As bombs rain down on Gaza, Palestinians and Israelis are on the brink of another cycle of violence and vengeance. But, right now, the Palestinian Authority is preparing a bid to the UN that could be the best chance for peace. Let’s help them win it.
While people in southern Israel live in fear of rocket fire, the Gazan people live under siege, imprisoned in a tiny stretch of land. And in the West Bank people are driven from their lands by illegal settlements; their sick get stuck for hours in Israeli checkpoints on the way to hospital; and families are divided by a huge wall that slices through their fields. But if the Palestinians win their UN bid for a state now, it could begin to end the 40 years of occupation, and pave the way for two states, Palestine and Israel, living side by side in peace and security.
The US and Israel are furiously trying to crush the UN vote, and the attack on Gaza may be an attempt to shift attention from the bid and present the Palestinians as untrustworthy partners. But the UK is still on the fence, and EU Foreign Ministers meet in just four days. If we all speak out now, we can persuade the UK government to vote ‘yes’ for peace and freedom. Click to drown out the blockers with our voices of hope via a massive petition delivered through a 5 storey high flag right outside the ministers’ meeting (picture at right):
This is a legitimate, non-violent proposal that would provide Palestinians with a new legal status. And it is the best opportunity to turn the tide on endless US-led talks that do little more than provide cover for the steady illegal colonisation of Palestinian lands by Israeli ‘settlements’. The Palestinian resolution calls for the resumption and acceleration of negotiations. A ‘yes’ vote would rescue the path to a more balanced and fair peace process between two legitimate states.
While the Israeli and US governments are calling the bid ‘unilateral’ and dangerous, in fact the UN, World Bank and IMF say that the Palestinians are ready to run their own state, if only the occupation would end. And the world’s nations overwhelmingly support this diplomatic move away from violence. Ironically, the US/Israel efforts to overturn this bid and their threats to cut off money to the Palestinians are self-defeating as they boost the power of those who want to do away with Israel as a Jewish state.
Last year the US blocked a Palestinian bid at the UN Security Council. But in the upcoming vote at the UN General Assembly, all nations vote, and this resolution could begin to end the US/Israeli hegemony over this conflict. It can’t fully admit Palestine to the UN, but it can declare Palestine a state, with access to a range of international organisations, and give greater international legitimacy to non-violent Palestinian efforts to stop the Israeli military occupation.
Bombs and rockets are killing people right now, and Europe holds the key to this chance for freedom and peace — if we can persuade the UK, France, Spain, Germany to stand on the right side of history and back Palestinian independence, with firm support and financial aid, this could be a turning point. Join the petition and send a direct message to urge our government to support the bid:
Palestinian statehood will not bring a resolution to this intractable conflict overnight, but UN recognition will change the dynamics and will begin to unlock the door towards freedom and peace. Across Palestine, people are preparing, with hope and expectation, to reclaim a freedom their generation has never known. Let’s stand with them.
With hope and determination,
Alice, Jeremy, Marie, Ricken, Aldine, Nick, Antonia, Pascal and the rest of the Avaaz team
Palestinian bid for upgraded UN status (BBC)
Gaza-Israel conflict adds tension to Palestine UN bid (The Times)
Gaza conflict: world holds its breath for first Netanyahu war (The Week)
The US and Israel threaten to withdraw funds if Palestinians go forward with the bid (The Guardian)
The full Palestinian resolution which will be tabled at the UN (Inner City Press)