Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The Right to Exist

States or People?


"It is a curious phrase this "right to exist". Israel wants the world to accept its "right to exist" as a state, but it denies the indigenous Palestinians their right to exist as a people in their own land. International relations only acknowledges the rights of people, not states. [1] States exist because of the formal recognition afforded them by other states, and now that Israel is recognised as a state, it in fact exists. It makes no sense to demand that a political party recognise Israel's "right to exist", much less punish 4 million Palestinians because a majority voted the Hamas Party into government. Yet, these are the very words that are holding the Palestinians, particularly those in Gaza, to an impossible ransom......

The situation for the Palestinians right now is very dangerous. Israel's settlement enterprise has been largely achieved: 40 per cent of the West Bank is off limits to the Palestinians and the rest has been virtually cantonised with movement all but restricted between them. Gaza is totally isolated. There is not a border or space in or around Palestinian land that is not controlled by Israel. Also, Israel is creating facts on the ground that have already made it impossible for the Palestinians to have their state within the 1967 Green line. What is left has been made deliberately confusing and has led to the myth of the "generous" offer. The 92 per cent that Israel is again offering the Palestinians, is 92 per cent of the 22 per cent of land left within the Green line, not 92 per cent of the whole that the Palestinians originally owned. Such an offer is frankly insulting and so are the further border adjustments that Israel is making even as the offer is on the table. It shows to what audacious lengths Israel will go to exist as a Jewish state. That it is at the expense of the Palestinian right to exist in their own land, is illegal and immoral. It would be suicide for the Palestinian leadership to agree to anything that is not reciprocated, particularly the unconditional recognition of the Jewish state and the demand for its "right to exist"."

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