A Palestinian state

Have you noticed that the Republican presidential candidates are saying almost nothing about foreign policy, despite the huge problems overseas and the current administration’s bungling of so many of them?  And now the Palestinians have gone to the UN on Friday, seeking that body’s ratification of a Palestinian state:

The Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, says he will go ahead with a request to the United Nations Security Council to recognise what amounts to a unilateral declaration of independence, despite warnings from the US that it would raise ”dangerous” false hopes and set back real self-determination.

Mr Abbas said in a televised address the Palestinians would seek recognition next week of an independent Palestinian state on the basis of the borders of June 4, 1967, with East Jerusalem as the capital. He noted that the US President, Barack Obama, said a year ago he hoped to see an independent Palestine join the UN at this time.

”Obama himself said he wanted to see a Palestinian state by September,” Mr Abbas said. He said he would not bow to foreign pressure and what he called attempts to ”buy off” the Palestinians.

”We are going to the Security Council,” he said. ”The world is sympathising with the aspirations of the Palestinian people.”

The defiant speech came amid a flurry of diplomatic activity by the US, the European Union and the envoy Tony Blair in Jerusalem and Ramallah aimed at trying to avoid a showdown next week at the UN Security Council, where the Americans say they will veto a Palestinian request for recognition of statehood.

via Palestinians warned on UN bid.

Do you think a Palestinian state might calm the region or make things even worse?  If the UN can create Israel, why can’t it create Palestine?  If this goes through, should the U.S. exercise its veto?  If so, what would be the consequences?   And what do you think Israel would do if a Palestinian state comes into existence on what was once Israeli-occupied land?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • SKPeterson

    Well, the UN “created” Israel as a cover for the British, who had the Mandate after the Turks gave up Palestine in the aftermath of WWI (interesting that the Turks never had any interest in Palestinian sovereignty, no?). In the wake of the Holocaust, the European colonial powers had no interest in being viewed as anti-Semitic in any way, but neither did they want to touch off hostilities with the Arabs – so, use the UN as cover. Happy days ensue.

  • SKPeterson

    Well, the UN “created” Israel as a cover for the British, who had the Mandate after the Turks gave up Palestine in the aftermath of WWI (interesting that the Turks never had any interest in Palestinian sovereignty, no?). In the wake of the Holocaust, the European colonial powers had no interest in being viewed as anti-Semitic in any way, but neither did they want to touch off hostilities with the Arabs – so, use the UN as cover. Happy days ensue.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    What I don’t get is why the “Palestinians,” and the Muslim ones in particular, don’t just return to their countries of origins.

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    What I don’t get is why the “Palestinians,” and the Muslim ones in particular, don’t just return to their countries of origins.

  • MichaelZ

    This will precipitate more violence and possibly war. Not a good idea.

    @J.Dean #2. Most of the Palestinians have lived in the territory of Israel for centuries…That is the problem here.

  • MichaelZ

    This will precipitate more violence and possibly war. Not a good idea.

    @J.Dean #2. Most of the Palestinians have lived in the territory of Israel for centuries…That is the problem here.

  • Renee

    Jews (Zionists) bought land from wealthy Arab landowners in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They irrigated it, planted it and colonized it. After World War II, the US and others decided to recognize Israel as a nation. When the Jews originally purchased the land it was sparsely populated by “tenants.” The Arab landowners that sold the land to the Jews did not remove the tenants. It was left to the Jews to decide the fate of these people (known as the Palestinians.)

    ” . . . . Had we desired to disregard the interests of such workers of the land as are dependent, directly or indirectly, upon lands of the landlords, we could have acquired large and unlimited areas, but in the course of our conversation I have pointed out to you that this has not been our policy and that, when acquiring lands, it is our ardent wish not to prejudice or do harm to the interests of anybody. We feel it our duty to settle the workers and enable them to continue their agricultural occupation, either in the same place or elsewhere. But we have the possibility of acquiring 100,000 dunams without having to make any settlement for the tenants, since the acquisition of such an area will not cause harm to anybody and will not oust anybody from his lands; only after this area has been acquired we shall have to see to a proper settlement for the tenants . . . .”

    (Yehoshua Hankin concerning arrangements for Arabs displaced by the purchase of lands in the Jezreel valley. Letter of July 14, 1930, quoted by The Hope Simpson Report 1930 )

  • Renee

    Jews (Zionists) bought land from wealthy Arab landowners in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They irrigated it, planted it and colonized it. After World War II, the US and others decided to recognize Israel as a nation. When the Jews originally purchased the land it was sparsely populated by “tenants.” The Arab landowners that sold the land to the Jews did not remove the tenants. It was left to the Jews to decide the fate of these people (known as the Palestinians.)

    ” . . . . Had we desired to disregard the interests of such workers of the land as are dependent, directly or indirectly, upon lands of the landlords, we could have acquired large and unlimited areas, but in the course of our conversation I have pointed out to you that this has not been our policy and that, when acquiring lands, it is our ardent wish not to prejudice or do harm to the interests of anybody. We feel it our duty to settle the workers and enable them to continue their agricultural occupation, either in the same place or elsewhere. But we have the possibility of acquiring 100,000 dunams without having to make any settlement for the tenants, since the acquisition of such an area will not cause harm to anybody and will not oust anybody from his lands; only after this area has been acquired we shall have to see to a proper settlement for the tenants . . . .”

    (Yehoshua Hankin concerning arrangements for Arabs displaced by the purchase of lands in the Jezreel valley. Letter of July 14, 1930, quoted by The Hope Simpson Report 1930 )

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    See it would be an economic boon for the US for the UN to recognize an independent Palestinian state as we sell the Israelis a great deal of military hardware. A UN recognized Palestinian state would be seen as a security threat causing the Israeli forces to increase in size, conflict would ensue, and they would need even more equipment to fight their little conflicts. Easy money, defense industry gets jobs, CEO’s get fat bonuses, and the US government gets more income via the export fees on military hardware. Plus, politicians can say they support Israel and get re-elected by those believing that the political entity known as Israel is required to bring about the return of Jesus.

    More seriously, I don’t see this as being good for peace in the region coming anytime soon. However, the cynical side of me thinks there will never be peace because these people don’t need a reason to fight, they will fight anyways.

  • Dr. Luther in the 21st Century

    See it would be an economic boon for the US for the UN to recognize an independent Palestinian state as we sell the Israelis a great deal of military hardware. A UN recognized Palestinian state would be seen as a security threat causing the Israeli forces to increase in size, conflict would ensue, and they would need even more equipment to fight their little conflicts. Easy money, defense industry gets jobs, CEO’s get fat bonuses, and the US government gets more income via the export fees on military hardware. Plus, politicians can say they support Israel and get re-elected by those believing that the political entity known as Israel is required to bring about the return of Jesus.

    More seriously, I don’t see this as being good for peace in the region coming anytime soon. However, the cynical side of me thinks there will never be peace because these people don’t need a reason to fight, they will fight anyways.

  • DonS

    Republican candidates aren’t talking much about foreign policy because the American voters aren’t much interested in it right now. They are out of work, and disturbed about a government that no longer seems to care about anything but its own finances and how it can scarf up more private sector dollars and protect its tax-eating constituencies — not exactly policies that promote job growth.

    As for the UN, it has no business interjecting its sorry self into the mess that is Israeli-Palestinian policy. That will resolve nothing, of course, because Israel isn’t going to withdraw to its 1967 borders until it has assurances of safety for its people, and I can’t see how that will happen — is the UN going to guarantee peace in the region? Israel’s been burned many times in the past, and I don’t see it doing anything unilateral here to try to buy peace from a people that have promised its destruction.

    Given the recent Democratic debacle in Weiner’s old district, attributed almost entirely to Obama’s Palestinian accommodation policy, I’m pretty sure he isn’t going to do anything prior to the election next year to tick off Jewish voters any further. No UN-endorsed Palestinian state is in sight — the U.S. will certainly exercise its veto if the issue arises in the next 14 months.

  • DonS

    Republican candidates aren’t talking much about foreign policy because the American voters aren’t much interested in it right now. They are out of work, and disturbed about a government that no longer seems to care about anything but its own finances and how it can scarf up more private sector dollars and protect its tax-eating constituencies — not exactly policies that promote job growth.

    As for the UN, it has no business interjecting its sorry self into the mess that is Israeli-Palestinian policy. That will resolve nothing, of course, because Israel isn’t going to withdraw to its 1967 borders until it has assurances of safety for its people, and I can’t see how that will happen — is the UN going to guarantee peace in the region? Israel’s been burned many times in the past, and I don’t see it doing anything unilateral here to try to buy peace from a people that have promised its destruction.

    Given the recent Democratic debacle in Weiner’s old district, attributed almost entirely to Obama’s Palestinian accommodation policy, I’m pretty sure he isn’t going to do anything prior to the election next year to tick off Jewish voters any further. No UN-endorsed Palestinian state is in sight — the U.S. will certainly exercise its veto if the issue arises in the next 14 months.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS said (@6):

    As for the UN, it has no business interjecting its sorry self into the mess that is Israeli-Palestinian policy.

    A statement that is, oh, 63 years too late.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    DonS said (@6):

    As for the UN, it has no business interjecting its sorry self into the mess that is Israeli-Palestinian policy.

    A statement that is, oh, 63 years too late.

  • steve

    Go Canada!

  • steve

    Go Canada!

  • Tom Hering

    “As for the UN, it has no business interjecting its sorry self into the mess that is Israeli-Palestinian policy.”

    That’s odd.

    The UN was founded in 1945 after World War II to replace the League of Nations, to stop wars between countries, and to provide a platform for dialogue. (Wikipedia.)

    The adoption of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine‘s recommendation to partition Palestine by the United Nations General Assembly in 1947 was one of the earliest decisions of the UN. Since then, it has maintained a central role in this region. (Wikipedia.)

  • Tom Hering

    “As for the UN, it has no business interjecting its sorry self into the mess that is Israeli-Palestinian policy.”

    That’s odd.

    The UN was founded in 1945 after World War II to replace the League of Nations, to stop wars between countries, and to provide a platform for dialogue. (Wikipedia.)

    The adoption of the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine‘s recommendation to partition Palestine by the United Nations General Assembly in 1947 was one of the earliest decisions of the UN. Since then, it has maintained a central role in this region. (Wikipedia.)

  • kerner

    DonS:

    While I am the first to agree with you that the UN’s self is, indeed, sorry, I can’t help joining tODD and Tom in observing that the UN’s sorry self has been involved in this mess since the late 1940′s.

    A Palestinian Arab I know has told me that Israel has no written constitution (like Great Britain, I presume), and that it also has no legal declaration of where its borders actually are. I don’t know whether this last part is true (that is to say I haven’t independently checked it; I trust this man, but he is hardly objective), but It would make the peace process easier if we knew what is, and is not, the state of Israel.

    I don’t know whether a UN declaration establishing a Palestinian/Arab state would make things worse. Things have been pretty bad for some time. But I don’t see whether it would make anything better either. Both are certainly possible.

    I guess my position is we might be better off not trying to control this. This situation is such a tar-baby. The more we try to get out of it, the more stuck in it we get.

  • kerner

    DonS:

    While I am the first to agree with you that the UN’s self is, indeed, sorry, I can’t help joining tODD and Tom in observing that the UN’s sorry self has been involved in this mess since the late 1940′s.

    A Palestinian Arab I know has told me that Israel has no written constitution (like Great Britain, I presume), and that it also has no legal declaration of where its borders actually are. I don’t know whether this last part is true (that is to say I haven’t independently checked it; I trust this man, but he is hardly objective), but It would make the peace process easier if we knew what is, and is not, the state of Israel.

    I don’t know whether a UN declaration establishing a Palestinian/Arab state would make things worse. Things have been pretty bad for some time. But I don’t see whether it would make anything better either. Both are certainly possible.

    I guess my position is we might be better off not trying to control this. This situation is such a tar-baby. The more we try to get out of it, the more stuck in it we get.

  • David

    With the volatility induced by the “Arab Spring”, is it a good idea to add fuel to the anti-Israel fire by giving the Palestinians UN status? I don’t think so. There are many enemies surrounding Israel that would be glad to offer assistance to the the Palestinians.

  • David

    With the volatility induced by the “Arab Spring”, is it a good idea to add fuel to the anti-Israel fire by giving the Palestinians UN status? I don’t think so. There are many enemies surrounding Israel that would be glad to offer assistance to the the Palestinians.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    David said (@11):

    There are many enemies surrounding Israel that would be glad to offer assistance to the the Palestinians.

    What’s stopping them? As in, right now? They’ve been able to “offer assistance” for, what, almost 3/4 of a century now. Are you arguing that they’re all waiting for the UN’s blessing before helping out the people they care so much about in Palestine?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    David said (@11):

    There are many enemies surrounding Israel that would be glad to offer assistance to the the Palestinians.

    What’s stopping them? As in, right now? They’ve been able to “offer assistance” for, what, almost 3/4 of a century now. Are you arguing that they’re all waiting for the UN’s blessing before helping out the people they care so much about in Palestine?

  • STW

    This is not directly related to Palestinians, but since you mentioned “Republican Candidates”, I thought I’d stir the pot by simply asking a question about their discussion of foreign policy relative to Iran:

    Given that Israel has at least 300 nuclear missiles, why is there such a concern about Iran going nuclear?

    I mean, with the exception of Ron Paul, they all base their concern on fear for not only the US, but for Israel. But given the proven doctrine of “MAD” (mutually assured destruction), one would think not only the US but Israel would have plenty enough deterrent over/against a nuclear Iran. So what’s all this concern really about? I’m hardly one who buys into conspiracy-theory, but it does give me pause to question what the logic is behind the concern about a nuclear Iran. Any thoughts?

  • STW

    This is not directly related to Palestinians, but since you mentioned “Republican Candidates”, I thought I’d stir the pot by simply asking a question about their discussion of foreign policy relative to Iran:

    Given that Israel has at least 300 nuclear missiles, why is there such a concern about Iran going nuclear?

    I mean, with the exception of Ron Paul, they all base their concern on fear for not only the US, but for Israel. But given the proven doctrine of “MAD” (mutually assured destruction), one would think not only the US but Israel would have plenty enough deterrent over/against a nuclear Iran. So what’s all this concern really about? I’m hardly one who buys into conspiracy-theory, but it does give me pause to question what the logic is behind the concern about a nuclear Iran. Any thoughts?

  • Patrick Kyle

    With all the synpathy in the middle east towards the Palestinians and their plight, and all that oil money, the Gaza strip could be transformed into another “French Riviera” like Labanon was before their civil war. Jobs could be created and hunger and suffering relieved.
    Hmm… there just doesn’t seem to be any interest on the part of the Arab countries to help their Palestinian brothers with anything other than weapons . I wonder why Israel takes a dim view of a neighboring Palestinian state.

  • Patrick Kyle

    With all the synpathy in the middle east towards the Palestinians and their plight, and all that oil money, the Gaza strip could be transformed into another “French Riviera” like Labanon was before their civil war. Jobs could be created and hunger and suffering relieved.
    Hmm… there just doesn’t seem to be any interest on the part of the Arab countries to help their Palestinian brothers with anything other than weapons . I wonder why Israel takes a dim view of a neighboring Palestinian state.

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    There’s a sense of urgency on the part of Palestinians due to their deteriorating economic/demographic position. The false statistics they’ve put out have been an attempt to hide their dire situation.

    West Bank birthrates have fallen below the level of the Israeli settlers. Any youth with skill, intelligence or money leaves the West Bank for greener pastures. Tens of thousands leave each year.

    Besides that most men in the West Bank are hired guns, that is what the West Bank economy boils down to: UN donors paying for Palestinian men to point guns at each other.

    I suspect time is on the Israeli’s side and eventually large parts of the West Bank will turn out like East Jerusalem (a demographically mixed area somewhat integrated into Israel).

  • http://steadfastlutherans.org/ SAL

    There’s a sense of urgency on the part of Palestinians due to their deteriorating economic/demographic position. The false statistics they’ve put out have been an attempt to hide their dire situation.

    West Bank birthrates have fallen below the level of the Israeli settlers. Any youth with skill, intelligence or money leaves the West Bank for greener pastures. Tens of thousands leave each year.

    Besides that most men in the West Bank are hired guns, that is what the West Bank economy boils down to: UN donors paying for Palestinian men to point guns at each other.

    I suspect time is on the Israeli’s side and eventually large parts of the West Bank will turn out like East Jerusalem (a demographically mixed area somewhat integrated into Israel).

  • kerner

    SAL:

    This has been the Israeli strategy all along, I think. They have made the palestinians as uncomfortable as they can get away with doing, in an attampt to get the Arabs to give up and leave. This includes tightening security so much that the West Bank has only an agricultural economy, and Gaza has almost no economy at all. If enough Arabs emigrate, it might work.

  • kerner

    SAL:

    This has been the Israeli strategy all along, I think. They have made the palestinians as uncomfortable as they can get away with doing, in an attampt to get the Arabs to give up and leave. This includes tightening security so much that the West Bank has only an agricultural economy, and Gaza has almost no economy at all. If enough Arabs emigrate, it might work.

  • Joe

    Just saw this video today and to the best of my understanding I think it is factually correct. Not going to win many hearts or minds with the title though …

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7ByJb7QQ9U

  • Joe

    Just saw this video today and to the best of my understanding I think it is factually correct. Not going to win many hearts or minds with the title though …

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O7ByJb7QQ9U

  • kerner

    Joe:

    I think the video was about as factually correct as one of Michael Moore’s “documentaries”. I haven’t been able to check everything, but consider the following:

    1. In regard to the video’s claims that the population of Palestine/Jordan being sparsely populated (1M total for both countries), this is true , but fails to take into account that Jordan is still sparsely populated in relation to its geographical size, because it consists mainly of a barren desert with about 3.32% arable land. The video implies that the incoming Israelis only wanted a small part of the whole, while ignoring the fact that they were taking the best, most productive parts. Palestine/Jordan, like Canada and Australia, consists of small geographical areas that are pleasant, where the population tends to concentrate, and much larger inhospitable areas where nobody wanted to live.

    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/jo.html

    2. Under the Ottomans and the British, Israel/Palestine was populated by Muslim Arabs, Christian Arabs, and Jews who (as far as I know) lived in relative harmony, and Christians were a significantly larger proportion than they are today. While the quotations from Arab leaders (between WWI and WWII) are blood-curdling, they are also in response to a large-scale invasion by a non-Arab group of people whose stated purpose was to move in and take over. While there is no excuse for the warlike statements of the grand mufti, etc., it doesn’t do to forget that there was a time when the Arabs were defending the status quo from what amounted to a hostile invading force. Below are demographic studies showing the changes in population of the area, and the changes in the proportions of the various groups.

    http://israelipalestinian.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000636

    3. The invading Israelis were hardly choirboys. The video falsely implies that the Israelis would have been happy to accept the two state solution offered them by the UN in 1949, while only the Arabs opposed it. The video fails to mention that Zionist terrorists murdered the UN official who proposed that very two state solution precisely because they didn’t like it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folke_Bernadotte

    4. The video says that, when the Israelis withdrew from Gaza, that the Arabs ignored the thriving trade in flowers to wage war on Israel, and claims that the Arabs blew up some green houses. Green houses, in Gaza? Really? While Hamas did attack Israel during this time, the Israelis blockaded Gaza so no flower shipments could get to market. The Arabs had been producing flowers, but they had to feed them to their livestock because of the blockade.

    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Global-News/2009/1210/roses-for-europe-israel-eases-gaza-blockade-to-allow-flower-exports

    The video was basically a timeline of pro-Israel facts, and some falsehoods. For a pro-Palestinian timeline, see below:

    http://article.wn.com/view/2010/08/01/OPT_Gaza_humanitarian_timeline_since_2005/

    I don’t know if this last link has any falsehoods, but it definitely slants pro-palestinian. Therefore, it does not tell the whole story. What bothers me about this subject is that almost all information you can find about it is propaganda. The fact is that both sides are willing to commit, and have committed horrible acts of violence in the name of their cause. Neither side seems willing to give up any time soon. It is also true that if one side would just give up, there would be peace, but I don’t see much sign of that happening.

    But also, I don’t see either side as a “good guy”. It’s just two groups of people fighting over the same land now.

  • kerner

    Joe:

    I think the video was about as factually correct as one of Michael Moore’s “documentaries”. I haven’t been able to check everything, but consider the following:

    1. In regard to the video’s claims that the population of Palestine/Jordan being sparsely populated (1M total for both countries), this is true , but fails to take into account that Jordan is still sparsely populated in relation to its geographical size, because it consists mainly of a barren desert with about 3.32% arable land. The video implies that the incoming Israelis only wanted a small part of the whole, while ignoring the fact that they were taking the best, most productive parts. Palestine/Jordan, like Canada and Australia, consists of small geographical areas that are pleasant, where the population tends to concentrate, and much larger inhospitable areas where nobody wanted to live.

    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/jo.html

    2. Under the Ottomans and the British, Israel/Palestine was populated by Muslim Arabs, Christian Arabs, and Jews who (as far as I know) lived in relative harmony, and Christians were a significantly larger proportion than they are today. While the quotations from Arab leaders (between WWI and WWII) are blood-curdling, they are also in response to a large-scale invasion by a non-Arab group of people whose stated purpose was to move in and take over. While there is no excuse for the warlike statements of the grand mufti, etc., it doesn’t do to forget that there was a time when the Arabs were defending the status quo from what amounted to a hostile invading force. Below are demographic studies showing the changes in population of the area, and the changes in the proportions of the various groups.

    http://israelipalestinian.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=000636

    3. The invading Israelis were hardly choirboys. The video falsely implies that the Israelis would have been happy to accept the two state solution offered them by the UN in 1949, while only the Arabs opposed it. The video fails to mention that Zionist terrorists murdered the UN official who proposed that very two state solution precisely because they didn’t like it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Folke_Bernadotte

    4. The video says that, when the Israelis withdrew from Gaza, that the Arabs ignored the thriving trade in flowers to wage war on Israel, and claims that the Arabs blew up some green houses. Green houses, in Gaza? Really? While Hamas did attack Israel during this time, the Israelis blockaded Gaza so no flower shipments could get to market. The Arabs had been producing flowers, but they had to feed them to their livestock because of the blockade.

    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Global-News/2009/1210/roses-for-europe-israel-eases-gaza-blockade-to-allow-flower-exports

    The video was basically a timeline of pro-Israel facts, and some falsehoods. For a pro-Palestinian timeline, see below:

    http://article.wn.com/view/2010/08/01/OPT_Gaza_humanitarian_timeline_since_2005/

    I don’t know if this last link has any falsehoods, but it definitely slants pro-palestinian. Therefore, it does not tell the whole story. What bothers me about this subject is that almost all information you can find about it is propaganda. The fact is that both sides are willing to commit, and have committed horrible acts of violence in the name of their cause. Neither side seems willing to give up any time soon. It is also true that if one side would just give up, there would be peace, but I don’t see much sign of that happening.

    But also, I don’t see either side as a “good guy”. It’s just two groups of people fighting over the same land now.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Good research, Kerner (@18)!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Good research, Kerner (@18)!

  • Joe

    I posted in haste and thus overstated my actual thoughts on the video – I don’t think the video is even handed in all respects (the title is the first clue). What I think it does correctly is lay out the many times a state has been offered to the Palestinian people by Israel and/or the international community.

    Personally, I am not a always back Israel kind of guy. I want the fighting to stop because the real losers of it are the Palestinian and Lebanese Christians.

  • Joe

    I posted in haste and thus overstated my actual thoughts on the video – I don’t think the video is even handed in all respects (the title is the first clue). What I think it does correctly is lay out the many times a state has been offered to the Palestinian people by Israel and/or the international community.

    Personally, I am not a always back Israel kind of guy. I want the fighting to stop because the real losers of it are the Palestinian and Lebanese Christians.

  • kerner

    Joe:

    While it is fair to say that the Arabs would probably have rejected the UN proposal of 1948 anyway, it is not fair to say that the Israelis “offered” it. In fact, the Israelis rejected the UN proposal also, and one of their factions murdered the author of the plan (Israel never prosecuted the murderers, and one prominent Lehi member eventually became prime minister of Israel). But it is simply false to suggest that the UN proposal was a viable offer that would have sailed through but for Arab stubbornness.

    The Camp David negotiations of 2000 are frequently cited as the Arabs rejecting a 2 state solution, and there is some truth in this. For the Palestinian side of why they rejected the proposal, see here:

    http://www.mediamonitors.net/pnt1.html

    I don’t endorse this link as true and I only put it there to state the Palestinian side of things. As near as I can tell the major issues were territorial sovereignty and integrity of the proposed Arab state. The Palestinians claimed that the proposed state would have been a patchwork of Arab enclaves separated from each other by Israeli controlled roads and settlements, and that Israel would retain control over water and possibly power resources. This claim is debateably, and I don’t really know where the truth lies, But the Palestinian posotion was that they weren’t really getting a “state”, because they couldn’t do the things that a state does. Like I say, I don’t know this for sure, but I lean toward believing that the Arabs have a point here. What Israel called a “state”, and what you or I would call a state may have been two very different things.

    The other big issue was the so-called “right of return”, which was probably unreasonable. The Palestinians wanted Arab refugees dispossessed by the establishment of Israel to be allowed to return to Israel proper and have their property restored. This would have changed the Jewish character of Israel, so it was never going to happen. If the refugees were offered cash and a right to return to Palestine, it wasn’t going to get any better than that.

  • kerner

    Joe:

    While it is fair to say that the Arabs would probably have rejected the UN proposal of 1948 anyway, it is not fair to say that the Israelis “offered” it. In fact, the Israelis rejected the UN proposal also, and one of their factions murdered the author of the plan (Israel never prosecuted the murderers, and one prominent Lehi member eventually became prime minister of Israel). But it is simply false to suggest that the UN proposal was a viable offer that would have sailed through but for Arab stubbornness.

    The Camp David negotiations of 2000 are frequently cited as the Arabs rejecting a 2 state solution, and there is some truth in this. For the Palestinian side of why they rejected the proposal, see here:

    http://www.mediamonitors.net/pnt1.html

    I don’t endorse this link as true and I only put it there to state the Palestinian side of things. As near as I can tell the major issues were territorial sovereignty and integrity of the proposed Arab state. The Palestinians claimed that the proposed state would have been a patchwork of Arab enclaves separated from each other by Israeli controlled roads and settlements, and that Israel would retain control over water and possibly power resources. This claim is debateably, and I don’t really know where the truth lies, But the Palestinian posotion was that they weren’t really getting a “state”, because they couldn’t do the things that a state does. Like I say, I don’t know this for sure, but I lean toward believing that the Arabs have a point here. What Israel called a “state”, and what you or I would call a state may have been two very different things.

    The other big issue was the so-called “right of return”, which was probably unreasonable. The Palestinians wanted Arab refugees dispossessed by the establishment of Israel to be allowed to return to Israel proper and have their property restored. This would have changed the Jewish character of Israel, so it was never going to happen. If the refugees were offered cash and a right to return to Palestine, it wasn’t going to get any better than that.

  • Joe

    Kerner – I said “and/or” for precisely the reason you pointed out. Not every offer came from the Jews, but if the Palestinians would have a state if they had accepted the UN’s offer in 1948. The Jews in 1948 would not have been able to stop the official creation of a Palestinian state. There might not be peace but they would have a state and the dynamic would be much different today. That was really my point in putting this out there, the Palestinians could have had a state of their own at several various times and they declined. This has got to be one of the worst (or best?) examples of the letting the perfect get in the way of the good.

  • Joe

    Kerner – I said “and/or” for precisely the reason you pointed out. Not every offer came from the Jews, but if the Palestinians would have a state if they had accepted the UN’s offer in 1948. The Jews in 1948 would not have been able to stop the official creation of a Palestinian state. There might not be peace but they would have a state and the dynamic would be much different today. That was really my point in putting this out there, the Palestinians could have had a state of their own at several various times and they declined. This has got to be one of the worst (or best?) examples of the letting the perfect get in the way of the good.

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