The Point of the Palestinian Statehood Bid

In their own words, independence is not the goal.

In his Huffington Post article, “Support Peace: Oppose Palestinian UN Gambit,” David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee, opens with the following: “Once again, the Palestinians, with the help of their international enablers, are about to shoot themselves in the foot—or worse.”

In describing the Palestinian Authority’s upcoming September gambit at the United Nations, Mr. Harris overstates his point: he could easily have left out the words “or worse.”

In fact, according to a recent Haaretz report, entitled “IDF Training Israeli Settlers Ahead Of ‘Mass Disorder’ Expected In September,” the Israeli army is conducting “detailed work” to determine a “red line” for each settlement in the West Bank, which, if crossed by Palestinians, “will allow…soldiers…to open fire at the legs of the demonstrators[.]”

Not quite the “foot,” but nonetheless, the same vicinity.

Indeed the Palestinians are setting the stage for yet another conflict with Israel, which, ironically, is the exact opposite outcome of their purported UN goal.

Or is it?

The true motivation behind the Palestinians’ UN move was overtly conveyed by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in an op-ed written for The New York Times: “Palestine’s admission to the United Nations would pave the way for the internationalization of the conflict as a legal matter, not only a political one.” In other words, not an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but rather the perpetuation of it.

And what better way to achieve this than to execute a “Million Man March” on Israel’s borders, prompting Israeli retaliation, which, in turn, will enable the Palestinians to further delegitimize the Jewish state by “pursu[ing] claims against Israel at the United Nations, human rights treaty bodies and the International Court of Justice,” in Abbas’ words.

Moreover, the IDF “is also planning to provide settlers with tear gas and stun grenades as part of the defense operation,” according to Haaretz.

Thus, immediately following their UN bid, the Palestinians will have furthered their main objective: to weaken Israel both militarily and territorially. In this case, by provoking the IDF (military) as well as “settlers” (territory), and then branding Israeli actions of self-defense as “disproportionate” and “aggressive.” All that is required is the “martyring” of a few Palestinians. Easy come easy go.

And the fact that Palestinian statehood will still remain elusive—assuming the Obama administration fulfills its promise to veto any motion to this effect brought to the Security Council—further highlights the Palestinians’ raison d’être—not self-determination, but rather bringing about the inexistence of Israel.

This past weekend, chief PLO “negotiator” Saeb Erekat made this objective overt, stating that “the [aim of the] Palestinian bid at [the] United Nations is to gain full UN membership of the state of Palestine within 1967 borders and not to announce independence,” according to the Palestinian news agency WAFA. Erekat proceeds to explain the utility of UN membership without declaring statehood: “If we were recognized as a state member in UN, we don’t think that settlements or Israeli crimes and provocations will disappear immediately, but the difference will be that Palestine is an occupied country by another state member.” This, according to Erekat, would provide “Palestine” with added leverage to escalate the conflict against Israel by dictating “solutions for issues like prisoners and refugees.”

As further proof, consider Erekat’s recent affirmation that “going to the UN won’t cancel the ‘right of return,’” the Palestinian euphemism for the demographic destruction of the Jewish state. A Jerusalem Post editorial explains the ramifications of Palestinian intransigence on this issue: “Exercising the Palestinian ‘right of return’…would result in the influx of millions of ‘refugees’ who, together with Arab Israelis who already make up 20 percent of the population, would seriously endanger, if not overturn, the Jewish majority.”

Ergo, the end of Israel.

Returning to Mr. Harris: “A GA vote would send precisely the wrong message to Israel. It would say we are prepared to…ignore your vital interests…[and] overlook your determined efforts to reach a negotiated two-state agreement.…”

And that’s the point.