Sunday, 17 October 2010
CASE 113 - From Palestine to Israel
Better late than never, a very senior Palestinian official in Ramallah, Yasser Abed Rabbo, found the right way to challenge Israel and the U.S. As reported by AFP on 13 October, he said, "We officially demand that the US administration and the Israeli government provide a map of the borders of the state of Israel which they want us to recognise."
That’s a completely logical and totally reasonable demand.
IF Israel was interested in peace on terms virtually all Palestinians and most other Arabs and Muslims everywhere could accept, the map provided would show Israel with borders as they were on the eve of the 1967 war. An accompanying note would say that, subject to agreement in final negotiations, Israel seeks minor border adjustments here and there. The note would also propose that Jerusalem should be an open, undivided city and the capital of two states.
If such a map with the note as above was presented, it would open the door to peace.'
Israel (Hebrew: יִשְׂרָאֵל, Yisrā'el; Arabic: إِسْرَائِيلُ, Isrā'īl), officially the State of Israel (Hebrew: מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל (help·info), Medīnat Yisrā'el; Arabic: دَوْلَةُ إِسْرَائِيلَ, Dawlat Isrā'īl), is a parliamentary republic in the Middle East located on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea. It borders Lebanon in the north, Syria in the northeast, Jordan and the West Bank in the east, Egypt and Gaza on the southwest, and contains geographically diverse features within its relatively small area. Israel is the world's only predominantly Jewish state, and is defined as A Jewish and Democratic State by the Israeli government.
Following the 1948 Israeli-Arab War, Israeli law was enacted within the Green Line, as defined in the 1949 Armistice Agreements. Following their internationally unrecognized annexation in 1980-81, Israeli law was extended to East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, although most Arabs in these areas have declined Israeli citizenship. Citizens of the State of Israel also live in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The population, defined by the Israel Central Bureau of Statistics to include all citizens and permanent residents in within the Green Line, the Golan Heights, East Jerusalem and all Israeli settlements, was estimated in May 2010 to be 7,602,400 people, of whom 6,051,000 are Jews. Arab citizens of Israel form the country's second-largest ethnic group, which includes Muslims, Christians, Druze, and Samaritans. According to the May 2010 population estimate, including 300,000 non-citizen Arabs living in East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, this minority numbers 1,551,400.
The modern State of Israel was declared in 1948, and traces its historical and religious roots to the Biblical Land of Israel, also known as Zion, a concept central to Judaism since ancient times. Political Zionism took shape in the late-19th century Europe under Theodor Herzl, and the Balfour Declaration of 1917 formalized British policy preferring the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people. Following World War I, the League of Nations granted Great Britain the Mandate for Palestine, which included responsibility for securing "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people". In November 1947, the United Nations voted in favor of the partition of Palestine, proposing the creation of a Jewish state, an Arab state, and a UN-administered Jerusalem. Partition was accepted by the Zionist leadership but rejected by Arab leaders, and a civil war began. Israel declared independence on 14 May 1948 and neighboring Arab states invaded the next day. Since then, Israel has fought a series of wars with neighboring Arab states, and has occupied territories, including the West Bank, Sinai Peninsula, Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights, beyond those delineated in the 1949 Armistice Agreements. The border between Israel and the neighboring West Bank is not formally defined by the Israeli government, as a result of a complex and unresolved political situation. Israel has signed peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, but efforts by elements within both parties to diplomatically solve the problem have so far only met with limited success.
Israel is a developed country and a representative democracy with a parliamentary system and universal suffrage. The Prime Minister serves as head of government and the Knesset serves as Israel's legislative body. The economy, based on the nominal gross domestic product, was the 41st-largest in the world in 2008. Israel ranks highest among Middle Eastern countries on the UN Human Development Index, and it has one of the highest life expectancies in the world. Jerusalem is the country's capital, although it is not recognized internationally as such.[a] Israel's main financial center is Tel Aviv, and its main industrial center is Haifa. In 2010, Israel joined the OECD