Thursday, November 29, 2007

60th Anniversary of Partition

Today is a happy anniversary for us Israelis. The United Nations General Assembly voted on November 29, 1947, to establish two states in mandatory Palestine, one Jewish and one Arab state. This was the vote that brought about the creation of Israel, and the day after the vote a civil war broke out which would become the first part of Israel's War of Independence. Palestinians see it as a tragic anniversary. Even the U.N. sees it as a sad day, marking the plight of Palestinian refugees on this day each year. Israelis and Palestinians can't agree on whether this is a day to celebrate or to mourn, but they don't have to agree. Israelis should recognize that it is a painful day for Palestinians without being sad about it themselves, while Palestinians should recognize it is a happy day for Israelis without being happy themselves or demanding that the other side mourn.

Now, after Annapolis, I am cautiously optimistic that the idea of partition is on its way to fruition (good thing that along the 1967 borders and not the partition plan of 1947, though). I doubt there will be a Palestinian state by the time George W. Bush leaves office, but I do believe there can be significant progress in that direction.

The main flaw in Annapolis was that despite the presence of Arab leaders from countries like Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia and others, no real dialogue started between Israel and these countries. Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni complained that the Arabs treated her as if she was a leper. Too bad.

No comments:

Post a Comment