Friday, January 13, 2017

To whom does the land belong? - by Vic Rosenthal

...Much of the erosion of Israel’s position can be laid at her own feet. She should have been more aggressive about claiming her rights early on. But I think that today – before the second shoe of the pair that includes UNSC 2334 drops – Israel should make a clear statement of her rights to the land, something like this:

Vic Rosenthal..
Abu Yehuda..
13 January '17..

All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations. – Charter of the United Nations, chap. 1, art. 2, p. 4

In May 1948, with the end of the British Mandate, various Arab nations invaded Palestine with the encouragement of their patron, Britain, with the intention of seizing the territory for themselves. In particular, Jordan (then called Transjordan) occupied Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem, killing or driving out the Jewish population of these areas.

The Mandate, which was established for the benefit of the Jewish people and which called for settlement of Jews in what was then called Palestine, echoed the language of the Balfour declaration, which referred to a “national home” for the Jewish people. The Zionist leadership of the yishuv (the pre-state entity in the land of Israel) quite reasonably interpreted this as a sovereign state. But the British preferred to see it become part of its Arab client states or at least ruled by Arabs. They had gotten used to “Palestine” as part of their empire, and didn’t trust the Zionists. They also feared Soviet influence over a Jewish state, since the leadership of the yishuv represented the left wing of Zionism. And of course the usual anti-Jewish attitudes played a role.

So Britain subverted the Mandate by being partial to the Arabs throughout its existence, encouraged Arabs from the region to immigrate to Palestine, fought against Jewish immigration – even for Jews fleeing the Holocaust – tried to prevent the declaration of the Jewish state in 1948, and supported the Arab invaders with arms and even British officers.

In 1949, the new state of Israel and Jordan signed a ceasefire agreement which delineated the boundary between the Israeli- and Jordanian-controlled areas. Moshe Dayan drew a line on a map with a green pencil, and this boundary henceforth was called the Green Line. The cease-fire agreement very clearly stated that the Green Line was not a border; it had no political significance and only marked the locations of the opposing forces at the time of their disengagement. The Jordanians were adamant about this, because they viewed the situation as unsatisfactory and temporary:

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