Dilemmas of a protracted conflict/Annexation is needed

Exactly.. Now were thinking here…It’s time to retake Gaza, and annex it all and deport all the troublemakers and terrorists with haste..

There is no need to wait for terrorist groups to build up their weapons supply and start firing long-range, accurate missiles on Israel.

By Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post

The false sense of quiet citizens have gotten acclimated to in recent months has once again been shattered by rockets slamming into Israel’s towns and cities. Over one million citizens are at immediate risk of losing their lives every time terrorists launch a rocket. And given that over 300 rockets were fired in the last few days alone, the potential casualty count is horrifying.Israel must obliterate Hamas’s capabilities to harm civilians, whether Israeli or Palestinian.

The same goes for the Popular Resistance Committee and Islamic Jihad, the two groups actually behind the rocket and mortar attacks in the last week.

Israel’s seemingly muted response has been met with varying degrees of condemnation.
English: Gilad Shalit on Hamas poster, Nablus

Some government officials, including Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch and Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee head Shaul Mofaz (Kadima), have called for a more heavy-handed approach than Israel has so far employed.

Arab MKs Taleb e-Sanaa, Muhammad Barakei and Jamal Zahalka all slammed the government for “pouring oil on the fire.”

Amusingly, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has referred to IDF activity in Gaza as a “massacre” and even human rights champion Syria condemned Israeli “aggression.”

It is likely that an all-out war in Gaza at this point could result in a high casualty count on both sides, and it is doubtful that anyone could stomach such a scenario.

Also, the UN is looking for a distraction from the government massacre in Syria and it makes no sense to offer it such an opportunity.

AND YET, Israel is caught up in a tit-for-tat, low-level war with Hamas as it has been for years, and now Islamic Jihad and the PRC, and there comes a point when decisive action must be taken to eradicate persistent threats.

In the larger context of Israel’s threats, if our leaders truly believe that Iran is close to achieving nuclear capability and that they will employ Hamas to hammer Israel on its western flank, it would make sense that now is the time to weaken Hamas before it can serve Iran’s interests.

The question is whether targeted assassinations are the way to achieve this.

Admittedly, killing Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and his successor Abdel Aziz al-Rantissi did not reduce Hamas’s capabilities to strike Israel, and going after its top leaders today may not necessarily result in a decimated Hamas, either. But it may be worth the try.

So far, Israel has shown it can manage a conflict with an enemy that has the clear disadvantage of relative immobility, but terrorist groups employ collective punishment as a means to secure their goals. They terrorize the Palestinian population by firing from within civilian areas, assassinate those suspected of collaboration with Israel and cynically use the civilian population as a human shield.

Additionally, terrorists use collective punishment by firing rockets indiscriminately at Israeli population centers, thereby placing over one million men, women and children at immediate risk.

The collective punishment argument against Israel often used by those “concerned” with human rights simply does not hold up in this case.

Further dilemmas facing Israel include the fact that terrorists blur the line between combatants and noncombatants and any Israeli targeted strike or ground operation will include some degree of collateral damage.

Israel can weaken terrorists through means other than targeted assassinations and a full-scale ground operation.

It can destroy smuggling tunnels that run between Egypt and Gaza, reduce the electricity supply and cut off funding.

IF ISRAEL’S leaders are forced to manage the conflict with the Palestinian Authority in lieu of resolving it in the immediate future, its implications are significantly different than the decision to manage the conflict with Hamas.

Twenty-first century warfare has taught us that groups like Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the PRC must be destroyed – not engaged in negotiation.

There is no need to wait for terrorist groups to build up their weapons supply and start firing long-range, accurate missiles on Israel. Israel needs to move from appearing complacent to demonstrating resolve.

Israel has long been a leader in the fight against terrorism, with foreign militaries looking to it for guidance and instruction.

But Hamas is incredibly resourceful. It has outmaneuvered the IDF on numerous occasions and it is now expanding its global influence.

Its former inability to reach much of Israel’s population with inaccurate but deadly Kassam rockets is gone.

Today, Hamas has in its possession Grad and Fajr rockets that have longer range and the capability to reach hundreds of thousands more citizens.

The placement of more Iron Dome anti-missile systems does not solve the dilemma of how to defeat an enemy that is bent on destroying Israel. Iron Dome must not be viewed as a fallback plan. Rather, it must be seen as the first step in the decisive war against all terrorist groups in Gaza.

While continuing precision targeted assassinations against terrorists, Israel should implement economic sanctions and reduce the electricity supply. It should target as many tunnels as possible and obliterate all weapons factories.

Israel may not deliver a mortal blow against terrorists on the first day, but a sustained operation of this kind could eventually reduce their capability to attack Israel.

With a turbulent Sinai in the south, a strengthened Hezbollah in the north and a shaky Syrian regime to the east, Israel cannot afford to allow Hamas and other terrorist groups time to further build up their deadly capabilities.

Israel must take decisive action and decimate Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the PRC.

Part I: Yesha is ours. Important of summary facts and law in support of Israel’s lawful exercise of sovereignty over East Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria

At least three nation-states, the UK, the US and Canada allow evidence of legislative purpose to be admitted to show the meaning of a statute that is ambiguous.

What follows is a necessary minimum of that evidence to show the purpose of the Balfour Declaration that was adopted by the WWI Allies at San Remo that established the International Law provided by that Agreement and the British Mandate for Palestine.

It is widely accepted, but not correct, that the West Bank belongs to the local Arabs in Palestine who in 1964, at the suggestion of the Soviet dezinformatsia, decided to call themselves “Palestinians.” [1]

These “invented people” [2] also pretend they had long had a passion for self government. [3] The full extent of Israel’s claim of sovereignty has not recently been stated. At most, it is said by the Israeli government that no one has sovereignty over the West Bank, but that Israel has the better claim. [4]

A better view is that the Jews obtained a beneficial interest in sovereignty over all of Palestine in the 1922 enactment of the British Mandate for Palestine, that entrusted exclusive political or national rights in Palestine to Britain in trust for the benefit of the Jews that later matured into a legal interest on the abandonment of the trusteeship by Britain and the attainment of the Jews of a majority population.

The trusts or guardianships were to be called “mandates”.

It was in 1919 that Jan Smuts submitted a memorandum to the League, which later became Article 22. The Council of Ten drafted for the League of Nations as Part I of the Treaty of Versailles [5], an Article 22 providing for trusts and guardianships for the areas in The Middle East and North Africa captured by the WWI Allies from the Ottoman Empire.  This concept was later applied to other areas. Article 22’s first two paragraphs provided a reasonably clear showing that a mandate was based on the longstanding British legal concepts of trusts and guardianships.

In 1917, in advance of the end of WWI, the British had drafted and published a policy for the disposition of the captured Ottoman  lands in Palestine. [6] Britain and France were at that time following the “secret’ Sykes-Picot Agreement in their disposition of Ottoman Lands. But in recognition of the historic association of the Jews with Palestine, the  Balfour Declaration, a British Policy approved it its Cabinet, provided for exclusive political or national rights in Palestine to be granted to the Jews.

The 1920 agreement of the WWI Allies at San Remo, on the terms of the Mandate turned what had been only a British Policy approved by the Cabinet, into International Law.  Under Article 22 of the League of Nations Covenant, the rights were to be provided in trust, [7].

We know this because the Balfour policy had been attacked as antidemocratic, as giving sovereignty to the Jewish people who constituted only 60,000 of the total population of 600,000 in Palestine as of 1917.

In Jerusalem, the Jews had had a plurality of the population since 1845 and a majority since 1863, but in all of Palestine, in 1917 they constituted only 10% of the population.  Even US President Woodrow Wilson was advancing that argument that award of sovereignty to a minority population was inconsistent with his 14 points that provided, among other things, for majority control.

To counter this argument, which they conceded was a good one, Arnold Toynbee and James Namier in the British Foreign Office, in a memorandum of September 19, 1917 [8] said the problem of control by a minority was “imaginary” because they predicted that the grant would be placed in trust and would not vest sovereignty in the Jews until the Jews fit to govern it on modern European state.

In my view these included attainment of a majority population, defined boundaries, unified control over all within the boundaries, etc..  Providing a National Home for Jews in Palestine with the British running the government until the Jews could attain a majority status based on favored immigration from the Jews in the Diaspora would be a temporary measure and not antidemocratic. [9]

The statement of the purpose of the British Mandate for Palestine in its Preamble and Article 2 is entirely consistent with this view although not express. [10]

What was the National Home, a reconstituted state?  No, it was a place for the Jewish people to feel at home while the immigration was going on that would ultimately give the Jews a majority of the population and a reconstituted state. So that the staff of the British Mandatory Power, will know how to do that: Article 4 provides for the Zionist Organization to advise the mandate government staff. Part of Article 6 requires the staff of the Mandatory Power for The Administration of Palestine, to facilitate immigration of Jews.   The Mandate does NOT provide that immigration of any other peoples is to be facilitated. (emphasis added) Article 5 provides that none of the land is to be ceded to a foreign power.

Who were the beneficiaries of the trust?  Only the Jews, both those already in Palestine and many more scattered worldwide in the Diaspora since the time of the Roman Empire conquest of Palestine.

Howard Grief, who has provided the seminal work on the legal foundations of Israel under International Law, says one can conclude this because they are the only people mentioned to be dealt with specially. [11]The non-Jews are referred to only to ensure their civil and religious rights are to be protected.

Because Article 22 of the League Covenant defined the relationship of Britain and the Jews as trustee and guardian with Jews in effect being beneficiaries and ward the Mandate essentially provided for a Jewish National Home that would be supervised by the British until its ward was capable of exercising sovereignty, including helping it attain a majority of population it needed to do that.  It was charged with facilitating such immigration.

All this purpose was not expressed very clearly in the Mandate, likely to avoid stirring up the Arabs in time of war that might bleed off troops to maintain stability in Palestine. But the Arabs did understand that this was the case.

After the war, the Arabs were told by Winston Churchill that the request for self government by the inhabitants of Palestine would be denied until such time as the Jews had attained a majority of the population.  They made that understanding clear in their arguments against Partition in the UNSCOP hearings in 1947. [12]

The Arabs argued in 1947 “It was clear from the beginning that if Palestine were to be turned into a Jewish national home, this would involve the indefinite denial of self-government until such time as the Jews were strong enough to take over the government; that pending such time, Palestine would have to be subjected to a foreign administration [of England] which had no basis in the consent of the population and of which the policy would be determined, not by consideration of the welfare of the population, but by the desire to assist in the settlement of an alien group; and that to make such a settlement possible the country would have to be cut off from the surrounding Arab lands by artificial frontiers, would be given a separate system of law, administration, finance,  tariffs, and education and would thus inevitably lose some if not all of the Arab character.”

But  that is what the grantors had in mind and the Arabs knew it when they argued against Partition in 1947. [13] They had learned after WWI from Winston Churchill this was their intention.

“As the first Arab delegation to England stated in the course of its correspondence with Mr. Churchill, then Secretary of State for the Colonies, ‘we are to understand …that self-government will be granted as soon as the Jewish people in Palestine are sufficiently able through numbers and powers to benefit to the full by it, and not before.’ “[14]

Prior to the publishing of the British Mandate the French attached a “proce’s verbal” in French shown only in the French Version. [15] This was their agreement only on their stated understanding that the Mandate would not eliminate any existing rights of the non-Jews in Palestine.  The League had no objection to the process verbal.

The Mandate expressly preserved existing civil and religious rights of the non-Jews.  It could not preserve their political rights because they had never had any.  The  preservation of their civil rights only protected their individual political rights, ie. their electoral rights.  It did not protect their collective political rights or national rights, the right of sovereignty and political self-determination.

The Arabs in Palestine had always been ruled from afar.  So the Mandate carried out the “process verbal”

Why, in 1917, did Britain establish a policy that gave a preference to the Jews?  There were several reasons.

1.  Britain’s Prime Minister at the time of the Balfour Declaration was David Lloyd-George. Later, in 1923, he was the author of an article “The Jews and Palestine”  [16] In it he revealed his view that the Arabs under Ottoman Rule had turned Palestine, the Biblical land of milk and honey into a malarial wasteland.  He believed it could be remedied under a reconstituted Jewish State.

2.  There was considerable sympathy among many Christian Evangelicals in England who thought the Jews should be restored to Palestine to flee from the pogroms of Russia and Poland. This sympathy did not extend to receiving them in England.  British workmen had complained that Jews were flooding in to England and taking their jobs and working for less. This led to the Aliens Act of 1909 restricting Jewish immigration into England.

But the British recognized that the oppression of the Jews in Russia and Poland was very bad and they needed some place to go. [17]

3.  Chaim Weismann, an ardent Zionist and also a good chemist, had helped Britain in the war by developing an inexpensive method of manufacturing acetone used in cordite for munitions and had given it to the British. It was a great help to the British war effort. [18]

4.  And England, according to Winston Churchill, also desired to win over the Jews in Russia, many of them in the Bolshevik government, so that they might influence the new Marxist government to remain in battle with the Germans and Ottomans in WWI on the side of the Allies.  He thought that the Balfour Declaration could sway them in British favor.  [19]

There came a time after WWII that the British decided their effort to be trustee was simply costing it too much.  They tried to obtain some funding from the United States, but the United States declined to do so.  Britain finally decided to abandon its trusteeship and guardianship in 1948.

On the abandonment of its trusteeship by Britain in 1948, political rights that were the “trust res” (the thing put in trust) devolved to the Jews as beneficiaries or wards of the trust and vested in them the political rights permitting them to exercise sovereignty.  These rights had survived the demise of the League of Nations by virtue of Article 80 of the UN Charter. [20]  It should be expressly noted that the Jews did not receive these rights from the Partition Resolution.

By that time the Jewish population had increased significantly.  In 1947 the UN General Assembly had recommended that the Jews give up some of its rights in an attempt to avoid violence that had been threatened by the Arabs if the Jews were to reconstitute their state in Palestine.  The Jews agreed to give up some of the land over which they were to have political rights, but the Arabs rejected the recommendation and commenced a war.

It was by the Arabs starting a war that led to a Jewish population majority.  Some 600,000 to 700,000 Arabs fled the country before even seeing an Israeli soldier.  The wealthy left first, at the first foreshadowing of war.  According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, Mahmoud Abbas wrote this in the official organ of the PLO, “Filanstin”, most of the rest left at the request of the Arab Higher Committee that wanted to get them out of the way of the Arab armies in the surrounding states.  [21]

Many left because of a false report that the Irgun had committed a massacre of Arabs at Deir Yassin, that the Haganah, their political enemies did not dispute. A BBC program based on an interview of an Arab radio commentator at the time revealed he had been pushed into designating a hard fought battle as a massacre so as to provide an excuse for the invasion of surrounding armies.  [22]

Many Arabs local to Palestine left; some remained.

But those that left could not go back because the Arab Armies did not prevail

In 1948 Israel declared Independence and vindicated its claim by force of arms against the assault of other Arab states surrounding it.  It established an orderly unified stable control of its territory except for Judea, Samaria, and East Jerusalem which had been invaded and occupied by the Arab Legion in the East.  This British supplied and led organization became the Army of Jordan. [23] In the South, the Egyptian Army was able to maintain its occupation of the Gaza Strip.

In 1920 the Ottoman Empire in Article 95 of the Treaty of Sevres,had ceded its sovereignty in Palestine, which had been undisputed for 400 years, to a Mandatory Power in trust for a National Homeland for the Jews. [24]  The Sevres Treaty was never ratified by the Turks who were concerned over Turkey’s boundaries in Europe and in adjacent areas in Asia, not in the Middle East and North.  But these issues were finally settled in 1923 in the Treaty of Lausanne that left the agreements in the Middle East unchanged.

The trustee selected by the League of Nations at San Remo was Great Britain; the US had been another possibiility.  Sovereignty, i.e. political rights, over the other 99% of the lands captured from the Ottomans in the Middle East was allocated to Arab and Muslim majorities in some 20 areas such as Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq but as in the case of Palestine, in mandates of guardianship as the inhabitants had had no prior experience in self rule.

While it was expected in 1920 that the Jewish Homeland would eventually become a state when immigration gave the Jews a majority of the population, at the time the Jews were incapable of exercising sovereignty although the “Jewish Agency” was exercising administrative authority of wide scope.

End Notes

1.  Brand, Soviet Russia, The Creators of the PLO and the Palestinian People, http://www.think-israel.org/brand.russiatheenemy.html

2. Newt Gingrich, Campaign speech, 2012 Republican Primary

3.  Brand, Was there a Palestine Arab National Movement at the End of the Ottoman Period? http://www.think-israel.org/brand.palnationalism.html

[4] Danny Ayalon, Israel’s current Deputy Foreign Minister, The Truth About the West Bank /News/News.aspx/145836

[5]  See the original documents in the Avalon Project at Yale University. http://avalon.law.yale.edu/subject_menus/versailles_menu.asp

[6]The Balfour Declaration Text http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/E210CA73E38D9E1D052565FA00705C61

[7] See the first two paragraphs of Article 22

[8]  Mueller, Editor, Churchill as a Peacemaker, Feith, p. 224 n. 36 citing Sir Martin Gilbert, Exile and Return, p. 111-12

[9]  Charles Hill, Trial of a Thousand Years,  World Order and Islamism

[10] San Remo Convention Text of the Mandate

http://wwi.lib.byu.edu/index.php/San_Remo_Convention

[11] Howard Grief, The Legal Foundation and Borders of Israel under International Law, p. 36

[12] The Future of Palestine” by Musa Alami with a foreword by Mr. Alami.  Hermon Press, Beirut, London (1970)

[13] Id

[14] Id

[15] Salomon Benzsimra, Jewish People’s Rights to the Land of Israel, n. 68 See below

[16] David Lloyd George, The Jews and Palestine, http://einshalom.com/archives/210

[17] Ronald Sanders, The High Walls of Jerusalem, A history of the Balfour Declaration and the Birth of the British Mandate for Palestine. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, New York (1983) p. 90-94

[18]  High Walls at 189

[19]  Sir Martin Gilbert, Churchill and the Jews,Gilbert reveals the beliefs that moved the British government to issue the Declaration: “The War Cabinet hoped that, inspired by the promise of a national home in Palestine, Russian Jews would encourage Russia—then in the throes of revolution—to stay in the war,. . . http://www.inconvenienthistory.com/archive/2011/volume_3/number_1/churchill_international_jews_and_the_holocaust.php

[20]http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/un/unchart.htm#art80

[21] Abu Mazen Charges that the Arab States Are the Cause of the Palestinian Refugee Problem  (Wall Street Journal; June 5, 2003)

[22]http://www.palestinefacts.org/pf_independence_war_diryassin.php

[23] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_Legion

[24] http://athena.hri.org/docs/sevres/part3.html

EXACTLY

Balfour resigned as foreign secretary following the Paris  Conference in 1919, but continued in the Cabinet as lord president of the council. In a memorandum addressed to new Foreign Secretary Lord Curzon, he stated that the Balfour Declaration contradicted the letters of the covenant (referring to the League Covenant) the Anglo-French Declaration, and the instructions to the King-Crane Commission. All of the other engagements contained pledges that the Arab or Muslim populations could establish national governments of their own choosing according to the principle of self-determination. Balfour explained: “… in Palestine we do not propose to even go through the form of consulting the wishes of the present (majority) inhabitants of the country though the American [King-Crane] Commission is going through the form of asking what they are.

Balfour stated explicitly to Curzon:
“The Four Great Powers [Britain, France, Italy and the United States] are committed to Zionism. And Zionism, be it right or wrong, good or bad, is rooted in age-long traditions, in present needs, and future hopes, of far profounder import than the desires and prejudices of the 700,000 Arabs who now inhabit that ancient land. In my opinion that is right.” * * * * *

Balfour continued:
“I do not think that Zionism will hurt the Arabs, but they will never say they want it. Whatever be the future of Palestine it is not now an ‘independent nation’, nor is it yet on the way to become one. Whatever deference should be paid to the views of those living there, the Powers in their selection of a mandatory do not propose, as I understand the matter, to consult them.”. . .”If Zionism is to influence the Jewish problem throughout the world,  Palestine must be made available for the largest number of Jewish immigrants”

While the rights granted under the Trust restricted the Jews, when they did exercise sovereignty, from doing anything that would impair the civil or religious rights of the Arabs it was silent as to the political rights for the Arabs. The Mandate Law also became the domestic law of the UK and the US in 1924 as Treaty Law when, under a new American Administration, the Mandate became the subject of the Anglo American Convention of 1924.[24]

Perfidious Albion did not maintain the 1920 form of its proposed trust for very long. Circumstances changed, British interests changed, and the British Government also changed. President Wilson’s opposition had delayed the issuance of the mandate as proposed in the initial draft submitted to the WWI Allies at San Remo.  In the meantime, England had installed Feisal as the King of Syria.[25] After the Battle of Maysalun, in which the French Armed Forces defeated the Syrian Army the French deposed Feisal.[25] Abdullah, Feisal’s brother, was furious. He marched his troops from their home in the Hejaz (in the Arabian Peninsula) to Eastern Palestine and made ready to attack the French in Syria.

Churchill did not want war between the Arabs and the French. In the secret Sykes-Picot Agreement, Syria was in the French sphere of influence.  Churchill gave Feisal the Kingdom of Iraq as a consolation prize[26] and gave Abdullah and his Hashemite tribe from the Arabian Peninsula Eastern Palestine in violation of the British Mandate.[27] The Mandate at San Remo  had prohibited the Mandatory from ceding any land to a foreign nation. In the 1922 change, with a new Article 25, it formally approved delaying organized settlement by the Jews East of the Jordan River and informally gave TransJordan to Abdullah and his Hashemite Tribe from the Hejaz.

Article 25 preserved the prohibition of the Mandatory Power from discriminating among races or religions.[28] The land East of the Jordan River became TransJordan and then Jordan and the Mandatory, despite the specific terms of the mandate, prohibited Jews, but not other ethnic groups, from settling there.

The British urging the League to adopt Article 25 was a breach of its fiduciary relationship as trustee with its beneficiary and as guardian, with its ward.[29] as were the policies in their White Papers of 1922, 1930 and the vicious White Paper of 1939 under the Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, of Munich fame, that blocked many Jews from fleeing from the Nazi Holocaust.  A vicious enforcement of the blockade ensued and directly disobeyed the Mandate’s requirement to facilitate Jewish immigration.

During WWI the Hussein/McMahon correspondence with the Arabs in the Arabian Peninsula led to a British offer to all Arabs in the Caliphate of self-government free from Turkish rule if they helped the British in the war.[30]

The Arabs local to Palestine, unlike the Arabs from the Arabian Peninsula that had been led by Lawrence declined the British offer of political self determination if they were to help the Allies, and preferred to fight for the Ottoman Turks who ruled from Constantinople. According to Winston Churchill, , “The Palestinian Arabs, of course, were for the most part fighting against us, ,,,” [31]
“However the Jews assembled several battalions of Jewish soldiers that fought alongside the British in Palestine in WWI.[32]

At that point the Jews had, de facto, lost 78% of their Mandated beneficial right to sovereignty in Palestine, the land TransJordan or East of the Jordan River.  Only 22% of the Mandate was left.  After WWII, Article 80 of the UN Charter[33] expressly preserved the rights that had been granted by the League of Nations prior to its demise, i.e. the Jewish national rights, so the UN could not grant any of it to the Arabs. As I have noted, the Mandate itself prohibited the trustee from ceding any land in Palestine to a foreign Power.

Known as “the Palestine clause,” Article 80 was drafted by Jewish legal representatives including the liberal Rabbi Stephen S. Wise, Peter Bergson (Hillel Kook) from the right-wing Irgun, and prominent Revisionist Ben-Zion Netanyahu (father of Bibi). It preserved the right of the Jewish people to “close settlement” throughout their remaining portion of Palestine west of the Jordan River.

In 1947 nevertheless, the UN did not “grant” but its General Assembly “recommended” (not a grant– that would be inconsistent with the previous grant) a partition that offered a part of the area West of the Jordan (a part of the 22% remaining) to the Jews, in effect, releasing that part of the trust res (the political rights) to the Jews, and the remainder to the local Arabs, although the latter was unauthorized by the Mandate.  In the UNSCOP hearings, the Arabs had threatened violence if the Jews were to have a state in any  part of the Middle East.  It is evident that the UN, by submitting to the Arabs extortion — threats of violence — and recommending still further partition of the remainder, hoped to avoid the violence.

In the San Remo Resolution, the Allies agreed
“To accept the terms of the Mandates Article as given below with reference to Palestine, on the understanding that there was inserted a process-verbal an undertaking by the Mandatory Power that this would not involve the surrender of the rights hitherto enjoyed by the non-Jewish communities in Palestine;”[34]

What were those rights? The Mandate preserved the civil and religious rights of the local Arabs but did not create any political rights for them. The civil rights included individual political or electoral rights but not the collective political right of self-determination.  It did not and could not “preserve” any collective political rights or “national rights” in Palestine for local Arabs in Palestine as they had never in history had any. It follows, therefore, as to political rights, the local Arabs were no worse off than they were under the Ottoman rule from 1520 to 1920, the British suzerainty from 1920 to 1948, or the Jordanian rule from 1948 to 1967.

But the Arabs didn’t want the Jews to have any land with political rights for religious reasons, because it violated Islam to have any inroads on the Dar-al-Islam.[35] They engaged in jihad against the Jews and the Arab Higher Committee brought in the Armies of the surrounding Arab and Muslims States.

What was the effect of the abandonment of the trust by the trustee in 1948?  Howard Grief provides a more legally precise reason,[36]  but a simple way to look at it was that when the trustee quit his obligation, the only equitable thing to do was to give the rights to the beneficiary of the trust or the ward of the guardian.

Going back to 1922, by 1922 the British Government’s interests had changed and the government had changed. In addition to its problems with the deposing of  King Feisal, it was defending itself from charges that it had conferred political rights to the same land to the French, the Arabs and the Jews in three different agreements, the Sykes-Picot agreement, the McMahon-Hussein correspondence, and the Lord Balfour Declaration. So in 1922, Churchill, in a White Paper, tried wiggle out of England’s obligation to the Jews by hinting broadly that a “national home” was not necessarily a state. However in private, many British officials agreed with the interpretation of the Zionists that a state would be established when a Jewish majority was achieved.[37]

In the British cabinet discussion during final consideration of the language of the Balfour Declaration, in responding to the opposition of Lord Curzon, who viewed the language as giving rise to the presumption that Great Britain favored a Jewish State, Lord Balfour stated: “As to the meaning of the words ‘national home’, to which the Zionists attach so much importance, he understood it to mean some form of British, American, or other protectorate, under which full facilities would be given to the Jews to work out their own salvation and to build up, by means of education, agriculture, and industry, a real center of national culture and focus of national life. It did not necessarily involve the early establishment of an independent Jewish State, which was a matter for gradual development in accordance with the ordinary laws of political evolution.” The key word here was ‘early’; otherwise, the statement makes it quite clear that Balfour envisaged the eventual emergence of an independent Jewish state. Doubtless he had in mind a period somewhat longer than a mere thirty years; but the same could also be said of Chaim Weizmann.”[38]

According to Lloyd George, one of Churchill’s contemporaries, for example, the meaning was quite clear:
“There has been a good deal of discussion as to the meaning of the words “Jewish National Home” and whether it involved the setting up of a Jewish National State in Palestine. I have already quoted the words actually used by Mr. Balfour when he submitted the declaration to the Cabinet for its approval. They were not challenged at the time by any member present, and there could be no doubt as to what the Cabinet then had in their minds. It was not their idea that a Jewish State should be set up immediately by the Peace Treaty without reference to the wishes of the majority of the inhabitants.

On the other hand, it was contemplated that when the time arrived for according representative institutions to Palestine, if the Jews had meanwhile responded to the opportunity afforded them by the idea of a National Home and had become a definite majority of the inhabitants, then Palestine would thus become a Jewish Commonwealth. The notion that Jewish immigration would have to be artificially restricted in order to ensure that the Jews should be a permanent minority never entered into the heads of anyone engaged in framing the policy. That would have been regarded as unjust and as a fraud on the people to whom we were appealing.”[39]

If there is any further doubt in the matter, Balfour himself told a Jewish gathering on February 7,1918: “My personal hope is that the Jews will make good in Palestine and eventually found a Jewish state. It is up to them now; we have given them their great opportunity.” [40]

Following an opinion of the renowned international lawyer Julius Stone that focused on the settlement question,[41] President Reagan and succeeding Presidents through George W. Bush maintained a US view that the Jewish Settlements in the West Bank were legal but as a policy matter should be discouraged because of their tendency to discourage the Peace Process. President Obama while continuing the position on policy has not specifically stated his view on legality of the settlements but has referred to them as “illegitimate”..

As to Jerusalem, East Jerusalem fell in 1948 [42] to an attack of the Arab Legion supplied and trained by the British and led by Sir John Bagot Glubb frequently referred to as “Glubb pasha”. The Arab Legion later became the Jordanian Army.

The Jordanians demolished 58 synagogues and their contents, uprooted the tombstones of Jewish cemeteries, and used them for paving or building latrines, and built a latrine against the Western Wall of the Temple Mount, the single most holy site for Jews.[43] They expelled all the Jewish inhabitants of East Jerusalem and it became, as Adolph Hitler liked to say, judenrein or cleansed of Jews. In 1967 in the Six Day War, Israel drove the Jordanians east to the Jordan River and became in control of East Jerusalem.[44] They did not use their conquest to deprive the Moslems access to their holy sites in East Jerusalem as the Jordanians had done to the Jews and Christians.

Has the UN’s Partition Plan any remaining significance for either the Arabs or the Jews?

No.  According to acclaimed International Lawyer Julius Stone, “”The State of Israel is … not legally derived from the partition plan, but [in addition to the grants referred to above] rests (as do most other states in the world) on A. assertion of independence by its people and government, B. on the vindication of that independence by arms against assault by other states, and C. on the establishment of orderly government within territory under its stable control.”   The Partition plan had assigned the Jerusalem Metropolitan Area to the UN’s International Control, at least temporarily for a period of 10 years.  However in the war of 1948, the UN did nothing to vindicate that assignment by force of arms against the assault of the surrounding Arab states.  Therefore nothing remains of that part of the Partition Plan either.  [45]

In fact you read in the news and hear on TV a lot about Jewish settlements outside of Jerusalem and in East Jerusalem, but have you ever seen or heard a reference to new Arab settlements there? Since 1950 more than twice as many new settlements have been built by Arabs in the West Bank as have been built by Jews,[46] totally ignored by the press. They fill them with Lebanese, Iraqis, Jordanians and Egyptians, and, mirabile dictu, they are Palestinians. An Israeli Professor in Haifa named Steven Plaut suggests, tongue in cheek, that the Arabs must have changed the name of the area from Judea and Samaria to the “West Bank” so they wouldn’t look silly in claiming that the Jews were illegally settling in eponymous Judea.

In June,1967, in the Six Day War , Israel recaptured Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem.[47]  In 1994 Israel agreed that in return for a quitclaim of Jordan, to CisJordan, or the land of Palestine west of the Jordan River, it would release its claim to TransJordan, the land East of the Jordan to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. [48]

My understanding from many authors, is that the Arab claims for the Arab population in Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem are overstated.  Annexing the so called West Bank would not currently jeopardize a Jewish democracy in Israel.  Nor would it in the long run as correct population growth shows Jewish population increase in the West Bank greater than that of the Arabs.[49]
I would only offer citizenship to those, Muslim, Jewish or Christian, who would take a loyalty oath to Israel.  Others could remain with the status of permanent residents.

What about Gaza?  It it were to keep shooting missiles at Israel, that would be a casus  belli and Israel should take it over.  Also, when it ceded its sovereignty over Gaza to the Arabs living there, the cession was under a tacit agreement that the Arabs would quit their attacks on Israel.  They haven’t.  [50]  A material breach of that obligation  also justifies a takeover.  Although the people in Gaza were ceded Israel’s political or national rights to the Gaza Strip, they never met the requirements for sovereignty

The first of these is: are the Arabs local to Palestine a “people”?  No, as noted above they are an invented people.  Another requirement of a separate nation-state is unified control.  When armed truces were broken by the Gazans, Hamas, that claims control, always blames the problem on other terrorist organizations.  Since Israel’s takeover would not be taking land of another sovereign, the land would not be occupied, but disputed with Israel having the far better claim.[51]  I would suggest that until further Jewish population increase over that of the non-Jewish population justifies annexation of Gaza, that the Gazans be authorized Home Rule, but no vote in Israel’s policies.

Israel should retain the right to eliminate candidates or parties that are terrorists.  That should meet the requirements of the French “procès verbal” as the Arabs in Gaza never had the right to vote on the policies of the Ottoman Empire.

In sum, it appears that there are five separate views that justify Israeli sovereignty over CisJordan.  These are 1.  The San Remo  Resolution of 1920 which is justification under International Law, 2. The Anglo-American Convention of 1924 makes the Balfour Policy Treaty law and therefore the Domestic Law of the US and the UK, 3. Facts occurring after 1948, including Jordan’s aggressive war in invading a land in which the Jews had been awarded political rights, and the defensive war by the Jews retaking it resulted in acclaimed International Lawyers holding that the West Bank was disputed, not occupied, and the Jews had the better claim to it.

In the Partition of 1947, the UN General Assembly recommended an award of part to the Arabs, that was not a grant because it had already been granted to the Jews.  The Jews assented, but the Arabs declined.  The Jews still had their rights under San Remo.  The Arabs had no rights, certainly not the inalienable rights continuously claimed by Arafat and Abbas.   4. In 1948 Israel declared independence, established unified control over its territory and defended it by blood and treasure.  That is historically the way sovereignty arises.     5.  Under canon law the Jews had exclusive rights granted by G-d as provided in the Old Testament.

These San Remo rights make possible a one state solution to the current Arab Israeli conflict in Palestine. Those in the Diaspora are also intended as the beneficiaries of the San Remo grant.  However in writing this from the relative safety of suburban Washington, DC, it is not our intention to urge this course on the heroic Israelis who currently face an added existential threat from Iran.  Note we say relative safety.  With Iran’s hurrying development of nuclear bombs and intercontinental ballistic missiles, no one is safe. This is only to confirm the necessity and legality of a “one Jewish state solution” that others, before us, have already  suggested.  It is the Israelis who must choose.

Mr. Salomon Benzimra contributed to this article.  He is the author of “The Jewish People’s Rights to the Land of Israel”, available in “Amazon-Kindle edition“.

One thought on “Dilemmas of a protracted conflict/Annexation is needed”

  1. Reblogged this on Mecca Rising and commented:
    Now were thinking here…It’s time to retake Gaza, and annex it all and deport all the troublemakers and terrorists with haste..
    I’ve been thinking that for some time. Make it clear that any hostilities from the West Bank will see the same action.
    Bob A.

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