Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Bid for Palestinian Statehood

Look at all that Jewish land! Oh wait, 60 percent of that is desert. 

Today is quite the important day for Israel. It's Kaf-Tet B'November. Kaf-Tet is the date, with kaf (כ) being 20 and tet (ט) being nine, you can deduce that it means it's November 29.

The significance of this date is that on November 29, 1947, the United Nations voted on the Partition Plan for Palestine (also known as UN General Assembly Resolution 181). The plan was approved by a vote of 33 to 13, with 10 abstentions.

The plan would have partitioned the territory of British-Mandate Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, with the greater Jerusalem area (including Beth Lechem) coming under international control. The Jewish contingency was not pleased with the amount of land allotted, but agreed for the sake of moving forward. The Jewish state comprised 5,500 square miles (60 percent of which was desert), and the Arab state comprised 4,500 square miles (of lush land). In both states, Jews and Arabs would live side by side.

Unfortunately, instead of seeing a dual state as a boon, the Arab nations attacked in May 1948 in an effort to destroy the nation, they lost, and Israel began to expand back to its natural and historic borders, which continued through the late 1960s.

Note: The historic/natural land of Israel was known as Judea until the 2nd century after the Bar Kochba revolt. After the revolt, Hadrian decided to punish the Israelites and named the land Philistia after the great enemies of the Israelites, the Philistines. The name evolved into Palestine with the British mandate, and suddenly an entire nation was born of people who called themselves Palestinians. The interesting question is this: If Hadrian hadn't punished the Israelites and the land's name remained Judea over these hundreds and hundreds of years, would those who identify as Palestinians today call themselves Jews as well? Would this be a battle fought of Jew vs. Jew?

Today November 29 is important because today is the day, 65 years to the date later, the United Nations is voting again. Today in New York, Palestinians plan to ask the U.N. General Assembly to recognize a non-member state of Palestine in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and east Jerusalem, as well as the Hamas-ruled Gaza strip. The Palestinian collective is confident, and it they're playing this off as if a declaration of acknowledgement will make "peace talks" a more viable option. Any idiot knows this isn't true, of course, and recognition by the United Nations of a terrorist-controlled land -- in my opinion -- proves once and for all the complete and utter failure and insignificance of the United Nations.

Luckily, the vote won't mean that much. According to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the U.N. vote "will not fulfill the goal of independent Palestinian and Israeli states living side by side in peace, which the U.S. strongly supports because that requires direct negotiations."

To show just how against the vote the U.S. is, Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch filed an amendment to a defense bill Wednesday that would eliminate funding for the United Nations if the General Assembly changes Palestine's status. Hear hear, I say. 

After everything that has happened in recent weeks, I think this request is incredibly ballsy and a little bit out of bounds. The fact that Israel agreed to a ceasefire on the same day that Hamas terrorists blew up a bus in Tel Aviv says to me that Hamas and it's Palestinian puppets seem to think they have the world wrapped around their little finger. My hope, in the end, is that more countries abstain than vote, and that those who vote make a sensible choice. 

The Palestinian people are not ready for statehood. They haven't been for a long time. Abandoned by Arab nations who don't care about them or their plight and operated in Stockholm Syndrome-style by Hamas, the Palestinian people have a lot of growing up to do. You cannot change adults, so you have to start with children, and this requires a lot of education. A lot. Unfortunately, this isn't happening, thanks to Hamas. Someone -- a lot of someones -- need to rise to the challenge, to push out Hamas once and for all, to reclaim the peoplehood, to stop living in fear and confusion and hatred. It takes responsibility and leadership -- two things that are simply missing. 

Only then will I support a two-state solution. Only when Hamas is driven into the sea and the people teach their children the value of words, promises, and human rights.