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, December 20, 2015

Eradicating Ebola Outbreak And Islamic State Scourge Require Same Prescription

[Published 12 October 2014]

Ebola has now claimed over 4000 lives mainly in Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

The United Nations Security Council response to eradicating this deadly virus and prevent it spreading world-wide stands in marked contrast to its ineffectual resolutions seeking to address the catastrophic humanitarian crisis that has emerged in Syria and Iraq over the past five months.

A flurry of diplomatic activity to halt the Ebola outbreak resulted in Security Council Resolution 2177 being passed on 18 September calling on:
“Member States to provide urgent resources and assistance, including deployable medical capabilities such as field hospitals with qualified and sufficient expertise, staff and supplies, laboratory services, logistical, transport and construction support capabilities, airlift and other aviation support and aeromedical services and dedicated clinical services in Ebola Treatment Units and isolation units, to support the affected countries in intensifying preventive and response activities and strengthening national capacities in response to the Ebola outbreak and to allot adequate capacity to prevent future outbreaks;”

On 29 September the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) was established in Ghana — whose Minister for Communications expressed the Government of Ghana’s profound support to the United Nations.
“Ebola is a global problem that knows no boundaries. Ghana is happy to host the UNMEER as we work together to contain and prevent further spread of the disease”

On 10 October UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon made the following remarks at a special meeting focusing on the Ebola virus held at the World Bank in Washington, D.C:
“The best antidote to fear is an effective and urgent response. We need a 20-fold resource mobilization,” Mr. Ban told those gathered, as he called for more mobile laboratories, vehicles, helicopters, protective equipment, trained medical personnel and medevac capacities to be provided in order to stay Ebola’s advance.”

The World Health Agency has reportedly noted that:
“375 health care workers are known to have developed Ebola (67 in Guinea, 184 in Liberia, 11 in Nigeria, and 113 in Sierra Leone), and 211 of them have died as a result (35 in Guinea, 89 in Liberia, five in Nigeria, and 82 in Sierra Leone).”

The lives of many more health care workers and those fighting the Ebola virus seem destined to be increased before its threat is eradicated.

The Security Council’s pathetic response to the Islamic State scourge pales by comparison.

The Islamic State — since its declaration in June - has spread its tentacles in occupying more territory, engaged in evil and barbaric beheadings designed to engender fear, committed carnage and caused intolerable suffering for those being increasingly caught up in its horrific path.

Security Council Resolution 2170 passed on 15 August 2014 highlighted the danger of the threat to world peace and security posed by Islamic State - but did precious little to halt its spread:
“deploring and condemning in the strongest terms the terrorist acts of ISIL and its violent extremist ideology, and its continued gross, systematic and widespread abuses of human rights and violations of international humanitarian law;

“strongly condemning the indiscriminate killing and deliberate targeting of civilians, numerous atrocities, mass executions and extrajudicial killings, including of soldiers, persecution of individuals and entire communities on the basis of their religion or belief, kidnapping of civilians, forced displacement of members of minority groups, killing and maiming of children, recruitment and use of children, rape and other forms of sexual violence, arbitrary detention, attacks on schools and hospitals, destruction of cultural and religious sites and obstructing the exercise of economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to education…

“demanding that ISIL, ANF and all other individuals, groups, undertakings and entities associated with Al-Qaida cease all violence and terrorist acts, and disarm and disband with immediate effect;”

Surprise, surprise - six weeks later the Secretary General reported that:
"...more than 13,000 foreign terrorist fighters from more than 80 Member States of the UN had joined ISIL and the Al-Nusra Front as a consequence of the conflict in Syria - citing the estimate of the United Nations Al-Qaeda-Taliban Monitoring Team.

Such terrorism must be defeated, but in a way that avoided further radicalization and civilian deaths. That should be done through a multilateral, multifaceted strategy beyond the immediate security approach. “Over the long term, the biggest threat to terrorists in not the power of missiles — it is the politics of inclusion,” he said.

Ban Ki-moon’s limp wristed conclusions have seen yet another inconsequential Security Council Chapter VII Resolution 2178 passed on 24 September — calling on member states to prevent the flow of money, resources and fighters into Syria and Iraq to bolster Islamic State.

This Resolution completely overlooks those civilians and fighters in other terrorist groups already living in Syria and Iraq defecting or joining the Islamic State juggernaut.

Aerial bombardment of Islamic State forces by America and its coalition allies - without the authority of a Security Council Resolution backed by America and Russia — coupled with vainly attempting to stem the flow of fighters flocking to Islamic State - can only disrupt but never degrade and destroy Islamic State.

Ending the Islamic State rampage requires the Security Council to prescribe the same medicine thought essential for eradicating the Ebola virus — a seasoned, well-armed and supplied United Nations fighting force to comprehensively defeat and eliminate Islamic State.

The sooner the Security Council so acts — the sooner this blight on humanity will be contained and ultimately eradicated.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Unscrambling Mandates Omelette Guarantees More Egg on Obama's Face

[Published 5 October 2014]

President Obama’s mission to degrade and destroy Islamic State (ISIL) in Syria and Iraq has been seriously undermined by these poor political judgment calls:
1. Claiming that ISIL is not “Islamic”

2. Arguing that ISIL is not a State because no other Government recognises it

3. Intruding upon Syrian sovereign territory in breach of international law before first procuring the passage of a Chapter VII Security Council Resolution authorising military action

4. Threatening to use his intervention in Syria as an excuse to also remove Syria’s President Assad

5. Grossly underestimating the ISIL threat

His latest gaffe involves a dispute with Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu - who told the United Nations this week:
... everywhere we look, militant Islam is on the march. It’s not militants. It’s not Islam. It’s militant Islam.

Typically, its first victims are other Muslims, but it spares no one. Christians, Jews, Yazidis, Kurds — no creed, no faith, no ethnic group is beyond its sights. And it’s rapidly spreading in every part of the world.”

Netanyahu further warned:
“To protect the peace and security of the world, we must remove this cancer before it’s too late. Last week, many of the countries represented here rightly applauded President Obama for leading the effort to confront ISIS. And yet weeks before, some of these same countries, the same countries that now support confronting ISIS, opposed Israel for confronting Hamas. They evidently don’t understand that ISIS and Hamas are branches of the same poisonous tree. ISIS and Hamas share a fanatical creed, which they both seek to impose well beyond the territory under their control.”

State Department spokesperson - Jen Psaki - chose to take issue with Netanyahu — claiming:
“Obviously, we’ve designated both as terrorist organizations, but ISIL poses a different threat to Western interests and to the United States,”

However ISIL and Hamas — and the PLO — all pose identical threats to western interests and the United States — as they attempt to unscramble the three Mandates for Syria / Lebanon, Iraq and Palestine legally sanctioned by the League of Nations more than 90 years ago after the territories comprised in these Mandates were liberated from 400 years of Ottoman Empire rule following Turkey’s defeat in World War I.

The independent Arab and Jewish States that subsequently emerged from these Mandates are now being directly threatened with elimination.

ISIL has already declared an Islamic State in large parts of Syria and Iraq exceeding the area of Great Britain - expelling or butchering Christian and other religious communities who have lived there for centuries. ISIL has been repelled in Lebanon and also threatens Jordan.

Hamas—pursuant to Article 11 of its 1988 Charter — militarily seeks to reverse the Jewish National Home objectives of the Mandate for Palestine:
“The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine is an Islamic Waqf consecrated for future Moslem generations until Judgement Day. It, or any part of it, should not be squandered: it, or any part of it, should not be given up. Neither a single Arab country nor all Arab countries, neither any king or president, nor all the kings and presidents, neither any organization nor all of them, be they Palestinian or Arab, possess the right to do that. Palestine is an Islamic Waqf land consecrated for Moslem generations until Judgement Day.”

The PLO — pursuant to Article 20 of its 1968 Covenant - has never accepted the legal validity of the Mandate for Palestine — nor Great Britain’s 1923 decision that ultimately created today’s independent Arab state of Jordan in 78% of Mandatory Palestine:
”The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate for Palestine, and everything that has been based upon them, are deemed null and void.”

Obama has wasted his political energy and Presidential prestige fruitlessly promoting negotiations designed to create a second Arab State in Mandatory Palestine — in addition to Jordan — for the first time ever in recorded history.

The Mandates system created the legal foundations for both Arabs and Jews to gain self-determination and political independence.

Obama needs to focus on this bigger picture - so eloquently elaborated by David Ben-Gurion to the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine in July 1947:
“It is wrong to regard the problem of Jewish-Arab relations only in the framework of this little country. The statesmen who were responsible for the Balfour Declaration did not merely envisage the restoration of the Jewish nation alone. At the same time they provided for the liberation of the Arab people, and they achieved this on a much larger scale and in a more effective way. The Arabs gained their freedom in an area of 1,250,000 square miles, 125 times as large as the area of Western Palestine with a population of some 15 to 16 million Arabs; about the number of Jews living then in the world…

... This was the real twofold arrangement made with the Arabs and the Jews. The freedom of the Arab people in their countries the restoration of Palestine to the Jewish people…

Netanyahu’s address pointed Obama in Ben-Gurion’s direction:
”... a broader rapprochement between Israel and the Arab world may help facilitate an Israeli-Palestinian peace. And, therefore, to achieve that peace, we must look not only to Jerusalem and Ramallah, but also to Cairo, to Amman, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh and elsewhere.”

Allowing any unscrambling of the three Mandates omelette is assuredly going to leave Obama with even more egg on his face.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Obama, Putin And Rouhani Can Do Deal On Destroying ISIL

[Published 26 September 2014]

President Obama’s sudden about face in deciding to attack ISIL in Syria on 21 September - without express approval of Syria or a resolution of the United Nations Security Council - has provoked a strong response from Russia and Iran - President Assad’s main supporters in his three years struggle to remain in power in Syria.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on 23 September:
“Such actions must be carried out exclusively within the boundaries of international law. That means not formal unilateral ‘notification’ of strikes but the clearly expressed approval of the government of Syria or the passage of a decision by the United Nations Security Council.”

Iranian President - Hassan Rouhani - reportedly said the U.S-led airstrikes were illegal and constituted an attack on Syria - while also condemning Islamic State militants as “barbarians.”

Their strictures were issued following the admission made to Chuck Todd on Meet The Press by America’s ambassador to the United Nations - Samantha Power - on 19 September - that training of moderate rebels in Syria would help both U.S. efforts to destroy ISIL as well as the rebels’ ongoing struggle against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad:
“But may I add, the training also will service these troops in the same struggle that they’ve been in since the beginning of this conflict against the Assad regime,”

Putin and Rouhani would have been very concerned that the US led attacks on ISIL in Syria were undertaken with the active support of Jordan, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia — all members of the “London 11” — whose communique released on 22 October 2013 had declared:
“We agree that when the TGB {Transitional Governing Body--ed] is established, Assad and his close associates with blood on their hands will have no role in Syria. There must be accountability for acts committed during the present conflict."

It is clear Assad will not be inviting anyone into Syria if there is any suspicion that they are there to preside over his demise. It is equally clear that when someone like the Iranian President calls ISIL "barbarians" - that international action must be taken to eliminate ISIL at the earliest possible opportunity.

Rouhani did not directly condemn the US-led air strikes against ISIL in Syria when addressing the United Nations on 25 September - but issued the following warning:
“I believe if countries claiming leadership of the coalition are seeking to perpetuate their hegemony in the region, they’d be making a strategic mistake. Democracy can’t be delivered in a backpack. It’s not a commodity to be exported from west to east. It needs a foundation”

Rouhani offered this sage advice:
“Obviously, since the pain is better known by the countries in the region, better they can form coalition, and accept to shoulder the responsibility of leadership to counter violence and terrorism. And if other nations wish to take action against terrorism, they must come to their support.

I warn that if we do not muster all our strengths against extremism and violence today, and fail to entrust the job to the people in the region who can deliver, tomorrow the world will be safe for no one.”

Boris Kalyagin - international journalist and professor at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics - told Pravda.Ru on 23 September:
“We believe that no decision related to such major international questions as the struggle against aggressors, particularly terrorist regimes, can be taken without a UN resolution. The United States has repeatedly demonstrated that it takes actions bypassing UN decisions, that’s why they want to deprive us of our voice, to feel like masters at the Security Council.”

Russia and Iran’s ground rules are very clear - if Obama wants to degrade and destroy ISIL he needs to act under the authority of a Security Council Resolution passed under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.

America and Russia dealt with the issue of destroying Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile by navigating Resolution 2118 through the UN Security Council — preventing threatened air strikes by America on Syria to degrade its chemical weapons.

That resolution weakened Assad’s position — but nevertheless Assad understood that was the price he had to pay for Russia and Iran’s continuing support.

Two Security Council Resolutions condemning some activities of ISIL - 2170 and 2178 - have already received American and Russian backing.

They have been inadequate however to stop ISIL and the Al-Nusrah Front in their tracks.

Withdrawal of American plans to train moderate rebels to destroy ISIL in Syria whilst assisting them to overthrow Assad - at best a mindless pipe dream — can be ended by America and Russia jointly procuring the passage of a Security Council resolution:
1. Deploring the illegal acquisition by ISIL and the Al-Nusrah Front of parts of the sovereign territory of Syria and Iraq.

2. Condemning their cruel and inhumane conduct in murdering civilians and displacing entire communities in Syria and Iraq

3. Calling on them to surrender control over those parts of Syria and Iraq occupied by them to a duly constituted United Nations Force within 72 hours.

4. Reserving the right to take such further action as it considers fit in the event of non-compliance

Obama, Putin and Rouhani have their problems with other pressing issues — Ukraine and nuclear weapons.

On ISIL and Al-Nusrah Front their national interests are identical.

The UN Security Council stands ready to help them cut a deal.

Palestine - Goodbye Land Swaps - Hello Land Grants

[Published 12 September 2014]

The two-state solution has suddenly come back to life.

Thought dead and buried after Hamas had shown that it could indiscriminately fire rockets from Gaza into Tel Aviv and Jerusalem over a 50 day period — even forcing international carriers to cancel flights into Ben-Gurion International Airport for 24 hours—Caroline Glick reported on its amazing resurrection:
“Something extraordinary has happened.

On August 31, PLO chief and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told an audience of Fatah members that Egypt had offered to give the PA some 1,600 kilometers of land in Sinai adjacent to Gaza, thus quintupling the size of the Gaza Strip. Egypt even offered to allow all the so-called “Palestinian refugees” to settle in the expanded Gaza Strip.

Then Abbas told his Fatah followers that he rejected the Egyptian offer.

On Monday Army Radio substantiated Abbas’s claim.

According to Army Radio, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi proposed that the Palestinians establish their state in the expanded Gaza Strip and accept limited autonomy over parts of Judea and Samaria.

In exchange for this state, the Palestinians would give up their demand that Israel shrink into the indefensible 1949 armistice lines, surrendering Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. Sisi argued that the land Egypt is offering in Sinai would more than compensate for the territory that Abbas would concede.

In his speech to Fatah members, Abbas said, “They [the Egyptians] are prepared to receive all the refugees, [and are saying] ‘Let’s end the refugee story.’” “But,” he insisted, “It’s illogical for the problem to be solved at Egypt’s expense. We won’t have it.”

Secretary-General of Abbas’ office - al-Tayyib Abd al-Rahim - said the reports were “fabricated”.

Arutz Sheva reported:
“Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Monday denied reports that he had offered to establish a Palestinian state in the Sinai Peninsula - the website of Egypt’s Al-Ahram newspaper reported.

In a speech to mark national teachers’ day and which mostly dealt with education Sisi stressed that no one can make such promises and that there is no room for talk about the matter.”

Amidst these claims and denials - the idea of land grants by Egypt - and also Jordan — now remain the last route to peacefully creating the two-state solution so earnestly sought by the Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap.

President Obama’s policy for bringing such a state to fruition was expressed in his State Department speech on 19 May 2011 — which has now been well and truly trashed as a result of the latest Israel-Hamas War:
“We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron’s remarks at a joint press conference with President Obama in London on 25 May 2011 now sound equally as ludicrous in 2014:
... the Palestinians need to know that we understand their need for dignity and for a Palestinian state, using the ‘67 borders as land swaps as the start point. That is I think what is so key to the speech that’s been made. So neither side now has I believe the excuse to stand aside from talks."

At the time I wrote the following:
“Now in 2011 — apparently to satisfy the Palestinians “need for dignity “— Israel is being asked by America and Britain to consider transferring sovereignty of Israeli land to a sovereign Palestine to compensate that State for the loss of any areas of the West Bank and East Jerusalem that Israel seeks to retain.

This is a request that is doomed to failure in the light of Israel’s escalating security and national interests — particularly in the face of the dramatic developments that have taken place in Egypt and Jordan in recent months and the reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah.

... To believe Israel should now offer additional Israeli territory to bring the border between it and a sovereign Palestine closer to the heartland of Israel is irrational and absurd.

For Obama and Cameron to espouse such a policy seems the height of folly and farce.”

I also pointed out at the time:
“If Arab dignity is the key — then there is another policy that should be explored — the grant of sovereign Jordanian land to the Palestinian Authority equivalent to the area of the West Bank land retained by Israel.

The area of Jordanian land required to satisfy such Palestinian dignity is extremely small. The entire area of the West Bank is only 5640 km2. Assuming Israel’s security needs necessitated it to acquire sovereignty in 20% of the West Bank — Jordan would be required to make a land grant of about 1130 km2 to a sovereign Palestine. Given Jordan’s area is 92300 km2 — compared to Israel’s 22070 sq km2 — Jordan’s security and national interests would hardly be affected."

Obama’s land swap proposals — enthusiastically backed by Cameron - have now become the latest in a long line of lost opportunities presented in 1937, 1947, 1948-1967, 2000, 2008 and 2014 to create a second Arab State in Mandatory Palestine — in addition to Jordan.

Land grants by Egypt and Jordan are lifelines desperately needed by Obama now — if the two-state solution is ever to eventuate.

As Obama signs up Egypt and Jordan to join his coalition to degrade and ultimately destroy the Islamic State — he might just be whispering this politically savvy message in their ears.

Israel - Media Imbalance Incites Jew-hatred

[Published 5 September 2014]

The incessant media focus on Israel - compounded by misleading and factually incorrect reporting - has materially contributed to inciting the growth of Jew-hatred world-wide.

Organisations such as HonestReporting and CAMERA expose inaccurate reports appearing daily in the most widely read and supposedly reputable international newspapers, television stations, radio networks and on-line publications.

Corrections eventually made usually come too late to remedy the initial sensationalist reporting.

Matti Friedman sums up this phenomenon:
“Is there anything left to say about Israel and Gaza? Newspapers this summer have been full of little else. Television viewers see heaps of rubble and plumes of smoke in their sleep. A representative article from a recent issue of The New Yorker described the summer’s events by dedicating one sentence each to the horrors in Nigeria and Ukraine, four sentences to the crazed genocidaires of ISIS, and the rest of the article — 30 sentences—to Israel and Gaza.”

This pre-occupation with Israel at the expense of covering far more serious conflicts in the region prompted one concerned person to ask Professor Richard Falk - the former United Nations Special Rapporteur on “the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967” — the following questions:
“Nowhere on the face of the earth will you find a country that has been unremittingly attacked in the language used to attack Israel, or at all — not truly genocidal nations like Sudan, Rwanda, Nigeria, Serbia, Cambodia, Guatemala, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan and Turkey; not the world’s worst violators of human rights like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Somalia, Russia, China, North Korea and Cuba; not seizers and occupiers of land like Russia, Armenia, Turkey (Northern Cyprus), Morocco and Azerbaizhan. Where are the BDS movements, Prof. Falk? Where are the blogs? Where are the armies of blog crawlers? Where are the videos? Where are the links? What do you think it is that draws all these “critics” to Israel and nowhere else?”

Falk’s reply - designating Israel as a “special case” - is very disturbing.
“Israel is a special case for at least three reasons:
— its legitimacy was established by UN and League initiatives without any effort to take into account the views of the population physically present in the country;

— the US as the world’s self-appointed global leader has singled out Israel for the most massive financial assistance over a period of many years, and has lent controversial support to Israel to shield it from censure by the UN;

— Israel itself claims to be the only democracy in the Middle East and otherwise posits itself as a shining example even extending to the boast that the IDF is the most moral army in the world.

These three reasons explain and justify the attention given to Israel’s alleged wrongdoing. Beyond this, the fact that worse offenders are not scrutinized to the same extent as Israel is more an argument for according more attention to such offenders. It is not excuse for Israel’s behavior. Whether we like it or not the Israel-Palestine conflict has become the litmus test of international morality ever since the collapse of apartheid in South Africa.”

Falk’s reasons for assigning only Israel and none of the other nominated states “special case” status are outrageous and can be dismissed on the following grounds:
1. The “League initiatives” to which Falk refers is the Mandate for Palestine unanimously endorsed by the League of Nations in 1922. Syria, Lebanon and Iraq - products of the same Mandates system - are currently humanitarian and politically dysfunctional disaster areas. Yet Falk does not regard them as “special cases”.

2. The views of “the population physically present” were taken into account - being both politically and violently expressed from the moment Britain assumed its role as Mandatory. Arab riots in 1920, 1929 and between 1936-1939 expressed opposition to the Jewish National Home. The 1922 decision on Transjordan, the 1937 Peel Commission, the 1939 White Paper restricting Jewish emigration to Palestine, and the 1947 United Nations Special Committee on Palestine all recommended changes to the Mandate’s stated policy to the detriment of the Jewish people.

3. Israel’s legitimacy was not established by the United Nations — but by the League of Nations, seven decades of State building and defeating six invading Arab armies in 1948.

4. Since when did financial aid received from another country qualify the recipient to be classed as a “special case” because other countries received lesser aid or no aid from the same donor country?

5. America has not always vetoed resolutions against Israel in the Security Council. America has also vetoed resolutions affecting countries including Panama, Nicaragua, Namibia and South Africa — but never have they been regarded as “special cases”

6. Israel is indeed the only democracy in the Middle East and its army is certainly one of the most moral armies in the world — yet Falk has long advocated support for the PLO and Hamas whose stated objectives are to wipe Israel off the face of the earth.

Falk’s discredited assertion that Israel is a “special case” setting it apart from the world community for special treatment encourages
1. the media to keep focusing disproportionately on Israel

2. Arab and Islamic countries justifying their continuing non-recognition of Israel

3. Jew-haters and self-hating Jews world-wide maintaining their campaigns denigrating and delegitimising Israel.

“Jews are always good for news” needs an urgent media rethink and policy overhaul — if increasing Jew-hatred world-wide is to be effectively silenced.

Palestine - Unearthing Past Remains Key To Resolving Future

[Published 29 August 2014]

The cease fire agreement ending hostilities in the Fifty Day War between Israel and Hamas marks yet another milestone attesting to the failure of Jews and Arabs to peacefully resolve their claims to sovereignty and self-determination in the territory once called “Palestine”.

Amazingly - the continuing inability of the parties - and the international community — to reach consensus on identifying when this long running conflict actually commenced —ensures it will continue to remain unresolved.

Emeritus Professor Richard Falk — formerly United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights in the West Bank — still claims in his latest article that the conflict started in 1947.
“Israel was born in 1948. Resolution 181 of the United Nations General Assembly [dated 29 November 1947 — Ed] is widely regarded as the most convincing legal basis for founding the State of Israel.”

Falk gave the following reasons for his viewpoint on 1 August 2012:
“I regard the Balfour Declaration and the mandatory system as classic colonial moves that have lost whatever legitimacy that they possessed at the time of their utterance, and prefer to view the competing claims to land and rights on the basis either of the 1948 partition proposal or the 1967 boundaries, although if there was diplomatic parity, I would respect whatever accommodation the parties reached, but without such parity, it seems necessary to invoke the allocation of rights as per settled international law.”

Falk’s opinion mirrors article 20 of the Palestine Liberation Organization Charter:
”The Balfour Declaration [1917], the Mandate for Palestine [1922], and everything that has been based upon them, are deemed null and void.”

Falk’s opinion is not shared by Matti Friedman — who in his latest article identifies the starting date as being much earlier than 1947:
“The Israel story is framed in the same terms that have been in use since the early 1990s — the quest for a “two-state solution.” It is accepted that the conflict is “Israeli-Palestinian,” meaning that it is a conflict taking place on land that Israel controls — 0.2 percent of the Arab world — in which Jews are a majority and Arabs a minority. The conflict is more accurately described as “Israel-Arab,” or “Jewish-Arab” — that is, a conflict between the 6 million Jews of Israel and 300 million Arabs in surrounding countries. (Perhaps “Israel-Muslim” would be more accurate, to take into account the enmity of non-Arab states like Iran and Turkey, and, more broadly, 1 billion Muslims worldwide.) This is the conflict that has been playing out in different forms for a century, before Israel existed, before Israel captured the Palestinian territories of Gaza and the West Bank, and before the term “Palestinian” was in use.

The “Israeli-Palestinian” framing allows the Jews, a tiny minority in the Middle East, to be depicted as the stronger party. It also includes the implicit assumption that if the Palestinian problem is somehow solved the conflict will be over, though no informed person today believes this to be true. This definition also allows the Israeli settlement project, which I believe is a serious moral and strategic error on Israel’s part, to be described not as what it is — one more destructive symptom of the conflict — Sanbut rather as its cause.”

Adopting Friedman’s viewpoint over Falk’s - one can confidently nominate the 1920 San Remo Conference as the legal basis for founding the State of Israel — when England, France, Italy, and Japan agreed to divide the areas of the 400 years old Ottoman Empire conquered by them in World War 1 into three mandates — Mesopotamia (now Iraq), Syria/Lebanon and Palestine.

This carve up was intended to see Arab self-determination eventually achieved in 99.99% of the conquered Ottoman territory and Jewish self-determination in the remaining 0.01%.

These proposals were unanimously endorsed by all 51 member States of the League of Nations in 1922.

But they proved to be temporary only in relation to Palestine—because three months later the provisions of Article 25 of the Mandate for Palestine enabled Great Britain to restrict the reconstitution of the Jewish National Home to within 23% of the tiny area of land originally set aside to achieve that objective at San Remo — with the remaining 77% of Mandatory Palestine eventually becoming an independent Palestinian Arab state in 1946 — that is today called Jordan.

The period 1920-1947 without doubt covers a host of critically important legal and historical signposts that cannot be forgotten or buried.

Whilst the two-state solution ultimately created between 1946-1948 as a result of the San Remo Conference is ignored - attempts to resolve sovereignty in today’s highly volatile West Bank and Gaza are destined to certain failure and renewed conflict.

The two-state solution posited by the Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap creating a 22nd independent sovereign Arab State in the West Bank and Gaza between Jordan and Israel for the first time ever in recorded history has failed to materialize - despite twenty years of intensive political and diplomatic efforts by the international community.

The PLO (founded in 1964) and Hamas (founded in 1987) both seek to unravel the decisions made at San Remo in 1920.

They need to be replaced as Israel’s Arab negotiating partners by the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine - Jordan and Israel - and possibly Egypt — to determine and allocate sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza between their respective States.

Unearthing the past still remains the key to peacefully resolving the future.

Gaza - Australian Politicians Duped By Dud Declaration

[Published 22 August 2014]

The Canberra Declaration on Gaza signed by 76 current and former Federal and State parliamentarians in Australia displays their total factual ignorance and political naieveté concerning the war raging between Hamas and Israel for the last six weeks.

The Declaration has been “Published courtesy of Kohram”

Kohram is a 24/7 online Hindi and English News and Views website based in Delhi, India. It offers real information relating News Analysis, World Wide News, Politics, Entertainment, Technology, Sports, Industry and Feature Articles on Education.

Australian politicians acknowledging assistance from an Indian media website seems a strange circumstance indeed.

The Declaration was created by Maiy Azize -a Canberra based health and social policy analyst. She is a parliamentary advisor in health and community services and campaigner for @GreensMPs. 21 of the Declaration’s signatories are parliamentarians representing the Greens Party.

The header image is attributed to Nakshab Khan and was featured in an article written by him for Kohram on 13 July headlined “Will Israeli Offensive Achieve Anything In Gaza?”

Khan wrote:
“Israel always justifies its aggression on the Gaza strip by blaming Hamas militants for firing crude rockets on the Jewish nation’s southern territories.”

Khan was apparently unaware that in the five weeks preceding 8 July - 234 rockets had been launched from Gaza into Israel reaching as far as Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Hadera - sending hundreds of thousands of civilians scurrying into air raid shelters and disrupting normal life in Israel as well as threatening its tourist industry in the peak summer season.

Long range rockets such as the M-302 were employed‚ the same missiles confiscated from the KLOS-C weapons seizure.

Israel’s inherent entitlement to self-defence under article 51 of the United Nations Charter to prevent the indiscriminate firing of these rockets into Israeli population centres — each rocket an internationally acknowledged war crime — was not worth a mention in Khan’s article.

Australian politicians need to be very careful about their names being identified with a document whose origins are so murky — a Declaration that itself is deceptive and misleading in the following respects:
1. It claims to bear the signatures of members of Australian federal and state Parliaments — yet 5 of the 76 signatories are former members of those parliaments.

2. Although titled “Canberra Declaration on Gaza” and updated to 4 August it supports:
“an immediate cessation of hostilities and a ceasefire deal which includes an end to Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories and to the blockade of Gaza”
The Declaration ignores any reference to Hamas having rejected a cease fire deal proposed by Egypt on 16 July and accepted by Israel - and to a number of ceasefire agreements broken by Hamas since then.

The Declaration ignored the findings of the 2011 United Nations Palmer Report which found that Israel’s naval blockade of Gaza complied with the requirements of international law and recommended that Israel should continue with its efforts to ease its restrictions on movement of goods and persons to and from Gaza in accordance with Security Council resolution 1860 - all aspects of which should be implemented.

The Declaration omitted to include the following underlined words:
“We call on all Australian politicians to also support the United Nations Human Rights Council’s decision to launch an independent inquiry into purported violations of international humanitarian and human rights laws in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem particularly in the occupied Gaza Strip, in the context of the military operations conducted since 13 June 2014”

The Declaration alleged that the rockets fired into Israel were:
“imprecise” and “cannot be compared with the broad-scale bombing of Gaza by Israel”

A grossly misleading allegation indeed — echoing Nakshab Khan’s spurious claim—considering Hamas rockets were landing all over Israel — whilst Israel’s response was limited to specific targeted areas within Gaza.

The Declaration asserted that:
“Collective punishment is not permitted under the Geneva conventions and is a war crime”.

Whilst not specifically accusing Israel of perpetrating this crime — it is clear that the entire civilian population of Israel was being targeted by the broad-scale Hamas barrage of rockets — whilst large parts of Gaza’s civilian population were not being affected by Israel’s actions.

The Declaration claimed that hospitals and places of worship were among the Israeli military’s targets—but ignored mentioning that such places were used to conceal underground tunnels and weapons and their use as command centres by Hamas.

The Declaration concluded:
“The international community including Australia has a vital responsibility to put pressure on Israel to end its current military attack on Gaza and broker a solution of justice and peace.”
Why no pressure on Hamas — especially as Israel had agreed to end its military attack on Gaza three weeks previously and subsequently on a number of other occasions — only to see them broken by Hamas.

The Declaration — like Khan’s article - makes no mention of Israel’s inherent right of self defence.

Those parliamentarians who signed this Declaration have some explaining to do to their constituents.

I wrote to Senator Lee Rhiannon - one of two named parliamentarians to contact about signing this Declaration — requesting she comment on my criticisms of the Declaration.

Regrettably at the time of writing this article — no response has been received.

71 out of a possible 598 Federal and State politicians have signed — which attests to the savvy political acumen of those 527 who have refused to be duped by this dud Declaration.

Gaza - Hamas Humiliates And Manipulates World Media

[Published 15 August 2014]

A family of 11 previously reported dead in an Israeli air strike in Gaza has turned out to be false — further fuelling the unprecedented furor caused by the Tel Aviv based Foreign Press Association (FPA) issuing the following statement on 11 August slamming Hamas for its treatment of journalists during the current conflict:
“The FPA protests in the strongest terms the blatant, incessant, forceful and unorthodox methods employed by the Hamas authorities and their representatives against visiting international journalists in Gaza over the past month.

The international media are not advocacy organisations and cannot be prevented from reporting by means of threats or pressure, thereby denying their readers and viewers an objective picture from the ground.

In several cases, foreign reporters working in Gaza have been harassed, threatened or questioned over stories or information they have reported through their news media or by means of social media.

We are also aware that Hamas is trying to put in place a “vetting” procedure that would, in effect, allow for the blacklisting of specific journalists. Such a procedure is vehemently opposed by the FPA."

The FPA has also been mildly critical of Israel as this release on 23 July indicated:
“The FPA strongly condemns deliberate official and unofficial incitement against journalists working to cover the current warfare under very difficult circumstances as well as forcible attempts to prevent journalists and TV crews from carrying out their news assignments. While we do not condone the use of invective by any side, outright attacks on journalists are absolutely unacceptable.

On Tuesday, IDF forces aimed live fire at the Al Jazeera offices in Gaza City. The offices are on the 11th floor of a known commercial centre. The IDF apologised claiming it was in error and said they would investigate the incident.

Also Tuesday, FPA member Firas Khatib of BBC Arabic was physically attacked and abused in the midst of a live feed on the Israeli side of the border.”
The FPA numbers some 480 members representing TV, radio, photojournalists and print media from 32 countries including Australia, Qatar, Brazil, Norway, China , USA. Austria, Dubai, Russia, Japan, Finland, South Africa, Denmark and Germany, Turkey, the UAE and the United Kingdom.

It represents amongst others Le Monde, The New York Times, Reuters, the Guangming Daily, CBS Television, the Associated Press, Der Spiegel, the BBC, Danish Broadcasting Corp. and Bloomberg News. On its website, the FPA lists Australian journalists Matt Brown (ABC) and John Lyons (The Australian) as members.

Paul T. Jørgensen of Norway’s TV2 states that:
“several foreign journalists have been kicked out of Gaza because Hamas does not like what they wrote or said. We have received strict orders that if we record that Hamas fires rockets or that they shoot, we will face serious problems and be expelled from Gaza,”

Alan Johnson reported in the Telegraph:
The Wall Street Journal’s Nick Casey posted a photo of a Hamas spokesman being interviewed from a room in the hospital along with this tweet: “You have to wonder (with) the shelling how patients at Shifa hospital feel as Hamas uses it as a safe place to see media.” After “a flood of online threats”, the tweet was deleted.

John Reed of The Financial Times was reportedly threatened after he tweeted about rockets being fired from the same hospital.”

Yet Jodi Rudoren, Jerusalem bureau chief of the New York Times — who was not in Gaza - tweeted:
“Every reporter I’ve met who was in Gaza during war says this Israeli/now FPA narrative of Hamas harassment is nonsense,”

It was a strange remark to make considering the above claims — and having regard to the following comment reportedly made by New York Times vice president for corporate communications Eileen Murphy that the newspaper’s team in Gaza did not photograph any rocket launches, sent only:
“two very distant, poor quality images that were captioned Hamas fighters” and “hasn’t even seen anyone carrying a gun.”

Even more intriguing - Rudoren’s deputy at the NYT - Isabel Kershner - was one of the FPA board members who approved the condemnatory statement. How could two colleagues from the same newspaper observing the same sequence of events come to such different conclusions?

British freelancer Harry Fear said he was asked to leave Gaza by three plainclothes Hamas officials at Al-Shifa Hospital - apparently for referring to rocket launches near his hotel. He reportedly said he did not feel any intimidation or interference.

Some reporters however reportedly received death threats. Sometimes, cameras were smashed. Reporters were prevented from filming anti-Hamas demonstrations where more than 20 Palestinians were shot dead by Hamas gunmen.

Evidence of Hamas controlling the flow of news is obvious in its failure to allow the media to:
1. independently determine, separate and verify the number of civilian and Hamas deaths

2. photograph any Hamas forces launching rockets from residential areas or civilians being used as human shields.
A BBC investigation has uncovered photos of dead children from earlier conflicts being passed off as casualties in the current conflict — being fed to gullible reporters to send around the World to even more gullible target audiences.

Why would reporters keep going back into Gaza to be so humiliated by Hamas?

They are certainly not reporting what is actually happening.

Maybe they should stay out of Gaza and let Hamas do its own media releases.

The media barons would certainly save a lot of money.