Saturday, October 04, 2014

Sweden Recognizes Palestinian Statehood

Sweden Recognizes Palestinian Statehood

by Stephen Lendman

On October 3, Haaretz headlined "Sweden to become first major European country to recognize state of Palestine." It's the first EU country to officially do so. 

In parliament on Friday, Sweden's newly-formed center-left Prime Minister, Stefan Lofven, announced his intention to recognize what's long overdue. What all nations worldwide should follow.

"The conflict between Israel can only be solved with a two-state solution, negotiated in accordance with international law," said Lofven.

"(T)he two-state solution requires mutual recognition and a will to peaceful co-existence. Sweden will therefore recognize the state of Palestine."

Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Ireland, Malta, Poland, Romania and Slovakia upgraded Palestine to full embassy status earlier.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki called Sweden's decision "premature." She cited the need to resolve final status issues.

In September 1993, Mahmoud Abbas sold out in Oslo. He and others with him did so disgracefully. They agreed to be Israeli enforcers.

Palestinians got nothing in return for renouncing armed struggle, recognizing Israel's right to exist, and agreeing to leave major unresolved issues for later final status talks. 

They're still waiting. Militarized occupation harshness continues. Peace remains a convenient illusion. 

It's the greatest hoax in modern times. So is hoping Israel one day will recognize Palestinian self-determination. It goes all-out to prevent it.

On Friday, Haaretz said Britain's parliament intends voting up or down on recognizing Palestinian self-determination. It'll do so when it returns from recess on October 13.

At issue is public anger over Israel's genocidal Operation Protective Edge. Conservative minister Baroness Warsi resigned in protest.

Independent MP George Galloway forthrightly supports Palestinian rights. He's unswervingly anti-Zionist.

He declared his Bradford West district an "Israeli-free zone." Its products, academics and tourists aren't welcome, he said.

Labor party leaders said they support Palestinian self-determination. It remains to be seen how many MPs overall go along.

Through September 2013, 134 nations recognized Palestinian statehood. They include Brazil, Egypt, China, India, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, and virtually all other regional countries except Israel.

On November 29, 2013, General Assembly members voted 138 to 9 with 41 abstentions in favor of granting Palestine non-member observer state status.

At the time, Israel responded as expected. Its UN envoy Ron Prosor rejected what world nations endorsed overwhelmingly, saying:

"Because this resolution is so one-sided, it doesn’t advance peace. It  pushes it backwards."

"There’s only one route to Palestinian statehood and that route does not run through this chamber in New York. (It) runs through direct negotiations between Jerusalem and Ramallah…"

Doing so denies Palestinian self-determination. It continues militarized occupation harshness. 

Ruthless persecution. Premeditated wars at Israel's discretion, and high crimes against peace amounting to genocide.

Maintaining intolerable status quo conditions is longstanding Israeli policy. Rogue states operate this way. 

America and Israel are the world's most ruthless. Most contemptuous of fundamental human rights. Most belligerent. Most dangerous. Most lawless.

Palestine already exists. On November 14, 1988, the Palestinian National Council (PNC) adopted Law Professor Francis Boyle's Memorandum.

It "proclaims the existence of the new independent state of Palestine." It explained characteristics needed for world community recognition. They include:

  • a fixed population;

  • a functioning government; in 1988, Arafat declared the PLO Palestine's Provisional Government; and

  • the capacity to enter into relations with other states; most world nations recognize Palestine; expect others to follow like Sweden. 

Palestine easily satisfies essential statehood criteria:

  • it's already a state;

  • it's peace-loving;

  • it accepts UN Charter provisions;

  • it's able to administer them; and

  • it's willing to do so.

Washington provisionally recognized Palestinian statehood earlier. According to UN Charter Article 80(1), it can't reverse its position by vetoing a Security Council  resolution calling for its UN admission.

Doing so is illegal. It's subject to further SC action under the Charter's Chapter VI. Expect no follow-through to enforce it.

SC members only recommend admissions. General Assembly ones alone decide. Affirming new states requires a two-thirds majority.

Doing so can include appropriate measures to end Israel's illegal occupation.

Palestine's Declaration of Independence is "determinative, definitive, and irreversible," said Boyle. 

It recognizes the General Assembly's 1947 Partition Plan in good faith. It rejects terrorism in all forms.

Abbas can get Palestinian statehood virtually any time he wishes. Why not he'll have to explain. 

He's a longtime Israeli collaborator. He sold out decades ago. He did so for special benefits he derives. He's nearing retirement. He'll do nothing to spoil things now.

His General Assembly address was typical Abbas. Meaningless. Disingenuous. Without substantive content. 

He talks the talk. Walking it isn't his long suit. His call for ending Israel's occupation is polar opposite what he supported for decades. 

He lied claiming high-mindedness now. He did so knowing Washington's veto is certain. 

Nothing on the ground will change without Palestinian self-determination. He blocked it earlier. It's easily gotten.

Palestinians can override Washington's SC veto. It can petition General Assembly members through the 1950 Uniting for Peace Resolution 377. 

Doing so renders America's veto null and void. Palestinian self-determination can become reality. Why not, Abbas and other PLO collaborators must explain.

They go through the motions of seeking Palestinian statehood. Plus full UN Member State status. With meaningful rights that matter. Rhetoric substitutes for action.

Palestine remains occupation. Universally recognized statehood remains a distant dream.

Getting it requires responsible leadership. It's sorely lacking in Ramallah. Palestinians deserve better. 

It's high time they demanded their rights. Doing so begins with replacing quisling governance with legitimate parliamentarians representing them.

Maybe some day. Not now. Not any time soon. Liberation remains a distant dream.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

Visit his blog site at 

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