The one-time Chief Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals once famously quipped that a prosecutor could get a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich. That quote comes to mind in thinking about the fact that the UN General Assembly — the same august body that welcomed Yassir Arafat at its podium while he wore a handgun strapped to his side and that declared the yearning of the Jewish people for self-determination to be racism — is poised today to recognize a “state” of Palestine.
What does and what will the UNGA’s action actually mean in practice? Professor Barry Rubin provides what, in my view, is one of the most accurate and dispassionate analyses:
Twenty-four years ago, almost to the day, in 1988, I stood in a large hall in Algeria and saw Yasir Arafat declare the independence of a Palestinian state. And that was forty-one years, almost to the day, after the UN offered a Palestinian state in 1947. Twelve years ago Israel and the United States officially offered a Palestinian state as part of a compromise at deal in the Camp David summit of 2000.
Arguably, despite all their errors, the Palestinian movement has made progress since those events, though it is not very impressive progress. Yet in real terms there is no real Palestinian state; the movement is more deeply divided than at any time in its history; and the people aren’t doing very well.
Now the UN will probably give Palestine the status of a non-member state. The only thing that will change is to convince people even more that they are following a clever and successful strategy. They aren’t.
To read his complete analysis, follow the link: