By Kristine A. Valerio
Two years ago, during Israel’s eight-day war on Gaza, I came to see with my own eyes the different faces of Palestine. Even as I was packing my stuff before leaving the Philippines, I was preparing myself for war-related traumas, for painful memories I would bring home on my return.
This is in reaction to the editorial “Victims too” (7/14/14). Yes, it is really a sad affair, this “Palestinian slaughter.” But it seems like the whole world approves of this. There is no voice of concern from the Europeans, there are only “lukewarm” expressions of concern from the United States, and not even a squeak from the United Nations can be heard. Truly tragic event for humanity.
I am wholeheartedly congratulating the Palestinian people for finally winning the United Nations General Assembly’s implicit recognition as a sovereign state when it got the vote to become a nonmember state. I am so touched by this historical event.
In the long view of history, the vote last Thursday by the United Nations General Assembly may come to be regarded as a belated and merely preliminary step to Palestinian statehood. But the overwhelming vote to grant Palestine the status of a nonmember observer state (the same status that the Vatican, for example, enjoys in the UN system) was greeted by jubilation in the various parts of fragmented Palestine, and seen as historic around the world.
By Shlomo Ben Ami
The exchange of prisoners between enemies is often a prelude to political reconciliation. Unfortunately, the recent exchange between Israel and Hamas, in which the Islamist organization gained the lion’s share of more than 1,000 prisoners in exchange for the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, does not augur well for the chances of an Israeli-Palestinian peace.