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

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SAP Project Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP PROJECT MANAGER - 3 MONTHS - BERKSHI...

SAP Project Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP PROJECT MANAGER - 3 MONTHS - BERKSHI...

Senior Investment Accounting Change Manager

£600 - £700 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Senior Investment Accounting Change...

Microsoft Dynamics AX Functional Consultant

£65000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: A rare opportun...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Children of a bygone era  

Kids these days aren't what they used to be — they're a lot better. So why the fuss?

Archie Bland
A suited man eyes up the moral calibre of a burlesque troupe  

Be they burlesque dancers or arms dealers, a bank has no business judging the morality of its clients

John Walsh
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star