Mandate for Palestine - July 24, 1922

Mandate for Palestine - July 24, 1922
Jordan is 77% of former Palestine - Israel, the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza comprise 23%.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Israel, PLO, Jordan, EU and UN must agree on boundaries of Palestine


[Published 13 February 2019]


Ending the Arab-Jewish conflict over the territory called “historic Palestine” has little chance of success until its territorial boundaries are first agreed between Israel, the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), Jordan, the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN).

Rima Najjar — a retired professor of English literature at Al-Quds University - claims in a recent article that the territory of “historic Palestine” has been subdivided into Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip but is effectively controlled by the Jewish State.

The following facts contradict her assertions:

1. Jordan comprises 78% of the territory of Palestine under the League of Nations 1922 Mandate for Palestine - and Jews were denied the right to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in any part of that area of Palestine under article 25 of the Mandate

2. The Old Testament records that two and a half of the twelve tribes of Israel settled in Jordan and cities of refuge were established by the Israelites in Golan, Ramoth, and Bosor - on the eastern side of the Jordan River - and Kedesh, Nablus, and Hebron - on the western side.

3. Jordan, Israel, the West Bank and Gaza form one indivisible territorial unit under Article 2 of the PLO Charter.

4. Under the 1993 Oslo Accords and following Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2006 - the PLO effectively controls 40% of the West Bank and Hamas effectively controls all of Gaza.

5. Many leading PLO, Jordanian, Arab and Israeli leaders have acknowledged that Jordan formed part of Palestine and that Jordanians and Palestinians are one people — not two.
Najjar’s intention is clear: to misleadingly and deceptively allege that Israel effectively controls 100% of historic Palestine - when Jordan effectively controls 78%.

In fact:
1. Israel currently exercises sovereignty in only 17% of historic Palestine whilst Jordan exercises sovereignty in 78% - leaving competing Arab and Jewish claims to sovereignty in the remaining 5% of historic Palestine — the West Bank and Gaza - to be resolved.

2. The Palestinian Arabs already have their own State in 78% of historic Palestine where not one Jew lives.
Najjar has claimed in an earlier article:
“How deep is the historical illiteracy of Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic Party and Donald Trump and his party?

It is so deep, they are even immune to déjà vu, also known as “cryptomnesia”, which is where history is forgotten but nevertheless stored in the brain.”
Najjar, the UN, EU, even Mahmoud Abbas, are the historical illiterates suffering from cryptomnesia when it comes to determining the boundaries of historic Palestine - having written off the biblical history of “Eretz Yisrael” and the modern day history of “Palestine” between 1917 and 1947.

Najjar has form — having falsely stated in 2017:
“Israel now has sovereignty over all of mandate Palestine.”
Najjar also uttered her historic Palestine canard when calling for Israel’s elimination in 2018:
“The Palestinians have never held the bargaining chips in their tragedy and might as well go for broke — ending the Apartheid Zionist colonial regime in all of historic Palestine.”
Najjar lamented in 2017:
“I don’t know what it means to be Palestinian Jordanian, which is how I began my life ...”
Najjar’s identity crisis disappears once she recognizes that Jordan is 78% of historic Palestine.

Until Israel, the PLO, Jordan, the UN and EU all agree on the boundaries of historic Palestine — any hope for ending the 100-years conflict between Arabs and Jews remains a mirage.

Author’s note: The cartoon—commissioned exclusively for this article — is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators — whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Israel now needs miracle to set secure and recognized boundaries


[Published 17 December 2019]


History will not kindly recall Israel’s power-hungry politicians who have forced a third election within twelve months on Israeli voters at a direct cost of another US$135 million.

The politicians’ inability to form a Government of National Unity is derelict — especially after Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin entreated them to do so.

The Jewish calendar is replete with both happy and sad times in the history of the Jewish people spanning thousands of years — faithfully remembered on each anniversary.

The period between 18 November 2019 and 11 December 2019 — which I call The Time of Missed Opportunity — could qualify for inclusion in that calendar.

November 18 marks the day US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared that the US did not regard Jewish settlement in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) as being inconsistent with international law.

December 11 marks the last day a Government of National Unity could have been formed to finally set Israel’s secure and recognized boundaries under Security Council Resolution 242 — within which the Jewish people would reconstitute the Jewish National Home 100 years after the San Remo Convention laid the groundwork on April 25, 1920.

Israel and the Jewish World have been divided as to where those boundaries should be — particularly since Judea and Samaria (the disputed territories) were conquered by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War enabling Jews to return and live there after having been expelled and driven out in 1948 by six invading Arab armies.

Israelis espouse views ranging from extending Israeli sovereignty to all the disputed territories to sovereignty over none. Compromise somewhere in between could have possibly been found with a Government of National Unity making consensus decisions acceptable to the overwhelming majority of Israel’s population.

Two deadlocked Israeli elections in April and September 2019 have exposed a very disturbing political rift among Israeli voters as Israel confronts its Arab neighbours who seek to destroy it — and its international enemies at the United Nations who seek to deny that Jews have any legal right to live in the disputed territories guaranteed by article 6 of the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the United Nations Charter.

This Jewish divisiveness has a bitter parallel in Jewish history — the Bible recounting that on the succession of Solomon’s son, Rehoboam, around 930 BCE, the land of Israel split into two kingdoms: the Kingdom of Israel (including the cities of Nablus and Samaria) in the north and the Kingdom of Judah (containing Jerusalem) in the south. These kingdoms remained separate states for over two hundred years.

Yuval Diskin, Israel’s former internal security chief, warned in 2015 that this could happen again:
“The two-state solution is becoming true for the Jews: The State of Judea is being built de facto side by side with the State of Israel. These are two nations whose differences are eclipsing their commonalities, a condition that is growing irreversible.

The State of Judea has different standards, different approaches to democracy, and it has two justice systems, one for Jews (Israeli law) and the other for Palestinians (martial law). Whether we want it or not, these two justice systems have divergent measures to adjudicate identical offenses”.
Israel’s politicians — in rejecting a Government of National Unity and opting for a third election — have not acted in the national interest. They have chosen to continue political division and pursue personal ambition to achieve political power — rather than seeking national unity.

A third deadlocked election is the miracle and opportunity Israel needs to enable a Government of National Unity to set Israel’s boundaries.

Author’s note: The cartoon – commissioned exclusively for this article — is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators – whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Trump, Netanyahu and Gantz can end in 2020 what began in 1920


[Published 9 December 2019]


Designating the territory for reconstitution of the Jewish National Home in Palestine – begun with the San Remo Convention and Treaty of Sevres in April and August 1920 respectively – could finally be completed 100 years later in 2020.

Achieving this long-overdue outcome will require Israel to form a Government of National Unity by 11 December 2019 - headed initially by Benjamin Netanyahu as Prime Minister for a minimum term of six months - enabling the new Parliament to ratify those areas of Judea and Samaria to which Israeli sovereignty will be extended as delineated by the Government.

This Unity Government should ideally hold at least 80 of the 120 seats in the Knesset so that there is an overwhelming majority of Israel’s elected politicians supporting any determinative decisions made by the Knesset in relation to Judea and Samaria.

Israel has been presented with this amazing opportunity following President Trump’s Secretary for State - Mike Pompeo - issuing this declaration on 19 November 2019:
“After carefully studying all sides of the legal debate, this administration agrees with President Reagan. The establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not per se inconsistent with international law.”
Pompeo’s statement followed US Ambassador to Israel – David Friedman – stating on 8 June 2019:
“Under certain circumstances I think Israel has the right to retain some, but unlikely all, of the West Bank.”
Friedman had then cautioned:
“We really don’t have a view until we understand how much, on what terms, why does it make sense, why is it good for Israel, why is it good for the region, why does it not create more problems than it solves. These are all things that we’d want to understand, and I don’t want to prejudge.”
Friedman will get the answers with the formation of Israel’s Government of National Unity – which hangs delicately by a thread and can vanish into thin air if it does not gain some oxygen by midnight on 11 December. Fresh elections on 3 March 2020 - for the third time in a year - will then become mandatory and this wonderful opportunity will have flown out the window.

It would be a national disgrace and betrayal of Israelis and Jews worldwide if Israel’s political parties allowed their political differences and personal rivalries to stymie the opportunity to determine the area within which the reconstitution of the Jewish National Home will be mandated after 100 years of fighting many wars and diplomatic battles.

Israel’s extended boundaries would be determined in coordination with President Trump and ratified over the next 6 months.

The fact that no Arab interlocutors will participate in any such decision-making process is regrettable. However continuing Arab intransigence in refusing to commit to negotiate with Israel on Trump’s still unreleased deal of the century - despite Trump’s best efforts to involve their participation in such decision-making with Israel – leaves Trump with no other option.

A Unity Government could be reasonably expected to agree to extend Israel’s sovereignty to about 75% of Area C – about 45% of Judea and Samaria.

Gantz reportedly told close associates he is:
“ready to make tough decisions in the coming days”
Hopefully Gantz as Deputy Prime Minister can rise to the occasion and allow Netanyahu – enjoying a unique relationship with Trump - to head a Government of National Unity to grab this once in a hundred years opportunity.

An unprecedented – almost miraculous - confluence of events has emerged since Israel’s second-deadlocked September elections - that cries out for a national consensus and historic response by Trump, Netanyahu and Gantz.

Seize the moment – seize the day….

Author’s note: The cartoon – commissioned exclusively for this article — is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators – whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog.

Trump ends Arab preoccupation with occupation in Judea and Samaria


[Published 3 December 2019]


President Trump’s decision to recognise the right of Jews to live in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) ends a long-running Arab political campaign accompanied by murderous terrorist attacks to drive the Jews out under the Arab mantra - “End the Occupation”. This mantra had become the Arabs’ rallying cry over the last 53 years as they sought to assert sovereignty over every square meter of this hotly-disputed territory.

These three little words managed to turn Israel’s miraculous victory in the 1967 Six Day War in Judea and Samaria — that saw the Jewish People’s triumphal return to the heart of the biblical and ancestral land of its forefathers — as something to be reviled and reversed.

Those mouthing the mantra did not seek to have the “occupation” ended in favour of Jordan — the previous Arab occupier between 1948 and 1967.

Rather they were insisting it all be given to another group — the “Palestinians” — who did not exist:
1. In 1922 – when the League of Nations created the Mandate for Palestine

2. In 1937 - when the Peel Commission issued its Report

3. In 1947 - when the United Nations recommended the partition of western Palestine into an Arab State and a Jewish State.

4. Between 1948-1964 — when Judea and Samaria had been ethnically cleansed of every single Jew who had been living there prior to 1948
The “Palestinians” only first saw the light of day in 1964 when the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) Charter was promulgated and Article 1 declared:
"Palestine is the homeland of the Arab Palestinian people; it is an indivisible part of the Arab homeland, and the Palestinian people are an integral part of the Arab nation".

In 2019 the PLO’s legitimacy to rule the “Palestinians” is being challenged by Hamas. Reconciliation between these two competing power seekers is still not in prospect after 13 years of bitter internecine conflict — nor are elections anywhere in sight.

Jordan now sits on the sideline having abandoned any claim to Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) in 1988. Jordan shows no interest in attempting to try and restore — as far as is now possible — the status quo existing in these areas Jordan ruled on June 4, 1967.

President Trump is waiting patiently in the wings ready to release his “deal of the century” when Israel’s next Government is eventually formed.

It is surely time for a new mantra: “Right the Wrongs” to enter into the lexicon of international diplomacy in the Middle East — to replace the racist and apartheid “end the occupation”.

The wrongs are the failure of the United Nations to acknowledge that:
1. the provisions of Article 80 of the United Nations Charter reserve to the Jewish people the right to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in Judea and Samaria in accordance with the provisions laid down in article 6 of the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine

2. Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 remain the only internationally accepted bases for resolving the conflict in former Palestine.
The United Nations failure to insist on these binding tenets of international law being universally acknowledged has proved to be a major stumbling block in resolving the Jewish-Arab conflict.

Bowing to extreme pressure from the Arab League and the Organization of the Islamic Conference — the United Nations has succumbed to a myriad of General Assembly resolutions that have buried these pillars of international law. The sooner they again become the foundations for peace — the sooner some sanity will return to the Middle East.

Trump’s decisiveness has amazingly ended 53 wasted years of Arab preoccupation with occupation.

Author’s note: The cartoon — commissioned exclusively for this article — is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators — whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog

Monday, March 30, 2020

Knifing Netanyahu could sink release of Trump peace plan



[Published 27 November 2019]


From most reports Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will soon be finished politically — forced to resign as Israel’s longest serving Prime Minister to defend three indictments levelled against him by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit.

The first indictment involves bribery, fraud and breach of trust in Case 4000 — the Bezeq-Walla Affair; the second — fraud and breach of trust in Case 1000 — the Illegal Gifts Affair; and the third for fraud and breach of trust in Case 2000 — the Yediot Ahronot-Israel Hayom Affair.

One consequence of Netanyahu’s exit from politics — if it does happen — could see President Trump having second thoughts about releasing his long-awaited and eagerly-anticipated deal of the century to end the 100 years old Arab-Jewish conflict (deal) - which Trump had already promised to release after Israel’s next Government is formed.

A government without Netanyahu at the helm would pose a serious problem for Trump, who has forged a unique relationship of respect and mutual trust with Netanyahu that no other Israeli politician enjoys.

Trump is not in the business of seeing anything he proposes fail — especially this deal.

Trump does not want to join former Presidents Reagan, Carter, Clinton, Bush and Obama – whose well-intentioned proposals to resolve the long-running Arab-Jewish conflict have ended up in the garbage bin of history.

Trump has carefully crafted the drip release of his deal over the last two years — possibly in close consultation with Netanyahu — to give Israel the best hope it has ever had of finally reaching agreement with purposeful Arab negotiators. Trump’s failure so far to find such Arab negotiators has been a major factor in delaying the deal’s release.

The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) has made it abundantly clear that it will not negotiate with Israel on Trump’s deal under any circumstances.

Egypt and Jordan — the only two Arab states to have signed peace treaties with Israel in 1979 and 1994 — and the last two Arab States to have occupied Gaza and Judea and Samaria between 1948 and 1967 — still seem to be bucking at announcing their readiness to negotiate with Israel on Trump’s deal.

Trump will seemingly not release the final details of his deal unless he first has Arab assurances to bona fide negotiate with Israel in translating those details into binding commitments to end the long-running conflict.

Trump will not release his deal only to find it is dead in the water because no Arab negotiators will sit down with Israel.

Trump is interested in winning — not losing before he even jumps out of the starting gate.

Trump will need to now be satisfied that any new Israeli Prime Minister possesses the same views as Netanyahu on the issues Trump has already identified as integral elements of his deal:
1. extending Israeli sovereignty to Jewish towns and villages in Judea and Samaria,

2. declaring Jerusalem to be Israel’s eternal capital

3. recognising Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights
Trump will now also need to be assured that any new Israeli Prime Minister will not call on Trump to renew America’s payments to UNRWA and UNESCO, to reopen the PLO Embassy in Washington or resume funding to the PLO.

Netanyahu’s uncertain political future — and the absence of Arab negotiators ready to stand up and be counted — could see Trump’s deal being put on the political backburner until Trump’s bid for re-election for another four years is known on November 3, 2020.

Knifing Netanyahu introduces yet another wild card that could delay peace between Arabs and Jews — leaving the failed leadership of the PLO cheering and heaving huge sighs of relief.

Author’s note: The cartoon — commissioned exclusively for this article — is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators — whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Israel, Jordan and Egypt must hop on Trump bandwagon to peace


[Published 21 November 2019]


President Trump has now delivered the missing piece in his plan to end the 100 years old Jewish-Arab conflict - providing the incentive necessary for Israel’s warring political parties to bury their hatchets and form a new Israeli Government within the next 21 days.

This unique opportunity for peace trumps the domestic differences that have prevented Israel’s political parties forming that new Government following the elections in April and September 2019.

Trump has been progressively signposting his roadmap for the last two years:

1. Moving the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem

2. Declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel

3. Closing down the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) Offices in Washington

4. Withdrawing American funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA)

5. Giving a substantial aid package to Jordan

6. Recognising Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights

7. Having Bahrain host the “Peace to Prosperity” workshop to discuss the economic part of Trump’s “deal of the century”

8. Flagging Israel’s right to retain at least some - but “unlikely all” - of the West Bank
Now Trump has made the end goal of his “deal of the century” very clear with the following statement issued by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo:
“Turning now to Israel, the Trump administration is reversing the Obama administration’s approach towards Israeli settlements.

US public statements on settlement activities in the West Bank have been inconsistent over decades. In 1978, the Carter administration categorically concluded that Israel’s establishment of civilian settlements was inconsistent with international law. However, in 1981, President Reagan disagreed with that conclusion and stated that he didn’t believe that the settlements were inherently illegal.

Subsequent administrations recognized that unrestrained settlement activity could be an obstacle to peace, but they wisely and prudently recognized that dwelling on legal positions didn’t advance peace. However, in December 2016, at the very end of the previous administration, Secretary Kerry changed decades of this careful, bipartisan approach by publicly reaffirming the supposed illegality of settlements.

After carefully studying all sides of the legal debate, this administration agrees with President Reagan. The establishment of Israeli civilian settlements in the West Bank is not per se inconsistent with international law.”
The right of Jews to live in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) for the purposes of reconstituting the Jewish National Home there has been enshrined in international law under article 6 of the 1922 Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the 1945 United Nations Charter.

The United Nations, the European Union and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation have denied the legitimacy of these Jewish claims — emboldening the Arabs to claim 100% of these territories. Pompeo’s statement has quashed the Arabs’ claims.

One roadblock still remaining requires Trump to identify the Arab interlocutors prepared to stand up and negotiate with Israel on Trump’s plan.

Pompeo has given the PLO one last opportunity to join the negotiations with Israel.
“The United States encourages the Israelis and the Palestinians to resolve the status of Israeli settlements in the West Bank in any final status negotiations.”
The PLO had already unequivocally refused to negotiate on Trump’s plan and will continue to do so.

Trump should focus on Jordan and Egypt — the last two Arab States to have occupied Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and Gaza respectively between 1948 and 1967 — to fill the void.

Israel needs a new Government within the next 21 days or face another expensive and debilitating election in March 2020 — just as Trump is bidding for re-election — when he might consider it inopportune to release his plan.

Israel, Jordan and Egypt must hop on the Trump bandwagon now.

Author’s note: The cartoon — commissioned exclusively for this article — is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators — whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog

European Union bites off more than it can chew in Judea and Samaria


[Published 19 November 2019]


France has set in train a diplomatic and politically-motivated semantic assault on Israel that could ultimately see the European Union biting off more than it can chew.

A press release noted that the Court of Justice of the European Union in Luxembourg on 12 November had found in favour of France’s determined effort to protect unwitting French consumers being possibly misled when they buy cheese, wine or other produce sold by Jews originating in Judea and Samaria:
“… the Grand Chamber of the Court ruled that foodstuffs originating in territories occupied by the State of Israel must bear the indication of their territory of origin, accompanied, where those foodstuffs come from a locality or a group of localities constituting an Israeli settlement within that territory, by the indication of that provenance.”
This decision lays down stringent labelling requirements for Jewish producers in Judea and Samaria to ensure their products were kosher enough to be sold into the European Union.

The sham that this would prevent consumers from believing such products were “Made in Israel” took on a far more sinister political resonance as the press release continued:
“as regards the issue whether the indication ‘Israeli settlement’ is mandatory, the Court first of all underlined that the settlements established in some of the territories occupied by the State of Israel are characterised by the fact that they give concrete expression to a policy of population transfer conducted by that State outside its territory, in violation of the rules of general international humanitarian law. The Court then held that the omission of that indication, with the result that only the territory of origin is indicated, might mislead consumers. Consumers have no way of knowing, in the absence of any information capable of enlightening them in that respect, that a foodstuff comes from a locality or a set of localities constituting a settlement established in one of those territories in breach of the rules of international humanitarian law. The Court noted that, under Regulation No 1169/2011, the provision of information to consumers must enable them to make informed choices, with regard not only to health, economic, environmental and social considerations, but also to ethical considerations and considerations relating to the observance of international law. The Court underlined in that respect that such considerations could influence consumers’ purchasing decisions”.
All this pompous gobbledygook being required for labelling the source of products made in territory disputed between Jews and Arabs for the last 100 years is deeply disturbing.

There is no appeal from this decision.

The European Union could be in a real political bind as a result.

The labelling requirements introduced by the European Union in 2011 and interpreted in 2015 has led it down this disastrous path promising only ridicule and contempt.

To be consistent and not be subjected to charges that it is deliberately targeting Jews and inciting Jew-hatred – the European Union needs to insist on similar stringent labelling requirements being immediately applied on goods originating from more than 150 disputed territories around the world.

Alternatively - the European Union could get itself out of this embarrassing labelling war and PR disaster by simply requiring goods originating from Israeli settlements to state “Product of Judea” or “Product of Samaria”

Judea and Samaria - the historic and geographic terms used for the disputed territories for the last 3000 years - were re-labelled the “The West Bank” by Jordan in 1950 - and enthusiastically embraced by the European Union.

The chickens from Judea and Samaria have come home to roost.

Truth in labelling by the feckless European Union is long overdue.

Author’s note: The cartoon — commissioned exclusively for this article — is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators — whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog