Letters: Palestine must agree boundaries

I REFER to the article headlined "Palestine lobbies for place at UN table" (News, 22 May) reporting on the proposed grand theatre in September when Palestinians will seek recognition as a UN member state.

Preparatory to the setting of the stage for the performance, a Fatah-Hamas deal had to be struck and this was done through the efforts of a third party - Egypt - because of the bad blood between the two, not least the liquidation of so many Fatah supporters in Gaza after the Hamas election victory there.

All that the Palestinian president Mahmood Abbas has to do is keep the deal going until the autumn until the theatre of the UN General Assembly and the ambition for a vote of support for the establishment of the state of Palestine. Reconciliation or no reconciliation, however, there is no single UN template for taking a nation towards statehood. While applause and standing ovation at the UN is almost certain, that won't matter a jot because states are not created by hand-clapping in forums of the UN, and resolutions of the General Assembly are non-binding. The Palestinian leadership will have to keep talking to Israel and the Palestinian leadership will have to change the message to its own people. They just are not going to get everything they want.

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One of the most important aspects to the saga is the matter of lines between the two sides. Where does Palestine begin and end? Where are its borders? The lines on maps in the region largely relate to armistice lines (after the 1949 war) or ceasefire lines (after the 1967 war). The Palestine National Authority must reach agreement with Israel on actual borders between the two. Glad-handing and applause in New York won't achieve that. Indeed many of the UN member states preparing to recognise Palestine fall short of referring to a state within 1967 borders.

Graeme D Eddie, Dunbar

THERE would have been no "naqba" had the Arabs not opted for a violent solution and instead chosen to accept the UN proposal of both an Arab state and a Jewish state back in 1947. Since then the ever-present choice of violence over a peaceful solution has failed to pay off for the Arabs, yet they continue to adopt this behavior.

Michelle Moshelian, Givatayim, Israel