A historic triumph: Palestine is recognised as a state by the UN and democracies in Europe - though not by America. Will David Cameron stand with them?

Peace at any price is a non-starter. So too is peace at Mr Netanyahu’s price

Share
Related Topics

So I no longer have to put ‘Palestine’ in quotation marks? Just Palestine. Back to the Ottoman fiefdom of Palestine, the British Mandate Palestine and now the fulfilment – if ever it be so – of the UN’s 1947 divided Palestine exactly 65 years ago to the day, Arab Palestine, which old King Abdullah – Hussain’s Dad – annexed to Jordan. If, of course, there’s enough room for Arab Palestine today amid the cobweb of Jewish colonies and colonial roads already built – and still being built, with total impunity and against all international law – across the ‘viable’ state of Palestine which Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara and the rest of our masters always speak so blithely.

But that’s not the point just now, either for the Palestinians or the Israelis. What both the Palestinians and the Israeli Left need is a substantial Western European vote for a Palestine non-member state at the UN. We already knew that France was on board, along with Luxembourg and Spain. Francois Hollande had done a wobbly in recent weeks, creeping back from his pre-election pledge to “support the international recognition of the Palestinian state”, telling Benjamin Netanyahu a month ago that he wanted “negotiations without preconditions” between Israelis and Palestinians rather than a UN vote. But the Quai d’Orsay obviously thought better.

For the Israeli Left, this was essential. They have been frightened that if solely the world's non-democracies and dictatorships vote for Palestine, Mr Netanyahu would be able to say that since Mahmoud Abbas could only get his vote with the help of extremists, despots and potentates, then Israel would be able to claim a moral victory and brush off the whole affair. But if the real democracies of Europe will have supported Palestine, it will be a catastrophe for Netanyahu. Of course, until tonight – if this deadline is met - we don’t know how Germany will vote. And we all know why.

Needless to say, the Palestinians were already celebrating 24 hours before the scheduled vote. Celebrations are a dodgy business in the Middle East. Hopes raised are always dashed. But the vote should also be a blow to the United States, whose president has followed his usual dog-like obeisance to Mr Netanyahu, pleading vainly to the world that they should follow the Israeli-American line: direct ‘peace’ negotiations with the Palestinians – even as Israeli colony building proceeds at a colossal rate – rather than any form of recognition. After Israel handed Hamas the enormous political recognition of a ceasefire last week, Mr Abbas will need an infinitely more important recognition for all of Palestine in the early hours of tomorrow morning.

The Israelis had circulated the world’s foreign ministries with their hope that Palestine would not be recognised at the UN, and privately suggested all kinds of nastiness if their wish was not granted: massive new colony-building, an end to all negotiations, further withholding of money legally owed to the Palestinian Authority. But in truth, these are Likud and right-wing threats rather than Israeli threats. The country as a whole – and especially the Left, however weak – does not appear to share this far-right view of the world. Peace at any price is a non-starter. But peace at Mr Netanyahu’s price is not attractive to every Israeli.

And by tonight, we should also have discovered whether David Cameron has abided by what appear to be the feelings of millions of British people – a UN vote for Palestine – or whether he preferred the status of Lord Blair, the true servant of the White House, and of Israel.

React Now

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Trainee Recruitment Consultants For Multiple UK Offices

£18000 - £25000 per annum + DOE, OTE £40000: SThree: LONDON - BRISTOL - DUBLIN...

Embedded Software Engineer - Process Coordinator

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare, Bonus, Holiday : Progressive ...

Subject Leader of ICT & Computing

£21588 - £36756 per annum + negotiable: Randstad Education Chelmsford: ICT/Com...

C# Senior Web developer (C#, VBA, Strong Education,C++, JAVA)

£40000 - £80000 per annum + benefits+bonus+package: Harrington Starr: C# Senio...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Brazil fans are devastated while watching the first half on Copacabana Beach during the 2014 FIFA World Cup semi-final match between Brazil and Germany on July 8, 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The winner advances to the final at the famed Maracana stadium.  

The response to Brazil's defeat has been a surreal exploration of loss and tragedy

Timothy Kennett
The Daily Prophet newspaper - closer to fact than fiction?  

The response to the new Harry Potter story by the muggle media is fantastically ironic

Anna Leszkiewicz
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil