Palestine Via The UN: For And Against

Reza Aslan, for the proposition:

Israel maintains that the Palestinians cannot declare statehood and seal it through the U.N. Yet the Palestinians are merely following the trail blazed by Israel six decades ago. In 1948, after the U.N. voted for the partition of Palestine, debate among the world powers about how to divide the land dragged on and violence between Jews and Arabs grew worse. The Jewish Agency simply preempted negotiations and unilaterally declared the state of Israel; the United States immediately recognized it, and the U.N. accepted Israeli sovereignty the following year. The Palestinian Authority has come to the same conclusion that the Jews apparently came to in 1948: Negotiations will not lead to an independent state; the only way forward is unilateral action.

Robert Danin counters:

Having defied Israel, the United States, and possibly parts of Europe, the Palestinian leadership's UN gambit would cast them as acting unilaterally, a charge Israel has generally suffered. Palestinians' alleged provocative behavior would rapidly increase tensions on the ground, creating an extremely combustible environment. Meanwhile, a failure at the UN could easily spark violence on the Palestinian side as dashed expectations lead to rage. It would also deal the Palestinian leadership a huge public embarrassment. Such a development would be tragic, given the successes of the effort led by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to build the Palestinian state from the ground up in the past few years.

Michael Cohen worries that the two-state solution may be sunk for good.