Recognize Palestine! Recognize Israel!
The Palestinian people are seeking recognition at the United Nations, now that Israel’s ultra-right-wing government has refused to freeze settlements and is refusing to negotiate with the Palestinian Authority so long as Hamas is part of the Palestinian government.
The Network of Spiritual Progressives, Tikkun’s political action arm, is both pro-Israel and pro-Palestine. We are hopeful that UN recognition of Palestine would persuade Israel to freeze its expansion of settlements in the areas that were part of pre-1967 Palestine. We also hope that UN recognition would lead Israel to negotiate in good faith to create a Palestinian state and reach a just settlement of all remaining issues, ensuring security for Israel and Palestine. These arguments are made in more detail in Tony Klug’s article in this issue of Tikkun.
Mindful of the ways that the UN has in the past been perceived as one-sidedly anti-Israel, we believe that its recognition of Palestine should be accompanied by a statement reaffirming Israel’s right to security. Even though the State of Israel has enormously more power than the Palestinians, the inner experience of Israelis (and of Israel’s supporters around the world) is one of insecurity and fear—a feeling reinforced by the attack on an Israeli bus near Eilat in late August. It’s important to acknowledge that fear by offering Israel, one of the greatest military powers in the world, real reassurance while supporting Palestinian recognition and membership in the UN.
Lerner, Michael. Recognize Palestine! Recognize Israel! Tikkun. 26(4): 9.