Is International Recognition Helpful?


Is Brazil's decision to recognize 1967 Palestine a positive development?

The big news of the day is the official recognition of Palestine, along 1967 borders, by the Brazilian government.  Brazil joins nearly 100 other countries that recognize Palestine, including Russia, China, India and almost all of the Asian and African countries.  Andrew Sullivan looks at the recognition of Palestine development as a positive sign for a future full of collapsing peace talks:


It’s a powerful endorsement of a new nation state in the Middle East, based on the 1967 borders – and a recognition, perhaps, that negotiating with the Israelis is about as fruitless as negotiating with Republicans. I hope the current talks can gain momentum, but if Netanyahu really digs in and settlements continue, I suspect more and more countries will start doing this. And if the Obama administration’s patience runs out, I see no reason why the US shouldn’t too.

I agree that more countries will recognize Palestine as it become more obvious that Netanyahu cannot or will not make peace.  If an increasing number of countries recognize Palestine along 1967 border, it might – as Sullivan suggests – force the US to follow suit and create a Palestinian state.  But, unfortunately, a Palestinian state on 1967 borders would not help the 7 million Palestinian refugees that were forcibly removed from their homes in ’48.  Undoubtedly there are worse and more unjust solutions that  a Palestinian state on ’67 borders, however, in addition to refugees themselves, there is considerable anguish here over Israel’s unwillingness to recognize the ethnic cleansing of the Nakbah.

Unlike Sullivan, I can think of a very strong reason why the US will not recognize the Palestinian state.  The American Zionists that throw money at assuring the impunity Israel enjoys as it slowly colonizes the rest of Palestine will certainly thwart any move to recognize the State of Palestine.  Thus, while American recognition of Palestine could possibly save the dying (dead?) two state solution possibility – and therefore saving Israel from demographic suicide – the American Lukidniks are perhaps protecting the inevitability of one democratic (or binational) state in Palestine.

[tweetmeme] So, as the Palestinian Authority contemplates institutional suicide – with the inevitable longterm benefits – another major country is jumping of the PA’s train.  Will Fayyad claiming Palestine will be ready to function as a state in August, it is nearly universally assumed that Abbas will not dissolve his government.  Brazil’s move acts as a diplomatic pat on the back for Abu Mazen’s authoritarianism without forcing any changes on the ground.  Clearly recognition of Palestine puts pressure on Israel to come to some sort of peace agreement, but it does little to force Fatah and the PA from their positions of subcontracted occupiers.

Diplomatic recognition of Palestine by a state as globally strong as Brazil is a victory of sorts, but will not create any real changes for the region.  Perhaps worse, the recognition helps legitimize the ethnic cleansing of 1948, moves to eliminate the Right of Return and strengthens the occupying Palestinian government.

Photo from Wikipedia

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