Palestine’s bid for statehood at the United Nations will not help the peace process

Speaking as a Jewish student, as an American and as someone who is whole-heartedly devoted to clear and absolute progress toward peace between the Israeli and the Palestinian nations, I am positive that peace cannot and will not be achieved through the premature Palestinian bid for statehood in the U.N.

Peace can only be achieved by both parties âÄî the Israelis and the Palestinians âÄî putting their heads together, and not coming back up for air until they agree on a just and lasting solution.

Peace cannot be achieved with a declaration and the wave of a magic wand in the U.N. Peace is collaboration. ItâÄôs hard work, and there are no shortcuts.

Moreover, in bypassing the fundamentally necessary channels through which peace is achieved, President of the Palestinian Liberation Organization Mahmoud Abbas throws the entire possibility for genuine peace out the window.

I adamantly believe that genuine lasting peace can only be achieved once the Palestinians have their own independent and self-sufficient state.

But the creation of that Palestinian state must not deny the right of a Jewish state to exist in Israel, and it cannot diminish the security and defensibility of Israeli borders. The bid presented to the U.N. completely denies this most basic condition for peace, as defined both by Israel and the U.S.

And even more significantly, the bid excludes the Israelis from peace negotiations entirely. The Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations is unilateral in that instead of engaging those with whom it wants to make peace, Palestine is circumventing them. Even if PalestineâÄôs bid succeeds at the U.N. and they are recognized, that does not mean that peace will be instantly achieved âÄî far from it.

If both parties truly want to achieve peace, then both parties must be involved in the pursuit of peace. Any efforts by one side that do not include the other will inevitably be unproductive.

In the end, Israel and Palestine must sit side-by-side.

So in the beginning, without question, they must also sit side-by-side as they earnestly strive for lasting peace.