Sunday, January 5, 2014

Palestinians Can't Accept Jewish State

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:
Talks between US Secretary of State John Kerry and the Palestinians were extremely tough both yesterday and today.

Reports from the meetings are that strong words were exchanged about the issue of recognizing Israel as a Jewish State.

This is a fundamental demand by Israel.

Netanyahu raised the issue several years ago as a simple test to prove that the Palestinians really did not recognize Israel. At that time, when the Israeli prime minister told the White House of his expectation the White House responded that it was a “no brainer,” they said of course the Palestinians recognize you as a Jewish State.

But not so.

The Palestinians have a revulsion to accepting the Jewish State. They claim that they recognize Israel as whatever state it wants to be. They have already said that. The type of state, they say, is an internal issue.

This really is not a "no brainer." The acceptance of Israel as a Jewish State strikes, on many levels, at the raison d'etre of the vision of Palestinian nationalism. It means that the Palestinians must accept the two-state solution for the long term and not plan for an eventual demographic gobbling up of Israel.

So why can't the Palestinians just lie, why can't they just say what they need to say now and act like they always have been acting?

Because Palestinian leadership cannot make a public proclamation accepting the Jewish State without losing face at home and across the Arab world.

Recognizing the Jewish State means recognizing Zionism and that would rip at the very narrative that the Palestinians created and would justify Israel's right to be on the land. It would justify their oppression.

They should accept it - but they cannot. 

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