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Palestinian President Mahoud Abbas put a formal request in to the United Nations to secure an independent state of Palestine last Friday. The request has created controversy, as Israel does not believe that an independent state of Palestine will not aid toward peace in the Middle East.
On Friday September 16, the United Nation’s General Assembly met to discuss the possibility of a Palestinian state. President Abbas addressed the assembly, saying “The PLO is ready to return immediately to the negotiating table on the basis of the adopted terms of reference based on international legitimacy and the complete cessation of settlement activity.” Abbas was saying that he wants Israel to stop settling on Palestinian territory and to agree to the establishment of their nation.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu disagreed with Abbas’ statement in his address to the assembly. “I didn’t come here to gain applause, I came here to speak the truth. The truth is that Israel wants peace…peace must be anchored in security. The truth is that we cannot achieve peace through U.N resolutions but only between direct negotiations between the parties. The truth is that so far the Palestinians have refused to negotiate. Israel wants peace with the Palestinian state, the Palestinians want a state without peace. And the truth is you shouldn’t let that happen.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu also mentioned the 10,000 missiles and grad rockets that were supplied to Palestine by Iran, adding fuel to the question, if Palestine is given independent statehood, will there be peace between Israel and Palestine?
President Obama also weighed in on this issue at the assembly meeting. He spoke about lasting elements of peace, saying “I believe…that the Palestinian people deserve a state of their own. But…a genuine peace can only be realized between the Israelis and the Palestinians themselves.”
Palestine has had a long standing enmity with Israel since the end of WWI when a national Jewish homeland (Israel) was created on territory once belonging to Palestine. The Palestinians were forced out of their land, thus creating one of the major contributions to the conflicts going on in the Middle East.
Palestine and Israel have not been able to come to a peace agreement. Each side has its own arguments: Israel feels there should be peace before an independent state of Palestine is formed, and Palestine feels it should be granted statehood and then work out the differences it has with Israel on their own.
After President Abbas made his speech he formally requested that Palestine be given full membership to the United Nations and declared an independent state. The decision is now in the hands of the U.N’s Security Council who will hold a meeting to decide the fate of the Nation of Palestine.