web analytics
July 29, 2014 / 2 Av, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Israel And A Palestinian State: A Look Behind The News (First of Two Parts)


Beres-Louis-Rene

Oddly enough, even Israeli politicians can change course abruptly. Shimon Peres, unambiguously the proudest Israeli champion of a “two state solution” in the Middle East, at one time called Palestinian statehood an existential threat to Israel. In his book Tomorrow is Now (1978), Peres, currently the country’s president, had presciently warned against this plan:

The establishment of such a state means the inflow of combat-ready Palestinian forces into Judea and Samaria (West Bank); 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…

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is apparently willing to go along with a Palestinian state, but only so long as its prospective leaders agree first to “demilitarization.”

Ironically, Netanyahu the hawk should take heed of Peres the dove’s earlier warning and acknowledge the pertinent intersections of law and strategy. For Israel, legal mistakes and misunderstandings could quickly give rise to irreversible strategic harms. In the matter of “Palestine,” the underlying conceptual issues are synergistic (interpenetrating), longstanding, and potentially global.

History can help us to understand. From the formal beginnings of the state system in 1648, following the Thirty Years’ War and the Peace of Westphalia, states have negotiated treaties to provide security. To the extent that they are executed in good faith, these agreements, in written form, are fashioned and tested according to relevant international law. Often, disputes arise whenever particular signatories determine that continued compliance is no longer in their own presumed and particular “national interest.”

For Israel, its 1979 peace treaty with Egypt remains important. Still, continuing regime change and Islamist ascendancy in Cairo could signal abrogation of this agreement. The same risks could apply even to a more secular military governing council, should its leaders decide, for any reason, that the treaty with Israel should be terminated.

Any post-Mubarak regime that would extend some governing authority to the Muslim Brotherhood or its proxies could result in a sudden or prompt Egyptian abrogation. Plainly, although such a willful cessation of treaty obligations by the Egyptian side would almost certainly be in violation of The Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, the governing “treaty on treaties,” there is little if anything that Israel or the “international community” could do in effective response.

Following the Arab Spring, prospective treaty compliance issues with Egypt ought to bring to mind the myriad dangers of Palestinian statehood. Already, in June 2009, Netanyahu had agreed to a Palestinian state. But, with an apparent nod to prudence, he had carefully conditioned this public acceptance upon 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.”

This agreement seemingly represented a “smart” concession, but only if there could be some corollary Palestinian compliance. In fact, however, any such expectations are implausible. This is the case not only because all treaties and treaty-like agreements can be broken, but also because, in this specific case, any post-independence Palestinian insistence upon militarization would likely be lawful.

Neither Hamas nor Fatah, now forged together in a new unity pact, would ever negotiate for anything less than full sovereignty.

International lawyers seeking to discover any “Palestine-friendly” sources of legal confirmation could conveniently cherry-pick pertinent provisions of the 1934 Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, the treaty on statehood sometimes called the Montevideo Convention. They could apply the very same strategy of selection to the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties.

International law is not a suicide pact. Indisputably, Israel has a peremptory right to remain alive. It was entirely proper for Netanyahu to have previously opposed a Palestinian state in any form. Both Fatah and Hamas still see all of Israel as part of “Palestine.”

Last summer, Palestinian Authority television rebroadcast songs with lyrics that depicted all of Israel as part of “my country Palestine.” Some of the specific Israeli cities included in these songs were Jaffa, Safed, Tiberias, Acre, Nazareth, Beit Shean, Ramie, and Haifa. All of the official PA maps of “Palestine” continue to include all of Israel.

(Continued Next Week)

Louis René Beres, strategic and military affairs columnist for The Jewish Press, is professor of political science at Purdue University. Educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971), he lectures and publishes widely on international relations and international law and is the author of ten major books in the field. In Israel, Professor Beres was chair of Project Daniel.

About the Author: Louis René Beres, strategic and military affairs columnist for The Jewish Press, is professor of Political Science at Purdue University. Educated at Princeton (Ph.D., 1971), he lectures and publishes widely on international relations and international law and is the author of ten major books in the field. In Israel, Professor Beres was chair of Project Daniel.


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 “Israel And A Palestinian State: A Look Behind The News (First of Two Parts)”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Some of the missile fire comes from launchers planted in cemeteries, mosques, schools and hospitals. This is an aerial photo of one such launch in Beit Lahiya earlier this week.
Sleepless in Rishon Lezion, IDF Attacks in Gaza Continue
Latest Indepth Stories
Young children 'recruited' by the Al Qaeda-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS) terrorist group for a Shari'a jihadist army in Iraq and Syria.

ISIS poses a great threat to the entire civilized world in general and liberal democracies in particular.

kerry clown

Kerry is preoccupied with pressuring Israel, notwithstanding the transformation of the Arab Spring .

journalism

With no shortage of leftist media that seek to distort the news, what should our Torah response be?

Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett

Because let’s face it: Hamas obviously can’t defeat the IDF in the field, soldier against soldier

As Peres retires, Israel fights sour legacy: Insistence on setting policy in line with hopes, rather than with reality.

Our capital was not arbitrarily chosen, as capitals of some other nations were.

UNHRC High Commissioner Navi Pillay accuses the IDF of possible war crimes in Gaza again, cutting slack to Hamas.

There is much I can write you about what is going here, but I am wondering what I should not write. I will start by imagining that I am you, sitting at home in the Los Angeles area and flipping back and forth between the weather, traffic reports, the Ukraine, Mexican illegals and Gaza. No […]

Should Jews in Europe take more responsibility in self-defense of community and property?

It is time for a total military siege on Gaza; Nothing should enter the Gaza Strip.

Germany’s The Jewish Faith newspaper ominously noted, “We Jews are in for a war after the war.”

The truth is we seldom explore with kids what prayer is supposed to be about.

Almost as one, Jews around the world are acknowledging the day-to-day peril facing ordinary Jews in Israel and the extraordinary service of the IDF in protecting them.

More Articles from Louis Rene Beres
Louis Rene Beres

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

Louis Rene Beres

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.

An undifferentiated or across-the-board commitment to nuclear ambiguity could prove harmful to Israel’s’s overall security.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/louis-bene-beres/israel-and-a-palestinian-state-a-look-behind-the-news-first-of-two-parts/2012/02/15/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: