Wednesday, January 16, 2013

"Palestine's Lawyer" is Back

John Whitbeck is literally "Palestine's lawyer," as he represented them at various diplomatic functions and negotiations, that is until he was disbarred. In other words, perfect Huffington Post blogger material. You may remember his article from less than a week ago, but he is back now to complain and tell people what to do some more. Just like his clients.

Anyway, after Mahmoud Abbas went  before the UN to say that everyone should now use the term "state of Palestine" instead of "Palestinian Authority," Whitbeck is here to repeat almost verbatim that exact request. But before we get there, he has to live up to his profession and tell some lies:
"The words "two-state solution" have been recited together for so long that it is widely assumed that they are inseparable and that one cannot have one without the other. Indeed, Israel and the United States argue relentlessly that a Palestinian state can only exist as the result of a negotiated "solution" acceptable to Israel. Were this the case, the occupying power, which has never shown any genuine enthusiasm for a Palestinian state and has barely feigned any pretense of interest in recent years, would enjoy an absolute and perpetual veto power over Palestinian statehood."
Of course, if Whitbeck was as familiar with UN resolutions as he is when he chooses to be, he would know that one of the key provisions of United Nations Resolution 242 was that withdrawal from the "occupied territories" would only happen as part of a peace treaty and solution. Although the Palestinians were not mentioned in 242 presumably it would apply to them, as it is the last thing that international law says on the subject. And as he himself is soon to admit, Israel and the USA were hardly the only countries who were not in favor of the UDI statehood bid. Furthermore, to say that Israel has never shown any enthusiasm for a Palestinian state is a lie. No country has done more to get the Palestinians to a point where they could have a state of their own than Israel. But it's the job of a lawyer to deflect all blame from himself and his client and onto his targets. At least Whitbeck comes clean about it, unlike our "international law scholars" and "Middle East expert" that populate the Huffington Post like flies.

Anyway, he then makes fallacious comparisons with Iraq and Kuwait, and how they didn't cease to become states while being occupied. The problem of course is that they were states before being occupied, while "Palestine" was not. But of course he can't be bothered with little details like that.

He then declares that although there is not a solution, "two states now exist." I'm sure that everyone who seeks the fallacious "one state solution" is now bitterly disappointed. Whitbeck starts talking about the so-called "1967 borders," citing a toothless UNGA resolution in the process. 

Then he starts talking about the 34 nations that didn't vote for Palestinian statehood bid, and starts coming up with reasons why we shouldn't care about their opinion. In fact he declares "most are impressive for their insignificance." I guess the arrogance of Palestinians doesn't fall far from the tree: the only reason why anyone gives a crap about you is because of who you are fighting, not because there's anything special about you.  But finally he gets to the point of the article, that "names matter."
"Friends of justice, peace and the Palestinian people -- and, indeed, true friends of the Israeli people -- must now revise their language when speaking and writing about Palestine. The only legally, politically and diplomatically correct ways to refer to the 22 percent portion of historical Palestine occupied in 1967 are now "the State of Palestine," "Palestine" and "occupied Palestine." "Palestinian Authority," "occupied territories" and "occupied Palestinian territories" are no longer acceptable."
So here's the thing.

Hamas, the actual government of the Palestinian people, doesn't recognize the state of Israel, even though it has been a UN member state for over six decades. In fact many other states, including Saudi Arabia and Iran, don't recognize Israel either. They refer to it as the "Zionist entity." Of course the Palestinian Authority (deal with it Whitbeck) also refuses to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and often talks about how Tel Aviv and Haifa shall be "reclaimed." And hey, if that's what they want to do it works for me.

But it strikes me as hypocritical for Arabs and their apologists to demand from others what they refuse to do themselves. Guess what? The US of A doesn't recognize the state of Palestine! How do you like them apples Whitbeck? The same way we don't recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and the settlements as part of Israel, we don't recognize your declaration of statehood. The USA, Israel, and the international community doesn't have to do a damn thing if they don't want to, no matter how loudly you whine. I know that you love demanding things from Israel and America, but I don't think it's going to work this time. You basically gave the American people and government a big middle finger to the face, and now you expect us to do what you say? Take a hike John.

He finishes with more high-sounding words that mean nothing. Presumably the Huffington Post is working hard on finding an Israel-aligned lawyer to publish soon. You know, for "balance."

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