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Palestine name change reflects new reality

Jan 07, 2013


RAMALLAH, West Bank -- The Palestinian president has ordered his government to officially change the name of the Palestinian Authority to "State of Palestine."

The move follows the November decision by the United Nations to upgrade the Palestinians' status to that of a "non-member observer state...."

Israel objected to the Palestinian statehood bid at the U.N., calling it a unilateral step aimed at bypassing direct peace negotiations. Abbas denied that.

Sunday, January 6, what was previously known as Palestine, a territorial entity, became officially the State of Palestine. This reflects its new nation-state status that was granted by the UN on November 29, 2012. They made it official on the 40th day since the UN recognized them.

The Israelis object, calling it "a unilateral step." Of course, back in 1948 when the former territorial entity became known as the State of Israel, the leaders officially changed its name uniltaterally as well. I do not recall any Israeli ambassadors asking for permission from Jordan to call it a State.

The rights of Palestine to call itself a state came from the UN, not from the State of Israel. In fact, both "states" received their rights from the same body, the United Nations. The Israelis were happy to capitalize on those UN-given rights back in 1948, but are not so happy to uphold the UN's authority in 2013 when others do the same. Why? Because they do not want to negotiate peace with an equal State, but prefer deal from the stronger position as a State negotiating with a mere non-state entity.

The Israeli problem is that for over 60 years they have backed the UN's authority to create an Israeli state, and now it is impossible to deny the UN's authority to do the same for Palestine without undermining their own position.



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Category: Middle East

Dr. Stephen Jones

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