On November 28th, France’s National Assembly will vote to recognize a Palestinian Statehood. Although the vote will only be symbolic, it urges the government to follow the United Kingdom which recently set the precedent. Is Palestinian Statehood becoming closer?
Sweden became the first major European country to officially recognize Palestine on October 30th. Other European nations are threatening to follow their Scandinavian brothers.
Frustration is growing in Europe over the inability of the United States, Israel, and Palestine’s failed peace talks, and the lack of an effort on all sides to act seriously. Speculation is the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not want to negotiate in good faith with leaders of the Palestine Liberation Organization; there may be some truth in this.
Newspapers in both Israel and the United States have reported that countries are lining up behind Sweden. Many of these nations have been supportive of the Zionist State since it declared statehood in 1948; their support appears to be waning. Palestine, which was half of the area which was divided to create the two countries continues its wait for recognition.
Jewish presence in the disputed area began in the late 1800’s. Their leaders believed that Palestine was destined to be the future home of the Zionist people. Land purchases proceeded slowly. By 1931 there were over one million Arabs living in the area, and less than 200,000 Jews. A major growth in the Zionist population did not occur until just weeks before the Nation of Israel was established in 1948.
How was this extremely volatile situation between the Israelis and Palestinians created? It was a direct result of WWII and the attempted extermination of Jews by Germany’s Nazi Government.
The Funds established by Jewish organizations began to result in the purchase of large blocks of land in Palestine for the support of Zionist plans to establish a Jewish State; one that would allow Jews to control their own fate. As funding increased, the area of land grew until conflict became inevitable between the original Palestinians and the growing number of Jewish occupants.
The Zionists were supported economically and militarily by the United Kingdom. In 1947 the United Nations took action to rectify the unrest in Palestine. A resolution was passed to divide the area between Jews and the original inhabitants, members of the Arab Nation. Jewish organizations approved the proposal, but Arab groups did not. Civil War broke out between the two residents of Palestine.
Nearly a year later the Zionists, in coalition with the United Kingdom, secured and established an area which became the Nation of Israel. From its inception Israel has continued to acquire additional land in Palestine.
The conception of most is that Israel wants to inhabit all of the area in and around the Gaza Strip; they would be correct. History proves that the plan for capturing 100 percent of the area began nearly a century-and-a-half ago.
Pessimists insist that peace will never exist in the area; that Jews and Palestinians will never retreat from the land they occupy. They may be right.
Although Sweden remains the only major European nation to fully recognize Palestine Statehood, with the United Kingdom and now France recognizing it in principal, nations leaning in favor of the Palestinians may act more quickly.
It may not be very long before the United States and Israel stand alone in opposition to Palestinian Statehood.
By James Turnage