Imagine you are a refugee of war, kicked out of your home town and placed in small strip of land of about 140 miles. You are not allowed to leave this strip of land. Your family as no way out or in to visit you. Militants with machine guns man the borders of this land and yet the international community blames you for this oppression. If you can imagine this then you can imagine being a Palestinian living in Gaza.
The people of Palestine do not just want to be a recognized state – they have to in order to survive. Right now – today, yesterday, and tomorrow – the United States has an opportunity to stand for justice and fight for the oppressed. In its request that the United Nations grant Palestine statehood, the Palestinian Authority is pleading with the international community for a level playing field. But the United States will surely reject this plea and use its veto power in the United Nations Security Council to deny Palestine its established independence.
President Barack Obama has repeatedly shown his support for the reinstatement of the 1967 borders in Israel/Palestine, which establish Gaza and the West Bank as Palestinian territory and Jerusalem as a multinational city. This support is positive, but it doesn’t mean anything. The United States continues to supply Israel with upwards of $2 billion every year, and the military weapons that Israel receives for the United States go directly to fighting against the 1967 borders. Israeli interest groups overwhelm the lobby in Washington and politicians in the Christian right preach that the United States’ support for Israel is a direct order from God. Unfortunately, God, it would appear, is not interested in combating the corruption of the Israel lobby, the oppression Palestinians experience every day, or the blockade against the Palestinian attempt for statehood.
Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, at this point in time, are not fair. Palestine is not a country, is not allowed a president, and is not recognized as a legitimate group of people or piece of land. Israel on the other hand is an established nation with clear leadership and billions of dollars to spare in its wallet. Although many Americans hail Israel as the only true democracy in the Middle East, Israel is actually an ethnocracy, where people are denied civil and voting rights simply because of their ethnicity.
Since the United States will not change its political and ideological commitments, the United Nations must stand up for the Palestinian people. Palestine must be defended. Statehood must be attained in order to eradicate Israeli settlements, tanks, and check points from the West Bank. The United Nations could stand up to the United States and refuse to accept its tolerance of injustice. If it did, the entire world would be shook. Barack Obama will not stand for justice, America will not stand for justice, but somebody must. By the end of these belaboring negotiations, Palestine must be recognized as a state.