Anonymous said: How much land was actually "given" to the Israelis by the UN, as Israelis claim?
I take it you mean the 1947 partition plan. Alright, this might be a tad bit long, but let’s talk about that, shall we?
The 1947 partition plan, was a framework proposed by the UN in an attempt to divide historical Palestine into 2 states for 2 peoples. This was to be implemented at the end of the British Mandate of Palestine. There would be as they named it one “Arab state”, and one “Jewish state”. Jerusalem would remain an international city open for all.
Unsurprisingly, the Palestinians and the rest of the Arabs, refused this. Why? Let’s go over the basics. And I mean the very bare basics, you could write a book on this, so I’m just sticking to the essentials.
A common argument I see from a lot of pro-Israelis, is that Palestinians had the chance to have peace, and have a state of their own if they had just accepted this plan. The state we could have gotten, would have been much larger and all of this fighting would have been unnecessary.
As you know, historical Palestine has always had a Jewish community. This was never contested, there never were issues with the indigenous Jewish Palestinians.
No, the root of the matter truly began with Zionism. Zionism was an ideology developed by Theodor Herzl (and others) that promoted the creation of a Jewish state. This ideology in practice is basically very heavy on the settler colonialism. If you read any of Herzl’s books you will find them chock full of “White man’s burden” mimicry, and other examples that would make any colonial proud.
There were many candidates for the location of this Jewish state, including Argentina, but in the end they chose Palestine, despite the fact that Palestine was already inhabited.
The first significant waves of European Zionist migration began at the end of the 19th century. So in the 1880s upward. The partition plan was proposed in 1947. So by the time this plan came along, the vast majority of the Zionist population in Palestine had barely been on the land for a few decades, at most.
Despite this massive immigration to Palestine, the Zionist population was still a minority. The most generous of estimates are that they made up only a third of the population, and owned land no more than 6-7% of historical Palestine.
So what exactly were the specifics of the partition plan?
The “Arab” state, despite the Arab Palestinians being the vast majority, would receive ~43% of the land of historical Palestine, relegating them to the mountainous regions, a third of the coast, and losing any access to the red sea.
The “Jewish” state, despite the Zionists being a minority with not a single district outside of Yaffa having a Jewish population majority (port city, most immigrants off the boat ended there), were given around ~56% of the land of historical Palestine. With the majority of the coastline and fertile agricultural lands.
Btw, just to show how small the Zionist population was, even the “Jewish” state would have only had a 55% Jewish population.
So, answer me this: Why should the indigenous population give up more than half of their historical homeland? What sense would that make? And not only that, they’d be giving it up for a minority of newcomers fresh off the boat. Who in their right mind would not resist this?
This is not a question of living together peacefully, the only way Zionists could have their self determination in this context was to deny Palestinians their self determination. The only way they could have a Jewish state with a vast Jewish majority (A Zionist goal), was if the Palestinians were removed from the picture. And we were.
Just so you understand what I mean by this, here is but one example of a quote from David Ben Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel in 1948:
"We must use terror, assassination, intimidation, land confiscation, and the cutting of all social services to rid the Galilee of its Arab population."
So when people ask me why we didn’t accept the 1947 partition plan..the only thing I can think of is this line by Ghassan Kanafani:
“They rob you of your bread, but leave you a small chunk, they then command you to thank them for their generosity. Oh their audacity.”