This week, a senior foreign diplomat provided Israel Resource News Agency with the finalized Arabic version of the Palestinian State Constitution which has been framed by the official constitutional committee of the Palestinian National Authority, which had been funded by the Ford Foundation in the framework of the long-awaited reform in the Palestinian Authority.
This constitution was finalized and dated on March 26, 2003.
Some salient points of the 43 page document of the Palestinian constitution include:
- Islam is to be the official religion of the Palestinian state, with all aspects of Palestinian state law to be subservient to fundamental Islamic law, modeled on Saudi Arabia law. No other religion except for Islam is to have juridical status. All religious schools and religious institutions of ” Christianity and other religions are under the supervision of the Islamic Law. The PLO concept of a “democratic secular state” appears nowhere in the document. Sources in the Vatican have expressed their deep concern about the prospect that Christian schools and Christian institutions that would be thrown under the jurisdiction and arbitrary control of a Moslem authority. Meanwhile, there is no system of human rights or civil liberties mentioned anywhere in the Palestinian State constitution.
- The “right of return to homes from 1948” remains a fundamental right protected by the Palestinian state constitution, based on the PLO interpretation of UN General Assembly resolution #194. By “protecting” the right of return, the Palestinian state constitution essentially advocates the replacement of the state of Israel with millions of Palestinian Arab refugees and their descendents who have been wallowing in United Nations Arab refugee camps since 1949.
Official sources in the Palestinian Authority, the US government and the Israeli governments confirmed to Israel Resource News Agency that the White House, US Secretary of State and the Israel Office of the Prime Minister and the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs have received official copies of the Palestinian state constitution. However, the US and Israeli governments have not bothered to translate and share this sensitive document with either the US congress or with the Israeli Knesset.
Neither the US government nor the Israeli government are speaking about the document.
Perhaps both governments would prefer that the existence of this document not be known. Why? Because there is a vision of an opportunity, after the Iraqi war, to “make peace.”
Any documentation of Palestinian intentions would destroy that vision.
This follows a pattern of the Oslo process. If the Arabic language documents of the nascent Palestinian Authority had been released early on, things could not have gotten as far as they did.