Chicagoans question Palestinian state bid

September 23, 2011

Palestinian and Jewish Chicagoans say they’re anxious about how events in the Middle East may unfold if the United Nations recognizes a Palestinian state. Palestinian-American Magdi Odeh didn’t go to any local rallies in favor of Palestinian statehood because it’s still unclear to him what it would mean.

“Will we have self-determination?” asked Odeh. “Will we control our own borders? Will we be able to have East Jerusalem as a capital?”

Odeh said it’s also unclear what the ramifications would be for Palestinian refugees.

Meantime, Aaron Cohen of the Jewish United Fund said Israel wants a two-state solution, but Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s move could undermine negotiations to get there.

“The Palestinians seek to do an end-run around that shared path which raises the concern that there really isn’t a shared objective of what the future reality is going to look like,” Cohen said.

Odeh and Cohen said it’s not clear how state recognition from the United Nations would change the on-the-ground situation in that part of the world.