Letters to the Editor
Palestinians deserve to be independent state
I wholeheartedly endorse the Palestinians' renewed push for enhanced UN status, which deserves full support of the global community. Distribution of the Draft Resolution to all 193 members asks for recognition of their legitimate claim to become an independent sovereign state, including the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, occupied by Israel since the 1967 Six-Day War.
In the UN General Assembly, there are no veto powers to thwart their long overdue just cause for freedom. The draft resolution "reaffirms the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination on the basis of the pre-1967 borders", and recognises the need for negotiations and a flexible willingness to compromise in order to achieve a two-state solution that can only be possible through peace talks and fair negotiation, headed by the quartet of the European Union, Russia, the UN and the US.
Israel desperately needs a two-state solution if it is to remain essentially Jewish and democratic, a position passionately advocated by Simon Peres, Ehud Barack, Tzipi Livni and 81 per cent of Jewish Americans. Resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is also a vital part of the US national interest. The question is not if, but when. It's high time for President Obama to pave the way toward a two-state solution to resolve the stalemate, for the sake of the Middle East as a whole.
Being a "non-member observer state" - a status held by the Vatican - would improve their chances of joining UN agencies and allow participation in General Assembly debates. Key issues to be reconciled include the status of Jerusalem, the fate of the illegal settlements, the precise location of borders, the right of return of Palestinian refugees, water rights and security arrangements.