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Monday, August 24, 2009

What the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is really about (5)

Neither the state of Israel nor any other nation is above criticism, and there are numerous mistakes Israel's government has made in dealing with Palestinians. However the fallacy that settlement of the West Bank issue is at the core of the dispute should be laid to rest. United Nations resolution 181 in 1947 partitioned the disputed area between the two peoples, just as colonial India had been divided a few months earlier. Israelis accepted the agreement and Arabs rejected it, which led to a series of wars against Israel, in each of which the Jewish state prevailed.

At any time through 1967, the Arabs then in complete control of the West Bank and Gaza could have declared a state, as not one Jewish settlement existed on their land, but refused to do so.

[The core of the conflict, then, is that most] Arab [countries have still] refused to accept the legitimacy of any Jewish state, the position Hamas maintains to this day.

-- Barry Kay: Palestinians pay high price for follies of their advocates August 24, 2009

Barry Kay is a political science professor at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario.