Senior Palestinian Authority negotiator Nabil Shaath has announced that the PA will never accept Israel as a Jewish state. In addition, he threatened war if the PA fails to obtain its demands through negotiations, saying, “A Palestinian state will arise, either through negotiations or through armed resistance.”
The Arab League voted last week to support PA Chairman Abbas' refusal to recognize Israel as Jewish.
Shaath said that recognizing Israel as Jewish state would undermine the PA's demand for the “right of return,” which would grant Israeli citizenship to the millions of descendants of Arab who fled Israel during its War of Independence.
He also claimed that accepting a Jewish state “will directly threaten the Muslim and Christian Palestinians in Israel.”
The PA has demanded that no Jewish residents remain in the territory it claims as the location of a future Arab state, including any Israelis in Judea and Samaria who would be willing to become PA citizens. Arab leaders in the PA and elsewhere have insisted that Israel cease all construction for Judea and Samaria Jews in order for negotiations to proceed.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak backed the PA view in an interview with Channel 1 broadcast Saturday night. “I say to Israeli citizens, including Jews, Muslims and others, that there is no such thing as a state in which all the citizens are Jews,” he said.
While the Arab League and Mubarak argued against labeling a state “Jewish,” many Arab League nations – among them Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and Libya – are officially Muslim countries. In Syria the president is required by law to be a Muslim, and the same is true for the Prime Minister of Lebanon.