Thursday, May 23, 2024

Recognizing Palestine

I am definitely in favor of Palestinians having a say in their own country (whether that is a "Palestinian state" or a binational country with equal citizenship for Palestinians and Israelis, the merits and realisticness of a 1-state or 2-state solution at the present time is something I can save for another post), but I'm not sure what it means to recognize a Palestinian State right now when there clearly isn't one.

So does it help to make aspirational recognition? Israel is taking the announcement of recognition by Ireland, Spain, and Norway as a kind of grave offense. On the one hand, who cares if the Israeli government is pissed off? The current government is a huge impediment to any Palestinian state, and so is, apparently, much of the Israeli public. On the other hand, I don't see any path to a Palestinian state without some degree of Israeli buy-in. So maybe jumping the gun on the issue doesn't get things closer to it actually happening?

While three more European countries recognizing a Palestinian state is a news story, that brings the total number of countries who have recognized Palestine to 140. That is most of the countries in the world (the UN has 193 member states). By comparison, 165 countries recognize Israel. I'm sure it would be embarrassing for the Israeli government if Palestine gets more countries recognizing it's existence,1 will it really make any difference? The reality on the ground will still be the reality on the ground. Making these announcements gives countries the ability to make a symbolic gesture of support of Palestinians. But it just seems like they need a lot more than symbolic support to get anywhere.

1- Yeah I wrote about the diplomatic recognition race 9 years ago. My obsessions tend to loop back on themselves and this fucking conflict never ends.