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Palestinian statehood…today at 3…

November 29, 2012

So, for the first 40 years of Israel’s existence, Palestinians and their supporters continuously backed themselves into a corner by denying Israel’s right to exist. Sure, Israel was created by the colonial powers victorious in the Second World War, but statehood is always a messy affair.

The Jews were given – what at the time was seen as the backwater region of the old Ottoman Empire – a forgotten and “unpopulated” area full of what most Middle-Eastern people at the time considered to be the equivalent of Kentucky hillbillies (the Palestinians).

Might was right in those days, we still thought in colonial terms, and the Palestinians were forced off their land to assuage our guilt at having stood by and watched as millions of Jews were slaughtered in Nazi Germany and Russia (and many other places).

But for the last 10-15 years our views of colonization have changed (by this I mean overt political-military colonization – as opposed to covert economic colonization, which is still going strong).

Now the world cannot understand Israel’s intransigence regarding the fair treatment of Palestine. Israel’s treatment of Palestinians today is little better than South Africa during the apartheid era. It is brutal, harsh, and unforgiving.

Yes, Israel has very real fears for its long-term survival. Everyone can see that. But Israel has also taken a hard swing to the right over the last decade or two and their severe treatment of the Palestinians break numerous Human Rights violations – on a daily basis.

So, the world, through the United Nations, is doing only what it can do. It will recognize Palestine as a nation.

It’s the logical historical next step.

Will it mean much in the short-term. No. (Logic never means much in politics). There will be lots of bluster from the US, Canada, and Israel against the vote (that’s about it, probably). There will be accusations of anti-Semitism thrown around by Israeli politicians (but not all of them). People will stamp their feet in Jerusalem. People will clap their hands and dance in Palestine.

But tomorrow the average Palestinian and Jew will go back to work, or go back to looking for work in the Palestinian case, and the politicians on both sides will go back to the job of accusing the other side for the poor state of their economies.

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