Clarity is a wonderful thing! A lot of people know that a vote in the UN recognising a Palestinian state is a bad idea for peace in the Middle East. But how easily can you run off the precise reasons for believing that?
Here are eight concise reasons why this vote in the UN in a few weeks time will not bring about peace, nor will it bring the Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table, nor will it make the lives of ordinary Palestinian Arbs better than they are now.
1. The PA would be in violation of the 1993 “Oslo Accords”, wherein they agreed that neither side would change the status of disputed territory outside of direct final status negotiations. The PA would also contravene UN Security council Resolutions 242, 338, 1850 and the Roadmap for peace – all of which forbid such unilateral action by either party.
2. By breaking free of agreements they have signed, the PA would be free to turn the new state into a terrorist entity that would be a major threat to Israel. An alternative scenario would be a forced takeover by Hamas, as happened in Gaza in 2007.
3. Violation of signed agreements by the PA would also release Israel from the conditions of these same agreements. She would be free to take whatever military action was needed to protect her sovereignty or to appropriate land needed to provide a strategic barrier against terrorism or military attack.
4. The PA does not control all the territory they have said would comprise a Palestinian state. While the PA has authority over some 90-95% of the population of this area (areas A and B under the Oslo Accords), Israel still legitimately controls large geographical areas of the proposed state of Palestine (area C under the Accords).
5. Recognition as a ‘state’ by the UN General Assembly does not create a state in reality, but it would allow the PA access to more UN institutions and assistance. Additionally, they would be in a legal position to bring motions and actions against the state of Israel, particularly in the International Criminal Court.
6. UN recognition of ‘Palestine’ as the representative body for the Palestinian people would remove that status from the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO). the PLO currently represents both Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza and those in the diaspora, most of whom class themselves as refugees awaiting return to their historical lands. If the proposed bid is successful, the Palestinian diaspora will have no representation or rights at the UN or in any negotiations.
7. The PA and its bureaucracy do not comprise a proper government. By international standards, the PA does not meet criteria for recognition as a state by the UN. The Palestinian economy and political structures cannot stand on their own without massive international aid or loans.
8. Ongoing virulent official incitement against the State of Israel and her people and hate education in PA-controlled school are evidence that the PA does not desire peace with Israel, but a rather her annihilation. One condition of UN membership is that members should be ‘peace-loving states’ [UN Charter, Chapter 2, Article 4]. This, the PA is not! Such incitement also directly contravenes the Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (“Oslo 2”) [Article XXII, paragraphs 1 and 2, – “Relations between Israel and the Palestinian Council”].