On 29 November 1947 the United Nations voted to terminate the British Mandate of Palestine by 1 August 1948 and, to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict in the British Mandate of Palestine, for a plan for the partition of the Mandate territory. The plan came to be called the United Nations Partition Plan for
The establishment of the State of Israel unfortunately resulted in the displacement of the indigenous Palestinian people and this in itself is the basis of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict that defies a solution to this day.
This country had known so many wars and both Arabs and Israelis have paid a heavy price in blood.
Many members of the Knesset are party political hacks who have no interest in the people they are supposed to serve. They are there because of the prestige that being a Knesset member holds. Many of them including cabinet ministers have police investigations pending for corruption and moral turpitude. A famous example of this is the ex-president of
The Arab nations were never prepared to recognize
Palestinian refugees generally fall into three main groups: Palestinian refugees displaced in 1948, internally displaced Palestinians who remained within the areas that became the state of
At least three generations of Palestinians were born of refugee ancestors. Some of them had been dispersed all over the world but many live in refugee camps under the most shocking conditions and in extreme poverty. The latter have no hope and no future and they have been exploited by heartless politicians who do not intend to solve this tragic problem.
Benjamin Pogrund was a journalist with the Rand Daily Mail newspaper in
All these symbols of the occupation developed from a mixture of economic greed, religious messianism and security claims which are an integral part of the desire of religious zealots who received the green light from the Israeli Government to build homes and settle on usurped Palestinian lands captured in the Six Day War of June 1967.
The occupation is corrupting
The settlers who live in the occupied territories have created facts on the ground which makes the establishment of an independent Palestinian state alongside
The alternative solution to this is a binational state whereby the settlers remain under joint Palestinian/Israeli rule which would allow for the right of return of Palestinian refugees who fled. There is no third solution. The nature of the binational state would have to be determined by a joint Israeli-Palestinian plebiscite. The chance of this happening is very remote indeed under the present circumstances and even in the near future. Nevertheless it has to be considered given the impossibility of achieving a two-state solution.
“Unfortunately, throughout its history,
As a result, there are today wide discrepancies between the country's Jewish and Arab communities, and these gaps constitute a powder keg in the relations between
Despite these problems,
So much more could be achieved had both the Palestinians and Israelis ceased their hostilities against each other and worked towards achieving a true peace which would guarantee justice, democracy and prosperity for both sides. For each person killed, whether Palestinian or Israeli, results in more hate, more violence and revenge.
Only two Arab states have a peace treaty with
Israeli society has ceased to be the caring society that it once was. The behaviour in the streets, abrasiveness, impoliteness and lack of consideration for others has become a national way of life. Educational standards are dropping and so are the achievement rates. This loutish behaviour is evident on the roads where road manners are severely lacking. This results in very high accident rates. Family violence is on the increase and so is violent crime.
It is also becoming increasingly more difficult for young, qualified people to find jobs. Those that do are poorly paid. Many youngsters have to undergo a battery of pathetic psychometric examinations before being admitted to university. This results in many potentially good students being beaten by the system before they even start. However, if the parents happen to know the right people in the right places at the right time, many potential students somehow have their futures assured - very different from meritocracy.
What society and future can we promise to our children? Zionism has ceased to be relevant. It achieved its objective of establishing a homeland for the Jewish People who have been a persecuted minority for generations in the Diaspora. This objective was achieved but at a very heavy price. It resulted in the displacement of about 700 000 Palestinians from their homeland and a severe Palestinian refugee problem which remains unsolved to this day. We have to look at the future and realize that time is running out. The core of the conflict here is the refugee problem and repatriation of the refugees as well as compensation.
If this problem is not addressed in a serious manner, the whole area will be involved in violence for many years. All the negotiations that have been conducted with the Palestinians in the past have been futile as this problem has never been addressed in a serious manner so that a just solution could be found with which both Israelis and Palestinians can live. The situation is so complex and bound with strong emotions on both sides that objectivity can result in accusations of cooperation with one side or the other to the detriment of both sides. The mindset of many Palestinians is that
Another source of concern is the cynical use that Hamas has made of the Holocaust in describing the plight of the Palestinians. It wishes to portray Israel as committing genocide against them. This exercise is futile as much as it is false. They believe that if one delves on this ad nauseam it becomes truth.
As the two-state solution is showing signs of not being practical because of territorial expansion of illegal settlements in the so-called future Palestinian state, it will lose support due to it not being a viable option. The binational state solution will once again return to the drawing boards for serious debate. The nature of this option is not clear at this stage. Suffice it to say that the possibility of a federal solution which would take into serious consideration a solution to the refugee problem as well as the illegal settler problem. This state will have to be secular and democratic in nature so that there is no religious domination of one group by another. The chance of this solution being acceptable by both sides remains very remote indeed.