The quest for Palestinian statehood has been a long and unglamorous one.
Over the years various leaders have been undecided on the best tactics to take. The infamous Yasser Arafat was forever putting off the question of full statehood, trying to maximise his political capital accordingly, but the status quo is not tenable.
The Palestinians deserve a state, as much as the British do, the Americans, the French, the Australians and a whole host of other countries.
The lingering, waiting and statelessness amongst Palestinians must stop. They are consigned by the UN and regional states to numerous refugee camps or as diaspora throughout the Middle East, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, etc.
They are often treated as second and third class citizens by Arab states with limited rights and lesser prospects all around.
They deserve so much more, more from the UN, more from the leading nations and moreover from their leaders.
A Palestinian state, along with the move towards non-member observer state, could change the dynamic in the Middle East and make the necessary final status negotiations more, not less likely.
That is something everyone should welcome!
Update 1: Meir Javedanfar makes some excellent points:
“To weaken the extremists we have to strengthen the moderates. Tomorrow’s act will strengthen the moderates in Palestine, who are the PLO and its associated candidates. We in Israel should have been doing this over the last few years, but instead Netanyahu and Co. have done the opposite. They have weakened and discredited Abbas with continued settlement building.
I believe that tomorrow will give hope to a people who have been stateless for 64 years. They missed an opportunity in 1948 when Palestine, which was divided by the UN (48% Palestine, 48% Israel, 4% international territory), as well as all Arab states rejected recognition of Israel, and instead attacked her in order to drive the Jews into the sea. But that was in 1948. I can’t make yesterday a better day. We have moved on. We have a peace partner in Ramallah, his name is Mahmoud Abbas. We never had anyone like him in 1948.
I believe that we have to talk to the Palestinians and bring them to the table. Building settlements on their land is not going to bring them to the table to talk about peace. If the Palestinians were building illegally in Tel Aviv I would not want to talk peace with them.
I am not alone in Israel, quite a few people believe that talking with Palestinians is a crucial matter for the future of Israel.
Giving a stateless people hope and strengthening the moderates who want to work with Israel will be the opposite of losing, for us and for the Palestinian people.”