28 April 2015

Recognizing the non-existent won't help anyone

In the light of reports that the ALP may consider recognizing a non-existent Arab state of "Palestine", we should, remember that statehood requires a series of criteria, as set out in the 1933 Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States,including 

  • capability 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.”

For the Arabs of Palestine, these criteria must be read in the context of the commitments by the Arabs in several agreements signed with Israel over the years.

In the attempt to declare "Palestinian" statehood in 1988, over 100 states gave their recognition. But this attempt to unilaterally dictate a solution to the Israel-Arab conflict without agreement from Israel, did nothing to resolve the conflict

So any act of recognition of a non-existent Arab state, whether by the ALP or anyone else, can have no validity nor make any contribution to resolving the conflict with Israel.

In Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s 2011 speech to the U.S. Congress, he said:
...They [the Palestinians] ...continue to educate their children to hate. They continue to name public squares after terrorists. And worst of all, they continue to perpetuate the fantasy that Israel will one day be flooded by the descendants of Palestinian refugees....My friends, this must come to an end.
President Abbas must do what I have done. I stood before my people, and I told you it wasn’t easy for me, and I said… “I will accept a Palestinian state.” It is time for President Abbas to stand before his people and say… “I will accept a Jewish state.”
Those six words will change history. They will make clear to the Palestinians that this conflict must come to an end. That they are not building a state to continue the conflict with Israel, but to end it. They will convince the people of Israel that they have a true partner for peace. With such a partner, the people of Israel will be prepared to make a far reaching compromise. I will be prepared to make a far reaching compromise.
In other words, once the Palestinian Arabs openly acknowledge the Jewish connection to the land, Israel will know they are a partner for peace.

In answer, Abbas said:
We say to him [Netanyahu], when he claims — that they [Jews] have a historical right dating back to 3000 years [BC] — we say that the nation of Palestine upon the land of Canaan had a 7000 year history [BC]. This is the truth, which must be understood and we have to note it, in order to say: “Netanyahu, you are incidental in history. We are the people of history. We are the owners of history.”
In other words, Netanyahu said: We have rights; you have rights. We recognize yours and when you recognize ours we can have peace. Your refusal to recognize our rights — to demand total annihilation of Israel — makes peace impossible.

And Abbas answered: We don’t recognize that you have any rights. All the rights belong to us! You are just a passing breeze.

THAT's why peace is impossible: because the Palestinian-Arab leadership continues to claim that Israel has no right to exist at all.