Last week, the UN passed a resolution in the Security Council condemning Israel for its settlement construction on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem. We also got the usual one-sided complaints from the Republican side of the aisle.
What sparked this “outrage” was the fact that the U.S. abstained from the vote. It had three choices. The U.S. could have voted for the resolution, it could have abstained, or it could have vetoed the resolution. By abstaining and not vetoing it, the resolution passed without a single descent.
The unfortunate side of this is there is a lot more to this than first meets the eye. The State of Israel came out of Palestine. When the country was founded, Palestine was a British controlled area. The Second World War just ended and the world was still shaking over the genocide of the Jews by Hitler and his Nazi cronies.
The idea of a permanent Jewish state was popular around the world, except in Palestine where millions of Palestinians lost their country. We have seen several wars since Israel was founded, and the U.S. has been its staunchest ally.
We have also seen several attempts to solve the problem and figure out a way towards peace. The last was the idea of a two-state solution. Under this plan, Israel would be left in tact and the Palestinians would get their own state.
The State of Palestine would consist of the West Bank and Gaza. The Palestinians also want East Jerusalem to be its capital. Things were actually beginning to move in that direction until Benjamin Netanyahu became the Prime Minister of Israel.
Under his rule, the Israelis started building settlements on the West Bank and in East Jerusalem. The West Bank is supposed to be under Palestinian rule, but Israel has never given up its control of the area since it captured it in a past war.
To place this in better context, this strip of desert has been in a constant state of war between Jews and Arabs for over 2000 years. There was a time in the 1970s when Golda Meyer said there would only be peace in the Middle East “when the Palestinians loved their children more than they hate us.”
That is only half-true. The Jews must love their children more than they hate the Palestinians, too. I believe that the only way peace can actually come to the area is if both sides sit down at the bargaining table and hash out a compromise that will benefit both sides.
If Israel continues to build settlements in disputed lands, and it appears they are beginning to ramp up such building, then how can they expect Palestinians to trust them? If the Palestinians continue to launch terrorist attacks on Israel, how can they expect the Jews to trust them?
Since neither side seems too interested in stopping the madness, maybe it is time for the world to try to force them to talk. Maybe this resolution in the UN can help to force Israel to finally talk peace instead of trying to take land away from the Palestinians.
Befor Israel condemns the U.S. for its action on this issue, they must also remember where they get the vast majority of their weapons and economic help from. The U.S. has not abandoned Israel and it never will. It has been the policy of the U.S. to support Israel and guaranty its existence.
However, it is also the responsibility of the U.S. as world leaders to ensure that some way to permanent peace is found. The State of Israel has a right to exist. They have a right to have their own country. The same is also true for the Palestinians. They also have a right to exist and to have their own country.
I know that the problems there are tremendous. However, the best way for Israel to gain support from other Arab countries is to recognize that the Palestinians have a right to their own country with self-determination.
If the Jews and the Palestinians worked together to find a two-state solution and recognize each other’s right to exist, the tensions in the region would be reduced tremendously. It is the stubbornness of Netanyahu that is making the situation almost untenable.
The Republican Party is about to take the majority in both Houses and control the White House. It is time for them to show how they intend to rule. Making threats against the UN for its resolution and threatening to “punish” the body is not the answer. Instead, they should be talking to Netanyahu about getting his ass to the negotiating table.
I don’t know about you, but I cannot think of the last time a Republican did anything to find peace anywhere in the world, short of invading another country. Now is their chance to shine. But, no, they would rather throw a hissy fit and hold their breath until they get their way.
The president-elect has shown nothing in the way of what he would do in such cases. First he tells us we need to have better relations with Russia, and then goes on a twitter rant about starting another nuclear arms race.
Instead of looking for a way to calm the situation in the middle east, he goes off, again, about how terrible or “sad” everything is without telling us how he will handle things. Sorry, but going to war again is not an answer either.
The world has been living under this cloud since 1947. The explosion of terrorism began shortly after that because the Palestinians feel like they are being ignored and being treated unfairly.
The Camp David Peace Accord was a good start in the right direction. Unfortunately, it never went any further. It is not wrong or unreasonable for us to tell our ally that they are wrong in their actions. Building these settlements on Palestinian territory is doing nothing but pouring gasoline on the fire.
If we cannot tell our friends to back off, or to get them to listen to reason, who will? If Israel won’t listen to their best ally, who will they listen to? Our current President has tried to get Israel to listen to him. Netanyahu claims that is “abandoning him” in his hour of need. That of course is a ridiculous comment.
Unfortunately, Republicans don’t want to talk to Netanyahu with any force or reason. They are willing to let him throw his tantrums and then support those tantrums. But, what do you expect form the tantrum kings of our own country?
We are facing some very serious times. We need someone with a cool head and a plan on how they intend to work to make things better. We have not seen any plans or cool heads from our president-elect or the controlling party. That is very troubling.
We are in the unenviable position where one of our major political party’s are still involved in partisan warfare instead of governing. And, since they are the party that will be governing beginning next month, that should worry everyone.
We and the world deserve better.