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  • Max Hyman

Original vs. Current Border Situation

Updated: Apr 20, 2020

The current division of land between Israel and Palestinian territories is noticeably different than originally partitioned by the UN in 1947. In November of that year, the UN General Assembly voted overwhelmingly to partition Western Palestine into a state for Jews and Palestinian Arabs. Under this plan, the Jewish majority state would consist of the Negev desert, the coastal plain between Tel Aviv and Haifa, and parts of the Northern Galilee. Meanwhile, the Palestinian territory would consist of the West Bank, Gaza, Jaffa, and Arab sectors of the Galilee. Jerusalem would belong to neither, technically becoming an international enclave under UN trusteeship.

Clearly, as borders have changed over the course of wars (we'll talk about those later), Israel has gained the clear advantage - Israel is now in full control of Jaffa (part of Tel Aviv, one of Israel's greatest achievements), all of the Galilee, and even the Golan Heights, a territory informally annexed from Syria. Israel maintains some amount of control over Palestinian territories (more so the West Bank), with the ability to block off land, etc. Lastly, while a vote showed 128-9 in the UN proved most nations don't recognize the city as belonging to one territory or the other, Israel now maintains control over all of West Jerusalem while East Jerusalem is populated by both groups. This section includes the Old City, which contains the historical and religious sites at the heart of the conflict.

Now, there is another factor to consider- at this time, the population of this area was 65% Arab and 33% Jewish - however, the current situation is far different. Israel's population has grown from less than 2 million to over 9, with 74% being Jews and 21% being Arab. It is true that Palestine maintains an Arab majority at 83%, but with about 5 million residents. Therefore, there are millions more Jews in the area than previously, and the majority in both entities combined has flipped. So, based on population demographic changes in the two entities, is the current solution fair? More importantly, does it provide each with land that is considered uncompromisable? Based on the past few decades, it is not. I suggest that a fair solution has less to do with physical amounts of land and more with Jerusalem itself. Without providing personal input before I do sufficient research, I think that any solution with a hope for peace includes satisfaction of division of Jerusalem. In the future, after more research, I will be sure to draw up a detailed plan.

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