Palestine recognized by the UN as a non-member observer state

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http://www.ctvnews.ca/world/un-recognizes-palestine-as-non-member-observer-state-1.1058351

The historic vote came after impassioned speeches from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who asked the UN to “issue the birth certificate of Palestine,” and Ron Prosor, the Israeli Ambassador to the UN, who said a vote in favour of Palestinian statehood would be detrimental to peace in the region.
I am honestly curious how this is detrimental to peace in the region. I don't really see any downside to this. Anybody care to enlighten me?
 

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  • #3
BobG
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Even when the thread was started by the creator of this website (the thread rootx linked to).

This thread doesn't have a chance.
 
  • #4
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Even when the thread was started by the creator of this website (the thread rootx linked to).

This thread doesn't have a chance.
I found it's one of the topics that you only want to discuss with your personal friends. Recently, I was working and some people near started discussing this. That poisoned the environment for next two days! (The only good part was I kept myself out of that discussion)
 
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  • #6
BobG
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I found it's one of the topics that you only want to discuss with your personal friends. Recently, I was working and some people near started discussing this. That poisoned the environment for next two days! (The only good part was I kept myself out of that discussion)
It gets down to the very definition of a nation. Is it the physical borders of the country or is a nation a group of people. If people are using different definitions, then the discussion isn't going to be particularly rational - and one can just pick their definition based on their viewpoint of the issues.

If it's the physical borders, then Israel should have consisted of all the people that lived in that area. If a democratic government, then both Jewish and Palestinian should have had the same rights.

If it's the group of people that are important, then the Jews in Israel are definitely a different group than the Palestinians and they can't exist in the same nation without one being consumed by the other just based on demographics and population growth.

Nations consisting of different ethnic groups almost always fall apart into civil war, so I tend to think it's the group of people that wind up being more important.

With, of course, the United States being the big exception. I don't think people realize just how rare it is for people from such drastically different backgrounds to coexist in one nation (even considering how imperfectly we sometimes seem to do it).
 
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  • #7
Evo
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With, of course, the United States being the big exception. I don't think people realize just how rare it is for people from such drastically different backgrounds to coexist in one nation (even considering how imperfectly we sometimes seem to do it).
Could be because religion hasn't been a major dividing issue, so differences have been more rational.
 
  • #8
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It is discussed in the article you linked....
No, it wasn't, at least not specifics. Unless you're saying that giving Palestine access to the International Criminal Court is detrimental to peace. Have I missed something else in the article? I've read it 3 times and I cannot figure out specifically how this is bad for peace.

The only thing presented in the article, aside from access to the International Criminal Court, are bald assertions that this is "a setback" and it "pushes peace backwards." What is missing from the article is specifically how that happens.

I was not aware that Palestine is a banned topic here, as I now see was stated in the other thread. I apologize for starting this one, and understand if it must be closed.
 
  • #9
russ_watters
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No, it wasn't, at least not specifics. Unless you're saying that giving Palestine access to the International Criminal Court is detrimental to peace. Have I missed something else in the article? I've read it 3 times and I cannot figure out specifically how this is bad for peace.

The only thing presented in the article, aside from access to the International Criminal Court, are bald assertions that this is "a setback" and it "pushes peace backwards." What is missing from the article is specifically how that happens.
That was one of the reasons given, yes. Also:
Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird told the assembly that Canada “has long opposed unilateral action by both sides,” and said outstanding issues between Palestine and Israel are “too complicated” to be resolved with a vote in the UN....

“The only way to achieve peace is through agreements that are reached by the parties and not through UN resolutions that completely ignore Israel’s vital security and national interests,” he said before the vote. “And because this resolution is so one-sided, it doesn’t advance peace, it pushes it backwards.”...

"Progress towards a just and lasting two-state solution cannot be made by pressing a green voting button here in this hall," Rice said in a speech to the assembly. "Nor does passing any resolution create a state, where none indeed exits, or change the reality on the ground. This resolution does not establish that Palestine is a state."
More here:
http://www.cnn.com/2012/11/28/opinion/miller-abbas-un-statehood/index.html?hpt=hp_bn7
Obama's calculations in opposing the observer initiative are three.
First, philosophically, ever since we've had Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, the American talking points have been pretty consistent. What matters is negotiations, not moves, at the U.N. And even though there are no talks now, the U.S. position is correct; the only thing that can produce two states are two -- maybe three -- parties talking.

Second, there's no doubt that Obama understands that observer status will only deepen the adversarial relationship between Abbas and Netanyahu, give the Israelis another reason not to negotiate and get the president into a fight with Congress should he support the Palestinian bid. Indeed, that's the last thing he needs at a time when he's wrangling with Congress about the fiscal cliff and fighting with the Republicans about Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Finally, if he is going to consider an initiative on the big Israeli-Palestinian issues during his second term, he needs to build up credibility with the Israelis -- as he's done on the cease-fire in Gaza -- so he can be in a better position to push and persuade them later.
So simply: creating an adversarial situation with the people you are supposed to be negotiating peace with is detrimental to peace.
 
  • #10
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You just posted those bald assertions I was talking about.
outstanding issues between Palestine and Israel are “too complicated” to be resolved with a vote in the UN.
This doesn't address how it's detrimental, it's just saying it's not likely to be beneficial.
And because this resolution is so one-sided, it doesn’t advance peace, it pushes it backwards.
This is what I meant by bald assertion. He asserts that this pushes peace backwards, but doesn't actually explain how, or what changes.
Progress towards a just and lasting two-state solution cannot be made by pressing a green voting button here in this hall
This is a bald assertion by Rice, just stating that this is not progress towards peace without backing it up at all.

Then, from your link,
there's no doubt that Obama understands that observer status will only deepen the adversarial relationship between Abbas and Netanyahu, give the Israelis another reason not to negotiate
This is an angle that I hadn't considered, but it sounds really petty on Israel's part, if this is true. "We're mad that you're recognized as a nation by the UN, so we're not talking to you." That sounds like something said by a petulant child, not a first-world nation.

I personally believe that leaving Palestine in a state of limbo (not a nation, not a part of Israel) was unsustainable. Either they were part of Israel, and therefore should have the same rights and protections that Israeli citizens have, or they were their own country, and they should be acknowledged as such. There was no sustainable middle ground.
 
  • #11
Evo
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The Israelis are asking for three simple things in order to negotiate in good faith.

Netanyahu warned the Palestinians Thursday that they would not win their hoped-for state until they recognize Israel as the Jewish homeland, declare an end to their conflict with the Jewish state and agree to security arrangements that protect Israel
Sounds fair to me.
 
  • #12
arildno
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Could be because religion hasn't been a major dividing issue, so differences have been more rational.
Cotton Mather (the guy whipping up the Salem witch hunt hysteria) was also convinced the heathen Natives were the devil's disciples.
Not surprising, really..:frown:
 
  • #13
russ_watters
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You just posted those bald assertions I was talking about.
Ok....let me try to explain, but we do need to make sure we are clear on a recurring fact first:

This move by the UN is completely unconnected to any peace process.

Do you agree with that statement? There are currently no peace negotiations going on or planned and this move by the UN does not include any discussion about starting them. So this, in and of itself, does nothing to advance toward peace. All it can do is help or hurt relationships that can later help or hurt peace.

Right?

So stating that "Palestine" is a "state" is making a statement that is contrary to the reality that Palestine can only really become a "state" after negotiating peace with Israel (or destroying Israel, of course). Do you see how that could annoy Israelis? Make them trust the PA less and want to negotiate less?

So to me, what you are calling a "bald assertion" is more an obvious reality and a logical extension.
Then, from your link, This is an angle that I hadn't considered, but it sounds really petty on Israel's part, if this is true. "We're mad that you're recognized as a nation by the UN, so we're not talking to you." That sounds like something said by a petulant child, not a first-world nation.
I happen to disagree about what this says about Israel's maturity, but that's just opinions and doesn't change the reality. If you poke someone in the eye, they aren't going to like it.
I personally believe that leaving Palestine in a state of limbo (not a nation, not a part of Israel) was unsustainable. Either they were part of Israel, and therefore should have the same rights and protections that Israeli citizens have, or they were their own country, and they should be acknowledged as such. There was no sustainable middle ground.
I completely agree, but this move by the UN doesn't have anything to do with that. It changes nothing on the ground.

I realize that you are on the side of the Palestinians here and you see this as a good thing for them, to give them international standing. And that may be true. But don't confuse good for the PA with being the same as good for the peace process. It isn't the same thing.

I guess we can make it even simpler: if an Israeli says they don't like this, that means it hurts the peace process. That's really all there is to it. It doesn't matter if you agree with their reason for not liking it -- it won't change the fact that they don't like it.

So for example:
Canada said:
And because this resolution is so one-sided, it doesn’t advance peace, it pushes it backwards.
This statement shouldn't need additional explanation. If peace can only happen through negotiation, then a one-sided resolution short-circuits that process. It seems perfectly obvious to me and it is tough to know how else to explain it.

Heck, this move by the UN, at the request of the otherwise impotent Abbas may not even have anything at all to do with Peace with Israel or statehood for Palestine. It may even just be an internal power struggle.
 
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  • #14
russ_watters
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Cotton Mather (the guy whipping up the Salem witch hunt hysteria) was also convinced the heathen Natives were the devil's disciples.
Not surprising, really..:frown:
I'm not sure what your point is by bringing that up. The Salem witch trials happened a hundred years before the US existed.

The statements made by Bob and Evo about our unusual diversity, inner peace and the possibility that it is because of religious freedom that doesn't exist in places where such conflicts exist are all true facts.
 
  • #15
arildno
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I'm not sure what your point is by bringing that up. The Salem witch trials happened a hundred years before the US existed.

The statements made by Bob and Evo about our unusual diversity, inner peace and the possibility that it is because of religious freedom that doesn't exist in places where such conflicts exist are all true facts.
And Americans were still happily exterminating heathen natives, well into the nineteenth century.
 
  • #16
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With, of course, the United States being the big exception. I don't think people realize just how rare it is for people from such drastically different backgrounds to coexist in one nation (even considering how imperfectly we sometimes seem to do it).
I'm not sure what your point is by bringing that up. The Salem witch trials happened a hundred years before the US existed.

The statements made by Bob and Evo about our unusual diversity, inner peace and the possibility that it is because of religious freedom that doesn't exist in places where such conflicts exist are all true facts.
Responding to if the US is really an exception:
Immigrants coming to the US are usually well off and second have not yet established long enough. So, comparing the US/Canada multicultural societies to countries like Israel-Pales or India or Russia is like apples to oranges IMO. In other countries, people coexisted for many many centuries and almost annihilated each other.

I find this topic much interesting than Israel-Pales in which I haven't seen anything new. Same people making same comments.
 
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  • #17
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This move by the UN is completely unconnected to any peace process.

Do you agree with that statement?
I would like to agree with that, but everything in the articles we've posted have been claiming this will hurt the peace process. In fact, the point I've been making is that this will neither help nor hurt the peace process. It is, as you say, unconnected.

If the point is that Israel doesn't like recognizing that Palestine is a state, I can agree with that. But Israel doesn't like Palestine anyway, so I don't see how that changes anything. Don't tell me that Israel is willing to negotiate with Palestinians that lob missiles at them, but as soon as they try to become recognized as a country, THAT'S what crosses the line.

I also disagree that Palestine can only be considered a "state" after negotiating peace with Israel. Was the United States born on July 4th, 1776? Or was it born September 3rd, 1783 with the signing of the Treaty of Paris? Right now, the international community recognizes Palestine as a state. That's good enough for me.
 
  • #18
russ_watters
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And Americans were still happily exterminating heathen natives, well into the nineteenth century.
I don't think Manifest Destiny had anything to do with religion: we wanted the land.
 
  • #19
russ_watters
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In other countries, people coexisted for many many centuries and almost annihilated each other.
That is true. I'm much more cynical about war than to think it tends to be about religion. Religion is just a cover story for fighting over land, IMO, and in the US we don't have people fighting over land like that.
 
  • #20
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A possible bright spot here:

This move could strengthen Abbas's more moderate Palestinian Authority at the expense of the more violent Hamas.
 
  • #21
russ_watters
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I would like to agree with that, but everything in the articles we've posted have been claiming this will hurt the peace process. In fact, the point I've been making is that this will neither help nor hurt the peace process. It is, as you say, unconnected.
That's a mischaracterization of my post. My point was that because this is not directly related to any peace process, the indirect effect is that it will later get in the way. Can you not see beyond the direct effect to the indirect effect?
If the point is that Israel doesn't like recognizing that Palestine is a state, I can agree with that. But Israel doesn't like Palestine anyway, so I don't see how that changes anything.
It isn't a binary proposition, it is a process. That's why they call it a "peace process".
Don't tell me that Israel is willing to negotiate with Palestinians that lob missiles at them, but as soon as they try to become recognized as a country, THAT'S what crosses the line.
Er, no, that's not what is happening. Israel is not willing to negotiate with Palestinians that lob missiles at them. That's one of the main sticking points preventing negotiations right now.
I also disagree that Palestine can only be considered a "state" after negotiating peace with Israel. Was the United States born on July 4th, 1776? Or was it born September 3rd, 1783 with the signing of the Treaty of Paris? Right now, the international community recognizes Palestine as a state. That's good enough for me.
The United States was born on March 4, 1789, with the ratification of the US Constitution. Good example: the Palestinians are in a very similar sort of limbo as the colonists were in between 1776 and 1789. Negotiating peace is one of two steps, the other is to form a viable government. I'm not certain of which order they have to happen in, though.

However, the entire point of the Revolutionary War was to settle the colonists' claim in 1776 that they were an independent nation. The claim isn't settled until the war ends and the British accept that it has ended!

A few countries -- most notably, France -- chose to recognize the US as an excuse to enter the war. No doubt, you can see that that worked out better for the US than it did for Britain.

[edit] Quick clarification of a point that I don't think is a mere technicality:

The first government of "The United States" was under the Articles of Confederation. The "United States" was thus a confederation of independent states/countries ("league of friendship" in the text of the Articles), not a country. Not unlike the EU, really, but in some ways even weaker, as it didn't abolish independent state currencies. The ratification of the Constitution changed us from a confederation into a country.
 
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  • #22
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That is true. I'm much more cynical about war than to think it tends to be about religion. Religion is just a cover story for fighting over land, IMO, and in the US we don't have people fighting over land like that.
In Canada, we have something similar. There are cities where almost everyone is just Chinese and cities where all are Indians etc. Whites usually move out of these areas voluntarily. The immigrants cities grow really really fast! There appear to be some tensions but people take these things lightly for now. Will this be same in a century or so from now?
 
  • #23
arildno
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I don't think Manifest Destiny had anything to do with religion: we wanted the land.
I guess you are right.
 
  • #24
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The war is over and has been for a long time. Israel has 80 nukes and a cutting edge military thanks in no small part to US support. Egypt and Syria are too busy fighting their own internal battles, Libya too busy rebuilding, Iraq conquered, and the only ones left to give Israel grief is Iran. In Iran's case the US economic sanctions and blockades have weakened their military severely and invasion is a forgone conclusion.

Close to 100,000 Palestinians work for Israel and the number has been increasing in recent years, some war. A good friend of mine lived on Kibbutz for years and saw children as young as five years old harvesting crops. They have basically become Israel's ghetto just as Mexico has become a ghetto for the US. The place where you get slave labor, cheap goods, and illegal trafficking. Like any good ghetto you build walls around it and when the occupants riot you send the cops in to trash the place.

The UN recognizing the Palestinians is merely more political doublespeak that denies the reality of the situation and helps to perpetuate the lie that this is a war and the Palestinians have any chance whatsoever. The US military is now equal to the next six largest in the world combined and spends twice as much as any of them. The minute this ghetto started rioting we sent in the fleet to make sure things didn't get out of hand the natives didn't rock the boat too hard. If it become necessary in Mexico we'll do the same thing again because it's empire baby and this train ain't stopping until it derails.
 
  • #25
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I agree with russ watters' views on this. I also think that Netanyahu's position is the best for Israel and that the US should and will remain committed to supporting Israel's interests.

I'll just add that I think that Arab Muslims don't have much of a future in the Palestine region, unless they're resigned to living in isolated communities whose borders are controlled by Israeli forces.

The Arab Muslims and the Israeli Jews have wanted the same land since long before the 1947 partitioning. I expect that the current situation with steady annexation and control of sparsely populated areas by Israeli settlers will continue for a long time. I don't see any sort of 'two-state solution' as ever happening. Israel can't afford to allow it.

The best move for the Arab Muslims remaining in the Palestine region is, imo, to emigrate to the Arab Muslim states that border Palestine. As russ watters noted, this recent UN resolution just accentuates the adversarial situation (which is a losing situation for Palestinian Arab Muslims) and therefore has to hurt any sort of peace process which would have to be based on mutual concessions.

Finally, I think that the Israeli Jews have a legitimate historical claim to Palestine. Palestine was the Kingdom of Israel long before the Islamic faithful set about converting, subjugating and killing infidels.
 

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