AJIRI #52: Fatah’s Call for a One-State Solution

August 14, 2015

It is well known that Hamas is committed to resort to warfare and terrorism to end the existence of the State of Israel.  What is less well known is that Hamas’s political rival, Fatah, which leads the Palestinian Authority (PA), has the same objective, to be achieved by different means.  Rather than resorting to violence, the PA looks to the United Nations to help it achieve its desired result.

That is why we need to take due note of the news item in the Jerusalem Post that PA Foreign Minister Riad al-Maliki announced on August 11, 2015 that the PA “is planning to present a new resolution to the UN Security Council (UNSC) calling for ending Israeli ‘occupation’ and providing international protection for the Palestinians.”  What such a resolution is likely to contain is spelled out in a June 18, 2015 position paper authored by Saeb Erekat, principal negotiator and now also Secretary-General of the PA.

Manipulating the UN system is, as the PA leadership sees it, the way to attain the desired result.

Erekat called for (1) “establishment of the State of Palestine on the 1967 lines with Al-Quds [Jerusalem] as its capital, (2) “a solution of the refugee problem based on Resolution 194,” (3) “the release of the prisoners,” (4) “the negation of the Jewish state, and of any security formulations whose import it is to leave Israeli forces along the Jordan River” and (5) “anything entailing a continued division between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.” The PA knows full well that these objectives cannot be attained through negotiations and is therefore not prepared to enter into negotiations.  Manipulating the UN system is, as the PA leadership sees it, the way to attain the desired result.

It is important to analyze the foregoing guidelines from a leading PA official carefully.  They provide, to start with, for a two-state solution based on the 1967 lines, thus overriding UN Security Council Res. 242, which called for the establishment of “secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.”   But even if there were a two-state solution, Erekat emphasizes, there would be no state that would be recognized as a Jewish state.

As it is that second non-Jewish state is not intended to exist long.  What the PA calls for is “the solution of the refugee problem based on Resolution 194.”  Resolution 194 was a resolution adopted in December 1948 by the UN General Assembly (UNGA), which addressed the situation that existed at that time, 67 years ago.  Under the UN Charter, the UNGA is given authority “to make recommendations” for the advancement of UN goals. In Res. 194 the UNGA recommended that “the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date.”  It is appropriate to note the words “should be permitted,” which are words appropriate for a recommendation.

It is the words of this 1948 recommendation that are being claimed to constitute a “right of return.”  At this point, they clearly do not establish a right.  But the PA’s plan to have the UN Security Council call “for a solution to the refugee problem based on Resolutions 194” is intended to turn a 1948 UNGA recommendation into a UNSC 2015 mandate, thus into a “right.”   Under the provisions of the UN Charter Security Council resolutions are enforceable.  Once that “right” has been granted by the UNSC, arrangement would be made for the mass migration of the more than 5 million “Palestinian refugees,” 99% of whom are descendants of refugees.  Israel would be required to accept them.  The result would be an Arab majority in Israel and thus an end to the state of Israel and the beginning of the one-state solution.

Given the UNSC membership for 2015, a Palestinian proposal may very well get the required minimum of 9 affirmative votes.  That means that a U.S. veto is essential to preserve Israel as a majority-Jewish state.  And that is why it is vital that the meaning of the consequences of the reference to UNGA Res. 194 is fully understood.