Recognize Palestine AND Re-Affirm Israel as a Jewish State

Obama and UN: Recognize Palestine AND Re-affirm Israel’s Right to Exist as a Jewish State

American and Israeli diplomats acknowledge that they do not have the votes to prevent the General Assembly of the United Nations from recognizing Palestine and granting it some of the rights of member states. The U.S. can block full membership only by exercising its veto in the Security Council, an act likely to intensify hatred of the U.S. in many countries around the world.

A far wiser strategy is for the U.S. (even better, with Israel) to introduce a resolution to the Security Council providing full membership in the U.N. to Palestine while simultaneously reaffirming Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state. Both sides win. Israel will feel less isolated, and Palestinians will get full instead of the only partial and largely symbolic membership in the U.N. it could get from the General Assembly once the U.S. vetoes membership in a Security Council resolution.

The resolution should make clear that this recognition is contingent on both Palestine and Israel respecting the rights of all its citizens and offering them equal protection under the law, and not imposing any religious practices on any of its citizens. Calling Israel a Jewish state does not mean sanctioning existing forms of discrimination that currently exist there against Palestinians, or against its own secular majority which currently suffers from religious coercion by the Orthodox minority (which gets its way because it has enough votes in the Knesset for the major parties to need the religious groups in any coaliton government secular parties might hope to put together).

The primary concern that Palestinians have voiced about calling Israel a Jewish state is the fear that this would a. validate the right of Israel to continue to discriminate against its Arab citizens in housing, employment, education and allocations to Israel’s municipalities, and b. close the door to the Palestinian “right of return.”

The primary concern that the U.S. has voiced about supporting Palestinian membership is that doing so might end any inclination by Palestinians to engage in negotiations with Israel.

The resolution that the U.S. should introduce could deal with these concerns, using the following formulations:

We call upon both Israel and Palestine to give equal rights in protection, employment, voting, housing, education, health, and all other government-supported activities and programs to all their minority citizens.We call upon Israel and Palestine to negotiate (in a spirit of open-heartedness, generosity and understanding that both sides’ well-being is intrinsically tied to the well-being of the other side and the other side’s perception that it is being dealt with respectfully and justly) a lasting peace, to affirm each other’s right to exist, and, to make territorial swaps of equivalent territory and strategic and economic value — based on the pre-1967 border of Israel, as part of creating borders agreed upon by both sides.

Once an agreement has been reached between Israel and Palestine, we call upon all other states in the region to recognize and create warm relationships with Israel and Palestine and to take necessary steps toward the creation of a Middle East common market.

Nothing in this resolution is meant to determine the detailed outcome of those negotiations or to take a stand beyond previous U.N. resolutions on how to best deal with the legitimate security needs of Israel or the best way to end the suffering of Palestinian refugees.

Israel was the first affirmative action state, recognized by the United Nations primarily out of a global recognition that the Jewish people had faced extraordinary persecution through much of the past two thousand years, culminating in the Holocaust. Its policy of giving a special right of return and special rights to immigrant housing is a legitimate response to the vulnerability the Jewish people continue to face in light of continuing hatred of Jews based on prejudicial views of who Jews are and what we stand for.

But that affirmative action should not extend to treating Palestinian citizens of Israel in discriminatory ways in any other respect except immigration. Israel can continue to privilege Jewish culture and history, while encouraging its citizens to also learn Arabic and supporting its Muslim and Christian minorities to celebrate their own holidays and teaching their cultures in Israeli schools, as well.

Similarly, the Palestinian state that is now emerging should be recognized as an affirmation action state, recognized by the United Nations before it has control over any territory of its own as a way to alleviate the special suffering of the Palestinian people. It should have a special right of return and special rights to immigrant housing for Palestinians living anywhere in the world in light of the suffering that Palestinian refugees have faced under occupation by Israel and in Arab countries which have often treated Palestinians in harsh and discriminatory ways.

Why not turn this moment into a victory for both the Israeli and Palestinian people, and one in which the U.S. emerges as a hero rather than a villain?

Please sign the petition to Recognize Palestine and Recognize Israel as a Jewish State: click here.


4 thoughts on “Recognize Palestine AND Re-Affirm Israel as a Jewish State

  1. Pingback: 3. Palestine Seeks Full Membership at U.N. « Tikkunista!

  2. Read the following mandates from the Koran.
    The HISTORY and ACTIONS of Palestinians and fundamentalist Muslims makes PEACE and Co-existance impossible.

    KORAN commands to kill infidels:

    Allah is an enemy to unbelievers. – Sura 2:98

    On unbelievers is the curse of Allah. – Sura 2:161

    Slay them wherever ye find them and drive them out of the places whence they drove you out, for persecution is worse than slaughter. – 2:191

    Fight against them until idolatry is no more and Allah’s religion reigns supreme. (different translation: ) Fight them until there is no persecution and the religion is God’s entirely. – Sura 2:193 and 8:39

    Fighting is obligatory for you, much as you dislike it. – 2:216
    (different translation: ) Prescribed for you is fighting, though it is hateful to you.

    ….. martyrs…. Enter heaven – Surah 3:140-43

    If you should die or be killed in the cause of Allah, His mercy and forgiveness would surely be better than all they riches they amass. If you should die or be killed, before Him you shall all be gathered. – 3:157-8

    You must not think that those who were slain in the cause of Allah are dead. They are alive, and well-provided for by their Lord. – Surah 3:169-71

    Let those fight in the cause of God who sell the life of this world for the hereafter. To him who fights in the cause of God, whether he is slain or victorious, soon we shall give him a great reward. – Surah 4:74

    Those who believe fight in the cause of God, and those who reject faith fight in the cause of evil. – 4:76

    But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever you find them. – 4:89

    Therefore, we stirred among them enmity and hatred, which shall endure till the Day of Resurrection, when Allah will declare to them all that they have done. – 5:14

    O believers, take not Jews and Christians as friends; they are friends of each other. Those of you who make them his friends is one of them. God does not guide an unjust people. – 5:54

    Make war on them until idolatry is no more and Allah’s religion reigns supreme – 8:39

    O Prophet! Exhort the believers to fight. If there are 20 steadfast men among you, they shall vanquish 200; and if there are a hundred, they shall rout a thousand unbelievers, for they are devoid of understanding. – 8:65

    It is not for any Prophet to have captives until he has made slaughter in the land. – 8:67

    Allah will humble the unbelievers. Allah and His apostle are free from obligations to idol-worshipers. Proclaim a woeful punishment to the unbelievers. – 9:2-3

    When the sacred months are over, slay the idolaters wherever you find them. Arrest them, besiege them, and lie in ambush everywhere for them. – 9:5

    Believers! Know that idolators are unclean. – 9:28

    Fight those who believe neither in God nor the Last Day, nor what has been forbidden by God and his messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, even if they are People of the Book, until they pay the tribute and have been humbled. – 9:29 (another source: ) The unbelievers are impure and their abode is hell. (another source: ) Humiliate the non-Muslims to such an extent that they surrender and pay tribute.

    Whether unarmed or well-equipped, march on and fight for the cause of Allah, with your wealth and your persons. – 9:41

    O Prophet! Make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites. Be harsh with them. Their ultimate abode is hell, a hapless journey’s end. – 9:73

    Allah has purchased of their faithful lives and worldly goods, and in return has promised them the Garden. They will fight for His cause, kill and be killed. – 9:111

    Fight unbelievers who are near to you. 9:123 (different translation:
    Believers! Make war on the infidels who dwell around you. Let them find harshness in you. (another source: ) Ye who believe! Murder those of the disbelievers….

    As for those who are slain in the cause of Allah, He will not allow their works to perish. He will vouchsafe them guidance and ennoble their state; He will admit them to the Paradise He has made known to them. – 10:4-15

    Allah has cursed the unbelievers and proposed for them a blazing hell. – 33:60

    Unbelievers are enemies of Allah and they will roast in hell. – 41:14

    When you meet the unbelievers, smite their necks, then when you have made wide slaughter among them, tie fast the bonds, then set them free, either by grace or ransom, until the war lays down its burdens. – 47:4
    (different translation: ) When you meet the unbelievers in the battlefield, strike off their heads, and when you have laid them low, bind your captives firmly.

    Those who are slain in the way of Allah – he will never let their deeds be lost. Soon will he guide them and improve their condition, and admit them to the Garden, which he has announced for them. – 47:5

    Muslims are harsh against the unbelievers, merciful to one another. – 48:25

    Muhammad is Allah’s apostle. Those who follow him are ruthless to the unbelievers but merciful to one another. Through them, Allah seeks to enrage the unbelievers. – 48:29

    Prophet! Make war on the unbelievers and the hypocrites and deal sternly with them. Hell shall be their home, evil their fate. – 66:9

    The unbelievers among the People of the Book and the pagans shall burn forever in the fire of hell. They are the vilest of all creatures. – 98:51

    Fight them so that Allah may punish them at your hands, and put them to shame. (verse cited in Newsweek 2/11/02)


    • While your thoroughness is removing many Qur’anic verses from context is admirable, the fact that you chose this manner to comment on the Qur’an only reveals your ignorance about both the text and also Islam. Several issues stand out. First, as mentioned, you completely remove the verses from the surrounding context. Though individual stories and verses do indeed merit their own analysis, the Qur’an is meant to be taken as a whole. Further, the Qur’an is intentionally ambiguous and often contradicts itself. These qualities mean that guidance is necessary in Qur’anic interpretation, which you obviously have not received. Second, you have not made clear which English translation you have used for the purposes of your post. The nuances of Arabic and the difficulty of translating any Arabic, especially Qur’anic Arabic, into English often means that meanings and lessons that are difficult in Arabic are doubly so in English. Moreover, I would not be shocked if you intentionally used inflammatory language in order to support your ignorant and ungrounded views. Finally, you have not taken into consideration any further prescriptions or recommendations from the Hadith or the Sunnah. Many early Muslims found the Qur’an to be vague, and relied extensively on Prophetic stories as examples of how to live their own lives.
      What you have done in your post is both sad and dangerous. Beyond an ignorance of Islam, it reflects a racism and xenophobia that can only make matters worse, and further entrench faulty assumptions. I suggest that you try to exercise whatever semblance of rationality you may possess before commenting on something you know nothing about.

  3. Maybe the Palestinian’s could first show the global community what they would have to offer as a nation before they should be granted nationhood?

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