Israel opposes Palestinian bid to join United Nations
BETHLEHEM, West Bank — Israelis said a Palestinian appeal to the United Nations on Thursday for nonvoting membership will make peace less likely, and some Palestinians have reservations, too.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas plans to ask the U.N. General Assembly to grant nonmember observer status to the Palestinian Authority for the West Bank and Gaza.
Khalil Ebed Allah, 57, who lives in the Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem, worries that Israel, which gives the Palestinian Authority a percentage of taxes Palestinian workers pay to Israel, will keep its promise to withhold their money if the United Nations upgrades the Palestinians' status.
“There could be American sanctions, too,” Allah said.
Israel and the United States are concerned that the Palestinians are trying to create a state without negotiating a lasting peace with Israel and solving once and for all the issues that have prevented a resolution to the conflict.
Palestinians are “trying to grab statehood without having to compromise with Israel,” said David Weinberg, director of public affairs at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, a think tank in Israel.
Rather than leading to a Palestinian state or improving the prospects for negotiations with Israel, the bid will do the opposite, Weinberg said. “It will harden positions on all sides and force Israel to take actions against Abbas' authority that will set any chances of real peace emerging back for years.”
Among the issues to be decided are the status of Jerusalem, which both Israelis and Palestinians claim for a capital, the details of borders and security, mutual recognition and refugee claims.
Palestinian leaders are pressing ahead, arguing that improving their status at the United Nations will give them better bargaining power against Israel, which they say has been stalling on negotiations while expanding settlements on land Palestinians want for a state.
Hanan Ashrawi, a senior official of the Palestine Liberation Organization and former peace negotiator, said upgrading Palestinian status in the United Nations from observer to nonmember state status will “enshrine our right to self-determination and statehood” and “help prevent Israel from destroying the chances for peace.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Israeli strikes on Gaza, rocket fire, break lull
- U.S.: Russia has fired rockets into Ukraine
- Israel admits shelling U.N. school, denies strike intentional
- U.S. claims images prove Russia firing into Ukraine
- Costa Concordia completes final voyage
- Peace Corps volunteers pulled from Kenya
- Ebola claims Liberian doctor; American physician stable
- Venezuela says ex-general sought by U.S. to be freed in Aruba
- Ukraine rebel leader admits they had BUK
- Afghan ballot recount paused as candidate disagree over criteria to scrap ballots
- Russia blasts U.S. for ‘campaign of slander,’ EU for sanctions