I was pleasantly surprised by the NZ Herald’s editorial today backing the Palestinian bid for statehood. That’s in line with popular support across the world. A recent poll conducted in conjunction with the BBC showed the a majority of people surveyed across a range of countries, including the US, support the Palestinians bid. I would imagine the same would be the case here.
The Palestinians have been trying to secure a state for years based on the internationally recognised 1967 borders with Israel. The longer the talks go on, the more that Jewish settlers build their homes inside a future Palestinian state – around half a million at last count with numbers growing by more than 5% a year.
The issues are not that complicated. Palestinians want to determine their own future. They want freedom, just like other Arab states who we back wanting the same thing. They already conduct democratic elections. What makes it complicated is the Palestinians are occupied by Israel. And Israel’s tail wags the US dog. Already Obama is coming under pressure from the Republicans for not being staunch enough backing Israel.
Obama doesn’t want to give Palestinians the chance of a vote, because the US will need to veto it. And that will look bad in the eyes of not only Arab states, but most of the rest of the world’s states which will support the Palestians.
That’s a US problem. New Zealand should support the Palestinians simply because it’s right. It won’t solve the problem, it won’t stop more settlers building on land that’s not theirs, but it’s an important principle.
Meanwhile, there’s powerful paddling to avert a showdown.