Recognition of the Palestinian State

Partners for Progressive Israel support international recognition of the State of Palestine and urge its full and immediate acceptance as a member state of the United Nations.  Noting that over 135 states of the UN have already recognized Palestine we urge those European nations that have not done so, the United States, and Israel to extend recognition to Palestine as well.  We also recognize the right of Palestine, as of any other legitimate state, to join and bring complaints before the International Criminal Court, as well as to take part fully in all UN conventions and agencies.

The Palestinian people like any other national group, including the Jewish people, enjoy the universal right of national self-determination in their own state and with their own polity.  UN resolution 181, which established the basis for the state of Israel in 1947, called for both a Jewish and an Arab state in the existing mandate of Palestine.  The Palestinian Arab state did not come into existence, however, and in 1967 Israel conquered the West Bank and Gaza and has occupied them, against the wishes of their inhabitants, ever since.  Although Israel ended its direct occupation of Gaza in 2005, it continues tight control of the territory’s borders, while the West bank has been peopled with hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers.  This situation must be rectified and these areas must be joined to the Palestinian state.

We believe at this point that continued occupation of the West Bank by Israel is morally wrong in that it deprives Palestinians of elementary human rights and that it is corrosive in its effects on Israeli society.  The assertion that the occupation is the only guaranteed method of security for Israel has been proven wrong time and again throughout its 48-year history.

Israel must recognize the rights of the Palestinian people to a state of their own.  This calls for Israel returning to its 1967 frontiers as adjusted by mutual agreement.  Not to do so will lead inexorably to one bi-national segregated state that will not only be an injustice to the 50% or more Arabs who will inhabit it, but ensure a destruction of the Zionist enterprise itself which was premised on the idea of a Jewish homeland, existing as a free people in a free land, not as oppressors of another people.  Israel must recognize the existing state of Palestine and negotiate with it an end to the occupation and the conflict as soon as possible.