Palestinian supporters celebrate upon President Mahmud Abbas' arrival in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on Sept 25, 2011. Abbas returned from New York after he participated in the United Nations General Assembly and requested the statehood recognition. [Photo: Xinhua/Agencies]
More than half a decade after the UN passed Resolution 181, endorsing the creation of a Palestinian state, such an Arab country has now officially applied for UN membership. This belated effort merits the sympathy and support of the rest of the world.
Unlike other countries applying for UN membership, Palestine is still an incomplete entity, lacking the full features and capacities of a sovereign state. Most of its land, as backed by the aforementioned UN resolution passed in 1947, has been occupied by Israel, a Jewish state also endorsed by the UN at that time. Its people, the 12 million Palestinians, still don't have a sovereign land to call their own. Without citizenship, many of them lack basic rights of work, property and even travel.
The failure to establish the state of Palestine, despite the UN resolution supporting its creation, has a lot to do with Palestinians and their Arab friends. They tried to deny the creation of the Jewish country, which was also sanctioned by the United Nations under the same resolution. Given the long misery of Jewish people around the world, especially their tragic experiences in Nazi Germany, it is understandable that the Jews want a home country where they enjoy sovereignty and the government's protection.
It is rare that a country is restored after most of its people have been away for tens of centuries and other people have grown their own identity on the same land. Facing the return of the Jews and the restoration of their country, it is certainly sensitive to protect both Jews and Palestinians on the same ground at the same time. It is crucial to divide the land properly to assure peace and security of the two newly approved contemporary states.
The division of the land could never be fair as viewed by all stakeholders, especially by the Palestinians who have lived there for so long and by their Muslin friends. Their fundamental belief at that time was that Zionism was illegal and had to be defeated. Instead, it was those believers who were defeated on the battlefield, and Palestinians subsequently lost all the land.
China used to be an anti-Zionist country until it reversed its course in 1992 when it set up diplomatic relations with Israel. Chinese were sympathetic to the Jews and extended protection to them during World War II, but were opposed to establishment of Israel as a country. Israel, however, recognized the People's Republic of China as early as 1950, and waited patiently for over forty years for official bilateral relations.