Wednesday, December 22, 2010

And this will solve what?

The Daily Telegraph's Adrian Blomfield reports from Gaza City that various EU Member States, including Britain or rather the Foreign Office are mulling over the idea that the Palestinian "general delegations" be upgraded to "diplomatic missions". This will not make any difference, the FCO spokespersons assure us or, at least, Mr Blomfield.
But a Foreign Office spokesman said the upgrade did not "imply recognition of a Palestinian state," adding: "We continue to believe that the creation of a sovereign and viable Palestinian State alongside a secure Israel is best achieved through negotiations."
Yes, those peace talks have once again collapsed and the United States has refused to push for a UN resolution that would halt new settlements in the West Bank. Anyone would think that was the crux of the problem. We all know, what it is: the Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel's right to exist. Solve that, and peace might become achievable.

Nevertheless, this idea does raise a few questions. In the first place, which Palestinian state and which diplomatic mission? Gaza is run by the thugs of Hamas and they do not acknowledge the supremacy of the thugs from Fatah. Fatah's thugs tend to crack down rather painfully on all supporters of the Hamas thugs. So, who represents the Palestinian state and how is it going to be set up and run?

Secondly, who is going to be paying for the enhanced status and thus, undoubtedly, enhanced expenses of the "diplomatic mission"? As a matter of fact, I think I know the answer to that.

Thirdly, symbolic gestures matter in politics. If this gesture is purely symbolic with no real content (and there can be very little content beyond some Palestinian delegates swaggering round the place with diplomatic immunity), why make it now when the peace talks have collapsed? In other words, why annoy Israel unnecessarily?

Fourthly, what about that diplomatic immunity? Will the Palestinian delegates, of whatever hue, acquire it?

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