Tuesday, January 4, 2011

First Palestinian Embassy in the Americas

The latest step in the Palestinian Authority’s agenda for statehood
Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas visited Brazil Friday to participate in the groundbreaking ceremony of the first Palestinian Embassy in the Americas. This is the latest development in the PA’s agenda to obtain international recognition of a Palestinian state—even though it refuses to forge a peace settlement with Israel.
“We thank Brazil for its support in the construction of a Palestine state. This favor we will never forget,” Abbas said. “We see several countries following the example of Brazil in recognizing the Palestinian state.” Over the past year, three other South American countries—Bolivia, Argentina and Ecuador—have recognized a Palestinian sovereign state, bringing the total number of states that recognize the Palestinian Authority—which is led by corrupt leaders and maintains a relationship with Hamas—as a sovereign state to a staggering 106.
For context, only 72 countries currently recognize Kosovo.
Since 1988, when the Palestinians declared independence under the leadership of Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Liberation Organization, country after country has recognized a sovereign Palestinian nation. Of the world’s 20 most populous nations, 15 recognize Palestinian statehood. The five dissenters are the United States, Japan, Mexico, Germany and Thailand.
Following the constitutive method of state creation, if other nations are willing to say that you are a state, you are a state. This is exactly the precedent set in the case of Kosovo, of which Palestinians have taken note.
As Reuters reported Friday, “Palestinian authorities are hoping for a diplomatic domino effect to give international validity to their claim for a state in all of the West Bank and Gaza Strip,” both of which were captured, along with East Jerusalem, by Israel in the 1967 war.
As Palestinian negotiator Nabil Shaath said last Wednesday, “In addition to the Latin American countries’ recognition of a Palestinian state, we expect that European countries would carry out similar actions beginning with promoting the diplomatic Palestinian representations in those countries to the level of embassies.”
This is exactly what has happened. France, Spain and Portugal have already upgraded Palestinian delegations in their respective countries, putting them on par with delegations of sovereign states. And there are rumors that Britain may follow suit. As Israel Today reports, Israel fears that the next step for the Europeans is to officially recognize an independent Palestinian state outside of the framework of an Israeli-Palestinian final-status peace agreement. This would be disastrous for Israel, as the Palestinians would get what they are fighting for without any concessions, such as peace!
Standing in the way of the Palestinians are a few nations in Europe such as Germany as well as a dwindling brotherhood of American supporters.
Although more than 100 countries have recognized Palestinian statehood, the formation of a Palestinian state is impossible without U.S. backing. If Europe and other countries continue to give legitimacy to the idea of Palestinian statehood without the PA having to settle on a formal agreement with Israel, pressure will build on Washington to follow suit. Should America seriously entertain the idea of backing Palestinian statehood, relations between Israel and the U.S. will suffer further. This could lead to the peace process being taken over by an entity Israel considers to be more impartial.
To find out who this will be, read “The Counterfeit Peacemaker.”