The U.N. Statehood Charade

Both Benny Avni and Fouad Ajami have written extensively to engage the public on how useless the up coming vote at the U.N. to declare/ratify a Palestinian State.  This is pure idealism tied to cynicism hiding as Machiavelli!  Arab States are desperate to accomplish at Turtle Bay what they cannot accomplish on the ground.  They seek to isolate and berate both Israeli and American administrations; in a sentence:  to beguile the public to accept something that can only be the result of negotiations between Israel and Abbas.

This ‘nightmare’ scenario does not have legal teeth, for only the 15 U.N. Security members can recommend a new member.  A general vote at the U.N. assembly is nothing more than an attempt to gain a legal foothold to declare Israel ‘occupation’ throughout the West Bank illegal!

This vote will change nothing on the ground.  I guess we’re all nominalist’s now!

How did we get here?

Arab’s chose to fight Israel since 1967.  The 1973 Yom Kippur war was another failed attempt to gain on Israel.  Every time Arabs have chosen to fight they loose.  Their choice has proven calamitous for Palestinian society has collapsed under the pressure of militancy.  As Ajami has written ‘Palestine has become a great Arab shame’.

Arab culture loves myth, martyrdom and militancy.  ‘Few Arabs are willing to tell they story truthfully, for to face this hard verdict is to revise the political and cultural ideas grounding your very victimhood.  Because of this failure Palestinians would live on a vague idea of restoration and return.  No leader has had the courage to tell the refugees the honest truth.’

Ajami reveals that the ‘Palestinians have misread what transpired at the General Assembly in 1947 for the true cause of Israeli statehood was a project that had already prevailed on the ground.  Jewish statehood was a fait accompli perhaps a decade before the vote.  Everything was previously secured by Labor Zionism.  The Israeli’s had a military presence of conscripts, powerful political institutions, and gifted leaders like David Ben-Gurion’.  As Ajami wrote:  ‘ the vote at the General Assembly was of immense help, but it wasn’t the decisive factor in the founding of the Jewish state.  The hard work had been done in the three decades between the Balfour Declaration of 1917 and the vote of partition.  Realism had guided the Zionist project.  We will take a state even if its the size of a tablecloth, said Chaim Weizmann.  Sadly, the Palestinian national movement has known different leadership one grounded in militant activism, grievance, victimhood and entitlement.  Yasser Arafat was no Sadat, for his constituents were refugees in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Kuwait.  ‘So he peddled the dream that histories verdict could be overturned’.

Given the reality that is the Arab Spring, cynical NGO’s should refrain from such a vote for other ‘Arab states will not redeem Palestinian rights, they have their own burdens to bear’.

What is the standard to bear for gaining admission to statehood?

Simple.  ‘A true Palestinian State requires convincing a decisive Israeli majority that Statehood is a herald for normalcy in this contested land’.

If the Arabs wish to deliver on such a promise, they must negotiate from a position of strength.  That cannot happen from the position of atavistic militancy.  That has already failed.

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About William Holland

Systematic Theologian/International Relations
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