Nachum Kaplan
Moral Clarity: Truths and Politics and Culture

Recognition of a Palestine state should be treated as nonsense

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 13: Members of the United Nations Security Council listen as Russian permanent Ambassador to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia speaks during a meeting on the war in Gaza at the United Nations headquarters May 13, 2024 in New York City. The Security Council held a meeting on the ongoing war in Gaza days after the UN General Assembly passed a resolution with 143 yes votes, with nine countries voting no including the United States and Israel, and 25 countries abstaining, endorsing that Palestine become a full UN member and urging the Security Council to admit Palestine as a member. According to the Palestinian Ministry of Health, over 35,000 Palestinians have been killed and over 78,000 wounded in Israeli attacks on Gaza since the October 7 terror attacks by Hamas on Israel that resulted in the deaths of more than 1,160 people.  (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
United Nations resolutions have nothing to do with reality on the ground.

Ireland, Spain, and Norway recognizing a Palestinian state changes nothing. It is performative nonsense. The international media should be reporting it as such.

Headlines screaming that the European trio will recognize a Palestinian state make it look like something significant has happened. It has not. Some 144 of 193 members of the United Nations already recognize a Palestinian state. Three more doing so makes no difference.

Israel should stop its own performative dance of withdrawing ambassadors to these nations. It just adds weight to the illusion that it means anything.

The international’s media reporting of this story shows they have abandoned any pretense of reporting news and its consequences objectively, and that they think their job is to ratchet up pressure on Israel, stoking anti-Semitism with every word.

Here is what proper journalists should be asking the foreign ministers of these countries and the bureaucrats at the feckless United Nations. If Ireland, Spain, Norway, and others truly consider Palestine a state, then:

  • Is Israel within its rights to close its borders fully to Gaza forever? Every state has the right to secure its borders. If Palestine is a state, then Israel should face no complaints for doing that. Israel has closed borders with Syria and Lebanon, and the world accepts that.
  • Is Israel within its rights to expand its security wall in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) into a full-blown border and stop Palestinians from working in Israel? If not, then why not? Can every state not decide who can and cannot enter its country to work from abroad?
  • If Palestine is a state, it means that Palestinians are citizens and no longer refugees. Will the United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA) be defunded and closed? It is, after all, a refugee agency.
  • Does it mean no Palestinian has a right of return to anywhere in Israel? Surely, a citizen of Palestine does not have any right of return to Israel, a country in which they have never lived nor held citizenship.

I am not being factious. These are the legal consequences that would flow from Palestine being a state. These questions should be asked and answered.

The international media’s failure to ask these questions shows they have no interest in genuinely holding all parties to account, only in pressuring Israel.

The leaders of countries that recognize a Palestinian state will not answer these questions or address these issues, either. They know their unwillingness to treat Palestine as a real state – with all the consequences that follow – demonstrates that it is not a state.

It is part of the international community’s profoundly colonialist and undemocratic efforts to impose a two-state solution that neither Palestinians nor Israelis want. Polling from the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research shows that 64 percent of Palestinians oppose it, while a Pew Research Center survey shows that only 35 percent of Israelis think it can work peacefully.

It is performative posturing for domestic political consumption, and to tap into the widespread anti-Israel and anti-Jewish sentiments in their electorates.

Beyond the moral obscenity of rewarding terrorism – something Ireland and Spain should be extremely careful about given their own histories with terror – it is highly revealing that the more Jews the Palestinians murder, the more the world unites against the Jewish state.

This is Europe, however, so these attitudes are to be fully expected.

About the Author
Nachum Kaplan has 30 years international experience as a journalist, commentator, speaker, and C-suite media strategist to Fortune 500 companies. He has held senior positions and help set the strategic direction in some of the world's leading newsrooms, including Reuters and International Financing Review. He has worked in Australia, Indonesia, the UK, Singapore, and traveled extensively across the US, Europe, and Middle East, for his work. He holds a B.A. in Politics and Indonesian from Monash University. He writes about the nexus between media and politics in his Moral Clarity Newsletter at
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