September 23rd, 2011
04:38 PM ET

Analysis of the Palestinian statehood bid

Editor's Note: Deborah Jerome is the Deputy Editor of The piece below is an analysis brief from the Council on Foreign Relations at

By Deborah

Abbas's bid is likely doomed in the Security Council (CNN), where the United States has promised to veto it. After weeks of last-minute efforts to forestall a showdown, the Middle East Quartet–the United States, Russia, the EU, and UN–released a statement (ForeignPolicy) late Friday calling for the resumption of negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians within one month. Both sides would present detailed proposals within three months, and negotiations would be completed by end of 2012.Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas took his bid for Palestinian statehood to the UN today, formally handing the request for UN membership to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon with a speech to the General Assembly.

Calling for a "Palestinian spring," Abbas laid out Palestinian grievances against what he called Israel's "colonial-military occupation," calling for negotiations based on 1967 borders, an end to settlement expansion, and other parameters. Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu countered with a speech agreeing that a Palestinian state is needed, but pushed for "serious peace negotiations" and forcefully argued the imperatives of Israel's security. "Palestinians should first make peace with Israel, then have a state," he said.

Many experts believe that even a General Assembly vote to upgrade Palestinian Authority status would strengthen the Palestinians' hand in any future negotiations, and some argue that Abbas's play is a necessary one (NationalInterest). But there are also serious risks for the Palestinians. Israel has threatened to nullify the 1993 Oslo Accords, which stipulate that neither side can unilaterally change the status of the West Bank. The bid also aggravates relations with the United States, which could threaten to withdraw roughly $500 million in annual funding to the Palestinian Authority. A U.S. veto of the Palestinian statehood bid also would be met with anger throughout the Arab world.

Finally, it puts Abbas at odds with the Hamas leadership in Gaza, which opposes the membership bid as well as any recognition of Israel or compromise on the right of return of Palestinian refugees. However, Abbas believes that the risk is worth it (NYT) because a vote for statehood would mean that "Palestine would be negotiating from the position of one United Nations member whose territory is militarily occupied by another."

This week's events at the UN underscore, for some, the waning U.S. influence in the Middle East (ForeignPolicy). "The United States is facing the prospect of having to share, or even cede, its decades-long role as the architect of Middle East peacemaking," write Helene Cooper and Steven Lee Myers in the New York Times. The White House spent too much time working to get Israel to freeze settlement-building instead of devising "the parameters of a framework of negotiations that would make it very difficult for both sides to say 'no' to moving forward," says Edward Djerejian, a former U.S. envoy to Israel and Syria.

Many argue that after years of diplomatic stalemate on the statehood question, Abbas's maneuver creates a welcome sense of urgency. "The coming UN showdown–coupled with the changes sweeping the Middle East–could spur the paradigm shift that is needed for peace" (ForeignAffairs), writes Alvaro de Soto, former UN coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process. If Palestinians can remain peaceful following a Security Council veto by the United States or a successful General Assembly vote, "it will put a great deal of pressure on Israel and the international community to stop ignoring the issue" of statehood, writesCarnegie Endowment's Marwan Muasher, a former Jordanian foreign minister. In a video interview, CFR's Steven A. Cook says that the statehood declaration, "perhaps for the first time, [lets us] look at territories to the east of the green line as Palestine and to the west as Israel. That is an achievement the U.S. should work with."

Read: More on Palestinian statehood through the U.N.

But others, including CFR President Richard N. Haass, argue that while "frustration and desperation" may be pushing Abbas to turn to the UN, nonmember observer-state status is not likely to expedite a Palestinian state. "Resolving the Palestinian conflict," writes Haass, "requires direct talks, the only proven method of advancing peace in the region." An editorial in the New York Times concurs that "a negotiated deal is the only way to ensure the creation of a viable Palestinian state, guarantee Israel's security, and build a lasting peace."

With the Quartet's statement, it is unclear if a Security Council vote on the issue will come to pass. Since it will take some time before a Security Council vote (NYT), the United States could possibly still forestall a showdown, say experts. The United States could use the extended period to redouble its diplomatic campaign and reduce the public attention granted to the PA when a vote does take place.

soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. j. von hettlingen

    The bid for statehood at the U.N. is an open sesame for further options!

    September 24, 2011 at 3:03 pm | Reply
  2. jbm

    • 650,000 jews were kicked out of their homes in 1948 with no compensation from Arab lands. Not in Europe, Not in Russia but in Arab lands thatey were living in for thousands of years. That is the big secret the Arabs have been trying to hide from the rest of the world and with great success I might add.. They went and settled in land Not settled by Arabs. Remember there was no such thing as a country called Palistine, only Arab villages as part of the Ottoman Empire. The Arabs could have kept those villages and created a country of their own called Palstine like the Jews did in Israel and could have lived side by side in peace. But their genocidal racism got in the way and tried to throw the Jews into the sea. Well guess what they lost. Since then after Israel built a successful country from the ground up the arabs have been living with their lies, jealousy and hatred all these years... Facts can be very annoying

    September 26, 2011 at 12:09 pm | Reply
    • morris2196

      Actually, it was worse. The 650,000 were expelled from their respective countries and their assets confiscated. There were also several hundred thousand who voluntarily left the Arab countries to immigrate to Israel, and their assets confiscated.

      September 26, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Reply
    • r smith

      How many Palestinians were forced to flee their homes in Israel in 1948?

      September 26, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Reply
      • israel 1

        Who give a crap? Arab leaders told them to leave and come back when Israel was wiped off the map. I guess that didnt happen. Besides Palestine was never a country – what a myth. SO, no new state.

        September 26, 2011 at 8:19 pm |
    • nick

      you jews belong in Germany not in Palestine. Palestine belongs to the Palestinians. You jews have been occupying Palestinian land for over 63years, when is it gona stop

      September 27, 2011 at 7:07 am | Reply
      • sam kohen

        So give Palestine UN status. Same can be done for Tibet (China), Chechnya (Russia), Kashmir (India)........

        September 27, 2011 at 7:30 am |
      • sam kohen

        Very few Jews in Israel are from Germany and for that matter Poland . Helen Thomas keeps saying the same thing. The simple fact is that almost all of the Jews in Germany and Poland were murdered by the Germans during World War II in what is known as the 'Final Solution to the Jewish Problem'. The vast majority of Jews in Israel are from Yeman, Iraq, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria and other Arab countries. I am certain those countries would welcome them back with open arms.

        September 27, 2011 at 7:34 am |
  3. jbm

    650,000 Jews were kicked out of their homes in 1948 in ARAB LANDS. NOT EUROPE OR RUSSIA. But in ARAB LANDS. No compensation no pity only Jews being killed while they fled to Israel. After the Jews From Arab lands that they were kicked out of arrived in Israel, the Arabs still tried to throw the Jews into the sea, obviously kicking the Jews out of their homes was not enough for the Arabs. Well the Arabs lost and have been living with their lies jealosy and hatred ever since. Facts can be very annoying... The Arabs have been hiding this fact with great success to the rest of the world.

    September 26, 2011 at 12:10 pm | Reply
    • Steve

      650,000 jews left Arab lands in the 25 years subsequent to 1948.

      650,000 Arabs were kicked out of Israel in 1948.

      You can be biased as much as you won't but don't lie about it.

      September 26, 2011 at 6:15 pm | Reply
      • narina

        The Arabs were not kicked out – they were told to get out of the way of the Arab Armies, by the Arabs, and once the Jews had been driven into the sea they could return to their homes. Furthermore, a lot of swampland was sold by the Arabs to the settling Jews, since the Arabs considered the land worthless and were unable to use it. Once it had been drained, and was cultivated, they wanted it back. You can see this for yourself if you took the trouble to visit the Negev desert. You would be hard pressed to find desert as it is used for agriculture. Very successfully. If you bother to go to the Golan Heights, you can see where the border is from miles away. The Syrian side is barren and unused, whereas the Israeli side of the fence is green and productive. But I guess it's easier to sit at home and spout your prejudice. Facts have a nasty way of upsetting the apple cart.

        "You can be biased as much as you won't but don't lie about it."

        September 26, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
      • Steve

        What? You ever heard of Deir Yassin? Or listened to the rhetoric by Israel's founders?

        Have any Idea what Haganah is, or what Plan D was?

        No, They were forced out under the threats, and consumated massacres.

        Do not lie to yourself, or is that the Hsitory they teach you in Israel or Jewsih Schools. WHITEWASH IT, and dolts believe it.

        September 26, 2011 at 8:38 pm |
  4. Al 189

    Israel is like a small family living in a town with another thousand families. Israel's family gets to decide how the town is run and the other thousand families don't have a say. Israel's family has a big brother in another town who gives them guns, money and one-sided support. Now, how upset would you be if one family has this much power? How upset would you be if you only had stones to throw at a family with guns? The United States talks about diplomacy and how the two sides have to talk, but whenever Israel has to "defend" themselves, the United States, without getting all of the facts, takes the side of Israel without hesitation. It is as if there is a script and whenever Israel responds militarily, the automatic response is "I respect Israel's right to defend themselves."

    September 26, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Reply
    • No Such Thing As A Smurf Either

      Pretty stupid to throw stones at somebody who has a gun, dont you think ?

      September 26, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Reply
      • Jason

        You're right the Palestinans should defend themself with guns and missiles like the Israelis instead of throwing rocks, I absolutely support Palestine right to defend themself, instead of the BILLIons we give Israel we should give it to the Palestinians to start with

        September 26, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
      • Dede

        And let us not forget when Palestinians throw rocks at Israeli soldiers the Israeli soldiers shoot them with real bullets. Even plastic bullets can kill. Women and children who throw rocks = same result. One Palestinian shoots an Israeli soldier and the Israeli's bulldoze an entire village as punishment. Very similar tactics to the Nazi's in WW II. The Israeli's learned well. Even the rockets shot at Israel are a small pitence when compared with Israeli tanks. The sides are not matched evenly at all, and never have been.

        September 26, 2011 at 11:02 pm |
      • nick

        not stupid but brave, thats the difference between you and the Palestinians. They would die for their country and what they believe in, but you Americans got it easy talkn smack behind a computer screen. Its a dam shame that your former president Bush was behind 9/11 attacks and then turned around and blamed it on Osama, and then invaded Iraq just to steal more oil. What goes around comes back around

        September 27, 2011 at 7:10 am |
    • Scott

      What kind of logic is this? Are you describing Israel or the rest of the Arab nation? Name one Arab country before the "Arab Spring" that was not a small "family" as you put it making the decision for a 1000's of other families. At least in Israel there is a democracy in place. As for the "guns" and the U.S. supporting them... what is wrong with the other Arab nations helping a "brother in need". What's wrong they do not want to part with some of that "oil" money they have. They cannot spare a couple of billion here and there? And lastly... the conversation about Israel and Palestine is somewhat comical. While there are those that would like to blame Israel for where Palestine is today... People have a very short memory. There would already be a Palestine if Arafat would have just signed finalized the Oslo Accords. The deal was done... he just needed to go to Camp David shake some hands and go back to Palestine his recognized country. He was a fool. And let millions of people down.

      September 26, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Reply
      • Al 189

        Obviously you missed the point. It's not about stones. How is it democracy when a country of 6 million dictates what 1 billion people do. What happened to majority rules? And don't give me that "everbody wants to destory us" or "they have to recognize us" crap.

        September 26, 2011 at 7:47 pm |
    • JERRY

      One sided support ? Are you not reading what is really happening,like 500 million a year that the US give the palestinians,please do your homework first,then write replies.The arabs/muslims will kill anyone who disagree's with them. It's all about control,,,like how they treat their women to be subservant and they teach children to hate jews.They need to love their children more than they hate jews to have peace.

      September 26, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Reply
      • Al 189

        That money is just a token attempt to make it look as if the United States does not kiss Israel's **s completely. It's like me giving a homeless man $20 before I call the cops on him. It's saves face.

        September 26, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
      • Steve

        UNtil very recent history.. Palestine was getting nada.. then in the last couple years.. the US gave them more but withholds portion due to Hamas in Gaze.

        And Israel.. $TRILLIONS. $3.1 billion in direct dsiclosed military aid this year.. until recently.. another $4 billion a year in non-military aid, coupled with that $3+billion in military aid. And guarnateed loans that are FORGIVEN.. MORE $$ in grants. And the US manned RADAR site in Dimoni (not included in the $$)- Those 2 antenna are the largest in the world.
        And covert aid, who knows? Training of Israeli commandos, pilots, joint exercises..

        And not to forget Iraq and Afghanistan wars.. primarily to benefit Israel. (9/11 was the direct result of the IS-USUK hegemony in support of Israel in the Middle East. The US CIA, bin Laden, and testimnoy in the 9/11 commission all agree the #1 reason was that.(US's uncritical meddling in the ME to support Israel)

        September 26, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
    • r smith

      Yes, and now Obama has agreed to sell/give"bunker busting" bombs to Israel. looks like advance planning for an attack on iran. Obama has lost our vote. We won't be voting in 2012.

      September 26, 2011 at 5:34 pm | Reply
  5. ken

    Follow the logic. If Palestine becomes a recognized country, they will have to follow the rules of the world. That means that when they launch rockets on Israel, they are performing an act of war – country against country. That means that the launch area is a military position and that Israel can retaliate with complete annihilation of the area around the military position.That means that Palestine will be complete destroyed, thanks to Hamas! So Palestine statehood will help Israel as it makes a devastating counter attack to a most certain missile attack a certainty. Palestine will be dust once and for all!

    September 26, 2011 at 1:35 pm | Reply
    • Houston

      What kind of a human looks forward to "Palestine will be dust, once and for all"?
      And Shalom to you too.

      September 26, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Reply
  6. Jose

    Everyone desrves their country. They need it and they should get it. Any and every resulting outcomes after they have their statehood is up to them and their fractious government(s).

    September 26, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Reply
    • Derek

      I wholeheartedly agree. We Tibetans have been fighting for our freedom from Chinese occupation for over 60 years since the 1950 PLA invasion of Tibet. Tibet was an independent state prior to 1951. Tibet today is run as a colony of China. The UN General Assembly recognized the Tibetan people's right of self-determination. It's high time the UN demanded China allow the Tibetan to people to exercise that right.

      September 27, 2011 at 10:20 am | Reply
  7. balansact

    jbm . . I can tell that asking you to look at the history of the region is a hopeless request. You are too full of your own prejudices. But perhaps someone else would look at the Balfour Decision; look to see that the British were advised by their politician in the area, that opening Palestine to the Jews was fraught with potential (and since realized) violence. The state of Israel came about by terrorist actions, and the vast majority of people in the newly acclaimed land of Israel were Arabs. What we see is a continuing of poor policy post WWI and WWII that did not take into account what would happen when land is taken away from one people and given to another.

    September 26, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Reply
    • Al 189

      Does anyone remember Haganah, Lehi or Irgun. These were Jewish terrorist groups whose sole mission was to rid Palestine from the British. Oh yeah the Irgun blew up the King David Hotel on July 22 1946 and there were 93 innocent people killed so that the oppressed Jews could make a point. Sounds familiar? It's all about perception. One man's terrorist group is another one's hero. The bottom line is that in order to have peace, you have to leave religion and emotion at the door when you sit at the negotiation table.

      September 26, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Reply
      • Garnet69

        The rest of the story about the King David Hotel is that multiple phones calls were made by the Jews to the British warning them about the bombs. The calls were dismissed as nonsense. Every opportunity was made to avoid casualties, but they were ignored.

        Also, at the time, it was not operating solely as a hotel, it was being used as a British military post. The bombing was in response to Operation Agatha.

        September 26, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
      • Houston

        Hey, Menachem Begin warned the hotel. So ... all terrorists please take note ... give advance warning of your attack by phone. If the goyim don't get out of your way ... well, it's their own fault. And if it net's you a country, all the better. Shalom.

        September 26, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  8. morris2196

    After studying the map and population numbers, I can not see enough space in the areas under discussion for both Israel and a Palestinian state. 40% of Israel consists of the Negev desert, much of which can't support heavy human habitation; the high population density of Gaza compounded by the high birth rate among Palestinians; the fact that there are literally millions of Arabs in surrounding Arab countries who identify themselves as Palestinian and want to live in a Palestinian state; Israel's need for the west bank for security reasons; and so on. The only question is which one state is that going to be. I place my bet on Israel; they have fought five wars with Arab countries in the region and won all five.

    September 26, 2011 at 2:02 pm | Reply
  9. No Such Thing As A Smurf Either

    Israel used to have Jews and Arabs living there.
    Suddenly, as if by magic, thousands of Palestinians just appeared out of knowhere.
    How did this happen ?
    Harry Houdini ?
    Maybe Harry Potter ?

    September 26, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Reply
    • Houston

      It was actually hundreds of thousands of European Jews that appeared out of "k"nowhere (from Europe). No magic was involved, just terrorism.

      September 26, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Reply
  10. jj

    I don't know how/when the Democratic positon became "Israel is always the agressor." My favorite Democratic president ever one said :

    "Israel was not created in order to disappear – Israel will endure and flourish. It is the child of hope and the home of the brave. It can neither be broken by adversity nor demoralized by success. It carries the shield of democracy and it honors the sword of freedom."

    -John Fitzgerald Kennedy

    September 26, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Reply
    • Houston

      That dream died with him in '63. The '67 war of agression put a nail in that particular coffin. Theft of land and resources. Apartheid. Settlements. We will not abide.

      September 26, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Reply
      • impartial_oberver

        Houston: The 1967 war was AGAINST Israel. Supeior Israeli intel allowed them to preempt the attack by 24 hours and prevaiil. IsraeL WAS the victim of a massive attack by far superior forces and in defeating those countries in their COMPLETELY UNPROVOKED attack, they (Israelis) occupied territory and retained it as a security buffer from furure attacks. A SECOND unprovoked attack against Israel in 1973 was also defeated, them occupying the Sinai Peninsula from where the attack was launched. ALL legitimate actions of self-defense. Later, Israel in iall its civility and desire to make peace RETURNED the Sinai to Egypt (the attacker) as part of the Camp David accords. The result??? Anwar Sadat, President of Egypt was ASSASINATED by his own people, by silamist extremists who did not want ANY peace with Israel.

        Palestinains never fail to fail, and Israel can never do good in the eyes of a largely antismeitic world even when it unilaterally returns legitimatly occupied territory (agined by winning wars where it was the VICTIM) just to make peace. Israel is purely trying to SURVIVE and it doesnt matter what your feeble one-sided racist rant is, they will survive no matter what. The only way Arabs (Palestinians) will EVER get ANYTHING more than they have now will be by

        a) Sitting down and accepting what they are offered/negotiated (meaning GIVING UP ON ANY RIGHT OF RETURN, FOREVER) or

        b) Wiping out Israel in a massive military agression and genocidal attack, which will NEVER suuceed. They already tried five times and today that is less likely to succeed than in the past.

        Sirael can live with the status quo for centuries if needed. I doubt the Palestinian people wojuld want to keep calling themselves "refugees" for that long. They deserve better leadership, like the Israelis have always had.

        September 27, 2011 at 1:49 am |
      • gadhafi

        Palestinians are not occupied ...they are defeated arabs that got caught on the wrong side of the armistice no diffrent from other arabs

        September 27, 2011 at 3:17 am |
    • Jeff B.

      WHEN, JJ ?
      When Muslim violence against civilians branched out from the middle east, that's when. Before that, as long as it was "only" Israel who suffered, the world turned a blind eye. NOW that the rest of the world is in the crosshairs of muslim extremists, and the world FEARS them, Israel becomes expendable.
      Also, the world LOVES an underdog – they loved Israel when she was a fledgling under constant attack by superior forces; NOW, PA is the underdog. It doesnt matter WHY they are the underdog – just that they are. The population thinks that appeasement will work in the 21st century – better than it did in the 20th.

      September 26, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Reply
      • Al 189

        Jeff, stop talking as if Israel is a victim. They have not been victims for 64 years. Stop using the past as a crutch. Today, Israel is a small superpower who retaliates like the Roman's. Their memory of the Holocaust blinds them from the fact that they are committing minor atrocities themselves.

        September 26, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
      • American

        so the actions of the murderous Osama Bin Laden in 2001 justify the creation of the state of Israel on the ruins of the country of Palestine and its people in 1948???? Utter nonsense!

        September 26, 2011 at 9:05 pm |
      • Steven McCormick

        no such thing as a minor atrocity

        September 27, 2011 at 12:49 am |
  11. Julia Saleh

    Everyone needs to see how Israeli settlers are treating Palestinians right now. Israelis are rude and discusting to the palestinians,and go on the palestinians land,destroy there olive trees, and throw rocks at there children. And the Israel army just watches to make sure the israel settlers dont get hurt! These are the things they should show you on the news but no, they wait for the arabs to fight back. Then they'll show you arabs attacking israelis. They wont tell you what the jews did first. GO TO YOUTUBE AND CHECK IT OUT.

    September 26, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Reply
    • Jeff B.

      Yes, Julia – SO true.
      I mean, Israel maintains their sewage, and drinking water plants; gives them hundreds of millions of dollars a year, gives them free medical care and protects their houses of worship.
      WHAT Muslim country does 1/100th of that for Jews ?

      September 26, 2011 at 6:22 pm | Reply
      • Houston

        And all the time protects them with a nice concrete wall in their gated community. Isn't that special.

        September 26, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
      • Steve

        Israel gives them nothing.. The world community does.

        September 26, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
    • impartial_oberver

      Yeah You Tube and web sites truly porteay a balanced story. You are so NAIVE,,,

      It takes TWO to tango, and years of Palestinian violence netween themselves (like vicious dos) and against ISreali civilains is bound to ilicit actions in-kind. The FACT is that Arabs kill each other in much greater numbers than do the Israelis, and while violence by settlers is in NO WAY acceptable, it's a pittance compared to the viciousness of Palestinians and this constant violence that they teach, foster and exercise not just against Jews but between each other.

      September 27, 2011 at 1:59 am | Reply
  12. moe

    lets not forget why the palestinians fled from their homes. The zionist terrorist groups such as Irgun, Lehi, and Haganah were behind so many massacres of the palestinian christian, muslims, women, children, old and more. The leaders of these terrorist groups went on to become prime ministers of israel such as Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Shamir, and Ariel Sharon.

    September 26, 2011 at 9:34 pm | Reply
  13. lex

    Abbas just doesn't want peace. He wants all of israel and thinks that if he jsut keeps going, sooner or alter he will get it. Its sad what that means for the Palestinian people, which nothing good.

    September 26, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Reply
  14. SPQR

    We are not stupid. Sooner or later the truth always comes out. Lies have short legs.

    September 27, 2011 at 2:15 am | Reply
  15. gadhafi

    After 9/11 the Palestinians can go get fukked. Good for nothing except cannon fodder for the arabs.

    September 27, 2011 at 3:13 am | Reply
  16. Abu Alam

    It took just few days for the Western/Nato block to start bombing on Libya.Same was in Iraq Or Afganistan. South Sudan was independant with much hardship. Why the democratic world now can't start bombing on Israel for violating all UN norms and for still occupying Palestine lands. It is high time for Palestines to get a country. Let us be honest. This will reduce the terrorism in the ME by 90%. Because the ME believes that it is US that supporting Israel for this 60+ year old conflict and for US Israel has the guts to ignore the whole world. Let both Israel and Palestine be in peace.

    September 27, 2011 at 7:23 am | Reply
  17. Derek

    The UN was supposed to be a democratic int'l body for resolving disputes between states. Palestine is a de facto state. So if the UN General Assembly believes it should be recognized as a de jure state, then so be it. It's the democratic way. The problem is the UN Charter allows the five founding members (USA, Britain, France, Russia & China) veto power on the Security Council. The UN Charter needs to be amended so that these five states can't control the entire UN.

    September 27, 2011 at 10:17 am | Reply
  18. sonny

    No membership no independent state for Palestinian people because they are terrorists.

    September 27, 2011 at 10:19 am | Reply
  19. Rozak

    The Ottoman Empire allowed Russian Jews to emigrate to palestine during the pogroms of the 1880's. The only stipulation was that they had to PURCHASE LAND LEGALLY FROM THE EXISTING OWNERS THROUGH LEGALLY RECORDED CONTRACTS. The jews BOUGHT arid, barren desert land and developed it into agriculturally prosperous land. At that time there was very little population of any background living in palestine. Arabs from other countries began emigrating to palestine to work for the Jews and for the British who were developing their oil interests. Population figures also show a majority of Jews living in most towns at that time. Not all. But most. Here's an interesting quote from PLO executive committee member Zahir Muhsein , who said in 1977, " The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our arab unity. In reality, today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a palestinian people, since arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct "palestinian people" to oppose Zionism. It is also been a "conceptual" war for ownership of the term "palestinian" which has been transferred over to the arabs whereas, before 1967, "palestine has always been synonymous with Eretz Israel and the Land of Israel".

    September 27, 2011 at 11:38 am | Reply
  20. TXJack

    Let’s get a few things straight people.

    The proposed Jewish state Israel, was suggested by the Zionist representatives at the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, prior to that it never existed.

    However first clear use of the term Palestine to refer to the region synonymous with that defined in modern times was in 5th century BC.

    The Israelis and the Palestines are both from the same father Abraham. The 1st son of Abraham was by a slave woman and then when Sarah had her own son, the 1st son was banned to the desert. That is where Palestines came from.

    So from the beginning of time until the end of time there will be unrest there.

    It is not about the US helping Israel so we could have oil. The US had Oil wells there long before the state of Israel was established.

    Do you think that the Arabs that were living in the desert and living in tents drilled the oil wells?
    It is all about politics and who really runs the US Government. Think about it.

    Prior to WW2 we did not have this problem, but since then it has bee then US burden and not the UK to the UN.

    This needs to end..

    After all the US is Broke. I don't see Israel or Palestine help us out.

    The US need STOP supporting them and let them work it out.

    I say it is time to end the Marshall Plan and stop the US Welfare World Plan.

    We need to get our own House in order again

    September 27, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Reply
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