Why didn’t Palestinians Accept the UN Partition Plan of 1947?  Aren’t the Palestinians and other Arab countries at fault for the conflict because they refused this peaceful option?

One of the easiest ways to understand why the Arabs rejected the UN Partition Plan in 1947 is to try to put yourself into their shoes.  Would you think it is acceptable for an organization of foreign countries to give half of your land to a minority of mostly recent immigrants (many of them “illegal” immigrants at the time) who only owned 7% of the land and made up only about 30% of the population?  Would you agree to give 56% of the United States’ land to Latino immigrants so they could have a Latino state?  If people know the details of the UN Partition plan, then they would likely agree that it was unfair to the Arabs, and that if they were in that position, they would have probably rejected it too.  And just because the Palestinians and Arabs initially rejected the partition plan does not therefore mean that they are solely to blame for Israel’s ongoing occupation and the lack of peace.  Even if one accepts that the Jewish Zionists have a right to have a state of their own in Palestine, that does not necessarily mean that they had a right to the majority of the land in 1947 even though they were a minority of the population.

While the Arabs rejected the original UN Partition plan which gave them almost half of Mandatory Palestine, and they continued to reject full peace with Israel for years after, today, the Palestinians, as well as all 22 Arab nations, have offered Israel a comprehensive peace in exchange for Israel’s withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders, referred to as the Arab Peace Initiative or the Saudi Peace Plan.  Thus, the Palestinians and Arab nations have agreed to accept a Palestinian state on only 22% of the land of historic Palestine.  Israel has still not agreed to this peaceful plan that offers them full recognition and normal relations with the rest of the countries of the region.  While Israel has made a couple of offers for peace based on a two-state solution in which the Palestinian state would have a degree of autonomy rather than full sovereignty, Israel has yet to make an offer that would address the minimum Palestinian demands and the international consensus.

  1. For more information from a Palestinian perspective:

  2. http://www.palestineremembered.com/Acre/Palestine-Remembered/Story448.html

  3. A discussion of the Arab Peace Initiative from Newsweek:

  4. http://www.newsweek.com/id/183687

  5. The full-text of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative that was later re-affirmed in 2007:

  6. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2002/mar/28/israel7