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Protests against the Israel-Hamas War

This week protests broke out in this country in favor of the Palestinians. Most of what the protesters seem to be asking for has nothing to do with the current Israel-Hamas which is taking place in Gaza.

One of the main issues seems to be independence for a country called Palestine that will be mainly populated by a group who call themselves Palestinians. Currently the majority of this group resides in either the Gaza Strip area and the West Bank region. This has been going on since at least 1948 and has nothing to do with the current hostilities.

Fact 1- The Gaza Strip area and the West Bank region are not currently part of any country. They might not be recognized as a nation, but they are not part of any other nation. No other portion of the earth, other than Antarctica are not part of a recognized nation. The entire region was, years ago, part of the Ottoman Empire (which collapsed), or part of the so-called British Mandate following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. The British Mandate included these lands plus what is now Israel.

Fact 2 - The United Nations as well as most of the world's nations recognize that the State of Israel has the right to exist, and in fact exists in a region whos borders are internationally recognized and were maintained between 1948 and 1967. With the 1948 borders, the Gaza Strip area became part of Egypt, the West Bank region (including approximately half of the city of Jerusalem [called East Jerusalem])became part of the Kingdom of Jordan. The currently Israeli occupied Golan Heights are part of Syria.

Fact 3 - After the Six Days War in 1967, Jordan relinquished its claim to the West Bank region and Egypt relinquished its claim to the Gaza area. At this time no nation claims dominion over these lands. and no nation (including the United Nations) recognizes that any other nation has dominion over these lands.

IMHO, the people who live in Gaza and the West Bank can become an independent, free nation anytime they claim their independence. I believe that most of the nations of the world (including the United States) will recognize this independence with the following caveat: The State (nation) of Palestine (or whatever name it chooses) must recognize the legitimacy of the State of Israel and the 1948-1967 borders.. That is the, single non-negotiable condition.

There will however be at least two additional issues that will be subject to negotiation among Israel, the State of Palestine and hopefully the United Nations.

  • Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem- Israel claims that Jerusalem is a singular entity that is in Israel, and is in fact its capital. Most other nations do not currently accept this.

  • Jewish settlements in the West Bank region- Israel has allowed Jewish settlers to build kibbutzim in the West Bank region. It recognizes, administers, and defends them as part of Israel.
These are sticking points certainly, but in the big picture these issues will need to be agreed upon by all parties. Peace in the region will depend upon agreement on these issues. I would hope that the United States and other military powers will not support Israel's claim to both.

IMHO the State of Palestine should accept that all of Jerusalem is in Israel but that residents there should be accepted as full, participating citizens of Israel. Similarly, Jewish settlers in the West Bank region should be accepted as full, participating citizens of the State of Palestine.