Palestinian statehood does not rest on recognition by individual countries! It is timely to remind all concerned that the Palestinians may only gain statehood if they meet the criteria laid out in the 1933 Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, including:
- Capacity of governance
- Permanence of population
- Defined territory, and
- Capacity to enter into relations with other states
In fact, the Convention specifies that “the political existence of the state is independent of recognition by the other states.”
Furthermore, no act of recognition of a non-existent Arab state can make a viable contribution to resolving the conflict with Israel.
The biggest stumbling block to resolving that conflict and to potential statehood is that the Palestinian leadership continues to claim that Israel has no right to exist at all. However, this is not the only reason that the Palestinians simply are not ready for statehood.
Please note the following:
- The Palestinians, despite numerous opportunities in history, have consistently refused to accept statehood (unless their state subsumes the state of Israel). That is, their negotiation stance is not contingent on compromise, rather on eradication.
- The Palestinians have, to date, not been able to set up the infrastructure of a responsible state that would include transparent governance, a fair judicial system and a competent administration.
- The Oslo treaty is quite clear that resolution of borders and other issues must come through direct negotiations between the parties – that is between the Palestinians and Israel. Unilaterally declaring a state (as Mr Burke and Mr Carr would have you do) effectively undermines the treaty that committed both sides to a negotiated settlement between the two parties.
- A Palestinian state created by extremal imposition and not requiring the appropriate recognition of and negotiations with Israel, will most likely become a militant jihadist state controlled initially by Hamas and, later, quite possibly by ISIS. As the 2007 Hamas coup in Gaza showed, and as polls continue to show, Hamas would end Fatah control over the ‘West Bank’ within months. More importantly, this new “state” would be ruled half by a terrorist group (Hamas) and half by an unelected administrative entity (Fatah) whose last election occurred years ago. The government of each half considers the government of the other half illegitimate – and both are correct.
- Israel is the West’s only truly reliable ally in the Middle East. Establishing a potentially jihadist, genocidal Islamic enemy with full state powers on Israel’s borders would not only sow the seeds of a new war with a jihadist – controlled Palestine, but would guarantee the collapse of other moderate Arab nations with whom Israel is currently allied in its war against the jihadists.
Even in their literature and charters, Palestinian national identity is predicated on winning a zero – sum struggle with Israel, not on a vision of a state of their own. Rather than take the many opportunities offered to them to build a future for their children, they have so far refused to relinquish their embrace of a culture of hate and death. They continue to educate their children to hate; they continue to name public squares after terrorists; and they continue to perpetuate themyth that they will re-establish their ‘homeland’ on what is the state of Israel.
Consequently, eminently sensible proposals regarding borders, Jewish communities in the ‘West Bank’ and even Jerusalem are rendered irrelevant. In truth, no peace is possible until Palestinian society makes the compromise it has been unwilling to do for nearly a century – to share the land.
It is FOIWA’s contention that none of those advocating for the premature recognition and creation of a Palestinian state appear to have taken any of these critical issues into account. They would do better to recognize that the responsibility for the resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict rests largely with the Palestinians themselves, letting go of their cultural intransigence, victimhood, animosity and prejudices. Anyone would like see a fair and equitable solution should insist that the Palestinians:
- recognise Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people
- accept demilitarization of Gaza and the ‘West Bank’
- amend their founding documents (that proclaim their intention to annihilate Israel) and thereby give up their culture of hatred
- outlaw incitement against Jews and Israelis in their schools, newspapers, mosques, media, summer camps, TV programming and educational system
- reinstate the State of Israel on their maps and in geographical textbooks
- desist from naming tournaments, marketplaces and streets after Palestinian “martyrs” whose claim to fame is that they murdered Jewish “occupiers of Palestine” (Israelis)
- stop firing rockets and building terrorist tunnels into Israel for the sole purpose of kidnapping and murdering Israeli civilians
- cease referring to Jews as “the descendants of apes and pigs”
- discontinue payments to the families of suicide bombers
- accept that released Palestinian terrorists who murdered Israelis are not “celebrated heroes”, but violent criminals
- stop justifying violence against Israelis as a legitimate form of “political action”
- ease promoting the apartheid, racist idea that any future Palestinian state will be “Jew-free” (as Mahmoud Abbas said in 2010).
Only then perhaps, would recognition of a Palestinian state based on a co-operative two-state solution become feasible.