Monday, April 18, 2011

Suing for Statehood, Suing for Peace

The Palestinian Authority has pronounced itself ready for statehood. The United Nations has congratulated the Palestinian Authority for its work in resulting in producing nascent government departments, the administrative instruments of government required for the functioning of an independent state. Infrastructure development has been produced that will assist a new Palestinian State to govern well.

And there are 100 UN member-states prepared to support the PA's unilateral push for sovereign statehood.

Of these 100 state governments allied with the United Nations in the General Assembly and the United Nations administration itself, where are the questions looking for answers related to the PA's intentions toward its neighbour? Not much in the way of good will when the Palestinian Authority abrogates the necessary first step to living adjacent an established neighbour before seeking statehood.

That first step being a commitment to living in peace with Israel, the neighbour that the Palestinians have been attempting to dislodge from the geography since 1948.

Israel remains adamant that first things must be settled first, a not-unreasonable assumption that this would be in the best interests of both solitudes and by extension the entire Middle East. Agree on a peace settlement and in the process clean up the outstanding issues that have been a prickly matter of contention between both Israel and the Palestinians.

But to do so would be to clearly acknowledge that the Jewish State has a right to exist as a Jewish State. And that by extension the Palestinians agree to accept their portion of the geography, inside borders agreeable and practically useful to each.

The international community sees a Palestinian Authority claiming it has matured politically and socially and is prepared to take its place as a nation within a community of nations.

This is also the administration that continues to honour suicide bombers as 'martyrs'. In the process recruiting others to emulate the passionate and violent rejection of Israel's survival as a state. As a good neighbour the PA has chosen to use Passover as a jumping board to honour the PA terrorist responsible for the 2002 "Passover Massacre" in which 30 Israelis died.

The family of Abbas Al-Sayed who masterminded the deadly attack was officially awarded a "festive plaque, in celebration of the anniversary of the massacre". The bomber, Abdel-Basset Odeh detonated a bomb contained in a suitcase, killing outright 30 elderly civilians celebrating Passover, and maiming dozens more at the Park Hotel in Netanya.

Of more recent vintage was the attack on the Fogel family of five, one an infant, by two young men arrested later by Israeli Security. Amjad Awad, 19, and Hakim Awad, 18, both residents of the Arab village of Awarta, next to the Jewish community of Itamar, where the slaughter took place, were raised in families that had dedicated themselves to martyrdom.

They were proud of what they had accomplished, telling their interlocutors that had they known that two other children of the Fogel family were asleep in their rooms they would have killed them as well. They will be tried of the crimes of which they are accused in an Israeli court of law.

But not if Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has anything to say about it. For the Palestinian Authority and its Chairman now call upon Israel to release Palestinian prisoners as yet another condition of sitting down to discuss peace options. That these Palestinian prisoners languishing in Israeli jails are terrorists and murderers is not lost on the PA who consider them honourable martyrs.

This then, is the partner for peace that Israel is matched against. And to whom the international community and the United Nations is prepared to grant statehood on the basis of their having achieved the basic determinants for responsible governance. Absent the intention to live in peace with their neighbour.

Absent the determination to instruct their people otherwise than to continue to conduct violent raids against their neighbour. Reflecting, in fact, the issue seen but not recognized when Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stated, speaking at the United Nations, that Israel should be wiped from the map of the Middle East.

This is the responsible governing entity prepared to enter statehood, one that insists upon the release of all Palestinians in Israeli jails, encouraging its public to hold protests across the West Bank for the release of prisoners in Israeli jails. They speak not of Israel, but of the "1948 territories".

The PA's "Minister of Prisoner Affairs, Issa Qarage who has praised terrorists in his official capacity, was out encouraging people to mount their protests, stating "Struggle is the story of the Palestinian people". "Struggle" being code for conducting violent attacks against the "oppressor"; Israel.

In the PA's school system an hour was dedicated to the indoctrination of students that all Palestinian Authority prisoners, regardless of their crimes, irrespective of the lawful judgements brought against them, must be released. In the West Bank mosques and churches added their encouragement calling for the release of prisoners in speeches, and clanging bells in solidarity.

This is Israel's partner for peace; not eschewing violence and entreating its citizens to do likewise, but celebrating violence; encouraging and honouring it. And this is the Palestinian Authority that will present itself as the new administration of a new country to be respected for its ability to govern itself well and be a credit to the United Nations in its human rights record.

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