The sovereign state of Palestine that never was

‘What if” is a fascinating game. It forces you to use your imagination, think around a subject, probe possibilities, consider options.


On July 11, 2000, Israel’s prime minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Yasser Arafat met at Camp David under the chairmanship of US president Bill Clinton. Their declared aim was to reach agreement on all outstanding issues between Israel and the Palestinians – a so-called final status settlement. The summit ended on July 25 without a settlement.


What if the negotiations had proved successful? TV archives would hold pictures of Barak and Arafat shaking hands, backed by a beaming Bill Clinton – and we could be marking July 25, 2015 as the fifteenth anniversary of the founding of an independent, sovereign state of Palestine.


What sort of Palestine would it have been? No official records exist of the final position of the two parties, and the unofficial accounts differ in important respects. So some guesswork and a little creative imagination are called for.


An agreement would probably have been on the basis of the final set of recommendations (known as the “Clinton Parameters”) formally put to the two principals in January 2001. Israel accepted the plan in principle, the Palestinians did not.


Read More: The sovereign state of Palestine that never was – Opinion – Jerusalem Post