‘Israel will benefit from Palestinian statehood’

The campaign for Palestinian statehood is gaining pace ahead of the upcoming United Nations vote. The possible recognition is opposed by Israel, but it will have hidden benefits for it too, observers say.

Palestinians have carried a letter to the UN mission in Ramallah, saying their rallies will continue until Palestine becomes a member state.

Israel opposes the campaign and is gearing up for a possible surge of violence, which it fears may be sparked after a vote on such recognition is taken at the UN General Assembly. Meanwhile Palestinians are staging mass rallies in support of their goal.

Washington, meanwhile, says it will veto any such bid if it comes to the UN Security Council. This is the reason why Palestinians are to ask for a vote at the General Assembly, where they can get more than a hundred votes in their favor, says Akiva Eldar, chief political commentator for Haaretz newspaper in Tel Aviv.

“The fact that 130-140 UN members will raise their hand in favor of recognizing Palestine as a sovereign state will mean a lot for Israel, for the occupation, for the settlements. Even if the UN does not accept them as full members, 130-140 countries will say ‘the Israeli occupation is unacceptable,’” he told RT.

The journalist says the vote at the UN will not be purely symbolic, regardless of Washington’s veto threats.

“Even if you look at the chances that they will take Israeli officers to the International Criminal Court in The Hague – that is something that Israel is very much worried about. They will be able to become members of international organizations, such as UNESCO, which means they will have something to say about the Israeli control of the holy sites in Eastern Jerusalem. I believe this may be a kind of a snowball,”
he explained.

Eldar believes that in would be wiser for Israel to embrace Palestine’s accession to statehood rather than fear it, because it will have a number of benefits for Israel. The unrecognized 1967 borderline will be officially settled and Palestinians will no longer be able to demand the right to elect representatives to Israel’s governing bodies, as would be the case if a one-state solution were still on the agenda.