web analytics
November 27, 2014 / 5 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



The Way It Really Was: George W. Bush Pushed For A Palestinian State


President George W. Bush and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at a press conference in Ramallah, January 10, 2008.

President George W. Bush and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at a press conference in Ramallah, January 10, 2008.
Photo Credit: Omar Rashidi/Pool/FLASH90

This commitment is largely the predictable and tragic outcome of a peace process advanced and accepted in one form or another by six successive Israeli governments. For Rabin or Peres or Netanyahu or Barak or Sharon or Olmert to ever have believed the Palestinians would be content with a non-state “entity” (Netanyahu had spoken with notable naiveté of a quasi-sovereign actor like “Andorra or Puerto Rico”) is beyond intelligent understanding.

A second problem with Israel’s denial of legal right to declare a Palestinian state is that such a denial would overlook broader pertinent issues of authoritative international law. These are issues to which the Palestinian side, however fragmented, can now be expected to cite meticulously as its divided elements seek to legalize an already agreed-upon course of political action. Though Israel would be entirely correct that the Declaration of Principles (DOP) was originally intended to establish an “autonomy,” not a state, and that (according to Ambassador Shoval), “Palestinian statehood is contingent on the Palestinians destroying their terrorist infrastructure, of which Hamas itself is an integral part,” the Palestinians themselves will certainly understand something very different, something distinctly helpful to their common cause: There are applicable norms supporting statehood that exist outside the narrow legal context of the specific Israeli-Palestinian agreements.

For example, both Fatah and Hamas will certainly assert that the right to “self-determination” is a peremptory or jus cogens norm under international law, a rule that permits “no derogation.” Hence, they will maintain, even a formal agreement that denies the right of Palestinian statehood is null and void, to the extent that it might prevent Palestinian “self-determination.”

Do the Palestinians actually have such a peremptory right? They assuredly do not. In Israel’s official judgment, one hopes, they do not.

More important, in the effective judgment of a majority of the world’s states, they do have such a right. In the end, despite what international law calls “the general principles of law recognized by civilized nations,” few states will likely act contrary to Palestinian statehood. This is true even if the Israeli contra position remains firmly grounded in the underlying texts of Oslo/Road Map and in the June 24, 2002 landmark statement of President George W. Bush: “If Palestinians embrace democracy, confront corruption and firmly reject terror they can count on American support for the creation of a provisional state of Palestine.”

The original Oslo Agreements made it perfectly clear that, pending the outcome of final status negotiations, all options must remain open. Hence, the DOP, at Article V.4, provided that the “outcome of the permanent status negotiations should not be prejudiced or preempted by agreements reached for the interim period.” The Interim Agreement, at Article XXXI.6 added: “Neither party shall be deemed, by virtue of having entered into this Agreement, to have renounced or waived any of its existing rights, claims or positions.”

Pending the outcome of the permanent status negotiations, neither side was permitted to engage in any attempt to change the legal status of Judea/Samaria/West Bank. (Gaza, of course, is already a moot issue after Prime Minister Sharon’s unilateral “disengagement.”) This was provided explicitly at Article XXI.7 of the Interim Agreement.

These points notwithstanding, Israel’s argument will likely be countered by the larger and more “flexible” context of international law. The norms that would bind Palestinians and Israelis are determined not only by the precise written agreements negotiated between them, but also by the broader body of relevant international norms and principles. Within this more expansive body lies a number of peremptory rules that can override Oslo/Road Map expectations.

These rules can be used decisively to Palestinian advantage and to Israeli disadvantage. Most important, perhaps, is that the world generally wants to focus on such particular rules because it still desires, for a variety of different reasons, to justify the creation of “Palestine.”

Zalman Shoval was right to argue that Israel must make every effort to prevent a Palestinian state. Whether or not Israel still actually “holds the keys to the very idea of Palestinian statehood,” as the ambassador had argued, is now rather doubtful. Such doubt, of course, has been enlarged by Washington’s steadfast refusal to call things by their correct names, and to resolutely demand that Palestinian statehood actually be contingent on Palestinian compliance with the binding legal rules of civilized international relations.

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.

2 Responses to “The Way It Really Was: George W. Bush Pushed For A Palestinian State”

  1. Anonymous says:

    WW2, was a plan to kill the jews of europe, george bush and his entire family were NAZI SPIES who came to america to spie on american NOCOLA TESLA, and the IDIOTS in america voted them in as president, Brack OBAMA is the ANTI-CHRIST and will try to destroy the entire world, DO NOT EVER TRUST HIM……………..

  2. Anonymous says:

    THE LORD OUR GOD TOLD ME : "ITS D-DAY FOR AMERICA OCT 15th 2012" OBAMA THE ANTI-CHRIST and his DEMON SPAWN will destroy america and they will be COMING AFTER ISRAEL NEXT,…..DO NOT BE FOOLED BY THE ANTI-CHRIST……………CALL ON THE LORD ISRAEL, YOU'LL NEED HIS HELP………

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
A would-be preacher delivers his message of hate from the Muslim"holy site" on the Temple Mount.
Al Aqsa Mosque ‘Stand-Up’ Preacher Calls for Annihilation of the United States
Latest Indepth Stories
Greiff-112814-Levaya

My son is seventeen; he didn’t want to talk about what happened, or give any details of the Rosh Yeshiva’s words of chizuk.

Protesters in Ferguson, Missouri

All involved in the Ferguson debate should learn the laws pertinent to non-Jews: the Noahide Laws.

Charley Levine

Prominent Jewish leaders acknowledged that their predecessors had mistreated the Bergson Group.

Cravatts-Richard--new

Abbas has been adding new layers of rhetoric to his tactical campaign to de-Judaize Jerusalem

The Jew’s crime is his presence.

Hamas’s love for death tried to have as many Palestinian civilians killed as possible

Israel recognizes the fabrication called a Palestinian nation; So what do we want from the Swedes?

Arab attacking Jews in the land date back a century, long before Israel was created or in control.

Creativity without clarity is not sufficient for writing. I am eternally thankful to Hashem for his gift to me.

Golden presents a compelling saga of poor but determined immigrants who fled pogroms and harsh conditions in their homelands for a better life in a land of opportunity.

It seems to us that while the Jewish entitlement to the land of Israel transcends the Holocaust, the Jewish experience during that tragic time is the most solid of foundations for these “national rights.”

Too many self-styled civil rights activists seemed determined to force, by their relentless pressure, an indictment regardless of what an investigation might turn up.

Unfortunately, at present, the rabbinate does not play a positive role in preventing abuse.

Egypt’s al-Sisi is in an expansionist mood. He wants Israel’s permission to take over Judea and Samaria.

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/the-way-it-really-was-george-w-bush-pushed-for-a-palestinian-state/2012/10/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: