I expect that sometime in the next few days, the United Nations will vote on whether or not to recognize a Palestinian State. There has never been a state of Palestine, although Jordan was originally established as a home for Palestinians, but the United Nations will be voting on one shortly. What would that state look like?
Haaretz reported on September 14th that:
Answering a question about the legal status of a Jewish minority in the future state, Areikat apprently rejected the issue, saying: “I believe, I still believe that as a first step we need to be totally separated,” adding “I think we can contemplate these issues in the future.”
“After the experience of the last 44 years, of military occupation and all the conflict and friction, I think it will be in the best interest that the two peoples should be separated,” Areikat added.
USA Today reported on September 15th:
Habbash’s comments come after the ambassador for the Palestine Liberation Organization to the United States, Maen Areikat, said when asked Tuesday whether he could foresee a Jew being elected mayor of Ramallah, the capital of the West Bank: “I personally still believe that as a first step we need to be totally separated, and we can contemplate these issues in the future.”
Areikat, speaking at a breakfast for reporters hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, continued: “After the experience of the last 44 years of military occupation and all the conflict and friction, I think it would be in the best interest of the two people to be separated first.”
These statements have been walked back slightly, but I believe the original statements are probably the truth. I would like to remind anyone too young to remember that prior to 1967, when the Arabs controlled the Old City of Jerusalem that Christians and Jews did not have access to their holy sites. In recent years, the Jews have controlled the Old City, and the area is open to people of all faiths. It seems to me that history tells us what a Palestinian state would be like.
There seems to be an effort on the part of some Palestinians to claim that Palestine would be a peaceful, equal-opportunity state. USA Today reports:
Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas have called for a secular, pluralistic Palestinian state, says Hussein Ibish of the American Task Force on Palestine, which advocates a non-militarized Palestinian state alongside Israel.
The article in USA Today further reports:
Michael Oren, the Israeli ambassador to Washington, said he read Areikat’s comments to mean a ban on Jews.
“That’s the state that the Palestinians want to declare unilaterally, without negotiations, and have recognized by the U.N.,” Oren said
I think I agree with Michael Oren. I have a hard time believing that the large number of weapons currently being smuggled into the West Bank are for peaceful purposes.