web analytics
April 20, 2015 / 1 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


If You Like Syria, You’ll Love ‘Palestine’


Beres-Louis-Rene

With the ongoing revelations about Syrian regime atrocities, regional and global attention has seemingly shifted from more usual concerns about Palestinian statehood. Nonetheless, the two issues are closely related, especially in their common reflection of irremediable fragmentations in the Arab world and in their resultant propensities for escalating violence and cruelty.

To be sure, in a Palestinian state – any Palestinian state – the internecine rivalries now so starkly evident in Syria would be quickly replicated, or even exceeded, by what would be ignited between Hamas, Fatah, and assorted splinter terror factions.

If you like Syria, you’ll love “Palestine.” Once such an entity is carved out of the still-living body of Israel, rocket bombardments on Israeli cities from Gaza will be augmented by multiple coordinated missile assaults from Lebanon. Oddly, Sunni Hamas and Shiite Hizbullah would collaborate in their joint war against “The Jews,” while at the same time Fatah will be under attack from its Sunni “partners” in Palestine. And this is to say nothing about what can still be expected in Iran and, more urgently, from Iran.

By now it should be plain that Israel, a country half the size of Lake Michigan, has had nothing to do with causing persistent regional conflict, backwardness and squalor. If Israel had never even been formally reestablished in 1948, these disabling conditions would likely still be ubiquitous and full-blown. Nonetheless, though Washington fully understands the long and destabilizing history of scapegoating Israel, an almost atavistic mantra that echoes ritually from Morocco to Iran, President Obama remains stubbornly committed to the “Road Map.”

In principle, and contrary to his country’s overriding legal rights and security interests, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had already agreed to a Palestinian state back in June 2009. Yet Netanyahu, more or less prudently, conditioned this concessionary agreement upon prior Palestinian “demilitarization.” More precisely, said the prime minister, “In any peace agreement, the territory under Palestinian control must be disarmed, with solid security guarantees for Israel.”

In fact and in law, this position offered absolutely no obstacle to Palestinian statehood and subsequent anti-Israel war.

Neither Hamas, now expressly closing ranks with its “parent” Muslim Brotherhood mentors in post-Mubarak Egypt, nor Fatah, whose security forces were recently trained by American General Keith Dayton in nearby Jordan, at very great American taxpayer expense, will ever negotiate for anything less than full sovereignty. Why should they? After all, supporters of Palestinian statehood can discover authoritative legal support for their stance in binding international treaties.

Pro-Palestinian international lawyers seeking to identify self-serving sources of legal confirmation could conveniently cherry-pick pertinent provisions of the Convention on the Rights and Duties of States (the 1933 treaty on statehood, sometimes called the Montevideo Convention), and the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.

Israel has a basic or peremptory right to survive. It was, therefore, proper for Netanyahu to have originally opposed a Palestinian state in any form, an opposition, by the way, once shared by Shimon Peres, the proudest Israeli champion of a “two-state solution.” In his book, Tomorrow Is Now (1978), Peres said the following about Palestinian statehood:

“The establishment of such a state means the inflow of combat-ready Palestinian forces into Judea and Samaria: This force, together with the local youth, will double itself in a short time. It will not be short of weapons or other military equipment, and in a short space of time, an infrastructure for waging war will be set up in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip…. In time of war, the frontiers of the Palestinian state will constitute an excellent staging point for mobile forces to mount attacks on infrastructure installations vital for Israel’s existence.”

In writing about “time of war,” this former prime minister neglected that Israel is locked into a permanent condition of war. The war is now. And the target “infrastructure installations” could include Dimona and other vulnerable Israel nuclear reactor facilities.

Moreover, any Israeli arguments for Palestinian demilitarization, however vehement and well-intentioned, are certain to fail. International law would not even expect Palestinian compliance with any pre-state agreements concerning the right to use armed force. This is true even if these agreements were to include certain explicit U.S. guarantees. Also, per the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, because authentic treaties can only be binding upon states, a non-treaty agreement between the Palestinians and Israel could also prove to be of little or no real authority.

About the Author: Louis René Beres (Ph.D., Princeton, 1971) is professor of political science and international law at Purdue University and the author of many books and articles dealing with international relations and strategic studies.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “If You Like Syria, You’ll Love ‘Palestine’”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Said Arikat, al-Quds Washington, D.C. reporter. Jan. 29, 2015
More PA Lobbying from the State Dept Briefing Room
Latest Indepth Stories
Temple Israel Of Boston

“The resentment towards us (Jews/Israelis) was really intense. They clearly hate Zionism & Zionists”

US has no problem with Egypt's bombing hundreds of homes of Gaza civilians but can't stand to see Israel destroy a terrorist's home.

Egypt has been more effective against Gazan smuggling tunnels than Israel’s military operations

Mrs. Golda Katz a"h

She had many names and was many things to many people, but to me she was just Babineni.

ISIS terrorist carries the group's black flag.

Is ISIS in Gaza? “No, but there are ISIS loyalists here..we pray to God they unite under ISIS’ flag”

Rabbi Portal was that great “inspirer,” changing people for the better, enriching the lives of all

Iran knows Obama, Putin, and the Europeans don’t have a Red Line beyond which they will go to war

There is no way to explain the Holocaust. I know survivors who are not on speaking terms with G-d. I know many who are the opposite. I have no right to go there…

When a whole side of your family perishes, friends become the extended family you do not have.

“We stand with Israel because of its values and its greatness and because its such a wonderful ally”

Mr. Obama himself inelegantly cautioned members of the Senate to be careful not to “screw up” the negotiations by seeking to have input into the future of the sanctions regime that has been imposed on Iran.

For our community, Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy record will doubtless attract the most attention. And it is a most interesting one.

Mitchell Bard is nothing if not prolific. He has written and edited 23 books, including “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Middle East” and “The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America’s Interests in the Middle East.” Bard, who has a Ph.D. in political science from UCLA, is also the executive director of both the […]

Understanding the process described in Dayenu reveals deep relevance for us today.

For Rabbi Zvi Yehuda Kook, the tanks, planes, and uniforms of the IDF were implements of mitzvot

More Articles from Louis Rene Beres

A “Palestine” could become another Lebanon, with many different factions battling for control.

Louis Rene Beres

President Obama’s core argument on a Middle East peace process is still founded on incorrect assumptions.

Once upon a time in America, every adult could recite at least some Spenglerian theory of decline.

President Obama’s core argument is still founded on incorrect assumptions.

Specific strategic lessons from the Bar Kokhba rebellion.

Still facing an effectively unhindered nuclear threat from Iran, Israel will soon need to choose between two strategic options.

For states, as for individuals, fear and reality go together naturally.

So much of the struggle between Israel and the Arabs continues to concern space.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/louis-bene-beres/if-you-like-syria-youll-love-palestine/2012/06/01/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: