On September 23, 2011, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas appeared before the U.N. General Assembly to request full membership for the State of Palestine. America’s veto power renders their bid largely symbolic, but there could be leverage gained – like indirect recognition of statehood – in the process. After 20 years of failed talks with Israel, can this plea to the international community be the only path left to a two-state solution, or have the Palestinians set the peace process back by bypassing negotiations?
- For the motion: Daniel Levy, Co-director of the New America Foundation’s Middle East Task Force; Editor of ForeignPolicy.com’s The Middle East Channel;
- For the motion: Mustafa Barghouti, Palestinian democracy activist and member of the Palestinian delegation to the Madrid Peace Conference in 1991. He was a presidential candidate in 2005
- Against the motion: Speakers against the motion: Dore Gold, Diplomat, Bestselling author and Middle East expert.
- Against the motion: Aaron David Miller, Public Policy Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Intelligence Squared, United States