After an eventful week at the United Nations, Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas handed a letter to Secretary General Ban Ki Moon on Friday requesting full membership for the currently non-existent Palestinian State. The U.N. can, of course, take a long time to “consider” this request before coming to any decision, but the problem here is the principal of the action.
Does the United Nations now have the authority to create nations within disputed borders without due negotiation happening first? Let’s put it another way: If a Native American tribe in Kansas suddenly decided it didn’t want to be in the United States any longer, and they wanted the entire state of Kansas for themselves, could they just go to the U.N. and ask to be included as a full member and recognized as an independent country? The thought is absurd on its face.
How then, can the United Nations and the 100 some odd countries who support this move be so frivolous? Surely they know that unless and until Israel and the Palestinian Authority come to an agreement on permanent borders and reciprocal recognition of each other that U.N. “legitimacy” is as valuable as a Confederate dollar.
Obviously, they don’t have any authority to do this, but that doesn’t mean they’re not going to try. The P.A. doesn’t want to negotiate with Israel because Israel wants three things the P.A. is unwilling to give them:
1. Recognition of Israel as a Jewish State.
2. Jerusalem as an undivided city that is the capital of Israel.
3. Secure, defensible borders.
Abbas, himself, said the following when talking about recognizing Israel:
“They talk to us about the Jewish state, but I respond to them with a final answer: We shall not recognize a Jewish state.”
So much for Israel’s point number 1.
Jerusalem has been and will continue to be a major problem. Both sides claim it as their capital. Israel doesn’t want to re-divide it. The Palestinians secretly (or not so secretly) want all of it. There is no room for compromise here, so the expectation that the two sides will agree on Jerusalem’s status is laughable.
It is more likely that Jerusalem will end up as an internationally maintained city that symbolically serves as the capital for both Israel and Palestine. Israel will be pressured, grudgingly, into this position. Palestine will gladly accept it, while complaining publicly about it. This will give them a foothold and allow them to move further down their stated path of removing the “Jewish scourge” from all of the land.
As to point number 3, the Palestinians don’t care about Israeli security. They want Israel gone and so they insist on starting with the 1967 borders, thus leaving Israel with a weak point that is only 9 miles across to defend.
The Palestinians, for their part, want all settlement activity by Israel to cease and for the residents that move to their new homes to leave. They insist on having a Jew-Free Palestine. Israel, on the other hand, has many non-Jews living inside its borders, some even serving in the government, yet it is Israel that is called racist and apartheid.
The world went to sleep one day not too long ago and woke up in Bizarro World. In Bizarro World, good is evil, evil is good, everything is backwards and accepted as normal. In this world, the Palestinians are an oppressed people being systematically evicted from their ancestral homelands by the Nazi Israelis (an oxymoron if there ever was one).
Only in Bizarro World does years of terrorist activity lead to an organization becoming a “respected” partner for peace when their very own charter calls for the destruction of the other “partner”. Perhaps in Bizarro World, peace only happens when you’re the only party left at the negotiating table.
True peace can never come to the region until both sides learn to accept and respect each other. It’ll take a miracle for just that to happen.