In 1948, at the end of the British “Palestinian Mandate,” Israel declared it’s independence, and 5 Arab nations attacked, with the intent of “driving Israel and the Jews into the sea.” At that point the so called “West Bank” was a part of Israel, having been purchased by Jews from wealthy Arab land owners decades prior. As a result of the 1948 war, Israel lost the West Bank (which was forthwith occupied by Jordan). In 1967, during the six day war, Israel liberated the West Bank and restored it to Israeli sovereignty. So therefore, Israel IS NOT OCCUPYING the West Bank.
In 2007 Israel gave the Gaza strip to the Palestinian Arabs. This gave them the opportunity to establish an independent Arab state.
Arab leaders have rejected an Arab state west of the Jordan River 12 times since 1937:
1. July 1937 – The British Peel Commission recommended a three-way division – Arab state, Jewish state and the internationalization of Jerusalem. While the Jews were extremely unhappy with the proposed land division, they were open to negotiations. The Arabs rejected this proposal out of hand.
2. United Nations Partition Plan, November 29, 1947, Resolution 181, proposed dividing Palestine into seven sections, with three each going to the Jews and Arabs, and one surrounding Jerusalem to become a Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem. The plan was accepted by the Jewish establishment and leadership, but was rejected by local Arab leaders and neighboring Arab governments.
3. Brits Withdrawal from Palestine and Independence Day, May 15, 1948, was a signal to the Arab armies to invade fully the Jewish areas, rather than declare an Arab state in the significant amount of land they were given by UN Resolution 181. The existing Arab nations never intended that any independent state exist west of the Jordan, but that they would capture, divide and annex the territory for themselves. The anticipated disposition of the Jews afterward resembled Hitler’s Final Solution.
4. 1949 Armistice between the Arab armies and Israel – Approximately one-quarter of the land west of the Jordan River remained in Arab control following armistice agreements. No Arab state was declared, but Egypt and Jordan kept their portions.
5. 1964 Founding of the Palestine Liberation Organization never led to an Arab state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, but focused solely on the elimination of Israel.
6. Aftermath of the 1967 Six-Day War – Israel’s decisive victory over the Arab states in the defensive Six-Day War resulted in Israel occupying the Jordanian- or Egyptian-occupied territories of the West Bank, Jerusalem or Gaza Strip. On June 19, 1967, Israel’s National Unity Government, including Menachem Begin, voted to return captured land in exchange for peace. Rather than grasp this opportunity to create an Arab nation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, the PLO/PNC joined the rest of the Arab world at the September 1967 Khartoum Arab Summit in responding “no peace, no recognition and no negotiation with Israel.”
7. The 1979 Camp David Peace Accords offered the Palestinians autonomy, which would almost certainly have led to full independence. They rejected any discussions.
8. The 1993 Oslo Accords led to the Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements signed by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat at the White House in September 1993, laying the groundwork for an eventual Palestinian state. However, the process was disrupted by the worst wave of Palestinian terrorism to date, later proved to be instigated at least in part by Arafat’s administration.
9. The 2000 Camp David Summit saw Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak offer upwards of 95% of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the Palestinian Authority for an independent state. It is quite understandable that Israel – the victor in the wars of 1948 and 1967 – would not offer all of the territory, much as Ukraine retains control of much of pre-WWII Poland, Russia and Poland control much of pre-WWII Germany, China controls occupied Tibet, Morocco controls Western Sahara, etc. Arafat did not take advantage of this opportunity.
10. January 2001 – In a replay of the Camp David Summit, Olmert offered at the Taba Summit a peace deal to Arafat, who rejected it on January 3, 2001.
11. March 2006 – After Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, the PA could have declared the beginnings of a state there. Rather, they launched thousands of rockets at Israeli civilians. Did this create a three- or really four-state solution?
12. September 2008 – Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered 99.5% of the West Bank and Gaza and shared Jerusalem, but Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas refused any discussion.
AND ANYTIME SINCE.
After the 1948 war, Palestinian Arabs were mostly exiled into the Arab states surrounding Israel. The Arab leaders of those states, unlike leaders of other states hosting refugees throughout history, refused to allow the exiles to assimilate into their countries. So today, after over 50 years, we still have Arab refugee camps in the countries surrounding Israel. It’s an interesting thing: between 1948 and 1967 Jordan occupied the West Bank. During that time they had ample opportunity to declare that area the Palestinian state. Why didn’t they?
The thing is there already is a Palestinian state. The state of Jordan was created out of the British Palestinian Mandate territory. Therefore, JORDAN IS PALESTINE. But the Palestinian Arabs refuse to recognize that fact, even though King Hussein of Jordan has declared this time and time again.
The leadership of the “Palestinian State” (Hammas in Gaza and the PLO in the “West Bank”) has declared time and time again that Israel and the Jews will be destroyed and driven into the sea.
The current bru-ha-ha in Israel has it’s roots in this history. Palestinians are using rocket attacks on Tel Aviv and southern Israel to incite Israel’s IDF to respond in kind (and what else would you expect?). Military installations in Gaza, shielded by women and children, are being attacked by the IDF. Rockets launched from Gaza are targeting and murdering Israeli women and children. But somehow, this is all Israels fault.
I wish people would fraking read history.