The United States broke ranks with most of the Western world, our allies in Europe and in France included, to oppose the forward movement of Palestine toward formal statehood in the assessment of the United Nations.
It is noteworthy that the vote to upgrade Palestine from an “entity” to a “non-member state” was anything but close. One hundred and thirty eight members of the UN voted for the change in status; only nine, including the United States, voted against. This imbalance gives us cause for concern.
The differences in status between the Arab and Jewish states have been an unpleasant issue for some 65 years. In 1947, a plan was proposed that provided some progress in protecting economic and religious rights, but it was rejected by the leaders of the Arab community. Based on that proposal and rejection, wars have been fought, and the plan never came to fruition. In 2011, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas indicated a belief that the rejection was a mistake, and subject to rectification.
The United States has given reasons for the no-vote, but they seem more like excuses than reasons. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the Brookings Institution that the resolution will “do nothing to advance the peace and the two-state solution we all want to see.”
The United States rightfully stands in every case staunchly behind the Jewish community. Jews are the leaders of many of the most relevant aspects of our modern world. Without the Jewish community, the motion picture industry, television, media, theater — the vast culture of our modern world would be far less than it is. They lead, not slightly, but significantly.
But we might have learned from the intellectual community that emotion distorts, it doesn’t clarify. Decisions should be made from a foundation of reason and objectivity. If we reject the rights of the Palestinians out of an emotional bond with the Jewish community, are we not ignoring the very precepts they advance?
Observers have suggested that the Palestinians are remnants of an earlier time; primitives, not to be taken seriously. They can be ignored and maltreated without remorse. Never mind their modern cities, universities, philosophies. Such thinking is not consistent with the role America strives for in the world.
I haven’t traveled to Jerusalem, and am less well versed on this issue than are many wise buffs. I contain this article in “There, I Said It!” and I may be wrong; out of my depth. If so, I look forward to any commentary that may come of it.