When the Arabs took to the street, I foresaw that the Palestinians would use the historical moment, and the momentum towards democracy, to seek an independent state. What I foresee for Israel, if it maintains a hard stance, is a cold war and diplomatic isolation in the Arab world. Palestinian statehood would allow bilateral relations between the two nations to occur within the context of the world body. The Palestinians seek to end their political, social and economic marginalization, as well as their dependency on the unilateral and often punitive decisions of the Israeli state. Nothing could be less violent and more democratic than a vote before the UN; threats of retaliation, intimidation and blackmail are especially unbecoming of Israel and the United States at this junction in history.
Week of floods kills 22 in Vietnam (DPA)