Almost everyone has by now accepted the two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. The new Palestinian state would be created in the territory west of the Jordan River (the parties have not agreed on the boundaries). I here avoid the many difficult issues raised by the two-state solution (see here for a particularly thorough treatment.) I just address a foundational issue.
When does a group have the right to create a state? The answer commonly heard in the context of Palestine is “why, the Palestinians can create a state as soon as they recover the land that belonged to them and that has been unlawfully occupied by Israel.” This answer treats territorial sovereignty as akin to property. Just as persons have property rights over land, so collective entities (called “peoples” in international law parlance) have title of some sort over land. If another collective entity (in this case Israel) unlawfully occupies that land, then the original owner has the right to eject the trespasser.
Now suppose that’s true, that collective entities have land rights, and that the land on which the Palestinians will establish their state is theirs. This does not mean that they are entitled to create any state whatsoever. The legitimacy of a state is subject to requirements beyond lawful title over land. The literature on this is not uniform, but the most-cited requirements are respect for human rights and the rule of law. A group is not entitled to create a state that will enforce racial segregation, persecute dissenters, oppress women, and the like. More: there is a growing sense that democratic governance is a requirement of legitimacy as well. Perhaps these requirements are not very demanding, but I should note that none of the Middle Eastern allies of the Palestinians meet them. Supporters of a Palestinian state that only care about the territorial claim would have to treat the North Korean state as legitimate, since there is no question that the North Koreans have title to that territory. This shows that you cannot be a supporter of human rights and simultaneously take the position that state legitimacy is defined only by the soundness of the territorial title. A sound principle, then, is that a collective entity has the right to create only a certain kind of state, a legitimate state, one that will respect the rights of its subjects.
Now I’m not saying that the Palestinians will create a tyrannical state. I don’t know, and I certainly hope not, although there are reasons to doubt that the Palestinian state will be any better than the objectionable regimes in the region. All I’m saying here is that Palestinians, like everyone else, are not entitled to create a tyrannical state..