The United Nations officially recognized Palestine as a non-member observer state last week. Meanwhile, Israel has announced plans to construct approximately 3,000 new settlement homes in the occupied West Bank. What impact will these recent developments have on the peace process?

George Bisharat, professor of law at UC Hastings College of Law and former legal consultant to the Palestinian Legislative Council
Andy David, consul general for Israel serving the Pacific Northwest region

  • Frank

    If the Zionists were smart, they would set up a democracy like Switzerland, with Jewish cantons here and there, outnumbered by Muslim cantons and perhaps a Christian canton or two. But this is like expecting a leopard to change its spots. Right-wing ideologues are notoriously stubborn and hubris-bound, especially ones whose ideological forebears were terrorists (King David hotel etc). Demographic changes will mean that if Jews don’t identify what they can realistically keep hold of, ultimately Jews will become an emasculated minority in Palestine.


  • Peter

    In a judgment in 2005 [*], Israel’s supreme court said: “The Judea and Samaria areas are held by the State of Israel in belligerent occupation. The long arm of the state in the area is the military commander. … Israeli law does not apply in these areas. They have not been ‘annexed’ to Israel.”
    Does the consul agree with this judgment? If he agrees, then can he explain why there are hundreds of thousands of Israeli civilians living in Judea and Samaria under regular Israeli civil law, as if they were in Israel? And if he disagrees with the judgment, can he explain why the majority of the people in Judea and Samaria are living under Israeli military law?

    [*] See the Israeli supreme court’s own website:

  • ZincKidd

    I’ve heard it said that part of the problem is the terrain– defending Israel w/o control over the west bank isn’t practical. Is that the case?

  • Amy

    I would like to address the fact that there are Arabs who were grandfathered in to be Israeli citizens. Could the Israelis simply treat all Arabs as such ( legal citizens instead of oppressing them as if they were prisoners. How can we sit by while the Israelis keep the palistenian people in ghettos like Gaza and build walls with barbed wire around their settlements like what the apartheid government of south Africa
    Would we be on this situation of the Palestinians were not so restricted in every aspect of their live from illiberal seizing of their property to being able to simply driving to work!?

  • Amy

    Please how easy is the possibility of elections in the occupied territories.
    Gaza seperated from the PLO because of Israeli lock down on that region. Not allowing people in or out with out their clearance
    Voting ? They are worried about day to day survival

  • Amy

    When the offer closes off main arteries in and out of the territories how can that be seen as good. When it blocks their access to the oceans or. Viable work options how is that a good offer?

  • GiorgioOrwell2nd

    Question for Mr David

    The whole mindset that the “settlements” aren’t really the issue might be what your guest Mr. David, wants to think, but doesn’t reflect the reality of anyone observing outside of Israel.

    Why are these settlement expansions so important to Israel? Is Israel growing so fast that a 2 square mile settlement is so desperately needed that they don’t care about the optics anymore?

    Clearly, it hasn’t helped, so why continue at this tenuous stage, if not as a snub?

  • Chemist150

    Get this guy off the air or give him a rough interview. As soon as he effectively said that it’s OK for Israel to build settlements in occupied territories because the Palestinians don’t believe Israel has the right to exist.

    The facts are that there are General Assembly resolutions on accepted borders stating that these settlements are illegitimate and illegal, Israel marginalizes non-Jewish communities, Israel is not interested in peace and is only interested in gaining territory. It makes me sick that my country backs this behavior. The US is continuously losing ground.

    Israel has no regard for the UN and should be removed as a member for voting but not accepting the consequences. Perhaps we could even get the Palestinians to sign the NPT. Accept the UN resolutions or renounce your membership.

    • I do agree with you and the interview was not a real interview by far. I am feeling deceived that the interviewer did not call on Mr. David to stick the questions./answers… so many opportunites to get to a deeper understanding on how Mr David can still think the way he does. Out of touch and a lame moment for the forum show.

  • ben welgoed

    If the number of settlers in E1 is that “small” then why do they need to settle in E1 instead of settling in a place that would not cause an issue?

  • Roxanne Colemaan

    When the UN voted for partition in 1947, what was the extent of the territory assigned to the Arab state? Did it include part of what is now Jordan?

  • Julio Egualmente

    Israel supporters keep saying that Palestine does not accept Israel’s right to exist, but they fail to acknowledge the Isreal denies Palestine’s right to exist… This issue will never be resolved given the intractability of BOTH sides.

    • Frank

      It’s like a really bad reality TV program.

    • Right on it’s Palestine that is denied the right to exist and everyday they live Israelis remind them of it whether it is waiting in line to get through, enconomical and educational limitations.

  • This was a pretty poor piece of interviewing. Andy David got away with saying some egregious things, ducked multiple questions on settlements and was extremely evasive and Michael did not do much to hold him to any difficult questions. He also didn’t catch the slip where Mr. David says that the Europeans want to appease the “Arab majority” in the UN. What I think Mr. David meant to say was the “Muslim” majority in the UN. Of course, characterizing the Islamic Bloc (57 countries) as a majority in a 180+ assembly is also a misleading statement that Michael let pass unanswered. This verbal slip should show just how Mr. David thinks about Arabs, Muslims and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in general. If I wanted to listen to 30 minutes of Israeli propaganda I’d tune into Fox News. This was an extremely dissapointing interview (and I usually love Forum).

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