The Law Of Unintended Consequences At Work

CNS News reported today on some of the unintended consequences of the Palestinian Authority’s decision to go to the United Nations next month and ask to be recognized as a state. The article points out that since 1975 the United Nations has recognized the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as the “sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.” If the United Nations recognizes the Palestinian Authority as a state, the Palestinians’ representation will change from the PLO to a “state of Palestine.” All Palestinians living outside the boundaries of the “state of Palestine” will no longer be represented at the United Nations.

The article further points out:

Goodwin-Gill  (Oxford University professor of public international law Guy Goodwin-Gill, an expert on refugee issues) also cited problems relating to the ability of the P.A. to assume greater powers. (Established under the Oslo Accords as an interim body to administer the self-rule areas, the P.A. is not empowered to conduct foreign affairs, a role that was left to the PLO.)

The academic said in the brief that the P.A. is a subsidiary entity set up by the PLO with “limited legislative and executive competence, limited territorial jurisdiction, and limited personal jurisdiction over Palestinians not present in the areas for which it has been accorded responsibility.”

There is another issue–Palestinian representation in Washington, D.C. The article points out:

The PLO has been permitted to maintain an office in Washington since 1994. Because of the PLO’s long history of involvement in terrorism, presidential waivers have been required by law every six months to allow its continued operation.

“Would that waiver henceforth be permitted, or be exercised?” Abrams wondered. “But if the PLO office is closed, would the United States accredit an embassy for the State of Palestine? Obviously not, as it would be the American position that there is no State of Palestine, not yet anyway.”

I don’t support a Palestinian state until the Palestinians agree to the existence of Israel. I also don’t believe that the Palestinians are entitled to any part of Jerusalem–Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel since King David–it should not be given away. The difficulties in creating a Palestinian state show that the idea has not been well thought out and might have results that are not good for anyone.

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