John Judis writes:
The United Nations was founded to make good on the ideal of national self-determination. It’s in Article One of the UN Charter. It has done so at its very beginning with Indonesia and Jewish Palestine, as well as more recently in Southern Sudan. Why not Arab Palestine? And why should the United States block such an effort? I have heard some arguments for why the United States should not favor UN membership for Palestine, but they sound very much like arguments for why the United States should not favor a Palestinian state at all. Moreover, they are the sorts of arguments that easily could have been used in 1947 against UN support for a Jewish majority state.
The United States, it is said, should not assist Palestinians in gaining membership at the UN because some Palestinians still don’t recognize the right of Israel to exist. But guess what? In 1947, there were Zionists identified with the Revisionist movement (parts of which later came together to create Likud) who denied the right of Palestinians to a state. They wanted all of Palestine and even Jordan for a Jewish state; and some of them were willing to use terror and assassination to achieve their ends. And there are still many Israelis who deny the right of Palestinians to a state. That didn’t preclude our helping Palestine’s Jews achieve statehood through the UN, and it shouldn’t impede our helping the Palestinians.