Questionable Assumptions about the Palestinians
An excellent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal made me realize that many well-meaning people make many assumptions about the Palestinian campaign in the UN that are questionable at best. I'm not saying that these assumptions are all necessarily false -- just that they aren't necessarily true.
1. The Palestinian People deserves a state.
The common assumption is that every people should have its own state. But there are plenty of peoples without a state. The Kurds, the Tamils, the Flemish are all peoples without a state, and there are countless others. Indeed, these others have a much better claim than the Palestinians - check out this old video, where Azmi Bashara, of all people, insists that there is no Palestinian People!
2. The Palestinians currently lack a state.
But what about Jordan, where Palestinians are the majority? Why is this not a Palestinian State?
3. The Palestinians want a state that is equivalent to the Jewish state.
Israel, the Jewish State, has a huge number of Arab citizens. In some ways, they may be second-class citizens, but they do have full legal equality, and certainly a better life than they would have in any Arab country. The Palestinians, on the other hand, want their state to be Judenrein, as the Palestinian ambassador to the UN recently stated (and made more clear in the past, despite recent efforts to change the meaning of his words).
4. The Palestinians want a state alongside Israel.
Of course, this is what they claim that they want. But is this really what they are working towards? Abbas said that “We are going to complain that as Palestinians we have been under occupation for 63 years.” Shouldn't that be 44 years? I guess not, seeing as the PLO was founded before Israel captured Judea and Samaria in 1967. It's pretty clear that the Palestinians are working towards acquiring all Israel, not a Palestinian State alongside Israel.
5. The Palestinians' UN bid is driven by a desire for independence and statehood.
That's what Westerners would assume that it is about, since that is what Westerners would want. But is that what is driving the Palestinians? A long time ago I wrote a post about how whenever people give two reasons for something, the second reason is always the real driving reason, and the first reason is secondary, but placed in the first position in order to make their position more palatable. This is what Abbas wrote in the New York Times a few months ago:
"Palestine's admission to the United Nations would pave the way for the internationalization of the conflict as a legal matter, not only as a political one. It would also pave the way for us to pursue claims against Israel at the United Nations, human rights treaty bodies and the International Criminal Court."
That's what the Palestinian UN bid is really about. Not about creating a state, which they had much better opportunities for, and rejected. Rather, it's about attacking Israel.