How Not to Have a Palestinian State - Jose Maria Aznar (Ynet News)
The unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state, and its international recognition, would be a huge mistake. A peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians is essential, but it can only be achieved through honest negotiations - not by any party imposing a unilateral decision.
A Palestinian government in which Hamas is a member will make negotiations, much less a peace agreement, impossible: no negotiation or agreement is possible when one side is committed to the other's destruction.
There is no historical, institutional or legal basis on which to recognize a Palestinian state today, except as a kind of "virtual state," which exists in some fashion in the imaginations of various parties but which has no tether to reality. In the West Bank, Palestinians crucially depend on Israeli cooperation to function.
There cannot be two states, living in peace side by side, unless Palestinians accept that Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people and the Israelis accept that the Palestinian state will be the state for the Palestinian people. Absent that basis, no genuine progress will be made.
It is time for the international community, starting with the UN, to say that the time for game-playing and wishful thinking is past. We urge the Palestinians to see that the only way they can have their own state is through an agreement with the Israelis. No other options should be supported by the international community.
The writer is former prime minister of Spain.