What Do Israelis Think About The Palestine Vote At The UN?
I thought long and hard when I was asked about the grass-roots feelings of us Israelis concerning the Palestinian goings-on at the United Nations this week. All the big hitters, from both the Palestinian and the Israeli sides, are in New York for the opening of the UN session. Not to mention President Barack Obama's presence at the General Assembly.
The US President opened with a supportive-of-Israel speech that knocked our collective socks off. The Arabs mostly hated it. The Israelis mostly loved it. Who would have thought?
Almost since his inauguration some three years ago, Obama has been the bête noire of huge numbers of Jews around the world, including many Israelis. Yet just last week, the lead story in the Sept 18th edition of "New York Magazine" was subtitled: "Barack Obama is the best thing Israel has going for it right now".
On the other hand, also last week, for the first time in 90 years, voters in New York's District 9, which includes large numbers of Jewish voters, chose a Republican candidate and not a Democrat. A slap in the face to the President. What is going on?
President Obama's main message was that the recognition and establishment of a Palestinian State must eventually come about, but will not happen through votes in the United Nations. Samuel Goldwyn once famously said: "A verbal contract is not worth the paper it's written on". Apparently the US President thinks pretty much the same value applies to UN declarations declaring a new member state, authoritative as that declaration may be.
My gut feeling is that if ever there was a time to fence-sit, this is it. Israelis overwhelmingly believe that the resolution of the Arab-Israel conflict will only come through a two-state solution. However, I and many others are stunned at the hatred and violence spewed against Israel by the Arabs. I cannot see that hatred dissipating anytime soon. Unless the two sides sit at the negotiation table until white smoke appears. Maybe.
Professor Alan Dershowitz, a long-time sharp analyst of the conflict, yesterday published his views under the title: "The United Nations Should Not Recognize an Apartheid, Judenrein, Islamic Palestine" . An excerpt:
An Apartheid, Islamic, Judenrein Palestine on the 1967 borders is a prescription for disaster. That is why a reasonable Palestinian state must be the outcome of negotiations with Israel, and not the result of a thoughtless vote by the United Nations.
So yes, I want a separation between these two warring nations, the Jews and the Arabs, by negotiation, if it will bring peace. Everyone knows that real peace is the only option. The only problem is trying to define it.
Jonathan Danilowitz is a Contributing Writer for The Propagandist living in Israel