Reports in the press suggest the UK government is preparing to recognise Palestine as a state in its own right. Foreign secretary William Hague is...
In all likelihood on Thursday afternoon the UN General Assembly will agree to the request of Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas to change the status of Palestine at the UN from observer entity to non-member state. Aside from the Palestinians having to print a new set of headed note paper, what will this achieve? Unfortunately, for ordinary Palestinians, the answer is very little.
And so finally, with fingers still tentatively paused over triggers and soldiers lined up at borders, a peace settlement was agreed between Gaza and Israel this week, bringing to an end eight days of bloody violence. Even the world's greatest optimists cannot believe this is the end of the story, with both sides seeking to write their own account of the tragic events, and claim a miserable kind of victory. For many not religiously, historically or, due to family ties, connected to this conflict, it can be difficult to understand the intensity of feeling it inspires.
The Israel-Palestine conflict is a defining issue of our time, but has also ended up becoming a primary example of the so-called 'confirmation bias', where a particular position is adopted, and then retrospectively justified with selective pieces of evidence, ignoring anything which may be contradictory.
Whether the present ceasefire lasts, and whether it results in a meaningful longer term peace agreement, is yet to be seen. What is inarguable is that without justice for the Palestinians there will never be peace. Israel's security will only be guaranteed by ending the occupation, settlements expansion, and its resistance to Palestinian self determination. A policy of war-war must now give way to jaw-jaw.