03 December 2012

Palestine Pop Quiz

The United Nations recently voted 138-9 (with 41 abstentions) to elevate "Palestine" with non-member state status. Before delving into the meaning of according observer status it is worth taking a Palestine Pop Quiz.

Perhaps a primer on the disputed territory of the West Bank would be instructive--

Since "Palestine" is comprised of two separate exclaves, the separate areas (Gaza and the West Bank) with separate governments (Gaza's by the terrorist inspired Hamas and the West Bank by Fatah) . So its territory stability is dubious.  And both Gaza and the West Bank use the Israeli Shekel as its currency.

The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications: a) a permanent population; b) a defined territory; c) government; and d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states.

Clearly, Palestine in lacking on several scores.  The permanent populate requirement is interesting since Palestinian leaders frequently demand that their residents become citizens in the state of Israel.  

The territorial item is tricky not just because of the two exclaves.  The signed Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement (1995) proclaims that the Palestinian Legislative Council lacks jurisdiction over  "issues that will be negotiated in the permanent status negotiations: Jerusalem, settlements, specified military locations, Palestinian refugees, borders, foreign relations and Israelis".  Without control over borders, it should fail the territory test.
Then there is the capability to enter into relations with other states.  While a couple of countries, like Argentina, Brazil and El Salvador recognize the State of Palestine and comprised of the West Bank. But international obligations contained in the Israeli Palestinian Agreement declare that: 

The [Palestinian Legislative] Council will not have powers and responsibilities in the sphere of foreign relations, which sphere includes the establishment abroad of embassies, consulates or other types of foreign missions and posts or permitting their establishment in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip, the appointment of or admission of diplomatic and consular staff, and the exercise of diplomatic functions.   [Article 9, paragaph 5].

Moreover, Article 4 of the United Nations Charter mandates that "Membership in the United Nations is open to all other peace-loving states".  How does that work with Palestinians who have routinely rejected a two state solution, engage in terrorism and vow to push Jews in Israel into the sea?

So if agreements and law mattered to the United Nations, Palestine should not qualify for non-member state status.

Some sophisticates like John Batchelor claim that the U.N. non-member state status is the equivalent of a Junior Membership in a Country Club.  Non-Member states do not have a vote in the U.N. General Assembly but can raise resolutions by itself and participate in international organizations.

Palestinians conflated this U.N. vote as international legitimization of its state status, albeit in unofficial status.  But the real reason for this move may have been Palestinian participation in international organizations.  Expect "Palestine" to accuse Israel of genicide, despite the terrible tactics which Palestinians use in their indiscriminate missile attacks on Israeli civilians.  Then there was the UNESCO proclamation that the Jewish Cave of the Patriarchs and Rachel's Tomb in the West Bank are actually Muslim holy sites.

The Israelis can rightly conclude that any agreements with Palestinians are worth the paper that they are printed on, as the international community will conveniently ignore limitations when it so chooses.  Moreover, it confirms that Palestinians have no interest in negotiated peace and seek to wipe Israel off the map.

Congress has passed a law which forbids funding any agency that gives full recognition to Palestinian statehood.  But knowing the way Attorney General Holder operates as well as the feckless foreign policy of the Obama Administration, adhering to the law is about as assured as the UN observing the Montevideo Convention.

h/t: DryBones
      Snapshops a Camera

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