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%.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Israel, Apartheid and the Minister for Unintelligence

[Published May 2007]

Mr. Ronnie Kasrils is South Africa’s Intelligence Minister.

He has chosen to make many unintelligent remarks in an op-ed piece written by him for the Mail and Guardian on 18 May titled “Israel 2007 : worse than apartheid” which can be located at:

Such remarks require rebuttal, especially as they have been uttered by a person of his prestige and stature.

Let me deal with some of these remarks that mouth so many similarly wild and unsubstantiated claims being uttered with growing frequency in the media by others under the guise of free speech.

1. “The West Bank and Gaza have become hermetically sealed prisons”

Freedom of movement between Gaza and Egypt is available through the Rafah border crossing and between the West Bank and Jordan through the Allenby Bridge.

Movement between Gaza and Israel and the West Bank and Israel is permitted but is more limited and subject to frequent closure during terrorist attacks or terror alerts.

How does this inflammatory and misleading statement serve any purpose?

2. “Its [the security barrier] route cuts huge swathes into the West Bank to incorporate into Israel the illegal Jewish settlements - some of which are huge towns - and annexes more and more Palestinian territory.”

The Israeli settlements are permitted in international law under article 6 of the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the United Nations Charter provided that nothing is done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities.

Where prejudice has been proved to have occurred in construction of the security barrier, Israel’s High Court of Justice has intervened and ordered relief and will continue to do so.

The West Bank is the only territory of the Mandate for Palestine remaining unallocated between Jews and Arabs, both of whom maintain claims that are still to be resolved.

3. “The West Bank, once 22% of historic Palestine,..…”

The West Bank is only 5% of historic Palestine.

Gaza is 1% of historic Palestine ,Israel is 17% of historic Palestine and Jordan is 77% of historic Palestine .

4. “It is shocking to discover that certain roads are barred to Palestinians and reserved for Jewish settlers. I try in vain to recall anything quite obscene in apartheid South Africa”

Really, is Mr Kasrils’ memory that short ? - no blacks in restaurants or on “whites only” buses, no rights for the black majority to vote or control their own futures, separate toilets at the airports and all other public places, the banning of sex between the races - to name but a few.

Mr Kasrils was in the forefront in fighting apartheid in South Africa. What on earth did he think he was fighting?

Mr Kasrils is really insulting our intelligence with this kind of fatuous remark.

Mr Kasrils’ concern for the Palestinians is obviously sincere and well intended .

However his inane remarks leads one to conclude that his views have been formulated as a result of some fairly basic misunderstandings of the conflict that has been going on since the 1880’s in what was once called Palestine.

The ongoing refusal of the Arabs to countenance the right of Jews to have their own State in their biblical and ancestral homeland comprising 0.001% of the territory freed from Ottoman occupation by Britain and France in 1917 as part of a package deal that handed the Arabs the remaining 99.999% - eventually leading to the creation of such states as Syria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan - still remains the sticking point in the throats of the Arabs to this very day.

Looking at Palestine only in isolation is the trap into which many well meaning persons stumble.

The Arabs now have 22 States in which hardly a Jew lives and in which selling land to Jews is punishable by death . Arabs involved in selling land to Jews in Jerusalem have been hunted down and murdered. Try and enter Saudi Arabia if you are a Jew.

The Jews have one state - Israel - in which over 20% of the population - or more than one million - are Arab citizens. They eat in the same restaurants, travel on the same buses, use the same toilets and yes, vote in elections and even intermarry with Jews.

Who is practising apartheid?

Yes, the Arabs of the West Bank and Gaza are doing it tough - but they have no one but themselves and their intransigent brethren to blame for the sorry position they find themselves in.

There was a time between 1948-1967 when Statehood in the West Bank and Gaza and even part of what is now Israel could have been achieved with the stroke of a pen. What is yearned for now was rejected then. What was available then is not available now.

This reality still eludes the Arabs as they call for 400000 Jews to pack up and vacate every square inch of the West Bank. This is cuckoo land thinking and is bound to ensure the conflict will continue.

Whilst persons like Mr Kasrils continue to make their judgements based on facts that are demonstrably wrong, they will continue to give fuel to Arab demands that are impossible for Israel to accept.

Let the influential Mr Kasrils support handing over sovereignty of the Arab occupied areas of the West Bank to Jordan as a means of ending the indignities he witnessed on his recent wanderings.

That would be an intelligent contribution to resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict. His article certainly isn’t.


joelsk44039 said...

Great retort! Especially the bit about "historic" Palestine. I've been repeating these facts for years and those that choose to ignore (or are ignorant of) the fact that Jordan was a part of the Mandate for Palestine conveniently forget this.

In a world of anti-Israel blogs and unrelenting Arab propaganda, this blog is very refreshing. Keep it up.

David Singer - said...

Thanks Joel. Nice to know someone out there is reading my articles.