Delegate Name: Elleah Berger
Committee: General Assembly, Special Political Committee (SPECPOL)
Delegate: Elleah Berger
School: Williamston High School
The conflict between Israel and Palestine dates back over a hundred years, but has become volatile and violent once again in 2021. The problem arose when the need for a Jewish state in the British colony of Palestine was proclaimed in 1917, and when the idea was put into effect in 1947. The land was divided between Israel and Palestine, with Palestine’s land being the Gaza Strip and West Bank. A war from 1947-1949 immediately followed and ended in the holy city of Jerusalem being divided between the Israelis and Palestinians. After the 6-Day War Israel gained more land, and Palestine lands have continually decreased since 1947, and are now only a fraction of what they used to be. Both Palestine and Israel wanting and claiming rights to the same land has been a main cause of these conflicts. More violence over the issue occured this spring when the Israeli Supreme Court evicted six Palestininan families from their homes in East Israel, which is historically Arab. This led to rocket fire between the Israel Defense Forces and Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. A ceasefire occured on May 21, but not before 13 Israeli lives and over 250 Palestinian lives were lost. This ceasefire did not last long, as more violence occurred in June after the IDF launched airstrikes on Gaza after Hamas launched incendiary balloons into Israel. This issue has quieted down recently, but can be expected to worsen again if not properly addressed. This ongoing issue must be dealt with before more lives are lost. This issue is very dampening on both Israel and Palestine, and unnecessarily makes relations more complicated with the countries wishing to interact with them.
Greece voted — and — on the first and second Oslo accords (having trouble finding the information on UN website). (Elaborate) Greece has generally felt that the best solution to this conflict is the creation of two separate states that share the holy city of Jerusalem and both have their capitals there. The borders would be based on those in 1967. Greek foreign minister Nimos Dendias spoke on the more recent violence in the Israel-Palestine area, saying “Israel has the right to self-defense” after the “firing of thousands of rockets by Hamas against Israel.” However, he represents Greece in his beliefs that the issue is preventable with the two state approach.
Greece truly believes that the best solution would be to create two separate states where both share the holy city Jerusalem as their capital. These states would be free to control their own trade, land, and travel, contrary to the conditions of the Oslo Accords. It is not uncommon for the Palestinian people to face discrimination under Israel’s control, and Palestine having its own state would prevent this. It also would prevent Israel from being compromised as a Jewish state. The Jewish people only make up 0.2% of the earth’s population, therefore it is important that they have a safe haven in Israel. The main issue we are left with is that Palestine is generally not strong enough economically or societally to be an independent state. This is largely due to the number of influential groups that are not the actual government, and the weakness of the government itself. A poll taken by the Washington Institute shows that in 2020, 65% of West Bank Palestinians wanted Hamas to “stop calling for Israel’s destruction and instead accept a permanent two-state solution based on the 1967 borders.” A majority of West Bank and Gaza Palestinians want Hamas to give up its power and have the Palestinian Authority take leadership of the government. However, support for the government has been declining. Another poll by the same group states that 40% of Gaza Palestinians and 36% in West Bank would rather be ruled by Israel than be in lands ruled by Hamas or PA. This clearly shows that many do not like their current government, likely because the leaders of Hamas engaged in unnecessary conflict earlier this year in June, and because the PA leaders have been very passive, and have not been firm enough in their discussions with Israel. If the central government could be unified into a democratic style and the widely unpopular leaders ousted, the Palestinian people would likely regain faith in their government, which would help stablize the country economically. If Israel could be persuaded to agree the UN would not have to forcibly intervene. However, Greece does not believe that the UN should force this upon Israel, as doing so could potentially cause very severe conflicts. Greece would be interested in working with any country that also believes the two state approach is the best option, but is still open to discussion with other countries as well.