Netanyahu's Conditions for a Palestinian State

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Ben Cohen
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By Ben Cohen

The Washington Times is reporting that the Israeli government is leaking in advance the fact that Benjamin Netanyahu will accept a version of Palestinian sovereignty over the coming weeks. According to the Times, Netanyahu's conditions will be as follows:

• Any Palestinian state must be demilitarized, without an air force, full-fledged army or heavy weapons.

• Palestinians may not sign treaties with powers hostile to Israel.

• A Palestinian state must allow Israeli civilian and military aircraft
unfettered access to Palestinian airspace, allow Israel to retain
control of the airwaves and to station Israeli troops on a future
state's eastern and southern borders.

• Palestinians must accept Israel as a Jewish state, a nod to
the hawkish side of Mr. Netanyahu's governing coalition that has raised
concerns that the Palestinian Authority, which nominally governs the
West Bank, does not recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

While the main stream press seems mightily impressed with these 'concessions', the conditions are so stringent that any state that looked like one Netanyahu's vision of Palestine would not be considered a state at all. Would Israel accept being demilitarized? Would Israel cede the right to sign treaties with countries deemed to be in its strategic interest? Would Israel allow another country to fly its military aircraft through its airspace, or to cede control over its airwaves?

The entire concept of accepting Israel's 'Right to Exist' is another misnomer. Israel does exist, and needs no verification from Palestinians, just as the U.S government hasn't required the American Indians accept its 'Right to Exist'. It's a weapon Netanyahu is using to humiliate the Palestinians, forcing them to accept the legitimacy of a state that essentially stole their land. The Palestinians will accept the existence of Israel, but not its 'Right' to be there. No nation state has that 'Right', as all were created through violence and theft. States do exist, and international relations works on that basis. But accepting it as some sort of divine right is simply ridiculous, and the Palestinians will never, and should never agree to it.