TURES COLUMN: Should Countries Be Recognizing A Palestinian State Right Now?

Published 3:24 pm Friday, June 7, 2024

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BY: John Tures

In June, Slovenia became the fourth European country in the last month to announce they would recognize a Palestinian state, joining Spain, Ireland and Norway who made a similar declaration in May. Is this a good idea, in the wake of Hamas’ attack on Israel in October?  Is there a better solution that wouldn’t pour gasoline on the fire that came out of Gaza?

Believe it or not, more than 140 countries have recognized Palestinian statehood.  That includes just about every country in the Western Hemisphere, except for the U.S., Canada, and Panama.  In Africa, every country but Cameroon and Eritrea seems to have signed on to Palestinian statehood, along with everyone in the Middle East (except Israel). 

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In Asia, it’s everyone except for Japan, Korea, Taiwan, and Myanmar.  There’s also Australia and New Zealand who are holding out. 

In Europe, several countries had already recognized Palestinian Statehood, including Albania, Serbia, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Iceland, Russia and Sweden.

With these four European countries signing on to Palestinian statehood after the attacks on Israel, it is likely to send the wrong message.  I strongly disagree with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on so many things related to this conflict, but I do concur when he said that such a move would be seen as “rewarding terrorism.”

After all, how would Spain have liked it if the whole world recognized ETA’s demand for a separate Basque homeland in the middle of their terror campaign in the 1980s?  Or what would Norway have said if the world claimed that neo-Nazi in Norway had a point after he slaughtered all of those kids at a summer camp?  Ireland wouldn’t have liked it if the League of Nations took sides in their civil war.

But is there a better solution to rescue these well-meaning countries who may be making an error by encouraging Hamas, who is basking in this newfound attention? 

The terrorist group responded by parading around videos of female Israeli hostages, threatening them with more than just their lives.  Several more Israeli hostages turned up dead, revealing Hamas’ true colors.

There’s a smarter way to handle this situation.  You might have noticed that there haven’t been many attacks, if any, except for a few Hamas-inspired hotheads.  Even under immense pressure to attack Jewish settlers from those who hate Israel, the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank has shown remarkable restraint throughout this whole conflict. 

Each country should specify that if anyone’s going to be recognized, it’s going to be the Palestinian Authority, and not a terror group that even the International Criminal Court (ICC) has designated as a group of war criminals.  Now those 140+ countries, most of which honor and respect the ICC, wouldn’t violate that by giving Hamas a diplomatic win now, would they?

Back in 2009, even Prime Minister Netanyahu agreed to the two-state solution.  If Israel adopts the Biden cease-fire, and every country in the world moves to shut down Hamas’ lucrative networks and takes the steps that lead to the prosecution of those who started the whole Gaza War, it would lead to less suffering than giving Hamas a “W” for their terror attacks of last October.