Reprinted from IsraelNationalNews.com.
It has become an article of political faith in the West that the creation of an independent Palestinian state will resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict. But the two-state paradigm is based on fictional assumptions – that an ancient Palestinian people occupied the land for thousands of years until its displacement by Israel, that the conflict is driven by this displacement, and that Israel usurped ancestral Arab soil.
These false premises are used to obscure the true nature of the conflict, which is not really a dispute between Israelis and Palestinians over real estate, but rather is a war of annihilation being waged by the entire Arab-Muslim world. The establishment of an independent Palestine will not facilitate peace because the goal of this war is Israel’s demise.
A more rational resolution, and one that makes historical, legal and demographic sense, would be for Israel to annex some or all of Judea, Samaria and other areas that were part of the ancient Jewish commonwealth, which was the only sovereign nation ever to exist between the Jordan and the Mediterranean.
The western media relegates any discussion of annexation to the lunatic fringe, but there is nothing radical about the concept. Indeed, the San Remo Conference of 1920 and the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine of 1922 originally contemplated Jewish settlement throughout the traditional homeland, well before the term “Palestinian” entered common usage after 1967 as a dissimulative weapon in the propaganda war against the Jewish state.
After Transjordan was created on the bulk of Mandate lands under British control, the goal for the remainder was unrestricted Jewish habitation west of the Jordan River. This objective was recognized long before the dialogue was hijacked by the myth of Palestine, a nation that never existed, and by the canard that Judea and Samaria were historically Arab lands. No amount of subterfuge can change the fact that Palestinian nationalism is an artificial construct or that Judea and Samaria were never lawfully part of any sovereign Arab nation.
Ironically, commentators who condemn any discussion of annexation as right-wing extremism conveniently ignore the singular role of Arab-Muslim rejectionism in perpetuating the state of war with Israel. The liberal media portrays the Palestinian Authority as moderate despite a charter that plainly calls for Israel’s destruction and regardless of its reconciliation with Hamas, whose own charter screams for jihad and genocide.
The Obama administration and European Union remain deaf, dumb and blind to Palestinian prevarications and incitement, even as they chastise Israel for not offering ever more unilateral concessions. Arab provocations are ignored or rewarded, while Israel is labeled obstructionist, despite the unrequited compromises she has made in the naive search for peace with those who seek her destruction.
Examples of this inequitable treatment abound. Israel facilitated Palestinian autonomy in much of Judea and Samaria, permitted the PA to arm itself, and fueled a local economy that provides the highest standard of living in the Arab world, and yet she is accused of discrimination and economic suppression.
She has afforded her Arab citizens the same political rights, economic opportunities and freedom of movement as Israeli Jews (indeed, many live in West Jerusalem and serve in the Knesset), but stands accused of apartheid.
She compromised her own security by unilaterally disengaging from Gaza, and yet remains the target of rancorous attacks from a delusional left-wing that persists in portraying Gaza as occupied.
She takes great pains to prevent or minimize civilian casualties when engaging in defensive military actions, only to be wrongfully accused of targeting noncombatants.
In contrast, the Palestinians are barely reprimanded as they reject Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state and continue to engage in systematic incitement and terrorism against Jewish men, women and children. Moreover, Palestinian national claims are validated uncritically in the West – even though there was no Palestinian nation at the time of Israel’s independence and although there was no demand for Palestinian statehood when Egypt controlled Gaza and Jordan occupied Judea and Samaria from 1948 to 1967.
If the Palestinians were truly a displaced, indigenous people, they presumably would have demanded statehood when the Arab powers who today claim only to support their cause actually controlled the territories to which they now claim historical title.
If these inequities show anything at all, it is that those who push the two-state agenda have no regard for Israeli sovereignty or Jewish historical rights. Rather, they are preoccupied with creating yet another Arab-Muslim state and in promoting the false narrative underlying Palestinian national claims.
Absent any historical justification for a state of Palestine, such blind advocacy can only be explained by hatred for Israel and the growing tolerance of western progressive culture for political antisemitism and the devaluation of Jewish claims. Indeed, delegitimization of Israel has become de rigueur in liberal intellectual society, which provides safe harbor for the boycott, divestment and sanctions (“BDS”) and anti-Israel “lawfare” movements.
Given the disregard for Jewish sovereignty that lies at the heart of American and European efforts to impose a two-state solution, it is clear that Israel is at a crossroads: Either she can continue participating in a farcical “peace process” that is heavily weighted against her national interests, or she can proactively seize the day and craft a solution that makes sense historically, geographically and legally.
If the inclination of the Obama administration and EU to denigrate Israel, favor the Palestinians, and appease Arab-Muslim sensibilities is any indication, Israel must act on the latter impulse. That is, she needs to reclaim Judea and Samaria as ancestral Jewish lands and shake off all vestiges of the societal ambivalence that was engendered by the Israeli left when it cajoled the nation into the ill-fated Oslo process, which led only to increased terrorism and diplomatic isolation, two costly wars in Lebanon and Gaza, and the disenfranchisement of Israel’s political center.
The Annexation of Judea and Samaria Makes Historical Sense
Israel has valid historical claims to Judea and Samaria because they were part of the Second Jewish Commonwealth. Jews lived there from ancient times through successive conquests, the Ottoman occupation, and the British Mandatory period until 1948, when they were attacked and expelled by combined Arab-Muslim forces that invaded from east of the Jordan.
These lands were conquered by Transjordan (thereafter called Jordan) and dubbed the “West Bank,” in much the same way that ancient Judea was renamed “Palestine” by the Romans in order to obscure the Jews’ connection to their ancestral land by invoking the name of the ancient Philistines – a people who had long since been swallowed by the sands of time. Jordan’s conquest of these territories violated international law and was recognized only by Great Britain and Pakistan, and its subsequent occupation could never be legitimized under established legal principles.
Despite Jordanian attempts to erase all memory of the Jews’ presence from Judea and Samaria, the ancient provenance of these lands is evidenced by the treasure-trove of Jewish holy sites they contain, including, Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus, the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hevron, and Ramat Rachel near Bethlehem.
The pedigree of the land is also reflected by the numerous Arabic place names that are merely etymological renderings of the original Hebrew, which names evidence Jewish habitation dating from Biblical times. These towns include: Batir, which corresponds to Beitar, the seat of Bar Kochba’s rebellion against Rome from 132 to 135 CE; Beit-Hur, an Arabic corruption of the name Beit Horon, where the Maccabees defeated the Assyrian Greeks; Beitin, corresponding to the town of Beit El, where the Prophet Shmuel held court and the Ark of the Covenant was kept before the Temple was built; and Tequa, the site of ancient Tekoa, where the Prophet Amos was born and received his prophesy.
Clearly, the Judenrein status of Judea and Samaria after 1948 did not reflect historical reality, but rather the slanted surreality created when the combined Arab-Muslim armies attempted to annihilate Israel and exterminate her people following the ill-fated U.N. partition vote. Considering that only the Jews had a continuous presence dating back to antiquity, it was clearly the Arab population that usurped traditional Jewish lands, not the other way around.
The Arab-Muslim world, aided and abetted by the political left, rationalizes this usurpation of Jewish lands with propaganda grounded in taqiyya – religiously-mandated dissimulation – to promote the lie that there was no Jewish presence in these lands before 1967 and that all subsequent Jewish “settlements” are colonial enterprises.
Israel has Superior Legal Claims to Judea and Samaria
In addition to the Jews’ historical connection to Judea and Samaria, Israel’s claim to these lands is consistent with established legal precedent as recognized by the San Remo Convention of 1920. Regarding the lands liberated from Ottoman rule during the First World War, the San Remo Resolution resolved as follows:
The High Contracting Parties agree to entrust, by application of the provisions of Article 22, the administration of Palestine, within such boundaries as may be determined by the Principal Allied Powers, to a Mandatory, to be selected by the said Powers.
The Mandatory will be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 8, 1917, by the British Government, and adopted by the other Allied Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, 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.
(San Remo Convention Resolution, Paragraph (b).)
Underlying the San Remo Resolution’s affirmation of the Balfour Declaration was the recognition that the Jews are defined by descent as well as religion, are indigenous to the Land of Israel, and are possessed of the inalienable right to political and national ascendancy in their homeland.
The San Remo program was ratified by the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine in 1922, the preamble of which included the following passages:
Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should 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; and
Whereas 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…
Consistent with this language, Article 2 of the Mandate clearly set forth the British obligation to effectuate these goals in accordance with the San Remo Resolution thus:
The Mandatory shall 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.
(League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, Article 2.)
Regarding the intended geographical scope of Jewish habitation and settlement, the Mandate specifically provided that:
The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in cooperation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.
(League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, Article 6.)
The Mandate did not call for a Jewish state with indefensible borders (as did President Obama when he attempted in his recent State Department Speech to pressure Israel to accept the 1949 armistice lines as permanent boundaries). Rather, by recognizing the Jewish right of “close settlement,” the Mandate contemplated a Jewish state that would incorporate some or all of Judea and Samaria – and for that matter Gaza. Indeed, the Mandate specifically recognized the Jews’ connection to their entire homeland, which historically included these territories.
Certainly, there was international consensus that the Jews were entitled by right to a national home in Israel. Jewish rights under the Palestine Mandate were not recognized in a vacuum, and Arab self-determination was addressed by the establishment of the French Mandate in Lebanon and Syria and the British Mandate in Mesopotamia (Iraq) and Transjordan.
There was no separate mandate for the “Palestinians” because they had no independent national existence, as evidenced by the lack of any historical record of an ancient Palestinian presence in the land and by the absence of any cultural or societal institutions that are the hallmarks of nationhood.
Palestinian nationality is a knowing contrivance, as even Yasser Arafat acknowledged in his authorized biography, wherein he stated:
“The Palestinian people have no national identity. I, Yasser Arafat, man of destiny, will give them that identity through conflict with Israel.”
Or, in the words of the late Zahir Muhse’in, who said:
The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel. For our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of Palestinian people, since Arab national interest demand that we posit the existence of a distinct ‘Palestinian people’ to oppose Zionism.
In contrast, both San Remo and the Mandate for Palestine evidenced universal recognition of the Jews’ historical rights in their homeland.
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