Op-Ed: The Real Case Against PA Statehood UDI
Last Thursday I attended a luncheon, organized by The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations to honor departing Moroccan Ambassador H.E. Aziz Mekouar. The usual pleasantries were exchanged, and the Ambassador spoke of his country’s new constitution and warm relationship with domestic and International Jewish communities.
When asked about the possibility of Morocco taking on a leadership role in opposing the upcoming United Nations vote for Palestinian Arab statehood, Mekouar declined to answer, referring instead to Morocco’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Mohammed Loulichki who was seated beside him.
In the most diplomatic and soft spoken fashion Loulichki explained that the UN declaration isn’t really the biggest deal. He essentially argued that since almost everyone has accepted the inevitability of a Palestinian Arab State, and has accepted the Two State Solution to the Israeli- Arab conflict, a General Assembly vote would just go a step further in solidifying this already established acquiescence.
If one had to look at it as an outsider, he certainly has a point. There are no legal ramifications to the General Assembly vote and the United States has made clear that it would veto any Security Council Resolution. In truth, for those that accept the Two State Solution as viable, the case against the UN bid is weak. In a UJA Federation e-mailer requesting the recipients to sign a petition against the vote the following case was made. ”We believe a unilateral declaration will not only undermine the peace process, but violates the existing and agreed upon international framework for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.” So on the Palestinian Arab side, the argument is, “after years of living as refugees, and coming up against a brick wall with peace talks, we now have no choice but to unilaterally seek support for our State on the international stage.” The Jewish counterargument is, “although we agree with your end game, we don ’t agree with the way you are going about it.” Of course there is more to it, but to a general public that doesn’t have time or headspace for the details, which is more compelling?
There is a strong case to be made, that the notion of another Arab State on Israel’s doorstep has no moral or historic justification, and never was and never will be in Israel’s interest. It will most certainly endanger more lives, bring about greater bloodshed and continue to propagate the Israeli-Arab conflict. The majority of Israelis are well aware of this and have come to understand it only through the blood and tears of the many slain. Others share the vision of the New Israel Fund associate director who said "the disappearance of a Jewish state would not be the tragedy that Israelis fear since it would become more democratic.” In actuality ‘disappearance of a Jewish State,’ would be the tragedy that Israelis fear because it would almost certainly result in a wholesale bloodbath.
It is clear that not only Palestinian Arabs, but many other Arabs in the region, are intent on removing Israel and all the Jews that go with it from their midst, as is continuously evidenced by their public statements, their history of actions and demands, as well as their constitutional mandates. Precisely for this reason Jews should adamantly oppose this UN declaration and all other efforts towards Palestinian Arab independence, recognition and global sympathy. The Jewish side of the UDI argument should be, “we oppose this move and similar efforts now and ever, because it is a step towards our destruction and will lead to more bloodshed and pain.” Now who has a case?
The upcoming activity in the United Nations, as well as the instability of Israel’s agreement with Egypt facilitates a unique opportunity. As a turning point in the Palestinian Arab narrative, it provides a platform for a radical shift in Israeli policy as well. Israel can begin to convey that the unilateral bid and it’s implied demand, ‘land without peace,’ has indicated to them once again that the pursuit of ‘peace’ was never an interest of the Palestinian Arabs, and therefore, in order to ensure the safety and security of its citizens Israel no longer sees the ‘Land for Peace’ formula as valid.
Is peace ever a possibility? As Shmuel Katz writes in his 1973 classic Battleground, “Peace will not come as long as the powers abet Arab visions of a paradise on earth, encourage them in their hopes of destroying and inheriting Israel, and equip them with the instruments for the undertaking.”