Thursday, 15 September 2011

A Palestinian State?

Why not?

Israel has been acting energetically to persuade members of the United Nations to vote against the recognition of a Palestinian State. However, I have yet to hear a sensible explanation why the Palestinian Authority should not be granted its wish.

Israel is apparently worried that as a full member, Palestine would be able to take Israeli officials to the International Court in The Hague. Should that disqualify Palestinians from statehood? Incidentally, quite a few countries, including China, Russia, India as well as the USA and Israel who have withdrawn their signature, have either not signed or not ratified their membership of the Court.

Curiously, Israel is complaining about the unilateral aspect of such recognition. Are not Israel’s occupation and settlement of the West Bank somewhat unilateral too?

Anyone who can offer good reasons for a no vote is urged to comment.


  1. You make, as usual, a valid and interesting point. In fact I would go further.
    You will recall Eban’s phrase “Palestinians never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity”?
    Well that ought to be rephrased here to take account of Bibi and Yvet who are politically inept.
    Why? The letter PA has written to UN is seeking statehood in West Bank and Gaza and E J’lem as capital.
    In other words very similar to UN res 242 et al and, after all, Barak Olmert and Sharon all were OK with that (OK i exaggerate slightly as they got as far as 98% of territory---but you get my drift)
    So if I were the PM I would address the UN on basis that we agree with what they want with exceptions of (a)+ (b) etc.
    Of course Bibi will never try and do something you and I would call rational and reasoned so it won’t happen and yet again we remain on defensive!!!!

  2. I think the central argument to delay (NB: "delay", not "deny") the declaration of a Palestian State lies in the abundance of wide open questions that need negotiating, discussing, arguing and settling if at all possible. To mention but a few:

    Do both sides need to accept and recognize the other`s statehood and right to exist?
    Is there to be a "right of return" for Palestinians or not?
    Conversely would Israel to have a right to evict its Palestinian citizens to Palestine?
    Or for Israeli Jews to live in Palestine?
    What happens to some of the Israeli cities, still termed "settlements" by some, outside of Israel`s 67 borders?
    What about the sovereignty of each country`s airspace?
    How would an inhabitant of Gaza travel to the other part of his country?
    How can Palestians from the Westbank utilize their port in Gaza?
    Is Palestine to have a fully equipped army of its own?
    How are the water rights (of the Jordan River) to be split up?
    Ah, and then there is Jerusalem! I won`t even begin to go into that.
    And so on, and so on ...

  3. Dear David, you are so right !!!! Couldn't agree more -

  4. A Palestinian state does not appear to fulfill the basic requirements of a state – defined boundaries being just one of those requirements; the ability to defend those boundaries being another.

    The UN decision will be yet another tool in the hands of those wishing to undermine Israel’s right to exist. I am convinced that this move to declare statehood will push things backwards and will put apparent legitimacy and righteous indignation into the hands of those with the most extreme and intractable views. Wait for many more “Goldstone” reports to come – all relying on Palestinian statehood – and allow those determined not to find a solution – on both sides – to move to their more extreme corners.

    A great step forward for those who want to avoid solving this problem.