Palestine was recognized as a non-member observer state at the United Nations. It is a significant political step, pointing to a real change in international policies towards the Palestinian issue.
It is also a step towards full membership at the United Nations, but for that to happen, there is need of continued political support, from the Arab and Islamic worlds.
The international community is more ready to accept the idea of an independent Palestinian state, in spite of the Israeli campaign against it.
No state is happier about this victory than Jordan. His Majesty, for the last 10 years, made great political efforts to convince the world community, especially the United States and Western countries, that security and peace could not be achieved without recognizing the right of the Palestinians to establish their own state on Palestinian land, occupied by Israel since 1967, and without addressing the rights of the Palestinians to settle down in their homeland or get fair compensation if they choose to settle somewhere else.
The United Nations decision carries with it a new legal and political reality. According to international law, now the West Bank and Gaza form a state whose land is occupied by Israel; all pertinent laws apply accordingly.
This achievement carries with it the great potential of political pressure from the world community on Israel to recognize the rights of the Palestinians to a free, independent state. To make that happen, there is also need of active Arab and Palestinian political efforts.
This political achievement comes at a time when the extremist Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu denies the Palestinians the right to form their own state.
Israel has decided that the two-state solution is a danger to it. The one-state solution is more dangerous to a country that wishes to call itself a pure Jewish state, that dreams of throwing out millions of Palestinians, once again, to the east, to other Arab countries, and that launches political balloons from time to time around the so-called alternative homeland for the Palestinians, or alternative political options that proved to be impossible and unrealistic.
Israel’s reactions to the United Nations decision shows a state of denial of reality.
Israel tried to accelerate settlement construction on occupied land, to block the possibility of a Palestinian state. It has been doing this since 1967, claiming that the Palestinians are intruders on Israeli land. It denies that the presence of its troops in the West Bank and around Gaza is occupation, ignoring the facts and the history of the crisis.
One hopes the U.N. recognition will pave the way for Palestinian reconciliation, and will block the Israeli attempts and claims to solve the Palestinian problem on other Arab lands. It will bury all alternative homeland or political alternatives.
The Palestinian issue should be solved on Palestinian land; the international community seems more ready than ever to support the independence of Palestine.
This political step will become a cornerstone in the future peace negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis. It will also strengthen the Arab stand supporting the solution of two states west of the Jordan River.
Palestine is the only country under occupation in modern ages.
The Israeli occupation is the longest in history. It is tyrannical, unjust and based on uprooting historic Palestinian people and replacing it with another people scattered all around the world.
The international community, the United Nations and Western countries, in particular, are responsible, for they were the guardian states that adopted the resolution establishing Israel in Palestine, ignoring the rights and misery of the people of Palestine.
It is time for the international community to take responsibility to support a solution that compensates some of the damages done to the Palestinians after 62 years of refugee making, great losses and long occupation.
(Nasouh Majali is a writer for The Jordan Times where this article was published on Dec. 3, 2012)