Israel’s president invites Royal Family to Israel for Balfour Declaration centenary

Reuven Rivlin extended the Royal invite to mark 100-years since Britain formally issued support for a Jewish state

By Stephen Oryszczuk

The Prince of Wales visiting his grandmother on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, Princess Alice of Greece’s, final resting place in Jerusalem for the first time. @ClarenceHouse/PA

Israel’s president has invited the Royal Family to visit Israel to mark the centenary of the Balfour Declaration.

President Reuven Rivlin conveyed the message to visiting British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, saying: “This is a very important year in the history of the relations between Israel and the UK.”
During the two men’s meeting in Jerusalem, Rivlin added: “We will mark 100 years since the Balfour Declaration and I am greatly honoured to extend an official invitation to the Royal family to visit Israel to mark this event.”
Last year, Prince Charles travelled to Jerusalem for the funeral of Rivlin’s predecessor Shimon Peres, where he met Israel’s current president after the service.
Were the Queen and Prince Philip to visit, it is likely that they would attend the grave of Philip’s mother, Princess Alice of Battenberg, who was recognised as ‘Righteous Among the Nations’ by Yad Vashem for sheltering Jewish refugees in Athens. She is buried at the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.
Simon Johnson, chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council, said: “We would sincerely hope that the invitation from the President of Israel is welcomed and accepted by those who advise the Royal Family on foreign visits.”
Board of Deputies President Jonathan Arkush said: “It is not only high time but well beyond time for a Royal visit to Israel. I have been extremely proactive in advocating that a visit should happen.”


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Alan Dershowitz: Israel Does Not Cause Antisemitism

By Alan Dershowitz: In a recent letter to the New York Times, the current Earl of Balfour, Roderick Balfour, argued that it is Israel’s fault that there is “growing anti-Semitism around the world.” Balfour — who is a descendant of Arthur Balfour, the British Foreign Secretary who wrote the Balfour Declaration 100 years ago — wrote the following: “the increasing inability of Israel to address [the condition of Palestinians], coupled with the expansion into Arab territory of the Jewish settlements, are major factors in growing anti-Semitism around the world.” He argued further that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “owes it to the millions of Jews around the world” who suffer antisemitism, to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict.

This well-intentioned but benighted view is particularly ironic, in light of the fact that the Balfour Declaration had, as one of its purposes, to end antisemitism around the world by creating a homeland for the Jewish people. But now the scion of Lord Balfour is arguing that it is Israel that is causing antisemitism.

Roderick Balfour’s views are simply wrong, both as a matter of fact and as a matter of morality. Anyone who hates Jews “around the world” because they disagree with the policy of Israel would be ready to hate Jews on the basis of any pretext. Modern-day antisemites, unlike their forbears, need to find excuses for their hatred, and anti-Zionism has become the excuse de jure.

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To prove the point, let us consider other countries: Has there been growing anti-Chinese feelings around the world as the result of China’s occupation of Tibet? Is there growing hatred of Americans of Turkish background because of Turkey’s unwillingness to end the conflict in Cyprus? Do Europeans of Russian background suffer bigotry because of Russia’s invasion of Crimea? The answer to all these questions is a resounding no. If Jews are the only group that suffers because of controversial policies by Israel, then the onus lies on the antisemites rather than on the nation-state of the Jewish people.

Moreover, Benjamin Netanyahu’s responsibility is to the safety and security of Israelis. Even if it were true that antisemitism is increasing as the result of Israeli policies, no Israeli policy should ever be decided based on the reaction of bigots around the world. Antisemitism, the oldest of bigotries, will persist as long as it is seen to be justified by apologists like Roderick Balfour. Though Balfour does not explicitly justify antisemitism, the entire thrust of his letter is that Jew-hatred is at least understandable in light of Israel’s policies.

Balfour doesn’t say a word about the unwillingness of the Palestinian leadership to accept Israel’s repeated offers of statehood. From 1938 through 2008, the Palestinians have been offered and have repeatedly rejected agreements that would have given them statehood. Even today, the Palestinian leadership refuses to accept Netanyahu’s offer to sit down and negotiate a final status agreement without any pre-conditions. Nor does Balfour mention Hamas, Hezbollah and other terrorists groups that constantly threaten Israel, along with Iran’s publicly declared determination to destroy the state that Lord Balfour helped to create.

It’s all Israel’s fault, according to Balfour, and the resulting increase in antisemitism is Israel’s fault, as well.

Roderick Balfour ends his letter by essentially joining the boycott movement against Israel. He has declared his unwillingness to participate in the Centenary Celebration of the Balfour Declaration, until and unless Israel takes unilateral action to end the conflict. So be it. I am confident that the author of the Balfour Declaration would have willingly participated in this celebration, recognizing that no country in history has ever contributed more to the world – in terms of medical, technological, environmental and other innovations — in so short a period of time (69 years) than has Israel. Nor has any country, faced with comparable threats, ever been more generous in its offers of peace, more committed to the Rule of Law or more protective of civilians who are used as human shields by those who attack its own civilians.

So let the Celebration of the Balfour Declaration go forward without the participation of Roderick Balfour. Let Israel continue to offer a peaceful resolution to its conflict with the Palestinians. And let the Palestinians finally come to the bargaining table, and recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people in the way that the Balfour Declaration intended.

Alan M. Dershowitz is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School, and author of Taking the Stand: My Life in the Law and Electile Dysfunction: A Guide for the Unaroused Voter. This article was previously published by the Gatestone Institute.

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We Are Our Own Worst Enemy

By Yaffa Abadi: It is a scary and somewhat daunting phrase that captures the truth about many aspects of interpersonal relationships. When it comes to the Jewish people as a unit, this too rings true. Most of the time our own worst enemy is, in fact, ourselves.

As the century mark of the Balfour Declaration is coming along, I have become engrossed in researching the process that led to the Declaration and what we can learn from it up until today. To me, this seems like a prime example where the Jews of the diaspora came together as a unit to fight for the continued existence of the Jewish people. But, as my research expands, a certain name keeps coming up. A thorn in the rosebush of this Jewish unity.

His name was Edwin Montague and in my mind, he represents one the biggest problems facing world jewry to this very day. Montague was the single Jew working in the British Cabinet during World War One and his family was one of the most prominent and influential families in British and Jewish affairs. With such a seemingly large influence in the secular world, you would assume that obviously this was a huge positive for the Jews at the time. One foot in the door of British politics!

Think again.

Montague was one of the most staunch anti-Zionists around, making it his life’s work to resist Zionist endeavors. In his writings, he makes his views clear, claiming ‘Zionism has always seemed to me to be a mischievous political creed, untenable by any patriotic citizen of the United Kingdom.

His attitude towards the Zionist movement came to life when he used his influence to try put an end to one of the most important letters leading up to the establishment of Israel and what led me to Montague in the first place – the Balfour Declaration. He tried his very best to stop this meaningful Declaration from being accepted. However when he saw that this was not possible, he was sure to add phrases that blurred the lines and added a sense of ambiguity about the nature of the homeland that the Jewish people would eventually receive.

Montague is an example in history that parallels some of the biggest threats we have today. From the anti-Israel Neturei Karta ‘a group of Orthodox Jews which rejects Zionism and the establishment of the State of Israel. based off of their supposed religious ideals, to extreme left movements such as J Street who parade as Zionist organisations but whose actions, such as drawing parallels between Israel and Hamas and constantly condemning Israel’s protective efforts, proves it to be another Jewish movement that can act as a magnet to anti-Zionists.

While the size of movements such as these may not be large, any sort of threat coming from within our own people is something the Jewish Nation has suffered from the most throughout our history as a nation.

Going back to ancient times, we are reminded of the story of Kamsa and Bar Kamsa. A petty argument between these two Jewish men which led to the destruction of the second Beit Hamikdash (temple). This cruel destruction of our most Holy temple did not begin from an outer force, but rather from the hatred that was bred within the Jewish community.

It is strikingly clear that while, as Jews living in Israel, we face many threats from outer forces, one of our worst enemies is none other than ourselves. From the biblical times, seen throughout our history and highlighted with Montague’s involvement in the Balfour declaration, this threat of Jews against Israel is very real still today and must be countered by remaining loyal and united even in the face of our differences.

Let us learn from our mistakes, and take action to ensure the continuity of our people. Let us look forward to celebrating the century mark of the Balfour Declaration as a symbol where our unity as a Jewish nation overcame all.

People take part in the 51st annual Israel parade in Manhattan, New York May 31, 2015. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz.

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Lord Rothschild discusses cousin’s crucial role in ‘miracle’ Balfour Declaration

Speaking ahead of the 67-word letter’s centenary, Jacob Rothschild describes the historic declaration which paved the way for Israel’s existence

By Stephen Oryszczuk: The current and fourth Lord Rothschild has described the Balfour Declaration that helped pave the way for the creation of Israel as a “miracle” and revealed new details about his cousin Dorothea’s crucial role.

Speaking ahead of the 67-word letter’s centenary, they are his first ever public comments on the show of support from then-foreign secretary Lord Balfour to the second Lord Rothschild, his eccentric uncle Walter, and were made in a rare TV interview with former Israeli ambassador Daniel Taub as part of the Balfour 100 project.

Jacob Rothschild, 80, head of the family’s banking dynasty, said the declaration of support for a Jewish homeland in Palestine went through five drafts before finally being penned on 2 November 1917, adding: “It was the greatest event in Jewish life for thousands of years, a miracle… It took 3,000 years to get to this.”

The way it was achieved was extraordinary, he said. “It was the most incredible piece of opportunism. You had an impoverished would-be scientist, Chaim Weizmann, who somehow gets to England, meets a few people, including members of my family, seduces them, he has such charm and conviction, he gets to Balfour, and unbelievably, he persuades Lord Balfour, and Lloyd George, the prime minister, and most of the ministers, that this idea of a national home for Jews should be allowed to take place. I mean it’s so, so unlikely.”

Lord Rothschild

The letter “changed the course of history for the Middle East and the Jewish people,” said Taub, who interviewed Rothschild at Waddeston Manor in Buckinghamshire, a country pile bequeathed to the nation by the family in 1957, where the Declaration is kept.

It was written to Walter Rothschild, a naturalist and collector, who was first and foremost interested in ornithology (the study of birds), said Jacob, and a “deeply eccentric man who rode around Tring Park on giant tortoises and whose carriage was pulled by zebras.

Walter only became interested in Zionism in later life, but Rothschild said he had been “deeply committed to Israel since the 1960s and have been there every year since”.

However, he said his family at the time was divided on the idea of Israel, noting that some members “didn’t think it was a good thing that this national home be established there”.

He also revealed for the first time the role of his cousin Dorothy de Rothschild, who acted as a critical go-between while still in her teens. Describing her as “devoted to Israel,” Rothschild said: “What she did, which was crucially important, was to connect Weizmann to the British establishment, and extraordinarily, she told Weizmann how to integrate, how to insert himself into British establishment life, which he learned very quickly.”

Her letters, which are stored at Waddeston, detail her later dealings with a range of Zionist leaders, and her advice on the organisation of the Zionist Conference, and Rothschild said she had a profound effect on him, introducing him to Israel and the family’s philanthropic foundation in 1962.


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Balfour Descendant Touts 2-State Solution, Marking 1917 Edict’s Centennial

By Tamara Zieve

Descendant of signatory of Balfour Declaration sends special message to conference, which marks 100 years since historic letter sent.

Windsor – The 5th earl of Balfour Roderick Balfour expressed hope that a two-state solution could be achieved this year, as he conveyed pride in his family’s legacy, the centenary of which was celebrated at Limmud FSU in Windsor this weekend.

The Balfour Declaration, dated November 2, 1917, was sent by Lord Roderick Balfour’s relative, former British foreign secretary Arthur James Balfour to Baron Lionel Walter Rothschild. It expressed Britain’s support for the establishment of a homeland for the Jewish people in Israel.

The text of the letter was incorporated into the Treaty of Sevres with the Ottoman Empire and the Mandate for Palestine.

“I am very honored to hear that an element of your symposium will be a commemoration of the Centenary of the Balfour Declaration,” Balfour said in a special message to the conference, which was read out during a festive gala on Saturday night.

An exhibition about the Balfour Declaration was displayed throughout the event (the first Limmud FSU ever to be held in Europe), which drew some 700 Russian-speaking Jews to the UK from more than 20 European countries for three days of intensive Jewish learning.

“My family is very proud of the importance to Jewish people everywhere of this initiative by the British government of the day,” the letter read. “The relevance to you all here today is that the imperative for it stemmed from the appalling Russian pogroms at the turn of the 20th century. Thus, and this what we are most proud of, the declaration was first and foremost a humanitarian act trying repatriate a talented but much-persecuted people to the land of the original Judaic roots.”

In October, a campaign was launched at an event hosted at the British Parliament’s House of Lords, calling on the UK to apologize for the declaration. A petition for a British apology and compensation for the Palestinians garnered only 1,278 supporters, failing to meet the 10,000 signatures in six months required to merit a response from the Parliament. Balfour described blaming the declaration for political turmoil in the Middle East as “over-simplistic.”

“The borders imposed by Sykes-Picot were never going to be fit for purpose and nobody in 1917 could have foreseen the Holocaust or the extraordinarily high birth rate among the Palestinians in recent decades,” his letter read.

“How much more we could celebrate the centenary if we saw a two-state solution emerge this year, which in effect would bring closure on one of the central tenets of the declaration,” he concluded.

During the event, Limmud FSU bestowed an Honorary Balfour Declaration Award upon Board of Deputies of British Jews President Jonathan Arkush for his contributions to British Jewry.

Correction: A previous version of this article mistakenly stated that Roderick Balfour was the great-grandson of Lord Balfour.


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The Balfour Declaration: How British PM Theresa May Got It Wrong

How can one small statement, get it so wrong! I am obviously pleased to see the British Prime Minister stand up for Israel and for the historic Balfour Declaration against the ridiculous rantings of Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, calling to sue Britain for having issued the Declaration.

However, language is important. At the Annual Conservative Friends of Israel luncheon on December 12th, Prime Minister Theresa May declared her pride in:

creating a homeland for the Jewish people.

You see, herein lies a major reason for Israel’s problems on the stage of public opinion. The wording.

First of all “people” should be capitalized. We are not just a collection of random people who happen to be Jews – we are The Jewish People.

Second, Israel is not “A homeland FOR” the Jewish People — it is “THE homeland OF” the Jewish People. In other words, it could not have been anywhere else but where it is.

And finally, our homeland was not CREATED by the Balfour Declaration — it was RECOGNIZED by the Balfour Declaration. This bears repeating: our ancient homeland was recognized, not created, by Balfour; and its re-establishment was achieved by all that followed Balfour’s letter.

When you cement into people’s consciousness a certain interpretation of events, as represented so simply by the statement issued by PM May, you make it hard for people, insufficiently knowledgeable about Israeli and Middle Eastern history, to understand the rationale behind Israel’s struggle today against those who want to destroy her. Many do not understand that Jews from around the world are branches of the same Israelite tree.

The roots of that tree are deep in the soil of the Land of Israel and archaeological research on the land keeps uncovering the depth and breadth of these roots. Multiple branches were broken off and, while some stayed close to the trunk of the tree, most were sent whirling off in all directions all around the globe until finally the winds started blowing back toward the Land of Israel. Balfour recognized all of this and officially declared that Palestine was Jewish.

In concession to those Arabs who also lived on that land (let us for now put aside the fact that many of them gravitated to the area after the Jews started working it), over half of Palestine was given to the Arabs and called “Jordan”.

Britain can be proud, therefore, of its part in the re-establishing of Israel, as a modern state, on the lands of our ancient Jewish Homeland. Just let them word it correctly from now on. OK?


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British PM hails ‘remarkable, tolerant’ Israel, slams anti-Semitism in Labour

In speech to Conservative Friends of Israel, Theresa May calls Balfour Declaration ‘one of the most important letters in history’

In a speech overflowing with praise and support, Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday hailed the State of Israel as “a remarkable country” and “a beacon of tolerance,” said UK ties with Israel were “crucial,” promised to raise the bilateral trade relationship to new heights, and described the Balfour Declaration as “one of the most important letters in history.”

In an address to her Conservative Party’s Friends of Israel, May also castigated the opposition Labour Party for “turning a blind eye to anti-Semitism.”

The speech at a CFI luncheon, which received a standing ovation from the 800 guests, underlined May’s ongoing support of Israel, maintaining the approach of successive Conservative prime ministers — and contrasting with the Labour Party of Jeremy Corbyn, a relentless critic of the Jewish state.

As the UK forges “a new role for itself on the world stage,” in the wake of its decision to leave the European Union, May said it would seek to be “open, outward-looking, optimistic” and that “Israel will be crucial to us as we do that.” This, she said, was “because I believe our two countries have a great deal in common. As the (Israeli) ambassador Mark Regev said, we have common values; we work together, on health, counterterrorism, cybersecurity, technology; and we can help each other achieve our aims.”

May firmly rebutted the so-called BDS movement against Israel, declaring: “I couldn’t be clearer: The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement is wrong, it is unacceptable, and this party and this government will have no truck with those who subscribe to it.”

She said she planned to “take our trading and investing relationship with Israel to the next level,” and noted that several ministers would visit Israel in the coming year.

Ahead of 2017’s centenary of the Balfour Declaration, which paved the way for the establishment of modern Israel, May said the UK was entering a “special time,” and highlighted that the Declaration was signed by a Conservative foreign secretary, Arthur James Balfour. “It is one of the most important letters in history,” she declared. “It demonstrates Britain’s vital role in creating a homeland for the Jewish people. And it is an anniversary we will be marking with pride.”

The Balfour Declaration (Wikipedia)

Addressing concerns about anti-Semitism in the UK, the prime minister said it “has no place in politics and no place in this country… It is unacceptable that there is anti-Semitism in this country. It is even worse that incidents are reportedly on the rise. And it is disgusting that these twisted views are being found in British politics.”

May announced that the UK was now adopting an internationally backed charity’s formal definition of anti-Semitism in a “ground-breaking step towards eradicating anti-Semitism.” (The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s, IHRA, an intergovernmental organization backed by 31 countries, agreed to a definition in May it hopes will become widely adopted globally.)

This move, she said, means that “there will be one definition of anti-Semitism — in essence, language or behavior that displays hatred towards Jews because they are Jews. And anyone guilty of that will be called out on it.”

British opposition Labour party Leader Jeremy Corbyn (C) sits in the audience ahead of the Labour leadership announcement, during the Labour Party Leadership Conference in Liverpool on September 24, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFF

In reference to Labour Party Deputy Leader Tom Watson, who recently sang ‘Am Yisrael Hai’ (The People of Israel Live) at a Labour Friends of Israel lunch, May said “no amount of karaoke can make up for turning a blind eye to anti-Semitism.” She added: “No matter what Labour say — or sing — they cannot ignore what has been happening in their party.”

Unlike Corbyn, Watson is a staunch supporter of Israel, and recently visited at the head of a Labour Friends delegation.

May called Israel a “remarkable country,” and elaborated: “We have, in Israel, a thriving democracy, a beacon of tolerance, an engine of enterprise, and an example to the rest of the world about how to overcome adversity and defying disadvantages”.

Recalling her visit to Israel in 2014 as home secretary, she said that “seeing isn’t just believing; it is understanding, acknowledging and appreciating… It is only when you walk through Jerusalem or Tel Aviv that you see a country where people of all religions and sexualities are free and equal in the eyes of the law… It is only when you travel across the country that you realize it is only the size of Wales — and appreciate even more the impact it has on the world.”

She added: “And it is only when you witness Israel’s vulnerability that you see the constant danger Israelis face, as I did during my visit, when the bodies of the murdered teenagers, Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaer and Eyal Yifrah, were discovered.”

May noted with pleasure that CFI has “already taken 34 of the 74 Conservative MPs elected in 2015 to Israel.”

Turning to the recent decision to freeze a portion of aid that Britain gives to the Palestinian Authority pending an investigation into allegations that the PA is paying salaries to convicted Palestinian terrorists, May promised that “no British taxpayers’ money will be used to make payments to terrorists or their families.” Every penny of aid must be “spent in the right places and in the right way.”

She said the UK was also looking into allocating greater funds for peaceful coexistence projects in Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

Regarding the peace process, May said the way to achieve a two-state solution is for “the two sides to sit down together, without preconditions.”

She also praised the UK’s Jewish community: “We should be so proud of the contribution Britain’s Jewish community’s made to our country. From business to the arts, public services to education, that contribution is exemplary,” she said.


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Netanyahu denounces campaign to apologise for Balfour Declaration

Israel’s prime minister dismissed calls for Britain to say sorry for supporting the establishment of a Jewish state as ‘amazing’

Benjamin Netanyahu has denounced the campaign in the UK for an apology for the Balfour Declaration – suggesting it was driven not by territorial dispute but by the very existence of the Jewish state.

The Israeli prime minister’s comments to the Jewish News came as Anglo-Jewry gears up to mark the centenary of Britain’s historic pledge and just weeks after the House of Lords launch of a campaign to push for an apology for the 1917 declaration – which he dismissed as “amazing”.

Addressing the second Jewish Media Summit in Jerusalem, he said: “The Balfour declaration recognised this land as the home of the Jewish people which obviously had consequences later down the line.

“But if the Palestinians are challenging 100 years later even the idea that the Jewish people have a home here you know they’re not really gung-ho on a state – a nation state for the Jewish people. It’s very revealing about the true source of this ensuring conflict.

“It’s not about territory, even though that’s an issue. It’s not about settlements, even though that’s an issue – it’s not the issue. It was never and is still not about the Palestinian state. It was always about the Jewish state. The fact there was a challenge to the Balfour declaration 100 years later tells us we haven’t come very far.”

In a tweet, Justin Cohen said:
“In answer to my question, @netanyahu denounces campaign for UK apology over Balfour Declaration as ‘amazing’ #JMS2016

Although the premier didn’t say what he will do for the centenary, Mark Regev, Israel’s ambassador to the UK and the PM’s former spokesman, has previously spoken of bilateral plans to mark the occasion. A programme of events is also being finalised by the Balfour 100 Committee, comprising dozens of Jewish community and Israel organisations.

Netanyahu also used the summit to rubbish claims that Israel is facing increasing international isolation – insisting the opposite is the case.

With a diary comprising 250 meetings with presidents, prime ministers and foreign ministers this year, he said: “The great powers of Asia, Africa and Latin America, they’re all coming to Israel. It’s happening at an unbelievable pace. I wish we had a little isolation because I could use the time.”

He said warmer relations were being driven by cooperation on tackling terrorism, Israel’s technological prowess and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – claiming he encourages visiting leaders to host direct talks without preconditions.

“Israel has all of a sudden become a cyber security and digital health power. We have a car industry all of a sudden. All of these countries understand that not only to protect themselves against terrorism but to seize the future – everything is becoming technologies – and Israel is a global force in technology.” He predicted that “it’s only a matter of time before this bilateral change is going to be reflected in the way countries vote in the UN”.


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A Reevaluation of the Balfour Declaration

by Ashley Perry

Balfour Declaration

Balfour Declaration, 1917

On November 2, the Balfour Declaration was 91 years old. Although seemingly irrelevant in today’s political scenery, it was the crucial first official recognition of Jewish national aspirations, much disparaged even unto this day.

Although the declaration itself had little legal status, it was later incorporated into the Sèvres peace treaty with Turkey and the Mandate for Palestine, adopted unanimously by the League of Nations in the San Remo Resolution of 1920. This lent Zionism an international legitimacy enjoyed by few national movements before or since. Perhaps most astonishing today, the leader of the Arab movement, King Faisal, supported the declaration when it was referred to in the Faisal-Weizmann Agreement of 1919.

Although many have since attempted to deny the central nature of the document and its relationship to the Mandate, that’s not how its British drafters saw things. In fact, as stated in the 1937 Royal Commission Report, “the primary purpose of the Mandate, as expressed in its preamble and its articles, is to promote the establishment of the Jewish National Home.

“The initial drafts of the Balfour Declaration spoke of the desire “that Palestine should be reconstituted as the National Home of the Jewish people.” Clearly, Palestine as a whole was intended to become this Jewish national home.

Edwin Samuel Montagu

Edwin Samuel Montagu

“The final declaration was altered at the behest of Edwin Samuel Montagu, an influential anti-Zionist Jew and secretary of state for India, who was concerned that the declaration as it stood could result in increased anti-Semitism. Montagu was also concerned that the declaration would make it harder for him to deal with Indian Muslims.

Many have argued that the term “Jewish national home” falls short of Zionist aspirations, and suggest that the declaration never meant to encourage the creation of a state. This interpretation fails because the major players in the drafting of the agreement thought otherwise.

It would have been diplomatically impossible for the British government to promise a state at that time, primarily because the territory was not even in its hands. The term national home was used as a first step on the path to statehood. Lloyd George, who was prime minister at the time, laid the onus for the transforming of a national home to a state on the Jews themselves.

“It was contemplated that when the time arrived for according representative institutions to Palestine, if the Jews had meanwhile responded to the opportunities afforded them by the idea of a national home, and had become a definite majority… then Palestine would thus become a Jewish commonwealth.”

General Smuts, a member of the Imperial War Cabinet when the declaration was published, said in 1919 that he could see “in generations to come, a great Jewish state rising there once more.” Influential figures like Lord Robert Cecil in 1917, Sir Herbert Samuel in 1919 and Winston Churchill in 1920 also spoke about the resulting Jewish state.

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Jewish demonstration against White Paper in Jerusalem in 1939

Churchill also told the Royal Commission regarding the Palestine White Paper of 1922, for which he had been responsible, that those who felt the Balfour Declaration or the Palestine Mandate precluded a Jewish state were mistaken. “There is nothing in it,” the commission found, “to prohibit the ultimate establishment of a Jewish state, and Mr. Churchill himself has told us in evidence that no such prohibition was intended.

“There are also those who look at the language of the declaration and the Mandate to claim that they give equal weight to Jewish national aspirations and the rights of various non-Jewish communities. This is erroneous simply because the main purpose of both the declaration and the Mandate, as expressed above, was to “promote the establishment of the Jewish National Home.

“Nonetheless, during the early days of the Mandate there were voices in the British government which felt an equal obligation to the Jewish and non-Jewish communities. Many politicians wished to ensure that the Arab population was placated. This was rebutted by those who felt that not only was this incorrect, but that the text of the Mandate made Britain “responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish National Home.”

The wording clearly points to active intervention on the part of Britain.

image

Sir Herbert Samuel (L) and Winston Churchill (R) planting a tree on Mt. Scopus in Mandatory Palestine, c. 1921. (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, no known restrictions)

“Merely to sit still,” wrote Churchill, “and avoid friction with the Arabs and safeguard their civil and religious rights and to abandon the positive exertion for the establishment of the Jewish National Home would not be a faithful interpretation of the Mandate.

“Possibly the greatest argument is the fact that the text describing the rights of “non-Jewish communities in Palestine” appeared only in the preamble of the British Mandate; the actual text was replete with references to actions that would be taken to ensure the rise of a Jewish national home. The British administration was required to “facilitate” Jewish immigration, and “encourage” the settlement of Jews on the land.

There can be no denying that the Balfour Declaration was unique, not only in Jewish history, but possibly in the history of national movements. For a short period, all the major powers, the leader of the Arab world and most interested parties created a mechanism to fulfill the Zionist dream.

This should not be overlooked or understated as Zionism fights an enduring battle for legitimacy. Few national movements in the world have such a legal declaration in their arsenal. The writer is editor for the Middle East Strategic Information. Published in Middle East Strategic Information on 02/11/2008 and sent to MPs and members of the House of Lords.

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Ashley Perry, editor of the Middle East Strategic Information project makes the case that the Balfour Declaration represented the definite intention of the British Government to create a Jewish state and that in the Mandate for Palestine this intention gained international backing.

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Why will Abbas sue Britain over the Balfour declaration but not over the creation of Jordan?

”Before WW1 the Jewish Homeland was part of the Ottoman Empire longer than America has existed. Jordan and Israel were created from Ottoman land. Why not a UNSC resolution against JORDAN? If Israel is forced to return Ottoman land why not Jordan?

Why will Abbas sue Britain over the Balfour declaration but not over the creation of Jordan?

by Ezequiel

On July 29, 2016 the Atlantic reported that “Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian National Authority president, said the Palestinian Authority would sue Britain for its support of the Balfour Declaration, a document which in 1917 laid the groundwork for Israel’s founding…”

http://www.theatlantic.com/news/archive/2016/07/abbas-balfour-declaration-lawsuit/493424/

America has existed for 240 years. The Ottoman Empire Occupied the Jewish Homeland for more than 320 years, from the early 1500s until 1922, a period longer than America has existed.

The settlements are not Illegal: Israel has as much claim to Ottoman Land as Jordan. Israel and Jordan were both created from Ottoman Land, if there is no UNSC resolution demanding Jordan to return Ottoman land, there cannot be a UNSC resolution demanding Israel to return Ottoman Land.

The land was part of the Ottoman Empire before WW1. Why would there be a UNSC resolution against Israel but not one demanding Jordan to return occupied Ottoman land?

If there is a UNSC resolution against Israel, there must also be one against Jordan. “Why exclude Jordan? Jordan was created in British Mandate Palestine, must be part of the solution. Jordan’s Queen is Palestinian, the next King will the son of a Palestinian, most of the population is Palestinian, …”

Part 1

The Muslim Colonists (First published by Ezequiel Doiny in Gatestone Institute)

The current Palestinian narrative is that all Muslims in Palestine are natives and all Jews are settlers. This narrative is false. There has been a small but almost continuous Jewish presence in Palestine since the destruction of Jerusalem by Rome two thousand years ago, and, as we will see, most of the Muslims living in Palestine when the state of Israel was declared in 1948 were Muslim colonists from other parts of the Ottoman Empire who had been resettled and living in Palestine for fewer than 60 years.

There are two important historical events usually overlooked in the Arab-Israeli conflict.

One is the use that Muslim rulers made of the jizya (a discriminatory tax imposed only on non-Muslims, to “protect” them from being killed or having their property destroyed) to reduce the quantity of Jews living in Palestine before the British Mandate was instituted in 1922. The second were the incentives by the Ottoman government to relocate displaced Muslim populations from other parts of the Ottoman Empire in Palestine.

Until the late 1800s entire ancient Jewish communities had to flee Palestine to escape the brutality of Muslim authorities. As Egyptian historian Bat Ye’or writes in her book, The Dhimmi:

“The Jizya was paid in a humiliating public ceremony in which the non-Muslim while paying was struck in the head. If these taxes were not paid women and children were reduced to slavery, men were imprisoned and tortured until a ransom was paid for them. The Jewish communities in many cities under Muslim Rule was ruined for such demands. This custom of legalized financial abuses and extortion shattered the indigenous pre-Arab populations almost totally eliminating what remained of its peasantry… In 1849 the Jews of Tiberias envisaged exile because of the brutality, exactions, and injustice of the Muslim authorities. In addition to ordinary taxes, an Arab Sheik that ruled Hebron demanded that Jews pay an extra five thousand piastres annually for the protections of their lives and property. The Sheik threatened to attack and expel them from Hebron if it was not paid.”

The Muslim rulers not only kept the number of Jews low through discriminatory taxes, they also increased the Muslim population by providing incentives for Muslim colonists to settle in the area. Incentives included free land, 12 years exemption from taxes and exemption from military service.

Bat Ye’or continues:

“By the early 1800s the Arab population in Palestine was very little (just 246,000) it was in the late 1800s and early 1900s that most Muslim Colonists settled in Palestine because of incentives by the Ottoman Government to resettle displaced Muslim populations because of events such as the Austro-Hungarian Occupation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Crimean War and World War 1. Those events created a great quantity of Muslim Refugees that were resettled somewhere else in the Ottoman Empire… In 1878 an Ottoman law granted lands in Palestine to Muslim colonists. Muslim colonists from Crimea and the Balkans settled in Anatolia, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria and Palestine.”

Justin McCarthy, a professor of history at the University of Louisville, writing in his Annotated Map, “Forced Migration and Mortality in the Ottoman Empire,” also notes that there were about five million Muslims displaced due to the Austro-Hungarian occupation of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Crimean War, Balkan wars, the Turkish war of independence and World War I.

Sergio DellaPergola, from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in his paper “Demography in Israel/Palestine: Trends, Prospects and Policy Implications,” provides estimates of the population of Palestine in different periods. As the demographic data below shows, most Muslims living in Palestine in 1948 when the State of Israel was created had been living there for fewer than 60 years:

1890: Arab Population 432,000

1947: Arab Population 1,181,000

Growth in Arab population from 1890 to 1947: 800,000

The Yazidi in Iraq and the Christian Copts in Egypt are not “settlers” and “occupiers;” neither are the Jews in Israel. They are victims of a common enemy that seems to want a Middle East free of non-Muslims.

http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/4611/muslim-colonists


Part 2

(Article first published by Ezequiel Doiny in Unitedwithisrael.org in November 2015)

“Before World War I Palestine was a part of the province of Southern Syria in the Ottoman Empire. In 1916, before WWI ended, the British and the French signed the secret Sikes-Pikot agreement defining their proposed spheres of influence in the Middle East if they won the war. According to the agreement, France was allocated to Northern Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, while the British would rule over Palestine and southern Iraq.

In 1920, following the provision of the Mandate to France and Britain at San Remo, the UK took control of British Mandate Palestine (Mandatory Palestine) in what is today Israel and Jordan, land captured from the Ottoman Empire.

The McMahon-Hussein correspondence (1915) reveals details of a secret deal between Sir Henry McMahon, High Commissioner of the UK in Egypt, and the Sharif of Mecca, Hussain Bin Ali, by which the British would give control of lands captured from the Ottoman Empire to the Arabs (Palestine was included within the boundaries that were proposed by Hussein) if the Arabs assisted the British in fighting the Turks during WWI.

In 1921 the UK created the Emirate of Transjordan (Jordan) in the land of Mandatory Palestine East from the Jordan river and appointed Abdullah, son of the Shariff of Mecca, as King of Jordan. (Brittain also appointed Abdullah’s brother Faisal as King of Iraq). Jordan was officially under British Mandate Palestine and obtained independence in 1946.

In 1967 British General Glubb explained the reason for the Balfour Declaration in an address he gave in the Middle East Institute in Washington (“The Arab-Israeli Impass” (Khadduri, 1968)): “In 1917 Russia made peace with Germany and Austria-Hungary, and in autum of 1917 Britain and France realized that in the spring of 1918 all the Central Powers would turn on them. And this was the absolute crisis of the War…so in the Autumn of 1917 they decided something had to be done to get the US into the war before they were exhausted. And from the documents that we now have available we see that it was thought that the Balfour Declaration would bring the US into the war…”

The British issued the Balfour Declaration because they needed American Support in WWI, they used American support for Israel to save themselves during WWI and after they won the war they betrayed Israel (and America). In 1948 when the British Mandate of Palestine ended and the Jewish State of Israel was created, Iraq, Jordan and Egypt (all puppet Kingdoms from the UK) attacked the newborn Jewish State. Most of the officers of the Jordanian Arab Legion were British:

Command (under British General John Bagot Glubb),

Divisional Headquarters (under Brigadier Lash), Artillery Batteries/troops (under Lt-Col Hearst),

1st Brigade (under Col. Goldie),

1st Regiment (under Lt-Col. Blackden),

3rd Regiment (under Lt-Col Newman),

3rd Brigade (under Col. Ashton),

2nd Regiment (under Maj. Slade)

(Source: Laffin (1982a), Lunt (1999), Collins & Lapierre (1972).
http://balagan.info/arab-order-of-battle-in-the-1948-arab-israeli-war

In 1948 General Glubb lead the Jordanian Arab Legion commanded mostly by British Officers to expel all the Jews from Hebron, East Jerusalem and the West Bank. Not only they did ethnic cleansing but they destroyed dozens of ancient synagogues and 60,000 Ancient Jewish Tombstones in the Sacred Ancient Jewish Cemetery of Mount of Olives to try to erase all evidence of Jewish History in the West Bank. In 1956, after his service in Jordan, the criminal General Glubb, responsible for ethnic cleansing of Jews, was knighted by the Queen. General Glubb was appointed Knight Commander of The Order of Bath by Queen Elizabeth.

Jews returned to east Jerusalem in 1967 after Israel won a defensive war against Egypt, Syria and Jordan. The 1967 war ended almost 20 years of illegal Jordanian occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank and allowed Jews to return home. (Jewish cities in Judea and Samaria should be called Liberated Jewish Cities instead of “Settlements” since they are communities liberated by the Jewish people from Arab invaders not colonial outposts taken from native residents.)

The Palestinians did not demand to create a State in the West Bank (judea and Samaria) while it was controlled by Jordan from 1948 till 1967. They only started demanding a Palestinian State there after Jordan lost it to Israel. The same way, if all of Israel was currently being controlled by Jordan the Palestinians would not care to create a State of Palestine. The Palestinians’ main goal is not to create a Palestinian State, it is to destroy Israel, it bothers them that it is under Jewish and not under Arab rule, their goal is not to create a Palestinian State but to re-establish Muslim rule.

During the Arab-Israeli wars of 1948 and 1967, Islamic Armies tried to destroy Israel but failed. Because they lost in the battle field they changed their strategy of direct military confrontation and started falsely posing as the under dog, victims of Jewish aggression to gain the sympathy of the World Powers. In reality the Palestinian are not weak, they are strong because they are part of something much bigger, the Palestinians are an integral part of the Arab Nations, a spear-head inside Israel of the dozens Islamic States that surround Israel and want its destruction.

If a Palestinian State is created in the West Bank, Hamas will take over and attack Israel from the West Bank as it does from Gaza.

The Palestinian Media Watch translated an interview by one of Hamas founders Mahmoud al-Zahar to the Palestinian newspaper Al-Ayyam in which he said “transfer what it has [in Gaza] or just a small part of it to the West Bank, we would be able to settle the battle of the final promise [to destroy Israel] with a speed that no one can imagine…[Some] have said Hamas wants to create an Islamic emirate in Gaza. We won’t do that, but we will build an Islamic state in Palestine, all of Palestine…”

After what happened in Gaza, the two-state solution is no longer feasible. The two state solution is actually a one state solution because it will enable Hamas to attack Israel from the West Bank making normal life in Israel impossible.

The Palestinians already have a State in Jordan. Since the US/EU claim the Arab-Israeli conflict can be solved though a UNSC resolution why not submit one declaring that Jordan is Palestine?

Most of the Jordanian population is Palestinian, the previous King said “Jordan is Palestine, Palestine is Jordan”. The Queen of Jordan Rania Al-Yassin was born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents Faisal Sedki Al Yassin and Ilham Yassin from Tulkarm, Jordan has a Palestinian Queen, the next King of Jordan will be the son of a Palestinian. If Jordan is recognized as the Palestinian State the Arabs currently living in Israel can continue but they will be Jordanian Citizens. Jordan was also part of British Mandate Palestine, it must also be part of the solution.

Jews have been persecuted and expelled from most Middle East Countries and they managed to find refuge in Israel, a country smaller than New Jersey. Jimena.org reported that since 1948, 850,000 Jews have been expelled from Algeria, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Lybia, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia,Yemen and other Middle East Countries.

The same way that in Iraq the Yazidi deserve a small area as a safe heaven where they can live in security, the same way that in Egypt the Copts deserve a small area where they can live in security, Jews deserve a safe heaven where they can live safely from Islamic aggression. After what happened in Gaza the creation of a Palestinian State in the West Bank became unfeasible because it will endanger Israel. The only place a Palestinian State can be created is in Jordan where the Palestinians already are the majority of the population.”

http://unitedwithisrael.org/the-minorities-in-the-middle-east-struggling-for-survival/


Part 3

The “Two State Solution” is not as Kerry claims the only option. There is a much better and honest option which is to recognize that the Palestinians already have a State in Jordan. Since the US/EU claim the Arab-Israeli conflict can be solved though a UNSC resolution why not submit one declaring that Jordan is Palestine?
Most of the Jordanian population is Palestinian, the previous King said “Jordan is Palestine, Palestine is Jordan”. The Queen of Jordan Rania Al-Yassin was born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents Faisal Sedki Al Yassin and Ilham Yassin from Tulkarm, Jordan has a Palestinian Queen, the next King of Jordan will be the son of a Palestinian. If Jordan is recognized as the Palestinian State the Arabs currently living in Israel can continue but they will be Jordanian Citizens.

It is not honest for those who seek a resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict to ignore that Jordan was also part of British Mandate Palestine. Jordan must also be part of the solution.

A UNSC declaration of “Palestine” must also include Jordanian land. Jordan was created in British Mandate Palestine. Jordan must be part of the solution. Jordan must also contribute some land.

On November 22, the Tower Magazine reported that “Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has publicly confirmed for the first time that he turned down a peace offer in 2008 that would have provided for an independent Palestinian state containing all of the Gaza Strip, much of the West Bank (with land swaps), and a tunnel connecting the two areas.

Abbas made his comments in an interview on Israel’s Channel 10, which has been broadcasting a three-part series on the peace talks of 2000 and 2008. According to both Abbas and Ehud Olmert, Israel’s Prime Minister in 2008, Olmert presented Abbas in September of that year with a map that delineated the borders of the future State of Palestine. Abbas said that he “rejected it out of hand” because he claimed not to be an expert on maps, and because Olmert’s domestic scandals meant that he would shortly leave office (Olmert was later convicted of corruption). While both Olmert and other Palestinian leaders have previously said that Abbas turned down a peace proposal, this is the first time that the Palestinian Authority president has admitted as such.

At 24:05 of the video, Channel 10 reporter Raviv Drucker asked Abbas: “In the map that Olmert presented you, Israel would annex 6.3 percent [of the West Bank] and compensate the Palestinians with 5.8 percent [taken from pre-1967 Israel]. What did you propose in return?”

“I did not agree,” Abbas replied. “I rejected it out of hand.”

At 26:53 of the video, Drucker pressed again:

Drucker: Why, really, did you not accept Olmert’s offer?

Abbas: He [Olmert] said to me, “Here’s a map. See it? That’s all.” I respected his decision not to give me the map. But how can we sign something that hasn’t been given us, that hasn’t been discussed?

The existence of the peace offer was first reported by The Tower’s Avi Issacharoff in 2013, when Olmert told him that he presented Abbas with a map proposal during talks at the Prime Minister’s Residence. Shortly after Olmert’s presentation, Abbas redrew that version of the map from memory, in order to make sure that he and Olmert were on the same page. Issacharoff acquired a photograph of that map…

As Issacharoff wrote:

Abbas silenced those present so that he could concentrate. He wanted to sketch out Olmert’s map from memory. The Israeli Prime Minister had told him that as long as Abu Mazen did not sign his initials to the map and endorse it, Olmert would not hand over a copy. Abu Mazen took a piece of letterhead of the Presidential Office and drew on it the borders of the Palestinian state as he remembered them.

Abbas marked the settlement blocks that Israel would retain: The Ariel bloc, the Jerusalem-Maaleh Adumim bloc (including E1), and Gush Etzion. A total of 6.3% of the West Bank. Then Abbas also drew the territories that Israel proposed to offer in their place: In the area of Afula-Tirat Zvi, in the Lachish area, the area close to Har Adar, and in the Judean desert and the Gaza envelope. A total of 5.8% of the West Bank. Abu Mazen wrote on the left side of the letterhead the numbers as he incorrectly remembered them (6.8% and 5.5%), and on the back he wrote the rest of the details of the proposal: Safe passage between Gaza and the West Bank via a tunnel, the pentilateral committee to administer the Holy Basin, the removal of the Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley and the absorption of 5,000 Palestinian refugees, 1,000 each year over five years, inside the Green Line.

Abbas’ hand-drawn map, sketched on the stationery of the Palestinian Office of the President and obtained by TheTower.org in the course of this investigative report about the clandestine negotiation between Olmert and Abbas, was published here yesterday exclusively. The two men met 36 times, mostly in Jerusalem and once in Jericho, and arrived at a formula that was to be the basis for a lasting agreement between the two parties. But in the end, peace accords between Israel and the Palestinians were not signed, despite the far-reaching proposal made by Olmert. As an official matter, the Palestinian Authority has not responded.

The next day, Abbas called off talks, saying that he had to attend a meeting in Jordan.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat had a similar recollection when interviewed by Al Jazeera in 2009:

Olmert, who talked today about his proposal to Abu Mazen, offered the 1967 borders, but said: “We will take 6.5% of the West Bank, and give in return 5.8% from the 1948 lands, and the 0.7% will constitute the safe passage, and East Jerusalem will be the capital, but there is a problem with the Haram and with what they called the Holy Basin.” Abu Mazen too answered with defiance, saying: “I am not in a marketplace or a bazaar. I came to demarcate the borders of Palestine – the June 4, 1967 borders – without detracting a single inch, and without detracting a single stone from Jerusalem, or from the holy Christian and Muslim places. This is why the Palestinian negotiators did not sign.

Abbas’ comments on Channel 10 were first picked up in English by veteran reporter Mark Lavie.

http://www.thetower.org/2580-breaking-abbas-admits-for-the-first-time-that-he-turned-down-peace-offer-in-2008/

On November 2011 the investigativeproject.org reported that “In her new memoir, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice confirms that Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas rejected generous territorial concessions offered by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in 2008.

When she traveled to Jerusalem in May 2008, Olmert invited Rice to dinner to outline his plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace. Rice recounts that she was shocked by how far the Israeli leader was willing to go. Olmert was prepared to give up nearly the entire West Bank and to divide Jerusalem with the Arab world.

Olmert offered to make Jerusalem the capital of two states – Israel in the western part and a Palestinian capital in the east. The Old City of Jerusalem would be administered by a committee made up of so-called wise people including Palestinians, Jordanians, Saudis, Americans and Israelis.

“They will oversee the city, but not in a political role,” Olmert told Rice. And he offered another concession – offering to allow 5,000 Palestinian refugees to settle in Israel.

Rice was incredulous. “Am I really hearing this? I wondered. Is the Israeli prime minister saying that he’ll divide Jerusalem and put an international body in charge of the Holy sites?”

The following day, Rice brought Olmert’s proposal to Abbas in Ramallah. He rejected it, telling Rice the PA could not agree to a deal that prevented nearly 4 million Palestinians from being able to “go home” (i.e., to return to their ancestors’ former homes in pre-Six Day War Israel).

On Sep. 16, 2008, Olmert presented Abbas with a similar plan for a two-state solution. The Palestinians said no, effectively killing the Olmert plan.

More detail on the breakdown of the talks comes from the Palestine Papers – documents about a decade of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations that were stolen from PA negotiator Saeb Erakat’s office, leaked to al-Jazeerah and posted on the media outlet’s website in January.

As the Jerusalem Post noted on Tuesday, these documents show that PA negotiators talked out of both sides of their mouths – speaking publicly about compromise with Israel on Palestinian refugees while privately describing the “right of return” as an individual right that must be extended to 7 million Palestinians – a formula most Israelis regard as a demographic blueprint for the destruction of their country.

The documents also show that Washington was apparently unaware that, in preparation for the September 16 meeting, the PA was trying to come up with plans to avoid reaching a binding agreement with Israel and to avoid blame for failing reach a final-status agreement with the Jewish state.”

http://www.investigativeproject.org/3373/rice-abbas-rejected-olmert-peace-plan#

Abbas rejected Olmert’s offer because it would have required him to give up on the “right of return” for most Palestinians. Lt. Col. (ret) Jonathan Halevi explained in the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs that Abbas supports a phased plan for Israel’s destruction “…Beneath the moderate guise that Abbas tries to project is a Palestinian leader who unreservedly supports terror and demands to implement what the Palestinians call the “right of return.”

…What the Palestinians mean by “right of return” according to Resolution 194 and the Arab Peace Initiative is simple enough and was ratified as an official law by the Palestinian parliament with Abbas’s approval.

According to the 2008 Law of the Right of Return of the Palestinian Refugees:

“The right of return of the Palestinian refugees to their homes and property, while receiving compensation for their suffering, is an inalienable and enshrined right that cannot be compromised, replaced, reconsidered, interpreted otherwise, or subjected to a referendum.

The right of return is natural, personal, collective, civil, political, passed on from father to son; it is not nullified by the passage of time or by the signing of any agreement and it cannot be abolished or waived in any way.

The Palestinian refugees shall not be resettled or displaced as an alternative to the right of return.

Anyone who violates the provisions of this Act shall be guilty of the crime of treason and will be subject to all criminal and civil penalties prescribed for this crime.

Anything that contradicts this law is considered null and void, and any legislation or agreement that will derogate from the right of return or contradict the provisions of this Act shall be deemed null and void.”

In other words, even after an Israeli withdrawal to 1967 borders and the establishment of a fully sovereign Palestinian state, the conflict will remain unchanged and Palestine will demand the “return” to Israel of the millions of refugees and their descendants. The Palestinian demand for “return” entails the transfer of millions of Jews from their homes and the end of the state of Israel…”

Even though it was Abbas who rejects the two state solution and rejected Olmert’s peace-offer in 2008, Obama and Kerry blame Israeli settlement construction for the collapse of talks and increase of Palestinian terror.

On October 16 Elliot Abrams wrote in Mosaic Magazine that “Secretary of State Kerry made an unhelpful, mistaken, ill-informed comment about the current wave of Palestinian violence yesterday when speaking at Harvard.

Here is the comment Kerry made:

“So here’s the deal. What’s happening is that unless we get going, a two-state solution could conceivably be stolen from everybody. And there’s been a massive increase in settlements over the course of the last years. Now you have this violence because there’s a frustration that is growing, and a frustration among Israelis who don’t see any movement.”

Kerry does not know what he is talking about. There has simply not been “a massive increase in settlements over the course of the last years.” There has been a steady growth in settlement population, though the bulk of that growth is in the major blocs–such as Ma’ale Adumim–that Israel will clearly retain in any final agreement. Kerry’s imprecision is another problem. Does he mean there has been a massive increase in the number of settlements? That’s flatly false. Does he mean a massive increase in settlement size, as existing settlements expand physically? That’s also flatly false. The so-called “peace map” or “Google Earth map” of the West Bank has changed very little.

The frequent Palestinian claim that Israel is “gobbling up” the West Bank so that “peace will be impossible” is what Kerry is here repeating when he says “a two-state solution could conceivably be stolen from everybody.” It’s a false claim and he should know it. If that is not what Kerry meant, he should be far more careful when he speaks about such an explosive topic–and at such an explosive moment.

Moreover, his claim is plain silly. The slow but steady growth in population in settlements is a completely unpersuasive explanation for the sudden outbreak of violence. That outburst of violence and terror appears linked to lies about Israel changing the status quo at the Temple Mount or Haram al-Sharif. But whatever its explanation, the false linkage to settlements is of a piece with the Obama administration’s continuing obsession with that subject–despite all the evidence. It’s remarkable that the Secretary of State, who has spent so much time with Israelis and Palestinians and has visited Jerusalem repeatedly, has not bothered to learn the basic facts. He is instead parroting Palestinian propaganda. In fact, Prime Minister Netanyahu has been under pressure and criticism from settler groups because he has restrained settlement population growth beyond the security barrier. To suffer those political attacks and then hear criticism from the secretary of state about a “massive increase in settlements” helps explain the lack of confidence Israeli officials feel in the Obama administration.

Mr. Kerry is doing something else here that is even worse: blaming the victims. The State Department has of course condemned acts of terror, but here in a question and answer period we get beyond official statements and see what Kerry really appears to think. He seems to believe that the real culprits, when Palestinians stab Israelis to death, are people who build a new housing unit in a settlement.

The Kerry remarks at Harvard were morally obtuse and factually wrong.”

Kerry Links Palestinian Terror to Settlement Expansion by Elliott Abrams

Kerry lies when he says that settlement construction is an obstacle to peace. Settlements occupy now about 1.7% of the West Bank and during Olmert’s term they occupied about 1.6%, new homes were built inside existing settlement land, no new land was taken, there was virtually no expansion outside previous areas. As blogger Elder of Zion wrote “ …how the ~1.7% of settlement land today makes peace so much harder than ~1.6% 20 years ago?”
http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2015/11/bibi-demolishes-j-street-and-peace-nows.html#.VlIKAWBzNf3

On November 10 blogger Elder of Zion wrote “At Binyamin Netanyahu’s appearance at the Center for American Progress, he said that the settlements were not an obstacle to peace.

He answered that “There have been no new settlements built in the past 20 years.The additions have been in existing communities. The map has not materially changed.”

I’m not sure if that is 100% true; I know of three formerly illegal outposts that became legal, and I cannot imagine that there haven’t been more illegal outposts in 20 years that have escaped being demolished. But the larger point is true – there has been essentially no new settlements, as opposed to how they are characterized. and Netanyahu said this:

“By the way, Google this. Because this is just repeated, ad nauseum, so it assumes the cachet of self-evident truth, that we’re ‘gobbling up land’ and so on. We’re not gobbling up land….I mean the total amount of built up land is just a few percent. And the addition, if you look at it over time, it’s got to be a fraction – maybe one tenth of one percent? Maybe I’m off, maybe it’s 3/10ths of one percent. That’s the land that’s being “gobbled up.” That’s a factual question. That is not something that should be debated. And yet it’s become an axiom, that we are gobbling up land. We’re not.”

…(In response to Netanyahu’s statement, Peace Now wrote) “The “one percent argument” is a classic example of how supporters of the status-quo use a fraction of the truth to misrepresent the truth on the ground in the West Bank. Yes, the actual built-up area of West Bank settlements takes up only a little more than 1% of the West Bank. But the settlements’ built-up area is just the tip of the settlements iceberg. The impact of the settlements goes far beyond this 1%.

Almost 10% of the West Bank is included in the “municipal area,” or the jurisdictional borders of the settlements. These borders are so large that they allow settlements to expand many times over onto land that is completely off-limits to Palestinians.

In addition, almost 34% of the West Bank has been placed under the jurisdiction of the settlements’ “Regional Councils.” That is, more than an additional 1/3 of the West Bank has been placed under the control of the settlers, off-limits to Palestinians.

In total, more than 40% of the West Bank is under the direct control of settlers or settlements and off-limits to Palestinians, regardless of the fact that only a small portion of this land has been built on by settlers.”

Elder of Zion responded “Let’s say that this is 100% true. Then this means that Peace Now agrees that there has been no fundamental change in the West Bank map since the PLO rejected Israeli peace offers of 93%-95% of the land in 2001 and 2008!

Somehow, the 40% Israel controls didn’t stop Barak and Olmert from offering nearly the entire West Bank for a Palestinian state. If they could offer it, so could the current Israeli government. So the 40% figure is a red herring, meant to obscure the fact that the intransigent party is the Palestinian side.

…Peace Now and J-Street know this. If you read their literature you can see that they try very hard to distract their readers from these facts by mentioning things that aren’t relevant. Their central claim to raise cash, that Israel – and especially the reviled Likud government of Netanyahu – is gobbling up land is shown to be a lie.

Yet this Peace Now and J-Street lie of Israel “gobbling up land” is repeated without any shame by the White House, by the New York Times, and by many other sources who don’t even bother to read Peace Now reports with a critical eye. Because their own documentation proves their public lies!”

http://elderofziyon.blogspot.com/2015/11/bibi-demolishes-j-street-and-peace-nows.html#.VlIKAWBzNf3

Arutz 7 reported that “US Secretary of State John Kerry asserted Wednesday that the escalating wave of Arab terror in Israel showcases what would be in store if the Palestinian Arabs were not to achieve statehood.

During a speech in Washington, Kerry emphasized the United States’ commitment to advancing the two-state solution, which he called “the only viable alternative.”

…Stressing that unrest and violence have hurt both Israelis and Palestinian Arabs, Kerry contended “the current situation is simply not sustainable.”…

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/202606#.VjF73ZtzPD

Kerry calls the situation “not sustainable” yet Abbas said that “…the Palestinians can wait without making concessions in part because “the West Bank we have a good reality . . . the people are living a normal life.”

On May 29, 2009 CAMERA reported that “Washington Post Deputy Editorial Editor Jackson Diehl recounts his recent conversation with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in today’s issue of the newspaper.

It seems that yet again Israel offered Palestinians a state on virtually the entire West Bank, and yet again a Palestinian leader — this time the one widely described as moderate — rejected the offer.

Diehl writes:

In our meeting Wednesday, Abbas acknowledged that Olmert had shown him a map proposing a Palestinian state on 97 percent of the West Bank — though he complained that the Israeli leader refused to give him a copy of the plan. He confirmed that Olmert “accepted the principle” of the “right of return” of Palestinian refugees — something no previous Israeli prime minister had done — and offered to resettle thousands in Israel. In all, Olmert’s peace offer was more generous to the Palestinians than either that of Bush or Bill Clinton; it’s almost impossible to imagine Obama, or any Israeli government, going further.

Abbas turned it down. “The gaps were wide,” he said.

Diehl also quotes Abbas as rejecting, again, the notion that he should recognize Israel as the Jewish state, and as saying that the Palestinians can wait without making concessions in part because “the West Bank we have a good reality . . . the people are living a normal life.”

http://blog.camera.org/archives/2009/05/mahmoud_abbas_acknowledges_rej.html

In 2013 Kerry told the Foreign Affairs Committee “I believe the window for a two-state solution is shutting,” the secretary of state said. “I think we have some period of time – a year to year-and-a-half to two years, or it’s over.”

He added: “Everybody I talk to in the region and all of the supporters globally who care … want us to move forward on a peace effort. They’re all worried about the timing here. So there’s an urgency to this, in my mind, and I intend, on behalf of the president’s instructions, to honour that urgency and see what we can do to move forward.”

Although the conflict exists since 1948, Kerry claims there is an “urgency” to solve it in a short two year window because Obama’s term in office is coming to an end. On March 2015 Newsmax reported that “The White House on Wednesday suggested it could reverse its decades-old policy of using its veto in the United Nations Security Council to protect Israel. It could refuse to veto resolutions related to the Palestinians or introduce a measure of its own, The Wall Street Journal reported. The U.S. could also lend its support to a two-state solution based on Israel’s 1967 borders, a senior White House official told The New York Times.”
http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/israel-un-security-council-veto/2015/03/19/id/631103/

Obama is in a rush to pass a UNSC resolution imposing a timetable for an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank before his time in office ends. He knows that the next administration will not be willing to concede this to the Palestinians without taking into consideration Israel’s security needs.

Obama has to pass this UNSC urgently before his term comes to an end to tie the future US President’s hands. Future administrations will have no choice but to obey to Obama’s UNSC resolution.

To justify the UNSC resolution, Obama needs to create a sense of urgency. Abbas is escalating the violence through stabbing attacks to create the sense of urgency that Obama needs. Abbas wants to provoke an Israeli reaction which Obama can use as an excuse to justify the anti-Israel UNSC resolution.

The Palestinian Media Watch translated an interview by one of Hamas founders Mahmoud al-Zahar to the Palestinian newspaper Al-Ayyam in which he said “transfer what it has [in Gaza] or just a small part of it to the West Bank, we would be able to settle the battle of the final promise [to destroy Israel] with a speed that no one can imagine…[Some] have said Hamas wants to create an Islamic emirate in Gaza. We won’t do that, but we will build an Islamic state in Palestine, all of Palestine…”

Those who advocate for a solution in the UNSC cannot ignore that what happened in Gaza can also happen in the West Bank. After Israel withdrew from Gaza, Hamas took power and started missile attack against Israel. If a Palestinian State is created in the West Bank Hamas will attack Israel with missiles from the West Bank as it does from Gaza.

John Kerry is dishonest in not acknowledging that after Gaza the situation has changed and imposing a solution in the UNSC will make the situation much worse, it will make life in Israel impossible and lead to war. Only a person that does not care for the safety of Israel’s citizens would advocate for this. For Kerry it doesn’t matter this UNSC resolution will make the conflict worse and lead to war, he wants to impose it at all costs.

Demanding an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank will make the situation far worse not better. The “Two State Solution” is not as Kerry claims the only option. There is a much better and honest option which is to recognize that the Palestinians already have a State in Jordan. Since the US/EU claim the Arab-Israeli conflict can be solved though a UNSC resolution why not submit one declaring that Jordan is Palestine?
Most of the Jordanian population is Palestinian, the previous King said “Jordan is Palestine, Palestine is Jordan”. The Queen of Jordan Rania Al-Yassin was born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents Faisal Sedki Al Yassin and Ilham Yassin from Tulkarm, Jordan has a Palestinian Queen, the next King of Jordan will be the son of a Palestinian. If Jordan is recognized as the Palestinian State the Arabs currently living in Israel can continue but they will be Jordanian Citizens.

It is not honest for those who seek a resolution to the Arab-Israeli conflict to ignore that Jordan was also part of British Mandate Palestine. Jordan must also be part of the solution.

Ezequiel Doiny is a writer based in Maryland. His work has appeared in Conservative Papers, Arutz 7, Gatestone Institute, United with Israel and The Jewish Press.


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