I have started blogs on this subject many times, however I'm yet to finish one. One always seems to be on dangerous ground, likely to offend someone whatever your point of view.
Mohmoud Abbas is today submitting a letter to the UN calling for recognition of a Palestinian state, after which he will address the assembly to present his case. This will be followed by Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaking soon after. The US have already stated that they will use their UN security council veto to block the move (the countries with vetoes are the permanent members, the USA, the UK, France, Russia and China).
Now I will never claim to be the most informed person on this subject, however as far as I'm concerned, the time when the Palestinian people have their own state cannot come soon enough - I don't see how any rational person wouldn't want the Palestinians their own state. I am very anti-war, it wastes lives and rarely accomplishes anything. In this case Israel and Palestine need to find a way to live alongside each other to prevent more lives being wasted.
So should they be pressing this? Personally, I don't think that submitting a request to the security council is a wise move (irrespective of whether the request itself is reasonable or fair). The reason I don't think it's wise is because it will fail and given the tension in the area I'd be very surprised if it didn't lead to more trouble and as a result more wasted lives.
A vote on enhanced status however may be just the spark to help their peace processes. To give them status equal to the Vatican and other similar regions would enhance their standing and wouldn't come up against the US veto. It may not be ideal but it is feasible. I am just worrying that the effect of their chosen course of action will have unintended negative consequences.
From a young age it has always confused me when it came onto the news, it was quite clearly favouring the Israelis, yet in my mind the seemed like the bad guys - they always appeared to be the ones holding the cards and imposing their will on people who lived in the same area, it seemed to me like oppression and it just seemed wrong. Since I've become slightly more informed I've seen little to change my mind, the blockade on the Gaza Strip seems terrible to me and the attack on the Turkish vessel earlier this year (if they really did attack unarmed people) was an outright disgrace. I know Hamas are(/were) a terrorist organisation and "the west" doesn't want to deal with them, but that is no reason to make the people living in that area suffer. I don't agree with what Hamas have done in the past, but their actions have always been in defence of their people. I don't agree with their methods but their reasons to me seem valid.
One thing that I've always wondered is why does no-one think outside of the box. I know there are many issues that divide the two sets of people, over years people have been displaced and Israel keeps building in the West Bank among many other things however why do they only ever suggest a 2 state solution as the ultimate outcome? One of the problems always mentioned is Jerusalem, obviously it is holey to both sets of people and both want it in their territories... why don't neither and both have it? I may be looking at this problem too simply but why isn't there talk of a 3 state solution where Jerusalem is a separate entity (maybe similar to the Vatican City. I know this would be terribly complex to administer but the people living in that city be independent, with free movement from either country into it and shared rule involving both Muslims and Jews? I'm probably just naive and believe too much in pluralism and the ability of people to work together for the good of their people.
I've been writing this blog over the course of the day so things will have progressed - I'm nervous but glad to be posting one on this subject at about the fifth attempt. I hope when I wake up they'll have progressed further in a positive way.