of Independence in 1949 until it was
captured by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War —
includes lands on which Jewish settlements now
sit. Eastern Jerusalem was effectively annexed by
Israel, but the international community views it as
occupied territory. In total, more than 600,000 Jews
reside in eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank.
• What's the legal process for becoming a
The U.N. Security Council's approval is required
to become a U.N. member state. The United States,
which is one of the 15-member council's five per-
manent, veto-wielding members, has promised to

veto a Palestinian statehood resolution.

• Is there a way for the Palestinians to over-
come a U.S. veto?
Not in the Security Council. However, the
Palestinians still could seek statehood recogni-
tion at the U.N. General Assembly. While a General
Assembly vote in favor of Palestinian statehood
would not carry the force of law, the passage of
such a resolution would be highly symbolic and
represent a significant public relations defeat for
• Is there any benefit short of full
statehood recognition that the
Palestinians can obtain at
the United Nations?
Yes. The Palestinians
already have non-mem-
ber permanent observer
status at the United
Nations, which they obtained
in 1974.
This time, the General
Assembly could vote to recog-
nize "Palestine" as a non-member U.N. state,
which would put Palestinian U.N. membership
on par with that of the Vatican. While being a
non-member state wouldn't give the Palestinians
much more than they have now as a non-state
observer, it would be another symbolic victory.
If the Palestinians can get a two-thirds major-
ity in support of statehood in the General
Assembly, they also could put forward a so-called
Uniting for Peace resolution. This nonbinding,
advisory resolution could provide legal cover to
nations wanting to treat "Palestine" as a state
— for example, allowing sanctions and lawsuits
against Israel to go forward. The Uniting for Peace

News Analysis on page 39


September 15 • 2011

ow befitting that "Summer in the City" – the
vibrant 10-year-old youth volunteer program
run by young adult professionals – now has a
headquarters in Southwest Detroit to perform its magic of
painting murals, planting gardens, tutoring kids and lead-
ing campers.
A $25,000 Robert Sosnick Award of Excellence prize
from Metro Detroit's Jewish Fund covered about half the
cost of the 92-year-old house, affectionately dubbed the
The SITC board – 20- and 30-somethings – isn't bask-
ing in the glow of the Collaboratory, at Clark Street and
Vernor Highway, in a bustling neighborhood. They're
working to elevate the secular summertime program by
taking advantage of having a home base. Enlisting teen
volunteers, lining up project partners, growing service
capacity and raising support dollars is a year-round
effort, certainly.
Ideally, the headquarters will cultivate and nurture
new SITC staff and supporters – so important amid the
growth from when co-founders Ben Falik, Mike Goldberg
and Neil Greenberg led 12 volunteers for a week on a
shoestring budget. This year, the 32-day project period
saw 220 young volunteers, from the suburbs and Detroit,
per day. The leadership crew, many of whom joined SITC
as high school volunteers, is paid partially by other
sources, but the main operating budget of $100,00 is
derived largely from donors, including the Jewish Fund
and Federation's Stephen H. Schulman Millennium Fund.
The headquarters also is a great spot for meeting, mix-
ing and mingling – driving friendships, shaping ideas, set-
ting strategy, evaluating projects.
Time will tell how high the young people of Summer
in the City soar from their new perch with boundless
potential. P

Jewish-Arab Promise


mid the reverberating Arab-Israeli clash over
unilateral Palestinian statehood, a new Israeli
business incubator is quietly hoping to spur
joint Jewish-Arab biomed ventures in the Central Galilee.
We hope it's proof that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
doesn't mean Jews and Arabs in Israel can't get along for
the betterment of their country.
Hadasit-The Technology Transfer Company of Hadassah
Hospital and Medical Organization is the impetus behind
investor-supported Ways, the name of the incubator per-
colating in the Jezreel Valley, part of Michigan Jewry's
partner region in Israel. Given Hadassah Hospital's inte-
gral role, you can bet the project will eye new ways to
bring medical advances.
Beyond joint Jewish-Arab biotechnology ventures,
Ways will strive to promote the entrepreneurial spirit
among immigrants and teenagers who show talent in the
growing biotech field, according to a Globes-online.com
article in a recent email newsletter of the Michigan-Israel
Business Bridge, based in Ann Arbor.
Armed with $2 million from Hadasit and several million
dollars in other pledges from social organizations, Ways
will invest $500,000 in 12 projects each – an investment
to be matched by Israel's Office of the Chief Scientist.
Not every story involving Jews and Arabs in Israel is
rooted in confrontation. Ways is Exhibit A. I 1

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