Mandate for Palestine - July 24, 1922

Mandate for Palestine - July 24, 1922
Jordan is 77% of former Palestine - Israel, the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza comprise 23%.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Palestine - Merging Banks Can Reap Huge Dividends


[Published 19 October 2012]


Prince Hassan Bin Talal - Jordan’s former Crown Prince and the uncle of Jordan’s current ruler - King Abdullah - has floated a possible new diplomatic initiative by reminding the world that the West Bank was once part of Jordan.

Prince Hassan pointed out this very important historic and geographic fact whilst addressing a meeting of the Ebal charity organization in Nablus on 9 October.

That meeting had been organised by Jordanian Senate President Taher Al-Masri - indicating that the King in all likelihood would have been given advance notice and approved what Prince Hassan intended saying.

The Jordanian website Almustaqbal-a.com reported that Prince Hassan told the meeting:
”the West Bank is part of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which included both banks of the [Jordan] River”

The report added:
“The attendees understood that Prince [Hassan] is working to reunite both banks of the [Jordan] River, and commended him for it.”

The West Bank and Transjordan had existed as one territorial entity between 1950-1967 following Transjordan’s occupation of the West Bank in 1948 after the newly declared State of Israel had been attacked by six invading Arab armies.

Transjordan - as a result - changed its name to “Jordan” and named the territory west of the Jordan River as the “West Bank”. Until then - the West Bank had been known for thousands of years as “Judea and Samaria” - the biblical and ancestral homeland of the Jewish people.

These decisions were not taken in isolation by a victorious occupier against the wishes of a defeated and dispirited population - but at the request and urging of the exclusively Arab population living in Judea and Samaria. All the Jews who had been living there prior to the 1948 war had been dispossessed and forcefully driven from the area conquered by Transjordan.

A conference was held in Jericho on 1 December 1948 - attended by several thousand people including the mayors of the towns of Hebron, Bethlehem, Ramallah, the Arab Legion Military Governor General and military governors from districts in Judea and Samaria, and other notables.

The meeting resolved:
“Palestine Arabs desire unity between Transjordan and Arab Palestine and therefore make known their wish that Arab Palestine be annexed immediately to Transjordan. They also recognize Abdullah as their King and request him proclaim himself King of the new territory.”

Wells Stabler - America’s charge d’affaires in Transjordan - reported to the Acting Secretary for State in a confidential cable dated 4 December 1948 that following the meeting - a large delegation proceeded to the King’s winter quarters at Shuneh to present the resolution to the King and request his acceptance. The King had replied that the matter must be referred to his government and that he must also ascertain the views of other Arab states. Although usual jealousies and frictions had been apparent during the meeting, the King believed it to be of significance and might be regarded by him as his mandate from Palestine Arabs.

On 6 December 1948 Stabler sent a secret cable to the Acting Secretary for State in which he reported that UN Acting Mediator Ralph Bunche had met with the King - when the following matters had been discussed:
1. The King believed that annexation of Arab Palestine to Transjordan would be an “actual help” in reaching a final settlement.

2. Arab Palestine was then in a vacuum which needed to be filled and Transjordan was in best position to do it.

3. Basically any Palestine settlement rested with Egypt, Transjordan and Israel. Egypt and Transjordan could overcome any opposition from other Arab states.

4. Emir Abdel Majid Haidar, Transjordan observer at the United Nations General Assembly had held talks with Egyptians in Paris but without result.

5. Bunche had hinted to His Majesty that the annexation of Arab Palestine by Transjordan would probably be accepted as fait accompli in view of Transjordan’s present position in Arab Palestine.
The subsequent annexation of the West Bank by Transjordan two years later was only recognised by Great Britain and Pakistan. The failure of other members of the United Nations to recognise such annexation has prolonged a conflict that with a little bit of give and take could have been resolved more than 60 years ago by negotiations between Israel, Egypt and Jordan.

Jordan lost the West Bank to Israel in the 1967 Six Day War and renounced any claims to the West Bank in 1988.

After 19 years of fruitless negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization since 1993 - the settlement of competing claims by Jews and Arabs to sovereignty in the West Bank still remains undetermined.

Prince Hassan’s statement on 9 October clearly attempts to resuscitate Jordan’s territorial claim to the West Bank.

Writing in the 1982 Spring issue of the quarterly publication “Foreign Affairs” - Prince Hassan had asserted:
“We Jordanians must add that practically speaking a settlement must also take into account our perceptions. Small as Jordan is, our country is politically, socially, economically, militarily and historically inseparable from the Palestinian issue”

Indeed the fate of Jordan and the West Bank has been tied together ever since both these areas of the former Ottoman Empire were included in the territory covered by the 1922 Mandate for Palestine within which the Jewish National Home was to be reconstituted.

The attempt over the last 19 years to divide Jordan and the West Bank into two independent Arab states for the first time ever in recorded history has proved an abject failure - leading Prince Hassan to observe that whilst he did not personally oppose the two state solution - that solution was irrelevant at this stage since:
“both sides, Arab and Israeli, no longer speak of a political solution to the Palestinian problem.”

The vacuum existing in 1948 has returned - and once again Jordan is the party that can fill it by opening negotiations with Israel to end the the Jewish-Arab conflict by reunifying the two banks of the Jordan River - taking into account the vastly changed circumstances to those existing 64 years ago.

The dividends could be immense including:
1. The return to Jordan of a very substantial part of the West Bank lost by Jordan in the Six Day War

2. No residents of the West Bank - either Jew or Arab - having to move from his present home

3. The restoration of Jordanian citizenship to the West Bank Arab population

4. The resolution of the competing claims by both Jews and Arabs to sovereignty in the West Bank

5. Placing a political solution to the Palestinian problem in the hands of the Arabs
Seizing this rare opportunity should not be missed.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Palestine - Great Expectations That Founder On Fiction


[Published 11 October 2012]


Israeli novelist David Grossman is working with Algerian writer Boualem Sansal to launch a writers’ drive for world peace at the World Forum For Democracy in Strasbourg this week.

Their initiative is reportedly supported by some of the most respected names in literature including Claudio Magris, Antonio Lobo Antunes and Liao Yiwu.

The Forum brings together reformers and global leaders to identify democratic responses to the economic, social and political challenges which affect societies today.

The writers - in their quest to end conflict and bring peace to the world - have naturally included the resolution of the “Israel - Palestine conflict” within their purview.

However the views they express are indeed surprising - parroting Arab propaganda rather than relying on careful research - the indispensable tool normally used by writers of such distinction and undoubted repute.

They begin by stating :
"Israel maintains the Palestinians under occupation for more than 45 years, and this inhuman and immoral situation must stop."

All the Palestinian Arabs residing in Gaza are under the total administrative and security control of a Hamas dominated Government following Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2005.

Our well intended authors are also apparently unaware that pursuant to arrangements mutually negotiated between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) under the 1993 Oslo Accords - 55% of the Palestinian Arabs residing in the West Bank are under the total administative and security control of the PA Government - whilst another 41% are under the total administrative control of the PA Government and joint security control of the PA and Israel.

Elections in the West Bank and Gaza were last held in 2006. Since then Hamas and the PA have been at each other’s jugulars. President Abbas’s use by date as PA president expired in 2009. Democracy is nowhere to be seen.

Suggesting Israel’s occupation is “inhuman and immoral” in the light of these facts is pure fiction

The statement continues:
Both sides are putting unrealistic conditions to resume negotiations ...

Are they serious? Israel has been offering to return to negotiations with the PA without any preconditions. It is the PA that is refusing to negotiate unless Israel stops building in the West Bank.

Grossman and Sansal continue:
"It is urgent that the international community intervenes firmly to bring the Iranian nuclear programme under control and steadily commits to the resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict, pushing the parties to immediately establish a true direct dialogue, leading as soon as possible to the creation of a Palestinian state next to the State of Israel, both with secure borders, on the basis of painful compromises for both parts though necessary for peace, as the abandonment of settlements or their exchange against land, the renouncement to the right of return of the 1948 refugees, the sharing of Jerusalem. This is still – but maybe not for long - a possible solution and there are men and women on both sides capable of achieving it. Let us help them do so."

Our well-meaning authors seem to be ignorant of the fact that Israel in 2001 and 2008 offered to cede its claims to more than 90% of the West Bank and agreed to a part of Jerusalem becoming the capitol of a Palestinian Arab State - but such offers were rejected. Even land swaps were broached in the latter offer.

They seem oblivious to the fact that no one in the PA or Hamas has the power to renounce any right of return of the 1948 refugees and expect to be alive the next day.

They also seem to overlook that what the Palestinian Arabs demand today could have been theirs - plus more - at any time between 1948-1967 with the single stroke of an Arab League pen - after all the Jews living there had been driven out.

Why the need for a state now when one was not demanded during those 19 years - and indeed rejected in 1937 when recommended by the Peel Commission or in 1947 when proposed by the United Nations?

Who are the men and women on both sides that are capable of doing what has not been able to be achieved for the last 19 years in trying to create a new Arab State between Jordan and Israel for the first time ever in recorded history? Naming them would have been great - even if it embarrassed those highly experienced negotiators from Israel the PA, and the Quartet - the United Nations, the European Union, Russia and America - who have tired endlessly for the last eight years to resolve the conflict but have got absolutely nowhere

Grossman and Sansal conclude:
"Writers have their part in this fight and we hereby express our determination to take it firmly and objectively. We urge all writers in the world to join us. Together, we can influence decision makers and public opinion and thereby also the course of events, ensuring that the values of peace are strengthened throughout the world. Our methods in this fight are literature, debate and vigilance. Maybe it is not much, but it is our way of maintaining our dignity in a world of violence and cynism."

They have been less than objective and their ability to influence decision makers and public opinion with their planned initiative is fanciful.

Samir El-youssef - a Palestinian writer - has succinctly summed up the Grossman/Sansal proposal:
"Rather than maintaining hope for peace, I see here nothing but a further attempt to renew the old failed approach to deal with the Arabic and Islamic world."

The old failed approach has certainly been an unmitigated disaster.

It is indeed time for a new approach in dealing with the Arabic and Islamic world in trying to resolve the 130 years old Arab - Jewish conflict.

Might I suggest negotiations between Israel, Egypt and Jordan to allocate sovereignty in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem - to be held under the chairmanship of the Secretary General of the United Nations with the approval of the Quartet, the Arab League and the Organization for Islamic Co- Operation.

Writers of the world - are you prepared to sign up to such an initiative?

With your active support this proposal could become a best seller in a very short space of time. It is not fiction. It is based on history, geography, demography and international law - unlike the fairy tales that form the basis for the “two-state” solution.

Maintaining your dignity in a world of violence and cynicism will certainly be heightened by supporting this proposal.

If you hesitate to get involved - exercise your undoubted writing skills to tell me why.

But please this time round - facts not fiction

Monday, July 20, 2015

Palestine - Cutting Abbas Down To Size


[Published 4 October 2012]


PLO Chairman and Palestinian Authority President — Mahmoud Abbas — continues to promote the deceptive and misleading claim that the areas lost by Jordan and Egypt to Israel in the 1967 Six Day War constituted 22% - not 5% - of historic Palestine..

His propagation of this dishonest fact was shamelessly repeated in the presence of world leaders at the United Nations last week:
”The two-State solution, i.e. the State of Palestine coexisting alongside the State of Israel, represents the spirit and essence of the historic compromise embodied in the Oslo Declaration of Principles, the agreement signed 19 years ago between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Government of Israel under the auspices of the United States of America on the White House Lawn, a compromise by which the Palestinian people accepted to establish their State on only 22% of the territory of historic Palestine for the sake of making peace.”

In fact:
1. Israel comprises only 17% of former Palestine,

2. The West Bank and Gaza 5%, and

3. Jordan makes up the remaining 78%.
Abbas’s spurious claim has been repeated on hundreds of Arab oriented web sites asserting that the Jews established the State of Israel on 78% of Palestine in the War of Independence in 1948 and subsequently conquered the remaining 22% - the West Bank and Gaza - in the Six Day War of 1967.

This propaganda has created the perception that Israel now occupies 100% of Palestine, the Arab residents of former Palestine have been deprived of a State of their own in Palestine, and that the only just solution to resolve Arab grievances is the creation of an Arab state in at least that 22% of Palestine captured by Israel from Jordan and Egypt in 1967.

Quarantining Jordan and Egypt from shouldering any responsibility in negotiating the resolution of a lasting two-state solution to the Jewish-Arab conflict has been the single most important factor leading to the failure of negotiations over the last 19 years designed to achieve the objectives of Oslo.

Instead the PLO has been seeking to create a “three state” solution in historic Palestine comprising two Arab states — Jordan and Palestine — and a third non-recognized Jewish state — Israel — 20% of whose population are currently of Palestinian Arab descent.

In addition the PLO is demanding that millions of other Arabs of similar descent be given the right to emigrate from their present countries of abode — not to the newly to be created state of Palestine or the existing state of Jordan - but to Israel.

Abbas has been acting in blatant contravention of the 1968 PLO Charter and 1971 Resolution of the Palestinian National Congress.

Article 2 of the PLO Charter states:
”Palestine, with the boundaries it had during the British Mandate, is an indivisible territorial unit.”

Jordan (then called Transjordan) was part of the British Mandate between 1920-1946 — when it ultimately was granted independence by Great Britain in dubious circumstances — since to do so breached article 5 of the Mandate document—which stated:
”The Mandatory shall be responsible for seeing that no Palestine territory shall be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed under the control of, the Government of any foreign Power.”

For the PLO - the sole spokesman of the Palestinian Arabs — its own Charter therefore makes it abundantly clear that Jordan remains an inseparable part of former Palestine.

The PLO’s stated position was reinforced at the 8th Palestinian National Council meeting in February-March 1971 - which declared:
” Jordan is linked to Palestine by a national relationship and a national unity forged by history and culture from the earliest times. The creation of one political entity in Transjordan and another in Palestine would have no basis either in legality or as to the elements universally accepted as fundamental to a political entity. .. In raising the slogan of the liberation of Palestine and presenting the problem of the Palestine revolution, it was not the intention of the Palestine revolution to separate the east of the River from the West, nor did it believe the struggle of the Palestinian people can be separated from the struggle of the masses in Jordan…”

Despite these clear and unrevoked declarations - the Quartet - Russia, America, the European Union and the United Nations - still remain foolishly fixated on creating an independent Arab State between Israel and Jordan in the West Bank and East Jerusalem - thus separating the East Bank of the Jordan River from the West Bank and dividing the Arabs who live on each side of the Jordan River from one another.

Israel’s then Defence Minister Yitzchak Rabin succinctly sized up the situation when declaring on 27 May 1985:
“The Palestinians should have a sovereign State which includes most of the Palestinians. It should be Jordan with a considerable part of the West Bank and Gaza. East of the river Jordan, there is enough room to settle the Palestinian refugees. One tiny State between Israel and Jordan will solve nothing. It will be a time bomb”

How right Mr Rabin was and how wrong the PLO, the Quartet and the UN will be in continuing to pursue an outcome based on propaganda and misinformation - not geography, history and demography.

Jordan - and possibly Egypt - must be brought into any future negotiations and not allowed to escape playing any part in finding a solution to the final carve up of historic Palestine — having been the last two sovereign Arab States to occupy Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem between 1948-1967.

Jordan is part of the problem. It - and possibly Egypt - must become part of any solution.

Trying to achieve any resolution to the Jewish-Arab conflict within 22% of historic Palestine — whilst totally ignoring the other 78% - is — and has proved to be — a recipe for disaster.

Those who sat in the UN Chamber listening to President Abbas should be the first to repudiate his false statement and forcefully tell him so.

Size certainly does matter where “Palestine” is concerned.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Palestine - End The Jew-hatred - End the Conflict


[Published 27 September 2012]


The universal international condemnation of the anti-Islamic film “Innocence of Muslims” - whilst defending at the same time the freedom of individuals to express those abhorrent views - has come in response to the anger and violence that has broken out in many Moslem populations around the world and cost the lives of the American Ambassador to Libya - J Christopher Stevens - and three other members at the Embassy in Benghazi on September 11.

Such reactions need to be compared with the continuing failure to condemn, repudiate, and disassociate from the official policies of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Hamas when it comes to extreme vilification and denigration of Jews.

These vile statements do not emanate from individuals – but from organizations that seek to assume leadership roles in any future Palestinian Arab State.

The original PLO Charter in 1964 - contained the following provisions in Articles 7 and 18:
“Jews of Palestinian origin are considered Palestinians if they are willing to live peacefully and loyally in Palestine”

“The claims of historic and spiritual ties, ties between Jews and Palestine are not in agreement with the facts of history or with the true basis of sound statehood. Judaism because it is a divine religion is not a nationality with independent existence. Furthermore the Jews are not one people with an independent personality because they are citizens of the countries to which they belong.”

In 1968 these statements were revised and the following provisions appeared as part of Articles 6 and 20 in the newly adopted PLO Charter:
” The Jews who had normally resided in Palestine until the beginning of the Zionist invasion will be considered Palestinians”

”Judaism, being a religion, is not an independent nationality. Nor do Jews constitute a single nation with an identity of its own; they are citizens of the states to which they belong”

In 1974 the PLO was appointed as the sole spokesman for the Palestinian Arabs - and its leader - Yasser Arafat - was welcomed to the United Nations with an olive branch in one hand and a gun in the other.

Since then the PLO has progressed its above declared racist policy of recovering every square meter of former Palestine and denying all Jews any right to Palestinian nationality in any part of former Palestine. It refuses to acknowledge Israel as the national home of the Jewish people.

The PLO is perfectly entitled to maintain and propagate its vile and racist program – but the civilized world should show its repugnance and rejection of such policy – and its refusal to recognize or endorse such a hate-filled program.

The President of the United States should refuse to welcome PLO leader - Mahmoud Abbas - to the White House or maintain any diplomatic discourse with the head of such an Organization. Let President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton issue such a declaration.

Other countries that have come out so strongly against “Innocence of Muslims” should be equally as responsive in rejecting the retention of these racist provisions in the constitution of an Organization they deal with. Financial assistance - now running into billions of dollars - should be discontinued until these provisions are removed.

Should Islam - being a religion - indeed a divine religion - be treated by the world in the same way Islam seeks to denigrate the Jews? Should the 56 Islamic member states forming the Organization of Islamic Co-Operation be denied any national identity or national recognition as Islamic states? Clearly not.

At the same time Jews need to be treated differently by these Islamic states – which - with the exception of Egypt and Jordan - still have not recognized Israel after 64 years of concerted and ongoing efforts to deny the Jews a state in their biblical and ancestral homeland since Israel was established in 1948.

The !988 Hamas Charter is equally as virulent in its steadfast opposition to Jews, Jewish statehood and Christianity - declaring in Article 13 (among many offensive provisions):
“Now and then the call goes out for the convening of an international conference to look for ways of solving the (Palestinian) question. Some accept, others reject the idea, for this or other reason, with one stipulation or more for consent to convening the conference and participating in it. Knowing the parties constituting the conference, their past and present attitudes towards Moslem problems, the Islamic Resistance Movement does not consider these conferences capable of realising the demands, restoring the rights or doing justice to the oppressed. These conferences are only ways of setting the infidels in the land of the Moslems as arbitraters. When did the infidels do justice to the believers?

“But the Jews will not be pleased with thee, neither the Christians, until thou follow their religion; say, The direction of Allah is the true direction. And verily if thou follow their desires, after the knowledge which hath been given thee, thou shalt find no patron or protector against Allah.” (The Cow - verse 120).

There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors. The Palestinian people know better than to consent to having their future, rights and fate toyed with. As in said in the honourable Hadith:

“The people of Syria are Allah’s lash in His land. He wreaks His vengeance through them against whomsoever He wishes among His slaves It is unthinkable that those who are double-faced among them should prosper over the faithful. They will certainly die out of grief and desperation.”

Hamas has been banned as a terrorist organization in many countries around the world.

That is not enough.

It should be similarly banned from any form of contact or receive financial assistance of any sort whatsoever whilst it retains such inflammatory and offensive statements in its Charter.

Those who meet with its officials and representatives should be condemned for engaging in and giving encouragement to such Jew-hating and Christianity-hating incitement.

Those who have voted such an organization into power and do nothing to seek a change in its Charter or to overthrow it - must bear the consequences of their decisions.

Jew-hatred - more than anything else - has been the driver in not ending the 130 years old conflict between Jews and Arabs. It did not begin in 1967.

Until it is stamped out and removed from the official policies of those representing the Palestinian Arabs - no real resolution of the conflict between Jews and Arabs can ever occur.

Band aids – yes. But a lasting peace – never.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Palestine - Romney Recognizes Reality - Rejects Arab Revanchism


[Published 21 September 2012]


Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney has made a valuable contribution to the public debate in exposing the utter folly of those who continue to still believe in the possibility of the creation of a second Arab state in former Palestine – in addition to Jordan - for the first time ever in recorded history.

Nineteen years of intensive efforts to bring this new Arab state to fruition have seen very little in tangible returns despite the most influential negotiating team ever assembled in history – the United Nations, the European Union, Russia and the United States – having been involved for the last nine years.

After two substantive offers by Israel to cede its claim to more than 90% of the West Bank in 2000/2001 and 2008 in favour of the Palestinian Authority - and after Israel’s disengagement from Gaza in 2005 – the resumption of further negotiations without preconditions remains deadlocked.

If those negotiations are ever resumed - the likelihood of any concluded agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority is very remote – unless the Palestinian Authority recognizes Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people and agrees to any newly created state of Palestine being demilitarised.

Mr Romney seems to have concluded that such Israeli demands will never be accepted – asserting:
“… the Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace, and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish. Now why do I say that?

Some might say, well, just let the Palestinians have the West Bank and have security, and set up a separate nation for the Palestinians. And then come a couple of thorny questions. I don’t have a map here to look up geography, but the border between Israel and the West Bank is obviously right there, right next to Tel Aviv, which is the financial capital, the industrial capital of Israel, the center of Israel. It’s, what, the border would be seven miles from Tel Aviv to what would be the West Bank. Nine miles. The challenge is, the other side of the West Bank, the other side of what would be this new Palestinian state would either be Syria at one point or Jordan. And of course, the Iranians would want to do through the West Bank exactly what they did through Lebanon, and what they did into Gaza. Which is the Iranians would want to bring missiles, that armament, into the West Bank and potentially threaten Israel. So Israel, of course, would have to say, “That can’t happen. We’ve got to keep Iranians from bringing weaponry into the West Bank.” Well, that means that, who, the Israelis are going to patrol the border between Jordan, Syria and this new Palestinian nation? Well, the Palestinians would say, “No way. We’re an independent country. You can’t guard our border with other Arab nations.”

And then how about the airport. How about flying into this Palestinian nation? Are we going to allow military aircraft to come in? And weaponry to come in? And if not, who’s going to keep it from coming in? Well, the Israelis. Well, the Palestinians are going to say, “We’re not an independent nation if Israel is able to come in and tell us what to land at our airport.”

These problems — they’re very hard to solve. And I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes. Committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel. And these thorny issues. And I say, there’s just no way. So what you do is you move things along the best way you can, you hope for some degree of stability. But you recognize this is going to remain an unsolved problem. We live with that in China and Taiwan. We have a potentially volatile situation, but we sort of live with it. And we kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately somehow, something will happen and resolve it. We don’t go to war to try and resolve it imminently."

Commonsense is the hallmark of Mr Romney’s reasoning – something that is lacking in those that are so blind that they cannot and do not want to see.

Negotiations under the Oslo Accords were founded on – and have foundered on – the Arab failure to reject a series of Arab fictions and falsehoods appearing in the 1964 Charter of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

Chief among them are claims that:
1. Only Arab – not non-Arab - residents of former Palestine are entitled to statehood

2. Palestine within the boundaries it had during the British Mandate is an indivisible territorial unit and an indivisible part of the Arab homeland

3. The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate for Palestine and everything based on them are null and void

4. The establishment of the State of Israel is illegal, regardless of the passage of time

5. Claims of historical or religious ties of Jews with Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history and the true conception of what constitutes statehood.
Judaism, being a religion, is not an independent nationality. Nor do Jews constitute a single nation with an identity of its own; they are citizens of the states to which they belong.
In endorsing these fictions and falsehoods by themselves failing to recognize the State of Israel for the last 64 years - the Arab world – with the exception of Egypt and Jordan - has ensured that any hope of Oslo leading to the creation of a 22nd Arab state located in former Palestine will ever occur.

Mr Romney still hopes against hope that something will happen to resolve this 130 years old seemingly intractable dispute between Arabs and Jews.

Perhaps the first step in the right direction would be an earnest attempt to try and restore -as far as is now possible - the territorial status quo existing prior to the creation of the PLO Charter in 1964 – when Jordan then occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem - and Egypt occupied Gaza..

That would result in the dispute between Jews and Arabs being realistically seen for what it is – a border dispute between Israel, Jordan and Egypt to resolve the allocation of sovereignty in the West Bank and Gaza – the last remaining areas of former Palestine where sovereignty remains undetermined between Arabs and Jews.

Replacing fiction and falsehood with historic, geographic and demographic facts is the ball that Mr Romney needs to pick up and kick downfield - should he become America’s next President.

Come to think of it – President Obama should do exactly the same thing if he is returned to the White House for another four years.

Recognizing reality and rejecting Arab revanchism is certainly the only way to now score a goal.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Palestine - Obama's Befuddled Thinking Sends Peace Hopes Sinking


[Published 26 October 2012]


President Obama has dramatically lowered his support for Israel over the past four years when one considers his latest response to a questionnaire from the American Jewish Committee - compared to the answers he provided before the 2008 elections.

President Obama’s 2012 response is both vague and essentially directionless:
"Last year, I stood before the United Nations General Assembly to address the Palestinian bid for U.N. recognition of statehood.I believe now, as I did then, that the Palestinian people deserve a state of their own. However, I continue to believe that lasting peace will only come from direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians themselves and not from unilateral Palestinian actions at the United Nations.That is why I made it clear that there can be no short-cuts to peace, and called on the world to recognize the legitimacy of Israel and its security concerns as a Jewish, democratic state.

We cannot impose peace or any final status details on the Israelis and Palestinians.Ultimately, it is up to the two parties to take action. Final status issues can only be resolved by the Israelis and Palestinians themselves. What we can do is state frankly what is widely known: that a lasting peace will involve two sovereign, independent states.And I am convinced that the majority of Israelis and Palestinians would rather look to the future than be trapped in the past. However, my Administration has made it clear that Israelis cannot be expected to negotiate with a partner that refuses to recognize its right to exist.That’s why it’s imperative that Hamas abides by the Quartet conditions to renounce violence, recognize Israel’s right to exist, and abide by past agreements."

His response was far more direct four years ago - indicating the parameters of the two-state solution he then envisaged should be the outcome of negotiations between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization through it’s agreed negotiating entity - the Palestinian Authority (PA).
"The United States cannot dictate the terms of a final status agreement. We should support the parties as they negotiate these difficult issues, but they will have to reach agreements that they can live with. In general terms, Israel clearly must emerge in a final status agreement with secure borders. Jerusalem will remain Israel’s capital, and no one should want or expect it to be re-divided. As for refugees, the Palestinians will need to reinterpret the notion of a right of return in such a way that will preserve Israel as a Jewish state, while Israel would likely contribute to international compensation for the refugees.

But these details are for the parties to decide. While negotiations are ongoing, both sides should take steps to improve conditions on the ground, so that people believe they have a stake in the process."

The following differences between Obama 2008 and Obama 2012 are starkly evident:
1. President Obama would find it virtually impossible to criticize the PA acquiring “a state of its own” by demanding as a necessary condition that all 500000 Jews living in the West Bank and East Jerusalem be expelled from their homes and businesses.

2. The Palestinian Arabs deserved right to a state is timeless - no matter how many offers made by Israel are rejected by the PA. With that kind of Presidential mind set - Arab rejectionism of such a state - first proposed in 1937 and rejected on many occasions since then - is bound to continue without fear of any political consequences from America.

3. Whilst direct negotiations still remain the pathway to create any such Palestinian State - the President is apparently prepared to allow those negotiations to continue to be stalled indefintely without any express policy being proposed by him as a possible circuit breaker. Such Presidential inertia can only encourage the PA to prolong the resumption of negotiations until its demands to return to the negotiating table are first agreed on by Israel.

4. Whilst President Obama states that he has called on the world to recognise the legitimacy of Israel and its security concerns as a Jewish democratic State - he makes no similar direct call on the Palestinian Arabs.

5. Gone are the 2008 pronouncements on secure borders, Jerusalem, and refugees - positions agreed on in an exchange of letters in 2004 between Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and President George W Bush. President Obama’s abandonment of his predecessor’s commitments will only embolden the PA to maintain its rejectionist stance on each of these issues.
Ironically the President’s stated policy positions will please many Jewish voters who want to see an end to the two-state solution and futher expansion of Jewish settlement in the West Bank - where sovereignty still remains unallocated.

It will equally please many Arab voters who are girding up to push the idea of just one state west of the Jordan River where they believe the Arabs living there would eventually become the majority population.

But most Jewish and Arab voters would sense that continuing to state what he says is “widely known” - that lasting peace will involve two sovereign independent states - is at best a pipe dream and far removed from the reality that has seen this objective still unachieved after nineteen years of fruitless negotiations.

President Obama’s latest response to the American Jewish Committee certainly guarantees the two-state solution is not going to happen if he is re-elected for a second term.

It also ensures that Israel will be left to hang out to dry by America as calls to divide Jerusalem are increased, territorial adjustments to the 1967 armistice lines in the quest to ensure Israel’s national security are ignored and calls for the unconditional right of return of millions of Palestinian Arabs and their descendants into Israel are stepped up.

As Israel continues to be delegitimised and denigrated as the national homeland of the Jewish people in pursuit of these Arab objectives - a second term President Obama will maintain a studied silence.

If a week is a long time in politics - the next four years will prove to be an eternity for any prospects for peace if President Obama makes it to the White House again and the present status quo is allowed to continue.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Palestine - A Match Made In Heaven


[Published 12 September 2012]

Yasser Arafat and Yitzchak Rabin were reportedly overheard having the following spirited conversation in heaven recently - frankly reflecting on the mistakes they both had made in trying to reach the “Peace of the Brave” for which they and the last surviving member of the trio - Shimon Peres—had received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994.

Yitzchak:
I always thought that the way to peace between the Jews and the Arabs involved re-subdividing Palestine into two States with Jewish Israel sovereign in about 20% of Palestine and Arab Jordan sovereign in about 80% of Palestine.

Shimon persuaded me to pursue a different path by accepting Oslo.

In hindsight this was a terrible error of judgment by me and cost me my life, the lives of thousands of Jews and Arabs and the maiming, wounding and emotional scarring of our respective populations.

Yasser:
Look Yitzchak, I know you weren’t happy with Oslo. I felt it in that famous handshake at the White House. I was aware of your comment in The Australian newspaper on May 27, 1985:
“One tiny State between Israel and Jordan will solve nothing. It will be a time bomb.”

Oslo would have created just such a State.

Yitzchak:
I think my then prediction is more relevant today than ever - considering the collapse of Oslo, 9/11, your 2001 refusal of Barak’s offer, the second Intifada, the failed Roadmap, the 2006 Lebanon War, the 2008 Abbas rejection of Olmert’s offer, the 10000 rockets fired into civilian population centres in Israel from Gaza since 2007, Operation Cast Lead in 2008, what’s happening now in Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Jordan, Gaza, the West Bank and Iran’s nuclear threat to wipe out Israel.

The Quartet members are making a big mistake pursuing the two-state solution.

They supposedly respect my memory but not my opinions. They know I also said when making my prediction:
“the Palestinians should have a sovereign State which includes most of the Palestinians. It should be Jordan with a considerable part of the West Bank and Gaza. East of the Jordan River there is enough room to settle the Palestinian refugees.”

Yasser:
On June 25, 1987 I myself told the New York Review of Books that before the Second World War:
“Jordan was an emirate, completely part of Palestine.”

I know my history as well as you, my dear partner in peace. We both agreed that Jordan was part of Palestine - part of the problem and part of the solution…..

Yitzchak:
We really should have built on this common agreement when we finally decided to talk about peace.

Yasser:
I also told Der Spiegel in 1986:
“Jordanians and Palestinians are indeed one people. No one can divide us. We have the same fate.”

Yitzchak:
Even Jordan recognised the historic and demographic reality of what you were saying. As early as Spring 1982 Crown Prince Hassan of Jordan was quoted in the Foreign Affairs Review as endorsing the words of a leading Jordanian social scientist:
“the Jordanians and Palestinians are now one people, and no political loyalty, however strong, will separate them permanently.”

Yasser:
Farouk Kadoumi, the Head of the Political Department of the PLO, told Newsweek on 14 March 1977:
“Jordanians and Palestinians are considered by the PLO as one people.”

Farouk stood by my wife Suha during my dying days in hospital in France. Now there is more concern about whether I was poisoned than there is about the failed peace process.
Yitzchak:
So why did you insist on separate Palestinian and Jordanian delegations at the Madrid Conference in 1991 instead of a joint Jordanian-Palestinian delegation?
Yasser:
Come on Yitzchak. You know there had been a power struggle between King Hussein and myself for control of Jordan. Could I ever forget or forgive how my followers and I were driven out of Jordan in September 1970 and the slaughter that was inflicted on us at that time? Do you think it was fun being shunted to Lebanon and thence to Tunisia?
Yitzchak:
But surely you could have resolved your dispute by retaining King Hussein as Jordan’s monarch and appointing yourself as Jordan’s Prime Minister. By burying your differences you could have ended up as Prime Minister of 80% of Palestine instead of President of nothing.

Yasser:
That’s all water under the bridge. Now that I have been removed from the scene is there perhaps something we can do to influence those left behind down there to
re-subdivide Palestine along the lines you suggested 27 years ago?

Yitzchak:
Well I know Shimon is just as aware as you and I are of Jordan’s role in bringing peace to the region. Shimon told the Jewish Telegraph on April 19, 1991:
“It is not obstinacy to regard the populations of Jordan, the West Bank and Gaza as having greater similarities than differences. The Jordan River is not deep enough to turn into a knife blade serving to cut one piece of territory into three slices. Most of Jordan’s population are Palestinians: the residents of the West Bank are Jordanian citizens and Jordan has distributed tens of thousands of passports to residents in the Gaza Strip. Jordan is therefore an existing State. It has an army. There is therefore no need to set up another State, another army.”

Yasser:
Shimon might now be President—but he is not the Israeli Government.

Israel’s Prime Minister - Bibi Netanyahu - needs to endorse Shimon’s view and make it Israeli policy

Yitzchak:
Bibi’s view is very similar to Shimon’s. Bibi told the United Nations on 11 December 1984:
“Clearly, in Eastern and Western Palestine, there are only two peoples, the Arabs and the Jews. Just as clearly, there are only two states in that area, Jordan and Israel. The Arab State of Jordan…does not allow a single Jew to live there…It also contains 4/5 of the territory originally allocated by this body’s predecessor, the League of Nations, for the Jewish National Home. The other State, Israel… contains less than 1/5 of the territory originally allocated to the Jews under the Mandate‚Ķ. It cannot be said, therefore, that the Arabs of Palestine are lacking a state of their own. The demand for a second Palestinian Arab State in Western Palestine, and a 22nd Arab State in the world, is merely the latest attempt to push Israel back into the hopelessly vulnerable armistice lines of 1949."

Bibi eventually changed direction under extreme pressure from President Obama by proposing a demilitarized third state in former Palestine on 14 June 2009. That idea has gone down like a lead balloon.

He and Shimon need to resume enunciating their long held shared vision once again.

Shimon also needs to remind his Presidential confreres what Ariel Sharon - in an induced coma since 2006 - told Time on April 17, 1989:
“Jordan is Palestine! The capital of Palestine is Amman. If Palestinian Arabs want to find their political expression, they will have to do it in Amman.”

Ariel’s unilateral disengagement from Gaza and the building of a security fence in the West Bank has effectively divided former Palestine into Jewish and Arab sections - forming the basis for calling an international conference to re-subdivide Palestine along the lines I first suggested in 1985.

Yasser:
That’s all fine, but what about my beloved Jerusalem? Can I ever hope that my mortal remains will be reburied there?

Yitzchak:
Yes. It is possible. East Jerusalem was part of Jordan between 1948-1967 and would have been so today had King Hussein kept out of the Six Day War. The Holy Places are specifically to be dealt with in the Peace Treaty I signed with King Hussein in 1994.

We can’t solve all the problems from here. Those on earth are charged with negotiating the final outcomes. Now is a propitious time for them to attempt to do so.

Yasser:
How can we get the Quartet to abandon its plans to continue pursuing the impossible? Visions have a habit of turning into the worst nightmares.

Yitzchak:
The Quartet should heed the above things we said whilst on earth, but which we unfortunately failed to try to put into practice. This will be the finest tribute they can pay to our memories and will merit the Nobel Prize that we were in truth prematurely awarded. This will be the real peace of the brave. Pressure must be put on Jordan to
re-subdivide Palestine, the same kind of pressure that is being put on Israel to accept the badly flawed and thoroughly discredited Road Map. Then perhaps the peace we all desire will be attainable.

Yasser:
Shalom Yitzchak

Yitzchak:
Salaam Yasser.

It is hard to believe that I first published this conversation in 2004. Everything said then still remains true today in this updated version.

Re-subdivide Palestine into two states - one Jewish - one Arab. Two people need two states - not three.

Hopefully another update will not be necessary in 2020