UN 194 – Not!

David Meir-Levi writes and lectures on Middle East topics, until recently in the History Department of San Jose State University.


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A large part of these financial problems arises from the cronyism and corruption that characterize PA governance. Reports of corruption and plundering of PA coffers under Arafat and Abbas have pervaded the Israeli media for years.  During his tenure as “rais,” Arafat skimmed $2 million a month from the gasoline trade in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. At the time of his death some $1billion in funds donated to the PA went missing from his accounts.  Billions of dollars that are meant for humanitarian purposes have been siphoned off into private accounts and into the maintenance of terrorist organizations.

The PA’s economy is in such shambles that even a Palestinian economist, Nasr Abdul Karim, criticized the PA for failing to better manage its finances.  He warned that its financial mess might weaken its plea for statehood.

Conclusion

It seems clear that the Palestinian Authority’s request for UN recognition is merely another ploy in the decades-old multi-faceted PR and political war against Israel. As George Jonas notes: “Those who complain that such a declaration undermines the peace process …don’t understand that that’s the declaration’s purpose.”

If the Palestinian leadership wanted to co-exist peacefully with Israel, it could do so by reversing the Arab commitment to “no recognition, no negotiations, no peace.” But Palestinian leadership does not want their state alongside of Israel.  They want it instead of Israel.  Their UN gambit is another ploy to galvanize world opinion and increase political pressure on Israel.  The UN’s complicity will only aid and abet those who seek Israel’s destruction.

Notes:

[i] These characteristics were enumerated at the Montevideo Convention of 1933.  For a useful summary see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sovereign_state.  For more detailed discussion see:  Shaw, Malcolm Nathan (2003). International law, Cambridge University Press, p.178. “Article 1 of the Montevideo Convention on Rights and Duties of States, 1933 lays down the most widely accepted formulation of the criteria of statehood in international law. It notes that the state as an international person should possess the following qualifications: ‘(a) a permanent population; (b) a defined territory; (c) government; and (d) capacity to enter into relations with other states’;”   and Jasentuliyana, Nandasiri, ed (1995). Perspectives on international law, Kluwer Law International, p.20. “So far as States are concerned, the traditional definitions provided for in the Montevideo Convention remain generally accepted.”

[ii] Schanzer, Jonathan, Hamas vs. Fatah: The Struggle for Palestine, Palgrave, 2008)

[iii] Hanan Ashrawi demurs: “We fulfill all the requirements of statehood as stipulated under Article 4 of the UN Charter and the Montevideo Convention.” June 8, 2011, http://www.maannews.net/eng/ViewDetails.aspx?ID=394991 quoted in http://www.imra.org.il/story.php3?id=52728;  but she offers no evidence to support her statement.

[iv] For the most recent exposition of this uncompromising extremism, see http://www.memri.org/report/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/5584.htm. On August 16, 2011, the Gazan jihad group Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad issued a video titled “The Path of Honor versus the Path of Shame,” in which it attacks Fatah for its alliance with Israel, but reserves its fiercest opprobrium for Hamas, for not implementing Shari’a law in Gaza.  The film’s authors confront members of Hamas’s military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, excoriating them for tolerating the cease-fire with Israel and the non-implementation of the Shari’a.  Apparently Hamas is not extreme enough.

[v] Including Fatah, Hizb-ut-Tahrir, the PFLP, the DFLP, the PFLP-GC, Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad, Sayyif Allah, Jayyish al-Jihad, el-Qaeda in Sinai, el-Qaeda in the Maghreb, the Resistance Committees, Force 17, and Ansar al-Islam, just to name a few.

[vi] Even as Abbas urges the world to support his bid for PA statehood, the PA continues teaching its children to hate Jews and to make the destruction of Israel the ultimate goal of their lives. See, for example:

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/palestinian-tv-show-celebrates-ramadan-with-the-best-mothers-of-suicide-bombers/; http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=5453; and

http://palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=488&fld_id=492&doc_id=5487

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  • StephenD

    They (the PA) have no intention of becoming an independent state. For to do so would undermine their lucrative post of being "refugees" and holding their hand out to the world even though they are refugees to themselves. Look at Jordan; "Palestinians" fill refugee camps and thus maintain the status. Does the world call for Jordan to carve out a piece of land for them? Same issue with Egypt. No, they don't really want or expect a separate state unless and until Israel is no more. In the mean time they can keep the funds flowing in by maintaining the status quo.

  • Freedom John

    Herein lies another problem. Since there are now so many "Arab states" in the UN along with a multitude of PA sympathizers and league of anti-Israel voters , these very problems and requirements will swept under the rug. The UN has virtually lost any influence it might have possibly at one time had.

  • zsqpwxxeh

    "A sovereign state is a political entity with a defined territory…" There's the failure here. "Palestine" doesn't have a defined territory. If they declare, unilaterally or not, that their territory is the West Bank + Gaza + East Jerusalem, they are signing their own death warrants since the radicals running these areas demand all of Israel. Same thing if they declare just a rump of the WB without Jerusalem. If they declare all of Israel + WB + Gaza is their state the UN, in recognizing them, would be voting to dissolve Israel. It's a diplomatic dead end.

    So they'll just keep up the attacks and the terror, waiting until a "Suitcase from Allah" detonates in Tel Aviv. They can be patient. The Crusaders occupied Jerusalem for what, 90 years? They're betting that they can beat that record with the Jews.

  • UCSPanther

    I think the Palestinian cause will cease to exist in time. They have lost a lot of credibility and more or less have been in a downhill slide since Arafat bit the dust.

  • James Hovland

    Kvetching for position is nothing more than attempt to gain support for your side and doesn’t indicate any real desire to resolve the conflict. You can spin this how ever you want in the Western media, but the Palestinians still know the truth, and they’re the ones Israel has to make peace with.

    By taking the issue to the UN, Palestine has turned this conflict into (the Zionist’s worse nightmare) a global discussion. The world is watching.

    The reason Israel and America reject recognition before negotiations is that recognition is all they have to offer, and Israel wants more than is rightfully theirs.

    As for the ‘right of return’? That’s actually a right, whereas Israel’s identity as a “Jewish State” is not.

    • UCSPanther

      It's been a global discussion for a while now, and whether you like it or not, us "Zionists" will be vindicated.

      Taking it to the UN means absolutely nothing.

    • MixMChess

      "By taking the issue to the UN, Palestine has turned this conflict into (the Zionist's worse nightmare) a global discussion. The world is watching."

      The Israeli-Palestinian issue is already a global discussion. The Israelis rightfully fear that this is just another attempt by the Palestinians to delegitimize Israel. The UDI rewards Palestinians for their intransigence in refusing to make any concessions and negotiate for peace. The puts pressure only on Israel, instead of equally on both parties, which is another Palestinian/Arab attempt to isolate and demonize Israel to the world.

      For example, UDI allows the Palestinians to request statehood without ammending their official "state charter." This goes against UN policy and precedent that expressly forbids member nations to call for the ethnic cleansing of another people. Both the "Fatah (PA) and the Hamas charters openly call for the elimination of Israel" and Palestinian President Abbas even outwardly says that he "will not allow a single Jew to remain in the future Palestinian state. "

    • MixMChess

      "The reason Israel and America reject recognition before negotiations is that recognition is all they have to offer, and Israel wants more than is rightfully theirs."

      WRONG, all Israel wants from the Palestinians is peace, security and the right to exist. Palestinian Unilateral Declaration for Independence seeks to delegitimize Israel by allowing the Palestinians to create a state without mutually negotiated borders and without having to recognize Israel as the Jewish state. That's a fact.

      On numerous occasions Israel has been more than willing to negotiate and give away its fair share of land. As recently as 2000 Israel gave the Palestinians over 98% of the W. Bank and all of Gaza and the Palestinians WALKED AWAY without even a counter offer or negotiations.

    • MixMChess

      "As for the 'right of return'? That's actually a right, whereas Israel's identity as a "Jewish State" is not."

      WRONG, the so-called "Right of Return" has ZERO basis in international law or in any UN Resolutions. All the UN Resolutions advocate repatriation or resettlement in other countries. None of them mention a "right of return."

      For example, UN Resolution 194, adopted December 11, 1948, does not mention a Right of Return. It even places a qualification on the recommendation that refugees be repatriated.

      UN Security Council Resolution 242 is the current basis for all peace negotiations. It does not mention a "Right of Return" nor does it refer specifically to Palestinians. In speaking of refugees, it also implicitly referred to the 850,000 Jewish refugees who had fled Arab lands.

      Further, no UN General Assembly Resolutions refer to the principle of the so-called "Right of Return." All of them repeat the same formula for resolving the refugee problem: "Reintegration of refugees either by repatriation or resettlement."

      Israel's identity as a Jewish state is a legal right based on international precedent and codified formally under the League of Nations and the UN (under the 1947 Partition).

  • Ron Carnine

    Recognition of Palestine should be firmly tied to an agreement that proclaims Israel's right to exist and their right to exist in peace. No more attacks by a group of armed thugs who were given 95% of what they demanded in earlier peace talks and still they rejected this treaty. Palestinians need to demonstrate that they are willing to live in peace with Israel. Otherwise, no Palestinian state!

  • Jordanian

    "sovereign state is a political entity with a defined territory, a permanent population, a functioning government with the ability to exercise sovereignty over that territory (i.e., to command habitual obedience from that population by means of that state’s monopoly on the use of force), and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states."

    Oh, the irony! By this very standard then, neither does Israel qualify for statehood: 1) It does not have a defined eastern border, nor a recognised northern border. 2) It does not command the habitual obedience of the more radical settlers who assault Palestinians and their property in the West Bank. There is also the issue of the so-called hilltop youth, who set up "communities" in areas that they have not been given permission by any recognised authority.

    If you're going to condemn the Palestinians, you could at least apply the same standard to Israel.

    • UCSPanther

      Unfortunately for you, most other countries in the Middle East don't recognize Palestine. It is merely a "club" to attack Israel with.

    • MixMChess

      "1) It does not have a defined eastern border, nor a recognised northern border."

      Israel's northern border is the Golan and it is a legal recognized border as Israel formally annexed the territory in 1981. The division with the W. Bank is not defined, but that does not prevent statehood under international law because that territory is "disputed" and negotiated.

      " 2) It does not command the habitual obedience of the more radical settlers who assault Palestinians and their property in the West Bank. There is also the issue of the so-called hilltop youth, who set up "communities" in areas that they have not been given permission by any recognised authority."

      Huh? The Israeli government has actually increased law enforcement of settlements and cutting off aid to illegal outposts. Recall, in 2005 Israel dismantled all settlements in Gaza and dismantled 3 in the W. Bank. Israel has gone on the record to state that it will dismantle more settlements in peace negotiations.

      As for claim of assault by settlers on the Palestinians, this is a LIE. From 2000-2010, 242 Israeli civilians were killed by Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, while only 47 Palestinians were killed by Israeli civilians. MOST of the Palestinians were killed while attempting to INFILTRATE settlements for TERRORIST attacks or while ATTACKING Israelis.

  • JohnWV

    Israel's is the cause of most of the reasons herein cited to deny Palestine UN recognition. The Jewish State has made itself into a militant supremacis­t theocracy/ethnocracy with ICBM nukes; a very real and rapidly increasing threat to itself and to the whole world. A pariah among nations. Somehow, the Jewish State has to be redirected. United States must stand aside. UN and EU can then impose resolution just as involuntary, disruptive and humiliating to Israel as Israel has wreaked upon occupied Palestine for generations. The beginning must include Israel's recognition of Palestine with UN enforced autonomy, eviction of all settlers, true contiguity encompassing Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem plus punitive reparations.

    • MixMChess

      JohnWV is a well-known neo-Nazi and LIAR. This is standard copy and paste by him so I'll respond in kind…

      "Israel has made itself into a militant supremacis­t theocracy/ethnocracy with ICBM nukes; an very real and rapidly increasing threat to itself and to the whole world."

      Israel is a SECULAR democracy that guarantees the equal rights of all of its citizens. Israel has never used or threatened the use of nuclear weapons and has never engaged in aggressive war with its neighbors.

      Of course you ignore the fact that the xenophobic Palestinians regularly persecute Christians and call for the genocide of all non-believers. Palestinians define Terrorism and are a threat to freedom-loving peoples everywhere.

      "United States must stand aside. UN and EU can then impose resolution just as involuntary, disruptive and humiliating to Israel as Israel has wreaked upon occupied Palestine for generations."

      Nonsense, Israel has always sought peace with its Palestinian neighbors – it has never wreaked any humiliation on the Palestinians, in fact the Palestinians are quite good at humiliating themselves. Perhaps its time the Palestinians stopped murdering civilians and decapitating children? Perhaps its time the Palestinians apologized for their grave offenses against Israelis, Americans, Christians, and really the whole world….

      "The beginning must include Israel's recognition of Palestine with UN enforced autonomy, eviction of all settlers, true contiguity encompassing Gaza, the West Bank and Jerusalem plus punitive reparations."

      Nonsense, you're asking the UN impose what Israel has been trying to accomplish through negotiated settlements. Israel has tried numerous times to create a Palestinian state through NEGOTIATED settlement. Each time the Palestinians have REFUSED. Israel has already given up all of Gaza and the Palestinians govern over 98% of the W. Bank. Jerusalem has ALWAYS been historically Jewish with a Jewish majority. Palestinian claims to Jerusalem or the need to connect Gaza and the W. Bank are just more excuses for refusing negotiation and preconditions for destroying all of Israel.

  • David Springers

    you made me laugh.. who wrote this article is obviously from the Israeli 'IDF'. You're such a crazy person.

  • Carl

    I Love You Palestinians.