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Why Palestinians Should Not Recognize Israel as Jewish State

A former Palestinian negotiator argues that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's insistence that Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state is an attempt to discourage agreement.
A boy stands near an Israeli flag in the West Bank Jewish settlement of Ofra, north of Ramallah July 18, 2013. Negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, which have ebbed and flowed for two decades, last broke down in late 2010, after a partial settlement halt meant to foster talks ended and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to extend it. Palestinians familiar with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' thinking speculated he might now forgo the demand for a settlement moratorium given

Anyone who honestly seeks evidence that the Palestinian leadership is serious about its pursuit of a peace settlement with Israel is bound to find more than enough of that. In fact, there is so much evidence that it may cast the Palestinian position as one of weakness and desperate eagerness. That would be a misreading of a responsible and principled position based on what the Palestinian leadership thinks is in the best interest of the peoples of the region, the Palestinian people foremost.

Further testing and continuously raising the bar, by insisting on unreasonable demands to check Palestinian intentions, is counterproductive and threatens what could be the last opportunity to achieve peace based on a two-state solution. Putting demands on the Palestinians that are tantamount to asking them to accept Zionist credos cannot be taken seriously. A case in point is the demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

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