by Dan Diker
3rd part of 3
The Palestinian "Kosovo strategy" contains several major implications for
The unilateral Palestinian bid for sovereignty will also likely turn the Palestinians into the leading petitioner against the State of Israel at the International Criminal Court. An early indication of what can be expected if the PA's "Kosovo strategy" comes to fruition may be seen in the petition submitted to the court by the PA after the
Finally, the unilateral Palestinian quest for the 1947 lines may well continue even if the 1967 lines are endorsed by the United Nations. The PLO's 1988 declaration of independence was based on UN General Assembly Resolution 181, which recognizes the 1947 partition plan for
This threat is not theoretical. In 1999, former Palestinian UN Ambassador Nasser al-Kidwa, today a senior Palestinian official and a major proponent of UN endorsement of a unilaterally-declared Palestinian state, submitted a letter on behalf of the PLO asserting that Resolution 181 and its corresponding 1947 partition plan are accepted by the PLO and cannot be annulled, as they provide the legal basis for the existence of both Jewish and Arab states in Mandatory Palestine.54 Since then, Resolution 181 has been invoked by other Palestinian leaders. In view of the PLO's intention to replace the PA as the legitimate legal authority to carry out the Palestinian's Kosovo model, the implications of unilateral Palestinian action are far-reaching.
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1. Khaled Abu Toameh and Herb Keinon, "Recognition of ‘67 Border Before Talks,"
2. "Erekat: It's Time to Recognize a
3. "Palestinians Unveil Two-Year Development Plan for Statehood," Ha'aretz, November 15, 2009.
4. http://www.mofa-gov.ps/ar/index.php?p=main&id=22. The PLO Central Council also voted to delay implementing the replacement of the Oslo-sanctioned Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), extending the PLC's role in the interim until elections can be called "at the earliest possible date."
5. Yaakov Katz, "Taking a Cue from Kosovo,"
6. Abbas acknowledged to the Washington Post's Jackson Diehl after the failure of Annapolis that Olmert's offer of 97 percent of the West Bank and the recognition of the right of return (that included the return 100,000 refugees - DD) was more generous to the Palestinians than the offers of either George Bush or Bill Clinton, and yet Abbas said: "The gaps were wide." See Jackson Diehl, "Abbas' Waiting Game," Washington Post, May 29, 2009, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/28/AR2009052803614.html.
7. Ali Abunimah, "Kosovo and the Question of
8. "Erekat Unimpressed with New U.S. Attitude," January 9, 2009, Jerusalem Post, http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1262339435514&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull.
9. Tova Lazeroff and Herb Keinon, "Erekat Denies PA Unilateralism Plans," Jerusalem Post, November 18, 2009, http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1258489190816&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FPrinter. In the Kosovo case, UN Security Council Resolution 1244, passed in 1999, established Kosovo as a UN Protectorate. However, similar to the Palestinian case, Kosovo has not yet won a UNSC resolution for independence, since the Security Council has been unable to agree on a resolution backing supervised independence. See International Crisis Group Analysis, http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=3225&l=1.
10. Separate conversations with international law experts Professors Ruth Lapidot and Porofessor Irwin Cotler, former Justice Minister of
11. Kosovo - a
12. Clearly, the legal analogy does not work. Kosovar independence, currently being considered by the International Court of Justice, requires the consent of
13. The Kosovo case was referred by the UN General Assembly to the International Court of Justice on October 8, 2008, for an advisory opinion as to the legality of Kosovo's unilateral declaration. The ICJ opinion is still pending. See http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/files/141/14797.pdf.
15. A map of Kosovo reveals that its ethnic composition leaves the minority Serb population contained in the provinces in Kosovo's north, leaving the majority of the land to the Muslim Kosovar majority without the risk of geographical interlocking or overlapping communities.
16. The 2002 Arab Peace Initiative referred to the issue of refugees thus: "Achievement of a just solution to the Palestinian refugee problem to be agreed upon in accordance with UN General Assembly Resolution 194." http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/mar/28/israel7.
17. Dan Diker, "Why Israel Must Now Move from Concession-Based Diplomacy to Rights-Based Diplomacy," Jerusalem Viewpoints #554, June-July 2007, http://www.jcpa.org/JCPA/Templates/ShowPage.asp?DRIT=2&DBID=1&LNGID=1&TMID=111&FID=253&PID=0&IID=1607&TTL=Why_Israel_Must_Now_Move_from_Concessions-Based_Diplomacy_to_Rights-Based_Diplomacy. See also "Palestinian Refusal to Negotiate Peace."
18. See examples of Palestinian leadership denials of the Jewish Temple in
19. John Quigly, "The Palestine Declaration to the International Criminal Court: The Statehood Issue," Rutgers Law Record, vol. 35, (Spring 2009), http://www.lawrecord.com/files/35-rutgers-l-rec-1.pdf.
20. "Palestinian Refusal to Negotiate Peace." Daniel Reisner, former head of the Israel Defense Forces' International Law Department, pointed out in interviews on January 6, 2010, on Army Radio and Channel 10 that Fayyad's government successfully appealed to the International Criminal Court without having the status of a sovereign state. Surprisingly, Reisner noted, the court did not dismiss the appeal, which underscores the vigorous efforts of PA Foreign Minister Riyadh al-Malki to upgrade the status of the PA to a sovereign state, which would in turn leverage up the number and effectiveness of Palestinian petitions to the ICC against the Israeli government and military officials.
21. In late 2009, Defense Minister Ehud Barak narrowly escaped arrest while on an official visit to
22. On March 22, 2009, Fayyad convened in his bureau the committees of the "popular intifada," as opposed to the military one. These committees were charged with organizing public activities against the security barrier and the settlements. Fayyad told them: "This example of resistance received respect, appreciation and support worldwide." Al-Hayat al-Jadeeda, March 22 2009. See also Dan Diker and Pinhas Inbari, "Is thePalestinianStable Enough for Peace Talks? Assessing the Resignation and Return of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad," Jerusalem Issue Brief, vol. 9, no. 3, June 16, 2009, http://www.jcpa.org/JCPA/Templates/ShowPage.asp?DBID=1&LNGID=1&TMID=111&FID=442&PID=0&IID=3007. For a typical anti-Israel protest website, see http://www.awalls.org/.
24. U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman, visiting Ramallah in November 2009, said, "I know some people concerned that this is unilateral, but it seems to me that it is unilateral in the healthy sense of self-development." See "
25. Alan Baker, "A Paradox of Peacemaking: How Fayyad's Unilateral Statehood Plan Undermines the Legal Foundations of Israeli-Palestinian Diplomacy," Jerusalem Viewpoints, no. 574, November-December, 2009, http://www.jcpa.org/JCPA/Templates/ShowPage.asp?DBID=1&LNGID=1&TMID=111&FID=443&PID=0&IID=3185.
26. Diker and Inbari, "Fayyad's Two-Year Path.".
39. "Obama Tells Abbas Committed to PA State," Ynet News, October 23, 2009. Following Obama's phone call to Abbas, his spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeinah, said, "It was a very important conversation for the future of the peace process and the region." As the Palestinians sole priority has been to win
40. Amidst the growing tensions between the
41. Abbas reportedly revealed to a Kuwaiti newspaper that he had "verified information that Hamas was planning to take over the
43. Salim Zanoun, Chairman of the PLO's National Council, noted that the Palestinian Authority was the legal child of the PLO and the Central Council which the PNC established in 1994. The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs further explained the proposed but yet to be implemented PLO takeover of the PA Parliament, saying: "The PA'a duty is only to provide services to the Palestinians." Hence, the PLO and not the PA is the only legal body empowered to declare a state, http://www.mofa-gov.ps/ar/index.php?p=main&id=22. Ironically, perhaps, the PLO Council did not uproot the PA and endorsed the continued functioning of the Palestinian Authority's legislative council, in order to enjoy the ongoing receipt of billions of dollars in international donor contributions. The PA received $3 billion in 2008, according to French estimates, while the December 2007
44. While not recognizing
48. "Erekat: It's Time to Recognize a
52. For example, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyadh al-Malki signed a state-to-state agreement with
Dan Diker is Director of the Institute for Contemporary Affairs at the