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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

September 11, 2002



Why one should oppose a second Palestinian-Arab state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza - Part 3 of 23

This piece continues a series the first parts of which were posted on September 8 and 9, 2002. The object of the series is to provide a data base that is not only reliable and well-documented but also one for which documents are easily accessible, preferably from web resources. Some of the historical data were culled from of the tome written by the famous British historian, Sir Martin Gilbert:

Gilbert, Martin. Israel. New York: William Morrow & Co., Inc, 1998.

Where Martin Gilbert is quoted, the relevant page is noted.



Reason 3 of 23:


3. The mandatory power, Britain, betrayed her mandate by slicing off the majority of the territory allotted to the Jews by the League of Nations; the Jewish people should not now be required to relinquish sovereignty over more territory.

The entire story of Britain chipping away at the Jewish National Home is told by a map showing the 1920, 1921 and 1923 borders of Palestine. This map has been reproduced in web sites and in history books numerous times. For example, the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs, or PASSIA, runs a site with numerous maps relevant to Palestine politcs. Using this site, one can find an annotated map showing the boundaries of mandatory Palestine. (PASSIA is “an Arab non-profit institution located in Jerusalem/Al-Quds with a financially and legally independent status. It is not affiliated with any government, political party or organization”.)

The same map is also reproduced in Martin Gilbert, p. 623 .

After WW I, the major powers at the 1919 Peace Conference in Paris agreed on granting the mandate over Palestine to Britain, along the lines of the Balfour Declaration of November 2, 1917 (Martin Gilbert, p. 42). The details were fleshed out in the San Remo Conference, April 1920, where the boundaries of Palestine were outlined to include contemporary Israel, Judea, Samaria, Gaza, Jordan and the Golan Heights.

The political events in 1919-1920 that are relevant to this article include the crowning of the Emir Feisal of Hedjaz as King of Syria and his ouster by force at the hands of the French army that occupied Syria and Lebanon in July 1920 (shortly after the San Remo Conference). As a result, Faisal’s younger brother, Abdullah, made his way to contemporary Jordan at the head of a small band of fighters to help Faisal. Contemporaneously, the Palestinian Arabs had become vocal in their opposition to the Zionist project. Thus, at the Cairo Conference of March 1921, Churchill took another step in a long series of attempts to appease the Arabs: the east bank of Palestine was delivered to Abdullah as his future kingdom, together with a hefty subsidy (i.e., bribe), and the area was excluded from the Jewish National Home. In return, Abdullah gave up the attempt to reinstall his brother as king of Syria. This exclusion of "Transjordania" from the Jewish National Home was enshrined in the mandate given by the League of Nations to Britain on July 24, 1922. (A future article will deal with the issue of Britain’s useless attempts to appease the Palestinian-Arabs and the consequent emboldening of the Palestinian-Arab terrorists which ultimately backfired on the British themselves.)

The exclusion of the east bank removed 78% of the total area allocated to the Jewish National Home by the League of Nations at San Remo.

In 1923, the Golan was ceded by Britain to France, the mandatory power over Syria and Lebanon. The circumstances under which this chunk of land was lopped off the Jewish National Home is explained in an article posted by Camera, as follows:
Having discovered the Golan lacks oil but that the Mosul area in northern Syria is rich in oil, the British cede the Golan to France in return for Mosul. Traditionally Mosul was part of Syria while the Golan was part of the Galilee. In return for the Golan, France relinquishes any claim to Palestine.

It is unclear how this act was reconciled with the League of Nations mandate which stipulated quite explicitly in Article 5:

Article 5.
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.

It should be noted, finally, that the famous “Resolution 242" refers clearly to “the principle” of “withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied in the recent conflict”. There is no reference to withdrawing from all the territories, and as explained by the architects of the resolution, that was not the intention in the first place. Since Israel returned most of the territory occupied in the course of the 1967 War, namely, Sinai, as part of the 1979 peace agreement with Egypt, Israel is quite right in placing the stamp of “Enough is Enough” on any further withdrawals. The issue of Resolution 242 will be dealt with separately in greater detail in a forthcoming article.

To summarize, the Jewish National Home has already been reduced in size, and there is no justification for any further reduction, especially one designed to create a 23rd Arab state (which would also be the second Palestinian-Arab state).

Contributed by Joseph Alexander Norland