United Nations Delivers Statehood to Palestinians, Now What?
After all the political maneuvers, the acrimony aimed at both sides, and a few speeches it came down to a vote which provided little surprise. The promotion of the PLO into a recognized State now called Palestine passed by 138 votes in favor, 9 votes opposed, and 41 abstentions leaving 5 countries not voting. It just might be that the five countries whose United Nations ambassadors did not even bother to vote and likely went so far as to skip the whole event, and this was more of an event than it was a serious debate, were the smartest of them all. The PLO, more accurately, the Palestinian Authority has been granted statehood and their flag now is recognized as the national flag of Palestine. The items which were not defined by the resolution are a few little triflings and obviously something any normal country would already be able to answer. Little things of almost no importance such as which city is their capital city; what is their legal tender, their monetary items used in place of having to barter; what was the date it was founded; what are the national bird, tree, fish, tree, flower, dance, defining activity, or favorite anything? Well, let’s just leave those items aside for now and hope they get worked out at a later date and instead try to discern what actions the newest country on the planet Earth will be likely to tackle first and get an idea of their priorities.
One obvious item which should be high on the list for the “country” of Palestine is getting the two separate entities that currently rule in mutually exclusive areas somehow into being a single entity. Whether this is done through election or by negotiations between Fatah and Hamas, this is going to prove to be a very steep and challenging mountain to climb over. This may very well be one of the most interesting political campaigns ever and will definitely have more uncertainties and possibilities for violent confrontations in place of debates. Whatever the eventual outcome, my bet is if elections are held then Hamas will take a comfortable majority and in any elections Mahmoud Abbas will demand that he receive one of the top spots in the administrating of the government. There will be a rush by well over one-hundred countries, judging from the United Nations vote, which will rush to recognize the nascent country of Palestine, and these will come even before a capital city has been designated making building embassies somewhat difficult. It is likely just the same as some of these countries though anxious to recognize Palestine may be more hesitant to send a delegation and ambassador to set up an embassy.
Fortunately, there are some straight forward items that the country of Palestine will likely take up as soon as possible. There is a high likelihood that as part of a peace offering to Hamas the Palestinian State will sue in the ICC (International Criminal Court) to force Israel to remove their sea embargo on the Gaza Strip and also to be allowed to reopen the airport in Gaza City. There will be efforts to have Egypt completely open the Rafah and other borders with Gaza while also pushing Jordan to open all the crossings over the Jordan River allowing both parts of Palestine, the West Bank and Gaza, to import whatever they wish to their heart’s delight. This might not initially be used to import the tons of weapons that Israel worries about but eventually such imports will commence and after that problems are pretty much guaranteed. Also, within a short while there would be offers of military alliances and mutual defense treaties, all of which will be intended to prevent any attacks by Israel and after these are in place the terror attacks out of both sides of Palestine would begin to climb.
The real confrontation with Israel will begin once the leadership of Palestine makes the decision to sue in the ICC to have all the Israeli citizens removed from within their borders. This step will not occur until sufficient numbers of nations have recognized Palestine and also denoted that the 1949 Armistice Lines, also known as the Green Line or the 1967 Lines, are the recognized borders and have also recognized al-Quds as the Capital of Palestine and that the Capital includes all of the Old City and everything which belonged to Jordan before the Six Day War. The one thing that is inevitable is that eventually there will be some action, claim, demand or overt act of terror resulting in an unacceptable number of casualties and fatalities which will lead to a state of war. No matter what else may occur, the inevitability is a state of war between the country Palestine and Israel.
That is the inevitability of today’s vote. All of the speeches in favor of granting statehood and forming a country named Palestine spoke of the increased probability for peace and an end to all the violence that has plagued Israel and her neighbors over the years. They were very impressive and well worded speeches. Unfortunately, none of those speeches had any relevance to the realities set into motion by today’s vote recognizing the twenty-third Arab Muslim country. What has been set in motion is an unavoidable finality of one more Arab war to annihilate Israel. Where many may claim I am being simply overly dramatic and painting a picture of dread that is wholly erroneous, I really hope those making such a claim are proven correct. I cannot see any path which does not result in another Arab/Israeli War and this may be the final and worst war the Middle East has ever seen, and they have seen more than their share over all of history.
Beyond the Cusp