Today, November 29, (according to the “English” calendar) marks the first of many times that the Arabs refused a Palestinian state. (Or, to paraphrase Abba Eban, this was the first missed opportunity). The United Nations voted to separate the region into two states. The Jews rejoiced – the Arabs refused, and they reacted by terrorizing the Jewish population in the area, including blockading Jerusalem.
The Jews declared Independence the following May 15, and when the British left the surrounding Arabs tried to destroy the State. The Jews lost 6,000 men, women, and children to this war (1% of the total population at that time!) and in the end received more territory (sound familiar? It should, this cycle repeats itself in this part of the world).