In a spectacular display of ignorance, moral illiteracy and malice, the Swedish parliament voted in favor of unilaterally recognizing a Palestinian state in early October.
Then, on October 13th, a group of backbench British MPs succeeded in obtaining a symbolic, non-binding vote in the British House of Commons to the effect “that the Government should recognize the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution towards supporting a negotiated two-state solution”.
Similar parliamentary votes on Palestinian statehood are expected shortly in Ireland, Spain, Denmark, France and Finland.
These votes disregard the realities of the conflict. If the Palestinians would:
● recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people (which would mean acknowledgment of the character and permanence of Israel, and is thus rejected outright);
● accept demilitarization of Gaza and the 'West Bank';
● change their culture of hatred by amending their founding documents that proclaim their intention to annihilate Israel;
● forego their unconditional and non-negotiable position on their absolute “right of return” to Israel;
● cease incitement against Jews and Israelis in their schools, newspapers, mosques, media, summer camps, TV programming and educational system;
● cease portraying Palestine on their maps as including the State of Israel;
● cease their acts of murderous violence across Israel; cease justifying violence against Israelis as a legitimate form of political action;
● cease naming tournaments, marketplaces and streets after Palestinian “martyrs" whose claim to fame is that they murdered Jewish "occupiers" of Palestine (meaning Israelis);
● cease firing thousands of rockets into Israeli population centers;
● cease building terrorist tunnels into Israel for the sole purpose of kidnapping and murdering Israeli civilians;
● cease referring to Jews as “the descendants of apes and pigs”;
● cease providing payments to the families of suicide bombers;
● cease embracing as ‘heroes’ released Palestinian terrorists who murdered Israelis;
● cease attempting to bring war crimes charges against Israeli officers and officials at the International Criminal Court;
● cease insisting that the UN Security Council impose a deadline for Israeli withdrawal from the 'West Bank';
● cease playing the victim on the international stage and begin taking responsibility for their own failures, and cease promoting the apartheid, racist idea that any future Palestinian state will be “Jew-free” (as Mahmoud Abbas said in 2010), ........
then recognition of a Palestinian state based on a two-state solution would become feasible.
At this moment in time and for the foreseeable future, however, there is no serious evidence that the Palestinian leadership (be it Fatah or Hamas or both) want a state of their own that will live in peace with Israel as a Jewish state which rests on land they consider to be a sacred part of the Islamic ummah. In fact, there is ample evidence that they will treat anything they get as a staging ground for further attacks on Israel until it has been annihilated or subjugated to Islamic rule.
Despite the fact that the British resolution was non-binding and may have been motivated more for internal political purposes (conflicts between the British Labor Party and the governing Conservative Party), formal recognition of a Palestinian state (should it ever come to pass) would be a disaster for many reasons:
1. The Palestinians, despite numerous historical opportunities, have consistently refused to accept a Palestinian state (unless it includes the state of Israel). That is, their negotiation stance is contingent not on compromise but on struggle until victory.
2. The Palestinians have never been able to set up the infrastructure of a responsible state that would include transparent governance, a fair judicial system and a competent administration. Anything short of this would be a recipe for another failed Arab state.
3. The Oslo treaty is quite clear that resolution of borders and other issues must come through direct negotiations between the parties. Unilaterally declaring a state (as the British and Swedes have done) effectively undermines the treaty that committed both sides to a negotiated settlement between the two parties. That is, imposing Palestinian demands upon Israel using European or American pressure effectively destroys the Oslo treaty and undermines the peace process. In honor-shame Islamic cultures such as that of Palestinian society, if a foe (Israel) is forced to make concessions, it is seen as a sign of weakness and encourages further demands for further concessions.
4. It is a certainty that any Palestinian state so created will become a militant jihadist state controlled initially by Hamas and, later, quite possibly by ISIS. As the 2007 Hamas coup in Gaza showed, and as polls continue to show in the wake of Operation Defensive Edge, Hamas would end Fatah control over the 'West Bank' within months. This is what the Swedish and British parliaments have in fact endorsed in the name of “peace”.
5. With 48 Muslim majority states in the world (including 22 Arab states) - most of them failed states, none of them true Western-style democracies, and most of them belligerent - why on earth would the Europeans want to establish yet another guaranteed failed state? Given the current Palestinian leadership, establishing a formal state with all the rights that come with statehood (the right to govern, diplomatic immunity, a standing army, defined borders, an air command, sovereign control over land, territorial waters and air space, the right to collect taxes, and the capacity to enter into treaties with other states and to join specialized UN agencies such as the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the Law of the Sea Treaty, and the International Criminal Court) would be madness.
More importantly, this new “state” would be ruled half by a terrorist group (Hamas) and half by an unelected administrative entity (Fatah) whose last election occurred years ago. The government of each half considers the government of the other half illegitimate - and both are correct.
6. Forgetting the fact that the Palestinians have been offered a state on numerous occasions over the past 70 years, there are plenty of other ethnic and religious peoples who have a far greater claim to statehood in the world - peoples who maintain their own language, their own religion, and in many respects, their own history - peoples that include the Kurds, Tibetans, Tamils and Chechens. To favor formal statehood to a group that shares the same language and religion as 22 other Arab states sets a dangerous precedent.
7. As ISIS expands its murderous Islamic juggernaut across Iraq and Syria and threatens Lebanon, Jordan, Libya, Saudi Arabia and eventually Israel, Europe and the U.S., Western recognition of another failed state (Palestine) would represent a major victory for radical Islamist forces in the Levant to establish a new base of operations in Palestine that would allow them to use state status, rights and diplomatic immunity to further their global Islamic crusade
8. Israel is the West’s only truly reliable ally in the Middle East. Establishing a jihadist, genocidal Islamic enemy with full state powers on her borders would not only sow the seeds of a new war with a jihadist-controlled Palestine, but would guarantee the collapse of other moderate Arab nations with whom Israel is currently allied in its war against the jihadists.
None of those speaking for the creation of a Palestinian state appear to have taken any of these critical issues into account. The countries who voted (and will vote) for a Palestinian state have done nothing to advance the cause of peace in the Middle East. They have only sown the seeds of further war. The responsibility for the escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict rests with the Palestinians who continue to turn their backs on peace.
Palestinian national identity is predicated on winning a zero-sum struggle with Zionism, not on a vision of a state of their own. Rather than take the many opportunities offered to them to build a future for their children, they have refused to relinquish their embrace of a culture of hate and death.
Consequently, eminently sensible proposals regarding borders, Jewish communities in the 'West Bank' and even Jerusalem are rendered irrelevant. What Britain, Sweden, France and the other European countries refuse to recognize is that no peace is possible until Palestinian society makes the compromise it has been unwilling to do for nearly a century – to share the land.