How would you feel if someone came in your home, took over and kicked you out? Surely, no one would like that feeling. Worse than that, that certain someone found it morally acceptable to be doing such an act and everyone was supporting him. The aforementioned scenario is the simplest version of the state that Palestinians are in today. Their situation is present on a larger and much more gruesome and violent scale. The best solution to this conflict is that justice should be done with Palestine. The history, current problems and possible solution will be discussed below.
The British empire the controlled Palestine in the years from 1918 to 1947. They had worked to seize Palestine from the Turks subsequent to which they were ruling the area. At time, the Arab population significantly over numbered the Jews which clearly indicated that the Palestine land belonged to Arab Muslims. (Cleary 6). The Jews of the area however turned to the British since they wanted a land they could call their own. (Cleary 5)
Ever since the first partition that occurred in Palestinian, they have not been treated fairly. First and foremost, Palestinians were the native settlers of the land. The major fact is that the name Palestine was of Palestine. Israel was created afterwards when the Jews realized they needed to invade it. The first resolution that was passed in 1947 was unjust because it did not even discuss the matter with the Palestinians. The Palestinians at that time constituted 90% of the entire population of the country. With a ratio of 9:1, the division of land should have been in this proportion. Yet, that is not what happened. The division was done by giving 56% of the land to Jews which consisted of the fertile areas. The remaining 43% of the land was given to the Palestinians who got the mountainous and non-fertile land. (“Palestinian Refugees,” 2) Even if we rely at the earliest division of land, it seemed outright unfair. Due to these assertions, this partition plan was rejected by the Arab world right when it was proposed. Following that the civil war continued and as more and more Jewish kept immigrating into Palestine, their strength kept increasing more. The process of Radicalization where more and more Jewish wealth came into Palestine thus increasing its numbers and strength in return, (Kedourie and Haim, 53) By 1934, the total number of new Jews in the area had totalized to be about 52, 359. (Kedourie and Haim, 53) These numbers show that the Jews were the settlers where as Palestinians were natives. The Palestinians were taken over hence their claims stand more valid over Jews. Even after the massive influx of the Jews, the demographic ratios favored Palestinians as mentioned earlier.
Approximately 3.9 million Palestinians are residing in the West Bank and in Gaza along with the 4.6 million who are residing in other countries. (Miller and Samuels) The conditions in which these people are residing in aren’t very favorable ones. The Palestinians who are residing under Jewish control and surely oppressed and tormented. The conditions aren’t much different for those living in Arab countries. With the passage of many government plans and policies, the Palestinians have been destroyed in the middle. About 250, 000 Palestinians were forced to leave the Gulf States and Kuwait for supporting Sadam Hussein. In 2001, the government in Lebanon sated that the Palestinians could not own property. Regardless of how educated they were; Palestinian people could not work in respectable careers like doctors, lawyers and many others. (Miller and Samuels) Many other examples can be given from neighboring Arab countries that should have been sympathetic towards the emigrated Palestinians. Maybe the Jews got their land but on what cost did that occur? The Palestinians got displaced; their rights to a peaceful life and liberty were taken away from them. They deserve a state of their own.
In 1949, the UN made the UNRWA which stands for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency to deal with the 650,000 Palestinian refugees. Unfortunately, tithe UNRWA has been faced with revenue cuts and strikes. The employees of the committee aren’t well paid and thus can’t provide the services to the Palestinians as they should. Thus, any ‘efforts’ that were meant to make lives for Palestinians easier have not occurred as such. (Miller and Samuels) It has been proposed that the children of the refugees have been given the status of refugees as well. This led the efforts to be dismantled more that the countries which have a large amount of refugees, put the responsibility go the refugees under this law rather than taking their on responsibility. The Commissioner General of the UNRWA, Karen AbuZayd stated that the responsibilities of the entire refugee population cannot be met under the UN charter. (Miller and Samuels) It was also stated that the status of the refugees was in the suspended state of existence. The attitude of the United States to this situation is very cold. The Obama administration and its policies basically ask for the issue to linger on which would lead to further destruction of the Palestinian people.
The ideal solution to the aforementioned problems is that a separate state should be made. However, in the mean time while the whole issue gets resolved and the chaos between Israel and Palestine calm down, other approaches can also be taken. If a state were to be formed between for the people of Palestine, it should be where they came from. When the Palestinians flee their homes because of the fear of Jews. they were promised that they would b e allowed to come back. Subsequent to the Israeli government taking over, the Palestinians weren’t allowed to come back. In order to make a new state, partition should be done keeping the earlier demographics in mind. The areas where the Arab or Palestinian population was concentrated earlier, those areas should be given to Palestine as well.
If a new state for Palestine is being made, it should be done on the basis of demographic results. The amount of Palestinian refugees along with the Palestinian people living in Israel occupied should be calculated. Similar calculation should be done for the Israel population. The land which used to be Palestine once upon a time should be partitioned according to the demographic. Many might say that due to influx the Jewish population might override the Palestinians today; however this seems like the fairest solution to this conflict. As mentioned earlier, if these plans as suggested take long then another outlook is to improve the living conditions of the Palestinian refugees. Egypt for instance attains $60 billion U.S. aid and with so much aid, it has the ability to grant fair rights to the Palestinian people living there. (Miller and Samuels) Similar tactics can be employed for the Palestinian population residing in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon as well.
Even if Palestine State is created, the fact that Hamas has been labeled a terrorist group is not a good sign. The Arabic countries like Egypt are in full support of Hamas and its actions. (Rashid) Due to the fact, that these groups which are labeled as terrorist groups are being encouraged, there is no saying that if they will stop or not. In case, Palestine does become a sovereign statue with no Israeli inference, it is a possibility that Hamas could attempt to make it highly extremist merely to prevent another uprising.
The Camp David accord was the name given to the agreement between Egypt and Israel in 1978. In this agreement, Israel accepted to give back Sinai to Egypt and that was fully done in 1982. Another requirement of the accord was that the Palestinian independent would be discuses regarding GAza and the West Bank. Unfortunately, this issue did not make much progress.
The Oslo Accords came into being in 1993 and they were signed by Yasser Arafat who was the Chairman of Palestinian Liberation Organization and Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. These accords were not presented in the right manner and thus did not lead to peace. The Accords basically led to the formation of the interim government for Palestine. The West Bank was divided into areas that again did not correspond to what the Palestinians wanted. A problem in this accord was that it merely highlighted the issues rather than solving the problem. Eventually, the Oslo Accords led to the Camp David Summit which occurred in 2000. (Hallward, 187)
Following the Oslo Accords, other peace processes were also attempted. The Hebron Protocol occurred in 1997. The agreement basically signaled the exit of Israel army from the city o f Hebron. Many Palestinians lived there and it would have been a good step towards claiming peace in the region again. The Hebron Protocol however was not fully effective.
The Wye River Memorandum followed the Hebron Protocol in 1998. President Bill Clinton actively participated in this effort. By the end of the year, Israel army withdrew its forced from the territories and were about to give Palestine the authority they wanted. However, when they felt that Palestine was not taking this seriously, they reversed their steps which paved way for yet another failed effort (Erin, 143)
The Road Map for Peace was an agreement designed by America, EU, UN and Russia. All the countries agreed for the formation of an independent state of Palestine. It was the first one in which the country would get the status of being a separate state. The planned objectives were for both countries to end violence and live in harmony with each other. Failure of the plan was due to in cooperation from both sides. Out of all the peace accords ever proposed, the road map to peace b [picked up some pace after the death of Yasser Arafat. The achievements however were reversed due to continued attacks from Islamic extremist groups Hamas and because of failure of Israel to pull out its troops.
Currently, Palestine resolution was accepted and it got the status of an observer non-member state in the United Nations. (Rashid) For the Palestinians, who have been oppressed since years, this was a step to celebrate for. However, the changes that are expected in the future don’t look so smooth. Mahmoud Abbas who is the chairman of Palestine stated that this act did not de legitimize Israel but it accepted Palestine as a sovereign state. The Palestinians can now claim their ownership on the Gaza Strip, east Jerusalem and the West Back. The country can now take part in discussions in the general assembly. The most important effect of this is that Palestine can now also go the International Criminal Court for any crimes against humanity that Israel commits. (Rashid)
The United States has always been on the side of the Jewish people. Right from the beginning, when the European leaders were against the partition and they persisted that this would lead to chaos, President Harry. S. Truman supported the act of partition. (Neff 74) Many decades later, United States is still in full support of Israel. The Positive effects of Israel are that the United States has a strong economic alliance. Much of the revenue from known franchises is under the hold of Jews. Any action that the U.S. takes against the favor of the Jewish population, can lead to chaos in the country and worldwide. However, it does become a target of hatred for the Muslim countries that are supporting Palestine. If looked at in the broader picture, Palestinians are being oppressed to a horrific extent. This would leave many countries favoring against Israel and in turn against U.S. As well. Apart from its relations with Muslim countries affect, United States could risk its allies with other nations as well. Merely on the basis of humanity, they can challenge that why U.S. is in support of air strikes that kills thousands of Palestinian kids. In case, America did not support Israel, its position would become very weak in this conflict. Israel even though can’t dismantle Iran’s nuclear program, is declaring full support for America when American plans an attack on Iran. (Yoffie) In case America takes away its support for Israel, Israel is left vulnerable not only to the Arabic states surrounding its borders but to Iran a well.
In my opinion, the conflict can never been resolved due to the religious attachment both groups have with Jerusalem. Even if the land and territory disputes are resolved, both sides have their religious groups that will always fight and argue for the hold of Jerusalem. This city holds holy value for both religions and thus both of them want to control it really badly. Those who are in favor of Muslims and the mere fact that Arabs inhabited Palestine before the Jews would vote for Muslim control over Jerusalem. The Jews, for whom the place matters a lot, won’t agree to it either. Cooperation and religious tolerance is lacking from both groups in order to attain peace in the end. Had both groups put religion on the side and tackled this issue on the basis of territory dispute, it could be resolved easily.
Cleary, Joe. Literature, Partition and the Nation-State: Culture and Conflict in Ireland, Israel and Palestine. Cambridge, England: Cambridge Unviersity Press, 2002. 5-6. Print.
Eran, Oded. “Arab-Israel Peacemaking.” The Continuum Political Encyclopedia of the Middle East.. By Avraham, Sela. 1st ed. New York: Continuum, 2002. Print.
Hallward, Maia. “Pursuing “Peace” in Israel/Palestine.” Journal of Third World Studies 28.1 (2012): 186-188. Print.
Kedourie, Elie and Sylvia G.Haim . Zionism and Arabism in Palestine and Israel. London: F.Cass, 1982. 52-55. Print.
Millers, Judith and David Samuels. “No way home: The tragedy of the Palestinian diaspora.” The Independent. 22nd October. 2009. Web. 4th December 2012. [http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/no-way-home-the-tragedy-of-the-palestinian-diaspora-1806790.html].
Neff, Donald. “Middle East History: It Happened in September; Truman Overrode Strong State Department Warning against Partitioning of Palestine in 1947 .” Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, 1994: 74. Print.
Palestine History. “Palestinian Refugees.” N.p., n.d.. Web. 4 Dec 2012. [http://www.palestinehistory.com/pdf/issues/refugees.pdf].
Pbs.org. “FRONTLINE/WORLD . Palestinian Territories – Inside Hamas . Additional Resources . PBS.” N.p., 1996. Web. 4 Dec 2012. [http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/palestine503/additional.html].
Rashid, Harun Ur. “Significance of UN vote for Palestine resolution.” The Daily Star. 2012. Web. December 5th 2012. [http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=259900].
Yoffie, Eric. H.. “Israel: Stop alienating U.S. over Iran.” Haaretz. August 30th. 2012. Web. 4th December 2012. [http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/israel-stop-alienating-u-s-over-iran-1.461761].
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