Commentary Magazine


Contentions

The Thrice-Offered Palestinian State

The New York Times op-ed by Mahmoud Abbas is entitled “The Long Overdue Palestinian State,” but you would not learn from it that he turned one down in 2008; that the Palestinians rejected the Clinton Parameters in 2001; and that they rejected the offer of a state at Camp David in 2000. Each of those offers consisted of a state on substantially all of the West Bank and Gaza with a capital in Jerusalem and a “right of return” to the new Palestinian state. Three rejections in eight years.

Even more importantly, you would not learn why the Palestinians are not celebrating this year the 64th anniversary of the Long Overdue Palestinian State, which would have happened had the Arabs accepted the 1947 UN resolution proposing a two state solution. Here is the “narrative” Abbas offers:

In November 1947, the General Assembly made its recommendation [that Palestine should be partitioned into two states]. Shortly thereafter, Zionist forces expelled Palestinian Arabs to ensure a decisive Jewish majority in the future state of Israel, and Arab armies intervened. War and further expulsions ensued.

Here is what actually happened: every Arab state voted against the resolution, joined by every Muslim state (Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and Turkey). In his monumental 700-page volume, Israel: A History, Martin Gilbert describes what came next:

From the moment of the United Nations vote, Arab terrorists and armed bands attacked Jewish men, women and children all over the country, killing eighty Jews in the twelve days following the vote, looting Jewish shops, and attacking Jewish civilian buses on all the highways. For the Arabs outside Palestine, a similar wave of anti-Jewish hatred led to violence against Jews in almost every Arab city. . . . There followed, in Palestine, five and a half months of terrorism and violence.

Israel’s May 14, 1948 Declaration of Independence urged Arab residents to stay, and provided full citizenship for them. The Arab states responded by invading a UN-approved state, seeking to destroy it. The resulting refugees and successive generations of their descendants have resided in those states, most of them all their lives, without ever having been offered citizenship there, or other basic rights.

The 1947 UN resolution used the phrase “Jewish state” no less than 30 times. It was the unwillingness then to accept a Jewish state that led to the stateless Palestinians and their refugees. It is an unwillingness that persists to this day—epitomized by the effort to seek UN recognition in September of a Palestinian state without the need to recognize a Jewish one, much less defensible borders for it.



Join the discussion…

Are you a subscriber? Log in to comment »

Not a subscriber? Join the discussion today, subscribe to Commentary »





Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor to our site, you are allowed 8 free articles this month.
This is your first of 8 free articles.

If you are already a digital subscriber, log in here »

Print subscriber? For free access to the website and iPad, register here »

To subscribe, click here to see our subscription offers »

Please note this is an advertisement skip this ad
Clearly, you have a passion for ideas.
Subscribe today for unlimited digital access to the publication that shapes the minds of the people who shape our world.
Get for just
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
YOU HAVE READ OF 8 FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
FOR JUST
Welcome to Commentary Magazine.
We hope you enjoy your visit.
As a visitor, you are allowed 8 free articles.
This is your first article.
You have read of 8 free articles this month.
YOU HAVE READ 8 OF 8
FREE ARTICLES THIS MONTH.
for full access to
CommentaryMagazine.com
INCLUDES FULL ACCESS TO:
Digital subscriber?
Print subscriber? Get free access »
Call to subscribe: 1-800-829-6270
You can also subscribe
on your computer at
CommentaryMagazine.com.
LOG IN WITH YOUR
COMMENTARY MAGAZINE ID
Don't have a CommentaryMagazine.com log in?
CREATE A COMMENTARY
LOG IN ID
Enter you email address and password below. A confirmation email will be sent to the email address that you provide.