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, February 16, 2008

Palestine, Paralysis and Plato

[Published June 2007]

The Arab League and the Quartet – America, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations - have become totally paralysed as Hamas and Fatah lay into each other in Gaza with a ferocity that makes the never ending procession of pious resolutions passed at the United Nations condemning Israeli "brutality and breaches of international humanitarian law " what they always have been – totally hypocritical and quite farcical.

Throwing people off high rise buildings, murdering patients in hospital wards and shooting off peoples' heads now join Gaza's bizarre list of inhumane and barbaric practices.

Gaza's culture of violence has exploded to new limits of horror and revulsion yet the Arab League and the Quartet are not lifting a finger to actively end it.

The chickens are now coming home to roost with a vengeance for the Arab League and the Quartet.

The Arab League's Peace Plan (2002) and the Quartet's Road Map (2003) sponsoring an independent state in the West Bank and Gaza - just 6% of historic Palestine - were catastrophic decisions that set back any hope for peace in the region during the last five years.

Expectations in the Palestinian Authority that it now had worldwide public and political support firmly behind it for the creation of an independent State in the West Bank and Gaza, emboldened it to continue to make three impossible demands that Israel could not ever possibly accept:

1. The withdrawal from every square inch of Gaza and the West Bank

2. The right to return and live in Israel for millions of former Arab residents and their descendants who wished to do so

3. The removal of 450000 Jews from Gaza and the West Bank where they had lived for up to 40 years and their forced repatriation to Israel if they did not wish to leave willingly.

Israel's precipitate action in unilaterally evacuating all 7000 Jewish residents from Gaza in 2005 contributed to a fuelling of these expectations and even more – the belief that this was the first step in the ultimate destruction of Israel.

Instead of dancing and singing in the streets and engaging in nation building, Gaza reverberated to the sounds of hundreds of Kassam rockets fired at Israel, more suicide missions were undertaken into Israel, a total breakdown of law and order occurred and increased smuggling of weapons from Egypt was carried out - at the same time as an increasingly hostile and belligerent population were voting Hamas into power.

Whatever you think of Hamas – they mean what they say and don't mince the words they use. The goal of Hamas is the destruction of Israel - nothing more, nothing less.

The Arab League and the Quartet however weren't listening and continued to pursue their misguided and flawed policy by supporting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in his supposed quest to achieve a state in Gaza and the West Bank - even as Hamas began to consolidate its position as the Government in Gaza.

Attempts by the Arab League to broker a unity Hamas/Fatah Government failed dismally.

Abbas had become a powder puff President with no real power or authority. Now Abbas' demise in Gaza is very close at hand as his forces wilt under the Hamas onslaught.

The current carnage has ensured once and for all the demise of any plan for the creation of an independent State in the West Bank and Gaza.

Perhaps the Arab League and the Quartet now need to ponder on the phrase used by Plato in his Republic written in 369BC:

"Then, I said, let us begin and create in idea a State and yet the true creator is necessity,who is the mother of our invention"

The idea of creating a State in Gaza and the West Bank may have seemed a good idea and been undertaken with the best of intentions by both the Arab League and the Quartet.

Yet by refusing to accept anything less than they demanded, the Arab populations living in those areas put their hatred of the Jews above their claimed necessity for such a State.

Rejection of Statehood had been similarly refused by the Arabs when proposed by the Peel Commission in 1937 and the United Nations in 1947.

It had also been rejected between 1948-1967 during the occupation of the West Bank by Jordan and of Gaza by Egypt.

It was rejected again after the Six Day War in 1967 when the Arab League refused to negotiate with or recognise Israel.

In every case, hatred of the Jews was thought more important than the Arabs having a second Arab state in Palestine in addition to Jordan .

Five attempts to create a new Arab State between Israel, Jordan and Egypt over the last 70 years have failed miserably and have brought nothing but continuing death and suffering to both Jews and Arabs. It is time to close the book on this proposal as the means of achieving an end to the 130 year old conflict in former Palestine.

The current parlous position in Gaza and the potentially looming confrontation in the West Bank between Hamas and Fatah have created a new, very urgent and different necessity that needs to be addressed by an inventive solution that is not based on the creation of a state in these areas.

This solution can only be found through the re-entry of Jordan into the heavily populated Arab areas of the West Bank - to assume control there and incorporate the area into Jordan - with the unconditional diplomatic and financial support of the Arab League and the Quartet and with the express consent of Israel.

Gaza has now become a place no one wants to enter. It has become Israel's neighbour from hell. Israel will no doubt have to deal with the mess there. It will not be a pretty sight.

The Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank have managed to turn their call for self determination into a dangerous game of self extermination. They only have themselves to blame.

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