I read with interest Rabbi Chaim Landau's comment on the possibility that the United Nations could recognize a Palestinian state in September ("Mr. Obama, don't equate Israel with its enemies," May 27).
In 1948, the state of Israel was created by the United Nations; Israel had not existed for 2,000 years prior to then. Yet although land was taken from the Palestinians to create Israel, the Palestinians have never been compensated for their loss, nor have they or their descendants been granted any right of return to their ancestral homeland.
Now it is possible that the same United Nations that recognized Israel as a state may recognize Palestine as a state. If the United Nations can create a state of Israel, why can't it also create a state of Palestine and finally take a step toward bringing justice to that area of the world?
Rabbi Landau wants the United States to veto such a measure, which, if it comes to a vote, sadly will happen. Never mind that England, France, Germany, China, Japan and the rest of the world will support a UN resolution to create a state for the Palestinians. The result will be that both the United States and Israel find themselves isolated on this issue, and there will be continued suffering in that region.
The best recourse is for the United States to step back and let the rest of the world finally speak on this issue — then back that decision, as it did in 1948.
Regarding the issue of Jerusalem, it should become an international city belonging to no single country. What other city is as important to three of the world's great religions? No one religion should control it.
This will be hard for Israel and its supporters to accept. But it is the only way to peace.
Granted, Israel wants to be assured of its security. What country does not? But perhaps Israel should start by recognizing the humanity of the Palestinians — and Palestinians the humanity of Israelis.
Still, they both may need a push. One would hope that a vote by the United Nations, representing all the citizens of the world, might send a powerful message that the Palestinians as a people deserve security and justice too.
Gerald OttenCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun