The Question of Palestinian Statehood

As with every Administration, President Obama is facing questions about the Middle East.  Specifically, many in the press want to know if he supports Palestinian statehood.  President Bush was the first American President to call specifically for a Palestinian state, and much has been said about the positive and negative repercussions of such a move.

In order to address the merits of a Palestinian state, one much first look at the history.

On 29 December, 1947, the United Nations passed Resolution 181 calling for the partitioning of the territory known as Palestine into Jewish and Arab states with Jerusalem coming under international control.  Six months later, on 14 May, 1948, the State of Israel declared independence and was recognized by the United States, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Uruguay, the Soviet Union, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Ireland and South Africa.

Immediately following Israel’s declaration, Arab League Secretary General Abdul Razek Azzam announced the intention to wage “a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades.”  The Arab intent to eradicate Israel, evident since her inception, has never faltered, instead gaining strength over the years.

The primary argument made by the Arab League was that Israel had no right to exist, particularly on the tract of land captured by the Ottoman Turks in the 13th Century.

The land, they argued, had been conquered by military might and thus belonged to the victor, as had been recognized by the international community throughout history.

This argument is invalid on its face.  Should the right to territorial conquest be held constant, Italy could easily claim rightful ownership of Israel, since Roman legions captured the land in 70 AD and named it Palestine.

Further, archeological evidence has categorically established a Jewish presence in Israel dating back over three thousand years.  Thus, the Israeli claim predates the claim of any other peoples in the region – the ancient Philistines are extinct, and no other people have the unbroken line to this date that the Israeli’s have.

The Arab League however, did not concern itself with the historical basis of Israel’s claims, instead, launching four wars of aggression with the announced intention of eradicating Israel.  In every instance, and against overwhelming odds, the Israeli military not only defeated, but humiliated the combined Arab forces.

This humiliation at the hands of what Arab states consider a lesser people has added to the tensions in the region.  Honor and revenge are mainstays of Arab culture, and to be embarrassed on an international state by a nation with no right to exist has served to heighten the hatred felt by the Arab states toward Israel.

Having proven incapable of defeating the Israelis on the battlefield, a loose confederation of fourteen Arab countries including Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon met in Cairo and established a political body to deal directly with the problem of Israel.  What became known as the Palestinian Liberation Organization established a charter calling for the destruction of “the Zionist state,” and for the establishment of a “Palestinian entity.”

Soon after the founding of the PLO, Yasir Arafat took control of the organization and began his quest for the destruction of Israel.  To establish his legitimacy, he claimed to have been born in Jerusalem, but was actually born in Cairo.

During his life, Arafat drove relentlessly toward the eradication of Israel, ignoring efforts toward peace and negotiation.  Even in 2000 when then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak offered to return Israel to her 1967 borders and cede control of Eastern Jerusalem to the Palestinians, Arafat refused.

At that moment, the PLO lost all claims to legitimacy.  Were the argument truly about who owned what swath of soil, Arafat would have eagerly accepted both peace and the territory the Palestinians claimed.

Instead, Arafat walked away from the table without making a counter-offer, scuttling the peace process and ensuring further bloodshed.  The battle rages today, with no end in sight.

In relation to the current state of the conflict, many cite Israel as the aggressor and instigator claiming that even the United Nations has gone on record condemning what some see as heavy-handed responses to Arab attacks.  While numerous resolutions have been passed chastising the Israelis, the UN itself seems to recognize an unfair bias.

On 20 September 2006, then-Secretary-General Kofi Annan admitted at the opening of the 61st General Assembly that Israel is often unfairly judged at the UN.  “On one side,” he said, “supporters of Israel feel that it is harshly judged by standards that are not applied to its enemies, and too often this is true, particularly in so UN bodies.”

The United Nations also passed Resolution 3379 which determined Zionism was, by definition, racism, thereby labeling all Jews as racists.  The resolution was not repealed until 1991, and even then was opposed overwhelming by the Arab-bloc states.

Further, the UN Human Rights Commission voted 32-1 to declare Israel’s presence in the Golan Heights illegal and 45-1 to condemn Israel’s settlement construction.  After these votes, the Council had become so embarrassing that Kofi Annan warned the Council might be discredited, stating, “There are surely other situations besides the one in the Middle East, which would merit scrutiny at a special session; I would suggest that Darfur is a glaring case in point.”

There are also those who deny Israel’s right to self-defense.  They claim that the Palestinians would not resort to suicide bombings and indiscriminate rocket attacks against civilian targets if Israel would simply retreat from her borders and concede to every demand made.

Under the “Land for Peace” agreement, Israel attempted to trade away territory in exchange for pledges for a cessation of hostilities.  Instead, every inch given became a platform for further attacks into Israel.  In 2000, Israel withdrew troops from Southern Lebanon in exchange for peace and was rewarded instead with the Second Intifada.

In the 18 months after 9/11, Israel’s six million citizens suffered 12,480 terrorist attacks and buried over 400 victims – a per-capita death toll six times that of the United States.  Even in light of this violence, however, Israel is still being pressured to make concessions to the Palestinians, thus sacrificing her basic right to exist.

The United States should be supporting Israel’s right to take whatever military action is necessary to defend herself against her enemies.  If it is right for America to bomb al-Qaeda strongholds in Afghanistan – and it is – then it is equally justifiable for Israel to bomb the terrorist strongholds in the occupied territories.

A Palestinian state headed by groups like the PLO would be a launching pad and training ground for terrorists targeting not only Israel, but the United States.  Forcing Israelis to accept a Palestinian state under terrorist rule is like forcing Americans to accept a state the size of Mexico 12 miles from New York City, ruled by Osama bin Laden (who was recently shot in the face).

As long as the Palestinians sanction terrorism and aggression, they should not be permitted their own state.

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10 Responses to The Question of Palestinian Statehood

  1. amsocialist says:

    No, there are truly a number of very extraordinarily valid reasons why jews either have not righ to that territory, or at the very least why their holding of that territory and the manner in which they hold it is wrong. Also, I should tell you that given the current status of Palestine it is in no condition to be a state. Which, I suppose your quite happy with. This is Israel’s fault too by the way, you should know that before you go about defending them.

    • You suggest there are valid reasons why Israel should not exist, but don’t state what those reasons are. Can you please list those reasons?

      As one who advocates socialism, you should be able to tell me and my readers why Israel should not exist and why the plight of the Arabs (who are equal citizens in Israel) is the fault of the Jews.

      You refused to provide any data or factual support for your claims, while I have documented every claim in my post. Until you offer up something more than “jews have no right to that territory,” I’ll assume you are simply an anti-semite.

  2. amsocialist says:

    You are very presumptious, everyone who is against Israel is not an ati-semite. That’s problem number one. The second problem is your claim that arabs are equal citizens in the state of Israel, which has logical problems to it actually, aside from factual issues, even on face value it must be false.

    The Legalitly of the state as it exists now
    Prior to the annexation of the West Bank and the Gaza strip. There was nothing wrong with the land known as Israel per se, it was decided that there should be some sort of two-state solution by the UN, legallly at least they were on solid ground. But now with the present and continual occupation of those areas they are not, I do not believe that the whole occupation was deemed illegal but certain parts were: the wall, the settlements, and the demolsihing of Palestinian property. The wall: The ICJ opinions were as follows [31]:

    “The construction of the wall being built by Israel, the occupying Power, in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, and its associated regime, are contrary to international law;
    Israel is under an obligation to terminate its breaches of international law; it is under an obligation to cease forthwith the works of construction of the wall being built in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem, to dismantle forthwith the structure therein situated, and to repeal or render ineffective forthwith all legislative and regulatory acts relating thereto, in accordance with paragraph 151 of this Opinion;
    Israel is under an obligation to make reparation for all damage caused by the construction of the wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including in and around East Jerusalem;
    All States are under an obligation not to recognize the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and not to render aid or assistance in maintaining the situation created by such construction; all States parties to the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949 have in addition the obligation, while respecting the United Nations Charter and international law, to ensure compliance by Israel with international humanitarian law as embodied in that Convention;
    The United Nations, and especially the General Assembly and the Security Council, should consider what further action is required to bring to an end the illegal situation resulting from the construction of the wall and the associated regime, taking due account of the present Advisory Opinion.
    The opinion were passed 14-1 by the court judges, except for the 4th decision which was passed 13-2.”

    And in an advisory decision the setllements.

    • amsocialist says:

      There’s some more, don’t get all excited just yet.

      • amsocialist says:

        As for things done during the occupation. http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2010/gaspd469.doc.htm
        http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2005/03/10/israeloccupied-territories-human-rights-concerns-61st-session-un-commission-human-ri

        Now as to the things which happen in that. The problem with everyone who proposes the two-state solution is that the two-state solution is disingenious, because it deprives the Palestinian people of the necessary things which are required to form a sovereign state, but demands at the same time that they have a sovereign state. Why is this? The Palestinians even before there were settlements, even before the war, had been driven on to the worst land, the desert land. All the best land in the area is on the cost where the Israelis live. Even with this, they use up the water resources which should go to the Palestinians to support their crops and their cities. Inside Palestine there are few economic oppurtunities, partially becasue the Israeli have prevented any real commerce from coming about, partially because the people lost a great deal of their property and wealth when they were thrown from the land the previously inhabited. By some estimates employment is as high as 50% among palestinians. All the jobs are in Israel, so they must cross throught this wall the Israelis have built to “protect” themselves to get any jobs. Live for arab citizens in Israel isn’t much better, they face wilting discrimination in that country as well. They are denied the same right to access facilities as jews, they are not allowed to lease the land of the Jewish National Fund. They have even devised a system by which Palestinians do not even use the same roads as Israelis.

        It is somehwat necessary that what I say is true. Everyone on teh Israeli side of the issue, some more boldfacedly than other proclaim, “Israel must be a jewish nation, we can never allow the arabs in”. I would rest my case at this, but it would seem that you and your reader are the sort who will require to explain the problem with this mindset. Now I do not know if you are Jewish, you might be, I will assume that you are for the time being. Now this is bare-feaced nationalism. Do you have a problem with Black Nationalism? What aobut White Nationalism? What about Hindu Nationalism? What about Chinese Nationalism? Or Arab Nationalism? As a defender of Israel you must be against Arab Nationalism, right? But what makes you different that an Arab nationalism other than the name. In both cases you demonize a specific group for your own gain, you both intend to say that this nation is mine and only mine, and no one else can have, or at least if they can, they will recieve the table scraps? But I don’t have to explain this to you. You already know that. What sets this mindset apart from the mindset of the Austrians who made Jews strangers in their own land? Or Russians who through you out whenever they felt like it? That was Nationalism, they said this nation is for Russian and Russians only, and well you bud, you ain’t Russian. What makes that Different than Idi Amin? Yeah, he kicked out the oppressors of his people, sure colonialim was awful, even more so, that was truly their land. But no one ever defends Idi Amin. But it’s all okay because of the holocaust right? Because some Nationalist wackos went on a genocidal benge right? But now your the nationalist wackos, you drove the palestinians off of their land and made them stragners in their homes. You won’t allow them back in, because you realize that there will be more of the Palestinians than you. Isn’t that the worst dilemma, realizing that the recipients of your hate will outnumber soon and are just a few miles away. The Nationalism present in Israel is what prevents Palestine from being a state, it’s no different than what we did to the Indians, through them on the worst piece of land after we took there, while still recognizing their nationhood. Now they sit in pockerts of poverty throughout the Unbited States with no voice in our nation, because they have there “own”. They are alienated from the main community, becasue it was designed that way, they weren’t suppose to have anything in the reservation. Just like the homelands in South Africa, there’s no difference, they were both tiny states in poor land filled with poor people. It’s just a convenient way to off people and look like you are not to blame. You that they were poor beofre you came, you know that you have all the oppurtunity, but you stick them there out in the Kalahari desert. You know they can’t farm, you know that they’ll never have enough to pay for decent schools, or medical care, or food. But that doesn’t bother you. The white man can have all the advantages. What sets any of these apart from Israel? Why is it necessary that for the Jewish people to have the homeland the arabs must loose there’s? Why could the Jews not simply live with the Palestinians? The arabs did not oppose this from the start, few opposed a secular state. Forget all of this host culutre nonsense, if that was the case Black people should have had Mississippi all for themselves after Jim Crow, because they could not deal with another “host culuture,” but that can be can it? That’d be morally wrong wouldn’t it? What would be so horrible if the jews could live in their homeland, and return their when they liked, and live with the Palestinians as equals? Nothing.

    • First – I said that without a factual argument, I could only assume you were an anti-semite.

      As to the argument you eventually made, copy and pasting from wikipedia may not be the best way to start. You should also note that even Kofi Annan stated that the UN (and by extension, the ICJ) had lost all legitimacy when it comes to Israel.

      Also, you admit Israel has a right to exist, but then cite an authority which claims they do not. Notice they refer to Jerusalem as “occupied territory.”

      Arabs in Israel can vote, join the military (though they are not required, as the Jews are), they are elected members of the Knesset, and have served as ambassadors from Israel. Arab women are allowed to vote. Please name an Arab state which allows women to determine the makeup of their government. Do Jews in Arab states enjoy the same privileges Arabs enjoy in Israel?

      You fail to address the fact that six Israeli Prime Ministers have offered the Palestinians an independent state, and they have all been refused because the Palestinians will not accept the existence of Israel.

      If the PLO was so eager to have an independent state, why would they reject it after it was offered? Prime Minister Ehud Barak even offered to return Israel to her 1967 borders and cede control of Eastern Jerusalem to the Palestinians, and Arafat refused.

      Clearly, the Palestinians don’t want their own country – they want Israel to be eradicated.

  3. amsocialist says:

    Because Palestine is not a viable state, some Palestinians are just that Anti-Semitic that they would like to see the Israelis eradicated, just like some Israeli’s are so Islamophobic, I’m sure that they would like to see all Arabs eradicated. But I think that most Palestinians recognize that there state is not viable, and simply want there land back, and would just like to co-exist, I don’t think they want divisiness, or slaughter.

  4. No. I’m not Jewish.

    Everything you claim has been debunked and disproven by disinterested third parties.

    The Arabs and Jews ARE equal partners in Israel, and even the slightest bit of actual research proves that. The Israelis don’t withhold water or medical supplies, they don’t have “Arab Only” streets as you claim.

    Perhaps you should GO to Israel and see for yourself that which you condemn without real knowledge.

    The Arabs haven’t lost their homeland as you argue. Is Persia no longer Arab? What about the Arabian Peninsula? Did that cease to exist?

    There are no facts to support your arguments, and your emotion-driven rants can not change the fact that the Israelis treat the Arabs much better than the Arabs have ever treated the Israelis.

  5. Constantinus says:

    Wants to talk to me about checking my facts. Never call a persian an arab. They really actually don’t have that much in common at all. An the UN and other human rights groups have documented discrimination against arab in Israel. And it’s not the arab who have lost their homeland, it’s the Palestinians in particular. But the point is, that land doesn’t belong to one singular group of people, no state should ever exist to serve only one people. The reason that they won’t have one-state is that the jews know that the arabs will outnumber them. Because they can’t have a state composed only of jews anymore. If you’re mindset is, we can’t even have these people in our country because we want this to be OUR Nation, how can theey not tereatNon-Jews, especiallyu Arabs poorly. They don’t want them there. It’s a politics of exclusion that you are veiling in thin mask of reasonableness. All I agrue is that the artificially walls come down, and Isral act as a place where Jewish people can be, but not one where they must have control over all of its institutions. That is the central problem that I have with Zionism, it’s the same as anti-semitism, it’s the same as racism. One group and only one. Ethnic group should control the state. I thought we rejected this Idea? But it’s okay there right?

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