Palestinians need to be listened to in a different court

Forty four years of negotiations have got the Palestinians nowhere. They live under occupation, their daily lives made deliberately difficult by a bullying occupier. In reality they are being taken for a ride by a determined, ruthless right-wing Israeli government that has, up until now, no intention of entertaining any more negotiations. But the Arab awakening and the Palestinian’s determination to apply for statehood at the UN has changed the dynamic.

What the Palestinians are asking for is for their case to be heard in a different court. That is what the UN application will deliver. It won’t bring about any instant change because the US will veto their application in the Security Council, but the UN General Assembly will be able to demonstrate their support for a Palestinian state. What should follow is new negotiations leading to approval of a Palestinian state by the whole UN Security Council.

Any new negotiations need to be concluded within a very short time frame. There can be no more obfuscation and prevarication by the Israelis. Enough is enough. At the end of the process the Palestinians should re apply for full membership status and the US need to agree not to veto that application – whatever the outcome of the negotiations – in fact they need to make it clear that this is what they would do. It might be the only way to get them out of their current predicament.


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