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Where Should We Stand?
cole horton 14 editorial associate
October 12, 2011

The United Nations recently hosted heated debates regarding the possibility of an independent state of Palestine bordering the Jewish state of Israel. An array of emotions and opinions have unfolded over the topic. As tensions rise, many are left wondering why some countries are skeptical of granting Palestinians statehood.

The problem is that the Palestinians have already been offered statehood once, and they rejected it. UN Resolution 181 in 1947, the same UN resolution that formed Israel, offered the Palestinians their own state called Palestine.

Why did Palestinians reject this original Two State Solution, the same proposal they are calling for now? The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) answers in their organization charter. Article 15 of the PLO charter states that one of the main goals of the group is the elimination of Zionism. The “Zionist presence” is a common Arab euphemism for the Jewish state of Israel.

In addition to originally rejecting statehood, Mahmoud Abbas, chairman of the PLO and president of the Palestinian National Authority, is responsible for a collection of viciously anti-Semitic slurs against the people of Israel. In a speech commemorating the 42nd anniversary of the founding of his Fatah party, Mahmoud Abbas used verses and references from the Quran to demonize the state of Israel: “The sons of Israel are mentioned [in the Quran] as those who are corrupting humanity on Earth.”

Blaming the Jewish people as the baseline of humanity’s corruption greatly mimics an ideology exercised by Adolf Hitler, who believed that the Jewish race was responsible for the vices of the world.

With this history, many people, including myself, are not confident that the push for Palestinian statehood is entirely peaceful. We judge people by their actions, and the actions of the PLO, the statements of Mahmoud Abbas, and the animosity shown by Palestinians and their allies towards Israel do not set a peaceful mood or motive.

In the Palestinians’ quest for statehood, the United States must be wary of their motives. Israel is one of the strongest, if not the strongest, ally we have. They give us crucial information about Middle Eastern events and are extensions of our military intelligence. If the US were to lose that alliance, our national security and strength in the war on terror would be vulnerable.

After the Holocaust, many world powers promised as a global community not to allow persecution of a religious group merely because of its beliefs. This statement would be broken if Palestinian statehood was granted and their anti-Semitic goals and statements were acted upon and verified.

US support should continue to be given in defense of Israel’s statehood, and as their national security becomes increasingly threatened from anti-Semitism and, potentially, the unseen consequences of Palestinian statehood, we should stand with the Israeli people.