One powerful way to demonstrate Israel’s commitment to a future together with the Palestinian People would if Israel took the lead and sponsored a Palestinian State in the United Nations.
This bold and decisive measure would show that Israel is indeed prepared to have the Palestinian people living in their own land with control over their destiny as a neighbor and partner in peace.
The original UN Partition Plan called for the establishment of two states. Sadly, its rejection and the ensuing war left the Palestinian State stillborn. The bitter state of affairs has remained. By declaring support of the Palestinian State now, Israel would show its real commitment to a two-state solution.
In many respects, it is the internal issue that is at the crux of Israel’s problem; Israel has not determined in her own heart the status of the West Bank, aka Judea and Samaria, or East Jerusalem. Until Israel can articulate its position vis-a-vis this land, Israel is unable to move forward, mired in her own internal struggle with what she understands herself to be. If Israel can offer most of the West Bank to the Palestinians, the time to do it is now.
Recognition of a Palestinian State does not end the conflict between the two peoples. Those who believe only in the eradication of Israel will remain a voice of trouble. However, giving hope to the Palestinian people by supporting them in their homeland, offering hope and prosperity can marginalize these destructive voices. Peaceful coexistence is more important than a perpetual state of hostility that only serves to kill too many of our children.
This vision of the future will take great time, patience and resources. Too many have a vested interest in maintaining belligerence. Israel must remain vigilant in protecting herself with secure borders and acting decisively in the face of threats to her people or her existence. Supporting the creation of the State of Palestine does not deter Israel from protecting her self-interests. It does precisely the opposite; a perpetual state of war cannot end well for either side, nor can a perpetual state of occupation. The only way to live together is to try, to have the courage and the strength to lead by example and support the legitimate hopes and aspirations of the Palestinian people to have a say in their own destiny and possibly learn to live side by side with their Israeli neighbors.