Daily Israel Report

Fayyad: No 'Facebook State' for the PA

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad is not looking for a “Facebook State” – and moreover, he is convinced he isn't building one.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 12/30/2010, 11:59 AM / Last Update: 12/30/2010, 12:13 PM

Flash 90

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad is not looking for a “Facebook State” – and moreover, he is convinced he isn't building one.

Fayyad told the Reuters news agency Wednesday he expects more countries around the world will fall into line and announce formal recognition of the PA as a new country, with no recognition of Israel as the home of the Jewish people, no agreement on the "refugee" issue and no negotiated  final status agreement with Israel.

Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon last week wrote in his personal blog that the “state of Facebook is more real than the state of Palestine.” He compared recognition of such an entity with clicking on the “Like” button on the social networking site. Such an entity would lack designated borders, and would carry no authority or sovereignty.

“Irresponsible governments are quick to 'Like' the Palestinian state without actually checking out its profile: an authority without sovereignty, with no borders or territorial continuity, no economic ability or democratic culture... The State of Facebook is more real than the Palestinian state which would be created unilaterally without negotiation with the elected government in Jerusalem,” Ayalon wrote.

Seventeen years of talks failed to deliver his hoped-for state, Fayyad told reporters, adding that it was "unlikely" that the current Israeli administration "could be trusted" to do so. 

Formal recognition of the PA as an independent country by numerous other nations, he said, could “enshrine” such a state in all of Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

The international campaign to persuade various nations to recognize the PA as an independent country has picked up steam over the past several months. At least five Latin American countries announced they would grant the PA diplomatic status as a new nation, even without formal recognition by the United Nations and without any specific borders or sovereignty.

Brazil, Argentina, Ecuador, Uruguay and Paraguay all said they would recognize the entity as a new country along Israel's 1949 Armistice Line with Jordan and Egypt, which they referred to as the “1967 borders.” Much of the international community uses the term, since that was Israel's demarcation line prior to the 1967 Six Day War. That indefensible line did not include the Golan Heights from which Syrian artillery peppered the Jewish communities along the Sea of Galilee. Judea, Samaria, Gaza and part of Jerusalem were restored to the Jewish State in the 1967 defensive war fought against the attacking neighboring Arab states.

Fayyad has long planned for the unilateral declaration of an independent PA country within Israel's current borders. He announced last year in a speech delivered in Arabic that he would unilaterally declare the State of Palestine in August 2011 if no final status agreement with Israel was complete by that deadline.

“I am not looking for a “Facebook State” – or as I call it myself, a Mickey Mouse State,” Fayyad stated Wednesday. “If it doesn't matter, why did [Ayalon] bother to write a comment on it?”