2017: Palestine’s Three Dark Commemorations

16 Jan

 

 

 

Increasingly, Palestinians seem doomed to become subjects, or at best second-class citizens, in their homeland. Israeli expansionism, United States unconditional support, and UN impotence. These factors are combining to create dismal prospects for Palestinian self-determination and for a negotiated peace that is sensitive to the rights and grievances of both Palestinians and Jews.

 

Recalling three notable commemorations to be observed in 2017 may help us understand better how this distressing Palestinian narrative unfolded over the course of the past hundred years. Perhaps, such remembrances might even encourage the rectification of past failures, and encourage flagging national and international efforts to find a way forward even at this belated hour. The most promising initiatives are now associated with a growing global solidarity movement dedicated to achieving a just peace for both peoples. For now, neither the United Nations nor traditional diplomacy seem to have much leverage over the play of social and political forces that lies at the core of the Palestinian struggle. Only the nonviolent resistance of Palestinians to their prolonged ordeal of occupation and transnational civil society militancy seem to have any capacity to exert positive leverage over the status quo and to sustain hope.

 

At the same time, legitimacy and visibility remain important, and here the UN and international society have important roles to play, especially to reaffirm the legitimacy of Palestinian goals and grievances, the importance of political compromise, and the persisting refusal of Israel to show respect for international law, the authority of the United Nations, and the world public opinion.

 

 

1917

 

On November 2, 1917 the British Foreign Secretary, Arthur Balfour, was persuaded to send a letter to Baron Lionel Rothschild, an influential supporter of the world Zionist project, expressing the support of the British government, for the aspirations of the movement. The key language of the letter is as follows:

 

His Majesty ‘s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use its best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

 

An obvious initial observation is why was Britain moved to take such initiative in the midst of World War One. The most plausible explanation is that the war was not going so well, nurturing the belief and hope by British leaders that siding with the Zionist movement would encourage Jews throughout Europe to back the Allied cause, especially in Russia and Germany. A second motivation was to further British interests in Palestine, which Lloyd George, then Prime Minister, regarded as strategically vital to protect the overland trade route to India as well as safeguard access to the Suez Canal. An apparent third motivation was as an expression of gratitude to Chaim Weizmann, a Zionist leader, for his contributions as a chemist to the British war effort. And finally, there were many Europeans, including Balfour himself, who agreed with Zionism that the only lasting assurance of an elimination of anti-Semitism was for Jews to migrate to Palestine.

 

The Balfour Declaration was controversial from the day of issuance, even among some Jews. For one thing, such a commitment by the British Foreign Office was a purely colonialist undertaking without the slightest effort to consider the sentiments of the predominantly Arab population living in Palestine at the time (Jews were less than 10% of the population in 1917) or to take account of rising international support for the right of self-determination to be enjoyed by all peoples. Prominent Jews, led by Edward Montagu, Secretary of State for India at the time, opposed the Declaration, fearing that it would fan the flames of anti-Semitism, especially in the cities of Europe and North America. Beyond this, the Arabs felt betrayed as Balfour’s initiative was seen both as breaking wartime promises to the Arabs of postwar political independence in exchange for joining the fight against the Turks. It also signaled future troubles arising between the Zionist promotion of Jewish immigration to Palestine and the agitation of the indigenous Arab population, as well as producing in the midst of the Arab world a country with great military capabilities in relation to the surrounding region.

 

It should be acknowledged that even Zionist leaders were not altogether happy with the Balfour Declaration. There were deliberate ambiguities embedded in its language. For instance, Zionists would have preferred the word ‘the’ rather than ‘a’ to precede ‘national home.’ Also, the pledge to protect the status quo of non-Jews was seen as inviting trouble in the future, although as it turned out, this assumption of colonialist responsibility was never taken seriously. Most importantly, the Zionists received support only for the ambiguous reality of a national home rather than a clear promise of a sovereign state with full participatory rights in international society. On this latter point, informal backroom British diplomatic chatter agreed that a Jewish state might emerge in the future, but it was believed that this could happen only after Jews became a majority in Palestine, which happened only by way of the permanent dispossession of hundreds of thousands of Arab Palestinians in the course of the violent establishment of the state of Israel in 1948, which was also shadowed by the recent confirmation of the magnitude of the Holocaust.

 

It is worth this backward glance at the Balfour Declaration to realize how colonial ambition morphed into liberal guilt and humanitarian empathy for the plight of European Jews after World War II, while creating an endless nightmare of disappointment, oppression, and rightlessness for the Palestinian population.

 

 

 

1947

 

After World War Two, with strife in Palestine rising to intense levels, and the British Empire in free fall, Britain relinquished its mandatory role and gave the fledgling UN the job of deciding what to do. The UN created a high level group of diplomats to shape a proposal, resulting in a set of recommendations that featured the partition of Palestine into two communities, one for Jews, the other for Arabs. Jerusalem was internationalized with neither community exercising governing authority nor entitled to claim the city as part of its national identity. The UN report was adopted as an official proposal by a large majority of UN members in the form of General Assembly Resolution 181.

 

The Zionist movement purported to accept 181, while the Arab governments and the representatives of the Palestinian people rejected it, claiming it encroached upon rights of self-determination and was grossly unfair. At the time, Jews formed less than 35% of the population yet were given more than 55% of the land. It seems also that the Zionist acceptance of 181 was tactical rather than a principled commitment to confine border to the territory granted to Jews. This interpretation is reinforced by Israel’s refusal to withdraw from the land allocated to Palestine by 181 after fighting ceased in 1948, and instead Israel became a state based on ‘the green line’ borders that greatly enlarged the territorial expanse set aside for Jews in the UN plan.

 

As is widely appreciated, a war ensued, with armies of neighboring Arab countries entering Palestine being defeated by well-trained and armed Zionist militias. Israel won the war, obtaining control over 78% of Palestine at the time an armistice was reached, dispossessing over 700,000 Palestinians, and destroying several hundred Palestinian villages. This experience is the darkest hour experienced by the Palestinians, a continuing occasion of mourning, being known among Arabs as the nakba, or catastrophe.

 

 

 

 

 

1967

 

The third anniversary of 2017 is that associated with the 1967 War, which led to another military defeat of Arab neighbors, and the Israeli occupation of the whole of Palestine, including the entire city of Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. The Israeli victory changed the strategic equation dramatically. Israel that had been previously viewed as a strategic burden for the United States was now appreciated and acknowledged as a strategic partner with impressive military capabilities, and thus deserving of unconditional geopolitical support.

 

In famous Resolution 242 UN Security Council unanimously decided on November 22, 1967 that the withdrawal of Israeli forces should be negotiated, with certain agreed border modifications understood to be minor, in the context of reaching a peace agreement that included a fair resolution of issues pertaining to Palestinian refugees living throughout the region. There was no expectation that Israel would avoid withdrawal, and immediately obstruct diplomacy by embarking on the unlawful settlement undertaking.

 

During the next fifty years we have come to realize that 242 has not been implemented. On the contrary, Israel has further encroached on Occupied Palestine through the continually expanding settlements and related infrastructure of roads and security enclaves, including the separation wall found unlawful by a near unanimous majority of the International Court of Justice in 2004.

 

A point has now been reached where few believe that an independent Palestinian state co-existing with Israel is any longer feasible or even desirable, making further reliance on ‘a two-state’ solution delusional, playing into Israeli hands by giving additional time to carry forward a hybrid approach that mixes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem a de facto pattern of gradual annexation with an apartheid structure of occupation. Despair follows because no plausible alternative to the two-state solution enjoys political traction, except possibly an Israeli one-state solution imposed upon the Palestinians at the cost of effectively relinquishing Israel’s lingering pretensions of democracy. Whether the alternative political form of an ethnocracy enjoys political legitimacy is questionable from either a human rights or global public opinion perspective.

 

 

Conclusion

 

These dark remembrances reveal three stages in the steadily worsening Palestinian reality. They also reveal the inability of the UN or international diplomacy to solve the problem of how Palestinians and Jews should share the land. It is too late to reverse altogether these strong currents of history, but the challenge remains acute to find a humane outcome that somehow finds a way to allow these two peoples to live peacefully and securely together or in separated equal political communities that do not trample upon Palestinian rights. Let’s fervently hope that a satisfactory solution is miraculously found or achieved before another dark remembrance commands our attention.  

 

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11 Responses to “2017: Palestine’s Three Dark Commemorations”

  1. anisioluiz2008 January 16, 2017 at 1:51 pm #

    Reblogged this on O LADO ESCURO DA LUA.

  2. Carlos January 16, 2017 at 3:55 pm #

    Thank you Richard for reiterating the trajectory
    of this sorry saga. Agree with your points,
    2 things I have read come to mind. One, that
    in the original negotiations re Balfour, King
    Faisal was so unhappy he walked out, and Two that Britain was very concerned at the
    sheer numbers of Jews coming from Europe
    to their ‘fair and green’ land. The city of Jerusalem was always as in the hymns and
    songs, for all faiths.

    • Gene Schulman January 17, 2017 at 5:05 am #

      “Let’s fervently hope that a satisfactory solution is miraculously found or achieved before another dark remembrance commands our attention.”

      Those “dark remembrances” keep popping up every day. No longer hoping for miracles. So sorry.

  3. Fred Skolnik January 16, 2017 at 9:37 pm #

    1) The Arabs did not own the Middle East by virtue of conquering it.
    2) Half of the Jewish 55% was a desert (the Negev).
    3) The offocial Arab reply to Resolution 242 was: no peace, no recognition, no negotiations.

    If anything should be commemorated it is the stupidity of the Palestinians, who could have had a flourishing state and something more than the dream of massacring Jews.

    • ray032 January 19, 2017 at 12:49 pm #

      If Palestinians dream of massacring Jews, Jews actually massacre Palestinians.

      Even your friend the Rabbi acknowledges this, “None of this is intended to draw attention away from the horrors Israel imposes on the Palestinians daily, or Israel’s utterly unhelpful response to UNSCR 2334.”

      You blind yourself from seeing those horrors, so here is the latest appearing in Haaretz TODAY.

      ‘Kill Them, They’re Fair Game’

      To most Jewish Israelis, Arabs aren’t human beings equal to us. This dehumanization makes the soldiers and police trigger-happy.

      Palestinians and Israeli Arabs are fair game. They’re fair game in the occupied territories and fair game in Israel. They’re fair game because their blood is cheap. It’s cheap in Umm al-Hiran and cheap at the Tul Karm checkpoint. It’s cheap at construction sites and cheap at roadblocks.

      When the people killed are Arabs, nobody cares. When a soldier is killed in an accident, it’s front-page news. But when a Palestinian is killed while just waking up at home, nobody cares.

      Not one of the people killed in the last few days would have been shot to death if he weren’t a Palestinian or a Bedouin. It’s doubtful if any of them deserved to die. Was this wholesale killing designed to divert attention from another story, as has happened in Israel before and is customary in dark regimes? It’s hard to tell. But it’s easy to say with certainty: They’re fair game.

      They were fair game Wednesday in the Negev. Behold, Zionism 2017 – destroying a community of Bedouin refugees in order to build a Jewish community in its place. That’s the basic Zionist violence; nationalist and racist. Compare the case to the Amona outpost and you have perfect evidence of apartheid: negotiations and compensation for Jews, brutality for Arabs.

      In no eviction of Jews would the police have fired that way. In Umm al-Hiran it’s allowed. It’s also allowed to wound Joint List leader Ayman Odeh because the police have been trained to think Arab Knesset members are traitors. That’s what they heard from their public security minister, Gilad Erdan.

      Yakub Abu al-Kiyan, a teacher, was shot to death in his car for allegedly ramming it into policemen on purpose. Immediately the authorities spread their lies about him. They said he was linked to the Islamic State and had four wives. (MK Ahmad Tibi says Abu al-Kiyan’s only wife has a Ph.D., while his brother is an inspector in the Education Ministry).

      After that, how can anyone believe the police, who hastily claimed he deliberately ran over policemen? At least one witness, Kobi Snitz, told a website he saw the opposite. First the police sprayed Abu al-Kiyan’s car with bullets, then he lost control. A video posted Wednesday also raises heavy suspicions about what happened. You get the impression the shooting preceded the ramming.

      But so much over the past week preceded the events at Umm al-Hiran. In the Fara refugee camp, soldiers killed a man who had just woken up; 11 bullets from point-blank range in front of his mother; the soldiers say he tried to attack them. Mohammed al-Salahi was an only son who lived with his mother in a single room.

      In the Palestinian town of Tuqu, the Border Police shot a 17-year-old, Qusai al-Amour, who had thrown stones – obvious revenge. They then dragged the dying youth on the ground like a sack of potatoes. His head was battered on the rocks as they did so, while the cameras filmed.

      The next day, the cameras also documented the killing of Nadal Mahadawi, 44, at the Tul Karm checkpoint. The sight was horrific. He’s seen standing quietly while the soldiers shoot for no apparent reason. When he tries to flee, in what appears to be a dash for his life, they kill him.

      But no big deal, the “terrorist” was killed. That’s how the media portrayed it. The dragging of the wounded youth at Tuqu and the execution at the checkpoint should shock anyone. Above all, they should shock all Israelis, because the perpetrators are theirs sons, their soldiers and their police. But the victims were Palestinians.

      A straight line passes through Umm al-Hiran, Tuqu, Fara and Tul Karm – the line of dehumanization guiding the soldiers and police. It begins with the incitement campaigns and ends with trigger-happy troops.

      The roots are deep; they must be acknowledged. To most Israelis, all Arabs are the same and they’re not human beings equal to us. They’re not like us. They don’t love their children or their lives the way we do. They were born to kill. There’s no problem killing them. They’re all enemies, suspicious objects, terrorists, murderers – their lives and deaths are cheap.

      So kill them, because nothing bad will happen to you. Kill them, because it’s the only way to treat them.

      http://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-1.765915

  4. Kata Fisher January 17, 2017 at 9:24 am #

    Dear Professor Falk,

    Your narrative is bare, and there is nothing to it — you have completely left out the historical context of developments, including Jordan. Professor, you are consistently missing the mark.

    That leaves me only with one question, and I have to rationally ask: Are you missing the mark because you have not made it right with God? Or is it impossible for you to make right with God because you are missing the Mark?

    Perhaps, it is a time that you ask yourself such questions because most folks suffer the oldest age because they have not made with God, have kept missing the marks, and they enabled others to miss their marks, just as well. I hope that is not and will not be your case.

    Further, Professor Falk — most scientist achieve their Nobel Prize because they correct their missed marks. Would you not believe that?

    That same requirement should follow you — and if you really and honestly think that you deserve a Nobel Prize — you should have most learned from your past professional mistakes — just for one example such as Iran?

    That same requirement should follow you — and if you really and honestly think that you deserve a Nobel Prize — you should have most learned from your past professional mistakes — just for one example such as Iran?

    Would you not believe that? I do hope that you are not hoping in delusional and paranoid things of silent pride/s — and of course achieving anything by the means of that.

    Further, I have to point out to you that Creation is bearing the hate of satanic seals in the human race, and will only endure as long as it takes.

    Only if English, their rulers and world leaders would not have their generational and personal sins upon them — it would be extremely easy to excuse and acquit them. But it is not so, and what they have done is actually allowed evil that should not be taken easily and followed, in any way — that just sends a bad generational message to the youths of the next one.

    What was done by them does not deserve excuse before next generation. They did grave evils.

    Even if Church wanted to excuse them before God — the Church would not have the power to do it because they are in civil-ecclesiastical damnation. Can’t put the plate of excuses and forgiveness before them and next generation that does not exist.

    Professor Falk, I deal daily with self-deceiving children and it is ongoing humour with all of that. Often, I do not even interfere — I allow the age to do its own thing.

    However, I do hope that adults will be adults and correct their missed marks. Do you expect adults to correct their missed marks? I certainly do. If you do not expect adults to correct their missed marks — all of your educational processes will be in a dead end — and you will not achieve anything by that. And you certainly will not get that Nobel Prize that you somewhat deserve, after all you have said and have done.

    I firmly believe that you have to refocus on that Nobel Prize that you missed last year. I just have a hunch about that this morning.

  5. Beau Oolayforos January 17, 2017 at 1:12 pm #

    Dear Professor Falk,

    As we’ve seen in the news, all those old-guard diplomats getting together to reiterate the dying, or dead, 2-state mantra. Let’s have faith – I do – that something like the one-state plan of Omar Barghouti eventually comes about. Let Israel share the name of Palestine, and be the true democracy she is constantly boasting of.

    Another concerning anniversary is that of Sykes-Picot. If we are now to have a US/Russia detente, what will it be for? To carve up oil rights in Mesopotamia, and leave indigenous people to pick up the crumbs, if they’re lucky? To them, it would have to look like deja-vu all over again.

    • Kata Fisher January 18, 2017 at 9:46 am #

      A Note:

      I did see extreme idiotic stubbornness among them.

      They are just so devil-directed, and viciously in evil confused — seems to be more like grouped fools of some folks than actually rationally working individuals, and it must be because they have applied all evil un-discerned, and illegal things to their process so that they have destroyed themselves and others, in all of that.

      Political diplomacy and Psychological warfare are not any items that will resolve Faith-based and /or religious conflicts. They are doing that evil among themselves. But civil folks love to be insanely making mistakes in their of self-made convictions.

      That is fine, evil can be allowed. I do not think that there is any reason why anyone should not make more evil upon themselves than that which they have now.

      They just can’t heed educators and rational folks, at all. They are off in satanic seals, in devil directed — if you just watch on it is just EXTREMELY visible that evil of theirs.

      The majority of the population no longer believes in credibility and even any practicality of the Two-state. Not even to mention any fairness to it. It’s absolutely one evil bogus, and it was so from beginnings — it was only created by the bunch of the racists for the racist — who themselves were nationalist racist.

      All deserving trash can for all of that two-state mantra will be true service to the human race. Why would anyone have anything t do with racist things?

  6. faroukasvat January 17, 2017 at 5:17 pm #

    [] POSSIBILITIES FOR A MAN HUNTED BY SBs
    © Farouk Asvat

    There’s one of two possibilities
    Either they find you or they don’t
    If they don’t it’s ok
    But if they find you
    There’s one of two possibilities
    Either they let you go or they ban you
    If they let you go it’s ok
    But if they ban you
    There’s one of two possibilities
    Either you break your ban or you don’t
    If you don’t it’s ok
    But if you break your ban
    There’s one of two possibilities
    Either they find out or they don’t
    If they don’t it’s ok
    But if they find out
    There’s one of two possibilities
    Either they find you guilty or notguilty
    If they find you notguilty it’s ok
    But if they find you guilty
    There’s one of two possibilities
    Either they suspend your sentence or they jail you
    If they suspend your sentence it’s ok
    But if they jail you
    There’s one of two possibilities
    Either they release you
    Or you fall from the tenth floor

    * SBs: Security Branch, referring to the South African Security Police under apartheid,
    operating like the Nazi SS, KGB, Stasi, CIA/FBI and Shin Bet/Mossad.

    [] ADVICE FOR A MOTHER LOOKING FOR HER CHILD
    AFTER A DAY OF UNREST
    for the children of Palestine & Azania
    © Farouk Asvat

    Mamma,
    If your child is not home
    You will find her
    At the police station

    Mamma,
    If he is not there
    You will find her
    At police headquarters

    Mamma,
    If she is not there
    You will find him
    At the local clinic

    Mamma,
    If he is not there
    You will find her
    At the hospital

    Mamma,
    If she is not there
    You will find him
    In exile

    Mamma,
    If he is not there
    You will find her
    At the mortuary

    Mamma,
    If she is not there
    You will find him
    In the cemetery

    Mamma,
    If he is not there
    You will find
    She is disappeared

    Mamma,
    If you cannot find them
    You will find them
    In a mass grave

    [] HEARING THE CHILDREN CRY
    © Farouk Asvat

    Hearing the children cry
    Is music
    To the silence of blank faces
    Hearing the child in solitary
    Is better than not knowing
    That the child’s nightmare
    Is better than the cold
    Silence of death

    [] AMERICAN TRILOGY

    ● IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE

    if you or your loved one
    have killed civilians in other countries
    if you or your loved one
    have tortured innocents in other countries
    if you or your loved one
    have loved loved ones at home
    please contact the ones you have destroyed

    ● I’M LOVING IT

    i’m loving it
    killing civilians in other countries
    i’m loving it
    torturing innocents in other countries
    i’m loving it
    loving my loved ones at home
    i’m loving it
    not bothering about the ones I have destroyed

    ● HAVE A NICE DAY

    have a nice day
    bombing civilians
    have a nice day
    torturing innocents
    have a nice day
    loving your loved ones

    [] THE VOICES OF THE DEAD

    Speak to us
    Of revolutions that never happened
    Remind us
    Of justice that never materialised

    [] THE ZIONIST WALL
    © Farouk Asvat

    The Zionist Wall is a living thing:
    It brings death to the people of Palestine
    It comes with soldiers
    That massacre grandfathers in the streets
    It comes with bulldozers
    That destroy grandmothers in their homes

    The Zionist Wall is a breathing thing:
    It brings death to the Muslims of Palestine
    It comes with tanks
    That blast fathers to kingdom come
    It comes with white phosphorous
    That burns mothers to a living hell

    The Zionist Wall is a living thing:
    It brings death to the people of Palestine
    It comes with living clusters
    That kill children in the fields
    It comes with active uranium
    That contaminates babies in their prams

    The Zionist Wall is a breathing thing:
    It brings destruction to the Christians of Palestine
    It consumes orange trees and olive branches
    It slithers into crèches and clinics
    It slides into homes and orchards
    It destroys lives and livelihoods

    The Zionist Wall is not a dead thing:
    It brings death to the people of Palestine.
    It comes with helicopter gunships
    That shoot children playing in the streets
    It comes with military aircrafts
    That bomb mothers praying in their homes

    The Zionist Wall is not a dead thing:
    It brings death to the Jews of Israel.
    It comes with self-sacrificing bombers
    Who blow up buses and restaurants
    It comes with magnanimous martyrs
    Who obliterate school children and rabbis

    The Zionist Wall is not a dead thing:
    It brings death to the people of Israel.
    It shoots down ambulances and schools by day
    It blows up shops and hospitals by night
    It comes with dreams of paradise and virgins
    It leaves behind orphans and widows

    The Zionist Wall is a weeping wall:
    Those who lived and died in concentration camps
    Now create concentration camps
    For the living and the dead

    The Zionist Wall is a weeping wall:
    Those who died and survived a holocaust
    Now create a holocaust
    For the living and the dead

    The Zionist Wall is a wailing wall
    For the living and the dead of Palestine

    The Zionist Wall is a wailing wall
    For the living and the dead of Israel

    The Zionist Wall is a wailing wall
    For the living and the dead of the world

    ______________
    [] FAROUK ASVAT was banned by the South African regime between 1973 and 1978; and nominated an Amnesty International “Prisoner of Conscience”. He has received numerous death threats for his views and his writings. He won the Vita Literary Award for his anthology, A Celebration of Flames. He was awarded the Fulbright Scholarship to the University of California at Berkeley; the EOC Scholarship to the Vrije Universiteit in the Netherlands; the Kwanzaa Honors Certificate by the Africa Network in the United States; and his poem was selected to represent South Africa in the International Portland Review. His writings have been published in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Turkey, Switzerland, Netherlands, France, Germany, England & South Africa; and been translated into French, Dutch, Portuguese and Turkish.

    Publications:
    Sadness In The House Of Love (novel, 360 pages)
    The Gathering Of The Storm (novel, 150 pages)
    I Dream In Long Sentences (poetry, 100 pages)
    The Wind Still Sings Sad Songs (poetry, 142 pages)
    A Celebration Of Flames (poetry, 120 pages)
    The Time Of Our Lives (poetry, 114 pages)
    Bra Frooks … (poetry, 62 pages)
    Weapons Of Words (literary criticism, 150 pages)
    [all my books are published by amazon on paperback & kindle]

    farouk.asvat@gmail.com
    http://www.faroukasvat-poems.blogspot.com .
    http://www.amazon.com/author/faroukasvat

  7. Elaine McGillicuddy January 26, 2017 at 7:10 pm #

    Thanks Bruce. This is one I hadn’t read before; glad I saved it.

    I really like this Richard Falk!

    Elaine

  8. Mike 71 February 4, 2017 at 10:12 pm #

    This narrative contains some facts, but the slant put on them is disingenuous. The Balfour Declaration was a reaction to the anti-Semitism of Europe and the U.K. in particular, where it remains rampant with anti-Semitic incidents increasing by a third in the last year. The British didn’t want an influx of Jews into their country, and while some Jews saw it as an incitement to anti-Semitism; most saw the Balfour Declaration as recognition of Jews as the indigenous people of the region deserving of independent statehood.

    UNSCR 181 was accepted by Israel, but rejected by the Arabs; whether it was a “tactical decision,” or not, the Arabs rejected it, sending five Arab armies to crush the Jewish State. Had the Arabs accepted UNSCR 181 and the Israelis either outright rejected it, or accepted and later breached it, the Israelis would have conceded to moral high ground to the Arabs and world opinion on the conflict would have been different. Mischaracterization of Israel’s acceptance of UNSCR 181 is at best disingenuous and typical of the dishonest propagandist. That is more typical of Paul Josef Goebbels, than an honest historian!

    In May 1967, Nasser closed the Straits of Tiran, and access to Israel’s southern port of Eilat, a recognized act of war. Again, the Arabs led by Nasser initiated yet another war which they again lost. It was not Israel which rejected a negotiated peace by enacting the infamous “Three No’s (No negotiation, recognition, or peace with Israel.)” at the post war Khartoum Conference. As the Arabs rejected negotiations, Israel could not force negotiations upon them, but only continue the post war occupation. Under International Law, Israel as the victorious belligerent of the 1967 “Six Day War,” may retain captured land until that possession is modified by treaty. See:// http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uti_possidtis (Latin: As you possess, you may continue to possess.) The so-called “occupation” of disputed land, including all of Israel within the 1949 “Green Line (not recognized as an international boundary)” continues as Palestinians acquiesce in it. The strategy is that with the inability to militarily defeat Israel, they must accept inclusion and then subvert it from inside.

    The consequences of the 1967 war and rejection of the Oslo process are the unification of Jerusalem, the legitimization of settlements. (In a unified country, all citizens may reside anywhere within the state’s boundaries. Just as an American can move from Brooklyn to the suburbs of Los Angeles, an Israeli may move from Tel Aviv to the suburbs of Jerusalem.) The consequences also include outright rejection of Palestinian statehood by the Palestinians themselves. As Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah and Ismael Haniyeh of Hamas reject negotiations required under UNSCR 242 and 338, providing for secure and recognized boundaries” for all statues of the region, Israel has met its obligations in obtaining peace with Egypt, returning the Sinai comprising 91% of land captured in the 1967 war.

    Palestinians remain divided, unable to form a single state, let alone any state. Their leadership is not democratic with Mahmoud Abbas now in the 12th year of the four year term to which he was elected in 2005 and Ismael Haniyeh now in the 10th year of the five year term to which he was elected in 2007. Acting under a series of self-imposed “Nakbas,” they have forfeited their right to statehood as provided under UNGAR 181. If UNGAR 181 is not binding on Palestinians, neither is it binding on Israelis!

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