May 19, 2024
While Mélanie Joly is joining the faddish call for Palestinian Statehood, she must know deep down that the Palestinian territories look nothing like a state and likely won’t anytime soon. Her performative virtue signalling only further harms her credibility as Canada’s top diplomat.

Mélanie Joly pretending a Palestinian state exists won’t make it so

Foreign affairs minister flunks international law 101

Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly joined the chorus of elite voices calling for an independent Palestinian state on Friday. On the heels of Canada’s abstention from a vote earlier in the day on Palestinian membership in the United Nations, she tweeted, “Canada is prepared to recognize the State of Palestine at the time most favorable to a lasting peace, not at the last step along the path.”

Joly, who holds not one but two law degrees, may want to thumb through her old international law textbook before she fires off her next tweet endorsing the creation of a would-be state. As it stands, the balkanized Palestinian territories are nowhere close to meeting the legal prerequisites of statehood.

Customary international law, codified over 90 years ago in the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States, lays out four essential features of the state as a legal entity: (a) a permanent population; (b) a defined territory and borders; (c) a sovereign government capable of creating and enforcing laws; and (d) the power to enter into diplomatic relations with other states. The so-called “State of Palestine” fails to meet at least three of these criteria.

For starters, there is no clear consensus on what the borders of a hypothetical “State of Palestine” would be. A viable Palestinian state would not, as activists would have you believe, occupy all the territory between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, obliterating Israel from the map in the process. And, while parties have previously used pre-Six Day War (1967) borders as a baseline for negotiations, there is still substantial disagreement over the appropriate lines of demarcation between Israel and a future Palestinian state.

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Melanie Joly plans trip to Middle East, Mediterranean

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