Monday, June 6, 2011

French Initiative and the Jewish State

France has put forward a new bid to re-start negotiations. Abbas has accepted in principle. Waiting on Bibi. Haaretz reports:
In a first for the wider international community, the French initiative incorporates the position that the goal of negotiations is "two states for two peoples," not just "a two-state solution."
The idea behind the "two-states for two-peoples" language is that it recognizes (at least implicitly) Israel as a Jewish state, one of Bibi's current demands. The matter of Israel being recognized as a Jewish state is a confounding one to me. Why does Israel need Palestinian recognition of its Jewish character? Why wouldn't the Palestinians recognize Israel's Jewish character? In fact, there is some suggestion in the Palestinian Papers that they are willing to do so.

But more to the point, UN Resolution 181 expressly created two-states: one Jewish and one Arab:
Independent Arab and Jewish States and the Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem, set forth in Part III of this Plan, shall come into existence . . .
Then consider the following paragraph from the Palestinian Declaration of Independence from 1988:
Despite the historical injustice inflicted on the Palestinian Arab people resulting in their dispersion and depriving them of their right to self-determination, following upon UN General Assembly Resolution 181 (1947), which partitioned Palestine into two states, one Arab, one Jewish, yet it is this Resolution that still provides those conditions of international legitimacy that ensure the right of the Palestinian Arab people to sovereignty.
It seems that the Palestinians have already accepted (or come pretty damn close to accepting) a Jewish state, no?

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