Israeli Leader: Palestinians Should Unilaterally Declare a State

Yossi Sarid, a longtime leader in Israeli politics and an aide to several prime ministers, says it's time for Palestinians to realize that negotiations with Israel will get them nowhere.

They should simply unilaterally declare a state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem now.

He writes:

"President Abbas owes it to his people, to himself, and to us. This week, there were reports that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu finds this possibility very scary, and he expects the Americans to nip it in the bud. But his nightmare is our only chance for an end to the occupation in our time.

When he declares independence, Abbas should call upon the Jews living in the state of Palestine to preserve the peace and to do their part in building up the new country as full and equal citizens, enjoying fair representation in all of its institutions. David Ben-Gurion would not have been upset by such a pretty act of plagiarism from his Declaration of Independence.

And thus, Abbas will become the Palestinian Ben-Gurion. Conditions were no less foggy and circumstances were no more certain when Ben-Gurion declared independence in 1948. But our founding father took the risk, and we are fortunate that he did.

The risk Abbas would be taking is much smaller. Of the 192 member states of the United Nations, over 150 would recognize a free Palestine, and it would soon become the 193rd. Although the American position is an unknown, it is hard to believe that Barack Obama would agree to drag America back into isolation now that it has begun to be part of the world again.

And what would Netanyahu do? Invade and re-conquer the West Bank? Restore the military government in the Muqata in Ramallah?"

Read the whole piece. It's worth considering.

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