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The Palestinian Claim to Statehood: An Open Letter to PLO Negotiator Saeb Erekat – Amb. Alan Baker (JCPA via Daily Alert)

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Dec. 17,  2018

The Palestinian Claim to Statehood: An Open Letter to PLO Negotiator Saeb Erekat – Amb. Alan Baker (Institute for Contemporary Affairs-Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • PLO Negotiator Saeb Erekat denounced Australia’s recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, stating that “East Jerusalem, under international law, is an integral part of the occupied Palestinian territory.”
  • Since we had worked together on the 1995 Oslo Interim Agreement, I responded on Twitter: Saeb – you’re not a lawyer. There’s no violation of international law in recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. You seem to confuse international law with UN resolutions which are not international law.
  • Permit me to remind you and your colleagues of some basic facts and truths: A Palestinian state does not exist because it cannot fulfill the accepted international law criteria for statehood.
  • The fact that the PLO is committed by the Oslo Accords to negotiate with Israel on the issue of the permanent status of the territories is indicative of the fact that permanent status has not yet been agreed upon, and thus there can be no Palestinian state.
  • Basing their claim to statehood on a 2012 non-binding General Assembly resolution is totally flawed, manipulative, and misleading. The General Assembly is not empowered to establish states.
  • Since the PLO is not a state, it therefore cannot be party to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), which is specifically open only to states. The fact that the Palestinians politically manipulated the UN and ICC into viewing them as a state is legally flawed and has yet to be reviewed juridically.
  • Rather than going to such great efforts to manipulate and abuse the international community, and trying to bypass the negotiating process, the Palestinians need to restore their credibility as a viable negotiating partner and return to that process immediately.

    The writer participated in the negotiation and drafting of the Oslo Accords with the Palestinians, as well as agreements and peace treaties with Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon. He served as legal adviser and deputy director-general of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and as Israel’s ambassador to Canada.

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