While Tarek Fatah, a Senior Fellow of the Middle East Forum (MEF) has recently written a huge article in the Toronto Sun, condemning Israeli attack on Palestinians and advocated establishment of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital, according to media reports, in preparation for the September 2022 gathering of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), the Palestinian leadership is conducting extensive lobbying to achieve full UN recognition for the “State of Palestine”. Opposing such move, Maurice Hirsch, Adv., in an article wrote: “Such recognition, would contravene international law, as delineated in the 1934 “Convention on Rights and Duties of States” and would necessitate a positive recommendation of all five of the permanent members of the UN Security Council that would be followed by the approval of two-thirds of the UNGA”.
Meanwhile, Permanent Representative of Palestine at the UN in New York Riyad Mansour said that the [PA] leadership is holding contacts at the highest levels led by [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas, in order to demand full membership for the State of Palestine in the UN, and thus to preserve the two-state solution.
In statements to [the official PA] radio [station] The Voice of Palestine, Thursday [July 28, 2022], Mansour added that the political and diplomatic processes being undertaken by the leadership led by the president are being carried out with heads of state, including US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, King of Jordan Abdullah II, and members of the [UN] Security Council, in order to demand full membership for the State of Palestine…
He explained that the Palestinian demands were presented in the speech of the State of Palestine during the Security Council’s open meeting, and that they are being examined by the council’s members. A response to them will be given soon.” [WAFA, official PA news agency, July 28, 2022].
A week later, the PA official daily updated on the initiative saying that Mansour had met with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and that Guterres had welcomed the move and promised to assist the Palestinians with the relevant actors:
“Permanent Representative of the State of Palestine at the UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour met with UN Secretary-General António Guterres in New York yesterday [Aug. 3, 2022]. Mansour gave the secretary-general a letter from [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas on the recent developments and the meetings with many heads of states. He mentioned Palestine’s initiative – which the president raised during his meetings with US President Joe Biden, French President Emmanuel Macron, Jordanian King Abdullah II, and others – on [giving] full membership to the State of Palestine at the UN, as a just act and in order to save the two-state solution…
The secretary-general welcomed this initiative and promised that he would help vis-à-vis the relevant parties. He expressed a desire to meet with President Abbas during the session of the UN General Assembly”. [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, August 4, 2022].
Hosting a delegation from the US Congress, PA Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh also called on Congress to recognize the “State of Palestine” as a means to express the US belief in a “two-state solution”:
“If the current American administration believes in the two-state solution in the 1967 borders, the most beneficial thing is for it to recognize the State of Palestine and vote in favor of recognizing us as a state with full membership in the UN”. [Official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, Aug. 3, 2022].
In the Toronto Sun article titled ‘The forgotten plight of Palestinians’, Pakistani national Tarek Fatah wrote:
The sight of 11-year-old Palestinian girl Rahaf Sulaiman, who according to a social media post lost both her legs and had her right hand amputated after an Israeli air raid on Gaza, would break anyone’s heart.
Tarek Fatah wrote:
“Not till the Arabs accept Israel as a Jewish State will the first step be taken for a Palestinian State with East Jerusalem as its capital. Until then, the Palestinians will continue to suffer a stateless identity that they should never have had to suffer.
“At times I wonder, what if the Arab states had accepted the 1948 UN General Assembly Resolution to partition British Palestine into two — an Arab and a Jewish state with Jerusalem as an international city? Just a year earlier, hadn’t most Arab Islamic states supported the partition of British India into an Islamic State called Pakistan and a secular liberal Hindu-majority India?”
Tarek Fatah has large number of fans in India, who regularly share his posts on Facebook and Twitter, mocking Pakistan and praising India and Hindutva. Despite the fact of being a Senior Fellow of the Middle East Forum and receiving monthly payment from the organization, he has always been a committed supporter of the Palestinian statehood, while he is a great critic of Zionism.
The Middle East Forum (MEF), a conservative thinktank run by Daniel Pipes with annual budget of US$4.13 million has started advocating establishment of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Although, on its website, MEF claims to be promoting “American interests and works to protest Western civilization from the threat of Islamism”, and advocating strong ties with Israel and other democracies as they emerge, work for human rights throughout the region; seek a stable supply and a low price of oil; and promote the peaceful settlement of regional and international disputes, the latest article by its Senior Fellow Tarek Fatah generates question if the organization has switched to supporting Palestinian statehood with East Jerusalem as its capital.
To my knowledge, majority of the Jews may not support the idea of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital, as Jerusalem is considered as an “undivided and eternal capital of Israel”. In this case, eminent scholar Daniel Pipes might have come up with a new compromise formula which has been reflected in the Toronto Sun article by Middle East Forum’s Senior Fellow Tarek Fatah.
By putting the description of a Palestinian girl at the beginning of his article, Tarek Fatah has also made a smart move of drawing global sympathy for the Palestinian people as well annoy the world about actions of Israel. This new policy of the Middle East Forum would definitely make several Muslim nations, including Qatar delighted.