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Palestine’s Bid for Statehood

Roisin Carlos 

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has formally asked the United Nations to recognise a Palestinian state, viagra sale claiming that the Palestinian people are entitled to their own ‘Arab Spring.’ This unprecedented bid to the UN for the recognition of a Palestinian state on land occupied by Israel since 1967 comes after nearly two decades of failed peace talks. Israeli Prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu has responded by stating that the Palestinians should “first make their peace with Israel and then get their state.”

Previous peace attempts included the 1993 Oslo peace accords and in March 2010 US attempts were made to launch “proximity talks” between Israelis and Palestinians when Israel announced the authorization of 6, rx 000 new housing units in East Jerusalem, and adding to the growing Jewish Settlements on land declared illegal by the International Court of Justice. More recently, in May of this year, Obama attempted to reopen negotiations by calling for an
independent Palestinian state based on pre 1967 borders where the establishment Israeli settlements must be uprooted or compensated. While this brought Palestinian authorities back to the negotiation table, Israel rejected the terms of the negotiations, claiming that these new borders would be indefensible when Palestinian Hamas still do not recognise the Israeli state.

The state of Israel was first founded following the First World War, when the 1917 Balfour Agreement saw the establishment of British Mandate Palestine as a national home for the displaced Jewish people. Subsequently, some hundred thousand Jewish people emigrated by 1922, making the Jewish population grow by more than 11%. The next fifteen years saw more than 300,000 more emigrants. Eventually the displaced Jewish population post World War Two led to Jewish people making up one-third of the country’s population, on 6% of the land. The discontented Arab population eventually broke out in violent protest, reciprocated by the Israeli population, which would continue for the next century.

Attempts at peace processes have grown out of the conflict but the fact remains that little progress has been made. UN membership and recognition of Palestine as a sovereign state would have a great impact as the UN is the overarching world body and source for authority on international law. However, despite the US’s great effort and involvement in attaining peace in the region, Obama has dismissed Palestine’s latest bid to be recognised as a UN member state, calling the proposal a “distraction” to attaining long term peace in the Middle East. Other member states remain deeply divided on the issue.

To complement this article the College Tribune has asked Cliona Campbell, a UCD student who served time in the Israeli Army, and Claudia Saba, a pro-Palestinian activist, to write their opinions on the subject. Their pieces can be found at www.collegetribune.ie

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