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, 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.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Trump and Putin must co-operate to defeat Islamic State

[Published 2 March 2017]

President Trump made his intention to destroy Islamic State crystal clear in his stirring address to the Congress on 28 February:
“As promised, I directed the Department of Defense to develop a plan to demolish and destroy ISIS — a network of lawless savages that have slaughtered Muslims and Christians, and men, women, and children of all faiths and beliefs. We will work with our allies, including our friends and allies in the Muslim world, to extinguish this vile enemy from our planet.”

The Department of Defense plan had already been delivered to members of the National Security Council’s Principals Committee - and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis was due to brief the committee on 27 February.

Whether this plan recommends co-operation with Russia still remains under wraps.

Certainly President Obama’s decision in September 2014 to degrade and destroy Islamic State by forming a broad international coalition of 68 States without:
1. Including Russia and
2. first securing a Security Council resolution endorsing such action
has proved both catastrophic and very expensive.

The State Department trumpeted that the breadth and diversity of America’s coalition partners demonstrated the global and unified nature of Obama’s endeavour.

Yet Islamic State today remains undefeated in Syria and Iraq.

Support for — and pledges of allegiance to — Islamic State by over 30 radical Islamic terrorist groups world-wide are creating horrific humanitarian problems — some far removed from the Middle East.

Defeating Islamic State in Iraq and Syria will see these “lawless savages” joining such disparate groups in their drive to establish the restoration of the Caliphate and the implementation of Sharia law world-wide.

Members of the US-led Coalition have not been contributing their fair share towards dealing with Islamic State — leaving the burden to fall squarely on America.

Australian Prime Minister — Malcolm Turnbull — declared last week that Australia was in fact the second largest international contributor to the US led coalition after the United States — shaming NATO countries like Germany, France and the United Kingdom and Middle East members Saudi Arabia, Qatar and United Arab Emirates.

The remaining 125 UN member States have escaped sharing the cost and responsibility of confronting and defeating Islamic State.

Trump’s reprimand of NATO would indicate he considers the Obama-led coalition has been a very bad deal for America.

Trump can rectify this situation by jointly co-sponsoring with Putin a United Nations Security Council resolution authorising the use of force against Islamic State under Chapter V11 of the UN Charter.

Russia and America have previously expressed their willingness to involve the Security Council.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov made this clear on 18 November 2015:
“The Security Council needs to give preferential attention to the task of creating a solid legal foundation for the fight against this evil [Islamic State] and for the mobilization of an actual global coalition in response to this common uncompromising challenge for us all.”

President Obama preached a similar mantra in St Petersburg on 6 September 2013:
“And I respect those who are concerned about setting precedents of action outside of a U.N. Security Council resolution. I would greatly prefer working through multilateral channels and through the United Nations to get this done.”
Mentioning any relationship with Russia is a very sensitive issue in American politics today.

However Trump may well have had Russia in mind when he told Congress:
“America is willing to find new friends, and to forge new partnerships, where shared interests align. We want harmony and stability, not war and conflict.”
Defeating Islamic State is a shared interest of Trump and Putin.

Co-operation in the United Nations Security Council will materially advance that objective.

Palestine: Netanyahu needs to expose PLO hoax

[Published 21 February 2017]

The first visit to Australia by a sitting Israeli Prime Minister – Benjamin Netanyahu – has been preceded by a statement signed by 65 prominent Australians on the initiative of the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network.

That statement declares:
“The Australian Government needs to rethink its one-sided support for the Israeli Government. We are appalled that our Government opposes the recent UN Security Council resolution supporting the application of international law to Israel and Palestine, when most nations, including the United Kingdom, Germany, France and New Zealand, support it. Even the USA did not oppose it. It is time for the suffering of the Palestinian people to stop and for Australia to take a more balanced role in supporting the application of international law and not supporting Mr Netanyahu and his policies.”

Signatories to this statement include:
1. senior legal professionals – including former Solicitor General Gavan Griffith QC, and former Federal Court judge Murray Rutledge Wilcox
2. former parliamentarians –and diplomats including Jon Stanhope, former ACT Chief Minister, former ALP Minister The Hon Alan Griffin, and Ambassador Bruce Haigh
3. senior clergy – including Bishop George Browning, Bishop Pat Power and former Uniting Church President Rev Gregor Henderson AM
4. Artists – including actor Miriam Margolyes, writer and commentator Dr Randa Abdel-Fattah, artist Luke Roberts, and filmmaker Christina Wilcox
5. Academics – including Dr Susan Carland, Emeritus Professor Stuart Rees AM and Associate Professor Peter Slezak, and many others
Their signatures are a sad testament to their embrace of Security Council Resolution 2334 and to its claim that the Jewish Quarter, the Kotel and the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem and the Machpelah in Hebron are “Occupied Palestinian Territory”.

If they did not understand that is what they were endorsing then they should withdraw their signatures immediately.

Interestingly they also signed up to “supporting the application of international law to Israel and Palestine”

International law indisputably establishes:
1. The right of the Jewish people to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in Jerusalem, Hebron and Judea and Samaria (West Bank) pursuant to the provisions of the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine
2. The preservation of such vested legal rights under article 80 of the United Nations Charter.
The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) – Israel’s “partner for peace” has:
1. declared this established international law to be “deemed null and void” under its Charter
2. claimed in its 1964 Charter:
“Article 24. 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.”

This article remained unamended when UN Security Council Resolution 242 was passed after the Six Day War. Article 24 was removed from the Charter in 1968 but no claim to sovereignty replaced it.

The PLO claim in 2017 to a separate State where sovereignty still remains unclaimed under its own Charter has been one of the greatest scams perpetrated on and swallowed by the international community during the 100 years conflict.

That persons of the quality and calibre of these 65 prominent Australians should have signed this declaration is testament to the stunning inroads that false Arab propaganda has been used to influence public opinion over the last fifty years.

The idea of two Arab states in the area covered by the Mandate for Palestine has been offered to – and rejected by - the Arabs on many occasions since 1922.

Prime Minister Netanyahu should take the opportunity to say a few words on this PLO hoax during his visit to Australia.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Bush, Obama, Russia, EU and UN Buried Under Trump Landslide

[Published 16 February 2017]

President Trump has buried the Bush Roadmap and any lingering hope for the creation of a second Arab State (“the two-state solution”) — in addition to Jordan — in the territory designated under the 1922 Mandate for Palestine.

This inevitability follows Trump’s failure at a White House joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu on 15 February to reaffirm the written commitments made by President Bush to Israel in his letter dated 14 April 2004 - overwhelmingly endorsed by the Congress by 502 votes to 12 (“Bush Congress-Endorsed Commitments”).

President Bush had been urged to do so just the day before by veteran US peace negotiator - Dennis Ross — who stated it would have:
“significant implications, both because it was recognizing settlement blocs referred to in the letter as major population centers, but also because it said that no agreement can involve going back to the 1949 Armistice lines or the equivalent of June 4, 1967.”

Similar calls had also been made by:
1. Michael Oren - Israel’s former Ambassador to Washington and currently Deputy Minister in Netanyahu’s Prime Minister’s office
2. Tzipi Livni — former Israeli Foreign Minister who had led negotiations for Israel with the Palestinian Authority in the peace talks brokered by U.S. Secretary of StateJohn Kerry from July 2013 until April 2014.
3. Danny Ayalon - Former Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister
Former Israeli United Nations ambassador and until recently the Director General of Israel’s Foreign Ministry - Dore Gold - had been concerned as far back as 9 June 2009 that President Obama was not going to reaffirm the Bush Congress-Endorsed Commitments:
“For example, it still needs to be clarified whether the Obama administration feels bound by the April 14, 2004, Bush letter to Sharon on defensible borders and settlement blocs, which was subsequently ratified by large bipartisan majorities in both the US Senate (95-3) and the House of Representatives (407-9) on June 23-24, 2004. Disturbingly, on June 1, 2009, the State Department spokesman, Robert Wood, refused to answer repeated questions about whether the Obama administration viewed itself as legally bound by the Bush letter. It would be better to obtain earlier clarification of that point, rather than having both countries expend their energies over an issue that may not be the real underlying source of their dispute.”

Obama’s clarification never came.

Even Netanyahu — just before boarding a plane to see Obama in the White House in May 2011 - had said he expected:
“to hear a reaffirmation from President Obama of American commitments made to Israel in 2004 which were overwhelmingly supported by both Houses of Congress.”

Netanyahu never received that affirmation then — nor did he from Trump now.

Their reasons however are very different.

Obama proceeded to trash those commitments made with one of America’s closest allies with disastrous consequences for America’s foreign policy, its reputation and integrity.

Trump however had difficulty in reaffirming all of Bush’s commitments because one of them stated:
“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”

Trump doesn’t like long negotiations without any deal — and Trump wants to cut a deal.

Trump has accordingly ditched the Bush two-state solution — endorsed by Russia, the European Union and the United Nations. It now joins the diplomatic graveyard housing other two-state solutions proposed by
1. the 1937 Peel Commission
2. the 1947 United Nations Partition Plan,
3. the 1993 Oslo Accords and
4. Israel in 2000/2001 and 2008.
The Arabs have missed yet another opportunity to end the 100 years old Arab-Jewish conflict.