In a recent interview on Rear Vision, Rashid Khalidi, author of, Palestinian Identity: The Construction of Modern National Consciousness (revised edition forthcoming), discussed the history of the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Here’s what Rashid Khalidi has to say about the pivotal events of 1947:
The November 29th 1947 partition resolution did call for the division of Palestine into two states, one Jewish, described as such in the resolution, and one described as Arab. With a corpus separatum, a large area around Jerusalem which was to be administered internationally by the UN. The larger part of the country, more than half, more than 50% was to go to the Jewish minority, to the population of 33% or 34% of the population that was Jewish. The smaller part of the country was to go to the overwhelming Arab majority. It was seen as terribly unjust by the Arabs and they therefore refused it. For the Zionists it was the realisation of a dream, even though the frontiers were not what they would have wanted, they wanted, obviously, the whole country. It gave them much more than they had any right to hope for, the so-called Jewish state would have had an Arab population of 49% and it was almost half of the population, in what was to become the Jewish state and the partition boundaries would have been made up of Arabs, and most of the land in the Jewish state was Arab-owned, and most of the cities had very large Arab populations. So for them it was an enormous step forward.