With Hamas refusing a ceasefire after its rocket attacks on Israel were met by air attacks, Israeli ground forces have launched an invasion of Gaza. [Read more…]
Have you noticed that the Republican presidential candidates are saying almost nothing about foreign policy, despite the huge problems overseas and the current administration’s bungling of so many of them? And now the Palestinians have gone to the UN on Friday, seeking that body’s ratification of a Palestinian state:
The Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, says he will go ahead with a request to the United Nations Security Council to recognise what amounts to a unilateral declaration of independence, despite warnings from the US that it would raise ”dangerous” false hopes and set back real self-determination.
Mr Abbas said in a televised address the Palestinians would seek recognition next week of an independent Palestinian state on the basis of the borders of June 4, 1967, with East Jerusalem as the capital. He noted that the US President, Barack Obama, said a year ago he hoped to see an independent Palestine join the UN at this time.
”Obama himself said he wanted to see a Palestinian state by September,” Mr Abbas said. He said he would not bow to foreign pressure and what he called attempts to ”buy off” the Palestinians.
”We are going to the Security Council,” he said. ”The world is sympathising with the aspirations of the Palestinian people.”
The defiant speech came amid a flurry of diplomatic activity by the US, the European Union and the envoy Tony Blair in Jerusalem and Ramallah aimed at trying to avoid a showdown next week at the UN Security Council, where the Americans say they will veto a Palestinian request for recognition of statehood.
Do you think a Palestinian state might calm the region or make things even worse? If the UN can create Israel, why can’t it create Palestine? If this goes through, should the U.S. exercise its veto? If so, what would be the consequences? And what do you think Israel would do if a Palestinian state comes into existence on what was once Israeli-occupied land?