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%.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Palestinians Must Change Mindset

[Published June 2007]

Tony Blair had started his new job as special envoy for the Quartet - America, Russia, the European Union, and the United Nations - even before he had been appointed.

He affirmed the Quartet’s mantra to the House of Commons in his departure speech :

"The only way of bringing stability and peace to the Middle East is a two-state solution, which means a state of Israel that is secure and confident in its security and a Palestinian state that is not merely viable in terms of its territory, but in terms of its institutions and government."

Is he really serious -“the only way“? No other options at all? What a doomsday prognosis.

After 14 years of trying and failing dismally to create a State between Israel and Jordan it seems that the same flawed policy objective is going to be around at least until Mr Blair is replaced by some other eminent person of the status of a former US President, British Prime Minister or head of the World Bank.

George Bush or Condoleezza Rice will probably relish such a job in two years time.

If Mr Blair is serious in his pronouncement and believes the “two -state solution” is the only way, then there first has to be an immediate change of mindset by the Palestinians before he starts any new negotiations to achieve that goal.

For this he will need the support of Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas. His adviser, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat told AFP that Mr Abbas had given Mr Blair an assurance that he will work with Mr Blair to arrive at a peaceful solution on the basis of two states.

Mr Abbas - the head of the PLO and the Palestinian Authority - must immediately call a meeting of the Palestinian National Council to amend or repeal the following offensive and belligerent provisions of the PLO Charter - which totally contradict the “two- state solution“ to which the Quartet is so inextricably tied and make a mockery of any “peace process“ to be undertaken by Mr Blair:

Article 1:“Palestine is the homeland of the Arab Palestinian people.”

This must be amended to state it is also the homeland of the Jewish people. What does a“two-state” solution otherwise mean?

Article 2:“Palestine with the boundaries it had during the British Mandate is an indivisible territorial unit.”

British Mandatory Palestine comprised Jordan, Israel, the West Bank and Gaza. This clause must be repealed. It is a total denial of the “two state solution”.

Article 9:“Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine”

If this is allowed to stand, the Quartet and Mr. Blair may as well go and fly kites now.

Article 10: “Commando action constitutes the nucleus of the Palestinian popular liberation war”

How does this type of officially sanctioned conduct gel with a peace process ?

Article 15: “The liberation of Palestine … aims at the elimination of Zionism in Palestine”

This is totally incompatible with the “two state solution” and must be repealed now.

Article 19: "The partition of Palestine in 1947 and the establishment of the state of Israel are entirely illegal, regardless of the passage of time”

How does this permit a “two-state” solution to ever be negotiated?

Article 20: “The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate for Palestine and everything that has been based on them, are deemed null and void.”

Total disregard for international law and the rule of law including Security Council Resolution 242 have no place in negotiations being conducted by the Quartet. If Mr Blair wants his authority to be respected and treated seriously, this clause must go.

“Claims of historical or religious ties of Jews with Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history ..”

Offensive - not only for Jews - but for Christians as well. These ideas need to be erased.

“Judaism, being a religion, is not an independent nationality. Nor do Jews constitute a single nation with an identity of its own;

Letting this stand makes the two state solution impossible to attain.

Article 22: Displays a racist and anti-Semitic state of mind and attitude totally inimical to any peaceful resolution and must be expunged entirely.

It takes a majority of two-thirds of the total membership of the Palestinian National Council at a special session convened for that purpose to amend the above articles.

In 2003 the Council had 669 members, 88 from the Palestinian Legislative Council, 98 representing the Arabs living in the West Bank and Gaza and 483 representing the Palestinian Diaspora
(Source: Wikipedia).

Such numbers now would represent a fair and representative cross section of the movers and shakers in Palestinian public opinion. Action taken by them to amend these offensive articles would send a powerful message to the constituency that the days of hating Jews, armed struggle, resistance and terror are over.

This meeting can be called in 60 days to see if the Council members are really serious in wanting to end the conflict by taking such ground breaking and historic decisions.

There would be those who would ignore the change of direction and continue to engage in terror. They would have to be dealt with as ruthlessly and effectively as possible.

Oslo and everything that has followed has had no chance of success because this quantum leap in thinking was not demanded before any negotiations took place. A handshake on the White House lawns was not sufficient.

The charade that Mr Blair can play peace games whilst the body politic can play war games and engage in pathological hatred of your “partner for peace” must end.

If Mr Blair doesn’t press for this meeting of the Palestinian National Council, then his mission will - like so many of those before him - have only one certain outcome - lots of frequent flyer points, heaps of photo opportunities, and a few extra kilos in weight put on at lavish banquets held in his honour.

No amendments now to the PLO Charter = no further negotiations, no State.

The equation for progressing the “two state solution” is really is as simple as that.

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