On November 15, 1988 the Palestine National Council (P.N.C.) meeting in Algiers proclaimed the Palestinian Declaration of Independence that created the independent state of Palestine. Today the State of Palestine is bilaterally recognized de jure by about 130 states. Palestine has de facto diplomatic recognition from most of Europe. It was only massive political pressure applied by the U.S. government that prevented European states from according to Palestine de jure diplomatic recognition.
Palestine is a member state of the League of Arab States and of the Islamic Conference Organization. When the International Court of Justice in The Hague—the so-called World Court of the United Nations System—conducted its legal proceedings on Israel’s apartheid wall on the West Bank, the World Court invited the State of Palestine to participate in the proceedings. In other words, the International Court of Justice recognized the State of Palestine.
Palestine has Observer State Status with the United Nations Organization, and basically all the rights of a U.N. Member State except the right to vote. Effectively, Palestine has de facto U.N. Membership. The only thing keeping Palestine from de jure U.N. Membership is the implicit threat of a veto at the U.N. Security Council by the United States, which is clearly illegal. Someday Palestine shall be a full-fledged U.N. Member State.
From a world-order perspective, the 1988 Palestinian Declaration of Independence created a remarkable opportunity for peace with Israel because therein the P.N.C. explicitly accepted the U.N. General Assembly’s Partition Resolution 181(II) of 1947 that called for the creation of a Jewish state and an Arab state in the Mandate for Palestine, together with an international trusteeship for the City of Jerusalem, in order to resolve their basic conflict:
Despite the historical injustice inflicted on the Palestinian Arab people resulting in their dispersion and depriving them of their right to self-determination following upon U.N. General Assembly Resolution 181 (1947), which partitioned Palestine into two states, one Arab, one Jewish, yet it is this Resolution that still provides those conditions of international legitimacy that ensure the right of the Palestinian Arab people to sovereignty and national independence.
The significance of the P.N.C.’s acceptance of the Partition Resolution in the Palestinian Declaration of Independence itself could not be over-emphasized. Prior thereto, from the perspective of the Palestinian People the Partition Resolution had been deemed to be a criminal act that was perpetrated upon them by the United Nations Organization in gross violation of their fundamental right to self-determination as recognized by the United Nations Charter and general principles of public international law. The acceptance of the Partition Resolution in their actual Declaration of Independence signaled the genuine desire by the Palestinian People to transcend the past century of bitter conflict with the Jewish People living illegally in their midst in order to reach an historic accommodation with them on the basis of a two-state solution.
The very fact that this acceptance of Partition Resolution 181 was set forth in their Declaration of Independence indicated the degree of sincerity with which the Palestinian People accepted Israel. The Declaration of Independence was the foundational document for the State of Palestine. It was intended to be determinative, definitive, and irreversible. As the P.N.C. well knew at the time, their Declaration of Independence was not something that could be amended or bargained away.
Nonetheless, the Palestinians have now fruitlessly spent the past twenty-two years trying to negotiate in good faith with Israel over the two-state solution set forth in Resolution 181. They have gotten absolutely nowhere. Israel has never demonstrated one iota of good faith when it came to negotiating a comprehensive Middle Peace settlement with the Palestinians on the basis of a two-state solution. Even the 1993 Oslo Agreement was nothing more than an Israeli-drafted interim Bantustan arrangement for five years that was rejected in Washington, D.C. by the Palestinian Delegation to the Middle East Peace Negotiations for that precise reason. Both Israel and the United States now want to make the Oslo Bantustan permanent and, incidental thereto, destroy the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes as required by U.N. General Assembly Resolution 194 (III) of 1948 and general principles of public international law.
In this regard, shortly before he died on September 24, 2007, I called up the former Head of the Palestinian Delegation to the Middle East Peace Negotiations, Dr. Haidar Abdul Shaffi at his home in Gaza in order to review the entire situation with him. According to Dr. Haidar: “The Zionists have not changed their objectives since the Basel Conference of 1897!” In other words, the Zionists want a “Greater” Israel on all of the Mandate for Palestine together with as much ethnic cleansing of Palestinians out of Palestine that the Zionists believe they can get away with internationally.
After twenty-two years of getting nowhere but further screwed to Israel’s apartheid wall on the West Bank and strangulated in Gaza, it is now time for the Palestinians to adopt a new strategy, which I most respectfully recommend here for them to consider: Sign nothing and let Israel collapse! Recently it was reported that the United States’ own Central Intelligence Agency predicted the collapse of Israel within twenty years. My most respectful advice to the Palestinians is to let Israel so collapse!
For the Palestinians to sign any type of comprehensive peace treaty with Israel would only shore up, consolidate, and guarantee the existence of Zionism and Zionists in Palestine forever. Why would the Palestinians want to do that? Without approval by the Palestinians in writing, Zionism and Israel in Palestine will collapse. So the Palestinians must not sign any Middle East Peace Treaty with Israel, but rather must keep the pressure on Israel for the collapse of Zionism over the next two decades as predicted by the Central Intelligence Agency. The correct historical analogue here is not apartheid South Africa, but instead the genocidal Yugoslavia that collapsed as a State, lost its U.N. Membership, and no longer exists as a State for that very reason.
All the demographic forces are in favor of the Palestinians and against the Zionists. The United States government is tired of its blank-check support for Israel because this policy seriously undermines and conflicts with America’s imperial objective to obtain the oil and gas lying beneath Arab and Muslim states by hook or by crook. Israel is ridden with and paralyzed by so many internal contradictions and conflicts that they are too numerous to list here.
Indeed, from the very moment of its inception as a direct result of the Zionists’ genocidal al Nakba in 1948, Israel has been the proverbial failed state, and still is so today. Israel would have never come into existence without the support of Western colonial imperial powers throughout the twentieth century. And the same is true today. Without the political, economic, diplomatic, and military support provided primarily by the United States, and to a lesser extent by Britain, France, and Germany, Israel would immediately collapse. The international Campaign for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (B.D.S.) against Israel is quickly whittling away Israel’s domestic support in those countries. Israel’s own serial barbarous atrocities perpetrated against the Palestinians and the Lebanese have revealed the true face of Zionism for the entire world to see: genocide.
In fact, Israel has never been a State but just an Army masquerading as a State -- a Potemkin Village of a State. Israel is the archetypal Great Band of Robbers described by St. Augustine in Book 4, Chapter 4 of The City of God:
Kingdoms without justice are similar to robber barons. And so if justice is left out, what are kingdoms except great robber bands? For what are robber bands except little kingdoms? The band also is a group of men governed by the orders of a leader, bound by social compact, and its booty is divided according to a law agreed upon. If by repeatedly adding desperate men this plague grows to the point where it holds territory and establishes a fixed seat, seizes cites and subdues peoples, then it more conspicuously assumes the name of kingdom, and this name is now openly granted to it, not for any subtraction of cupidity, but by addition of impunity….
All of these political, economic, military, diplomatic, sociological, psychological, and demographic forces are working in favor of the Palestinians and against Israel and the Zionists in Palestine. It will take a few more years for these historical forces to predominate and then to prevail. But the proverbial handwriting is on the wall for the Zionist Enterprise in Palestine for the entire world to see, including and especially the C.I.A. Even large numbers of Zionists living in Israel have already prepared their parachutes, and their exit plans, and their landing zones to go elsewhere in the world. There is no reason for the Palestinians to give the Zionists a new lease on life in Palestine by signing any sort of peace treaty with Israel.
It is obvious that soon Zionism will enter into Trotsky’s “ashcan” of history along with every other nationalistic “ism” that has plagued humankind during the twentieth century: Nazism, Fascism, Francoism, Phalangism, Stalinism, Maoism, etc. The only thing that could save Zionism in Palestine is for the Palestinians to conclude any type of so-called comprehensive Middle East Peace treaty with Israel. It is for precisely that reason then that the Palestinians must sign nothing and let Israel collapse of its own weight over the next two decades.
Millions of Palestinians have waited in refugee camps since 1948 in order to return to their homes, that is for 62 years. They can wait a little longer until Israel collapses within 20 years. Otherwise, for the Palestinians to sign a comprehensive peace treaty with Israel means that they will never be able to return to their homes as required by Resolution 194 of 1948. History and demography are on the side of Palestine and the Palestinians against Israel and the Zionists. But the Palestinians must allow history and demography a little bit more time in order to produce the collapse of Israel and Zionism in Palestine. Twenty years is but the blink of an eye in the millennia-long history of the Palestinian People, who are the original indigenous inhabitants of Palestine. God had no right to steal Palestine from the Palestinians and give Palestine to the Jews to begin with. A fortiori the United Nations had no right to steal Palestine from the Palestinians and give Palestine to the Zionists in 1947.
In the meantime, the Palestinians must keep up the pressure on Israel, Zionism and the Zionists in Palestine. The Palestinians have a perfect right under international law to resist an illegal, colonial, genocidal, criminal, military occupation regimé of their lands and of their homes and of their People that goes back to 1948 so long as it is done in a manner consistent with the requirements of international humanitarian law. Simultaneously, the Palestinians must continue to build their state from the ground up as they have been doing successfully since the first Intifada began in 1987 with its grassroots Unified Leadership of the Intifada.
Internationally, the Palestinians must continue their diplomatic and political and legal offensive against Israel. Palestine has gained enormous ground since November 15, 1988 when the P.N.C. proclaimed the independent State of Palestine. Palestine will continue to gain more support internationally over the next two decades, including the accelerating B.D.S. campaign that will delegitimize Israel and Zionism all around the world. At the same time, Israel will continue its rapid descent into pariah state status along the lines of the genocidal Yugoslavia that collapsed as a state and no longer exists. Israel will meet the same fate as the genocidal Yugoslavia provided the Palestinians do not sign any type of international peace agreement with Israel.
When Israel collapses, most Zionists will have already left or will soon leave for other states around the world. The Palestinians will then be able to claim all of the historic Mandate for Palestine as their State, including the entire City of Jerusalem as their Capital. Palestine will then be able to invite all of its refugees to return to their homes pursuant to Resolution 194.
Some Jews will remain in Palestine either voluntarily or involuntarily. Palestine and the Palestinians will treat the remaining Jews fairly. Palestine and the Palestinians will not do to the Jews what Israel, Zionism, and the Zionists have done to the Palestinians.
The Palestinians must sign nothing and let Israel collapse!
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|William T. Hathaway|
|Liaquat Ali Khan|