RAMALLAH – Nowhere are the grievances that perpetuate violence and war more evident than they are in Palestine today. But the world’s politicians continue to dance around the problem, rather than confront it. The recent deadly violence in Gaza is only the latest proof that people living under occupation and siege need a political horizon, and not simply a cease-fire: the case for an independent state of Palestine has never been so compelling as it is today.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s decision to proceed with plans to seek a vote this week on recognition of Palestine at the United Nations General Assembly has come despite pressure, promises, and threats from Israel and some of its Western allies. Rather than pursuing the UN route, the Palestinians, according to these interlocutors, should continue to depend on asymmetrical negotiations that have served as little more than a photo opportunity.