He mostly talks about legal history of the Palestinian state, such as that it was "founded" in 1988 but not recognized until 2012, and that it now replaces the Palestinian Authority that was formed in 1993. However what is unsaid is what is important in this article: Notice he doesn't ever mention the borders of the Palestinian state from the point of view of the Palestinians, only from the point of view of the UN General Assembly. After talking about Yasser Arafat, he finally tells us something we didn't know:
"There is no further need for a Palestinian leader to be three-headed or three-hatted. While the Palestine Liberation Organization will continue to represent all Palestinians everywhere, those Palestinians who live in the State of Palestine (whose territory is defined by the November 29 General Assembly Resolution as "the Palestinian Territory occupied since 1967") or who, living elsewhere, will be the proud holders of new State of Palestine passports will now also be represented by the State of Palestine."Maybe this made sense to Whitbeck when he wrote it but it doesn't make sense to me. How does it work that Palestinians who live in "Palestine" will be represented by both the government (which they didn't elect) and the PLO (who they also didn't elect)? How can one group of people be represented by two completely different bodies?
Except that they aren't completely different, as Whitbeck might have pointed out if he had been honest. As Elder of Ziyon has pointed out, all of the officials who run the "State of Palestine" also run the PLO, including the head of it all, Mahmoud Abbas. So they will in fact continue to be three hatted, except now that PA will be gone, so I guess it's technically two hatted.
But I can't help but ask: why do the Palestinians need the PLO to exist at all? Isn't the whole purpose of a Palestinian state is that it is for the Palestinian people? The Israelis don't need an "Israeli Sovereign Organization" to do...well, actually I'm not sure what exactly the PLO does besides kill innocent people and get involved with other nations' conflicts, but Israel doesn't need an organization like that.
The truth is that the PLO is very much still committed to the destruction of Israel, as they often say, and this whole "State of Palestine" is just a distraction on the road to that goal. That's why they have no intention of getting rid of the PLO. Because a Palestinian state declaring war is bad in the eyes of the UN. Terrorists killing people is something quite different.
Of course this leaves out Hamas (which Whitbeck never mentions in his article), who are the real representatives of the Palestinian people and not on board with this statehood declaration at all. But that is all details which Whitbeck couldn't care less about. After all he is their lawyer: he doesn't tell the truth, he says what they tell him to say.
We should probably get back to the article, even though he's just going over well trodden ground about "THE OCCUPATION."
"The State of Palestine now exists on the soil of Palestine albeit still, in varying degrees and circumstances, under belligerent occupation by the State of Israel."Again, this makes no sense. What is "Palestine" on which the "State of Palestine" now exists? Is he referring to the region, a term which has not been used (except by Arabists) since the 1940s? Or is he saying that the state of Palestine exists on its own soil? In which case great, that's a redundancy. And no one cares about your whiny occupation, we've heard it all before. Let's let him conclude with more if it though:
"The members of the international community must now show their determination not simply in words but also in deeds and actions. In a world which professes to take human rights and international law, including the UN Charter, seriously, the perpetual belligerent occupation of one state by another state is inconceivable. The fact that the Israeli occupation of Palestine has been permitted to endure, expand and entrench itself for more than 45 years represents an appalling black mark against mankind. This occupation must now end."Yes, I know. An Arabist whining about human rights and international law is always amusing. And the UN doesn't care about the occupation of Kurdistan, or Tibet, or Northern Cyprus, or the Falkland Islands, so I think the idea of an occupation is in fact very "conceivable." You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
Anyway in all his reading about UN resolutions apparently he forgot the one that says the Palestinians need to make peace with Israel before the occupation can end. Oh wait, I meant the Arabs. Sorry. The invented nation of the Palestinians didn't exist when that UN resolution was passed. Anyway, if the Palestinians want to end that "appalling black mark against mankind," they can start by ending their own black marks against humanity and making peace. Until then, all this bluster will remind exactly what it is.