Kinsman: Is a UN resolution on Palestinian statehood a step forward or backward for the Israel-Palestine conflict?

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September 18, 2011

Philip Stephens writes in the Financial Times that Palestinian statehood "should be the pro-Israel position" because real peace in this 63-year-old conflict demands a Palestinian state. The international community's promise of a two-state solution is stymied by the Netanyahu-Lieberman coalition's refusal of sincere negotiations with the Palestinians and aggressive expansion of illegal settlements in what would be the Palestinian state. Tzipi Livni, opposition leader, rightly blames Netanyahu himself for the UN vote. Though just a political stunt with little practical consequence, it gets magnified by media into a narrative of political winners and losers.

Regrettably, a perceived loser is Obama, obliged by US Congress politics to veto full statehood, undoing efforts by the US to connect to young Arabs. But Israel loses more, government intransigence having deepened the country's isolation. One hopes Israeli voters, already vexed by the country's economics, will soon throw this unpleasant coalition government out and give Israelis and Palestinians the chance at real peace they have so long deserved.