Is the Creation of a Palestinian State Feasible? Should U.S. Play a Role?

Posted by Frederick Jones
October 10, 2007
Palestinian Peace Celebration

Secretary Rice arrives in the Middle East this week to continue discussions with leaders from Israel and the Palestinian Authority in support of the ongoing efforts to lay a foundation for serious negotiations on the establishment of a Palestinian state. Later this fall, the United States will host an international meeting to help Prime Minister Olmert and President Abbas achieve the goal of two states living side-by-side in peace and security.

Is the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state feasible? Should the United States play such a major role in its establishment?

Comments

Comments

RONNIE
|
North Carolina, USA
October 10, 2007

Ronnie in North Carolina writes:
Over the past several centuries,the definition of "peace" between these two peoples has always been "we will never see eye to eye"...the definition of security is "self preservation"...

It is commendable Secretary Rice is going thru the motions of her duties, but she should waste her time doing something more concrete.

The solution governing Israel and the Palestinians is solely a "Spiritual Matter" and only God himself will eventually give "peace and security" in the Middle East.

Richard
|
Louisiana, USA
October 10, 2007

Richard in Louisiana writes:
Of course the Palestinians should have their own homeland. The question is, which Palestine would it be?

Clearly, those running Gaza at the moment could never be accepted as a legitimate government, under any circumstances. They are committed to wiping Israel off the face of the earth and have not wavered from that stance. As such, Israel will never permit their control of a sovereign state, with all of its inherent power and influence. Any practical solution will start from that premise.

Palestinians have been shamelessly used by other regional Arab powers for decades to fight their proxy war with Israel. As noted, why is it that Palestinians are unable to obtain citizenship in Arab countries, which profess such concern for their welfare, while thousands of Palestinians have been openly accepted into western countries and awarded full citizenship?

When the Lebanese and Palestinians wake up and realize that they are only being used to further the agendas of radical religious and military states, the region will see a drastic change for the better. Palestine and Lebanon will one day be the economic engines of the Middle East, if they throw off their yokes.

Jared
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Indiana, USA
October 10, 2007

Jared in Indiana writes:
At this point, I do not think that it is feasible. While it is encouraging that the Israelis seem willing to compromise on Jerusalem, I think the Palestinian instance on a return to pre-1967 borders (which I support), which would entail a removal settlements and I believe a removal of the security fence for the West Bank and Gaza makes any deal either a non-starter or a very tough sell for the Israeli leadership. This gets even lower marks if the return to pre-1967 borders includes the Golan Heights.

Not even to mention the fact that the creation of a Palestinian state would have to include Hamas dominated Gaza. It seems almost too soon to be talking about a Palestinian state when the Palestinians themselves are still living in a sharply divided society. Of course is the Palestinians were granted a sovereign state with an end to the Israeli occupation support for Hamas might wane.

les
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Washington, USA
October 10, 2007

Les in Washington writes:
No, no--different cultural views of the world.

Joao
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Brazil
October 10, 2007

Joao in Brazil writes:
The creation of a sovereign Israeli state was feasible? Did the United States play a major role in its establishment?

Jordan
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Illinois, USA
October 10, 2007

Jordan in Illinois writes:
The creation of a sovereign Palestinian state is the only truly feasible solutions that will lead to peace in the region. The United States should play play such a major role in its establishment becuase the U.S.A. has much to offer by way of solutions for establishing practical and functional democratic institutions and systems of government.

Andrew
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Ohio, USA
October 10, 2007

Andrew in Ohio writes:
@ Ronnie in North Carolina -- Ronnie's comments resemble what many American's believe about Israel and Palestine in that it IS a religiously perceived issue. According to the Pew Forum's Religion and the Public Life Survey in 2003, 44% of people in the survey believe that Israel was given to the Jewish people by God, while a smaller but similar number think that the state of Israel is a fulfillment of Biblical prophecy. This same survey revealed that most people’s opinions on the issue weren't necessarily constructed upon their religious beliefs, but rather from other sources such as the media and education.

This is no doubt a largely existential issue, both in America and in the Middle East. If Palestinians continue to believe that America’s religious understandings guide their policy, they (especially those Palestinians who are vociferously opposed to Israel) may continue to be forced into knee-jerk hostility toward American mediators.

Has the administration done enough for the people in Palestine to communicate to them and those around them of our secular justifications for concern in the region? Has it explored the religious sentiment in our country enough to truly understand the resolve that can be expected (and how it can be influenced) if America will once again begin to put a lot of weight into bringing peace and stability here?

@ Richard in Louisiana -- Like Richard implied, a first step for the Palestinians will need to be the recognition that some external powers have their best interest in mind. A new dialog with intentionally secular undertones may be the key to this change.

Mohamed
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Texas, USA
October 10, 2007

Mohamed in Texas writes:
Yes, give the Palestinians their own free State & you take away 99.9% of the Arab street grievances against the West. However, do you think that the Arab dictatorial regimes actually want a free State for the Palestinians? The answer is a surprising 'NO'...because over the decades, these Arab dictators have been hiding behind the unfortunate plight of the Palestinians & directing the anger of their citizens towards the West; claiming that the West is responsible for the Palestinian plights. Itãs therefore in the best interest of these dictatorial Arab regimes to dissipate any agreement between the Israelis & the Palestinians by ensuring that the Palestinian negotiators stick to unattainable demands!

Kenneth
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Canada
October 10, 2007

Kenneth in Canada writes:
The U.S. and its surrogates must have no role in the creation of a Palestinian State. If the world has learned anything, it is do not trust the U.S. Look what the U.S. did in Vietnam after it got involved there. Can we the free peoples of the world, trust a nation of corporate imperialists? Certainly not!

The Europe Union must distance itself from the U.S., by creating a European Army that will not be used by the U.S. as in the bombing of Serbia or any other country. The U.S. is not an ally, but a user. The sooner the U.S. is kicked out of Europe, the better. Europe does not need the U.S. There has to be a point when U.S. forces are withdrawn from European soil, the sooner the better.

Neither Afghanistan, nor Iraq were European issues. They were issues of U.S. greed, to get its hands on Iraqi OIL.

But the worst part is how this U.S. thinks it can invade Venezuela and take over its oilfields. Of course they must first attack its President Hugo Chavez Frias, and make him look like a despot, while the real despot lives in the White House, Washington,DC

Ron C.
October 11, 2007

Ron writes:
Is the creation of a Palestinian state feasible? Are you kidding? The short answer: Yes, it is feasible.

Should the U.S. play such a major role in its establisment?
Again, ar you kidding? The short answer: Yes.

The long answer: Considering the fact our U.S. Congress has been funding and arming Israel's forty-year illegal occupation of Palestine,thereby co-sponsoring Israel's decades long systematic abuse of the Palestinian people, the U.S. government should immediately begin following our U.S. laws and constitution regarding Israel and Palestine.

Namely, ending the flow of U.S. tax dollars and American-made weapons to serial abuser Israel. Our U.S. Arms Export Control Act forbids our government from arming any nation who uses our weapons in an offensive capability. Our own State Dept. (just ask'em) has already sanctioned Israel multiple times for multiple violations of this act.

The ugly facts remains:

1.) As long as our Congress funds and arms Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine, that's how long America will continue to be the target of Muslim terrorism.

2.) As long as our U.S. military continues to occupy Muslim land, that's how long America wiwll be the target of Muslim terrorism.

Despite what Bush & Cheney says, it doesn't have a damn thing to do with hating our freedoms, hot dogs, apple pies and Chevrolets.

Ralph
|
Greece
October 11, 2007

Ralph in Greece writes:
I believe with most that creating a Palestinian state would create a temporary peace in the region. Why don't the Arab countries give up a small part of their territory for the Palestinians. Their citizens seem to be very interested in this cause, so why not make the kind gesture. The sad truth is that many Arab countries treat Palestinians as second class citizens and only use their plight to further their own agendas. I don't think most Arab nation governments truly want an end to the Palestinian issue, because then they will have no more sound bytes for their biased medias to stir up anti-Semitic rhetoric.

Hesham T.
|
Louisiana, USA
October 11, 2007

Hesham in Louisiana writes:
A Palestinian state is feasible only if the United States's decision is based on the best interests of the United States. As it stands today it is not. Palestinian land looks worse than swiss cheese you can't get sliced American cheese out of swiss. The U.S. doesn't have the will nor the mean to establish a viable Palestinian State. The establishment of a Palestinian "State" under current conditions will guarantee a Palestinian civil war like you never seen before. This conference is the last nail in the Palestinian coffin.

GABRIELA
|
Spain
October 11, 2007

Gabriela in Spain writes:
Excuse me, but Presidente Hugo Chavez is indeed a despot. My husband is from Venezuela and I lived there for almost a year, and I witnessed how he's been concentrating all power around himself and weakning the independence of the Parliament, judges and state owned companies. That is indeed an autocratic and populist government. That does not mean U.S. should invade it or anything similar, but please let's not make a hero out of a dictator just because he rivalizes with President Bush. They can be both very bad leaders at the same time.

Zena
|
Illinois, USA
October 11, 2007

Zena in Illinois writes:
You're kidding right? This is a group of people who openly teach genocide of the Jews. Their whole existence has been created in order to put an enemy at Israel's doorstep.

The fake photograhy, the teaching of children from a small age that martydom is something to strive for.. Billions of aid siphoned off to the corrupt thugs that have been given control of the territory. The Palestinians have no desire to have peace with Israel, merely to be close enough to be more effective in their killing methods. Since when do we enable terrorism by legitimizing with a state? What have they done to improve the lives of the Palestinians with all that aid? Zip, zilch, nada.

Greg
|
Canada
October 11, 2007

Greg in Canada writes:
What's the point of negotiating with an entity (Fatah) that doesn't control any territory? It seems like a recipe for failure. I can't understand why Secretary Rice has embarked on such a quixotic mission.

Dennis
|
New York, USA
October 11, 2007

Dennis in New York writes:
Since Palestine existed before the current Isreali State would not the correct word be "Re-establish"?

Carole
|
Texas, USA
October 11, 2007

Carole in Texas writes:
There will never be peace with the Palestinians, much less a "Palestinian State." They are hated wherever they go, even among the Arabs themselves, because of their inability to be reasonable, thoughtful, articulate, tolerant, educated and trustworthy. The U.S. should stay completely out of this so-called "peace" negotiation between Israel and the Palestinians or anyone else in the Middle East for that matter. We are the ones who suffer the most when we interject ourselves in that region.

Gerald S.
|
Israel
October 11, 2007

Gerald in Israel writes:
When the Palestinians (read "Arab Countries") stop issuing ultimatums and diktats regarding any kind of peace with Israel it will be time to start talking of a Palestinian State.

As long as that is happening, it is just blowing smoke.

Jim B.
|
Tennessee, USA
October 11, 2007

Jim in Tennessee writes:
We should let Israel make their own decisions. How would we accept them telling the U.S. what to do or what not to do? Maybe the State Department should study on what Hduna means.

Edward
|
New Jersey, USA
October 11, 2007

Edward in New Jersey writes:
Hmmmmm.

1. *shrug* can Palestinians handle what they have now?

And if they cannot, without trying to murder every jew *or* American in the world, then this question pretty much answers itself.

2. I'd suggest that the more America appears to want a Palestinian state, more unlikely it will ever happen. Fact is that the Palestinians rely heavily upon America's involvement to rip from the Israelis what the Palestinians themselves could never accomplish on their own.

When America finally tells the Arab world that we really don't give a damn about the Palestinians and that we give up and *never* will argue for a Palestinians state, then they'll grow up. Otherwise we'll have to deal with the indefinite Arab/Palestinian political childhood.

Ariel
|
Massachusetts, USA
October 11, 2007

Ariel in Massachusetts writes:
Is it feasible? Yes. They have a certain amount of land loosely under control and could, if they so desired, call it a state at any point. (Part of the problem is that they do not actually desire a state. Under either of the Clinton proposals, they could have had a state and rejected it.)

Is it desirable? No. Does anyone at the State Department remember that Palestinians murdered a couple of your folks who were looking to hand out Fulbright scholarships a few years ago? The State Department recently revealed that Arafat was the ultimate actor behind the murder of American diplomats in Khartoum.

Moreover, I would commend you to read "Red Horizons." The author documents how the Palestinians were coached to set up a more extreme group as a foil to show that the PLO was the less extreme and more reasonable group. Hamas has played this role remarkably well, fooling everyone into thinking that the PLO is moderate. They are not. You need go no further than read the weekly khutbas from Palestinian territories, understanding that they have no freedom of speech and their religious leaders are appointed by the "government". The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades is a subset of the Fatah organization. Fatah means Conquest in Arabic, suggesting something about their intentions.

At an even lower level than creating a state, you might consider why a "confidence-building measure" entails the release of numerous terrorists. If the release of terrorists bolsters the position of the PLO, doesn't that say all that needs to be said about the PLO's positions and desires?

Brandon
|
California, USA
October 11, 2007

Brandon in California writes:
How do you make peace with a group of people who believes that at some time in the future that Israel will be wiped off the map by thier messiah (The Madih). If you study the eschatology of the Quran you find that it is thier vision to rule the world and all those who don't submit are to be beheaded. Check it out this is what they beleive. At some point you have to step back and realize peace with this so called religion of peace will not happen. Any self delusions that this is so is merely a pipe dream.

Robert
|
Illinois, USA
October 11, 2007

Robert in Illinois writes:
It is feasible, but only if all the Arab countries agree to recognize Israel and stop funding the terrorist groups whose goal is to eliminate the State of Israel and the Palestinians themselves give up that goal.

Israel has demonstrated by action (e.g., the Camp David Accords) that it can be responsive to sincere, demonstrable peace arrangements from the Arab world. The Palestinian Arabs and a number of Arab (or Muslim) countries have yet to offer such sincerity.

Douglas
|
Connecticut, USA
October 11, 2007

Douglas in Connecticut writes:
No. None of the "land-for-peace" concessions that the Israelis have given the Palestinians in the past (e.g., withdrawing Israeli troops from Gaza and southern Lebananon) have been reciprocated. On the contrary, the Palestinian Arabs view every Israeli concession as proof of the inevitable triumph of the Arabs and destruction of Israel, leading to more violence and attacks on Jews.

My prediction: this so-called summit meeting will end with Palestinian Arab emotions inflamed and a renewed outbreak of Palestinian Arab violence and terrorism. Sec. Rice should stay home and stay out of it.

Susan
|
North Carolina, USA
October 11, 2007

Susan in North Carolina writes:
I do not believe there is a right of Palestinians to a sovereign state. There are many states that are primarily or completely Muslim and many of those Muslim states are predominantly Arab. But, historically, there has never been a state or nation called Palestine. During the Ottoman empire the area in question was part of "southern Syria". People have a right to some reasonable amount of autonomy and representative government, but that does not necessarily mean statehood. Just ask the Kurds. Finally, why is our State Department so committed to sovereignty for Palestinians, when sovereignty implies the ability of the state to exert control over its territory, something no group in the current Palestinian Authority is able to do? This will turn into just another failed state, host to various terror groups, al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda wannabes, and various criminal gangs. Further descent into lawlessness is not going to help the day to day life of ordinary people living there. This is all for show, and likely to do more harm than good.

Linda
|
United States
October 11, 2007

Linda in U.S.A. writes:
If the State Department would open their eyes and see that the Palestinians have vowed to destroy Israel and if possible all of America, they would not push Israel into giving away land to terrorists. Fatah is not a moderate party. They are just as much terrorists as is Hamas. The real question should be how will America survive if she no longer blesses Israel?
The policy of this Department of State is outrageous. Look at Gaza and see what is in store for the rest of the area if given to terrorists.
We will rue the day that we turn our back on Israel
What God gives, man should not take away.

yonatan
October 11, 2007

Yonatan writes:

@ Zena in Illinois --
As Zena said, "you have to be kidding!"

The "Palestinians" (a term only applied to them since about 1967 as a propaganda tool) have been waging war against Jews for longer than their imagined "nationality" has existed. Haj Amin Al Husseini allied the Arabs of Israel with the Nazis, and strongly encouraged Hitler to exterminate the Jews of Europe and to come to the Middle East and do the same. He mentored Saddam, Arafat and numerous other M.E. savages.

In more modern times, the "Palestinians" (more correctly the Palestinian Arabs) have allied themselves with Saddam and Bin Laden. In fact, it was they who pioneered the use of airplane hijackings, global terror exploits, and suicide attacks. One might even safely say that if it weren't for them, 9/11 (which they celebrated) wouldn't have happened.

Their hatred of America goes beyond our assistance to Israel, as the hate filled violent sermons of their political leaders and Imams attest.

They have been given autonomy, training and assistance, and yet they have not only not stopped the terrorists, the very "security" forces set up to ostensibly prevent it are themselves it's greatest proponents.

Not only that, the land everyone, including Israel's leaders who were elected on promises they would not do so, is the heart of the heart of Biblical Israel. Although others have ruled there since the Temple's destruction, only Israel ever had a state there. It is all Jewish land and has never been anything else, as any honest student of history must admit. If anyone has violated International law, it is those who have undermined the legally binding mandate for the re-establishment of a Jewish homeland in the region (not nation) of Palestine.

So, should the "Palestinians" have a state?

ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Should the USA have a role to play in assisting them?

ABSOLUTELY NOT!

If for no other reason than they haven't kept a single commitment they have ever made. How on earth can any sane person believe that yet another agreement will be anything more than a bald faced lie? How can anyone believe that their commitment to the extermination of Israel and free democracies everywhere will stop if they are given a state?

The LAST thing these monsters need is the self-determination that the world wants for them even more than they do themselves.

William
|
Texas, USA
October 11, 2007

William in Texas writes:
No. And, no. There is no reason whatsoever to believe that peace and security in the area will be advanced by the establishment of a Palestinian state. When was there any reciprocation on the Arab side? What reason is there believe that there ever be any good faith from that side?

Matt
|
Pennsylvania, USA
October 11, 2007

Matt in Pennsylvania writes:
A Palestinian state may be feasible at some point in the distant future, but not now or in the near future. Much like the US occupied Afghanistan for its support of terrorism until a moderate government was established, Israel rightly occupies areas whose government supports terrorism against her. A Palestinian state should be off the table completely until the government renounces terrorism and disbands terrorist groups, and after that should be held accountable for making sure that no terrorist or conventional attacks (suicide bombers, rockets, forces from Syria) are launched against it from its territory.

Because Palestinians have not given, and show no intention of giving, a renunciation of terrorism, the U.S. should not bother attempting to create a state. Instead, it should make brutally clear to both Israel and the Palestinians that the latter should not and will not receive a state until they abandon the barbaric practice of murdering civilians, but that once they have done so to the satisfaction of the U.S. and any other interested third parties (e.g., the Quartet) that Israel will give them a state as quickly as is practicable.

Eric
|
New York, USA
October 11, 2007

Eric in New York writes:
Is a Palestinian state feasible?

The answer to that is in the hands of the Palestinians. If they can not stop the homicidal generations they have allowed to be created and accept their past mistakes with a willingness to change, then, NO.

Should the US play a major role in its establishment?

Should the representative authority of the Palestinian people openly concede their error in supporting the violence that prejudices their legitimacy as a state and begin to take steps, with an expectation of foreign aid and verification of its intended use, to reverse the decades long corruption of their youth and to accept as "help" in ending the violence the "intrusions", when necessary, to effectively halt outward aggression, YES.

But in no way should the US take part in any role where the Palestinian authority reserves the right to claim self defense while they are not in control of their population.

As I imagine the rules to be, the results would leave no room but for peace and then statehood. The commitment to change the course of their history lies within and requires not only a commitment but a punishment great enough to secure that commitment. That punishment must not be determined outside but agreed upon in advance by the Palestinian authority as their own disciplinary rules should they reverse direction midway. Surely any people would create their own paradise given they also write the rules for failure. That is self determination is it not?

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