Kislev 23, 5775, December 15, 2014
The Impending Vote For The Recognition of Palestine
A vote for recognition would do more than anything in decades to undermine a peace settlement. The terrorism will continue, Hamas will import and stock ever more powerful weapons and will, in all likelihood, take control of the West Bank. ..Before recognition, the Palestinians have to do something positive to deserve it. They must stop their hate speech in schools and mosques, cease their praise of terrorists and suicide bombers as ‘martyrs’, give up their meaningless demand for the ‘Right of Return’ of millions of descendants of refugees, whose grandparents fled from a war the Arabs started
From Dr. Denis MacEoin
Jude Kirton-Darling MEP
Jonathan Arnott MEP
Paul Brannen MEP
RE: The Impending Vote for The Recognition of Palestine
Dear Madam, Sirs,
I hope you don’t mind my contacting you collectively, but it seems easiest to address you together as the three MEPs for my region. I have lived in Newcastle upon Tyne since 1981, where I taught Arabic and Islamic Studies at Newcastle University. I was also a Fellow at Durham University’s Centre for Middle East and Islamic Studies. Currently, I am a Distinguished Senior Fellow at New York’s Gatestone Institute, which covers Israel and the Middle East, for whom I write two monthly columns, and I am a Senior Fellow at the US Middle East Forum, for whom I edited the Middle East Quarterly. I believe my background and my extensive writings in this area entitle me to comment on the proposal, soon to go to a vote in the European parliament, to recognize a Palestinian State on the West Bank and Gaza, within the 1967 armistice lines.
May I write to you to ask if you will vote against what I perceive to be a wrong-headed and dangerous motion? Allow me to give you some of the reasons why I am opposed to it and why I think such recognition at this stage would bring further disaster to an already disaster-prone Middle East. I also add a link here to an article I wrote earlier about the Swedish parliament’s vote to recognize Palestine.
I don’t propose to cover the entire history of the conflict or most of the complexity that surrounds. But I do feel that such a vote oversimplifies things to the point where only one side of a nuanced argument is being heard and acted on.
Let me start by stressing that I am not anti-Palestinian nor am I opposed in principle to the idea of a Palestinian state. I would love to see a proud Palestinian state existing next to Israel, benefiting from its’ proximity to one of the world’s most advanced and technically advanced countries, with a reputation for the observance of human rights that far exceeds the standards of any Arab state, and before too long growing economically and in its own commitment to human rights. The Palestinian people have suffered since 1947, and they deserve to carry much of the blame for the ongoing violence. However, they are themselves the victims of their own leaders and many of the Arab leaders who have trapped them in an endless round of
Before recognition, the Palestinians have to do something positive to deserve it.
suffering, economic disaster, and never-ending waves of wars and terrorism initiated by those leaders.
For there to be a Palestinian state there must first be a solid peace agreement between the Palestinians and Israel, an end to terrorism by Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and elements in the West Bank such as the PFLP, and agreed permanent borders. It is seriously premature to think of establishing a Palestinian state that has not made peace, has not renounced violence, and takes for its borders the highly vulnerable armistice lines agreed at the end of the Six-Day War in 1967. If we seek a peaceful Palestinian state, then we are agreed; but if we seek to promote it without those conditions being met, we will guarantee an even deeper conflict in coming years, when the Palestinians use whatever sovereignty they obtain to build and import bigger and more sophisticated weaponry and start to use it for their long-standing aim of annihilating the state of Israel.