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Sommer El-Khatib English 1 Block 1 Mrs.Knowles September 13.

2013

Palestinians and Their Dream State

My name is Sommer El-Khatib. My last name is of Palestinian decent. My familys roots go back before the creation of Israel. I am personally interested in the conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis because of my familys heritage. Being Palestinian is a part of who I am and that is why I strongly believe that it is very important for there to be a Palestinian state within Palestine, also known to many people today as Israel. My grandparents, also known as my Tata and Jidu, were born in the mid 1930s in a small village called Rass Al Ahmer located in the northern part of Palestine. Right after Israel was created in 1948, their village was one of 400 Arab villages that were demolished to the ground by the Israelis who in turn built their own Israeli Jewish communities. My father, Bassam El-Khatib, was born in 1961 in a Palestinian refugee camp in Beirut Lebanon. He was born and raised in that refugee camp until he was 14 years old, but because of the Lebanese civil war and the continuous Israeli bombings of the camps his family decided to move to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 1975. There he finished high school. After high school he came to the

United States for college. He met my mom during his masters program in college and they married in 1993. Then I was born in 1999 and that is how I am related to the conflict. When researching information on this topic, I found a video on YouTube called The History of Palestine. It was a documentary on the early days of war between the Jewish settlers and the Arabs. It explained that the Jews had the upper hand because they had weapons from the British.They killed and terrorized so many Palestinians including my dads grandmother. She was shot in the head and killed in front of my Tata when Tata was only seven years old. On April 9, 1948 two Zionist Jewish groups called Irgun and Stern Gangs went to a small Palestinian village called Deir Yasien, population 750, and massacred about 100 Palestinians children, women, men, and the elderly . Thats how it all started, the fleeing of the Palestinians to other Arab countries making them refugees. Six to seven million Palestinians across the globe are refugees because of the creation of Israel. Palestinians are living in refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and there are many living in Europe, the United States and other Arab countries. It all started in 1917 when the British Prime Minister Belfour promised the Zionist Jews a home land in Palestine. The Zionists in Europe lied to the Jews and told them Palestine is an empty land and there is no one in the country. Thats when Jewish people began to migrate by the 100s of thousands to Palestine. But the land was not empty. It was full of Palestinians that associated with the world. Though the British passed the Belfour declaration promising the Jews a homeland in Palestine, the Palestinians saw a European power deciding the future of a nonEuropean territory. (Phyllis Bennis, Institute for Policy Studies) Before the 1930s the Jewish population in Palestine was under 17%. Then the holocaust happened in Europe and, in just 5 years, 174,000 additional Jewish immigrants entered Palestine. The Palestinians, they were not the Nazis. They were not the ones responsible for the holocaust. But they were the ones who paid

the price. (Phyllis Bennis, Institute for Policy Studies) The British handed over the problem to the United Nations and decided to split the land between the Jews and Palestinians. The Arabs got 43% of the land and the Jews got 56% of the land. The Jews not only got more of the land but also the land that was more fertile and better to grow crops. The Jews started a systematic expulsion of the Palestinians and an ethnic cleansing. (Ilan Pappe, Israeli Historian Haifa University) After that, in the end, there was only 32% of Palestinians left in Palestine after 1948. I would like to research this topic further because it is part of my family history and it will affect me for the rest of my life. Also, in order for the conflict to end, the Palestinian refugees have to have the right of return to their lands, and the Palestinians in West Bank and Gaza Strip have to have their own state living in peace next to Israel. In order for the Palestinians and Israelis to have peace and security, the Palestinians should exist as a sovereign nation. That is why I believe that the Palestinians should have their own state of Palestine.

Works Cited Mingo313. The History of Palestine. Online Video Clip. Youtube. Youtube,2009.Thursday 5 sept.2013.