The Vatican’s recognition of a “State of Palestine” in a treaty between the Holy See and the Palestinian Authority (PA) is deeply disappointing.
Rather than advancing peace, the recognition by the Vatican, and by others, sets it back.
This unilateral recognition by the Vatican ignores Israel’s rightful and necessary role in peace negotiations aimed at a two-state solution. The reported inclusion of the eastern part of Jerusalem in the content of the pact— governance over which was never abandoned by Israel under past agreements—is particularly inappropriate.
B’nai B’rith has long advocated bilateral peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians as a prerequisite for the creation of a Palestinian state.
Unearned outside recognition allows the Palestinians to continue to “internationalize” their conflict with the Jewish state, making it easier for the PA to avoid direct talks and compromise with Israel. The PA has refused to take part in direct peace negotiations for years.
It is difficult to imagine how this PA treaty with the Vatican will work, because there is not even unified control over Palestinian territories. The Islamist terror group Hamas, which is committed to Israel’s destruction, at once retains control over the Gaza Strip and is party to a highly tenuous political partnership with the PA.
B’nai B’rith will continue to work to ensure that Israel is duly represented in discussions about its own sovereignty and security.