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 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.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Palestine - Gaza Conflict Sure To Resume

[Published 22 November 2012]

One would have to be a supreme optimist to believe the Agreement of Understanding For A Ceasefire in the Gaza Strip (Understanding) will result in anything but a brief lull in what has been a very difficult eight days for the civilian populations in both Israel and the Gaza Strip.

Ma’an News Agency , the Jerusalem Post and many other media outlets have introduced and published the text of what is termed a “ceasefire agreement” in the following identical terms:
“CAIRO (Reuters)—Following is the verbatim English text of the ceasefire agreement between Israel and the Palestinians in Gaza that was reached Wednesday with Egyptian mediation.

The text was distributed by the Egyptian presidency.

Agreement of Understanding For a Ceasefire in the Gaza Strip

1: (no title given for this section)

A. Israel should stop all hostilities in the Gaza Strip land, sea and air including incursions and targeting of individuals.

B. All Palestinian factions shall stop all hostilities from the Gaza Strip against Israel including rocket attacks and all attacks along the border.

C. Opening the crossings and facilitating the movements of people and transfer of goods and refraining from restricting residents’ free movements and targeting residents in border areas and procedures of implementation shall be dealt with after 24 hours from the start of the ceasefire.

D. Other matters as may be requested shall be addressed.

2: Implementation mechanisms:

A. Setting up the zero hour for the ceasefire understanding to enter into effect.

B. Egypt shall receive assurances from each party that the party commits to what was agreed upon.

C. Each party shall commit itself not to perform any acts that would breach this understanding. In case of any observations Egypt as the sponsor of this understanding shall be informed to follow up.”

There will inevitably be serious differences of opinion as to what the document really means - as the following comments - whilst not exhaustive - indicate:
1. The document is not an Agreement but merely an Understanding.

2. The parties to the Understanding are not specifically identified nor has the document been signed by any parties that are supposed to be bound by the Understanding. How does Egypt ensure that it has obtained the assurances from each Palestinian faction that each of them “has agreed to the terms of the document"?

3. What constitutes a “Palestinian faction”?

4. Israel “should stop” all hostilities - but all Palestinian factions “shall stop” all hostilities.

Israel is clearly not to be restrained in the same way as the Palestinian factions.

A draft of the document leaked to the BBC indicated the word “shall” was originally inserted in relation to Israel - but has been changed in the above text to “should”.

As a result the need to first identify those firing rockets from Gaza as being “Palestinian factions” acting in breach of the Understanding will not be necessary to stop Israel retaliating without itself being in breach of the Understanding.

5. Whilst Israel is to stop all hostilities in the Gaza Strip land, sea and air - the Palestinian factions are not so limited from engaging in hostilities from the sea, the Sinai peninsular, the West Bank or even from terrorist cells located in Israel. If any such hostilities occur - Israel would be precluded from retaliating in Gaza under the terms of the Understanding.

6. Persons or groups located in the Gaza Strip such as Al Qaeda, Iranian or other non- Palestinian factions are not bound by the Understanding.

7. Opening the crossings and facilitating the movements of people and transfer of goods and refraining from restricting residents free movements provide fertile ground for disagreement.

Will Israelis be welcomed in Gaza and Gazans allowed to visit Israel?

Ominously the issue has already raised its head before the parties have even started negotiating.

In Cairo, Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal said all the border crossings between Gaza and Israel had to be opened - not just the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt
“The [ceasefire] document stipulates the opening of the crossings, all the crossings, and not just Rafah,” Mr Meshaal told a news conference in Cairo.

The Understanding certainly does not contain the word “all”. The lawyers will have a field day arguing the meaning of this clause in the Understanding.

Mr Meshall is no doubt well aware of the furore over the meaning of the words ” in Palestine ” used in the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine and Winston Churchill’s explanation that those words did not mean "all of Palestine” when considering the recognition conferred on the Jewish people to reconstitute the Jewish National Home “in Palestine”

He may also recall the different interpretations of the meaning of the word “territory” used in Security Council Resolution 242.

The semantic war is still alive and kicking as a result of this shoddily drafted document.
1. Hamas is not clearly identified as a party although it constitutes the current Government in Gaza. It has no role to ensure other Palestinian factions comply with the Understanding. Abdication of its role in restraining the firing of rockets from Gaza by all and sundry has been a major contributor to the breakdown of law and order in Gaza.

2. There is no time laid down for reaching agreement on the outstanding issues.
With the ceasefire now in place - the execution of the Understanding will shortly commence.

Israel will want to see a quick resolution of the conditions of the Understanding resulting in an end once and for all to any rockets being fired indiscriminately into civilian population centres in Israel.

The Palestinian factions will not be in such a rush - as they take the opportunity allowed by the ceasefire to regroup and restock their depleted store of rockets whilst making continuing demands on Israel that it will find impossible to meet.

I am afraid that it is only a matter of time - a very short space of time perhaps one month at the most - before the ceasefire is set to disappear in a raft of recriminations as to who was responsible for the demise of the Understanding.

That in my humble opinion is certainly not rocket science.

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.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Palestine - Jordan Preparing To Jettison PLO

[Published 15 November 2012]

Jordan appears ready to fill the negotiating void that will be left by the PLO - should its expected application to be admitted as a non-member observer state at the United Nations be successful on 29 November.

Such unilateral action by the PLO - in violation of the Oslo Accords and international law - will amount to an act of political suicide. It will invite similar unilateral action by Israel. This could include termination of all further negotiations with the PLO through its negotiating mouthpiece - the Palestinian Authority.

Statements made in recent weeks by Prince Hassan of Jordan and PLO power broker Farouk Kaddoumi have confirmed the desirability of the West Bank being reunified with Jordan after a lapse of 45 years.

Added impetus has now been given to these statements with the release of two textbooks issued by the Jordanian Education Ministry for use in grades 1 to 12 in Jordanian schools.

The textbooks purport to teach students about bad eating and the dangers of smoking - but a wall map featured on some of its pages reportedly relays a skewed lesson in geography by excluding the names of Jordan and Palestine - inviting the following comment from the West Bank Association:
“In effect, the exclusion of these names annexes Palestine to Jordan”

The Jordanian Association Against Zionism and Racism was also quick to join in expressing its anger.

The chairman of the Jordanian agronomists’ association, Mahmoud Abu Ghanima and the chairman of the teachers’s association Mustafa Rawashdeh reportedly said those who helped distribute the textbooks should be indicted.

Their criticisms should fall on deaf ears.

Transjordan was the last Arab state to occupy the area known as “Judea and Samaria” between 1948 - 1967. In 1950 Transjordan adopted the name “West Bank” for these areas after they had been unified with Transjordan to create a newly named territorial entity called “Jordan”.

Transjordan’s 1947 Constitution was repealed and replaced with a new Jordanian Constitution in 1952 - in which Article 1 declared:
“The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is an independent sovereign Arab State. It is indivisible and inalienable and no part of it may be ceded. The people of Jordan form a part of the Arab Nation, and its system of government is parliamentary with a hereditary monarchy.”

This provision still remains intact and unamended in 2012.

In 1988 Jordan severed all legal and administrative ties with the West Bank.

King Hussein’s meticulously crafted address to the Jordanian people at that time made it quite clear that Jordan was ready to resume its previous role in the West Bank should circumstances arise.
“Arab unity between any two or more countries is an option of any Arab people. This is what we believe. Accordingly, we responded to the wish of the Palestinian people’s representatives for unity with Jordan in 1950. From this premise, we respect the wish of the PLO, the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, to secede from us as an independent Palestinian state. We say that while we fully understand the situation, nevertheless, Jordan will remain the proud bearer of the message of the Great Arab Revolt, adhering to its principles, believing in one Arab destiny, and committed to joint Arab action.

Regarding the political consideration, since the June 1967 aggression we have believed that our actions and efforts should be directed at liberating the land and the sanctities from Israeli occupation. Therefore, we have concentrated all our efforts over the past twenty-one years of occupation on that goal. We did not imagine that maintaining the legal and administrative relationship between the two banks could constitute an obstacle to liberating the occupied Palestinian land. Hence, in the past and before we took measures, we did not find anything requiring such measures, especially since our support for the Palestinian peoples right to self-determination was clear.

Lately, it has transpired that there is a general Palestinian and Arab orientation which believes in the need to highlight the Palestinian identity in full in all efforts and activities that are related to the Palestine question and its developments. It has also become clear that there is a general conviction that maintaining the legal and administrative links with the West Bank, and the ensuing Jordanian interaction with our Palestinian brothers under occupation through Jordanian institutions in the occupied territories, contradicts this orientation.”

Described as a “disengagement” on King Hussein’s official web page (the same term used to describe Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza in 2005) - the reasons given were as follows:
“Prior to 1989, Jordan’s last parliamentary elections were held in April of 1967, two months prior to Israel’s occupation of the West Bank. Since their union in 1950, the East and West Bank had been allocated equal representation within Parliament: each had thirty representatives in the House of Deputies. The 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank, and the 1974 Arab Summit resolution at Rabat, which designated the PLO as the “sole legitimate representative” of the Palestinian people, posed constitutional and practical obstacles to the holding of general elections.

On July 28, 1988, King Hussein announced the cessation of a $1.3 billion development program for the West Bank, explaining that the measure was designed to allow the PLO more responsibility for the area. Two days later, he formally dissolved Parliament, ending West Bank representation in the legislature. Finally, on July 31 King Hussein announced the severance of all administrative and legal ties with the occupied West Bank.

Accordingly, electoral districts were redrawn to represent East Bank constituencies only. This disengagement decision marks the turning point that launched the current democratic process, and began a new stage in Jordan’s relationship with West Bank Palestinians.

The decision to sever legal and administrative ties with the West Bank allowed Jordan’s electoral law to be changed, redrawing the map to include only East Bank districts. During the same period, mounting economic difficulties led to a spate of rioting in certain parts of the Kingdom. Circumstances had therefore coalesced to produce a situation favoring the resumption of the democratic process King Hussein had initiated early in his reign. In November 1989, general parliamentary elections were held in Jordan for the first time since 1966, ushering in a new era for the institutionalization of Jordan’s democratic experience.”

Jordan’s disengagement from the West Bank in favour of the PLO has proved an abject failure.

Reinstating Jordan's severed legal and administrative ties with the West Bank in direct negotiations with Israel is now rapidly shaping up as the most viable option to resolve sovereignty in the West Bank as the PLO slowly sinks into the political sunset.

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.