Palestinians should come back to the negotiating table

April 23, 2011

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SINCE A Palestinian state can only be established through negotiations with Israel, UN approval of a state would merely be symbolic (“Palestinians to seek UN statehood approval in September; Abbas says he will take petition to General Assembly,’’ Foreign, April 19). It would, however, encourage Palestinians to believe they can win their maximal positions rather than having to negotiate and compromise.

If Palestinians were interested in achieving a settlement with Israel — rather than trying to get more international attention — they would come to the negotiating table as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly invited them to do. In 2009, Netanyahu made a unilateral first gesture by imposing a 10-month moratorium on settlement construction, an opportunity that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas squandered by refusing to meet with him until just before the moratorium was due to expire.

Countries interested in a two-state solution should be encouraging the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table. Voting in favor of a Palestinian state would move the process in the opposite direction.

Susan Krieger
Jamaica Plain