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It was the summer of 1958, at summer school in San Francisco, a fellow from the Egyptian consulate came to speak before several history classes.
About 50 of us were assembled in the school cafeteria, and he showed us a film about how Egypt was a nice country which believed in peace, love and freedom of religion. He pointed out that after the Second World War, President Truman wanted to create a Jewish state.
He said, “Fine. You can make your Jewish state. Just put it in New Jersey.”
Today, over half a century later, most of the talk I hear from people is regarding a “Palestinian State.” Never mind that there has never been a “Palestinian People,” other than perhaps the Jews who lived in the Middle East since 1,500 BCE. There is now a demand by many people, both Republican and Democrat and both liberal and conservative, to carve out some portion of Israel to be considered the “Palestinian State.”
There are those in the United Nations who are demanding a U.N. resolution declaring that there is a Palestinian State in spite of there be no such borders or people exist.
Let’s look at a map of Israel. OK, you probably don’t have one right at your fingertips. So, I’ll look at one, and the first thing I see is Israel borders on, or is in close proximity to, the most powerful and oil-rich Arab/Muslim countries in the world. You have, of course, Egypt and Jordan. And right on the border you will find Syria and Lebanon. Also in the neighborhood is Saudi Arabia.
What is stopping these Muslim countries from carving out a few square miles of their land and creating a Palestinian State?
Nothing, other than their desires to destroy Israel.
The entire population of Israel at this moment is roughly a little less than 8 million. The entire land of Israel is about 8,000 square miles. To put that in perspective, our home state of Colorado is 104,185 square miles. The land mass that is Israel, which those insisting be carved up to appease the so-called Palestinians, is roughly 8 percent of the size of our home state.
As Colorado is roughly a square shape, imagine cutting it into pieces until you have estimated 8 percent of the state. Or, try this. Look at a map of Colorado’s Western Slope. Were you to drive from Grand Junction south to the New Mexico Border, and then west to Four Points, you would have outlined about the space that Israel takes up — and you could make that drive in about one day.
It is difficult to determine how many Palestinians there are since there is really no such country or people. Many of those who might be called Palestinians live in Israel and like it there. In Israel, they are free to practice their religion and even succeed in both business and politics. They can be doctors, attorneys and judges and members of parliament. In an Islamic Palestinian state, their daughters would not be free to go to school, and how their families lived and dressed would be controlled by the state.
One estimate I have read is that there are 2.4 million Palestinians. If that number is correct, then you might figure that a Palestinian State would stretch from Longmont to Castle Rock and Byers to Idaho Springs.
All this shows is that there would not be a great deal of space required to create the Palestinian State that a small handful of people want. Why wouldn’t a country the size of Egypt (1 million square miles) or Jordan (71,498 square miles) set aside an area the size of Denver for the Palestinian state they all seem to be so anxious to create?
The simple fact is that though there are an estimated 50,000 Palestinians in Egypt right now, they don’t want the Palestinians in their neighborhoods.
The same has been true of every other Islamic country in the Middle East. None seem to want to carve out a small portion of their land to create a home, around the size of Denver, for the peace-loving Palestinians.
They want to seize, with the world’s approval, land from the minuscule country that is Israel.
So, people such as President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have all called upon the creation of a Palestinian State in Israel in the name of peace.
Well, my fellow Republicans and Democrats: If it is a Palestinian state you want, and you are so anxious to create it in the interest of peace — fine, just put it in New Jersey.
Al Jacobson is a Commerce City homeowner. He writes children’s stories.