From Occupation to Border Dispute

My op-ed in Tuesday’s Jerusalem Post. Here is part of it:

[T]he [UN] resolution acknowledges that the Palestinians have established all the trappings of a state. Abbas’s application to the Security Council last year made clear that they already had an independent, functioning state. It has a central bank and security forces, its own (virulently anti-Semitic) media, tax system and penal system. Palestine even an Internet suffix and international telephone exchange.

It has long been functioning as a state, conducting foreign relations, making deals and acting entirely independently of, indeed contrary to, the will of Israel. This is not a Bantustan overseen by Israel, as all its recent actions prove. In the wake of the UN vote, Palestine opened a defense ministry and began discussing issuing passports. No people under occupation have all these trappings of self-determination and statehood… Today, well over 95% of Palestinians live in territory administered by the Palestinian government.

SO WHAT is the UN bid about? Certainly not statehood. Israel supports Palestinian statehood more than any other nation, having offered it in negotiations repeatedly.

Rather it is over borders. This is evident from the resolution’s specifically describing the borders of the new non-member: typically, membership determinations are entirely distinct from border delineations. The PA does not just want statehood and self-determination for the Palestinians. They insist that their state include what in the Oslo Process was dubbed Area C – regions that are overwhelmingly Jewish.

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