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Palestine - Israel has had enough

By David Singer - posted Monday, 14 May 2012


The Palestinian Authority's decision to unilaterally seek Palestinian statehood at the United Nations and UNESCO - in breach of its obligations under the Oslo Accords and the Roadmap - has propelled Benjamin Netanyahu and Shaul Mofaz into forming Israel's government of national unity this week. This was made abundantly clear when one of the four priorities announced by both leaders was:

to move forward responsibly in the peace process

With the new Government now controlling 78% of the votes in the Knesset - a new offer is set to be made by Israel to the Palestinian Authority in a final endeavour to resolve the allocation of sovereignty in the West Bank and Gaza between Jews and Arabs. Israel has endured the machinations of the Palestinian Authority for the last 19 years. Its continuing obduracy in demanding - as a minimum - a Palestinian State equal in size to 100% of the West Bank and Gaza - with its capitol in Jerusalem - has been a major stumbling block in ending the conflict. Successive Israeli Prime Ministers of differing political persuasions have laboured in vain to try and achieve an equitable division of these territories between Israel and the Palestinian Authority within the context of a negotiated peace treaty. Refusing to budge from 100% is hardly a basis on which anyone can ever hope to successfully negotiate. The Palestinian Authority will now pay dearly for its mistake in breaking away from the Oslo Accords and the Roadmap to unilaterally seek recognition of statehood at the United Nations and UNESCO in September and October 2011. These disastrous diplomatic forays were made outside - and in breach of - the negotiating framework established by the Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap - which provided in Clause XXXI (7) of the 1995 Israeli-Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and Gaza Strip:

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Neither side shall initiate or take any step that will change the status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations.

President Obama's attempt to counsel the Palestinian Authority against taking such action was made very clear when addressing world leaders at the United Nations General Assembly:

Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the U.N. If it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now.

Notwithstanding the threat by America to veto any such move for statehood - the application was pressed - only to find it ignominiously rejected before it was even voted on by the Security Council. Undeterred - the Palestinian Authority then sought international recognition of Palestinian statehood at UNESCO - where it succeeded - despite Israel and America's strong opposition. America immediately suspended the payment its membership dues to UNESCO under a domestic 1994 law on its statute books - which prohibited payments to:

...any affiliated organization of the United Nations which grants full membership as a state to any organization or group that does not have the internationally recognized attributes of statehood.

Palestine's application did not comply with the internationally recognized attributes of statehood laid down in the Montevideo Convention 1933 - yet UNESCO had recognized Palestinian statehood in breach of such well established international law. None of the 194 member states of UNESCO - including Israel and America - has taken any steps since to try and reverse UNESCO's unlawful decision or withdraw its delegates from UNESCO in protest - even though 87 of them did not affirmatively vote for Palestine's admission as a member state of UNESCO. Their inaction amounts to recognition of Palestinian statehood and an end to Palestinian homelessness - resulting in the achievement of the two state solution outside the Oslo Accords and the Roadmap. This state of Palestine is not required to be demilitarized nor recognize Israel as the Jewish State - as Israel had been demanding as conditions for its recognition of a Palestinian State. So where is Israel going to go from here in "moving forward responsibly in the peace process"? A clue can be found in the following views expressed by Mr. Mofaz in November 2009 - which remain equally relevant in 2012:

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Today in Gaza, 100% of the territory and 100% of the population is under Hamas control.
In the West Bank, there are three types of areas; Area A, B, and C.
Palestinians have security and civilian responsibility in Area A.
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About the Author

David Singer is an Australian Lawyer, a Foundation Member of the International Analyst Network and Convenor of Jordan is Palestine International - an organisation calling for sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza to be allocated between Israel and Jordan as the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine. Previous articles written by him can be found at www.jordanispalestine.blogspot.com.

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Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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