The United States should support the Palestinians’ bid for statehood at the United Nations, Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., argued in a New York Times editorial on Friday.
“The Palestinian people deserve a state now,” Ellison wrote. He called the bid “an opportunity, not a threat.”
Peace talks are at an impasse, Ellison wrote, and with Israeli settlements expanding it’s unsurprising that the Palestinians have turned to the United Nations—“the international body empowered to mediate conflict and recognize statehood.” By coming to the U.N., Ellison noted, the Palestinian Authority is pursuing nonviolence and diplomacy. He argued that the international community should encourage that trend.
“No one disputes that further direct negotiations will be needed,” Ellison wrote. But Palestinian statehood would advance the negotiations for a two-state solution, just by making it clear that two states were negotiating.
Ellison criticized moves in Congress “to cut off United States aid to the Palestinian Authority if it continues pressing for statehood.” He noted that Israel has long supported such aid, and that American aid to the Palestinians has “vastly imporved the security situation" for both the Israelis and the Palestinians.