Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu-Mazen) said recently that the Palestinians have been living under occupation for 63 years. Read that again - sixty three years. By my count, the Palestinians have been under Israeli occupation for only 44 years. One could try to argue that Abbas is referring to the 19 years of Egyptian occupation of Gaza and the Jordanian occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in addition to the Israeli occupation since 1967. That seems unlikely.
Had Abbas been referring to any foreign occupation Palestinians have been living under, he wouldn't just be counting 63 years. He'd be counting centuries, or eternity, really. Palestinians have never been independent, so how long they've lived under occupation depends on how long they've existed. Before the establishment of Israel, there was a British occupation, which had itself ended four centuries of Ottoman occupation during World War I. Before that, there were various other occupations. The last time locals in Israel/Palestine ruled themselves before 1948 was during the 1st century BC - and those were the Jewish Hasmoneans, not Palestinians.
So, when Abbas says 63 years, he's referring only to Israeli occupation. That means he still sees Israel itself as occupied territory. Every UN member should remember that when it comes time to vote.
Let's hope the Security Council buries Palestinian Statehood in committee. They should establish a committee that would recommend whether or not to accept Palestine as a member state. It would preferably wait long enough for a negotiated settlement between Israel and the Palestinians, so it wouldn't be against Israel's will anymore.
The Obama Doctrine, R.I.P.
3 weeks ago