Abbas Again Refuses to Recognize Israel as Jewish State, Threatens UN Action

Abbas is threatening to take onIsrael at the UN. UN headquarters. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Abbas is threatening to take onIsrael at the UN. UN headquarters. Illustrative. By Joshua Spurlock

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is considering conceding on recognizing Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people, and instead is again warning he will turn to the United Nations for unilateral measures to try and force the creation of a Palestinian state. The report from the WAFA Palestinian news agency quoted Abbas as again threatening to submit a draft resolution to the UN putting a two-year deadline on the formation of Palestinian state on lands controlled by Israel unless Israel makes more concessions to jumpstart negotiations.

Abbas also said that he would join the International Criminal Court (ICC) as well, a thinly veiled threat of unjustified legal action against Israel for war crimes. In response, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Abbas’ refusal to recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people in fact defies the UN.

“Just last weekend, Palestinian President Abbas reiterated that he would never recognize the legitimacy of the Jewish people’s right to a nation-state,” said Netanyahu in comments posted to his office’s website. “The peculiar thing is that he said this on the 29th of November, on the very day 67 years ago that the United Nations called for the establishment of a Jewish state.”

Recognizing Israel as a “Jewish state” is not a racial concept, but a cultural one for Israel’s government. They have repeatedly compared it to nations such as France being defined by French culture. Palestinians are being asked to accept this characteristic about Israel, lest the Palestinians attempt to eventually overwhelm the Israeli demographics or wage a renewed legal battle in the future to change Israel’s culture. That would essentially create one-and-a-half or even two Arab states—one known as “Palestine” and one technically known as “Israel.”

Netanyahu highlighted the irony of the Palestinian refusal. “They reject the Jewish people’s right to national self-determination, even as they demand that very right for themselves… Peace cannot be based on such hypocrisy.”

(By Joshua Spurlock,, December 1, 2014)

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