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%.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

History shines light on the true borders of Palestine

[Published 2 April 2014]

The Nation

Lorenzo Kamel

[This article contains many untrue and misleading statements which I have forcefully rebutted in my article "Palestine - Kerry Can't keep Kidding Himself.]

“Israel opposes the establishment of an additional Palestinian state in the Gaza district and in the area between Israel and Jordan.” 

These words were included in the “peace initiative” presented in May 1989 by Israel’s Labour-Likud national unity government. Twenty-five years later, the “Jordan option” is back and being increasingly mentioned in the media.

These claims are problematic.

The Mandate for Palestine had direct, complete and explicit jurisdiction over the area that, in 1922, became the Emirate of Transjordan for eight months: from July 1920, when King Faisal was thrown out of Damascus, to March 12, 1921, the day of the Conference of Cairo which, in Winston Churchill’s words, sanctioned “the policy to be adopted with regard to Trans Jordania”.

Whenever there is a concrete effort to push forward the peace process, talk about “a substitute homeland” for the Palestinians re-emerges. 

Most of those supporting this scheme claim that well before the partition suggested by the UN General Assembly in 1947, the Zionist movement suffered a mutilation of territory following the unilateral British decision in 1922 to separate Transjordan from the rest of the land subject to the Mandate for Palestine. They argued that the Palestinians already had a sovereign state – Jordan – and that, therefore, Israel, even by incorporating today’s West Bank and Gaza Strip, would comprise only 22 per cent of the whole “historic Palestine”.

It was a “partially legal” time lapse even from the juridical perspective imposed by European powers, given that the Mandate for Palestine was formally assigned to London by the League of Nations on July 24, 1922, becoming operative in September 1923. 

Transjordan was thus part of the Mandate for Palestine with the proviso that Britain might administer it separately and for a period which at best may be considered scarcely relevant.

Read more: 


Anonymous said...

Part 1:

4) "Kamel’s claim is refuted by article 2 of the PLO Charter”:
I am not sure how the PLO charter would refute that "never did the land beyond the Jordan have a religious, social or cultural value comparable to the land between the river and the Mediterranean Sea". Abū Khālid Thawr Ibn Yazīd al-Kalā‘ī (764–854): “The holiest place [al-quds] on Earth is Syria; the holiest place in Syria is Palestine; the holiest place in Palestine is Jerusalem [Bayt al-maqdis]”. The perception of the local population is what it mattered and what it matters.
The PLO Charter is irrelevant, but also if we decide to focus only on it we should keep in mind that that Charter referred to the land between the Jordan river and the Mediterranean Sea, that is the land on which the "palestinian nationality" applied. The inhabitants of Transjordan were in fact excluded from the scope of Palestinian nationality by Article 21 of the 1925 Palestinian Citizenship Order:
"For the purpose of this Order: (1) The expression ‘Palestine’ includes the territories to which the mandate for Palestine applies, except such parts of the territory comprised in Palestine to the East of the [River of] Jordan and the Dead Sea as were defined by Order of the High Commissioner dated 1 September 1922".
Government of Palestine, Proclamations, Regulations, Rules, Orders, 1925.

3) "Indeed, from the moment Prince Faysal set up a government in Damascus in October 1918, he stressed that Palestine was a part of Syria. At the Paris Peace Conference...".

a) Chaim Weizmann to his wife, July 17, 1918: “I made the acquaintance of Fayṣal [...]. He is not interested in Palestine [...] He is contemptuous of the Palestinian Arabs whom he doesn’t even regard as Arabs”.

b) During WWI Arab nationalists cooperated with Sharif Hussein and his sons in order to have an Arab kingdom. The Palestinians, who were part of this ideology, thought at that time, tactically, that it would be in their interest to be part of the Faisal kingdom in the Bilad al-Sham. That’s why it is the only two years (1918-1920) during which they speak about Palestine as Southern Syria or the kingdom of Faisal. After Faisal is kicked out of Damascus, the next conference doesn’t speak about being part of Syria or the kingdom of Feisal. In the summer of 1920 the episode is finished.

c) No documents have been produced by the local majority, prior to 1918 or after 1920, which put aside Palestine and all it represented in favor of the concept of “Southern Syria”. In order to understand the reasons behind the political statements made by the future founder of the OLP Ahmad ash-Shuqayri (1908-1980) and other Arab leaders, often cited in order to negate the existence of a particular Palestinian identity see D. Pipes, Is Jordan Palestine?: "For advocates of Jordan-is-Palestine, such claims suggest Arab agreement that Palestine and Jordan are identical. But this interpretation distorts the real character of these remarks, which are not disinterested analyses but propaganda ploys and declarations of hostile intent. Minimally, they establish diplomatic positions within inter-Arab arena. Maximally, they assert rights to expand and rule other regions; the PLO hopes to stake out a claim to territory it does not control; Amman seeks to protect territories it either controls or hopes one day to control again".

Anonymous said...

Part 2:

2. "Transjordan was always included in the annual Report for the Mandate for Palestine presented to the League of Nations Permanent Mandates Commission."
So What? Palestine mandate was a joint mandate comprised of two states. In Yithak Gil-Har's words: "Great Britain had always treated Trans-Jordan as a political entity completely separate from Palestine. Its inclusion within the framework of the Palestine Mandate was an outcome of the political events following the fall of Faisal’s government in July 1920. The Palestine-Trans-Jordan boundary served as a political barrier separating two states. Therefore, the postulation by some writers that the boundary was merely administrative in its character, delineating two territories subjected to the one British rule within the British Empire has no foundation in reality”.

As for the Arab Legion: Transjordan was the only political entity in the region, among the ones within London’s sphere of influence, not directly garrisoned by British troops.

As for "Immigration from Transjordan": "Now Trans-Jordan has a government entirely independent of Palestine – the laws of Palestine are not applicable in Trans-Jordan nor are their laws applicable here. Moreover, although the High Commissioner of Palestine is also High Commissioner for Trans-Jordan, Trans-Jordan has an entirely independent government under the rule of an Amir and apart from certain reserved matters the High Commissioner cannot interfere with the government of Trans-Jordan […]. Trans-Jordan nationality is recognised […] Palestinians and Trans-Jordanians are foreigners and therefore Trans-Jordan must be regarded as a foreign state in relation to Palestine". 1945, British High Court (in Jawdat Badawi Sha’ban v. Commissioner for Migration and Statistics)

1. "It was only the provisions of the Mandate relating to the reconstitution of the Jewish National Home in Palestine that were “postponed or withheld” in Transjordan under article 25 of the Mandate – as this Note presented by the Secretary General to the League of Nations clearly stated":
The Note to which you referred to did not mention what you claim.

"The seeds for an independent Jew-free Arab State"...In Nazmi Jubeh's words: “I think that slogans are not useful and do not explain the complexity of things. Any Jew who wants to live in our community, following the rules which this entails, must be free to do so. It’s quite a different story, however, to request that the settlers who arrived here by force and in defiance of international law can ipso facto be entitled to see their actions justified. In other words, those who want to live in a future Palestinian state must do so under the law and not as colonialists. When Israel was created, the Palestinians were already here, and accounted for the vast majority of the local population. This is why there are now over one million Palestinians in Israel, many of whom are known as ‘internally displaced persons’ [IDPs]. In constrast to this, settlers arrived in the Palestinian territories through violence and incentives received in recent years from Israeli governments. Equating the former to the latter is not only simplistic, but also morally reprehensible.”

Two peoples, two rights, two states.