Where Is Palestine?

PalestineThe question ‘‘where is Palestine?’’ is heard quite often.  In the 21st century, the giant search engine Google, of course, appears as the internet gateway to the world.  So when the Palestine-Israel conflict is back on the table, plenty of people search Google to find the location of Palestine on world map. Obviously, they get confused and surprised because it is not there. Why is that?

Palestine, in theory, does not possess any land. In spite of its recognition as a sovereign state by the global community, the greater part of the territory referred to as “Palestine” is in reality controlled by Israel. The West Bank features semi-autonomous Palestinian power in some areas but is yet in actual fact under the control of Israel. Meanwhile, the Gaza strip is self-governed by Palestinians — but those Palestinians are Hamas, which is a terrorist organization and is unrecognized by the U.N. as a lawful representative of the Palestinian people.

The fact that Palestine is actually a landless state — or, in another sense, a state that has been long denied the land that rightfully belongs to it — makes it complicated to theorize as an actual country, even though many a world country recognize it as such.

But Palestine and Israel are neither easy nor simple to comprehend. As a result, plenty of people entirely tune out of the debate. The most common confusing things about the Israel-Palestine conflict are about some questions. They are: Should there be a Palestinian state? Should there be a Jewish state? Is Israel right to occupying the West Bank? Are Israel’s invasions and obstruction of Gaza acceptable in law? When Hamas fires rockets at Israel from Gaza, should that be considered as an act of armed resistance against an oppressor or, a violent act of aggression toward civilians?

Approving of a Jewish state, for instance, in no way implies that Israel is justified in its military action in Gaza. Supporting right-of-return for Palestinian refugees, likewise, does not essentially mean that people support the rockets Hamas fires at Israel.

The answer of the question ‘‘where is Palestine?’’ and the Palestine-Israel conflict simply can’t be summed up in a couple of paragraphs. One has got to know about the Suez Crisis, the Arab-Israeli War, the Six-Day War, the Yom Kippur War, the South Lebanon conflict, the First and Second Intifadas, and Operation Cast Lead, and the like. But to truly understand the modern phase of the question, people have to look back even farther — to World War I, the Balfour Declaration, and the U.N. Partition Plan for Palestine.

The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) is an umbrella group that is largely recognized — by Israel and most of the countries in the world — as the legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. The two and a half a million Palestinians who live in the West Bank are not governed by the PLO. Rather, they live under the control of the Israeli military and the Palestinian National Authority (PA). PA is a self-governing body formed during the 1993 Oslo Accords to govern Gaza and the West Bank. The PA receives its legitimacy from the PLO but is not controlled directly by it. And like any government, the PA is controlled by a political party, currently Fatah.

But the Fatah’s authority does not extend to Gaza, where nearly two million Palestinians live. In Gaza, the legal governing body is Hamas, a Sunni Muslim terrorist group that won the 2006 Palestinian parliamentary elections. Hamas and Fatah are direct rivals. They fight armed conflicts with one another and arrest each others’ members in their respective zones of control.

Notwithstanding the issues raised by the question of Palestine’s whereabouts, the irony is that plenty of individual Israelis and Palestinians get on all right in their personal lives. The leaders of Palestine and Israel do cooperate at times, especially in the West Bank. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has worked in concert with the Israeli government, mostly because they both share a common enemy in Hamas. This relationship, of course, does not always work out well for Palestinians.

Opinion by Rahad Abir

News With Views.com
Political Geography Now

9 Responses to "Where Is Palestine?"

  1. Pakistan   August 5, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    Very unfortunate, Muslim world should and finish culprit israel thing

  2. Fannie   August 2, 2014 at 8:22 pm

    We did the same to the Native Americans. It’s sad, but the issue had to be dealt with.

  3. Barbara Fletcher   July 30, 2014 at 4:38 am

    The Bible tells us that Israel and Palestinians will never have peace, goes back to Abraham

  4. Jim I   July 26, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    An eye for eye leaves the whole world blind.


  5. hamid   July 26, 2014 at 11:22 am

    @radha sharma : by killing innocent small babies..??

  6. Daniel   July 26, 2014 at 8:18 am

    From the last paragraph:

    “Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has worked in concert with the Israeli government, mostly because they both share a common enemy in Hamas.”

    Common enemy? I don’t think that that old “playing both sides against the middle” argumentation is valid anymore. Hamas is not unwelcomed in Palestine, not only were they elected but the PA formed a unity government with them of their own volition…no one was holding a gun to their heads. (I think)

    As for the “innocent” people in Gaza and where their loyalties are, I suppose they were all checking their email and shampooing their beards when Hamas moved in thousands of rockets and mortars? Always looking the other way…but now they all want me to see the dead bodies…well now I am looking the other way.

    WHere is Palestine? In bed with Hamas, that’s where.

  7. Rosa   July 26, 2014 at 5:15 am

    I think they both have to stop fighting and act as civilized human beings. The problem is that Israel wants to expel Palestinians and expand its territory. But Palestinians wants to stay. Therefore, they fight back because they don’t want to be ruled by the Israelis. They have the right because to fight back because they want their land and rule by their own people. There is nothing wrong with that but the problem a lot innocent people die every day in both states. Very sad! Well USA had tried to settle their difference between those states but it didn’t work. So, USA should be impartial. For years USA had tried for both countries to settle down and nothing is working out between those two states. Then, USA should just break the relationship between Israel and focus more what is happening here at home. Why does USA have to be involved and those problems when in fact we have many problems here at home? Why, I don’t understand?

  8. radha sharma   July 26, 2014 at 12:06 am

    the reporter seems to be biased..Israel has the right to exist and its fighting a war for survival

    • prakash   July 26, 2014 at 9:42 pm

      There is no Palestine state. Irsael has sezied land of Palestinian people and are treating them like cattles. Israel is killer playing victim and you seem to be ill-informed ,search for truth.

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