from Edward Said, The Question of Palestine,
When we refer to a subject, place or person in the phrase, “the question of,” we imply a number of different things. For example, one concludes a survey of current affairs by saying, “And now I come to the question of X.” The point here is that X is a matter apart from all the others, and must be dealt with apart. Secondly, “the question of” is used to refer to some long-standing, particularly intractable and insistent problem: the question of rights, the Eastern question, the question of free speech. Thirdly, and most uncommonly, “the question of” can be used in such a way as to suggest that the status of the thing referred to in the phrase is uncertain, questionable, unstable: the question of the existence of a Loch Ness monster, for example. The use of “the question of” in connection with Palestine implies all three types of meaning.