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Shamefully, President Obama went to the United Nations to announce that he was standing in the way of Palestinian statehood.
He didn’t give any good reason for it.
Because there’s no good reason to oppose statehood for Palestine.
Obama said that Palestine could become a state only through negotiations with Israel.
““Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the U.N.,” Obama said. “The deadlock will only be broken when each side learns to stand in each other’s shoes.”
But those negotiations have been going on for decades now, with not even a glimmer of hope in recent years of a resolution.
Obama himself has repeatedly said that he favors a Palestinian state.
But he can’t bring himself to agree with virtually every other country in the world—including our major allies—that Israel should withdraw to its 1967 borders and pull out of the Occupied Territories.
Israel, under Netanyahu and many other previous prime ministers, has stubbornly refused to do so and instead, has illegally built settlement after settlement on Palestinian land and has made daily life a misery for the Palestinians.
And yes, intermittent Palestinian attacks on Israelis have not expedited the peace process, either.
But a Palestinian state along the 67 borders would not threaten Israel. Even former prime minister Ehud Olmert has acknowledged that.
Actually, a Palestinian state would make Israel more secure because what really threatens Israel is the almost-45-year occupation. It is a hatchery of hatred for millions of people around the Arab and Muslim worlds.
And sometimes that hatred is directed at the U.S., Israel’s chief ally.
As it no doubt will again, after Obama’s shortsighted and cowardly speech at the United Nations.
If you liked this story by Matthew Rothschild, the editor of The Progressive magazine, check out his story "We Don’t Need More Drone Strikes Around the World."
Follow Matthew Rothschild @mattrothschild on Twitter