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December 13, 2012 - Image 36

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-12-13

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points of view >> The U.N. vote on Palestinian statehood



Obama Can Best Resolve
Conflict Over Statehood


Statehood Vote Affirms
Threats Toward Israel


n behalf of Ameinu, the
Organization (PLO) offices in
he U.N. General Assembly
leading progressive Zionist
Washington is counterproductive and
(UNGA) has voted to make
membership organization
plays into the hands of those who seek
"Palestine" a "non-member
in North America, I wish to offer our
to destroy the possibility of peace.
state" of the U.N. This has done no less
views regarding passage of the United
than legitimize the two Palestinian
Nations resolution in favor of grant-
Building Trust
regimes that promote terrorism, murder-
ing non-member observer status for
Ameinu hopes that both sides will
ing Jews and Israel's destruction.
not use this cease-fire to continue to
the Palestinians. The U.N. General
How can the world claim to be fighting
engage in behaviors that have caused
Assembly adopted the resolution on
terrorism when it has just declared that
mutual distrust. This break
Nov. 29 by a vote of 138-9
two terrorist regimes should
in hostilities should not be
with 41 abstentions.
enjoy sovereignty?
Our organization has
an opportunity for llamas to
True, UNGA resolutions
rearm itself in Gaza.
long been committed
are non-binding and have
to seeking a negotiated
Our hope is that Israel
no legal force; only U.N.
two-state solution to the
would not go forward
Security Council resolutions
Israeli-Palestinian con-
with new building within
have legal force. Nonetheless,
flict, where Israelis and
the disputed territories.
the Palestinian movement
Palestinians live in peace
Immediately following the
enjoyed a victory. Why?
and security. We hope
vote on the U.N. resolution
Because this Nov. 29 resolu-
passage of the resolution
regarding Palestinian state-
tion gives aid and comfort
Aviva Phillips
can become one more
hood, the government of
to its cause — its actual
step toward making that a
Israel announced
cause of elimi-
plans to build
nating Israel as
At Issue:
We see positive aspects to this reso-
3,000 new units in the cor-
a sovereign Jewish state, not
lution and hope for positive outcomes
ridor connecting the settle-
its fictitious cause of creating
ment of Ma'aleh Adumim and
as well.
a peaceful Palestinian state
In light of the
The U.N. resolution reiterates the
Jerusalem, known as E-1.
alongside Israel.
Nov. 29 vote,
Palestinian commitment to a two-state
Whether this was done to bol-
Consider Fatah/Palestinian
solution, which should serve as a basis
ster support for the Netanyahu
Authority (PA.) President
what's the next
for the resumption of negotiations to
government internally or as
Mahmoud Abbas' choice of
best course of
that end. We hope this will serve as a
a reaction to the U.N. vote, it
language. He falsely called
catalyst for the United States to more
appears as if Israel wanted to
the state he professes to wish
actively re-engage in pushing the peace punish the Palestinians for
to live peacefully alongside
process forward. We also hope this will what it deemed a "unilateral
"racist" and guilty of creating
lead to an end to the conflict, rather
action:' As progressive Zionists, we
apartheid" and a "colonial occupation:'
than rekindle the constant cycle of a
cannot support provocative actions on
No one makes peace with racism or
period of attacks and counter-attacks
either side.
apartheid or colonial entities — they dis-
mantle them.
followed by a period of cease-fire.
Israel also announced its intention
Lastly, we hope this will provide an
to stop transferring the tax dollars that
Charter Revelations
opportunity for all involved to focus
Israel collects on behalf of the P.A.,
more economic resources on the peace- which would leave thousands of work-
The horrid irony is that Abbas' cause fits
ful activities of building infrastructure
ers employed by the P.A. without wages
the lurid description he applied to Israel.
... again further weakening its presi-
His Fatah party still calls in its constitu-
and a flourishing economy rather than
dent, Mahmoud Abbas, and in effect
tion for the destruction of Israel (Article
on the costs of war and defense.
strengthening Hamas. Is this how we
13) and the use of terrorism as an essen-
Think Peace
move toward a negotiated settlement?
tial element in the struggle to achieve
It is my fervent hope that the Obama
that goal (Article 19). Indeed. Hamas,
Recognizing that there exists the pos-
sibility of negative impacts from this
administration will consider this
which controls Gaza, a portion of the
an appropriate moment for taking
territory that Abbas is claiming for state-
resolution as well, Ameinu therefore
immediate action toward mediating
hood, calls in its charter for the destruc-
urges both parties to avoid actions that
the conflict. I believe that it is vital to
tion of Israel (Article 15) and the murder
cannot further peace in the region.
Israeli, American and global interests
of Jews (Article 7).
We have called upon the Palestinian
to bring about a just and secure peace
Senior P.A. officials have clearly insist-
Authority (P.A.) not to approach the
International Criminal Court in order
for Israelis and Palestinians alike.
ed that a Palestinian state be Jew-free.
To this end, Ameinu has called upon
Abbas has said this several times. Nor has
to file charges against Israeli officials.
the president to actively engage with
the PA fulfilled its Oslo Accords obliga-
We have called upon the governments
both sides to forge a historic agree-
tions to dismantle terrorist groups and
of Israel and the United States not to
punish the P.A. for this diplomatic
to end incitement to hatred and murder
against Israel in its schools, news media
maneuver; rather, the P.A. should be
Aviva Phillips of Oak Park is a council
and speeches.
strengthened and supported by Israel
member of Southfield-based Ameinu
The Palestinian goal has never been
and the U.S. at this time. Punishing the
Detroit. She served several terms on the
statehood; it has been preventing or
P.A. by freezing its funds or threaten-
Ameinu national board in New York City.
ing to close the Palestine Liberation
destroying Jewish statehood. The proof



December 13 • 2012

is that, whenever offered statehood
alongside a Jewish state, in 1937 (Peel
Commission), 1947 (U.N. partition
plan), 2000 (Barak/Clinton plan) or 2008
(Olmert plan), they turned it down.

Sight Lines

What then did the P.A. hope to achieve?
Broadly, three things:
• Statehood without signing
peace with Israel and ending the
• U.N. affirmation that all of
Judea/Samaria, Gaza and east-
ern Jerusalem is "Palestinian"
and, where still with an Israeli
presence, "occupied" rather than
• Enabling continued conflict
with Israel with recourse to
international organs that such
a declaration will facilitate. As
Abbas wrote in May 2011 in the
New York Times, "Palestine's admission
to the United Nations ... would also pave
the way for us to pursue claims against
Israel at the United Nations, human
rights treaty bodies and the International
Court of Justice:' Recent events have con-
firmed this Palestinian intention. Several
states, reluctant to oppose the Palestinian
U.N. bid, implored the P.A. to amend its
resolution to indicate it would not pursue
legal vendettas against Israel. The P.A.
By voting to approve the P.A. as a
non-member state, the U.N. has enabled
Abbas' Fatah/P.A. to take steps in the
direction of all these goals. It has served
to delegitimize Israel and demonize Jews
living beyond the 1949 armistice lines —
even Jews living in the eastern suburbs of
Jerusalem and the Old City.
It is a step toward a sovereign terror
state that will share its longest border
with Israel. It may be a prelude to more
unrest and violence, not peace.
The Obama administration and sev-
eral other countries correctly opposed
the Palestinian U.N. statehood bid.
Now, Congress should legislate a cutoff
of all U.S. contributions to any U.N.
agency that acknowledges or authorizes
Palestinian statehood. The U.S. provides
nearly a quarter of the U.N. regular bud-
get, which, in turn, funds major U.N.
The U.N. can decide if it wants
Palestinian "statehood" more than U.S.

Morton Klein is national president of the New

York-based Zionist Organization of America.

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