The decision by Norway, Ireland, and Spain to unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state sends a troubling signal in the aftermath of October 7 – that violence, murder, torture, rape, and kidnapping are effective tactics to achieve a political goal. 

This move not only emboldens terrorist groups like Hamas and elevates their standing among Palestinians, but also undermines any potential progress in resuming peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. Recognizing a Palestinian state at this juncture rewards those who believe they can substitute terrorism and subsequent international pressure for the necessary compromises that peace requires.

Historically, all successful Arab-Israeli peace processes – including the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, the peace treaties between Israel and Egypt, Israel and Jordan, and the more recent Abraham Accords involving the UAE, Bahrain, and Morocco – have been achieved through direct bilateral negotiations. To forsake this path is to jeopardize not only the prospects for peace but also the stability and future of the region. Unilateral recognition will not materially improve the lives of Palestinians or resolve key issues; it risks only heightening frustrations and unmet expectations.

Former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad had once warned against creating a “Mickey Mouse state,” understanding that peace will demand difficult compromises from both sides.

Yet, the Palestinian Authority has made the conscious decision to circumvent direct negotiations by internationalizing the conflict and has refused to make any substantial reforms in its own functioning. Corruption is still rampant, Palestinian schoolbooks are still full of incitement and hatred, the PA continues to allocate 8% of its budget to funding terrorists and their families, and UNRWA still promotes and instills the idea of a Palestinian "right of return" into Israel – which would mean the end of the Jewish state. 

In addition to rewarding terrorism and posing further obstacles to a political resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, recognition of Palestinian statehood – before there is such a state – is wrong by definition. The Palestinian Authority does not meet the internationally accepted criteria for statehood, which include control over a defined territory, a permanent population, and an effective government. The ongoing war between Israel and Hamas vividly demonstrates that the Palestinian Authority lacks control over Gaza, a region considered integral to any proposed Palestinian state. Moreover, some Palestinian factions advocate for a two-state solution with negotiated borders, while others claim all the land from the river to the sea and endorse the use of violence as a legitimate means, underscoring a lack of consensus for a Palestinian state. 

Finally, unilateral attempts to achieve statehood outside the framework of dialogue directly violate existing Israeli-Palestinian agreements, which mandate that permanent status issues should be resolved through mutual consent. These agreements form the legal foundation for the very existence of the Palestinian Authority.


AJC is the global advocacy organization for the Jewish people. With headquarters in New York, 25 regional offices across the United States, 15 overseas posts, as well as partnerships with 38 Jewish community organizations worldwide, AJC’s mission is to enhance the well-being of the Jewish people and Israel and to advance human rights and democratic values in the United States and around the world. For more, please visit


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