If the United Nations accepts the Palestinian Authority petition for recognition as a state, then Israel will graduate from occupying another people's land to occupying another people's nation. A land is vague. A nation is concrete. Can anyone argue that it is illegal to have foreign soldiers in a nation without consent from the leadership of the nation? Is a country permitted to send its military and citizens into another country, use them to seize land, direct commerce, construct its own infrastructure, and perform police duties in the other state? With the trappings of a state, the Palestinians will have a solid legal means to evict the usurpers and initiate a trend - the beginning of a retreat by a clique of militarists, virulent nationalists, and subdued racists who learned that distortions of ancient history, mendacity, clever public relations, expressions of victimization, and self-pity convince the world that they deserved to expand territory and dominate the Middle East.
What if the Palestinians are refused a state, a more likely scenario? Will that mean that their ambition to live with dignity, certainty and sensibility within their own defined territory, and their aspirations for nationhood will be jeopardized forever? Will a United Nations refusal to recognize Palestinian rights be a veto of these rights and a semi-permanent decision to never again debate the issue? The case might become an all or nothing proposition for the Palestinians.
The possible derogatory effect of the Palestinian petition to establish a state raises a question: What can the Palestinians do to advance their cause if they withdraw the petition? If all avenues to free expression have been blocked, they can look forward to either passively accepting all Israel initiatives and, in effect, surrendering themselves to fate, or fighting with all means until the body count becomes unbearable to one or both sides.
Patiently, but inexorably, Israel's direct and indirect operations have reduced possible antagonists to impotence - Jordan, Egypt, South Africa, Ethiopia, Somalia, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Lebanon, Libya. Nations have reconstituted themselves and posed renewed challenges - Lebanon, Egypt, and South Africa, with rumblings from Jordan and Iraq. Add the deep antagonism to Israel from Indonesia to India, Iran, Gulf States, Saudi Arabia, North Africa, South Africa, parts of middle Africa, and many other nations around the world, and Israel's attempts to consolidate its present position and continue its trajectory of land seizures will always encounter resistance. The nation will always be surrounded by enemies.
The new Egypt has violently expressed its aversion to previous arrangements with Israel. Can we expect either Israeli occupation or 'pacification' of the Sinai?
Turkey has re-evaluated its relationship with those who wave the Star of David flag. Will actions to counter Israel's supremacist attitude follow Turkey's decision to expel Israel's ambassador?
The Arab awakening is being transformed into a Muslim awakening. New governments in North Africa will contain elements of Radical Islam (Travelers to Tunisia personally inform of a Muslim religious re-awakening). These elements will neither compromise a Muslim perspective on Jerusalem nor retreat from combating Israel's oppression of the Palestinian people.
There is a larger danger. Violence sails along the winds of antagonism. Undoubtedly, when a Middle East antagonist faces extinction, and that will happen, that nation will use the nuclear alternative. Recognition of a Palestinian state initiates a reversal of the trend to the larger danger and saves a great many from catastrophe. What more can those who value life want for themselves and others?