By Nizar Sakhnini
At 4:00 P.M. on May 14, 1948, "State of Israel" was proclaimed in Tel Aviv. About 8 hours later, the White House announced: "This government has been informed that a Jewish State has been proclaimed in Palestine, and recognition has been requested by the provisional government thereof. The U.S. recognizes the provisional government as the de facto authority of the new State of Israel." (De jure recognition came about in January 1949.)
Two major factors made this proclamation possible: British and American help, on the one hand, and treachery of the Arab rulers, especially Jordanian King Abdullah who was in tacit agreement with the Zionists, on the other.
In an effort to bring about a peaceful end to the war in 1948, Count Folke Bernadotte was appointed by the UN as a mediator between the Arabs and Israel. He submitted his report to the UN Security Council on September 16, 1948 and was assassinated by the Zionists on the following day.
Bernadotte’s proposals to end the conflict were published on September 20 and made it clear that no settlement can be just and complete if recognition is not accorded to the Arab refugee to return to his home.
On December 11, 1948, the UN General Assembly adopted resolution no. 194, which established the Palestine Conciliation Commission (PCC) consisting of the representatives of the US, France, and Turkey to assume the functions given to the UN Mediator on Palestine.
In addition, the resolution stipulated that the Holy Places, including Nazareth, should be protected and free access to them assured and that the Jerusalem area, including the surrounding villages and towns should be placed under effective UN control.
Moreover, the resolution resolved that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return. It also instructed the PCC to facilitate the repatriation, resettlement and economic and social rehabilitation of the refugees.
The efforts of the PCC were unsuccessful. All other efforts made later for a peaceful resolution, starting with the Rogers Plan of 1969 and not ending with the Annapolis Peace Conference in November 2007 faced a similar fate. And the reason is simple: the Zionists wanted all of Palestine and wanted it without its people.
After sixty years of land theft and efforts for ethnic cleansing, the Zionists where surprised with the reality on the ground. Palestinian Arabs living within the area of Mandate Palestine are over 5 million. Within 10-15 years, Arabs living in Palestine would exceed the number of Jews.
A series of annual conferences began to be held in the Institute of Policy and Strategy at the Interdisciplinary Center-Herzliya, which started in December 2001, to discuss and confront a basic and ‘strategic threat’ to the ‘Jewish State’: the ‘demographic threat’.
Replicating the ethnic cleansing of 1948 while the whole world is watching is impossible. A ‘two-state’ solution according to which the Palestinians would be allowed to have a puppet state on an area of less than 12-15% of the area of Palestine is ridiculous.
The game is over. The only way out is a state for all of its citizens and the return of the Palestinian refugees to the homes and lands that were stolen from them. Until that happens, Palestinians have no other alternative but to continue with their resistance against the Zionist project.
-Nizar Sakhnini contributed this article to PalestineChronicle.com.