State your case

star-bikini-burkaFailed two state cognitive dissonance

Sweden has just elected a new centre-left government led by Prime Minister Stefan Lofven of the Social Democrat party. Sweden is to “recognise the state of Palestine”, “negotiated in accordance with international law”, “A two-state solution requires mutual recognition and a will to peaceful co-existence. Sweden will therefore recognise the state of Palestine.”

Forget that. If a de-facto State of Palestine is created the one thing it won’t be is obeying the laws governing statehood; won’t offer mutual recognition; won’t have a will to peaceful co-existence and it won’t matter.

Why won’t it matter? As is so common with Five Minutes for Israel posts events have changed faster than I am willing to write. Probably tomorrow, the United Kingdom parliament will vote on a non-binding resolution recognising a Palestinian state without a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians being finalized. Christian leaders from the Palestine Authority have come forward urging them to do so. Almost needless to say the motion was raised by a Labour backbencher.

It will, as with the Swedish declaration change nothing on the ground, which is why International Law, peace and recognition are almost irrelevant. Indeed, that is the point.

The tactic is brilliant. A victory will increase the demand for de jure recognition without Palestine needing to do anything to comply with International Law, current agreements or make any of the necessary compromises for peace. Most of the last and most important group yet to recognise a Palestinian sovereign state, i.e. the European Union, will see that Sweden and Britain suffer no adverse consequences (at least not immediately) from this piece of hypocrisy.

So why not join in? Indeed can they afford to do the correct moral thing and refuse recognition if the bulk of Europe stops sitting on the fence?

Will it ensure the Muslim vote for those who throw Israel under the bus, at least for as long as their vote will be relevant?

Swedish Burka Team

Will the Sweden that recognises a Palestinian State remain the Sweden we recognition for long?

My first thought was that the State of Palestine will be something like Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia between 1944 when the Soviet Union invaded, occupied and absorbed them and 1990 when the Soviet Union collapsed. They maintained diplomatic recognition from a number of countries but fulfilled none of the legal conditions for sovereign statehood.

As a public service Five Minutes for Israel will explain the Montevideo Convention 1933. There are actual rules for recognizing states and Palestine fulfills none of them.

The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications: (a) a permanent population; (b) a defined territory; (c) government; and (d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states.

  1. Does the permanent population of the Palestinian State include the Jews? Will they need to be expelled as Mahmud Abbas and others have constantly threatened? Will the Palestinian State be the first state recognised by the community of nations because it has ethnic cleansed part of its permanent population rather despite that?
  2. Does the Palestinian State have a defined border? It claims all the territory that Jordan (then Transjordan) and Egypt† conquered and occupied in 1948 but neither party accepted those positions as borders. Indeed the only defined borders between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are the Oslo Agreements which the Palestinian campaign deliberately breaches. Reality is that where Israel is in actual control, it is unlikely that defined borders will have any meaning.
  3. Does the Palestinian State have a government? Wouldn’t it be more accurate to say it has two: Hamas in Gaza and Fatah in the P.A. and the officials of each have no control on the other? Under the Oslo Accords  some 60% of the West Bank is under exclusive Israeli military and civilian control. Is that government. Surely, the reality of President Mahmud Abbas in the ninth year of his legal four-year term is some sort of issue here.
  4. Palestine can make agreements but can it enforce them? Everything it does, in reality depends on the acquiescence of either Israel, Jordan or Egypt.

Christians support a Palestinian State

Some time ago a Christian Palestinian from Bethlehem told me that most Christians would welcome a return to full Israeli occupation but are too scared to say so.

When their leaders lend their credibility to forcing a Palestinian State on Israel I can’t help wondering:

  • Is this Stockholm Syndrome, where the victims adopt the positions of their oppressors;
  • A belief in replacement theology that is so deep that they haven’t absorbed that whatever God in heaven thinks about Christians replacing Jews in his promises, on Earth it is Muslims superseding Christians;
  • Jew Hatred so ingrained that they are willing to sacrifice their own interests to it;
  • Or fear of what the non-Christian Palestinians would do to them if they didn’t act appropriately? A variation of Churchill on appeasement; “An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.”

Whatever the reason, they may get their wish. Be careful what you wish for.

Extra credit


Some may recognise the bikini girl in the burka used in this post’s five-in-a star. I was planning to find a suitable girl in a bikini and draw a burka as I have with the iconic Swedish Bikini team when I came across An-Sofie Dewinter whose picture was used by the Belgian-Flemish Vlaams Belang party, often described as being extreme Right or even fascist, in an advertisement. I thought, now there’s irony. The Jews, so often associated with ‘Social Democrats’, such as the Labour party in the United Kingdom or the Democrats in the United States are seeing that support dwindle and the natural party of the Jews make common cause with groups that somehow don’t feel ‘Kill the Jews’ is Jew Hatred. They can only turn to groups that apparently hate Muslims more.

† The agreement with Jordan was signed on 3 April 1949. The main points relevant to this post:

  • No provision of this Agreement shall in any way prejudice the rights, claims and positions of either Party hereto in the ultimate peaceful settlement of the Palestine question, the provisions of this Agreement being dictated exclusively by military considerations.
  • Jordanian forces remained in most positions held by them in the West Bank, particularly East Jerusalem which included the Old City.

The Israel–Egypt Armistice Agreement was signed on 24 February 1949. The main point srelevant to this post:

  • The Armistice Demarcation Line is not to be construed in any sense as a political or territorial boundary, and is delineated without prejudice to rights, claims and positions of either Party to the Armistice as regards ultimate “settlement of the Palestine question”.
  • The armistice demarcation line was drawn for the most part along the 1922 international border between Egypt and Mandatory Palestine, except near the Mediterranean Sea, where Egypt remained in control of a strip of land along the coast, which became known as the Gaza Strip.

About David Guy

B.A./B.C.A. (Communication and Media Arts) University of Wollongong, AUSTRALIA M.A. in Government (Diplomacy and Conflict Studies) Inter Disciplinary Center, Herzliya, ISRAEL Twitter @5MFI
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