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%.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Trump and May must circumvent Security Council Resolution 2334

[Published 25 January 2017]

President Trump’s meeting with UK Prime Minister Theresa May this coming Friday affords them a perfect opportunity to discuss reaffirming their countries commitments to the Jewish People made by America in 2004 and Great Britain in 1922 — which were seriously undermined when neither country vetoed Security Council Resolution 2334 on 23 December 2016.

America’s commitments were given in a letter from President George Bush to then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon dated 14 April 2004 to:
1. encourage Israel’s unilateral disengagement from Gaza and part of the West Bank and

2. give the Bush-Quartet Roadmap (“Roadmap”) every chance of ending a conflict that had raged unresolved for about 85 years.
Bush’s commitments included:
(i) Preventing any attempt by anyone to impose any plan other than the Roadmap.

(ii) Acknowledging that Israel must have secure and recognized borders, which should emerge from negotiations between Israel and the PLO in accordance with UNSC Resolutions 242 and 338.

(iii) Agreeing in light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, that it was unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations would be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949.

These commitments were overwhelmingly endorsed by the Congress by 502 votes 12.

President Obama actively attempted to subvert these commitments during his eight years in office - culminating in Obama’s failure to veto Resolution 2334 in the dying days of his Presidency — which trashed the above commitments and made them meaningless.

Great Britain had pledged to the Jewish People in 1922 that the reconstitution of the Jewish National Home in Palestine would take place within 23% of the territory designated in the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine — today called Israel, East Jerusalem, Gaza and Judea and Samaria (West Bank) — whilst the remaining 77% would become an Arab homeland — today called Jordan.

This 23/77 division was embodied in Article 25 of the Mandate - after violent Arab riots in 1920-1921 accompanied by strident and strenuous Palestinian Arab political opposition to any idea of a Jewish National Home in Palestine had led to the British White Paper in June 1922 declaring that Arab apprehensions were partly based on exaggerated interpretations of the meaning of the Balfour Declaration.

The White Paper stated:
"Unauthorized statements have been made to the effect that the purpose in view [of the Balfour Declaration - ed] is to create a wholly Jewish Palestine. Phrases have been used such as that Palestine is to become “as Jewish as England is English.” His Majesty’s Government regard any such expectation as impracticable and have no such aim in view. Nor have they at any time contemplated, as appears to be feared by the Arab delegation, the disappearance or the subordination of the Arabic population, language, or culture in Palestine. They would draw attention to the fact that the terms of the Declaration referred to do not contemplate that Palestine as a whole should be converted into a Jewish National Home, but that such a Home should be founded ‘in Palestine'.”

Resolution 2334 has now declared as illegal the rights vested by the Mandate in the Jewish People to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in East Jerusalem, Gaza and Judea and Samaria (West Bank) - despite such rights having been preserved by article 80 of the United Nations Charter.

Vetoing Resolution 2334 would have averted America and the UK betraying their commitments to the Jewish People.

Reaffirming those commitments will do more to resolve the Jewish-Arab conflict than moving the American embassy to Jerusalem.

Commitments when made by States should never be shredded without mutual agreement.

Monday, March 20, 2017

UN Security Council members trash Quartet Roadmap and Two-State Solution

[Published 18 January 2017]

Twelve of the fifteen members of the United Nations Security Council have apparently had a major rethink on the terms of Resolution 2334 which they approved 14-0 on 23 December 2016 with only America abstaining.

They were among those who issued the Joint Declaration following the Paris Conference held on 15 January — attended by delegations from 70 countries, the United Nations, the European Commission, the European Union, the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

Thirteen of the fifteen Security Council member States were in Paris including its five Permanent Members — China, France, Russia, United Kingdom and United States.

Absent were New Zealand and Malaysia — two of the four sponsors of Resolution 2334.

The Joint Declaration differs substantially from Resolution 2334 in three fundamental respects:
1. Resolution 2334 envisages a region where:
“two democratic States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace within secure and recognized borders,”
The Joint Declaration shredded this objective by affirming:
“that a negotiated solution with two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, is the only way to achieve enduring peace.”
The “two democratic states solution” in Resolution 2334 was replaced by a vague and nebulous “two state solution” in the Joint Declaration. Gone were "secure and recognised boundaries".

2. Resolution 2334 aims to achieve:
“without delay a comprehensive, just and lasting peace in the Middle East on the basis of the relevant United Nations resolutions, the Madrid terms of reference, including the principle of land for peace, the Arab Peace Initiative and the Quartet Roadmap and an end to the Israeli occupation that began in 1967”
The Joint Declaration more specifically calls for the resolution of:
“all permanent status issues on the basis of United Nations Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973),”
The Quartet Roadmap - so painstakingly put together in 2003 by President Bush calling for negotiations to create a democratic Palestinian State — and under which negotiations had been conducted since then - was unceremoniously dumped in Paris.

This leaves no agreed negotiating framework under which to conduct any resumed negotiations.

3. Resolution 2234 underscored:
“the importance of the ongoing efforts to advance the Arab Peace Initiative,”
The Joint Declaration underscored:
“the importance of the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 as a comprehensive framework for the resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict, thus contributing to regional peace and security.”
Israel had agreed to negotiate under the Quartet Roadmap but listed 14 reservations — one of which required:
“The removal of references other than 242 and 338 (1397, the Saudi Initiative and the Arab Initiative adopted in Beirut). A settlement based upon the road map will be an autonomous settlement that derives its validity therefrom. The only possible reference should be to Resolutions 242 and 338, and then only as an outline for the conduct of future negotiations on a permanent settlement.”
Replacing the Quartet Roadmap with the Arab Peace Initiative guarantees no hope for the stalled negotiations to be resumed.

The United Kingdom refused to endorse the Joint Declaration.

It is incredible that the other twelve Security Council member States present — especially the five permanent members - could approve the terms of the Joint Declaration that so materially changes what they voted for or abstained on just three weeks earlier.

They obviously engaged in cherry picking bits and pieces of Resolution 2334 that they had rushed through with unseemly haste and now had second thoughts on.

A new agreed negotiating framework for any two-State solution now needs to be constructed to replace the trashed Quartet Roadmap.

The Security Council looks decidedly stupid and increasingly irrelevant.

Paris buries Palestine and UN Security Council Resolution 2334

72 States and Organizations meeting in Paris on 15 January have repudiated Security Council Resolution 2334 (“UNSCR 2334”) - just three weeks after it was passed on 23 December 2016.

UNSCR 2334 had reiterated the Security Council’s:
“vision of a region where two democratic States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace within secure and recognized borders,”
The final Paris communique dumped this “two democratic states solution” by reaffirming:
“that a negotiated solution with two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security, is the only way to achieve enduring peace.”
The word “democratic” was in fact omitted in the Paris communique in nine places – signalling that Paris did not accept the definitive terms of the “two-state solution” proposed by the Security Council.

The Paris communique deliberately sought to mislead and deceive what UNSCR 2334 had actually stated – declaring the Participants:
“welcomed international efforts to advance Middle East peace, including the adoption of United Nations Security Council resolution 2334 on 23 December 2016 which … called on both sides to take steps to advance the two-state solution on the ground;"
- blatantly failing to identify that it was the “two democratic states solution” that was envisioned in UNSCR 2334.

Paris went even further in attempting to gloss over the obligation for any Palestinian State to be democratic - the communique noting:
“the importance of addressing the dire humanitarian and security situation in the Gaza Strip and called for swift steps to improve the situation.”
No mention about addressing the absence of democracy in Gaza - where Hamas has denied the Arab population any elections for the last 10 years.

Paris omitted any reference to the only framework within which Israel and the PLO have been negotiating during the last 13 years – the 2003 Bush Roadmap – which clearly states:
“A settlement, negotiated between the parties, will result in the emergence of an independent, democratic, and viable Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel and its other neighbors.”
The Paris communique:
“called on both sides to take steps to advance the two-state solution on the ground; the recommendations of the Quartet on 1 July 2016; and the United States Secretary of State’s principles on the two-state solution on 28 December 2016.”
However one Quartet recommendation states:
“Gaza and the West Bank should be reunified under a single, legitimate and democratic Palestinian authority on the basis of the PLO platform and Quartet principles and the rule of law, including control over all armed personnel and weapons in accordance with existing agreements.”

Kerry mentioned “two-state solution” 29 times but never once uttered the word “democratic”.

Israel should now not fall into the trap of negotiating with any entity less than one already democratically elected and functioning in Areas “A” and “B” of the West Bank and Gaza – nor rely on any promises of democracy emerging there in the future.

Paris has managed to bury the “two democratic states solution” in just 24 hours.

The Roadmap and UNSCR 2334 have received the last rites.

Perhaps the Security Council and the Paris participants should now consider the “two-state solution” first envisaged in 1922:
One Jewish State – Israel – and one Arab State – Jordan – in the territory covered by the Mandate for Palestine.
This territorial subdivision has already happened in 95% of the Mandate territory. It can happen very quickly in the remaining 5%.

In fact it only involves redrawing the existing international boundary between Israel and Jordan – two states already living side by side in peace within secure and recognised borders.

Simple and achievable.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Palestine: Paris conference challenges UN Security Council Resolution 2334

[Published 11 January 2017]

Seventy countries flocking to Paris on January 15 seem set to challenge Security Council Resolution 2334 before the ink has hardly dried.

America’s House of Representatives voting 342-80 has already declared that it:
“opposes United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 and will work to strengthen the United States-Israel relationship, and calls for United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 to be repealed or fundamentally altered so that —

(A) it is no longer one-sided and anti-Israel; and

(B) it allows all final status issues toward a two-state solution to be resolved through direct bilateral negotiations between the parties.”

Now the Paris Conference seems set to blindside the Security Council’s vision expressed in the preamble to Resolution 2334:
“a region where two democratic States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace within secure and recognized borders,”

Four indicators point to this Security Council “two democratic states solution” being deliberately abandoned at the Paris Conference:
1. A statement by France’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development on 28 December 2016 welcomed:
”.. John Kerry’s clear, courageous, and engaged speech in support of peace in the Middle East and the two-state solution, with Israel and Palestine living side-by-side in peace and security.

France shares the US Secretary of State’s conviction that it is necessary and urgent to implement the two-state solution.”

Kerry’s speech mentioned “two states” 29 times without stipulating they must be “democratic.”

The Foreign Minister’s above statement does likewise twice.

2. An updated draft of the Paris Conference’s summary statement obtained in advance by Haaretz - indicates that the conference decisions are already a done deal before one glass of champagne or a canape have been enjoyed by the delegates and their entourages.

This summary statement mentions the term “two-state solution” eight times without highlighting they be “democratic” once.

3. The summary statement (Paragraph III) says that looking ahead the conference participants:
“expect both sides to restate their commitment to the two-state solution and to disavow official voices on their side that reject this solution”

This statement is the very antithesis of democracy - seeking to shame duly elected politicians from freely expressing their ideas and thoughts.

Paul Waldman asks what is the point of the “disavowal ritual” and answers as follows:
“its real purpose is to define the boundaries of the acceptable, both within each party and in politics as a whole. When someone gets disavowed, we all know that to be associated with them will lead to shame and reproach. That person and what they represent, it has been made clear, is out of bounds.”

Disavowal might appeal to those seven UN Security Council member-States that are not democracies and repress free speech — China, Russia, Angola, Egypt, Malaysia, Ukraine and Venezuela.

However the other eight democratic member-States on the Security Council — France, United Kingdom, America, Japan, New Zealand, Senegal, Spain and Uruguay should be appalled.

Demanding two democratic States envisioned by Security Council Resolution 2334 — and the disavowal of official voices on both sides that reject the Security Council’s solution - will not be embraced at this Conference.

4. Not one word in the summary statement says how and when democracy will be achieved and maintained in the “State of Palestine”

The “two-state solution” does not necessarily require:
(i) Mahmoud Abbas to terminate the thirteenth year of his four year Presidential term,

(ii) Gazan and West Bank Arabs being given the vote for the first time since 2006 and

(iii) two non-elected governing authorities making way for one elected Government.
Paris promises the sudden death of Resolution 2334 with the burial of the Security Council’s “two democratic states solution”.

Congress rebuffs Obama and Kerry for abandoning American policy on Israel

By a vote of 342-80 Congress resolved on 5 January 2017:
“the passage of United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 undermined the long-standing position of the United States to oppose and veto United Nations Security Council resolutions that seek to impose solutions to final status issues, or are one-sided and anti-Israel, reversing decades of bipartisan agreement;”

Congress’s decision goes a long way to restoring America’s reputation and integrity.

Vice President-elect Pence has certainly signalled the incoming Trump Administration’s approval of such Congress action with the following tweet:
"Great to see strong bipartisan vote in Congress opposing recent UN resolution against our most cherished ally. America stands with Israel"

Congress now needs to rectify Obama’s abandonment of the written commitments made to Israel by President Bush in his letter to then Israeli Prime Minister Sharon on 14 April 2004 (“Commitments”).

Congress has a vested interest in seeing those Commitments restored - because it overwhelmingly approved Bush giving those Commitments to Israel by a massive vote of 502 to 12.

Among those voting to support those Commitments was Senator Hillary Clinton.

Senator John Kerry — whilst not casting a vote in the Senate - made his position very clear to Moderator Tim Russert on Meet The Press on 18 April 2004:
RUSSERT: On Thursday, President Bush broke with the tradition and policy of six predecessors when he said that Israel can keep part of the land seized in the 1967 Middle East War and asserted the Palestinian refugees cannot go back to their particular homes. Do you support President Bush?


RUSSERT: Completely?


Subsequent decisions by both Clinton and Kerry respectively as Secretary of State played an active role in aiding and abetting Obama’s abandonment of the Bush Commitments - marking a shameful period in American history.

Bush gave his Commitments to Israel for the following stated reasons:
“We welcome the disengagement plan you have prepared, under which Israel would withdraw certain military installations and all settlements from Gaza, and withdraw certain military installations and settlements in the West Bank. These steps described in the plan will mark real progress toward realizing my June 24, 2002 vision, and make a real contribution towards peace. We also understand that, in this context, Israel believes it is important to bring new opportunities to the Negev and the Galilee. We are hopeful that steps pursuant to this plan, consistent with my vision, will remind all states and parties of their own obligations under the roadmap.

The United States appreciates the risks such an undertaking represents.”

Neither Bush nor Sharon could have envisaged what followed:
1. Hamas installed as the Government in Gaza,

2. a terrorist tunnel network being dug into Israel,

3. thousands of rockets indiscriminately fired into Israeli population centres,

4. chaos in Sinai,

5. three wars with heavy Jewish and Arab casualties.

Clinton and Kerry should have resigned in protest at Obama abandoning the Bush Commitments.

Reaffirming those Commitments should be an immediate priority for Congress — which is clearly in no mood to allow Obama to do any further damage.

Congress has signalled it will not tolerate Obama or Kerry attempting to subvert American foreign policy on Israel at the forthcoming international conference in Paris on 15 January or in the Security Council in the last five days of Obama’s Presidency.

America can stand tall and proud. American commitments to Israel will be honoured once again.

Palestine - Anti-Israel Security Council Resolution 2334 violates UN Charter

[Published 5 January 2017]

United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 violates article 80 of the United Nations Charter and accordingly is illegal in international law.

Any attempt by the Security Council to enforce Resolution 2334 or to pass any new Resolutions based on Resolution 2334 will also be illegal.

Article 80 preserves the legal rights vested in the Jewish people to reconstitute the Jewish National Home within 22% of the territory comprised in the 1922 Mandate for Palestine (“Mandate”). That territory includes what is known today as Area “C” located in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and East Jerusalem (“disputed areas”).

Resolution 2334 seeks to erase and annul — not preserve — those vested Jewish legal rights in the disputed areas by:
1. Claiming that Jews now presently living — or seeking in the future to live - in the disputed areas constitutes “a flagrant violation under international law” - when in fact their right to live there is sanctioned by Article 6 of the Mandate and Article 80.

2. Alleging that the right to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in the disputed areas requires the consent of any other party.

3. Calling on all States to discriminate between Jews living in the disputed areas and Jews living in Israel.

4. Discouraging Jews from living in the disputed areas when article 6 of the Mandate specifically encourages close Jewish settlement in the disputed areas.
The questionable legality of Resolution 2334 needs to be urgently resolved by the Security Council itself seeking an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice (“ICJ”) under article 96(a) of the United Nations Charter.

The General Assembly so acted when it sought an advisory opinion in 2003 from the ICJ on the legality of the security barrier erected by Israel.

That decision was fundamentally flawed because contrary to Article 65 (2) of the ICJ Statute - two vital documents — the Mandate for Palestine and article 80 — were not included in the dossier of documents submitted to the ICJ for consideration by then UN Secretary General Kofi Annan — an omission never explained until today.

Give the ICJ half the documents and you will only get half a judgement.

Indeed the Egyptian Judge sitting on that case — Justice El Araby - cautioned in his judgement:
“The international legal status of the Palestinian Territory (paras. 70-71 of the Advisory Opinion), in my view, merits more comprehensive treatment. A historical survey is relevant to the question posed by the General Assembly, for it serves as the background to understanding the legal status of the Palestinian Territory on the one hand and underlines the special and continuing responsibility of the General Assembly on the other. This may appear as academic, without relevance to the present events. The present is however determined by the accumulation of past events and no reasonable and fair concern for the future can possibly disregard a firm grasp of past events. In particular, when on more than one occasion, the rule of law was consistently side-stepped. The point of departure, or one can say in legal jargon, the critical date, is the League of Nations Mandate which was entrusted to Great Britain.”

The Security Council needs to ensure that this time round the Mandate and article 80 are put centre stage before the ICJ to consider when ruling on the legality of Resolution 2334. Justice for the Jewish people — and the standing, integrity and reputation of the United Nations — demands nothing less.

The Security Council cannot act in violation of the UN Charter — nor countenance any suggestion of illegality in its dealings with member States.

That is a certain recipe for absolute disaster.

Obama and Kerry open door for Palestine Mandate solution

[Published 30 December 2016]

US Secretary of State John Kerry – perhaps unwittingly – has now opened the door to reviving the solution contained in the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine – one homeland for the Jews and one homeland for the Arabs (“Palestine Mandate Solution”)

This solution has already been realised in 95% of the territory of the Mandate with the creation of the Arab State of Jordan in 1946 and the Jewish State of Israel in 1948.

Kerry completely ignored mentioning the Palestine Mandate Solution in his speech whilst reiterating on many occasions that there was no viable alternative to the creation of a second Arab State - in addition to Jordan (“the two state solution”) - in the 5% of the Mandate territory still remaining unallocated – Judea and Samaria (West Bank) Gaza and East Jerusalem (“unallocated Mandate territory”)

The longer Kerry spoke on what was needed to be done to achieve the two-state solution after fruitless negotiations extending over 23 years – the more it became obvious that such a result was totally unrealistic and unachievable.

His prediction that failure would result in the creation of one State between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea – is alarmist and simply fanciful.

Why did Kerry avoid any mention of the Palestine Mandate Solution being a viable alternative to the two state solution – especially as Jordan and Egypt occupied the unallocated Mandate territory between 1948 and 1967 – and both have long-standing peace treaties with Israel?

The only reason seems his apparent ignorance of the history of the conflict as evidenced by his two following remarks:

1. Kerry referred to the first Zionist Congress in 1897 called to realise the Jewish dream - but failed to mention the San Remo Conference and Treaty of Sevres in 1920 and the Palestine Mandate in 1922 which set out the framework unanimously agreed to by the international community for the:
“reconstitution of the Jewish National Home in Palestine”

The Mandate is legally binding in international law and it cannot be flippantly ignored by Kerry. The benefits conferred by the Mandate on the Jewish people to settle in the unallocated Mandate territory have been preserved by article 80 of the UN Charter – another piece of international law that did not rate a mention by Kerry.

Kerry and Obama have ignored these binding international law provisions to their dying shame.

2. Kerry refers to an intimate, one-on-one dinner with Israel’s Shimon Peres just a few months before he died and quotes Peres as having told him:
“The original mandate gave the Palestinians 48 percent; now it’s down to 22 percent. I think 78 percent is enough for us.”

Peres got it wrong - and so has Kerry in quoting him.

Israel presently constitutes 17% - not 78% - of the original mandate

Peres was talking about the area allocated for a second Arab State in 22% of the original Mandate territory by the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan. The remaining 78% had become an independent Arab State in 1946.

The additional 48% was not enough for the Arabs. They wanted 100% - rejected the UN Plan and saw it whittled down to 22% after the 1948 War of Independence and the 1967 Six Day War.

The Arabs – with Security Council Resolution 2334 and now Obama and Kerry’s backing - demand another Arab State in an area equivalent to the remaining 22% - having rejected offers of 90% in 2000/1 and 95% in 2008.

It won’t happen.

The UN Security Council buried the two-state solution on 23 December 2016. John Kerry delivered the eulogy on 28 December 2016.

The Palestine Mandate Solution beckons….

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Palestine: Correcting canards concerning Israel and vested Jewish legal rights

[Published 28 December 2016]

Australia’s former Foreign Minister and former head of Labor Friends of Israel — Bob Carr - has entered the debate concerning Security Council Resolution 2334 passed on 23 December with his article in the Sydney Morning Herald “The Genius of the UN’s Resolution on Israeli settlements” (December 27)

His contribution is riddled with the following errors that cannot be allowed to stand unanswered and uncorrected and need to be rectified.
I. He states that Levi Eshkol’s chief legal advisor Theodor Meron advised the Prime Minister in 1967 that the Geneva Convention says no nation may settle its own population on land it wins in war.

What Mr Carr omits to tell readers is that Mr Meron changed his opinion on the applicability of the Geneva Convention in 1968 when he co-signed the following advice to Israel’s then Ambassador to the United States — Yitzchak Rabin:
“to tell the Americans that there are unique aspects to the status of the territories and to our status in the territories. Before the Six-Day War, the Gaza Strip wasn’t Egyptian territory, and the West Bank, too, was territory that had been occupied and annexed by Jordan without international recognition. Given this ambiguous, indeterminate territorial situation, the question of the convention’s applicability is complex and unclear prior to a peace agreement that includes setting secure and recognized borders.”

2. Carr claims Meron is alive today, an eminent international jurist. He says he was right then and is right now.

No evidence is supplied by Carr to substantiate that claim — which is obviously rebutted by Meron’s revised 1968 opinion to Rabin. Why did Carr fail to mention Meron’s 1968 epiphany?

3. Carr claims all settlements in the West Bank are illegal.

Wrong — all those settlements are legal under article 6 of the Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the United Nations Charter—territory-specific legislation dating back to 1922 that is still valid today.

4. Carr claims that Israel has been spreading settlements as fast as possible to render it impossible to achieve a two-state solution.

Wrong — the settlements cover only 5% of the West Bank territory. Israel made offers to cede its claims to 90% of the West Bank in 2000/1 and 95% in 2008.

There has been no settlement because the Arabs want 100%.

5. Carr claims Israeli Governments have gifted settlers the best land.

Wrong — the land given to settlers for which they pay has been land that has mainly remained unsettled and undeveloped for the last 3000 years. It comprises State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes as prescribed under Article 6 of the Mandate for Palestine.

6. Carr claims that if the Palestinian Arabs throw up a granny flat without approval in Area C it is promptly demolished by army bulldozers.

Wrong — the granny flats are being thrown up by the European Union without approval to create facts on the ground. Yes — they are being demolished as happens to any illegal structures built anywhere in the World.

The European Union has no legal right to charge in without authorisation.

7. Carr asks - If Israel is really open to giving the land back in a peace deal why allow settlements in the first place?

Because the Arabs refused to negotiate with Israel between 1967 and 1993 and Israel was legally entitled to settle there.

Israel did the same in Gaza and unilaterally disengaged from every square inch of land there as well as a part of the West Bank in 2005 to advance the two-state solution.

8. Carr relies on Obama’s envoy and former Ambassador Martin Indyk to confirm settlements destroyed the deal.

Yet between 1948 and 1967 there were no settlements - after all the Jews living in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza had been driven out by the invading Transjordanian and Egyptian armies. The Arabs could have had their state at any time during those 20 years with the stroke of an Arab League pen in precisely the same area they now claim for themselves.

They could have had an even greater area had they not rejected the 1947 UN Partition Plan

Carr finally twigs when he states that historically the aged and corrupt Palestinian leadership has to bear some responsibility and that they’ve let their people down.

Too many offers have gone begging and will not return again given the horrendous events being played out in the Middle East right now.

9. Carr claims the Palestinians are offering a demilitarised state — a Palestine without an army and Western peacekeepers within their borders. It is hard to imagine more explicit security guarantees.

Mr Carr provides no source for this very important information — which is new to me.

10. Carr claims the 83% Arab population of the West Bank is being ruled by a racial and religious minority of 17%.

Wrong — 95% of the Arab population live in Areas A and B and their daily lives are completely ruled by the PLO. Only 5% of the Arabs live in Area C under Israeli rule.

Bob Carr — like the United Nations Security Council - relying on these and similar incorrect and unsubstantiated facts — are in a state of complete denial about Jewish rights to settle in the West Bank and the legality of Jewish settlements.

Both should take the time to better acquaint themselves with fact — not fiction - if they ever want to be believed.

UN Security Council and Obama revive Palestine Mandate solution

[Published 25 December 2016]

United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 passed on 23 December 2016 has buried any lingering hopes for the creation of a second Arab State in former Palestine in addition to Jordan (”the two-state solution”).

America’s decision to not veto Resolution 2334 – taken in the dying days of President Obama’s eight years term of office – revives the solution first envisaged in 1922 by the League of Nations.

Pursuant to Article 25 of the Mandate for Palestine - the territory covered by the Mandate was to be divided between the Jewish people and the Arab inhabitants of Palestine – restricting the Jews to reconstituting the Jewish National home in just 22% of the territory whilst the remaining 78% was reserved for the Palestinian Arabs.

The Jews reluctantly accepted that solution even though it contradicted promises made to them in 1920 at the San Remo Conference and in the Treaty of Sevres.

The Arabs however rejected the Mandate solution.

Notwithstanding such rejection – the two successor States to the Mandate – Israel and Jordan – have achieved the Mandate solution in 95% of the territory covered by the Mandate.

Negotiations between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) over the last 23 years to allocate sovereignty in the remaining 5% have been stalled since 2014. Resolution 2334 guarantees the failure of any such negotiations – if indeed they are ever resumed.

Resolution 2334 will lead to increasing conflict and violence – as the Palestinian Arabs buoyed by this unexpected change in their diplomatic fortunes seek to continue their declared objective of eliminating the Jewish State of Israel and replacing it with a 23rd Arab State.

Resolution 2334 contains the following language that signals the end of the two-state solution - rather than facilitating and advancing such an outcome:
I. The Security Council still envisions:
“a region where two democratic States, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace within secure and recognized borders”
The Palestinian Arabs have had no elections for the last 10 years and no say in their own future – whilst Hamas and the PLO continue their internecine struggle for power against each other.

II. The Security Council continues to misleadingly claim that:
“the establishment by Israel of settlements in the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, has no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law”
There is no binding legal judgement supporting this claim. It is an opinion – not a statement of fact.

To the contrary the right of Jews to “close settlement” on land in East Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and Gaza including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes is specifically “encouraged” by article 6 of the Mandate and preserved by article 80 of the United Nations Charter.

The Security Council’s continuing flagrant violation of the Mandate and the UN Charter finally doomed the two-state solution to extinction.

III. The Security Council is concerned that “the viability of the two-State solution based on the 1967 lines” is being imperilled.

Favouring this end - game only encourages the PLO to be intransigent in negotiations.

This exact outcome could have been achieved between 1948 and 1967 following the forced eviction of all the Jews living in Jordanian-occupied Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem and Egyptian-administered Gaza.

An even better result was on offer had the Arabs accepted General Assembly Resolution 191 (II) on 29 November 1947.

Such lost opportunities do not re-occur.

The Security Council has apparently learnt nothing in its unseemly haste to pass Resolution 2234.

Drawing new international borders between Israel and Jordan in direct negotiations between their respective States remains the best option to replace the buried two-state solution.

Palestine: Britain rebuffs Abbas call to apologise for Balfour Declaration

[Published 22 December 2016]

Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s demand that Britain apologise for the Balfour Declaration has been rebuffed by British Prime Minister Theresa May.

Addressing the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI) on 12 December — May responded:
”... we are entering the centenary year of the Balfour Declaration.

On the 2nd of November 1917, the then Foreign Secretary — a Conservative Foreign Secretary — Arthur James Balfour wrote:

“His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may 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.”

It is one of the most important letters in history.

It demonstrates Britain’s vital role in creating a homeland for the Jewish people.

And it is an anniversary we will be marking with pride.”

The Balfour Declaration became established international law after being incorporated into the Mandate for Palestine on 24 July 1922 - all 51 Member States of the League of Nations unanimously agreeing that:
“recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country;”

The Mandate further affirmed that Britain would be responsible for:
“placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home, as laid down in the preamble, and the development of self-governing institutions, and also for safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion.”

The use of the terms
1. “existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine” in the Balfour Declaration and

2. “all the inhabitants of Palestine” in the Mandate document rather than the term “Palestinians”
clearly refutes the existence of any identifiable “Palestinian people” in Palestine in 1917 or 1922.

However fake news stories repetitively dealing with the “stateless Palestinians” may have influenced Ms May into also telling the CFI meeting:
“Of course, people are correct when they say that securing the rights of Palestinians and Palestinian statehood have not yet been achieved.”

The Prime Minister has ignored the following pertinent facts:
1. The term “Palestinians” was not defined until 1964 when article 6 of the PLO Charter stipulated:
“The Palestinians are those Arab citizens who were living normally in Palestine up to 1947, whether they remained or were expelled. Every child who was born to a Palestinian parent after this date whether in Palestine or outside is a Palestinian.”

2. The “Palestinian people” was declared to be an integral part of the Arab Nation under Article 1 of the revised 1968 PLO Charter — not a separate and distinct people.

3. The rights of the Arab citizens of Palestine were secured in 1922 by articles 2 and 25 of the Mandate.

4. On 13 September 1922 - a Note communicated to the League of Nations by the Secretary General contained a Memorandum by the British Representative limiting the site designated for the Jewish National Home to just 22% of the mandate territory.

5. The other 78% was designated for the Arab citizens of Palestine — where Statehood was finally declared on 25 May 1946 when the area was renamed the “Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan”. Another name change to “Jordan” in 1950 followed Transjordan’s illegal occupation of Judea and Samaria in 1948.
A second Arab State in former Palestine — in addition to Jordan - remains a fatuous and unrealistically attainable goal.

Palestine: France humiliated by Abbas but Israel remains focussed

[Published 16 December 2016]

French foreign policy on resolving the Jewish-Arab conflict has been exposed to ridicule following France’s reported decision to postpone an international conference planned for December 21.

Originally proposed on 3 June — France’s blatant attempt to replace the conduct of direct negotiations between Israel and the PLO - as provided for in the internationally approved Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap - has embarrassingly fallen flat on its face.

In a document issued in September explaining France’s position — the French Foreign Office asserted:
“France has launched a two-phase initiative. A ministerial meeting, first, took place in Paris on June 3rd 2016, without the Israelis and Palestinians, in order to reaffirm the international community’s commitment to the two-State solution. At that meeting, the main international actors expressed their willingness to create a framework and incentives so that credible negotiations can resume. An international conference, to which all parties will be invited, will be organized in the second half of 2016 for this purpose.”

Surely it would have been much easier — and certainly much cheaper and more effective - for France to pick up the phone and invite both Israel and the PLO to Paris to sit down and resume their negotiations — stalled since 2014 - without pre-conditions and outside foreign interference.

Israel’s Prime Minister — Benjamin Netanyahu - had publicly expressed his readiness to do so on many occasions — but PLO Chairman — Mahmoud Abbas — refused to indicate his willingness to do likewise.

The international community may well be concerned to see the two-State solution — the creation of a second Arab State in former Palestine in addition to Jordan — slowly sinking into oblivion.

However the way to resuscitate it was not by calling an international conference - but by threatening both parties with retaliatory action if they failed to meet somewhere at some nominated time and place.

Netanyahu made it very clear to France on 7 December that he would be willing to attend such a one-on-one meeting with Abbas if the conference planned for December 21 was cancelled.
“Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke, by telephone, with French President Francois Hollande a short while ago today and told him that if there is no international conference in Paris, he would come to meet with Abu Mazen for direct talks without preconditions.

Israel will not attend an international conference, which will not contribute to achieving peace.”

France has the undoubted diplomatic and economic clout to influence Abbas - as the French Foreign Office acknowledges:
“France is an active contributor to Palestine’s economic development and the consolidation of the institutions of the future Palestinian State. It devotes considerable sums (close to €400 million for the period 2008-2014, and ‚Ǩ40 million in 2015) to aid for Palestine, about a third of which is destined for Gaza. Palestine remains the leading beneficiary of French budgetary assistance.”

Why France’s President Hollande allows Abbas to humiliate France by refusing to take up Netanyahu’s offer is a mystery.

France’s foreign policy itself is a pure flight of fancy - declaring:
“France considers that the conflict will only be resolved through the creation of a viable and democratic independent Palestinian State, living in peace and security alongside Israel.”

The idea that any Palestinian State will ever be democratic is as fanciful as France’s belief that its planned international conference could ever succeed.

There are solutions — other than the two-State solution - to end the 100 years old Jewish-Arab conflict.

Perhaps it is time France turned its attention to investigating alternative solutions - rather than pushing for a solution whose use by date has surely expired since first being proposed in 1993.

Trump and Putin need Security Council Resolution to defeat Islamic State

[Published 8 December 2016]

The United States and Russia seem set to jointly confront their common enemy - Islamic State - once President-elect Donald Trump is sworn into office on 20 January 2017.

This possibility emerged after a telephone call between Trump and Vladimir Putin following Trump’s stunning presidential victory on 8 November.

President Obama’s failure to co-operate with Putin for the last two years in seeking to degrade and destroy Islamic State has resulted in hundreds of thousands of needless civilian deaths and injuries and the internal and external displacement of millions of Syrians and Iraqis.

Islamic State has been confronted in Mosul - Iraq’s second largest city - for the last three months without Security Council authority by a US-led coalition airborne force supporting 100000 Iraqi and Kurdish infantry against an estimated 7000 Islamic State fighters. Some territorial gains have been made but little progress in ending the 30 month rampage by Islamic State and the spawning of many offshoots in at least 25 other countries.

Identified as a threat to world peace and security in a number of Security Council resolutions - the UN’s resolve to defeat the Islamic State has stopped short of authorising military action.

An eye witness account published on 7 December in the Wall Street Journal says it all:
“Yet ISIS hangs on. Is it because it concentrated its most seasoned personnel in Mosul proper? Is it because the remaining fighters have their backs to the wall and battle here with furious desperation? Or is it that the coalition — with the cold weather setting in, with the rain and low, cloudy skies interfering with airstrikes — is getting weary?

Whatever the explanation, I return home with a deep sense of unease. Between Al-Zohur and Al-Qadisiyyah, a handful of fanatics manages to hold off an Iraqi counterterrorism unit. A little to the west, in Mishraq, a single sniper holed up alone in a mosque stalls the coalition’s advance. One senses that the battle for Mosul, which began with a flourish, could bog down.

Is it possible that we might become resigned to the idea of a strange war in which 4,000 cornered fighters stop an ultra-powerful coalition? For the children of Mosul, held hostage and on the verge of famine, that possibility would be catastrophic. And, in the capitals of the West where populations already live in fear of the next terrorist attack, it would be an admission of weakness that could only embolden aspiring jihadists whose hearts beat to the rhythm of the supposedly great feats of their big brothers in the “caliphate” of Iraq and Syria.

The fire must be stamped out. And very soon. To bring this about, one looks to Barack Obama, who might prove willing to quicken the pace so as to end his second term with a victory for civilization over the pseudo-state that presently threatens every real state in the world.”

The chances of President Obama rising to the occasion seem very remote.

Regrettably the conflict is set to escalate unless Trump and Putin can agree on joint action to defeat the Islamic State.

Their first step should involve obtaining a Security Council Resolution under Articles 42 and 43 of the UN Charter authorising the use of military force and obliging all member States to contribute such forces and resources as are necessary to defeat the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

A Security Council Resolution is vital - if the mistakes of America’s 2003 invasion of Iraq are not to be repeated.

Whilst Russia and America continue to fiddle - Syria and Iraq bleed and burn.

It is time to start getting serious.