ADC Statement on Palestine Statehood Bid 

Washington, DC | www.adc.org | September 19, 2011 -  Events at the United Nations this week involving Palestine’s bid for statehood will not by themselves mean a just peace and realization of Palestinian rights so long denied. But these events may lead to new and important possibilities, and ADC remains engaged in these developments. While this appeal is being intensely debated between intellectuals and politicians invoking either the positive or negative consequences of such action, there are some facts which remain indisputable. The Palestinian people are ready for statehood and the opportunity to express their self-sufficiency. The path to statehood must be walked upon starting this moment, yet we remain cautious about the dangers we continue to face. The Palestinian people deserve the same human rights and opportunities as any other population- their suffering – our suffering – has endured for too long.

UN and international community support for Palestinian human rights and self-determination have a long history. The theoretical support has been laid; what remains to be achieved is an end to  occupation, and a rightful, official, and long-lasting recognition of their self-determination. UN support for Palestinian statehood began in 1947 with Resolution 181 providing for the creation of an Arab state alongside Israel. In 1967, the UN refused to recognize Israel’s new occupation of the Palestinian West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. Resolution 242 called Israel’s “acquisition of territory by war” inadmissible, and like the follow-up Resolution 338, called for Israel’s withdrawal back to the pre-1967 borders. Along with the broad consensus of international law, specific calls for Palestinians’ “inalienable” right to independence as a “sovereign state,” are supported by Resolution 3236, and Resolution 2672 recognizes that respecting the right to sovereignty is crucial for fostering long-lasting peace in the region. The UN General Assembly recognized the State of Palestine when it declared its independence in 1988, with 104 UN member states voting for the UNGA resolution. Currently 122 member states recognize Palestine; yet the occupation continues, and Palestine has yet to enjoy the exercise of this status in the global community and acquire the legal stature it deserves.

Of greatest importance at this time, whatever the outcome of Sept. 20th, are the urgent need to end Israel’s occupation, guarantee Palestinian citizens’ equal rights inside Israel, and implementing the Right of Return of Palestinian refugees.

In the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Palestinian self-determination necessitates the end to the occupation and all its manifestations, including the dismantlement of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and a dismantlement of the apartheid wall which has caused grievous and undue nightmares for Palestinians by restricting their daily movement and limiting their tending of crops and business. Settlements and the apartheid wall are violations of International Law. In Gaza, ending the occupation requires an immediate