Big News? The authority in charge of 2/3 of Palestinians living in territories contiguous to Israel seeks recognition at the UN for a Palestinian state. I am not sure why this is news. Several comments: Neither the US nor Israel have any standing to tell Palestinians if they can have a state or not. And I don’t know why anyone believes that the UN has the power to decide who has a state and who does not. It’s not a world government and it sure as hell is not the superior global court. The General Assembly is a collection of real totalitarian regimes, tin-pot dictators, some in the process of losing all, such as Al Assaf, of ordinary rakes, of a few democratically elected leaders, and of the occasional cannibal. (If you don’t believe this, look up: “Jean-Michel Bokassa.”) The Security Council is comprised of the victors of WWII, two out of five by courtesy, if you ask me (France and China). The Palestinian leader who is conducting this maneuver was elected in proper elections but his mandate ran out two years ago. Imagine Obama continuing in the White house until 2016 without an intervening election. Come to think of it, I would rather not even think about it!
The other third of Palestinians in contact with Israel live in Gaza where they elected, also in proper elections, a theocratic party that thinks its primary God-given mission is the elimination of Israel. That’s to the exclusion, for example, of fixing sewers that overflow into the middle of the streets of Gaza City. The rulers of Gaza, Hamas, do not want a state, at least, not that state.
(For the wish t eliminate Israel, see the link to Hamas charter, on this blog.)
So here is a general reminder: The territory your group occupies is a state if other states treat it as such. No vote required, no vote really useful. My prediction: The General Assembly will declare the West Bank a Palestinian State but not Gaza. The Security Council will not vote for a Palestine because the US will veto it. Some Palestinians will demonstrate in the street with shouts of “Death to America.” We will continue giving every Palestinian $200 of my tax money each year. It’s cheap. International insults have cost me more in the past. In the meantime, don’t get your short twisted about Palestinian statehood.
PS My opinion: The sooner there is a Palestinian state, the better. A sense of dignity often changes people’s behavior. Having a state will also diminish the capacity of a big part of Palestinian political opinion to act like a brat.