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UN Vote Misrepresented

The U.S. and the international community should play in jump-starting peace talks.

December 4, 2012

Letters to the Editor
Florida Sun-Sentinel

To the Editor:

Pierre Tristam's op-ed ("U.S. on wrong side of history with vote against Palestine," Dec. 4) misrepresents the reasoning behind the U.S. decision to vote against the Palestinian upgrade resolution at the United Nations and offers incendiary accusations regarding Israel.

For almost 20 years, the U.S. has been intimately engaged in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, observing first-hand the pattern of Palestinians obstructing or abandoning the peace process.

This time, instead of heeding repeated Israeli calls to return to Quartet-facilitated negotiations, Palestinian President Abbas chose to seek headlines and the shallow embrace of the international community at the U.N.

The U.S. vote against the resolution was not a rejection of the Palestinian right to statehood, but rather a vote in favor of a process that will lead the Palestinians to statehood through bilateral negotiations. This sentiment was echoed by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who stated that the "path to a two-state solution that fulfills the aspirations of the Palestinian people is through Jerusalem and Ramallah, not New York."

Now that this resolution has passed, there is a constructive role for the U.S. and the international community to play in jump-starting peace talks, including ensuring that the Palestinians refrain from any further action deemed harmful to the peace process, and holding President Abbas to his commitment to unconditionally return to negotiations with Israel.

That approach, and not grandstanding at the U.N., will help bring the Palestinians closer to achieving statehood.

Sincerely,

Steven L. Daniels 
Florida Regional Board Chair

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