The Jordan Times (Editorial)
October 14, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel is busy preparing for a legal battle with the Palestinians over their application for full membership as a sovereign state in the UN.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has instructed his ministry to draw up plans to defeat the Palestinian bid on a legal basis. The Israeli legal grounds against the Palestinians, however, are flawed and cannot withstand a fair legal scrutiny.

Israel claims that the Palestinians cannot meet the UN criteria for statehood because: there is no distinct Palestinian population in Palestine; they lack a defined territory; they do not have effective control over their territories; they do not have yet an effective capacity to govern and, thus, enter into relations with other states.

A closer look shows that the Israeli submissions are false.

For centuries, there has been a Palestinian population living in the West Bank, Gaza and beyond. These people’s houses, traditions, ancestry can easily be tracked. Trying to wipe - with the stroke of a pen - the existence of a population may be a Lieberman, and other Zionists’, fantasy, but it will not hold in a court of law.

When it comes to the Palestinians’ effective control over their territories, the blame cannot be laid on them. With 60 per cent of the West Bank classified as area C, thus under the effective control of Israel, how can the latter expect Palestinians to rule their own affairs?

Israel and the international community are only to blame for the occupation, an anachronism in this age and time.

Under international law, Israel is prohibited from benefiting from a wrong it committed through aggression. And a wrong it did commit when it occupied territories belonging to another people, and is still committing by denying the Palestinians the inalienable right to independence and statehood.

The reasoning that the Palestinians have no capacity to enter into relations with other nations is also untenable. It is refuted by reality: the Palestinians already have embassies in most capitals of the world and have demonstrated, time and again, that they are more than capable of entering diplomatic and other forms of relations with other states, and to meet their international obligations.

Moreover, all obstacles that stand in the way of Palestinian statehood and independence will be entirely eliminated once the Israeli occupation comes to an end.

This is what the international community should force Israel to do and this is what the Israeli leadership needs to understand if it truly wants peace and acceptance in the region.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017