I am prepared to negotiate with any side that desires to advance peace between Israel and the Palestinians…Contrary to reports, I don’t condition dialogue with the Palestinians on recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. Nevertheless, progress in the peace process does depend on the willingness to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. — Jerusalem Post
It is hard to understand what ‘dialogue’ there could be without such recognition.
When the Arabs refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, they are simply saying “you do not have a right of self-determination here”. They are reaffirming their opinion that Israel does not belong to the Jewish people, it belongs to them. Indeed, they do not think there is a Jewish people, only Jews living in Western Palestine.
This goes far beyond saying that although they rejected the UN partition in 1947 they now agree that the land between the Mediterranean and the Jordan should be partitioned between Jewish and Arab states. It says that there should not be any Jewish state.
One often hears that a Palestinian state is a necessary condition for peace. In any event, as the establishment of Palestinian sovereignty in Gaza has shown, it is certainly not a sufficient condition.
A Palestinian state which does not recognize Israel as a Jewish state will be a state at war with Israel. So doesn’t it make sense to deal with recognition first, before creating the state?