There is more to the cause than statehood. U.N. action on the wrong set of terms could be a setback in the Palestinians' decades-long struggle for self-determination.
By Saree Makdisi
September 22, 2011
"...What is less obvious, perhaps, is that some of the most vociferous critics of the Palestinian bid for upgraded U.N. recognition are Palestinians themselves. How could it be that advocates of Palestinian rights could be suspicious of, if not altogether opposed to, the U.N. gambit? Isn't the creation of an internationally recognized independent state the goal shared by all Palestinians?
Not exactly. The Palestinian cause concerns more than merely statehood. And although much depends on how the statehood bid is formally expressed, there is every possibility that U.N. action on the wrong set of terms could be a setback in the Palestinians' decades-long struggle for self-determination and the right to live normal, dignified lives in their ancestral land....
We are, then, in a moment pregnant with ironies. With its eye on the 2012 elections, the Obama administration intends, as usual, to come to Israel's rescue at the U.N. But in the act of serving Israel by blocking the expression, however flawed, of legitimate Palestinian aspirations, the U.S. would also inadvertently be thwarting Abbas and company, one of the unpopular and undemocratic regimes it has long propped up throughout the Arab world. And, although it would be doing so for the wrong reasons, by standing in the way of recognizing a state whose contours and purported leadership do nothing to address the rights of most Palestinians, the U.S. might also contribute unwittingly to maintaining the integrity of the Palestinian cause."