Vatikanet vil i nær fremtid undertegne en avtale som innebærer anerkjennelse av en palestinsk stat. Palestinske ledere jubler.
“The Vatican is not just a state. The Vatican represents hundreds of millions of Christians worldwide, including Palestinians, and has vast moral significance,” said Husam Zomlot, a senior Palestinian foreign-affairs official.
Avtalen innebærer at Vatikanet skifter diplomatisk anerkjennelse fra PLO til en palestinsk stat.
The treaty, which was finalized Wednesday but still has to be signed, makes clear that the Holy See has switched its diplomatic relations from the Palestinian Liberation Organization to the state of Palestine.
Men avtalen betyr ikke bare at et skifte av diplomatiske forbindelser. Det betyr anerkjennelse av en palestinsk stat.
But the treaty is the first legal document negotiated between the Holy See and the Palestinian state and constitutes an official recognition.
“Yes, it’s a recognition that the state exists,” said the Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi.
Anerkjennelsen er et stort nederlag for Israel.
Israel’s Foreign Ministry said that it was “disappointed” by the Vatican’s decision and that the recognition would “not advance the peace process.” That echoed similar statements after a wave of European Parliamentary resolutions on Palestinian statehood last fall, but some Israeli analysts said the Vatican’s step hurt more.
Foto: Vatikanets anerkjennelse får israelere til å føle seg ensomme. De føler den mest liberale president i USAs historie ikke har vært på deres side. Nå paven. Men Israel kapitulerer ikke. Det er klare grunner til at opionen har svingt mot høyre, og det handler om trusler mot statens overlevelse. En prematur anerkjennelse vil styrke krefter som ønsker staten Israels ødeleggelse. Med IS og Hamas og Hizbollah i nabolaget gambler man ikke.
At dette handler om noe mer enn et maktspill mellom to politiske entiteter, viser reaksjonen til den høyt respekterte redaktøren for Times of Israel, David Horovits:
“Even this philo-Semitic pope, this pope who cares about the Jews, even he doesn’t get it,” said David Horovitz, editor of The Times of Israel news site. “Every time something like this happens, there’s this sense of anguish. Why don’t you understand? We want to separate from the Palestinians, but on terms that don’t threaten our security.”
Også blant store jødiske organisasjoner i USA møter anerkjennelsen liten forståelse.
The American Jewish Committee said it was “counterproductive to all who seek true peace between Israel and the Palestinians.” The Anti-Defamation League said it was “premature.”
“We appreciate that the Vatican’s basic intention is to promote Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation, but believe that this diplomatic recognition will be unhelpful to that end,” the ADL’s Abraham Foxman said.
Marco Rubio kritiserte paven under en presentasjon av sin utenrikspolitikk i Council on Foreign Relations onsdag.
Asked about his earlier support for separate states of Israel and Palestine, Rubio was dour: “I don’t think the conditions exist for that today.”
“It is the only free enterprise, democratic, pro-American country in the Middle East. If we had more free enterprise, pro-American democracies in the Middle East, my speech would be a lot shorter,” Rubio said.
To tungtveiende grunner taler for Vatikanets skritt: Dets egne interesser i Det hellige land og ønsket om å svekke muslimers oppfattelse av en krig mellom Vesten og islam.
Hanna Amireh, a presidential aide on church affairs, said the treaty concerned the Vatican’s vast interests in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, including the standing of church courts and taxes on church institutions and lands.
The Vatican’s endorsement of statehood, he said, counters images of Palestinians as terrorists and “is recognition of the Palestinian character that has a clear message for coexistence and peace.”
Jamal Khader, rector of the Latin Patriarchate Seminary in Jerusalem, said Pope Francis and his secretary of state, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, want “to create a new reality here.”
“The wider Arab world often thinks that it’s a Christian West against a Muslim East,” Father Khader said, “so this is an important step from the Catholic Church to show that, no, it is standing with the rights of Palestinians and with the right to a state of Palestine.”
Spørsmålet er om hvor realistisk paven er. Det er et stort gap mellom religiøse ønsker og politiske realiteter, å tro at man kan hoppe fra den en til den andre uten å bli smittet av politikkens vidervordigheter kan tyde på at man ikke helt forstår forskjellen på de to.
Yossi Klein Halevi var inne på dette da han påpekte at Vatikanet overser de religiøse implikasjonene av anerkjennelse.
Yossi Klein Halevi, a senior fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute, said he wished the Vatican could at least have waited until after the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Nostra Aetate, a church declaration that, among other things, absolved Jews of guilt for Jesus’ death.
“Why not let us all savor that spiritual achievement? Why muck it up with politics?” asked Mr. Halevi. “On the one hand, the Catholic Church has made profound progress in its theology toward the Jewish people and toward the Jewish return home. On the other hand, there’s this deep insensitivity here to the fears of Israelis that a solution will be imposed on us that could undermine our ability to defend ourselves in a radically unstable Middle East.”