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Contentions

Not Ready on Any Grounds

I agree with Evelyn Gordon and Michael Rubin that the Palestinian effort to have the UN recognize a Palestinian state violates (a) prior agreements (which expressly preclude such unilateral action) and (b) the philosophical basis of the peace process (land for peace, not the assignment of land prior to a peace agreement). It also represents the final installment of the Palestinian abandonment of the “Performance-Based Roadmap.”

Phase I of the Roadmap required that the Palestinian Authority engage in sustained and effective operations against “all those engaged in terror and dismantlement of terrorist capabilities and infrastructure.” Not only has that Phase not been completed, but a terrorist group controls half the putative state. Phase II was to focus on a Palestinian state with provisional borders as a way station to a permanent status settlement. The PA rejected Phase II out of hand and demanded Phase III final status negotiations without compliance with Phases I and II. Then it rejected the 2008 Israeli offer of a contiguous state on 100 percent of the West Bank and Gaza (after land swaps) with a capital in Jerusalem.

That was followed by the Palestinian refusal to engage in any further negotiations at all, unless Israel complied with new preconditions — including a pre-negotiation agreement to the 1949 armistice lines as the borders of a Palestinian state.

Now the PA is asking the UN to admit it as a state without any negotiations, much less agreement on borders or any other final status issue, or compliance with either of the preceding Phases of the Roadmap. The person going to the UN to make the request is the unelected “president,” now in the seventh year of his four-year term, unable to set foot in half his quasi-state, unwilling to hold local elections even in his own half, party to a reconciliation agreement with the terrorist group he pledged to dismantle in Phase I of the Roadmap, seeking a Palestinian state but unwilling to recognize a Jewish one.

It is difficult to think of an entity less ready or entitled to become a state — on legal, philosophical, political or diplomatic grounds.


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