Thursday, November 15, 2007

Chief Palestinian Negotiator: "Palestinians Will Never Acknowledge Israel's Jewish Identity"

And I believe him--and so does this Jerusalem Post editorial:
The Recognition Sham

...On Monday, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said, "The problem of the content of the document [setting out joint principles for peacemaking post-Annapolis] has not been resolved... One of the more pressing problems is the Zionist regime's insistence on being recognized as a Jewish state.

"We will not agree to recognize Israel as a Jewish state," Erekat said. "There is no country in the world where religious and national identities are intertwined."

On Tuesday, another prominent Palestinian negotiator, Yasser Abed Rabbo, said, "It is only a Zionist party that deals with Israel as a Jewish state, and we did not request to be a member of the international Zionism movement."

Yesterday, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayad joined in these statements. And Erekat chimed in again on Al-Arabiya TV: "Israel can define itself however it sees fit; and if it wishes to call itself a Jewish state, so be it. But the Palestinians will never acknowledge Israel's Jewish identity." (emphasis added).
The underlying assumption is that there is some sort of linkage between Palestinian Arabs recognizing Israel's right to exist and Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state. The editorial seems to think that recognition of Israel's right to exist--as a Jewish state--is enshrined in the original Road Map. Actually, the word recognition is mentioned only once--and it is not in connection to Israel:
Quartet members promote international recognition of Palestinian state, including possible UN membership.
We are not haggling in the shuk here. Palestinian Arabs have what they consider to be their non-negotiables. It is time Olmert made up a list of his own.

Recognition of Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state is one.
Israel's rights and connection to Jerusalem is another.

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