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UN Middle East 1947

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Introduction

The majority proposal by UNSCOP is often citied as one of the "opportunities to miss an opportunity" by the Palestinians.1 But was it? The proposal put down that the Jews would get 55% of the land, the Arabs would get 42% and the around 3% was to be the Jerusalem-Bethlehem area under a corpus separatum to be governed under UN Trusteeship Council.2 The area that was allotted to each side were determined by the Jewish state having as few Arabs as possible and the Arab state having as few Jews as possible - i.e. demographics.3 However, it also took account of contiguity and, for the Jewish state, immigrant absorbent capacity.4 Fairness The plan looks reasonable but then comes the fact that the Jewish state had 45% Arab population.5 The population of Mandatory Palestine in its entirety was only 37% Jewish, meaning that the majority of the population was being denied what they wanted: a one state solution (or so it is presumed).6 The question of morality and democracy arises. But the answer is plain: there was no other alternative. ...read more.

Middle

This question heavily relies on your ideology: Zionists would say yes; the Arabs had been allotted Jordan and had vast areas of other Arab lands and Zionism was worth this price. However, this question becomes largely redundant when we consider the responses. Responses The Arabs said no.11 They even walked out of the General Assembly when they had lost the vote.12 It wasn't a matter of the Negev, or even the percentages of land that was going to be given. They wanted all of Palestine.13 As Tom Segev explains; In any case, still hostage to the rejectionist position they had adopted in 1917, they opposed partition and continued to demand independence in all of Palestine, promising to respect the rights of the Jewish minority.14 The Arab response was wrong, not only because the partition was arguably fair but because they completely flouted the idea of partition - based on any lies. Indeed, this was expected: they had already turned down 80%.15 They had also missed a tactical opportunity to regroup.16 The Jewish response is much more complex. ...read more.

Conclusion

And, given that no Palestinian Arab state was established, Israel was Mandate Palestine's successor state and heir to the state lands." 9 History of Palestine, Gudrun Kramer, p.307 (Princeton University Press, 2008) 10Ibid., p.307 11 There isn't any doubt about this whatsoever: Power, Faith and Fantasty, Michael Oren, p.491 (Norton, 2007), One Palestine, Complete, Tom Segev, p.496 (Abbacus, 2002), The Iron Wall, Avi Shlaim, p.27 (Penguin, 2000). 12 Righteous Victims, Benny Morris, p.186 (Vintage, 2001) 13 Kramer, p.307 14 Segev, p.496 can also be found here: http://www.passia.org/seminars/2000/israel/part3.html 15 Peel Commission (One State, Two State p.87-109) - I understand that one objection was to do with transfer but, as Segev stated, even without that deal would have be turned away because the Arabs rejected partition. 16 Segev, p.496 17 Shlaim, p.25 18 Segev, p.496 19 Righteous Victims, Morris, p.186 20 One State, Two State, Benny Morris, p.78 and Shlaim, p.29 21 Only speculation but given that what Ben-Gurion would have done in the absence of Arab rejectionism being unknown, it is the only thing I can do. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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