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Wednesday, 31 August 2011

King Abdullah opposes Palestinian unilateralism

I have no reason to be a particular fan of King Abdullah of Jordan, the head of state of a country that is nowhere near to being a liberal democracy. I am fascinated to learn today that he has come out against a Palestinian unilateral declaration of statehood at the UN in September. In this, he echoes the Secretary-General of the Arab League. The vile extremists of Hamas, meanwhile, would not wish to recognise Israel within any borders; such recognition would be implicit in a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood in only part of Israel/Palestine - they'd be recognising Israel in the part of the territory that is not being claimed for a new Palestinian state. Indeed, any motion is likely to make such recognition explicit. It is already clear, therefore, that Hamas is not, in any simple sense, behind President Abbas' plans for a unilateral bid for statehood. I could support some upgrades to the Palestinians' status at the UN; I believe, however, that an actual unilateral declaration of statehood would not actually, legally create a Palestinian state and would set back the cause of a negotiated two-state solution. Renewed peace talks remain the best hope for Israelis and Palestinians alike. Incidentally, there is no Fatah/Hamas unity government - talks on creating one have failed, thus far.


  1. If the general assembly gets to vote on a Palestinian state within pre-67 borders, can a West European country propose an amendment to recognise the state of Israel within pre-67 borders. I'm all in favour of recognition of a Palestinian state if that means Iran and others recognise Israel.

    Palestine with recognised borders (including the settlements) would have to allow Israeli settlers equal rights to vote in Palestinian elections, or does the recognition of a Palestinian state automatically mean the creation of a new refugee crisis for 400,000 people?

    Once this is sorted out discussions can take place over whether the Western Wall should be part of Palestine or possibly Israel. Wasn't Jerusalem meant to be an international city in the 1948 partition plan, before it was invaded by Jordan. I assume that according to international law Jordan cannot hand over this territory, occupied in 1949, to a Palestinian state any more than Israel can annex this territory.

  2. Thanks. This is an interesting piece as well: