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, December 13, 2017

United Nations and Trump should heed 1989 Balfour Declaration

[Published 4 September 2017]

A lot of bloodshed, pain and suffering sustained by both Jews and Arabs over the last 28 years could have been avoided had the United Nations heeded the 1989 Balfour Declaration presented by the 4th Lord Balfour at the 4th international conference of the Jordan is Palestine Committee held in Jerusalem in November 1989.

The 1989 Declaration stated:
“The world should be fully aware of what was British Palestine; the misleading propaganda issued from oil-wealthy Arab states must be countered; Palestine has already been divided into two countries – Jewish Israel and Arab Jordan; the present governments of Israel and Jordan should be fully supported and upheld; and a third state as suggested by the PLO would upset the political and economic situation in the whole area”

The demand by the PLO to establish that third state – in addition to Jordan and Israel – in the territory comprised in the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine – remains unrealised in 2017.

President Trump at this point of time still seems wedded to this proposed three state solution - eventually formulated by President Bush in his 2003 Roadmap - and endorsed by the United Nations, the European Union and Russia.

The Bush Roadmap was also accepted unconditionally by the PLO and with 14 reservations by Israel.

Bush - overwhelmingly supported by the Congress – made the following written commitment to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on 14 April 2004 to secure Israel’s disengagement from the Gaza Strip and four settlements in the West Bank:
“… the United States remains committed to my vision and to its implementation as described in the roadmap. The United States will do its utmost to prevent any attempt by anyone to impose any other plan. Under the roadmap, Palestinians must undertake an immediate cessation of armed activity and all acts of violence against Israelis anywhere, and all official Palestinian institutions must end incitement against Israel. The Palestinian leadership must act decisively against terror, including sustained, targeted, and effective operations to stop terrorism and dismantle terrorist capabilities and infrastructure. Palestinians must undertake a comprehensive and fundamental political reform that includes a strong parliamentary democracy and an empowered prime minister.”

The PLO has failed over the last 13 years to comply with these obligations.

Yet Trump still apparently appears willing to allow PLO Chief Mahmoud Abbas to stride on the world stage as he simultaneously refuses to unconditionally return to negotiations with Israel on the Bush Roadmap – stalled since April 2014.

However Amnesty International’s latest report presents an appalling overview of life under the PLO which could herald a rapid Trump-about face:
“The Palestinian authorities in the West Bank and the Hamas de facto administration in the Gaza Strip both continued to restrict freedom of expression, including by arresting and detaining critics and political opponents. They also restricted the right to peaceful assembly and used excessive force to disperse some protests. Torture and other ill-treatment of detainees remained rife in both Gaza and the West Bank. Unfair trials of civilians before military courts continued in Gaza; detainees were held without charge or trial in the West Bank. Women and girls faced discrimination and violence. Courts in Gaza continued to hand down death sentences and Hamas carried out executions; no death sentences were imposed or executions carried out in the West Bank.”
Elections – the first since 2007 – are urgently needed to test whether the PLO should continue to dominate the lives of the West Bank Arab population and to prevent all hell breaking loose as the negotiating void continues.

The 1989 Balfour Declaration beckons if the above measures do not break the current stalemate.

Abbas set to defy Trump and Netanyahu at United Nations

[Published 28 August 2017]

PLO chairman Mahmoud Abbas seems set to once again embark on another futile journey to the United Nations (UN) seeking recognition of a second Arab state — in addition to Jordan — within the territory comprised in the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine.

A senior unidentified Palestinian source threatened such action on 21 August:
”If we don’t hear within a month and a half that the American team has stopped talking and started doing, Abbas intends to mobilize anyone and everyone he can for the UN General Assembly session on the establishment of a Palestinian state, regardless of the Israeli and American reactions,”

President Trump was quick to respond - State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert telling a press briefing on 23 August in answer to a question as to why America was loath to commit — or recommit - to the two-state solution:
“We are not going to state what the outcome has to be. It has to be workable to both sides. And I think, really, that’s the best view as to not really bias one side over the other, to make sure that they can work through it. It’s been many, many decades, as you well know, that the parties have not been able to come to any kind of good agreement and sustainable solution to this. So we leave it up to them to be able to work that through.”

Negotiations — suspended since April 2014 — extending over the past 24 years between Israel and the PLO have not produced any workable and sustainable solution. Abbas is clearly in no mood to resume those negotiations without preconditions.

A replay of Abbas’s appearance at the UN General Assembly on 23 September 2011 therefore seems inevitable.

Israel’s Prime Minister — Benjamin Netanyahu — was quick to point out at that time how automatic majorities at the UN had been used to incite institutionalised hatred against Israel:
“After all, it was here in 1975 that the age-old yearning of my people to restore our national life in our ancient biblical homeland — it was then that this was braided — branded, rather — shamefully, as racism. And it was here in 1980, right here, that the historic peace agreement between Israel and Egypt wasn’t praised; it was denounced! And it’s here year after year that Israel is unjustly singled out for condemnation. It’s singled out for condemnation more often than all the nations of the world combined. Twenty-one out of the 27 General Assembly resolutions condemn Israel — the one true democracy in the Middle East.

Well, this is an unfortunate part of the UN institution. It’s the — the theatre of the absurd. It doesn’t only cast Israel as the villain; it often casts real villains in leading roles: Gadhafi’s Libya chaired the UN Commission on Human Rights; Saddam’s Iraq headed the UN Committee on Disarmament.

You might say: That’s the past. Well, here’s what’s happening now — right now, today. Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon now presides over the UN Security Council. This means, in effect, that a terror organisation presides over the body entrusted with guaranteeing the world’s security.

You couldn’t make this thing up.

So here in the UN, automatic majorities can decide anything. They can decide that the sun sets in the west or rises in the west. I think the first has already been pre-ordained. But they can also decide — they have decided that the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Judaism’s holiest place, is occupied Palestinian territory.”

This theatre of the absurd seems set to be repeated once again at the forthcoming 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly.

Israel-bashing can never resolve the 100 years old Jewish-Arab conflict.

Trump must question Abbas-PLO commitment to peace with Israel

[Published 21 August 2017]

The planned visit to the Middle East at the end of August by President Trump’s Senior Advisor Jared Kushner, Special Envoy for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt and Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategy Dina Powell – presents a wonderful opportunity for them to test the commitment of the PLO and its leader Mahmoud Abbas to concluding a peace treaty with Israel.

Abbas needs to confirm or reject his following remarks reported on 11 January 2014:
“Referring to Israeli demands to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, Abbas said, “This is a story that we have heard only in the last two years. We won’t recognize and accept the Jewishness of Israel. We have many excuses and reasons that prevent us from doing so.” Abbas was speaking during a meeting in his office with dozens of east Jerusalem residents. Israel’s problem is that the Palestinians know more than the Israelis about history and geography, he said. “We talk about what we know,” he said. “We won’t accept the Jewishness of Israel. We are asking for the 1967 borders.”

Abbas and the PLO should be asked to amplify these remarks by written responses to the following questions:

I. On the Jewishness of Israel:
What excuses and reasons do you have for refusing to recognize and accept the Jewishness of Israel?
II. On the history of Palestine:
Do you accept the historical accuracy of the following statements in Israel’s Declaration of Independence?
“The land of Israel was the birthplace of the Jewish people. Here their spiritual, religious and national identity was formed. Here they achieved independence and created a culture of national and universal significance. Here they wrote and gave the Bible to the world.

Exiled from Palestine, the Jewish people remained faithful to it in all the countries of their dispersion, never ceasing to pray and hope for their return and the restoration of their national freedom.”
III. On the geography of Palestine:
Do you still claim that:
“Palestine, with the boundaries it had during the British Mandate, is an indivisible territorial unit.”

Did the boundaries of Palestine during the British Mandate encompass what is known today as Israel, Jordan, Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and Gaza?

Did 78% of the British Mandate territory become the sovereign independent Arab State called ”The Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan” in 1946?
IV. On asking for the 1967 borders:
Are you aware that:
(i) the “1967 borders” are in fact the “1949 Armistice Demarcation Lines” delineated under an agreement signed on 3 April 1949 between The Government of the Hashemite Jordan Kingdom and the Government of Israel (Armistice Agreement)
(ii) Article VI (9) of the Armistice Agreement provided:
“The Armistice Demarcation Lines defined in articles V and VI of this Agreement are agreed upon by the Parties without prejudice to future territorial settlements or boundary lines or to claims of either Party relating thereto”.
If Abbas and the PLO can’t provide satisfactory answers – then Trump will be wasting his time trying to jumpstart negotiations – stalled since April 2014 - between Israel and the PLO - since those negotiations will assuredly end up going nowhere like previous PLO - Israel negotiations conducted during the last 24 years.

Jailed PLO terrorists and families of deceased terrorists still receive life-time payments for murdering Jews - rebuffing Trump’s demand they cease.

Trump has shown no compunction jettisoning poor performers like Reince Priebus, Sean Spicer, and Anthony Scaramucci, who failed to deliver.

Abbas and the PLO could suffer the same fate if they show no genuine commitment to resolving the Jewish-Arab conflict after 50 years of relentless rejectionism.

Trump, Israel, Jordan and PLO need to define Palestine’s boundaries

[Published 14 August 2017]

President Trump’s attempt to end the Jewish-Arab conflict could well hinge on Israel, Jordan, the PLO and Trump defining the boundaries of former Palestine under the 1922 Mandate for Palestine (Mandate territory).

Defining the territory within which the competing claims of Jews and Arabs must be resolved is a first prerequisite to ending a conflict that has raged for the last 100 years.

False claims still continue to be made that Israel comprises more than 75% of the Mandate territory whilst Judea and Samaria (West Bank), East Jerusalem and Gaza comprise the remaining 25%.

The latest such misleading claim appeared in the following article :
“On the 14 of May 1948, the state of Israel was declared. By the time Israel and the Arab States signed the Armistice agreement in 1948, Israel had gained control over 75% of mandate Palestine.”

The article further asserts that the 1967 Six Day War was:
“the beginning of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, and annexation of East Jerusalem, territories which together made up the remaining 22% of Mandate Palestine.”

The article fails to inform readers that:
1. in 1946 - 78% of the Mandate territory became a sovereign independent Arabs-only, Jew-free State called the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan — renamed Jordan in 1950

Israel is only 17% of the Mandate territory

2. Judea and Samaria (West Bank), East Jerusalem and Gaza comprise the remaining 5% of the Mandate territory.

3. Israel, the PLO and Jordan have each separately acknowledged this geographically-accurate territorial subdivision of former Palestine- as the following statements make clear:

(i) Abba Eban - Israel’s former ambassador to the United Nations - said in Newsweek on 2 December 1974:
“Palestine comes into modern history as a region extending on both sides of the Jordan, comprising the present sovereign territories of Israel and Jordan and the administered areas of the West Bank and Gaza. Of this original Palestine, 80 per cent became an exclusively Arab domain through the separation of Trans-Jordan from Palestine.”

(ii) Yasser Arafat — the first PLO Chairman told the New York Review of Books on 25 June 1987:
” Jordan and Palestine until 1945 were one State, actually. After the Second World War, Churchill himself said, “This is Transjordan, and this is Palestine. Before that Jordan was an emirate ...completely part of Palestine”

(iii) Transjordan’s King Abdullah addressed the Arab League meeting in Cairo on 12 April 1948:
“Palestine and Transjordan are one, for Palestine is the coastline and Transjordan the hinterland of the same country”

Many more similar statements exist from Jewish, Arab and other sources.
If Trump concludes that a second Arab State — in addition to Jordan — is required in the Mandate territory - then Jordan - not only Israel, Judea and Samaria (West Bank), East Jerusalem and Gaza — should be included in determining that third State’s possible location.

However such a second Arab State — if governed by the PLO - the sole spokesman for the Palestinian Arabs since 1974 - would pose an existential threat to the continued existence of both Jordan and Israel as sovereign independent States - since article 2 of the PLO Charter expressly states:
“Palestine, with the boundaries it had during the British Mandate, is an indivisible territorial unit.”

One Jewish State and two Arab States in the territory of the Mandate will exacerbate — not resolve — the conflict.

Jordan — 78% of the Mandate territory — must be part of any territorial resolution.

Territorial negotiations — like gridiron and basketball — can only be played out within clearly designated boundaries.

Defining Palestine’s boundaries is indeed the key to Trump succeeding where all others have failed.

Trump, Israel, Jordan and Egypt can redress Obama - PLO debacle

[Published 7 August 2017]

President Trump continues to ponder the way forward to end the 100 years conflict between Arabs and Jews - as negotiations between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) — stalled since April 2014 — show no sign of being resumed.

Negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority under the Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap - endorsed by Russia, the European Union and the United Nations - were consigned to the graveyard of history after PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas unilaterally disbanded the Palestinian Authority on 3 January 2013.

White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner has been quoted in an off-the-record discussion saying:
“there may be no solution”.

There may however be a solution should Jordan and Egypt — Israel’s immediate neighbours - agree to negotiate with Israel to end the Jewish-Arab conflict.

Filling this potentially explosive negotiating void with Jordan and Egypt will require Trump to first articulate:
1. the parameters and

2. The fact-based framework
within which such new negotiations should actually be undertaken

The parameters should be restricted to resolving the competing Arab and Jewish claims to sovereignty in the remaining 5% of the territory of the former Mandate for Palestine — Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), East Jerusalem and Gaza — where internationally-recognized sovereignty still remains undetermined (“the disputed territories”).

Conflicting narratives paralysing previous negotiations must be replaced by Trump with a different fact-based framework underpinning any new negotiations - including:
1. Jordan and Egypt:
(i) signatories to peace treaties with Israel in 1994 and 1979 respectively and
(ii) the last Arab States to occupy the disputed territories between 1948 and 1967
are the best Arab interlocutors to determine with Israel the allocation of sovereignty in the disputed territories.

2. The PLO Charter calling for the destruction of both Israel and Jordan disqualifies the PLO from participating in such new negotiations.

3. Hamas — designated as a terrorist organisation by Israel and banned in Jordan — must be excluded from these new negotiations.

4. The new negotiations are being undertaken to resolve the “Jewish-Arab conflict” that began in 1915 — not “the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” that began in 1948

5. Sovereignty in the territory of the Mandate for Palestine has already been granted to Israel (17%), Jordan (78%) - with sovereignty in Judea and Samaria [West Bank], East Jerusalem and Gaza (5%) still undetermined.

6. The Jewish people is legally entitled to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in the disputed territories by close settlement under Article 6 of the 1922 Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the United Nations Charter - subject to the civil and religious rights of the non-Jewish communities living there being safeguarded.

7. Misleading and deceptive language referring to the disputed territories as “occupied territory” or “Occupied Palestinian Territories” fail to recognize that it was Jewish occupation in the disputed territories that was first abruptly ended in 1948 — after every single Jew then living there was forcibly driven out by six invading Arab armies and not allowed to return until after the Six Day War in 1967.

Trump has a hard row to hoe in formulating this critical framework - but do it he must if there is to be any hope of advancing peace in the Middle East.

Such Trump-defined parameters and fact-based framework need to then be mutually agreed by Jordan, Egypt and Israel before formal negotiations can commence.

Any fanfare trumpeting yet another round of negotiations without such tripartite agreement will inevitably see those new negotiations being eventually buried alongside the graves housing the failed Oslo-Roadmap and stalled Israel-PLO negotiations.

Trump, Israel, Jordan and Egypt working together can certainly succeed where Obama and the PLO ignominiously failed.

PLO aim to destroy Israel and Jordan gets boost in Australia

[Published 1 August 2017]

The Resolution of the New South Wales (NSW) Labor Party Conference urging the next elected Australian Labor Government to recognise “Palestine” (Resolution) has boosted the political objectives of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) whose Charter calls for the destruction of Israel and Jordan.

Prior to the Resolution being passed its prime mover and shaker – Bob Carr – former Australian Foreign Minister, NSW Premier, Chairman of Labor Friends of Israel turned Patron of Labor Friends of Palestine - tweeted:
"No "conditions" to recognition of Palestine. No ifs or buts. Recognition to save two state solution being buried in settlements.
10:58 AM - Jul 29, 2017"

Carr’s “no ifs or buts” echoed similar demands passed by the Arab Heads of State (including the PLO) at Khartoum on 1 September 1967 following the Six Day War:
“no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it, and insistence on the rights of the Palestinian people in their own country”

No “conditions” for Carr maybe – but a few headaches for the Federal Australian Labor Party if it is stupid enough to swallow Carr’s poison pill.
I. The Resolution does not identify the location of “Palestine”.
Negotiations between Israel and the PLO extending over the last 23 years have failed to come up with an answer.

Recognizing a phantom State is an exercise in futility.

The fact that 136 other member States of the United Nations have gone down this same road has only encouraged the PLO to adopt increasingly more intransigent and rejectionist positions opposing the peaceful resolution of a conflict which has raged for 100 years.

Australia should not get sucked into this mindless vortex.

II. When the Khartoum Conference was held - Article 24 of the PLO Charter then declared:
“This Organization does not exercise any regional sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on the Gaza Strip or the Himmah Area. Its activities will be on the national popular level in the liberational, organizational, political and financial fields.”

An independent Arab State had already been established in 78% of former Palestine in 1946 and called “the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan” (renamed “Jordan” in 1950).

A second Arab State in former Palestine had been proposed in the 1947 UN Partition Plan and rejected by the Arabs. It could have been created at any time between 1948 and 1967 with the stroke of an Arab League pen.

What possible justification is there for the Australian Labor Party unconditionally recognising such a second Arab State in former Palestine – in addition to Jordan - when the proponent of that State – the PLO – was not even claiming sovereignty over the West Bank and Gaza in 1967?

III. Carr claims recognition is needed to save the two-state solution being buried in settlements.
There already is an existing two-state solution in 95% of former Palestine – Jewish Israel and Arab Jordan – underpinned by their 1994 peace treaty.

A PLO-governed State located in the remaining 5% between Israel and Jordan represents a threat to both Jordan and Israel - since the PLO considers Palestine with the boundaries it had during the British Mandate to be an indivisible territorial unit.

No Jewish settlements remain in Gaza following Israel’s disengagement in 2005.

Jewish settlements built on no more than 5% of the territory of the West Bank are legally sanctioned by article 6 of the Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the United Nations Charter.

“Buried in settlements” is vintage Carr-overkill.

Hopefully sanity will prevail in the Federal Labor Party.

Two peoples – Jews and Arabs - need two States – not three.

Trump should dump PLO and jump-start Israel-Jordan negotiations

[Published 21 July 2017]

President Trump has completed six months in office without managing to get Israel and the PLO to resume their negotiations - stalled since April 2014.

Trump’s failure has not been for lack of trying.

The President has turned on his political charm offensive — inviting both Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to the White House - whilst making personal visits to Jerusalem and Bethlehem — all apparently to no avail.

Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner, Assistant to the President and Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt, and United States Ambassador to Israel David Friedman have been actively engaged on the ground in both Jerusalem and Ramallah in talks with Israel and the PLO — yet nothing of significance has emerged to indicate the PLO is ready to meet Israel without preconditions face to face across the negotiating table.

Even if these two adversaries resumed negotiations - there appears little chance of the PLO modifying demands that:
1. it be granted sovereignty over every square metre of Judea and Samaria (“the disputed territories”) and

2. Jerusalem be divided.
Offers by Israel in 2000/2001 and 2008 to cede its claims in more than 90% of the disputed territories have already been rejected by the PLO.

Trump needs to identify a new Arab partner to replace the PLO and join Israel in allocating sovereignty of the disputed territories between Jews and Arabs.

That partner should be Jordan - for four compelling reasons:
1. Jordan and Israel have enjoyed a signed peace treaty since 1994 which already contains provisions for resolving contentious issues in the disputed territories such as water, and refugees — and Jerusalem.

2. The PLO Charter does not recognise Jordan or Israel’s right to exist as separate territorial units:
“Palestine, with the boundaries it had during the British Mandate, is an indivisible territorial unit.

Palestine during the British Mandate (1922-1948) encompassed Israel, the disputed territories and Jordan.

3. Jordan’s:
(i) invasion and annexation of the disputed territories contrary to international law between 1948 and 1967

(ii) continuing role in the disputed territories by extending Jordanian citizenship to the Arabs resident there until 1988

stamp it as eminently suited to resolve a problem it helped to create.

4. History, geography and demography qualify Jordan and Israel — the two successor States to 95% of the territory of the British Mandate - to resolve sovereignty over the disputed territories - just 4% of the Mandate.
Netanyahu eloquently articulated this position at the United Nations on 11 December 1984:
“Clearly, in Eastern and Western Palestine, there are only two peoples, the Arabs and the Jews. Just as clearly, there are only two states in that area, Jordan and Israel. The Arab State of Jordan, containing some three million Arabs, does not allow a single Jew to live there. It also contains 4/5 of the territory originally allocated by this body’s predecessor, the League of Nations, for the Jewish National Home. The other State, Israel, has a population of over four million, of which one sixth is Arab. It contains less than 1/5 of the territory originally allocated to the Jews under the Mandate…. It cannot be said, therefore, that the Arabs of Palestine are lacking a state of their own. The demand for a second Palestinian Arab State in Western Palestine, and a 22nd Arab State in the world, is merely the latest attempt to push Israel back into the hopelessly vulnerable armistice lines of 1949.”
This fetid swamp urgently needs draining - Israel and Jordan are the parties that can make it happen.

President Trump — over to you to weave your proven negotiating skills.

Trump can end Israel-PLO impasse using India’s Vedanta Solution

[Published 10 July 2017]

The first state visit ever to Israel by an Indian prime minister — Narendra Modi— could generate the impetus President Trump needs to end the diplomatic void caused by the breakdown in negotiations between Israel and the PLO since 2014.

The obvious warmth, mutual admiration and friendship shared by Modi and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was clearly evident — contrasting with the hostility, acrimony and venom shown to Israel that has become the norm at the United Nations, UNESCO and UNHCR.

Israel has historically had a long love affair with India’s Vedanta Movement (also known as the Ramakrishna movement) — a worldwide spiritual movement headquartered near Kolkota in West Bengal.

Vedanta wishes and prays for the well-being, happiness and enlightenment of all the people of the world.

Writing on Modi’s visit - Khinvraj Jangid pointed out that Israel’s first Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion:
”... wrote, in September 1957, to Dr. Indra Sen (of the Aurobindo Ashram) praising the distinctive Indian approach to religion: “From Buddhism I have learned much about the history of religion and philosophy in India in general—and after I was enchanted by the Vedanta I began the study of the schools of Sankhya and Yoga.” In his bedroom in the Negev kibbutz of Sde Boker, there was only one leader’s portrait: Gandhi’s.”

Modi himself reportedly attended a comprehensive course studying Vedanta.

Vedanta’s views on peace in the Middle East (“the Vedanta Solution”) were published in the Times of London on 16 March 1982 by Vedanta’s British Chairman Swami Avyaktananda:
“It is generally not known that the East Bank [of the Jordan River — ed] was a part of ancient Palestine and when Britain obtained the Mandate for Palestine, the League of Nations included it in Palestine”

Swami Avyaktananda quoted as his sources:
1. Two maps in the 14th edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica (1929)

2. J.F. Horrabin’s map on page 64 of “The Life of Jesus” by Conrad Noel (1937)

3. The map of Palestine on page 18 of “A Short History of the Hebrews” by B.K. Rattey (1931)

4. 2 Sam ii
The Swami continued:
“The major portion of Jordan today is really East Palestine, the country on the other side of the Jordan being West Palestine. The handing-over of the territory east of the Jordan River to the Emir Abdullah was, to all intents and purposes, the first partition of Palestine [in 1946 — ed.]through which a large portion of Palestine [78% - ed.] went to Arab hands. This partition was not considered when the United Nations framed the Plan of partition of Palestine into Jewish Palestine and Arab Palestine [in 1947 — ed.].

If the Palestine Liberation Organisation accepts the historical facts presented here, considers sympathetically the Jewish aspirations and struggle for the National Home, National Language and National Culture for about 2000 years, and agrees to rethink the problems of the Middle East with goodwill and understanding then the problem of the Middle East will be solved without difficulty. The whole of ancient Palestine will be shared by Jews and Arabs through an amicable settlement if the Palestinian National Home is established in the East Bank of the Jordan. It can be called “New Palestine” and this naming will be quite correct.”

The PLO, Jordan and Israel can cooperatively implement the Vedanta Solution - extended to incorporate the allocation of sovereignty in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) between Jordan and Israel — or Jordan and Israel can so act jointly if the PLO refuses to participate.

Embracing the two-State Vedanta Solution — with Modi as a possible interlocutor — could be the Trojan Horse President Trump needs to broker a deal to end the Arab-Jewish conflict.

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Trump must reject Abbas claims at UN on size of Palestine

[Published 3 July 2017]

President Trump cannot begin to resolve the Jewish-Arab conflict unless he first rejects the claims made by Mahmoud Abbas at the United Nations in 2012 and 2013 concerning the territorial dimensions of former Palestine.

Abbas told the United Nations on 27 September 2012:
“The two-State solution, i.e. the State of Palestine coexisting alongside the State of Israel, represents the spirit and essence of the historic compromise embodied in the Oslo Declaration of Principles, the agreement signed 19 years ago between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Government of Israel under the auspices of the United States of America on the White House Lawn, a compromise by which the Palestinian people accepted to establish their State on only 22% of the territory of historic Palestine for the sake of making peace.”

Abbas repeated this claim at the United Nations on 26 September 2013:
“However, as representatives of the Palestinian people, we have long been aware of our responsibilities towards our people and had the necessary courage to accept a two-State solution: Palestine and Israel on the borders of 4 June 1967, establishing a Palestinian State on 22% of the land of historic Palestine”

On 11 January 2014 Abbas stated:
“Israel’s problem is that the Palestinians know more than the Israelis about history and geography, We talk about what we know,”

Abbas was talking through his keffiyeh

Abbas’s twice-repeated claim contradicted article 2 of the 1968 PLO Charter – which organisation Abbas heads:
“Palestine, with the boundaries it had during the British Mandate, is an indivisible territorial unit.”

The boundaries of the British Mandate - created in 1922 under the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine – encompassed the territory that is today called Israel, Jordan, Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and Gaza.

Article 25 of the Mandate restricted the reconstitution of the Jewish National Home to an area extending to the Jordan River - 22% of the territory comprised in the Mandate.

The Mandate – administered by Great Britain until 1948 – saw the creation of:
1. one Arab State in 78% – Jordan - in 1946

2. one Jewish State in 17% - Israel - in 1948

3.sovereignty remaining unallocated in the remaining 5% - Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and Gaza
Abbas’s claim at the UN in 2012 and 2013:
1. is deceptive and misleading

2. amounts to intellectual fraud and

3. rejects international law as established by the Mandate
Trump’s acknowledgement that Jordan – not Israel - comprises 78% of historic Palestine would greatly enlarge the territorial field within which Trump could hope to resolve the long running conflict which now hinges on who should exercise sovereignty over a piece of land no larger than Delaware.

Jordan’s inclusion in any negotiations would create alternative solutions to end the conflict other than the creation of another Arab State between Israel and Jordan – a proposal first floated by the United Nations in 1947 and rejected many times since then by the Arabs.

That is a prospect that should excite Trump as he seeks to find a way to end a conflict whose solution eluded Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama over the last 23 years. Those Presidents had the best of intentions yet stumbled badly in failing to reach the finishing line because they shied away from insisting Jordan be a party to any negotiations with Israel.

Jordan - part of the conflict in Palestine since 1922 - must be part of any solution in 2017.

Trump – the consummate deal maker – must involve Jordan in any further negotiations to avoid following in the footsteps of his failed predecessors.

In the case of “Palestine” size can really make a big difference.

Trump, Kushner, Greenblatt flirt with phantom Palestinian Authority

[Published 26 June 2017]

President Trump has made a poor start in attempting to broker an end to the Jewish-Arab conflict by initially engaging with the “Palestinian Authority” —an entity that no longer legally exists.

Trump’s White House communique on 21 June highlights his glaring tactical error:
“Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner, Assistant to the President and Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt, and United States Consul General in Jerusalem Donald Blome met today in Ramallah with President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority and his senior advisors.”

The Office of the Historian in the State Department faithfully records the creation of the Palestinian Authority under “Milestones in the History of US Foreign Relations” (Milestones):
“On September 13, 1993, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Negotiator Mahmoud Abbas signed a Declaration of Principles on Interim Self-Government Arrangements, commonly referred to as the “Oslo Accord,” at the White House. Israel accepted the PLO as the representative of the Palestinians, and the PLO renounced terrorism and recognized Israel’s right to exist in peace. Both sides agreed that a Palestinian Authority (PA) would be established and assume governing responsibilities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip over a five-year period.”

However on 3 January 2013 Abbas unilaterally signed the Palestinian Authority’s death certificate when issuing the following Decree:
“Official documents, seals, signs and letterheads of the Palestinian National Authority official and national institutions shall be amended by replacing the name ‘Palestinian National Authority’ whenever it appears by the name ‘State of Palestine’ and by adopting the emblem of the State of Palestine.”

Quite bizarrely — the Palestinian Authority’s 2013 demise was never recorded in Milestones.

The reason was only made clear on 9 May 2017 when the Office of the Historian reported it had retired Milestones which was no longer being maintained or expanded. The Office explained that it had completed a review of its online offerings in Milestones and concluded that extensive resources would be needed to revise and expand its publication of any further developments in the subject matters dealt with up to 2000 to meet the Office’s standards for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

The timing of this announcement came just six days after the White House visit by “President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority”.

Indeed the full terms of the Abbas Decree - introduced with “minimal ceremony or fanfare” - can only be found to my knowledge in an article written by John Whitbeck - identified as having been:
“in Madrid in October 1991 to contribute ideas for the Palestinian speeches delivered at the conference which launched the “peace process,” in Cairo in April/May 1994 as a legal advisor to the Palestinian negotiating team which negotiated the Gaza/Jericho Withdrawal Agreement (the first “post-Oslo” agreement) with Israel and near Camp David in July 2000, when the “peace process” effectively ended, to be available to provide legal advice on any documents which emerged from the Arafat/Barak/Clinton summit.”

Whitbeck summarises the effect of the Abbas Decree:
“By this decree, the Palestinian Authority, created for a five-year interim period pursuant to the Oslo Declaration of Principles signed on the White House lawn in September 1993, has been absorbed and replaced by the State of Palestine, proclaimed in November 1988, recognized diplomatically by 131 of the 193 UN member states and supported in the recent General Assembly vote by an additional 28 states which have not yet formally recognized it diplomatically.”

Whitbeck’s article does not smack of “fake news”.

Either the Palestinian Authority was absorbed and replaced in 2013 or it still exists in 2017.

Flirting with phantoms is the height of folly and extremely foolish.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Deceiving Trump and Tillerson has consequences for Abbas

[Published 19 June 2017]

President Trump and Secretary of State Tillerson are quickly learning that tough talk is needed to rein in Mahmoud Abbas — who has deceived Trump and Tillerson twice in the last month.

Abbas sweet-talked Trump at the White House on 3 May claiming:
“we are raising our youth, our children, our grandchildren on a culture of peace.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quickly responded on 4 May:
“I heard President Abbas yesterday say that Palestinians teach their children peace. That’s unfortunately not true. They name their schools after mass murders of Israelis and they pay terrorists,”

Trump blasted Abbas in Bethlehem on 23 May:
“You tricked me in D.C.! You talked there about your commitment to peace, but the Israelis showed me your involvement in incitement”

Tillerson too was made to look stupid after he had told a Senate hearing on 13 June that he had been informed that Abbas intended ceasing the policy of payments to terrorists.

Tillerson’s claim was immediately repudiated by Issa Qaraqe, the head of the PA prisoners affairs department:
“This is not true and this statement is an aggression against the Palestinian people,”

Such duplicity does not augur well for creating an environment hoping to end the Jewish-Arab conflict.

Straight talking from Trump is needed to:
1. Bury the negotiating process between Abbas and Netanyahu that torpedoed the attempts by President Obama and Secretaries of State Clinton and Kerry to end the conflict between 2009 and 2016.

2. Terminate the artificially contrived framework misnamed “the two-state solution” within which previous negotiations have been conducted between Abbas and Netanyahu with total disregard for the origins of the conflict between Jews and Arabs.
That conflict began with the creation by the League of Nations of the Mandate for Palestine on 24 July 1922 following decisions taken by the Principal Allied Powers at the San Remo Conference and the Treaty of Sevres in 1920 following the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in World War I.

The League of Nations by unanimous resolution of all member States — including Iran — laid down a formula that would see the reconstitution of the Jewish National Home being restricted to an area comprising no more than 23% of the territory covered by the Mandate

In 1946 an Arab State was created in the remaining 77% of Mandatory Palestine and was renamed “the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan”.

In 1948 Israel was created in 17% of the territory of the Mandate whilst the remaining 6% - Judea and Samaria, Gaza — was conquered and occupied by Transjordan (renamed Jordan in 1950) and Egypt respectively until their loss to Israel in the 1967 Six Day War.

Arab propaganda has repeatedly and misleadingly claimed that the conflict only began in 1948.

Abbas is but the latest in a long line of failed leaders of the Palestinian Arabs who have rejected all attempts to resolve the conflict based on what was internationally agreed 95 years ago.

Jordan has been exculpated from playing any role in resolving this conflict it was part of from the very inception of the Mandate and which it substantially aggravated between 1948 and 1967.

Trump and Tillerson belong to the old school that uses language whose meaning cannot be misinterpreted.

Trifling with the truth in conversations with Trump and Tillerson must have political consequences for Abbas.

Hopefully the days of diplomatic doublespeak and ambiguous language are nearing their end.

Bringing Jordan into any new negotiations to finally determine the allocation of sovereignty in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) — an area smaller than Delaware — is the key to Trump pulling off the deal of the century.

Abbas concessions kick-start Trump attempt to resolve Israel-Arab conflict

[Published 12 June 2017]

Three concessions made by Mahmoud Abbas - following pressure placed on him by President Trump - open the way to possible negotiations between Israel, the Palestinian Arabs, Egypt and Jordan to resolve the 100 years old Israel-Arab conflict.

Abbas has agreed to:
1. Withdraw his 2014 demand that Israel first agree to freeze building within Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) as a precondition to resuming negotiations with Israel.

2. Tone down his campaign to prosecute Israel for alleged war crimes and rallying condemnation of the Jewish state at the United Nations.

3. Cease paying salaries to 277 released Hamas prisoners including Director of Hamas’s Political Bureau in the Gaza Strip - Yahya Al-Sinwar.

Israel sentenced Al-Sinwar to four life terms in the late 1980s but released him after 23 years imprisonment in a swap of 1,047 Palestinian prisoners for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in 2006. Al-Sinwar headed Hamas’s first security unit responsible for tracking and killing Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel.
Abbas’s spectacular capitulation comes just two weeks after his reportedly fiery meeting with President Trump in Bethlehem on 23 May — when Trump had stressed:
”.. the importance of creating an environment consistent with the desire for peace”

Trump had then warned Abbas at their subsequent media conference:
“Peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded and even rewarded. We must be resolute in condemning such acts in a single, unified voice.”

These three Abbas concessions may sufficiently satisfy Trump to pressure Netanyahu to resume negotiations.

However such negotiations — if conducted only between Abbas and Netanyahu - will assuredly fail and end up in the garbage bin of history - joining other unsuccessful negotiations conducted between them over the last ten years - for the following reasons:
1. Whilst Hamas and Fatah continue their internecine struggle for political control of the Gazan and West Bank Arab populations and refuse to countenance the holding of elections for the first time since 2006 — no permanent peace agreement can emerge from such resumed negotiations.

2. Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organisation will not abandon their campaigns to wipe Israel off the face of the map — as clearly stated in their respective Charters.
Trump will need to unscramble the following seemingly intractable demands being made by Netanyahu and Abbas if he wants to succeed where so many before him have abjectly failed:
1. Israel being recognised as the national home of the Jewish people

2. Israel retaining military and security control in and over Judea and Samaria (West Bank)

3. Any Palestinian State being demilitarised

4. Jerusalem remaining united as the capital of Israel

5. A second Arab State - in addition to Jordan — being created in the territory of the Mandate for Palestine and the capital of that State being located in Jerusalem

6. Israel withdrawing totally from the territories lost by Jordan to Israel in the 1967 Six Day War

7. Palestinian Arabs retaining their claimed right of return to Israel.
Trump may well intend trying to resolve these demands by including other Arab States in any new round of negotiations — as this White House Press Office Readout of Trump’s 23rd May meeting with Abbas tantalisingly suggests:
“The two leaders discussed ways to advance negotiations and considered how Arab states might support those negotiations.”

Egypt and Jordan — enjoying signed peace treaties with Israel since 1979 and 1994 respectively - could be just those States.

Such four-party negotiations - conducted under Trump’s oversight and using his proven skills in successfully negotiating and concluding deals - could be the key to ending the logjam of failed negotiations since 1993.

Hope springs eternal.

Trump should move Pollard to Jerusalem

[Published 5 June 2017]

President Trump’s delay in moving the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem presents the President with a wonderful opportunity to commute Jonathan Pollard’s sentence - freeing Pollard to move from New York to Jerusalem.

Trump made his unequivocal Embassy pledge on 22 March 2016:
“We will move the American embassy to the eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem.”

A White House statement on 1 June put this brave face on Trump ‘s decision delaying the Embassy move:
“While President Donald J. Trump signed the waiver under the Jerusalem Embassy Act and delayed moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, no one should consider this step to be in any way a retreat from the President’s strong support for Israel and for the United States-Israel alliance. President Trump made this decision to maximize the chances of successfully negotiating a deal between Israel and the Palestinians, fulfilling his solemn obligation to defend America’s national security interests. But, as he has repeatedly stated his intention to move the embassy, the question is not if that move happens, but only when.”

Negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs have so far extended over a period of 23 years without any real success - so one can only wonder when the Embassy move is likely to occur.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s response was quite philosophical:
“Though Israel is disappointed that the embassy will not move at this time, we appreciate today’s expression of President Trump’s friendship to Israel and his commitment to moving the embassy in the future,”

Trump’s friendship would be confirmed were he to commute Pollard’s life sentence and harsh parole conditions to enable Pollard’s move to Jerusalem,

Pollard - an intelligence analyst with the US Government - received his life sentence for passing classified information to an American ally - Israel. No other American has received such a crushing sentence.

Pollard - released in 2015 after serving 30 years penal servitude - was placed on harsh parole conditions requiring him to wear an electronic tracking device, obey a curfew and allow his computers to be monitored. He must remain in the United States until November 2020.

Pollard’s appeal to relax his parole conditions was recently rejected.

Pollard’s treatment can be contrasted to that meted out to Bradley (now known as Chelsea) Manning - who leaked more than 700,000 documents to WikiLeaks in 2010 whilst serving as an intelligence analyst in Iraq.

Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison.

President Obama commuted Manning’s sentence in January - three days before vacating the White House - from 35 years to just over 7 years, the majority of which Manning had already served. Trump said Manning should never have been released from prison.

Manning was freed from federal custody on May 17th.

Israeli Prime Ministers from Yitzchak Rabin to Netanyahu had unsuccessfully lobbied successive Republican and Democratic Presidents for Pollard’s release and permission to resettle in Israel.

Pollard is recently reported to have remarked:
“As much as Trump needs to be held to his promise to move the embassy, it is just as important that the prime minister keep his promise to bring an agent home”

President Obama’s precedent in freeing Manning whilst resisting similar overtures for Pollard’s release was reprehensible.

Commuting Pollard’s sentence at this particular moment in Trump’s presidency will help cement the blossoming post-Obama relationship between the United States and one of its staunchest allies - Israel.

Pollard’s move to Jerusalem as it celebrates the 50th anniversary of its liberation from 19 years of illegal occupation by Jordan would alleviate the disappointment of the Embassy not moving there.

That is what Trump-style dealmaking is all about.

Trump signals Abbas must end indiscriminate slaughter of Jews

[Published 25 May 2017]

The horrific carnage perpetrated in Manchester on 22 May presented an emotion-charged backdrop to two meetings the next day between President Trump and President Abbas in Bethlehem and President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

Trump pointedly told Abbas:
“Peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded and even rewarded. We must be resolute in condemning such acts in a single, unified voice. Peace is a choice we must make each day — and the United States is here to help make that dream possible for young Jewish, Christian and Muslim children all across the region.”

Netanyahu did not mince his words telling Trump:
“Terrorism, the deliberate slaughter of innocents, must be equally condemned and equally fought, whether it strikes in Europe, in America or in Israel — or for that matter, anywhere else. And as you said this morning, Mr. President, funding and rewarding terrorism must end.

Standing next to you, President Abbas condemned the horrific attack in Manchester. Well, I hope this heralds a real change, because if the attacker had been Palestinian and the victims had been Israeli children, the suicide bomber’s family would have received a stipend from the Palestinian Authority. That’s Palestinian law. That law must be changed.”

Abbas presides over the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) whose Charter openly promotes a culture of violence and incitement urging Palestinian Arabs to kill Jews.

Article 7 of the Charter provides:
“It is a national duty to bring up individual Palestinians in an Arab revolutionary manner…He must be prepared for the armed struggle and ready to sacrifice his wealth and his life in order to win back his homeland and bring about its liberation.”

Article 9 prescribes:
“Armed struggle is the only way to liberate Palestine. This it is the overall strategy, not merely a tactical phase. The Palestinian Arab people assert their absolute determination and firm resolution to continue their armed struggle and to work for an armed popular revolution for the liberation of their country and their return to it”

Article 10 declares:
“Commando action constitutes the nucleus of the Palestinian popular liberation war. This requires its escalation, comprehensiveness, and the mobilization of all the Palestinian popular and educational efforts and their organization and involvement in the armed Palestinian revolution.”

Every time a Jew is stabbed, run over, murdered in his bed or whilst praying in a Synagogue, blown up dining in a restaurant or attending a nightclub, killed by stones thrown at his car or targeted in drive-by shootings — Palestinian Arabs - radicalised and encouraged by the PLO Charter to perpetrate such heinous crimes — are treated as heroes - many having schools named after them. Their families are rewarded by Abbas paying them monthly pensions which totaled $300 million in 2016.

Abbas declared on 16 September 2015:
“We bless every drop of blood that has been spilled for Jerusalem, which is clean and pure blood, blood spilled for Allah, Allah willing. Every Martyr (Shahid) will reach Paradise, and everyone wounded will be rewarded by Allah.”

Trump told the Arab-Islamic-American Summit in Riyadh on 21 May:
“A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and extremists. Drive. Them. Out. DRIVE THEM OUT of your places of worship. DRIVE THEM OUT of your communities. DRIVE THEM OUT of your holy land, and DRIVE THEM OUT OF THIS EARTH.”

Trashing the hate-filled PLO Charter and ending incitement to indiscriminately slaughter Jews are necessary steps in this process.

Abbas will end up in the diplomatic wilderness if he ignores the messages delivered by both Trump and Netanyahu.

Trump must honour Bush-Congress deal with Israel

[Published 18 May 2017]

President Trump’s historic visit to Israel on 22 May presents the perfect opportunity for him to deliver on the promises he made to Israel during last year’s Presidential election campaign.

Trump’s broad-ranging foreign policy speech on 27 April 2016 highlighted the disgraceful way Israel had been treated by the Obama Administration:

“Israel, our great friend and the one true democracy in the Middle East has been snubbed and criticized by an administration that lacks moral clarity.

President Obama has not been a friend to Israel.”

Trump’s claim was certainly justified.

Obama — aided and abetted by his two Secretaries of State Hillary Clinton and John Kerry — had deliberately undermined the written commitments made to Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon by President Bush on 14 April 2004 and subsequently endorsed overwhelmingly by the Congress by 502 votes to 12 (“Bush/Congress Commitments”).

Trump promised:
“To our friends and allies, I say America is going to be strong again. America is going to be reliable again. It’s going to be a great and reliable ally again. It’s going to be a friend again. We’re going to finally have a coherent foreign policy based upon American interests and the shared interests of our allies.”

The shared interests of Israel and America became inextricably entwined after the Bush/Congress Commitments had:
1. secured Israel’s total disengagement from Gaza and a part of Judea and Samaria (West Bank) in 2005

2. promised President Bush’s stalled 2003 Roadmap proposing the two-state solution a real chance of coming to fruition.
The Bush/Congress Commitments were also crucial to Israel’s agreement to resume negotiations with the Palestinian Authority as publicly declared by Israel’s then Prime Minister Ehud Olmert at the international conference called by President Bush in Annapolis in 2007:
“In the course of the negotiations, we will use previous agreements as a point of departure. U.N. Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, the road map, and the letter of President Bush to the prime minister of Israel dated April 14, 2004.”

Obama’s treachery in derogating from the Bush/Congress Commitments was compounded when he refused to veto Security Council Resolution 2334 passed during the dying days of Obama’s Presidency on 23 December 2016.

Trump needs to repeat this part of his 2016 message loudly and clearly in Israel:
”... your friends need to know that you will stick by the agreements that you have with them. You’ve made that agreement, you have to stand by it and the world will be a better place. “

Sticking by the Bush/Congress commitments will sound a clear warning to the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and the Arab League that PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas will become irrelevant if he continues to:
1. press for a complete withdrawal by Israel from Judea and Samaria (West Bank)

2. refuse to accept Israel as the nation State of the Jewish people

3. maintain a claimed right of return to Israel for millions of refugees and their descendants contradicting the unequivocal terms of the Bush/Congress Commitments.
Trump - as only he can — has put Abbas on notice this could well happen:
“We have to look to new people because many of the old people frankly don’t know what they’re doing, even though they may look awfully good writing in The New York Times or being watched on television.”

Bipartisan Congressional support will welcome Trump honouring the Bush/Congress Commitments - confirming Trump’s bold vision:
“We need a new rational American foreign policy, informed by the best minds and supported by both parties, and it will be by both parties—Democrats, Republicans, independents, everybody, as well as by our close allies.”

Integrity always trumps betrayal.

United Nations web of deceit snares International Court of Justice

[Published 10 May 2017]

The United Nations publication “The Origins and Evolution of the Palestine Problem 1917-1988” (“Study”) has falsely misrepresented that the Mandate for Palestine was a class A Mandate — deceiving the International Court of Justice and many other reputable sources.

The Study has been published by the Division for Palestinian Rights of the United Nations Secretariat for, and under the guidance of, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

The Study falsely asserts without substantiation:
“All the mandates over Arab countries, including Palestine, were treated as class ‘A’ Mandates, applicable to territories whose independence had been provisionally recognized in the Covenant of the League of Nations”.

The Study then erroneously concludes:
“Only in the case of Palestine did the Mandate, with its inherent contradictions, lead not to the independence provisionally recognized in the Covenant, but towards conflict that was to continue six decades later.”

However the 1937 Peel Commission Report comprehensively debunks the Study’s concocted claims:
“The Mandate [for Palestine] is of a different type from the Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon and the draft Mandate for Iraq. These latter, which were called for convenience “A” Mandates, accorded with the fourth paragraph of Article 22. Thus the Syrian Mandate provided that the government should be based on an organic law which should take into account the rights, interests and wishes of all the inhabitants, and that measures should be enacted ‘to facilitate the progressive development of Syria and the Lebanon as independent States.’ The corresponding sentences of the draft Mandate for Iraq were the same. In compliance with them National Legislatures were established in due course on an elective basis. Article 1 of the Palestine Mandate, on the other hand, vests ‘full powers of legislation and of administration,’ within the limits of the Mandate, in the Mandatory.”

The Study for reasons unknown completely ignores this detailed Peel Commission rebuttal.

The Study’s unchallenged statements - seemingly authentic bearing United Nations imprimatur — appear on many websites including:
1. The Rights Forum — which claims to strive for a rights-based policy of the Netherlands and the European Union with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. On 10 December 2009, the International Day of Human Rights, The Rights Forum was launched by its Chairman former Dutch Prime Minister Andreas van Agt - assisted by an Advisory Council of former Ministers and Professors in International Law.

2. The Global Education Project — which states it adheres to rigorous standards and strives for an impartial and comprehensive presentation of the most relevant information necessary for both accurate and adequate education.

3. — which asserts it is America’s leading source for non-partisan information and civic education - serving more than 25 million people each year including teachers and students in more than 9000 schools in all 50 states and 90 foreign countries. It claims that 34 US state governments,17 US state Departments of Education, 23 foreign governments and 22 US federal agencies have cited materials.

4. A large number of anti-Israel sites and books have also embraced these Study’s false claims.
However the biggest fish snared in the Study’s web of deceit is the United Nations own primary judicial branch — the International Court of Justice — which In paragraph 70 of its Advisory Opinion of July 9, 2004 stated:
“Palestine was part of the Ottoman Empire. At the end of the First World War, a class ‘A’ Mandate for Palestine was entrusted to Great Britain by the League of Nations, pursuant to paragraph 4 of Article 22 of the Covenant. ...”

The Study’s fabricated narrative has certainly reaped — and continues to reap - huge dishonest dividends.

United Nations Fabricated Arab Narrative Deceives Academics

[Published 3 May 2017]

The United Nations publication “The Origins and Evolution of the Palestine Problem 1917-1988” (“Study”) has deliberately misrepresented the actual wording of General Assembly Resolution 181 passed on 29 November 1947 - deceiving many academics who have disseminated the Study’s false message.

The Study has been published by the Division for Palestinian Rights of the United Nations Secretariat for, and under the guidance of, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People.

The offending statement in the Study misleadingly declares:
“After investigating various alternatives the United Nations proposed the partitioning of Palestine into two independent States, one Palestinian Arab and the other Jewish, with Jerusalem internationalized.”

The actual wording of Resolution 181 stated:
“Independent Arab and Jewish States and the Special International Regime for the City of Jerusalem, set forth in Part III of this Plan, shall come into existence in Palestine…."

The Study omits to mention that 78% of Palestine had already become an independent Arab State in 1946 and been renamed the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan

The Study’s claim that Resolution 181 called for an "independent Palestinian Arab State” was not accidental but deliberately done to deceive and mislead.

Resolution 181 had denied the existence of any distinctly identifiable Palestinian people in 1947.

The League of Nations Mandate for Palestine had also only spoken of the “existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine” in 1922.

“Palestinians” were first defined in the 1964 Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Charter to mean Arab citizens normally resident in Palestine in 1947 and their descendants. Jewish and non-Arab Christian residents were excluded under this racist and apartheid definition.

The PLO also claimed that Palestine was the homeland of the Arab Palestinian people - even though Resolution 181 clearly did not.

That the Study deliberately changed the actual wording of Resolution 181 to advance these fictitious PLO claims — or perhaps others unknown - for spurious reasons - is scandalous.

This false rendition of Resolution 181 has been repeated verbatim in many books including:
1. Handbook of Ethnic Conflict: International Perspectives - Dan Landis and Rosita D Albert

2. Youth Citizenship and the Politics of Belonging - Madeleine Arnot and Sharlene Swartz

3. Bridges Over Troubled Waters - Dahlia Moore and Salem Aweiss
Richard Cummings PhD propagated this false statement during a lecture to the Arab Society of Princeton University on 21 February 2002.

This falsehood again appears in “Shaping Foreign Policy in Times of Crisis: The Role of International Law and the State Department Legal Adviser written by Michael Scharf and Paul Williams.

Their book grew out of a series of meetings with all ten of the living former U.S. State Department legal advisers from the Carter administration to that of George W. Bush.

Both authors are law professors and formerly served in the Office of the Legal Adviser of the US Department of State.

That two such eminent lawyers apparently accepted this official United Nations document as being unerringly accurate speaks volumes for those who have been similarly deceived because they didn’t take the time to verify what they were disseminating.

Many other academics have swallowed this duplicitous Study hook line and sinker to form hostile anti-Israel views - especially regarding Israel’s claims in Judea and Samaria - geographical place names actually used in Resolution 181 and for 3000 years continuously until the Arabs renamed those areas the “West Bank” in 1950.

The Roman Empire used the same ploy in 135 AD — changing the name of its conquered province from “Syria Judaea” to “Syria Palestina”.

Change the name - change the game.

Correcting this fabricated United Nations Arab narrative is urgently required.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Israel Ensures European Union Swallows Poison Pill

[Published 30 November 2015]

The European Union’s (EU) discriminatory and racist labelling requirements for Jewish goods and products originating from Judea and Samaria has now seen Israel effectively label the EU as “persona non grata” in the diplomatic process between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs under the Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap.

The EU finds itself in this sorry position following Israel’s decision to reassess the involvement of EU bodies in that diplomatic process and to suspend contacts with the EU and its representatives until that reassessment is completed.

The labelling requirements reflect the EU’s political position that settlement by Jews in Judea and Samaria is illegal in international law. This claim has never been the subject of any binding authoritative legal decision.

The International Court of Justice decision on 9 July 2004 was only an advisory opinion sought by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan and not a legally binding precedent.

That opinion was itself deficient since the Court was never asked by the Secretary-General to consider the legal effect of two territory-specific pieces of international law applicable to Judea and Samaria. Those provisions - article 6 of the Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the United Nations Charter - vested and preserved the legal right to “close settlement by Jews” in Judea and Samaria for the purposes of reconstituting the Jewish National Home.

At best the EU’s longstanding position - that influenced its labelling laws - is only an opinion — and nothing more.

The EU should think very carefully before imposing any retaliatory trade action against Israel for freezing the EU out of the peace process — since Israel still has some more bitter medicine for the EU to swallow:
1. Forbidding the transfer of EU funds to non-government organisations in Israel engaged in activities designed to advance the interests of the Israeli Arab population and to interfere in the internal affairs of a member State of the United Nations.

2. Ending all co-operation with the EU in Area C in Judea and Samaria by terminating existing development and infrastructure programs for the benefit of the Arab population and forbidding any such EU activities there in the future.
The EU’s labelling laws contravene the joint statement issued by the Quartet — America, Russia, The European Union and the United Nations - on 10 April 2002:
“We reiterate that there is no military solution to the conflict and call on the parties to move towards a political resolution of their disputes based on UNSCR 242 and 338, and the principle of land for peace‚ which formed the basis for the Madrid Conference of 1991. We reaffirm our support for the objective expressed by President Bush and spelled out in UNSCR 1397, of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side-by-side within secure and recognized borders.”

Attempting to influence any political resolution regarding secure and recognized boundaries - using its labelling requirements to pressure Israeli territorial concessions - could spell the death knell for President Bush’s Roadmap and its “two-state solution"

The EU is free to pursue any policy it wants — but also must take full responsibility for the consequences of its reprehensible labelling laws and Israel’s rapid response.

Should the EU now gracefully bow out of the Quartet due to its clearly revealed conflict of interest and one-sided bias — or does it have to be told to go packing by the other members of the Quartet if their impartiality in the peace process is to be maintained?

The EU cannot remain a member of the Quartet whilst implementing labelling requirements that favour Arab claims over Jewish claims.

The EU now faces swallowing a poison pill of its own making.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

United Nations must trash false information on Arab-Jewish conflict

[Published 27 April 2017]

The United Nations Study titled “The Origins and Evolution of the Palestine Problem: 1917-1988” (“Study”) has coughed up yet another piece of false information following that exposed in my last article - which indicates increasingly that the United Nations has been complicit in disseminating false information on the Arab-Jewish conflict for almost the last forty years.

The Study was published in June 1978 by the Division for Palestinian Rights of the United Nations Secretariat (DPRUNS) for, and under the guidance of, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People (CEIARPP)

I had only reached the third paragraph of the 275 page Study when the following statement caught my attention:
“The decision on the Mandate [for Palestine] did not take into account the wishes of the people of Palestine”

I could scarcely believe this dishonest statement had actually originated in a United Nations official publication – especially as the evidence contradicting this falsehood was sitting in the United Nations own archives.

That evidence comprises:
1. Meetings of the Palestine Arab Delegation (Delegation) with the recently appointed Secretary of State for the Colonies - Winston Churchill - on 12, 22 and 23 August 1921

2. Letters from 21 February 1922 to 23 June 1922 between the Delegation and the Secretary of State for the Colonies during which the Delegation was housed in the Hotel Cecil in London.
The letters disclose that:
1. The Delegation failed to persuade Britain to abandon the Mandate for Palestine providing for the reconstitution of the Jewish National Home in Palestine.

2. The British Government had adopted a fresh definition of policy to finally allay the Delegation’s apprehensions as to the scope and purport of British policy.
The Study’s failure to disclose this evidence is breathtaking.

DPRUNS and CEIARPP clearly sought to hide this evidence to create the false impression that the Palestinian Arabs had been unfairly treated and never been consulted in contrast to the Zionists who had.

This false statement has been repeated verbatim as gospel on many web sites including:
1. “” - which claims to be one of Ireland’s leading politics and current affairs discussion websites with more than 600,000 visitors a month attracting one of the most engaged, respected and influential politics and current affairs communities.

2. “” - which claims to be a platform for academics to share research papers and to accelerate the world’s research with 50,841,190 academics having signed up adding 18,234,570 papers and 2,051,915 research interests – attracting over 36 million unique visitors a month.

3.“” – which describes itself as “India’s Largest Online Community for IAS, UPSC, Civil Services Exam Aspirants.”

4.“UK essays” - which claims to use over 4,000 thoroughly vetted experts with the qualifications and experience to write you the best possible essay.

5. Many virulent Jew-hating and anti-Israel websites that I will not dignify by naming.
False statements such as this take on a life of their own and can influence people in forming their views of the Arab-Jewish conflict. That this disgraceful example should have emanated from the United Nations is outrageous.

DPRUNS and CEIARPP were clearly engaged in creating a false Arab narrative from the Study’s very inception - based on fiction – not fact.

Surely after almost 40 years of this intellectual fraud - the UN Secretariat needs to clean up its act, thoroughly review the Study and correct such errors.

The damage has been done, minds and opinions have been poisoned but the United Nations cannot continue to lend its name to this Study in its current form.

United Nations Secretary General - António Guterres - over to you.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

United Nations rewrites Balfour Declaration parliamentary debate records

[Published 24 April 2017]

An official United Nations document published by the Division for Palestinian Rights of the United Nations Secretariat contains a deliberately altered record of a 1922 parliamentary House of Lords debate on the Balfour Declaration.

The Balfour Declaration — dated 2 November 1917 - called for the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people — it being clearly understood that nothing would be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

The Balfour Declaration was subsequently written into international law after being incorporated into the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine on 24 July 1922.

The upcoming centenary of the Balfour Declaration has prompted a concerted international campaign calling on the British Government to apologise for another Government’s decision taken 100 years ago.

Baroness Anelay — Minister of State (Foreign Commonwealth Office) - told the House of Lords on 3 April 2017 that no such apology would be forthcoming.

The UN’s rewriting of Parliamentary debate records actually came to light whilst I was researching the source of a quote appearing in four articles by Stuart Littlewood provocatively headlined
“Who will Finally Heal the “Running Sore in the East”?

“Will the Royal Family Celebrate 100 Years of Shame by Endorsing Israel?”

“Despicable Balfour: A story of betrayal”

“Jeremy Corbyn: the antidote to the Blairite “virus” and Zionist snake-bite”

All four articles contained the following quote purportedly made in 1922 by a bitter opponent of the Balfour Declaration — Lord Sydenham:
“The harm done by dumping down an alien population upon an Arab country… may never be remedied… What we have done is, by concessions, not to the Jewish people but to a Zionist extreme section, to start a running sore in the East, and no one can tell how far that sore will extend.”

My research eventually led to a United Nations Study titled “The Origins and Evolution of the Palestine Problem: 1917-1988” - the Foreword stating:
“This study has been prepared by the Division for Palestinian Rights of the United Nations Secretariat for, and under the guidance of, the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, in pursuance of General Assembly resolution 32/40 B of 2 December 1977.”

This UN Study claimed Lord Sydenham had said:
”... the harm done by dumping down an alien population upon an Arab country - Arab all around in the hinterland - may never be remedied ... what we have done is, by concessions, not to the Jewish people but to a Zionist extreme section, to start a running sore in the East, and no one can tell how far that sore will extend.”

However Hansard records Lord Sydenham actually saying on 21 June 1922:
“What we have done is, by concessions, not to the Jewish people but to a Zionist extreme section, to start a running sore in the East, and no one can tell how far that sore will extend. Zionism will fail, the experiment to which the noble Earl referred will fail, but the harm done by dumping down an alien population upon an Arab country — Arab all round in the hinterland — may never be remedied.”

Deliberately rewriting Hansard raises the distinct possibility there may be other similar such instances in this UN Study. A full investigation by the United Nations Secretariat to discover the reason is urgently required.

An immediate retraction, correction and apology must be made by the UN Secretariat.

European Union declares diplomatic war on Israel

[Published 6 April 2017]

Ambassadors to Israel representing 28 European Union States (EU) behaved most undiplomatically in ambushing the recently appointed Director of Israel’s Foreign Ministry and former Ambassador to Australia - Yuval Rotem - at a meet and greet function Rotem had organised at the Dan Hotel in Tel Aviv last week.

Instead of the pleasant banter over drinks and canapes usually associated with such events on the diplomatic cocktail circuit - the function erupted into an explosive EU protest against Israel’s plans to evict Arab squatters from 42 structures that had been illegally erected between Ma’ale Adumim and Jerusalem at the strategically narrowest point in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) known as E1.

Lars Faarburg-Andersen - the EU Ambassador to Israel — took the opportunity to read out to Rotem the following one-page document which had been approved by the EU political-security committee - in which all 28 member states are represented.

This gauche and uncivilised behaviour was certainly uncalled for and not conduct that one would ever expect to come from refined and cultured Europeans.

Reading this carefully-crafted statement at the function was a cavalier action aggravating the already strained relationship between the EU and Israel following the EU’s introduction on 11 November 2015 of labelling requirements for goods produced in Judea and Samaria entering Europe.

The statement revealingly exposes the hypocrisy of the EU for the following reasons:

It was presented as a “demarche” — a diplomatic or official initiative — a protest normally delivered through diplomatic channels — not at a cocktail function.

The statement confirms EU members were involved — without Israel’s approval - in the funding of these particular illegal structures located in Area C of Judea and Samaria — where Israel has sole administrative and security control under the 1993 Oslo Accords.

This is not the first occasion the EU has sought to impose itself in Area C by supporting illegal Arab building activities where it has no legal right to be present or involved.

On 13 December 2016 the EU Representative and the EU Heads of Mission in Jerusalem and Ramallah issued a statement acknowledging that humanitarian structures provided by the EU and EU Member States in 2016 worth approximately EUR 536,000 had been either destroyed or confiscated.

The EU then claimed that its activities were humanitarian and carried out in full accordance with International Humanitarian Law - with the “sole aim” of providing humanitarian support to the most vulnerable population.

Yet this pious claim has exploded in its face with its own admission in the demarche that:
“The EU and EU member States are united in the view that Area C is of critical importance for the viability of a future Palestinian State”
What the EU has really been doing under the guise of humanitarian aid is financing illegal Arab structures designed to create irreversible facts on the ground favouring the claims of the Palestine Liberation Organisation over the national and security interests of Israel. The EU has been outed engaging in such reprehensible actions tainted by illegality outside diplomatic norms.

Israel’s response to this unprecedented ambush and illegal misconduct has been remarkably restrained.

Avivit Bar-Ilan director of the Israel Foreign Ministry’s European Union Department has told EU Deputy Ambassador to Israel Mark Gallagher:
“In Israel, illegal construction is dealt with according to the law.”

Bar-Ilan wryly observed:
“There are 32 humanitarian crises around the world, but the European Union opts to deal disproportionately only with what happens in Area C, which undoubtedly isn’t in a humanitarian crisis,”

The 28 Ambassadors — carrying their demarche between their tails - should be sent packing to Europe for a period of reflection and introspection.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Trump can broker Israel-Jordan deal but no Israel-PLO agreement

[Published 23 March 2017]

President Trump’s Special Representative for International Negotiations — Jason Greenblatt — has returned from his wide-ranging meetings in Jerusalem, Ramallah, Amman and Jericho with zero prospects of Trump brokering a deal between Israel and the PLO.

However Greenblatt’s belief in the pivotal role Jordan can play in resolving the 100 years old Jewish-Arab conflict was apparent in his tweet after meeting Jordan’s King Abdullah II:
“We agree on the need for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Jordan an important ally in this effort.”

According to the Jordan Times:
” During the meeting, held at Al Husseiniya Palace, His Majesty stressed the US role in ending the stalemate in the Palestinian-Israeli peace process and reviving negotiations that should lead to a just and comprehensive solution to the conflict, based on the two-state formula.

He asserted that reaching a just deal of a comprehensive peace that includes establishing a Palestinian state will reflect on efforts to achieve peace, security and stability in the region.”

King Abdullah is whistling in the wind in believing another Arab state could still be established — in addition to Jordan — in the territory comprised in the Mandate for Palestine where Israel presently exercises sovereignty in 17% and Jordan 77% — whilst sovereignty remains undetermined in the last 6% - the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza.

Negotiations between Israel and the PLO to create that second Arab State have extended over the last 24 years and been dormant since April 2014.

Those negotiations have failed because Israel and the PLO have been unable to resolve core demands despite two offers having been made by Israel in 2000/2001 and 2008 to cede its claims in over 90% of the West Bank.

Israel’s unmet demands are that:
1. The PLO recognise Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people
2. The major Jewish settlement blocs in Judea and Samaria be incorporated into the boundaries of Israel
3. Israel retains security control over the Jordan Valley
4. Jerusalem remains the eternal undivided capital of Israel
5. Any such State be demilitarized

The PLO’s unmet demands are that:
1. The Palestinian State be granted sovereignty over all of the territory of the West Bank with its capital being located in East Jerusalem.
2. All Jewish settlements located in the West Bank and East Jerusalem be dismantled and their inhabitants be removed.
3. Palestinian Arab refugees who fled the 1948 Arab invasion of Western Palestine be allowed to return and settle in Israel.

Trumps’s ability to cut a deal in the face of these irreconcilable differences is severely hampered by the written commitments made to Israel’s Prime Minister Sharon by President Bush on 14 April 2004 and overwhelmingly endorsed by the US House of Representatives by 407-9 and Senate 95-3.

Those commitments - given to Israel to secure Israel’s total withdrawal from Gaza and four Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria — back Israel’s above demands in any negotiations with the PLO.

It seems inconceivable that Trump - the master deal-maker — would consider reneging on the Bush-Congress-Sharon deal. If he did — Israel would not resume negotiations with the PLO. If he doesn’t the PLO would not resume negotiations with Israel.

If Trump wants to do a deal — he needs Jordan to come to the party and enter into direct negotiations with Israel to allocate sovereignty in the West Bank between Jordan and Israel - virtually completing the original two-state formula envisaged in 1922 by article 25 of the League of Nations Mandate.

Greenblatt’s meeting with King Abdullah is a possible pointer to getting such negotiations underway. Trump’s undoubted brokering skills can ensure such negotiations happen.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Palestine: Netanyahu sends clear message to Trump, Putin, May and UN

[Published 16 March 2017]

Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has had a busy week meeting with UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson in Jerusalem, President Vladimir Putin in Moscow and then back to Jerusalem for a five hour meeting with President Trump’s Special Representative for International Negotiations — Jason Greenblatt.

The framework for these meetings was set by Netanyahu — who told Johnson:
“It’s evident that we agree on most things, but not on all things. And one of the things, I think the source of it when you analyze a problem, get to its roots and reason that we haven’t had peace for a hundred years is not the settlements, but the persistent refusal to recognize a nation-state for the Jewish people in any boundary. I think if you want to solve a problem, go to the core of the problem, and that is something I look forward to discussing with you further.”

Netanyahu’s claim is substantiated by the following facts:
1.Settlements were not the problem when the first two-state solution was proposed by article 25 of the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine in 1922.

That solution - which envisaged allocating the Arabs 78% of Mandatory Palestine [Transjordan] and the Jews the remaining 22% - was rejected by the Arabs but accepted by the Jews.

Iran - one of the 51 States then unanimously endorsing the Jewish people’s legal right to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in Palestine — now seeks to destroy the Jewish State in 2017.

2. Settlements were not the problem in 1937 when the Peel Commission recommended partition of the territory of the Mandate into one Jewish State and one Arab State —again rejected by the Arabs but accepted by the Jews.

3. Transjordan remained part of the Mandate for Palestine until Great Britain granted it independence on 22 March 1946. 78% of the Mandate territory was thus irrevocably transformed into an exclusive Arabs-only State contrary to article 5 of the Mandate.

4. The United Nations recommendation to partition the remaining 22 % of the Mandate territory into one Arab State and one Jewish State in November 1947 was again rejected by the Arabs and accepted by the Jews — culminating in Western Palestine being invaded in May 1948 by six Arab armies and the forcible eviction of all Jews living in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.

5. Settlements were not the problem between 1948 and 1967 when another Arab State could have been created with the stroke of an Arab League pen in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza whilst not one Jew lived there.

6. Offers by Israel in 2000/2001 and 2008 to another Arab State being created in Gaza and the West Bank were rejected by the Arabs.

7. In December 2016 UN Security Council Resolution 2334 declared that the Jewish Quarter and Kotel in East Jerusalem, the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives, the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb near Bethlehem were “occupied Palestinian territory”.

UK and Russia shamefully failed to veto this Resolution.

8. Gaza is ruled by Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organization governs Areas A and B of the West Bank. Both have held onto power without holding elections since 2006. Both refuse to recognize a Jewish nation-state in any boundaries.
Johnson told Netanyahu:
“I first visited [Israel] when I was — as I never tire of telling you — when I was 18.”

Netanyahu should never tire of telling world leaders that the 100 years old Jewish-Arab conflict will not be resolved until the Arabs recognise the right of the Jewish people to their own independent State.

Palestine: PLO humiliated for denying free speech and elections

[Published 9 March 2017]

Frustration with the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) has surfaced at a Conference in Istanbul on 25 and 26 February attended by 6000 Palestinian Arabs living abroad in more than 50 countries.

The organisers established a new political entity to represent Palestinian Arab diaspora communities.

The new organisation — as yet unnamed and to be based in Beirut - called for:
1. the end of the Oslo agreement signed between Israel and the PLO in 1993,
2. the restructuring of the PLO on a more representative basis for all Palestinians, and
3. the formation of a democratically elected Palestinian National Council - the PLO’s legislative body in exile.
The conference established a General Commission headed by Palestinian historian Salman abu Sitta and Majed al-Zeer, a Britain-based activist, Naela al-Waari, a scholar and women’s rights activist, and Saif Abu Kishah, a youth activist, as his three deputies.

The new organisation does not aim to replace the PLO — which has been representing the Palestinian Arabs since 1964 and been their sole spokesman since 1974.

Ribhi Halloum — a former PLO Ambassador stressed:
“We are trying here to create a supporting structure to be an asset to the PLO, not against it,”

Fatah — the main faction in the PLO did not agree — issuing a statement attacking the conference and accusing it of being an:
“attempt to divide the Palestinian people.”

PLO member Ahmad al-Majdalani said that the motives behind the conference were “suspicious” - echoing accusations that the event was organized to export internal Palestinian political divisions abroad.

A member of Hamas’ politburo Izzat al-Rashq expressed support for the conference on behalf of Hamas - adding that:
“those who claim that Hamas is behind the conference are mistaken.”

No matter whose viewpoint one believes — the Conference is surely evidence that the Palestinian Arabs living abroad want to have a say in their own future and have formed an organisation that will allow them to do so — because they consider that the PLO as presently structured is not meeting their aspirations.

Conference spokesman Said Ziyad al Aloul supports this conclusion:
“We as Palestinian diaspora have the right to organise and tell the traditional Palestinian leaders what we think is the best way forward,”

Anees Fawzi Kassem - the head of the conference - said the Oslo Accords were the worst deal possible and had resulted in Palestinians being unable to represent Palestinians.
“We are gathered here today to demand that we the people of Palestine be given our voice back,”

Khalid Turaani, another spokesperson for the conference reportedly claimed:
“It is high time that Palestinians come together to ensure that a weak donor-bondaged [PLO] doesn’t give away any more of our legal historic and moral rights in Palestine,”

Kassem’s and Turanni’s sentiments will resonate with those Palestinian Arabs living under PLO rule whose voices have been silenced whilst being denied free, fair and transparent elections since 2006.

Negotiations between Israel and the PLO under the Oslo Accords were always destined to founder since the PLO Charter states that:
1 Israel, Gaza, the West Bank and Jordan are:
(i). An indivisible territorial unit and
(ii). An indivisible part of the Arab homeland
2. The 1917 Balfour Declaration, the 1922 Mandate for Palestine and everything based on them since then are null and void.

3. Jews do not constitute a single nation with an identity of its own
Jordan and Israel’s 1994 Peace Treaty rejected these PLO deal-breakers.

Oslo’s demise opens the possibility of Jordan and Israel redrawing their existing international boundary to mutually divide the West Bank between their respective States.

President Trump should jump to seal the deal.