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Politics is not about legalese

Avigdor LiebermanThe Israeli Foreign Ministry recently distributed talking points for its staff to use when arguing against the PA’s statehood bid. All these points are mistaken.

To prove the absence of a permanent population, the FM claims Palestinian ambiguity on the right of return. This is nonsense. Israel also claims the right of return for Jews worldwide, yet her domestic population is definitely permanent. If anything, Israel faces a higher emigration rate than Palestine.

On the ‘defined territory’ criterion, the paper cites absence of agreement with Israel on Palestine’s borders. By the same token, however, Israel has no internationally recognized border with Palestine.

On the absence of effective government, the FM cites the fact that Abbas does not rule Gaza. Well, a few weeks after Palestinian Independence and IDF withdrawal, Hamas would rule the West Bank as well.

As for the final criterion, the capacity to enter into relations with other states, Palestinians can travel visa-free to more countries than Israelis.

Instead of inventing legal absurdities, Lieberman should have taken care to prevent Abbas’ diplomatic mission abroad by denying him a transit permit in Israel.

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