As Eugene Kontorovich -- an expert in international law -- notes, the UN Palestinian vote negates the claim that Israel is an occupying power:
The truly historic aspect of the acknowledgement of PA statehood is that it contradicts the repeated tropes about Israeli oppression, occupation and apartheid. Statehood is a precondition of UN membership, not a result. There are no “peoples under occupation” with GA “state” status.Read the whole thing.
Indeed, the resolution acknowledges that the Palestinians have established all the trappings of a state. Abbas’s application to the Security Council last year made clear that they already had an independent, functioning state. It has a central bank and security forces, its own (virulently anti-Semitic) media, tax system and penal
system. Palestine even an Internet suffix and international telephone exchange.
It has long been functioning as a state, conducting foreign relations, making deals and acting entirely independently of, indeed contrary to, the will of Israel. This is not a Bantustan overseen by Israel, as all its recent actions prove. In the wake of the UN vote, Palestine opened a defense ministry and began discussing issuing passports. No people under occupation have all these trappings of self-determination and statehood.
The Palestinians managed to create a functioning and independent government because the Israeli military control over most of the territories was phased out through the Oslo Accords. Today, well over 95% of Palestinians live in territory administered by the Palestinian government.
This leaves the obvious question no one is asking, namely: if Israel is really the occupier that the Palestinian Arabs and their apologists insist, how did the Palestinians manage to reach this point and establish the institutions of a state that the UN has recognized?
Now what is left is a Palestinian state that is involved in a territorial dispute with its neighbor Israel -- similar to the sort of territorial disputes of countries such as India, China, Russia, Japan and others which do nothing to undermine international legitimacy.
Israel has been saying for decades that the issue with the Palestinian Arabs is not one of occupation but of disputed territory.
Now the UN has given its blessing to Israel's interpretation of the issue.
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