Robert Halfon is the Member of Parliament for
Harlow. Follow Rob
I agree that
there should be a Palestinian State. In fact, not many realise there is already
a Palestinian State called Jordan — originally called TransJordan (because it
was across the River on the East Bank), that was created by the British, for
the Arabs, as part of the original state of Palestine in 1921. The idea of
the 1917 Balfour Declaration was that the Jews would have a smaller part of the
other side of the river. In fact, after the 1948-9 war against the newly
created State of Israel, the Jordanian monarch, Abdullah called himself the
King of Jordan AND Palestine, as his country controlled The West Bank.
The vast majority of Arabs currently in Jordan are in fact Palestinians. The
rulers of Jordan are, however, not Palestinian, as the monarchy are minority
Hashemites. Before the 1967 Six Day War, when Israel defeated the Arab invasion
and took control of the West Bank and Gaza (which had been under the arm of
Egypt), there had never been demands from Palestinians in the disputed
Territories for a second Palestinian State, as they were under Jordanian rule.
The Palestinians on the West Bank and Gaza now believe they should have their
own separate second state covering the West Bank and Gaza and part of
Jerusalem. The problem is that the Palestinians in the West Bank and the
Palestinians in Gaza are ruled by entirely different entities. The West Bank is
controlled by the more moderate Palestinian Authority and has some relations —
albeit difficult — with Israel. Gaza, by contrast, is run by the authoritarian
and terrorist Hamas movement, and has been responsible for the 7,000 missiles
fired onto Israeli territory since the withdrawal from Gaza in 2005. Hamas
also staged a coup d'etat in Gaza, overthrowing the Palestinian Fatah movement
(literally throwing Fatah members from the rooftops).
So, if we are not careful, we could end up with three Palestinian States, or to
be precise one State and two “Statelets”: one controlled by the Hashemite
Kingdom in Jordan (if not overthrown as the Arab Spring spreads through the
region), one controlled by Fatah in the West Bank and one controlled by Hamas
So the question today for the United Nations, is this: when they vote on the
question of a Palestinian State, what exactly are they voting for?