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

April 15, 2003

Give me one good reason (Ted Belman)

to say "yes" to a Palestinian State.

Joseph A. Norland has written the definitive paper setting out 23 reasons to say "no" to a second Palestinian State. I wonder if there is one good reason to say “yes”.

Bush in his wisdom has opted for a two state solution and he is aided and abetted by most of the world including Sharon and Wolfowitz with the exception of Arafat and other Arab hardliners, the Christian Coalition and the Zionist Organization of America among others.

The main reason a Palestinian State finds support in the world is that the Arabs want it. Since when is that reason enough. Appeasement is the name of the game. The Kurds also want a state and they number more than the Palestinians do and they have all the ingredients of a people, which the Palestinians do not. So why is the whole world not clamouring for a state for them. Simply because their neighbours, Syria, Turkey and Iran don’t want them to have a state. Tibetans also want a state, in fact did have a state. So why is no one coming to their aid. Too much trouble.

In all cases, it has nothing to do with entitlement.

The world reasons, since the Palestinians say they are entitled to a state, they must be entitled to it. But are they?

The British Mandate was to create a Jewish homeland in Palestine. This was to include all the West Bank and Jordan. So clearly the Arabs living in Palestine were not so entitled. Notwithstanding their mandate, the British created Jordan out of the lands promised to Israel. Then rather than give the rest to the Jews, they restricted their emigration and turned the matter over to the United Nations (What an oxymoron that is) and it passed the Partition Plan in ’47. As a result of which, the Arabs living in the West bank would have been entitled to the lands by virtue of this Plan but they rejected it and eight Arab armies attacked Israel and all were defeated. By ’67 they still hadn’t accepted the Partition Plan and massed on Israel’s borders for a second try at destroying Israel. What resulted was an even greater defeat of the Arabs including the loss of Jerusalem all the territories, the Sinai and the Golan.

The UN then passed Resolution 242 authorizing Israel to remain in possession of these lands until they had an agreement on secure and recognized borders with their neighbours. Again the Arabs rejected this resolution and at their conference at Khartoum adopted a policy of “no negotiation, no recognition and no peace.”

Realizing, that given their numbers and oil wealth, they couldn’t get the sympathy in the West, as the underdog, the Arabs reconstituted the struggle as between the “Palestinians” and Israel. Jordan and Egypt renounced their claims to the territories. At this time no one though of creating a state on these lands. So when Israel and Egypt signed a peace agreement in the seventies, Israel agreed to grant autonomy to the “Palestinians” within five years. So clearly they were not entitled to a state at that time.

Even when it came to Oslo when the PLO was recognized as the representatives of the Palestinians and the Palestinian Authority was born, there was no mention of a state in the accords. The purpose of Oslo was to arrive at settled borders pursuant to Res 242, which they finally accepted. But it too didn’t mention a state.

A state was first given its formal acknowledgement as a vision the Bush had in his June 2002 speech. But this speech didn’t create anything in law. It was just his vision. Not binding on anyone. Not even a promise.

The Arab propaganda machine, always aided and abetted by the Liberal media, began to argue entitlement on the basis that the lands were Palestinian lands, that they had a right not to be occupied and that Resolution 242 entitled them to 100% of the disputed territories which were occupied. Each of these “reasons” had no foundation in law or fact.

But that mattered to no one because appeasement was the name of the game. But it is a deadly game for Israel. Even Israel is back on its heels and only arguing the security issue and not the entitlement issue. Security is the key issue for Bush and Sharon and as important as it is, it should not eclipse the entitlement issue, namely, Israel’s right to the land.

The majority of Israelis are against the creation of a state and thus the “vision”. The same can be said of a majority of Americans including the Christian Coalition and the ZOA. It remains to be seen whether they can have an effect on the process or the outcome.

It is depressing to see how far Sharon and Bush have gone down this path and we can only hope that the forces against the vision, never mind the Road Map, will win Bush over and will win the day.