The UN resolution 181 which partitioned the land and created the country of Israel, sought to ensure a peaceful transition and co-existence amongst the ethnic and religious groups. Both Arabs and Palestinians residing in Israel were to be guaranteed full citizenship and civil rights, including the right to vote if they expressed interest in becoming citizens of Israel. The resolution sought to ensure equal and non-discriminatory treatment in any civil, economic, political, or religious matters.
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Human rights and fundamental human freedoms were to be upheld in the state of Israel. Minority communities in Israel such as the Arabs are offered equal protection under the law, while ensured that family law, religious interests, and personal status are to be respected. Cultural norms, such as the use of language, cannot be limited by the state in personal, commercial, and religious matters. Finally, each minority should be offered opportunities for primary and secondary education (United Nations, 1947).
Since the immediate formation of Israel, there have been practically non-stop conflicting with Palestine. Palestinians and other Arabs in the region believed that the UN resolution was invasive and unfair. Many of the religiously sacred lands were now a part of Israel. The region has been sparked with military conflict over territory, including annexations and occupations of the West Bank and Gaza strip in a series of conflicts from 1948 to 1982.
Modern conflicts are focused on security as Israel considers the current Palestinian government as a state sponsoring terrorism. The conflict has had economic impacts as Israel has used its strategic location and military resources to blockade Palestine, cut off the water supply, and begin to build settlements on the West Bank which is prohibited by international agreements (Council on Foreign Relations, 2018).
Most legal scholars and international organizations consider Israeli settlements a violation of international law. The most common argument is that it is a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention which states that an occupying power shall not transfer its civilian population to the territory. Despite Israel’s denial, various UN resolutions have condemned and prohibited such actions since the 1980s. The statement by Dr. Ashrawi is correct in attesting that Israel’s violation of international norms is fueled by its arrogance and expectancy that the global community will never go as far as to sanction Israel.
As a result, Israel is acting by all definitions counterintuitively to establishing peace (The Palestine Liberation Organization, 2017). In fact, the long-term plan of Israel to annex the territories and absolve the Palestinian people can be considered ironic considered that similar acts have been attempted against the Jewish people historically, which led to the creation of the Israeli state. Therefore, there should be significant pressure on Israel to respect the dual state initiative and the rights of the Palestinian state to self-determination.
The United States recognizes and supports Israel as a country that has the rightful claim to the historical land of the Jewish people. The United States sees Israel as a key ally in the Middle East and is committed to its national security. That includes offering historic economic and military assistance and collaboration. However, there is a dedication to lasting peace. The United States sees a dual state existence established the UN resolution as the only viable solution. Numerous US presidential administrations have strongly supported Israel but condemned any violence and attempts by Israel to violate international law.
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Despite Israel not recognizing the dual state, occupations of Palestinian territory, blockades, and provocative building of settlements on the West Bank have been discouraged. In this conflict, the United States is seeking to establish lasting peace, eradicating radical terrorism in the region, and ensuring proper humanitarian aid is provided to those in need (Kerry, 2016).
Council on Foreign Relations. (2018). Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Web.
Kerry, J. (2016). Remarks on Middle East peace. Web.
The Palestine Liberation Organization. (2017). September 28, 2017: Dr. Ashrawi: “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is more committed to settlement expansion than to peace.” Web.
United Nations. (1947). Resolution 181 (II). Future government of Palestine. Web.