Palestine is already “operating above the threshold of a functioning state in key areas,” announced the German government in May of 2011. It is a critical test of honor for states’ governments to approve elevating the Palestinian Authority to the position of an “observer state” at the United Nations. The UN General Assembly is obliged under its own rules to decide to elevate the Palestinian delegation from simple observers to a fully recognized “observer state” on the same level as the Holy See–the Roman Catholic Church.
Let’s be honest. The so called “peace negotiations” between Israel and the Palestinians have bogged down and are going no where. Israel has been violating its own commitments not to build settlements in the West Bank and the Palestinians have violated their own commitments not to use violence against the Israelis. Political movement is only possible if the Palestinians can leverage their status in the international community even if the United States continues its efforts to block UN recognition.
It is time for all parties to recognize that the Palestinian State exists as a practical matter thanks to substantial political and economic support given by countries like Germany and the Netherlands over the last ten years. Compromises will now need to be made with the full expectation that Palestine will become an internationally recognized political community. There will be difficult times ahead for Israel and Palestine, but at least the Palestinians will have acted honorably and in a manner consistent with internationally established and recognized standards–not through the barrel of a gun.