Jeff Jacoby writes A Palestinian state? Don’t count on it for the Boston Globe, 9/21/11.
…the Arabs of Palestine have consistently said no when presented with the chance to build a state of their own. They said no in 1937, when the British government, which then ruled Palestine, proposed to divide the land into separate Arab and Jewish states. Arab leaders said no again in 1947, choosing to go to war rather than accept the UN’s decision to partition Palestine between its Jewish and Arab populations. When Israel in 1967 offered to relinquish the land it had acquired in exchange for peace with its neighbors, the Arab world’s response, issued at a summit in Khartoum, was not one no, but three: “No peace with Israel, no negotiations with Israel, no recognition of Israel.”
At Camp David in 2000, Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered the Palestinians a sovereign state with shared control of Jerusalem and billions of dollars in compensation for Palestinian refugees. Yasser Arafat refused the offer, and returned to launch the deadly terror war known as the Second Intifada.
It is no mystery, however. The raison d’être of the Palestinian movement has never been the establishment and building-up of a sovereign Palestinian homeland. It has always been the negation of a sovereign Jewish homeland. That is why well-intended proposals for a “two-state solution” have never come to fruition, no matter how earnestly proposed by US presidents or UN secretaries-general. That is why the basic charter not just of Hamas but even of Abbas’s supposedly moderate Fatah vows to continue the “armed struggle” until “the Zionist state is demolished.” And that is why Abbas and other Palestinian leaders insist that a Palestinian state would be explicitly Arab and Muslim, but adamantly refuse to acknowledge that Israel is legitimately the Jewish state.
“Palestinian nationalism,” Edward Said told an interviewer in 1999, “was based on driving all Israelis out.” Sadly, it still is.
It is this grotesque and bloody culture that Palestinian leaders want the UN to affirm as worthy of statehood. The wonder is not they make the request, but that anyone thinks it should be granted.
Could we have conceived of a state like Israel, or any other, asking for admittance to the UN, WHILE denying the right of an member state to exist? It is not unusual for a new state to come about in the midst of blood shed, but it is unheard of to deny another of their right to exist as the major mission of their sovereign existence. The Palestinians have inculcated a program of anti-Semitism that would have made the Hitler youth blush. Israel is the only state in the UN facing a continuous existential crisis. Any serious consideration of a Palestinian state at this juncture will prove that the current UN is as effective at preserving world peace as the League of Nations was at preventing WW II.