The U.N. Should Admit Palestine As A Full Member State

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Palestine Statehood

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

On September 23, 2011, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas appeared before the U.N. General Assembly to request full membership for the State of Palestine. America’s veto power renders their bid largely symbolic, but there could be leverage gained– like indirect recognition of statehood– in the process. After 20 years of failed talks with Israel, can this plea to the international community be the only path left to a two-state solution, or have the Palestinians set the peace process back by bypassing negotiations? *Panelists subject to change.

  • For the motion

    For

    Mustafa Barghouthi

    Former Palestinian National Authority Presidential Candidate

  • For the motion

    For

    Daniel Levy

    Former Israeli Government Negotiator & Senior Fellow, New America Foundation

  • Against the motion

    Against

    Dore Gold

    Former Israeli U.N. Ambassador & Advisor to PM Netanyahu

  • Against the Motion

    Against

    Aaron David Miller

    Former U.S. Mideast Negotiator, Advised Republican and Democratic Secretaries of State

  • Moderator Image

    Moderator

    John Donvan

    Author and correspondent for ABC News.

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Barghouthi

For The Motion

Mustafa Barghouthi

Former Palestinian National Authority Presidential Candidate

Palestinian democracy activist Mustafa Barghouthi was a candidate for the presidency of the Palestinian National Authority in 2005, finishing second to Mahmoud Abbas, with 19% of the vote. A medical doctor trained in the former Soviet Union and Jerusalem, he also received a degree in management from Stanford University in the United States, as a Sloan Fellow. Nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2010, Barghouthi is Secretary-General of the Palestinian National Initiative, a movement that campaigns for political reforms.

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Daniel Levy

For The Motion

Daniel Levy

Former Israeli Government Negotiator & Senior Fellow, New America Foundation.

Daniel Levy is co-director of the New America Foundation’s Middle East Task Force and an editor for the The Middle East Channel at ForeignPolicy.com. He is a senior fellow at both The Century Foundation and the European Council on Foreign Relations. Levy was previously an official negotiator for the Israeli government in peace talks with the Palestinians under Prime Ministers Rabin and Barak. Levy served as the lead Israeli drafter of the Geneva Initiative. He is a board member of the New Israel Fund and a founder of J Street.

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Gold

Against The Motion

Dore Gold

Former Israeli U.N. Ambassador & Advisor to PM Netanyahu

Dore Gold is a world renowned expert on Middle Eastern affairs, a bestselling author, and an accomplished diplomat. During his career as the Prime Minister of Israel's Foreign Policy Adviser and later as Ambassador to the United Nations, Gold distinguished himself in negotiations with world leaders which included the President of the United States, the US Secretary of State, and the British Foreign Secretary. He also served as a special envoy to the leaders of Arab states.

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Miller

Against The Motion

Aaron David Miller

Former U.S. Mideast Negotiator, Advised Republican and Democratic Secretaries of State

Aaron David Miller became a Public Policy Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in January 2006. He is the author of The Much Too Promised Land: America's Elusive Search for Arab-Israeli Peace and a forthcoming book, Can America Have Another Great President? (Random House, 2012) For the prior two decades, he served at the Department of State as an advisor to Republican and Democratic secretaries of state, where he helped formulate U.S. policy on the Middle East and the Arab-Israel peace process, most recently as the Senior Advisor for Arab-Israeli Negotiations. He also served as the Deputy Special Middle East Coordinator for Arab-Israeli Negotiations, Senior Member of the State Department's Policy Planning Staff, in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, and in the Office of the Historian.

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Declared Winner: For The Motion

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    4 comments

    • Comment Link Omar Monday, 18 February 2013 03:10 posted by Omar

      Dear Larry, thank you for your kind words.I would only suggest let us refiarn from too aggrandizing compliments lest the chest is growing too big to leave space for thought There is an important observation in John York's entry: I think that what is being done in terms of the Middle East peace process is not unlike turning the running of a mental hospital over to its inmates.These people cannot make peace for the very simple reason that they are locked inside a situation that has, time and time again, clearly demonstrated their inability to do so. They are all prisoners of the system .I would like to add the following:The boundaries of the hospital run by ecstatic crackpots are not limited to the Middle East. What happens on the right wing of the US is no less reckless and crazy. And one thing is VERY IMPORTANT: in Netanyahu's count the American Barry Goldwater -Tea-Party right is enough to counterweight the sissy-Democrats with their sissy president and the spineless Europe and its sissy-morals (which more or less at least officially descends from Emmanuel Kant and Hillel the Elder).So postulating Iran-Israel problem axis without discussing the new Orwellian winds in US and the immanent weakness of Europe contributes to narrowing the scope of possible levers to avert the Israeli madness. Let us look how, for instance, Gershom Gorenberg's book Unmaking Israel is discussed in the Commentary by Lazar Berman (not the late pianist). Mr Berman starts with the following: The central question in the debate over Israel’s future is this: Can it remain both Jewish and democratic? Israel’s defenders answer with an enthusiastic yes. And here are the last, concluding words of Mr. Berman: The only enthusiastic audience for The Unmaking of Israel will likely be found among those who are always eager for a book by a Jew they can use as a shield against a charge of anti-Semitism as they array themselves for ideological battle against the Jewish state. Commentary adds a short profile of Mr. Berman: Lazar Berman is program manager of the foreign and defense policy studies department at the American Enterprise Institute. So Commentary publishes a review that is totalitarian in its whole essence: the defendants of Israel (the good people) say everything is OK with Israel, and the others are not only wrong, they are foes. The very notion that SOMEBODY CARES FOR ISRAEL'S FUTURE (as Gershom so does with such a dignity) AND THEREFORE RAISES QUESTIONS ABOUT ISRAEL'S WAYS is declared hostile. CARE IS HOSTILE. Remember? Ignorance is strength - ?It is the true PRAVDA 1947 article. What we only lack here is the Gulag looming somewhere around, perhaps in the new (actually old as Tana ch) form of eternal poverty and excommunication. So the Iran-Israel axis starts somewhere in Pennsylvania (where Netanyahu morphed into right-wing American) and HAS to be followed around the globe. Because the Israelis trapped under the immature governors look with eagerness to the philosophically truer path, linking their (our) scandalized identity with some wise sobriety, for the sake of our survival.Wit all best wishes -

    • Comment Link Simone Monday, 11 February 2013 23:14 posted by Simone

      I was hoping for a clear debate with logical arguments, but instead this was the closest to a yelling match that I've seen at IQ2. It seemed yet another example of why the situation in the Middle East has not been resolved: emotions far outrun logic. If anyone has any suggestions about where to get a clear-eyed unbiased view of the topic, I'd be very grateful.

    • Comment Link Ben Sunday, 09 December 2012 10:02 posted by Ben

      One could make the very same argument, but substitute Israel with Arab, or Islamist, or Palestinian. The problem is the shrill nature of the debate, with people on both sides acting as if this a "either-or" zero-sum game. IT'S NOT. I encourage people to check out the URL I have attached.
      It's not World War II, where one side was a clear aggressor, but people frame it as such. And that prevents people from looking at the facts and moving forward. BOTH sides have committed war crimes, murdered, etc. People on the ground simply want to live in peace, and shrill comments such as the one posted by Jason LeVeck does nothing to enable that.
      BTW, I think America SHOULD be more balanced, and stop letting Israel get away from responsibility. We do need to stop military funding. We need to stand up for a true justice- a TWO-state solution...which is in Palestine's, Israel's and ultimately and most importantly in AMERICA's interest.

    • Comment Link Jason LeVeck Thursday, 15 November 2012 10:36 posted by Jason LeVeck

      The palestinians have not set back a peace process of which never was more than a dog and pony show. You cannot negotiate peace with murderers and warmongers, basically what i'm saying you cannot have peace with somebody who is hellbent of wiping you out. My country, the USA should be ashamed of having been on the wrong side of history and turned a blind eye to the massacres and genocide carried out by israel all these years and also the fact of using a corrupt media to carry on with the charade and brainwash countless Americans against the facts. The zionist's mission has always been to wipe out these other people and take by force much more land than they already have been given. Bottom line is that if you wanna personally be on the right side of things you will fight against murdering civilians and specifically babies and children. There is no justification for it no matter what any BS logic somebody tries to apply to that reality. You either condone murdering people and destroying their lives and homes or you do not. There is no other plank to this, it is simple.

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