28 Years Later, and Uncertainty Still Prevails



Ivan Badovinac and Nicu Curtu

This day day twenty-eight years ago Palestine declared itself as an independent state. Since then 136 members of the United Nations, roughly 70% of its members have recognized them as independent. Palestine has tried, but failed, to become a United Nations member, as the United States and United Kingdom, who have veto power, have blocked their applications. Because Palestine isn’t recognized by the United Nations, there is a question about the legitimacy of its independence. “Your official status has to do with recognition from large bodies like the UN” Melissa Nies, AP Human Geography teacher, said.

The man who declared Palestine independent was Yasser Arafat, a very controversial leader, one that divides many Palestinians, even today. “Not everyone considers him (Yasser Arafat) the leader of the nation.” Baraa Suleiman ‘19 said. Lots of Palestinians do not see themselves as independent, and so, they see no reason to celebrate on the 15th of November. “There isn’t significance (to November 15),” Suleiman said.

The main reason Palestinians don’t see themselves as independent is because of their hostile relation with Israel. “They say we control ourselves but, they (Israel) control us.” Suleiman said. This type of mentality comes from the power the Israeli government holds over Palestine. “At any moment an Israeli from anywhere in the country can come into your house,” and “They do whatever they want.”

People living in Israel often are indifferent to Palestine, because they feel they are not affected. “As a person that lives in Israel I feel like there is no Palestine country in Israel because Palestine has their own government and their own thoughts and they also live separate from the Jews.” Zohar Hodis ’19, a former West High student who moved back to Israel last year, said. This type of indifference might be the main reason the long time conflict between Israel and Palestine is not resolved.  

The situation between Palestine and Israel is one not based just on politics and history. It is also based on resources. “A lot of the land(taken by Israelis), that’s where a lot of the water was located.” Nies said. This sentiment is also shared by Suleiman, “Israelis can cut the water off, and jack up prices.”

Suleiman says that Palestinians have tried to get peace, but it is Israel who is blocking that process. “If they want peace they have to step up.” People on both sides find it hard to agree with each other, which is why 28 years after Palestine declared independence, Israel still does not recognize Palestine.

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