Numerous countries are poised to recognize an illegitimate Palestinian state.
The pan-Arab newspaper Ashraq Alawsat based in London reported on December 25, 2010 that the Palestinians have adopted another strategy in an attempt to gain international recognition of a Palestinian state. “Indeed, the Palestinian side has achieved success in this regard, particularly in Latin America, with Brazil, Argentina, and Bolivia officially recognizing an independent state of Palestine …, and Uruguay, Ecuador, and Paraguay expected to officially recognize the State of Palestine,” the paper said.
And it now appears that the 27 incorporated states of the European Union are ready to follow the Latin American states in recognizing a Palestinian State along the 1967 borders, with France and Norway in the lead.
This hasty and deliberate act of support for a Palestinian state can only be attributed to the following: a) an act of defiance against the U.S., and the triumph of the radical axis of Chavez (Venezuela), Ahamdinejad (Iran), their new friend Lula of Brazil, and others (such as Cuba’s Castro); b) the failure of the Obama administration to exert its influence in South America. Obama’s appeasement of the aforementioned radicals convinced Argentina, Uruguay and other traditionally friendly states to go with the “strong horse” represented by Chavez in Latin America; c) the Latin Americans, much like the Europeans, seek to ingratiate themselves with the Arabs, and the greater Muslim world, and they do so believing that such action – which will be harmful to Israel -- poses no serious consequences to them.
Given the large Arab populations in many of the Latin American countries, especially Argentina and Brazil, recognition of a Palestinian state will not have any negative domestic consequences either. It will, however, adversely impact the prospects of a real peace between Arab Palestinians and Israeli Jews.
The Fatah-led Palestinians of the West Bank, apart from their rivals, the Islamic Hamas of Gaza, are seeking to declare statehood unilaterally. They deliberately pulled out of negotiations with Israel, despite Israel’s concession of a 10-month building freeze, which ended last September.
In truth, Abu Mazen’s (Mahmoud Abbas) unelected regime, which failed to stand for elections last January, has chosen the same path Arafat took in the aftermath of the July 2000 Camp David Summit with President Bill Clinton and Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Barak.
When the moment of truth arrived, and all that was left to do after Barak had offered deep unilateral Israeli concessions was for Arafat to agree to a declaration of "End of Conflict," Arafat turned away. He, the revolutionary who fought the Jews all of his adult life and encouraged others to join him, could not end the bloody conflict – possibly for fear it would end him.
For Arafat, much like Abu Mazen, real peace with Israel was a non-starter. The dream for Arafat, and now for Abu Mazen, was to delegitimize the Jewish State and take it over – if not at once, then in stages. And the only deal Abu Mazen would sign is one in which he does not have to make a real peace: a people-to-people peace, or a real end of conflict. He could sign on to a “sort-of-peace,” that we in the West would consider a long cease-fire, but he will never agree to recognize Israel as the homeland of the Jews, as he recently stated.
Consequently, anti-Semitic incitement continues to be preached in Palestinian schools, mosques, and media. A new generation of Palestinians continues to be poisoned by the hatred of Jews and Israel, and members are ready to become martyrs for Allah and Palestine.
There are no signs to indicate that the Palestinians either in the West Bank or Gaza are willing to live in peace with Israel and recognize it as a Jewish State. Abu Mazen, assuming that he even sought real peace, is well aware of the fact that any signature other than that of a specific “hudna” or temporary peace would cost him his life.
Another misnomer that has entered the international lexicon is the “1967 borders.” Alan Baker, former legal advisor to Israel’s foreign ministry and Israel’s ambassador to Canada explained:
[S]uch borders do not exist and have no basis in history, law, or fact. The only line that ever existed was the 1949 armistice demarcation line, based on the ceasefire lines of the Israeli and Arab armies pending agreement on permanent peace. The 1949 armistice agreements specifically stated that such lines have no political or legal significance and do not prejudice future negotiations on boundaries.
Baker, who is currently serving as director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, elaborated further on the issue of the 1967 borders:
UN Security Council Resolution 242 of 1967 acknowledged the need for negotiation of secure and recognized boundaries. Prominent jurists and UN delegates, including from Brazil and Jordan, acknowledged that the previous lines cannot be considered as international boundaries. The series of agreements between the PLO and Israel (1993-1999) reaffirm the intention and commitment of the parties to negotiate permanent borders. During all phases of negotiation between Israel and the Palestinians, there was never any determination as to a border based on the 1967 lines.
Reacting to the Palestinians' efforts to declare their state unilaterally without negotiations with Israel, the lame duck U.S. Congressman and Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Howard Berman (D-CA), who introduced a resolution on this issue (which passed unanimously on December 15, 2010) said: "Pursuing a non-negotiated path to statehood is a fool’s errand. Palestinians want a state, not a declaration. Their only way to achieve that is through direct negotiations with Israel.” Berman added, “If they try to circumvent negotiations, they’ll lose the support of a lot of people like me, and it will jeopardize their foreign aid as well."
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), who will replace Berman in the next Congressional session, was more direct in warning the Palestinians that U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority (PA) should be conditioned on the PA living up to its obligations to stop violence against Israel, recognizing Israel’s right to exist as a democratic Jewish state, and fulfilling other obligations. “These unilateral efforts serve to undermine the prospects that those obligations might finally be met,” she said.
Abu Mazen and the PA leadership's current campaign to get international recognition for Palestinian statehood amounts to shirking the obligations undertaken with the 1993 Oslo Accords. While a similar campaign was tried by Arafat in 1988 and abandoned, Abu Mazen believes that this effort would at the minimum extract additional concessions from Israel without the PA having to reciprocate. Abbas hopes, moreover, that in light of President Obama’s pro-Palestinian bias, he might let them get away with this unilateral and destructive effort, by abstaining from a possible U.N. vote on Palestinian statehood.