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Should the U.N. recognize a Palestinian nation?
Momentum is building for the United Nations to formally recognize a Palestinian state, which would likely enrage Israel. Can anyone save the Mideast peace process?
 
Palestinians rally for unity in Gaza last month: The U.N. may formally recognize the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem as a Palestinian state this fall, drawing Israel's ire.
Palestinians rally for unity in Gaza last month: The U.N. may formally recognize the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem as a Palestinian state this fall, drawing Israel's ire.
Corbis

With the Israeli-Palestinian peace process on ice, the Palestinian Authority is debating whether to ask the United Nations to recognize it as a sovereign member state in September. Since the vote would be in the U.N. General Assembly, where the U.S. doesn't have a veto, the measure would likely be approved, making Israel's occupation of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and East Jerusalem effectively illegal in the U.N.'s eyes. Israel is threatening retaliation. Is there any way to keep the peace process from further unraveling?

Obama needs to stop this madness: This is why the Palestinians "keep on saying No" to negotiations, says Jonathan Tobin in Commentary. If they go through the U.N., rather than direct talks, they think they can get "even more," maybe even "ending Israel’s independent existence." President Obama helped enable this "anti-Zionist juggernaut" by demanding an "unprecedented" halt to Israeli settlements, and now he needs to call "Abbas's bluff" — perhaps by threatening to slash foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority.
"Can America stop the Palestinian squeeze play? Yes Obama can!"

No, the U.S. should let the U.N. decide this: Britain, France, and Germany are proposing that the U.N. step in with a final settlement template before the September vote, says Troy Carter in Foreign Policy Journal. And "Obama should let them." As Egypt and other Arab nations are forming fledgling democracies, America's siding with Israel will cause headaches for both countries. "The U.S. should admit that it has lost credibility" here and start "letting go of the peace process."
"Obama should let the UN broker a two-state solution"

Israel has to act first, now: "The writing is on the wall" for Israel, says Ari Shavit in Israel's Haaretz. If we don't act, the U.N. will recognize a Palestinian state, and "you don't have to be a strategic genius to understand that Israel must come out with an initiative that will reshuffle the cards in the game it's about to lose." That means something like preemptively ending part of the occupation, with more up for negotiating. There are no great options, but doing nothing "is a crime."
"Israel needs to launch a preemptive diplomatic strike"

 

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