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by Jean-Emmanuel Ducoin


Translated Friday 7 December 2012, by Chrysanthie Therapontos and reviewed by Henry Crapo

The recognition of Palestine as a state will put international law back at the center of discussions.

In the lives of committed observers such as we are, by the grace of news and imagination of a renewed world, there are some few very special moments that impinge upon History with a capital H and influence the sense of our own being.
It is then necessary that the words we use in writing about these events align themselves in an astonishing succession of simplicities, that they advance gropingly and cautiously, learning from the past without ignoring the long and difficult way forward. Whatever will take place in the UN in the coming hours, this will remain an important moment in the history of the early twenty-first century. Everything indicates that the admission of Palestine as a state observer in the UN 
will be voted by the General Assembly. How can we but rejoice to see this change?

Similarly, how can we but rejoice that the historical singularity of French foreign policy on this issue, severely eroded in recent years, is again implemented? After some hesitation, Laurent Fabius has indeed confirmed that France would vote in favor of the admission. This solemn undertaking finds a favorable echo among all those who, for months, have rallied in solidarity actions with the Palestinians. Without this popular enthusiasm, the growth of which we have witnessed, would François Hollande today have had the same courage? Especially since this is just only one step. What is the role of France? To stand at the forefront of the commitment among the peoples of the European Union, so that the old injustice of sixty-four years, aggravated by forty-five years of occupation and colonization, find a just solution. France, a member of the Security Council, upholding values that transcend itself, must also make every effort to prevent the threat of Israeli retaliation and must decide upon sanctions against the regime of Tel Aviv, as long as it does not apply the UN resolutions!

The recognition of Palestine as a state by the UN will allow them to put international law back at the center of discussions. Without this prerequisite, all negotiations will have the same fate as the negotiations embarked upon previously: the strengthening of the position of Israel, a strong occupying military power, with complicity of major world powers. Since the assassination of Rabin in 1995, Israel’s leaders are playing with time, aspiring only to intensive colonization, and do everything they can to strengthen the most reactionary forces in Israel and Palestine ...
 Things should now change. How can the UN accept the continuation of colonization and occupation of a state recognized within its own organization?

The Palestinian people must create everything: they have inherited only the nothingness of destruction on a land hammered by injustice and the inequalities put in place by their neighbor. By ambition and not by simplemindedness, we want to believe that there are bridges of hope toward new horizons. Indeed, the historic UN vote is an additional act toward a future independent Palestinian state, a state as such, with full rights, alongside the State of Israel, in mutual respect, security and independence. Just few days ago in Gaza, we had before us once more the spectre of the great tragedy which, during nearly three generations, has several times plunged the region into bloodshed, and has jeopardized the stability of the whole world. We should never forget. This battle for justice, the minimum, is also a fight for peace, which is indispensable.

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