Negotiation Only Way for Lasting Peace

September 27, 2011

By Ralph H. Loewenstein. Chairman, Jewish Community Relations Council, Jewish Federation of Springfield, Illinois

The Palestinian authority has stated its intention to have the United Nations unilaterally declare an independent state of Palestine. So why does this matter?

The governing authority of the new state would consist of a coalition of Fatah, which controls the West Bank and Hamas, which controls Gaza. Hamas is a terrorist group that denies the right of Israel to exist, is a close ally of Iran, and a sworn enemy of the United States. Unilateral declaration of statehood would mean de facto recognition of this terrorist organization.

Secondly, the hope of the Palestinian authority is to not only have the U.N. recognize the new state but declare its borders, capital and the key terms of its existence all without any negotiations. This represents a departure from established negotiation frameworks agreed to by the parties and supported by our country and the nations that have sponsored those attempts to find peace.

If it is confrontation and delegitimazation of the only democracy in the region that you want, you should support the U.N. end run. If, on the other hand, you support a two-party state consisting of Palestine and Israel with agreed borders and the security of both states recognized and protected, you should support a negotiated settlement between the parties. It may take longer to achieve, but it is the only way to result in any lasting peace in this troubled area.

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