The West Bank then and now.

The West Bank then and now. (Photo from BBC web)

Rumors and speculation are flying about a possible bid by the Palestinians to go directly to the UN to have Palestine declared a state.  In order to do this, a petition must be turned in by July 15. 

President Obama has stated he is against such an action because it is “unilateral” and by-passes the US peace negotiations.  Even the talk of this has led to several congressional leaders threatening to defund the UN if they vote for a Palestinian state.  

Palestinians claim that the US-backed peace process has only led to a more than doubling of the illegal Israeli settlement population and an entrenchment of the colonialization of the West Bank, which is against international law and countless UN resolutions.  They find it ironic that these new “realities on the ground” – huge, sprawling settlement blocs – are now Israel’s starting point from which to start negotiations rather than the 1967 Green Line, which international law would suggest.  They also find it ironic that an appeal to the most multilateral organization on earth would be labeled unilateral. 

Israelis want any peace to come through negotiations.  Prime Minister Netanyahu claims that the real roadblock to peace is that Palestinians won’t recognize Israel as Jewish state.