Friday, April 22, 2011

September 2011: Recognition of the Palestinian state. What happens next?

The campaign of the Palestinian Authority to gain international recognition of the state of Palestine is supposed to reach its apogee in September 2011. During the General Assembly of the UN in September the leaders of the Palestinian authority want to get a UN resolution about the establishment of their state. Many countries already declared their support of this initiative. Yesterday the French ambassador to the UN even said that France and the European countries are considering recognition of the state of Palestine.

Some experts say that Israel is expecting her own "black September". Even some of the Israeli politicians call it a "new political tzunami". But let us analyze the situation without slogans or dramatic headlines. What will happen in September, after the adoption of this resolution?

It won't be the first time the UN adopts resolution about the Palestinian state. In November 1947 the UN did not adopt the resolution only about Israel - the resolution dealt with  establishing two nation  states: one Jewish and one Arab. The UN already gave its green light to the establishment of the Arab state in Palestine in1947. It was the decision of the Arab leadership in Palestine, with the support of the Arab states, to reject this resolution. 
It's also worth to remind that in 1988 when Yasser Arafat decided to conduct peace talks with Israel, he asked for the recognition of the state of Palestine, which was declared by a number of states.

In fact the Palestinians are asking for one new recognition of their state, which will be probably given to them once again. But what will change as the result of this new recognition? Is September 2011 will be another repetition of November 1947? 

At first sight it looks different. Today Palestinian Authority demands recognition of its state in the 1967 borders - borders that existed before the 6-day war. In demanding this, the PA wants to create a new legal reality: not just formal recognition of their state but also recognition of its borders.

However, when Abu Mazen demands 1967 borders he is ignoring the existing reality. Today, the Palestinian territories in 1967 borders are not fully controlled by the Palestinian Authority. One third of the Palestinian population living in Gaza is not under control of the PA. It's even worse than that: Abu Mazen cannot even enter Gaza Strip because Hamas who controls Gaza cannot assure his safety there. The resolution in September won't change this reality of de-facto separation between Gaza and the West Bank: Hamas doesn't care about the peace talks, or the 1967 borders, and wants all of Palestine  back to Arabs. And Jews? Jews should better go back to Europe, or to hell.

But it's not only the PA who misleads the world. It's the world who wants to believe that the Palestinians are ready for statehood! The IMF declared that the Palestinians built all the necessary economic and political institutions to declare a viable state. The European countries are also eager to recognize the state of Palestine. 
With this in mind, can anyone in Europe - Great Britain, France, Germany, to name the most active players - explain why they ignore Hamas? Why do they ignore the fact that 1967 borders are already divided between two Palestinian factions - Hamas and Fatah of Abu Maxen? That Palestinians are split - ideologically and politically? Do they understand that recognition of the state of Palestine will mean something completely different? 

So what will it mean? And what will happen in September 2011? The resolution on the state of Palestine will mean that the UN will recognize the state of the West Bank, not of Palestine. Because de-facto Gaza will not be part of this new state. Israel will once again stand against  the Goliath of the international community hoping to explain that one cannot resolve the conflict while ignoring the reality on the ground. 

Abu Mazen already said that he is against violence, but he is afraid of it. Unfortunately his politics of ignoring the problem of Hamas in hope that it will be settled after the official recognition of the state of Palestine, could bring him exactly to the same result he is so afraid of - lost of control and new weave of terror against Israel. And September 2011 could be another repetition of November 1947. Why? Because, as in 1947 the Palestinians are divided, and are not looking for compromise with Israel. They are looking for complete destruction of Israel, in the case of Hamas, or for imposing on Israel another UN resolution, in the case of PA.

Palestinians like to compare their cause to the Israel's. However, the Israelis in 1947 knew to overcome the differences between rival factions, and when necessary to deal with the extremists among them, in order to achieve independent state...Abu Mazen prefers to ignore his extremists, and the Europeans encourage him to do so. A sure recipe for failure.

Is there room for hope? Of course. Because many things could happen before September 2011. 

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