Steven Plaut is a professor at the University of Haifa. His book “the Scout” is available at Amazon.com. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Much of the world is getting ready to recognize a Palestinian state. The U.S. says it will veto any such measure in the Security Council. Other countries are going ahead with plans to vote for “Palestine” in the General Assembly – to grant “Palestine” embassy space, formal recognition, etc.
After years of paying lip service to the need for granting Palestinians a state, Israeli political leaders are scratching their heads about what to do and how to stop this.
The best Prime Minister Netanyahu has come up with is giving a speech in that building on the East River near 42nd street.
I have a better idea.
The Palestinian statehood movement is essentially a case of local Arabs in and around Israel seeking to gain separatist independence. Arabs already have 22 states, but that’s not enough. Hence the push for yet another one.
Since nearly all countries have their own domestic separatist movements, the only reasonable response by Israel to votes by other countries in favor of the Palestinian separatist movement should be to recognize all other separatist movements, granting them embassy space and diplomatic recognition.
Here are some examples:
If France votes for a Palestinian state, as it is expected to do, Israel must immediately grant diplomatic status and recognition to the National Front for the Liberation of Corsica, to the separatist Savoyard League and the Nissa Rebela, to the separatist Arm?e R?volutionnaire Bretonne and Front de Lib?ration de la Bretagne, and to the French Basque separatists.
If Spain votes for a Palestinian state, as it is expected to do, Israel must immediately grant diplomatic status and recognition to the ETA and other Basques separatists, to the Catalan separatists, as well as to the separatist movements in Castille, Leon, Andalusia, Cantabria, Galicia, Aragon, and Asturias.
If Belgium votes for a Palestinian state, as it is expected to do, Israel must immediately grant diplomatic status and recognition to both the Flemish and Walloon separatist movements.
If Holland votes for a Palestinian state, as it is expected to do, Israel must immediately grant diplomatic status and recognition to the Frisian separatist movement.
Turkey, of course, is leading the campaign for Palestine, which is why Israel should recognize the Armenian, Kurdish, Arab, and other ethnic nationalist movements inside Turkey. And let’s hear nothing about Armenians already having their own state outside the Turkish borders.
The UK will probably vote against it, but just in case it votes in favor, Israel should then recognize the separatist movements of Cornwall, Guernsey, Gibraltar, the Isle of Man, the Isle of Wight, Northumberland, Wessex, Yorkshire, and of course also the independence of Wales, Scotland and Ulster.
Russia plans to vote for Palestinian independence. Israel should respond by recognizing all of the separatist movements within Russia, a full list of which is much too long to reproduce here.
Similarly, if Italy votes for Palestine, there are so many regional independence and separatist movements inside Italy that could be recognized by Israel. Space simply does not allow for their complete listing.
The Sami independence movements in Norway, Sweden and Finland should be recognized at once. Ditto for the Faroes Islands independence movement in Denmark.
If Switzerland votes in favor, Israel should recognize the Jura regional separatist movement.
The above list is just for European countries. Most of South America already recognized “Palestine,” even before any UN vote. If Argentina and/or Chile votes in favor, Israel needs to recognize the Mapuche separatists in those countries. If Bolivia votes in favor, the Santa Cruz separatists there should be recognized.
If Brazil votes in favor, Israel should recognize the separatist movements in Rio Grande do Sul. Venezuela will certainly vote in favor, which is why Israel must recognize the independence of Zulia and Maracaibo. Mexico is certain to vote in favor, which is why the Zapatista movement in Chiapas needs a nice embassy in Israel.
Muslim states have their own domestic separatist movements, and these are deserving of special support and recognition by Israel.
In Iran, aside from the obvious Kurdish separatists, there are Assyrian, Baluchi, Azeri, and Arab regional separatist movements, all in need of an Embassy. (And let’s not have any nonsense about how Iranian Arabs have no right to independence because Arabs already have 22 states. Azeris already have a state, you say? Since when does that matter?)
Syria also has Kurdish and Assyrian separatists. Pakistan has Balochistan, Gilgit Baltistan, and Singh separatist movements. Indonesia has oodles of separatists.
The number of separatist movements all over the world is so great that Israel would have to build an entire new diplomatic city east of Ariel just to house all the embassies for the separatist movements in countries voting for Palestinian statehood.