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70 Years of Broken Promises: The Untold Story of the Partition Plan

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23.11.2017

In a recent talk before Chatham House think-tank in London, Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, approached the issue of a Palestinian state from an intellectual perspective.

Before we think of establishing a Palestinian state, he mused, “it is time we reassessed whether the modern model we have of sovereignty, and unfettered sovereignty, is applicable everywhere in the world.”

It is not the first time that Netanyahu discredits the idea of a Palestinian state. Despite clear Israeli intentions of jeopardizing any chances for the creation of such a state, the US Administration of Donald Trump is, reportedly, finalizing plans for an ‘ultimate peace deal’. The New York Times suggests that “the anticipated plan will have to be built around the so-called two-state solution.”

But why the wasted effort, while all parties, Americans included know that Israel has no intention of allowing a Palestinian state and the US has no political capital, or desire, to enforce one?

The answer may not lie in the present, but in the past.

A Palestinian Arab state had initially been proposed as a political tactic by the British, to provide a legal cover for the establishment of a Jewish state. It continues to be used as a political tactic, though never with the aim of finding a ‘just solution’ to the conflict, as is often propagated.

When British Foreign Secretary, Arthur James Balfour, made his promise, in November 1917, to the Zionist movement to grant them a Jewish state in Palestine, the once distant and implausible idea began taking shape. It would have been effortlessly achievable, had the Palestinians not rebelled.

The 1936-1939 Palestinian........

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