Jeffrey Goldberg posted a question yesterday that he said was nagging at him, and asked if someone could “please provide a poor blogger some answers”:
How could the United Nations recognize Palestine, a state comprising of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, when the two territories are ruled separately, by factions that have actually gone to war with each other in the recent past, and which disagree about the most fundamental issue of all: the efficacy and morality of the two-state solution.
It is a good question. The two “factions” cannot live “side by side in peace and security”™ even with each other, much less Israel; they have signed two “reconciliation” agreements in four years: the first ended with one group throwing the other off the top of buildings; the second was initiated with great fanfare as the precursor to the UN petition but will never be implemented, because there is severe disagreement between the two groups as to whether Israel should be destroyed in one step or two.
“Palestine” meets none of the four legal requirements under international law for a state. It has completed none of the three Phases under the “Performance-Based Roadmap” the UN adopted as the basis for a state. It has agreed to neither of the two requirements Israel’s prime minister set forth (that a Palestinian state must recognize a Jewish one, and be demilitarized so it does not threaten its neighbor). It has not even been able to implement the one hallmark of a democratic state: hold an election.
So how, you ask, could the UN do it? The answer was effectively provided during the hearing held last week by the House Foreign Affairs Committee to review U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority. The following colloquy occurred between Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) and Elliott Abrams:
POE: I agree with Ambassador Dore Gold, Israel’s former UN ambassador, when he said if there was a resolution whose first clause was anti-Israel and whose second clause was that the Earth was flat, it would pass the United Nations … Of course Palestinians aren’t motivated to talk to Israel when they’ve got the UN on their side … Maybe they will put the Earth is flat in that resolution.
ABRAMS: It will still pass. They do have an automatic majority; that is true. As the Israelis say, anything the Palestinians put forward, they get the automatic vote of every Muslim state, and Israel gets the automatic support of every Jewish state.