The Wrong Address

Here we go again. Summer's not even over yet and the Palestinians are already looking to revive their misguided efforts to find recognition at the United Nations rather than sitting down to directly negotiate with Israel.

Following last year's failed bid to be granted state status by the U.N. Security Council, they are now seeking a more circuitous — though no less illegitimate — path to acceptance. The Palestinians are currently listed as a U.N. observer "entity" with no voting rights.They are now apparently seeking non-member observer status in the full U.N. General Assembly, with an eye toward pressing for a vote on the matter later in the year.

The Palestinians could indeed garner significant support from the world body known for its antipathy to Israel, especially without the U.S. veto capability that exists in the Security Council. But like it's first failed attempt, the move is still a foolish one that certainly won't bring them any closer to their quest for statehood. For that, they need to take the only route that could lead them there — through negotiations with Israel.

The so-called peace process has long been dormant, and is unlikely to get any outside boost, especially as the U.S presidential race intensifies. While some may see that as good news — a res­pite from potential political pressure on Israel to make risky concessions — a stalemate also doesn't bring Israel any closer to where its leaders and the majority of its citizens want and need it to be: living in peace and security with its Palestinian neighbors.

This goal increasingly appears like a pipe dream, which is all the scarier as the situation surrounding the Jewish state continues to spin out of control.

It was no comfort, for instance, to hear Hamas officials condemn the deadly attack on Egyptian soldiers on the Egyptian-Israeli border over the weekend as the terrorists were attempting to infiltrate Israel. "Palestinian resistance factions are committed to fighting only against the Israeli occupation, and they launch their operations only from the Palestinian territories," said a statement attributed to the Hamas Interior Ministry.

Mitt Romney raised a political firestorm during his recent visit to Israel when he suggested that the Palestinians weren't as culturally disposed to economic advancement as Israelis. The debate over whether that was a racist comment or not misses the real point. Until a Palestinian leadership emerges that is prepared to grapple with the task of real negotiations over difficult issues, the Palestinians will never have the opportunity to prove to themselves or the world what they are capable of.

They had one shot to make that happen at the United Nations back in 1947. They blew it then; history has marched on, and that address is no longer valid.



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