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Palestine’s State of Statelessness Research Paper

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Updated: Apr 27th, 2022


The incessant conflicts between Israeli and Palestine have been the major cause of tensions found in the Middle East as well as those between the Islamic world and the west. It is imperative to note that these conflicts have significant implications on Palestinians who have continued to occupy the British Mandatory Palestine territory since 1948.

Goodman (2011) points out that based on the Law of Return of 1950, the Jews wishing to pay visit to Israel have enjoyed the right of migration while Palestinians who are considered to be refugees, have been forced to forego their right and hope of migration and final settlement.

As this paper analyses, significant legal violations by systems influenced by the American and British precedents including crimes of passion as well as hate crimes have considerably impacted on Palestinians and overtly led to the manifestations of their statelessness today.

As this paper examines from the article entitled Do the Palestinians really want a state? by Kaplan (2009), it is evident that Palestinians may not necessarily be in dire need of a state since they are seemingly stronger without it.

The article “Do the Palestinians really want a state?”

The article “Do the Palestinians really want a state?” by Robert Kaplan (2009) explores the issues surrounding the statelessness of Palestine and seeks to uncover reasons why for many years, it has failed to become a state.

Kaplan points out that the conflicts between Palestine and Israel have raised massive concerns from political analysts who have been keen on finding out why a mutual agreement for peace has always been elusive since it has never been reached. On the same note, Goodman (2011) argues that the injustices on Palestine due to foreign policies have been contributing factors to its statelessness today.

Indeed, it is imperative to highlight that radicalism and violence in the Middle East, with particular interest in Palestine, can be attributed to the US policies some of which have weakened its position in the Middle East today.

Kaplan (2009) concurs with Goodman’s arguments and points out that over the years; a lot of efforts by organizations of goodwill such as the United Nations (UN) have been thwarted by powerful nations whose influence and policies have shaped the events taking place in Palestine today.

While Israeli intransigence and obduracy as observed in its illegal settlements in territories that are occupied by Palestine are blamed for the statelessness of Palestine, it is vital to note that the United States of America (US) has played more profound political, social and economical roles in shaping the events in this Middle East nation.

Origin of Palestinian statelessness, political, social and economic factors

Many analysts have blamed the United Nation, an agency chosen by Britain, the Soviet Union and the US, for playing a major role in putting Palestine to the situation it is today. In agreement, Goodman (2011) points out that in 1947, the UN gave the still expanding, borderless and nascent state of Israel international legitimacy, and postulated an abstract state for Palestinians in addition to denying them a place for settlement.

As true as this may be, it is important to understand that the power possessed by UN is derivative, and as such whatever actions it takes is controlled by those powers which created it, and that can suspend, impose, withdraw, grant and limit its freedom of operation.

It is on this front that it is unfair to blame the state of Palestine on the same powers that triumphed in the Second World War, and continues assuring the world of peace through the United Nations. Of paramount authority among them is the United States.

Indeed, the western world has been frequently criticized over its involvement especially in the political crisis facing Palestine. That notwithstanding, it may still be prudent to succinctly explore both sides of the debate regarding Palestine long standing political crisis.

Johannsen (2011) posits that on most political issues, and most of the time, the UN has been influenced by the US via coercion or otherwise to reject, assume or take a position, as well as to pressure a country within the UN agency, Security Council or the General Assembly to vote in a particular way.

Such influences have been witnessed by the US using new arms deal to bribe Columbia, giving China diplomatic rehabilitation after the Tiananmen Square horrors, and withdrawing of its foreign aid to the impoverished Yemen as punishment for the rejection of US demands.

Washington too engages the UN forcefully or otherwise to implement initiatives orchestrated by the US which works most of the time, thus giving the US its way. The UN has endeavored to have Palestine gain its freedom and settlement, efforts that have been downplayed by the US, and which Johannsen points out to be the strongest reasons why Palestine should remain the way it is.

In relation to the above reality, it is important to note that over the years, unenforced resolutions, some of which the Security Council has demonstrated an outright refusal to veto have seen the UN kept out of the negotiating table on matters related to the Middle East diplomacy.

Today, US’s economic, ideological and political support for Israel is growing rapidly posing a difficulty in ending the continuous military occupation of Palestine by Israel. Johannsen (2011) argues that this has led to tremendous human right violations and denial of national rights to Palestinians. Efforts to change the situation have been made impossible due to political reasons and foreign policies.

Abushammala (2011) argues that the presence of the US has further complicated the efforts of forging full consensus on issues related to Palestine as nations that would want to go against its initiatives are likely attract serious sanctions and universal opprobrium. Efforts by the Palestinians to form a state have been made futile by foreign policies making it develop capabilities of achieving its objectives without having to be a state.

Why Palestine is stronger without actually being a state

There has been many calls by political analysts for Palestine to come of its stateless and develop itself into a strong and sovereign state governed by its own laws. Proponents of the calls argue that the time for Palestine to be a state is long overdue, and that it is about time it was able to represent its people. As strong as the analysts may sound, they fail to note that forming a state would mean getting into an agreement with Israel.

This would also relieve the Palestinians of several years of political strife that they have gone through. Arguably, this may not be possible as it requires political forgiveness whereby Palestine will have to forgive Israel for the many deaths, dispossessions and dismemberment of Palestinians during Israeli military actions.

Kaplan (2009) points out that Palestine can remain stateless and still exist and grow strong by arguing that many groups today have achieved virtual unity, developed aspirations, set objectives and achieved them without having to work under an umbrella or a state.

Of significant example is Palestine which has been able to grow and develop its population of over 10 million people and its economy despite myriad of problems surrounding it. It has been able to achieve this since it faces no potential threat to political pressures or areas to be targeted or damaged that states have.

Besides, it has been able to strongly retaliate when attacked by Israel and escaped blame from the international community. As a matter of fact, statelessness gives it an advantage of defending its people without having to face sanctions and laws from the international community against it (Marrouchi, 2011).


To recap it all, it is largely agreeable that due to poor relationship between Israel and Palestine, the latter has for a long time now remained stateless. The arguments presented in this essay have strongly indicated that foreign policies and the United States’ support for Israel poses a problem to the realization of statehood in Palestine. As such, Palestinians should stay stateless and devise better strategies of survival.

The paper has concluded by reiterating that Palestine stands a better chance of developing without actually being a state bearing in mind that this position is apparently powerful and puts Palestine in a vantage socio-political and economic position against its foes.

Reference list

Abushammala, S. (2011). Testing the Weak Form Efficiency of Palestine Exchange. International Journal of Economics and Finance, 3(6), 244-253.

Goodman, G. (2011). Palestine’s best”: The Jewish agency’s press relations, 1946- 1947. Israel Studies, 16(3), 1-91.

Johannsen, M. (2011). A balance of fear: asymmetric threats and tit-for-tat strategies in Gaza. Journal of Palestine Studies, 41(1), 45-56.

Kaplan, R. (2009). Web.

Marrouchi, M. (2011). Cry no more for me, Palestine-Mahmoud Darwish. College Literature, 38(4), 1-4.

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