Friday, January 14, 2011

Guyana's recognition of "Palestine" - the definition of nonsense

Here is the statement by the government of Guyana, joining the list of South American countries that recognize "Palestine":

The Government of Guyana has today decided to formally recognize the State of Palestine as a free, independent, and sovereign state, based on its 1967 borders.

"Based on its 1967 borders"? In early 1967 there was no entity called "Palestine," period. There were no borders. There was no government, not even a puppet government.

So what does it mean to recognize a state based on pure fantasy?

By the way, there were plenty of countries that already recognized "Palestine" since 1988 - by my count, 70 of them where "Palestine" maintains embassies.  That doesn't make it a state.

But, as I asked previously (and I don't know the answer,) does this mean that - from the perspective of these 70 states - that "Palestine" must adhere to states' obligations under international law? Much of the Geneva Conventions are concerned with how states must act, and, to put it charitably, "Palestine" has not been exactly doing that.

It is easy to assume the benefits of statehood - but is "Palestine" ready to assume the responsibilities? So far, that answer has been a very clear "no."