The Israeli Defense Minister is warning of the “tsunami of September” when the U.N. will vote on recognizing an independent Palestine. Spain will recognize a Palestinian state even before then. International pressure against Israel is ratcheting up, and at the same time, Fatah has buried the hatchet with Hamas and seeks to do the same with Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Dozens of countries support recognizing an independent Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, including Russia, China, India, South Africa and the countries of the Arab League. Most of South America has already formally recognized a Palestinian state, and now Spain intends to join them before the September vote at the U.N. takes place. If a member of the U.N. Security Council blocks the recognition of a Palestinian state, there will be an international uproar. It is very possible that a stream of countries will follow in Spain’s footsteps and independently recognize a Palestinian state. This may encourage the Palestinians to unilaterally declare statehood, setting the stage for war.
The Palestinian Authority will submit a request for full membership in the U.N. to the Secretary-General by mid-July. The request will then go to the president of the Security Council, which is Germany. Luckily, Germany opposes a U.N. vote on Palestinian statehood. The Security Council then forms a committee to evaluate whether the Palestinians meet the requirements for U.N. membership. A conclusion must be reached at least 35 days before the General Assembly opens, which is August 10. It is likely that the push for membership in the U.N. will be stopped at this juncture as the U.S., U.K. and France hold veto power. At that point, the General Assembly can recognize a Palestinian state on its own but not grant it U.N. membership.
Israeli intelligence believes that the U.N. General Assembly will vote in favor of Palestinian statehood based on the 1967 borders. Prime Minister Netanyahu is striking a confident tone on the issue, saying it is “destined for failure.” He also mocked the legitimacy of the General Assembly’s vote, saying, “No one can stop the United Nations General Assembly from recognizing the Palestinian state in September. The U.N. can also adopt a resolution that the world is flat.”
The Palestinians are presenting a united front ahead of the push at the U.N. Fatah and Hamas have signed a reconciliation agreement. This forms a unity government and ends Fatah’s fight against Hamas. This effectively ends the peace process as Hamas is committed to Israel’s destruction. As President Obama said in his speech about the Arab Spring on May 19, “How can one negotiate with a party that has shown itself unwilling to recognize your right to exist?” Prime Minister Netanyahu likewise said, “The Palestinian Authority must choose either peace with Israel or peace with Hamas. There is no possibility for peace with both.”
Now, Fatah is even extending a hand towards Palestinian Islamic Jihad. President Abbas has met with the Secretary-General of the Islamic Jihad in Cairo, who came from Syria. The topics of discussion were the Palestinian Authority’s operations against Islamic Jihad networks in the West Bank, and a possible release of the terrorist group’s members from prison. An alliance against Israel is apparently the objective, as Islamic Jihad said the meeting was about “confronting future challenges and Israeli threats.”
It is significant that the meeting between Abbas and the leader of Islamic Jihad took place in Cairo. The Egyptian military regime has become increasingly friendly to Islamists. It is trying to improve relations with Iran, and has permanently opened the crossing into the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. A general is admitting that the military conducted “virginity checks” on female protesters arrested on March 9. Last Friday, the Muslim Brotherhood and the military regime were on the same side in opposing protests by liberal demonstrators.
Hamas says it is trying to convince Fatah to join its jihad. “What is needed today…is to have resistance in all forms, armed and public ones,” said the terrorist group’s leader. Hamas has also said it will give Israel an additional year to agree to a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital, but says war won’t necessarily follow if the demands are not met. Of course, Hamas will not settle for anything less than the destruction of Israel. One of the group’s leaders said in June 2010, “Our plan for this stage is to liberate any inch of Palestinian land, and to establish a state on it. Our ultimate plan is [to have] Palestine in its entirety.”
Tension between the Israelis and Palestinians is increasing in the lead-up to the effort at the U.N. The Israeli military is preparing for a repeat of the Nakba Day provocations on the June 5-June 10 anniversary of the Six-Day War. “Activists” in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan are already organizing online for the event.
As Defense Minister Ehud Barak said a “diplomatic tsunami” is headed towards Israel and its defenders. This September, the West must remember Israel is the shining light of the Middle East and stands on the frontlines in the war against radical Islam.