Support an everlasting peace
Marcus My Words
What does it mean to be in support of a Palestinian state? This is a question that should arise frequently over the course of the next few days and coming weeks as the Palestinian Authority seeks a Unilateral Declaration of Independence (UDI) at the United Nations. As college students who lean toward predominately progressive causes, it is vital to understand the importance of what this declaration indicates. Now, let us for a moment put aside the legal questions of the Palestinian UDI and the United Nations’ role in a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state. Let’s first get down to the basics of what it would mean to support this type of Palestinian state.
As many of your parents and professors will tell you, growing up in the 1950’s and 1960’s granted them the opportunity to witness history. The United States saw racial boundaries broken down and the end of Jim Crowe. This high point in American history re-established the motto immortalized in the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal.
Why, after preceding generations demanded these rights, should their kin stand for the opposite? Today, that same motto, which most believe to be universally true is being threatened under the guise of Palestinian Liberation. This isn’t solely my belief, but the direct policy of a potential Palestinian state as well. Maen Areikat, the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) ambassador to the United Nations, indicated two social policy platforms of a future Palestinian state at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. Areikat stated that Jews would “absolutely” be banned for a Palestinian state and has also been silent about gay rights.
Think about that for a moment: A state that is seeking international recognition will from its inception ban certain individuals based on their religion and potentially their sexual orientation. Compare that to Israel, a nation whose Muslim community represents 20 percent of its population, a nation that sees Muslims represented in the nation’s government and with permanent positions on the Israeli Supreme Court. Compare it to the openly gay service members who serve in the Israel Defense Forces and the annual gay pride parade in Tel Aviv that this past year drew more than 100,000 spectators.
While Areikat claims that a Palestine state would remain secular, his confession that Jews and gays will not be welcome in this potential country makes it crystal clear that Hamas will have a strong hand in the formation of a unilaterally declared Palestinian state. Aside from the obvious questions one should have with a terrorist organization running a country, the PLO’s conformity to such a group of people calls into question their legitimacy as well. Hamas calls for not only the destruction of all Israeli Jews in their charter, but Jews around the world as well. In addition, they lump “western capitalists,” i.e., the United States, into the realm of those they seek to destroy.
Now, if the PLO has already caved on issues pertaining to those eligible to live in a Palestinian country, at what point do they cave on other Hamas principles like the outright killing of Jews and Western “infidels?” At what point do they adopt the Hamas slogan, “Allah is its target, the Prophet is its model, the Koran its constitution: Jihad is its path and death for the sake of Allah is the loftiest of its wishes.” Think about whether this policy will help bring peace to the ongoing conflict, or more hatred and greater animosity? Think about whether you will support the first nation since Nazi Germany to officially prohibit the presence of Jews?
Israel is a nation that for decades has obliged to international law, withdrawn from disputed territories and plans to withdraw from more all in a desperate cry for peace. Both Egypt and Jordan came to peace agreements with Israel through direct negotiations, and in the 1990’s Israel and the Palestinian Authority signed the Oslo Accords, which explicitly forbids either entity from taking unilateral steps to determine final status of disputed territory. Further, PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas stated in late August that even if the Palestinian UDI were successful, they would not recognize a Jewish state in Israel or relinquish their claim to the established and internationally recognized country of Israel.
Perhaps you don’t know much about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or perhaps you do. Here lies a rare opportunity for you to stand for an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on everlasting peace, or heightened tension in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on the subversion of international law and a growing call for the destruction of an entire group of people. Israel is not perfect. No nation run by man ever can be. But there are few points in time where good and evil are so apparent. If you choose to accept this unilaterally declared Palestinian state run in conjunction with Hamas, get ready to align yourselves with the only nation since Nazi Germany to officially ban people from entering a country based on their religion. History is doomed to repeat itself unless we mend our mistakes. This is one mistake humanity cannot afford to make again.
Aaron Marcus is a School of Arts and Science senior majoring in political science with a minor in history. His column, “Marcus My Words,” runs on alternate Tuesdays.