Palestine fails to meet key qualifications for recognition
Published on September 20, 2011
by Brent Baldwin
Washington D.C. (USA)
OfficialWire PR News Bureau
Former White House lawyer, David B. Rivkin, Jr., delivered a devastating Wall Street Journal opinion piece that calls for the United Nations to stay away from the precarious issue of Palestinian statehood for its own good—if not that of the world at large.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to seek recognition of Palestine from the U.N. later this week and key members such as Russia, China, and Britain are supportive. Recognizing Palestine as a state would have major geopolitical repercussions, as Rivkin noted in his piece.
“The U.N.—General Assembly or Security Council—has no power to create states or to grant all-important formal ‘recognition’ to state aspirants,” Rivkin wrote with co-author Lee A. Casey in the September 20 article. “The right to recognize statehood is a fundamental attribute of sovereignty and the United Nations is not a sovereign.”
Rivkin emphasized that Palestine does not meet the basic criteria for statehood, including: a permanent population, a defined territory, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other states.
Digging deeper into the response from the Obama administration, which called Palestine’s bid a “distraction,” Rivkin wrote that it was “unfortunate” that Obama failed to present the case against a Palestinian statehood resolution “in legal rather than tactical terms.” Had his administration done this, Rivkin wrote, it would “greatly reinforce the U.S. position, also providing a thoroughly neutral basis for many of our allies, particularly in Europe, to oppose Mr. Abbas’s statehood bid.”
Rivkin ended the article on the U.N. with an ominous warning, reminding readers of the classic example of France supporting the infant United States’ rights to independence in 1778, which led that country into war. Fittingly, he then reminded the United Nations what it was designed to do:
“First among [its] purposes is maintaining international peace and security, and efforts prematurely to force recognition of a Palestinian state clearly undercut this goal,” Rivkin wrote. “This is, in fact, a rare instance in which a measure is bad policy, bad law, and has the real potential to damage the interests of its opponents and its supporters.”
A frequent contributor to The Wall Street Journal, Rivkin was awarded the prestigious 2011 Burton Award for Legal Achievement for his writing in The Washington Post.
For more information, visit www.davidrivkin.com.