+972 Magazine's Stories of the Week

Directly In Your Inbox

Analysis News
Visit our Hebrew site, "Local Call" , in partnership with Just Vision.

From Jaffa to Beirut: Re-imagining a borderless Middle East

On a day trip through Israel, one truly understands how close the country is to the great cities of the Middle East. Unfortunately, distances here aren’t measured by kilometers, but rather by border crossings.  

By Leehee Rothschild

Sometimes I think that the greatest tragedy of this place is not what it has become, but what it could have been. The greatest rupture in the Middle East was the destruction of the train route from Alexandria to Istanbul – precisely where Israeli existence takes place, spatially and linguistically. “From Yaffa to Beirut,” a tour put on by Zochrot, an Israeli NGO dedicated to raising awareness of the Nakbaattempted to fill the gap created by this rupture. The tour seeks not only to mark the old border, but aspires to cross and do away with it.

The day starts in the ruins of Manshiyya, the border between present-day Tel Aviv and Jaffa, near the Hassan Bek Mosque and a museum dedicated to the Irgun, a right-wing Zionist militia. I decide to sleep in and join the tour just as it is about to head north. On the bus, people share stories about the Middle East of the past; they tell of a space characterized by movement, about grandfathers who drove from Tulkarem to Syria to sell their melons and about Jews who studied in the University of Beirut, where my grandmother studied.

We reach Caesarea, nearly halfway between Tel Aviv and Haifa, where the tour is based on the story of 87-year-old Abu Naim, a Palestinian refugee who currently resides in Jenin.

The remains of Palestinian Caesarea. (photo: Leehee Rothschild)

The remains of Palestinian Caesarea. (photo: Leehee Rothschild)

The occupation of Caesarea began on February 15, 1947; it was the first village to be demolished during the Nakba. According to Naim, the residents of the village were locked in the church and couldn’t tell what was going on – they could only hear explosions coming from outside. When the destruction was over, they came out to find that there was nothing left of their village. People escaped to the village of Tantura or further north. Some traveled east to Arara and Jenin.

Read: What happens when a Palestinian-Israeli travels to Beirut?

We walk amidst the archeological excavations and the souvenir shops. These same shops used to sell fishing equipment before 1947. The Palestinian history of Caesarea is not buried underground – the shreds that have not been swept away remain scattered above it.

We walk from the schoolyard to the mosque that was later turned into a restaurant (until a long struggle forced it to close down), to the remnants of the church. We conclude by the ruins of Abu Naim’s house, where we hear about the gold coins that lay underground, which the Brits prohibited the locals from digging.

We return to the bus and leave the seaside town, driving up to Kafr Bir’im, near the border with Lebanon. On November 19, 1948, an Israeli military commander and two soldiers came to the village, only to find that its residents hadn’t fled.

Church of Our Lady in Bir'em. Believers removed grafiti from its walls (Oren Ziv / Activestills)

Church of Our Lady in Bir’im. (Oren Ziv / Activestills)

Several weeks went by, and toward the end of November the residents of Bir’im were requested by the army and the minister of minorities (who previously visited the village to register its residents as Israeli citizens) to move to the nearby village of Jish, while they sealed the border and conducted military exercises in the area. The villagers have not been allowed to return ever since. A few years later, they sat in Jish and watched the army blow up their homes, one by one. The fact that they were now Israeli citizens changed very little for them. Today, some of the former residents live in Acre, while others in villages in the Galilee. And if that wasn’t enough, Bir’im’s church bell was stolen by members of the Hashomer Hatzair youth group from the nearby Kibbutz Baram, where it is still used today.

Even Israel’s Supreme Court acknowledged the residents’ claims in the years after Bir’im’s destruction, ruling that they should be allowed to return. However, the military prevents any return by continually declaring Bir’im a closed military zone. In addition, the Jewish National Fund has planted trees where the village used to be, and the Israeli Nature and Parks Authority runs an archeological site of an ancient synagogue, which means people need to pay to enter the village. The history of the ruined houses is not shared with the visitors, and the story of the new church bell, made in Lebanon by refugees from the village, also remains untold.

The refugees of Bir’im have maintained contact with their village. Each of their baptisms and weddings have taken place in the local church since the 70s, and summer camps for children take place on the village’s land every summer. The cemetery has also remained in use; “If we can’t return to Biram in our life, we shall return in our death,” say the refugees. But over the past eight months, there is life in the village. Last August, a group of refugees returned to the village and have refused to leave ever since. They take shifts sleeping in the village, hold activities for the children, plant edible plants and try to reconstruct the old structures. The Israel Land Administration is doing everything it can to get in their way, by uprooting plants and handing out eviction notices.

On the border between Israel and Lebanon. (photo: Leehee Rothschild)

On the border between Israel and Lebanon. (photo: Leehee Rothschild)

We leave Bir’im and end the day in Ras Al Naqura, by the border crossing with Lebanon. Annie Slemrod, a journalist who previously lived and reported in Lebanon, shared with us her recollections of Beirut. She speaks of a lively capital full of bookstores, small galleries and young people on Hamra Street — the intellectual center of the left. She also tells us about a harsh city with water shortages, constant power outages and people leaving for Berlin. Beirut, she says, is a city of refugees: 300,000-400,000 Palestinian refugees scattered among 12 camps across the country. They need a permit to be allowed to work, and even after acquiring one they are still limited to a small list of professions. Most of their lives take place inside the camp; there they live, dream and learn, and teach their children about return.

The sign under which Annie stands shows that Beirut is only 120 kilometers to the north — a two-hour drive, perhaps less. But where we live, distances are not measured by kilometers: they are measured by border crossings. And even as we stand at Ras Al Naqura, Beirut still feels very far away.

Leehee Rothschild has been active in the Palestinian struggle for over a decade. She currently works with Anarchists Against the Wall and Boycott From Within. She writes about activism and political struggle on her blog, Radically Blonde and other publications.

Related:
Why the inconvenient truths of the Nakba must be recognized
PHOTOS: Nakba commemorations from Gaza to the Galilee

Before you go...

A lot of work goes into creating articles like the one you just read. And while we don’t do this for the money, even our model of non-profit, independent journalism has bills to pay.

+972 Magazine is owned by our bloggers and journalists, who are driven by passion and dedication to the causes we cover. But we still need to pay for editing, photography, translation, web design and servers, legal services, and more.

As an independent journalism outlet we aren’t beholden to any outside interests. In order to safeguard that independence voice, we are proud to count you, our readers, as our most important supporters. If each of our readers becomes a supporter of our work, +972 Magazine will remain a strong, independent, and sustainable force helping drive the discourse on Israel/Palestine in the right direction.

Support independent journalism in Israel/Palestine Donate to +972 Magazine today
View article: AAA
Share article
Print article
  • LEAVE A COMMENT

    * Required

    COMMENTS

    1. Rab

      “…Beirut is only 120 kilometers to the north – a two-hour drive, perhaps less. But where we live, distances are not measured by kilometers: they are measured by border crossings.”

      Indeed. If only the Arab states and the local Arabs had respected this fact and withheld their attacks in 1947 and 1948, and then conceded defeat and accepted Israel on friendly terms after their losses, then today these borders would be just like that between Canada and the US. Right?

      Reply to Comment
      • Average American

        Ha! If only they had not been bothered by a flood of invaders from Russia and Europe. If only they had conceded to be under your boot.

        Reply to Comment
        • Bar

          “Bothering?”

          They were purchasing land and building and developing it.

          They were doing so with the blessing of, first, the Ottomans, and then, the British, and then, the international community.

          And the “bothered” Arabs? They were so bothered that Arab emigration to this area surged, that incomes were higher than surrounding countries, that their mortality rates quickly improved over those of neighboring countries…and they were so thrilled about this that they would regularly attack Jewish communities, even when they numbered fewer than 10% of the population.

          Reply to Comment
          • Bar

            Actually, I’ve seen estimates vary from 6-8.5% of the land. So what? Is it the Jews’ fault the Arabs decided to end the Jews’ land shopping ventures with a couple of wars?

            By the way, your article doesn’t say anything new, merely tries to explain away a known problem – the fact the Palestinians didn’t own or control most of the land.

            It is also telling the author does not discuss how the Arabs came to control as much agricultural land as they did on the eve of Israel’s creation (as he notes in the essay). The reason is that the British started giving it to them beginning in the 1930s (Hope-Simpson), clearly violating the terms of their Mandate.

            It’s also telling that so many discussions about the Palestinians, population and land by scholars who come to the topic with a bias (thereby undermining their credibility and scholarship) completely ignore Arab emigration into Mandatory Palestine (Arafat is Egyptian, Edward Said is Egyptian, Leila Khaled is Lebanese…) in the same years that Jews were arriving.

            Reply to Comment
          • carl

            ‘merely tries to explain away a known problem – the fact the Palestinians didn’t own or control most of the land’:
            did you read it? the article, among other issues, explains how a modern understanding of “state land” and “private property” was imposed on the region and that, for example, also “in Iraq still in 1951 only 0.3 percent of registered land (or 50 percent of the total amount) was categorized as ‘private property’”.

            “It is also telling the author does not discuss how the Arabs came to control as much agricultural land..”:
            1857, Herman Melville (1819-1891) during a trip in the region: “all who cultivate the soil in Palestine are Arabs”.
            The local majority did not got possess of agricultural land on the eve of Israel’s creation. The Hope-Simpson report, thank you for mentioning it, pointed out that: “The result of the purchase of land in Palestine by the Jewish National Fund has been that that land has been extra-territorialised. It ceases to be land from which the Arab can gain any advantage either now or at any time in the future”

            ‘….scholars who come to the topic with a bias…’:
            Are you an expert about bias? about whom are you speaking about? if somebody does not embrace your ideology is automatically biased? or is it a matter of where a certain author was educated?

            “completely ignore Arab emigration into Mandatory Palestine (Arafat is Egyptian, Edward Said is Egyptian, Leila Khaled is Lebanese…) in the same years that Jews were arriving”:
            1) In Manna’s words: “A Palestinian who moved to south Lebanon or a Lebanese who moved to Palestine — or a Syrian or a Jordanian, for that matter — is surely not a foreigner because he is part of the culture of the society of Bilad-al-Sham, or Greater Syria, where there were no borders between countries […] there is a big difference between them and foreigners who came from Europe, whether Christians or Jews.”

            2) At least until the 1920s the growth of the Arab population — not an isolated case in the region (in Iraq, for example, between 1867 and 1905 the population went from 1 million 250 thousand to 2 million 250 thousand) — had little to do with Jewish immigration. As Justin McCarthy noted, “the province that experienced the greatest Jewish population growth (about .035 annually), Jerusalem Sanjak, was the province with the lowest rate of growth of Muslim population (.009).” The increase in Palestine’s Arab population was mostly due to high demographic growth: a phenomenon which started already in the middle of the 1800s, thus prior both to the first wave of Zionist immigration and the first construction company founded in the 60s in Jerusalem by Yosef Rivlin.

            Both peoples have the full right to be here and to self-determinate their present and future. But to claim that Israel can establish settlements in the palestinian territories because they are on “state land” is a flawed argument.

            Reply to Comment
          • Bar

            “all who cultivate the soil in Palestine are Arabs”.

            Your point being? We know the Arabs weren’t building manufacturing plants in the 1800s.

            “The local majority did not got possess of agricultural land on the eve of Israel’s creation.”

            Of course they didn’t. Who said they did. That doesn’t change the fact that most of Palestine was not owned by anybody, was not being cultivated (“underutilized is a word that keeps coming up with the British) and the ownership that did take place under the Ottomans in the 1800s, meant that many outsiders owned the land.

            “The Hope-Simpson report”

            Thanks to that report, in 1948 the Palestinians could claim much more land than they had in 1930.

            ” ‘….scholars who come to the topic with a bias…’:
            Are you an expert about bias?”

            I’ve been reading these materials for many, many year. There are apologists for both sides. When I read them, I take what I can and try to find primary sources to tell me what to think.

            “Greater Syria…” are locals.

            Thanks for killing the entire premise of Palestinian refugees. Virtually all Palestinian 1948 refugees moved precisely into the very territories which you listed as being local.

            Population growth: There are many conflicting data about this issue and there are significant problems with Ottoman and British record-keeping regarding the Arab population. That’s why nobody can lock this down. However, there was Arab emigration, we don’t know how much. Also, we will never know to what extent mortality rates fell because of the Jewish influx into Mandatory Palestine which meant the economy was far better for everyone (compare to other British-created Middle Eastern entities) and with better incomes, there is more food on the table and better chance of getting medical care for the sick.

            “Both peoples have the full right to be here and to self-determinate their present and future.”

            Precisely.

            “But to claim that Israel can establish settlements in the palestinian territories because they are on “state land” is a flawed argument.”

            This is a different argument, but with all due respect, this land is not Palestinian territories, it is merely territories. This land is to be negotiated until an arrangement is made. And, by the way, on the basis of the destruction of Syria and Iraq by sectarian violence, the upheavals in Egypt and the threats facing Lebanon and Jordan, it is becoming more and more evident every day that any deal with the Palestinians is going to be fraught with significant dangers for Israel. We’ve already seen what Hamas did to Fatah and it’s not hard to imagine an upcoming sequel.

            Reply to Comment
          • carl

            Bar
            You write: “‘All who cultivate the soil in Palestine are Arab’. Your point being? We know the Arabs weren’t building manufacturing plants in the 1800s”:

            Your sentence would have made some sense if Herman Melville would have written that “all the arabs in Palestine cultivate the soil”.
            Melville, instead wrote that “all who cultivate the soil in Palestine are Arabs”. So all the soil that was under cultivation was cultivated by Arab-Palestinians. The latter did not get their agricultural lands soon before 1948: they were already since long time the only people cultivating the land. Clearer?

            “Of course they didn’t. Who said they did. That doesn’t change the fact that most of Palestine was not owned by anybody, was not being cultivated”:
            That why the article that I posted is so important. Yours are mainly ideologic statements. We need academic arguments.

            Bottom line:
            “First, [your argument] is based on the transposition of practices and customs that had little to do with the particular local context, representing an approach which, in the words of Roger Owen, tends to translate ‘Arabic and Turkish terms uncritically into their supposed equivalents in a predominantly European legal vocabulary’. Second, it aims at justifying a solipsistic thesis, according to which there is a right to exploit a land without first dealing with the local majority; ‘[We request the] Sole right – a memorandum of 1919 traceable to the Universal Zionist Organization reports – to minerals including oil, valuable earth, mineral spring etc. belonging to the state and the right to exploit them as well the natural forces of the country’.
            Finally, it does not properly consider the fact that, across the entire Ottoman Empire, with the exception of Egypt and Lebanon, there was a negligible amount (perhaps 5 percent) of ‘private property’ (mülk). This means that a similar argument, should it be held valid, should also be applied to the over forty countries which today make up what used to be the Ottoman Empire, including some of those adjacent to the Holy Land; for ‘with regard to land ownership – Avraham Granott noted in 1936 – Palestine does not differ from its neighbour countries’.
            Following this line of reasoning, the native populations of these nations should also not have been considered ‘legal owners’ of the land they farmed or grazed either. This means for example that individuals in Iraq – where still in 1951 only 0.3 percent of registered land (or 50 percent of the total amount) was categorized as ‘private property’ – should also have been identified as simple ‘renters’ of land which was not theirs. But ‘the mîrî land’ – as Moshe Ma’oz clarified recently – ‘belonged to the people who lived on it. Supporting the contrary means to interpret the past using a selective and ideological, as well as Western-centered, approach’.”

            Reply to Comment
          • Bar

            Again, the vast majority of the land was not being cultivated. Period.

            It also didn’t qualify under the Ottoman land divisions that would have indicated ownership of the land. This isn’t ideology, this is fact. If you’re really confused, consider that the population of today’s western part of Ottoman Palestine houses a population that is over 20 times larger than the period you wish to bring to my attention.

            As for the argument regarding the other Arab states in the Middle East, guess what? They were artificial constructs of the West created by the same forces that created Mandatory Palestine, TransJordan and which would culminate in Israel’s creation. If you really don’t understand this, take a look at how the real Middle East is being re-formed these days in a manner that excludes those imposed borders.

            The desire to claim that this land was Arab land is very strong, but that won’t change the facts. The facts are that most of this land was not owned or controlled by Arabs; that Ottomans changed land ownership rules; that Zionists abided by those rules both during Ottoman rule and after it; that the portion of this land west of the Jordan River was designated by the international community to be a Jewish home; that Churchill admitted the plan was to reach a point where demographics meant the Jewish home would become a Jewish state; that vast land-holdings claimed by Palestinians today were given to them against Mandate objectives by the British after Hope-Simpson; that Israel is populated (half of its population) by Jewish refugees and their descendants from Arab and Muslim states as a result of the ’48 War and they lost entire communities and vast holdings of land and wealth – almost certainly far greater than what the Palestinians lost – and that for a peace agreement, Israel has offered to set up and contribute to a very large reparations fund to support Palestinian land and property losses.

            Reply to Comment
          • carl

            Bar
            You write: “Greater Syria…” are locals. Thanks for killing the entire premise of Palestinian refugees.”:

            Why? They were part of a protonation – and in fact the Nabi Musa festival involved only persons in present day israel and the pal territories – and at the same time they moved freely in a broader region with which they had, as it is normal, some affinities.
            Most of the Arab Palestinians that Joan Peters and other “outsiders” defined as “foreigners,” or “former invaders,” were indeed people deeply rooted in what alDin alRamli (1585-1671), Islamic lawyer from Ramla (yes Ramla), defined in the XVII century ‘Filastin biladuna,’ i.e. ‘Palestine our country’; the fact that it was not a separate political and administrative entity did not make alRamli’s “Filastin” less real.

            ‘There are many conflicting data about this issue and there are significant problems with Ottoman and British record-keeping regarding the Arab population..’:
            I agree with you. The only certainty that we have is that at the beginning of the 20th century the 9/10th of the population in present-day israel and the palestinian territories was composed by arab-palestinians.

            “But to claim that Israel can establish settlements in the palestinian territories because they are on “state land” is a flawed argument’. This is a different argument, but with all due respect, this land is not Palestinian territories, it is merely territories”:

            Did you write that you can detect when you are reading something from a propagandist, right? Settlements are not built on what Europeans or Americans would consider “state land” and the Palestinian territories are recognized as such by almost every country of the world. Both Israel and Palestine dont have agreed boundaries in the context of a peace agreement. Based on your reasoning, Palestine, recognized as a non-member State by the UNGA on 29 November 2012, could theoretically start building settlements on Israeli soil.

            .”it is becoming more and more evident every day that any deal with the Palestinians is going to be fraught with significant dangers for Israel”:
            what is going on beyond the green line, including the exploitation of the Palestinian natural resources (94 percent of the materials produced nowadays in the Israeli quarries in the West Bank is transported to Israel), have little to do with security.

            Both people have the right to self-determinate their past, present and future. To write that the Palestinian territories are just “territories” is like to say “war is peace”.

            Reply to Comment
          • Bar

            Refugees or locals?

            “at the same time they moved freely in a broader region with which they had, as it is normal, some affinities.”

            First of all, you can find the use of the name “Filastin” in the writings of al-Muqadeisi in the 10th Century. Of course, he points out that in Jerusalem, the majority is Jewish and Christian and there is a dearth of Muslims.

            Filastin is the name used because that’s what the Romans renamed Judea to spite the Jews. That’s all it is. If you can link the Arabs of the 15th Century to today’s Arabs, I can link the Jews of the 1st Century or the 10th Century to this area as well, right? And if I can do that and show you writings in Hebrew and Aramaic then suddenly we know who came when, right?

            As to your response to my claim that you’ve undermined your own position about refugees, I’m afraid your response doesn’t address it at all. If people are moving around freely and regularly in the regional areas we now know as a variety of Middle East countries, then the movement out of Mandatory Palestine and into TransJordan or Syria is clearly something that might have happened anyway and may be chalked up to another move.

            I realize this truly undermines your claims and that it’s hard to accept, but the fact is that most Palestinian “refugees” moved into areas that are within 100 miles of Israel.

            “The only certainty that we have is that at the beginning of the 20th century the 9/10th of the population in present-day israel and the palestinian territories was composed by arab-palestinians.”

            Yes. But what was it at the beginning of the 19th Century? And if we go by numbers then Jerusalem is Jewish because there was a Jewish majority in it in the mid-1800s, right?

            “Settlements are not built on what Europeans or Americans would consider “state land” and the Palestinian territories are recognized as such by almost every country of the world.”

            This argument is brought up all the time as if the “world” acts in a fair or apolitical manner. The “world” agrees, in the United Nations, to treat Israel differently than any and all other countries and has been doing this for decades because there is an Arab bloc, a Muslim bloc and a non-aligned nations bloc dominated by the Muslim bloc. The Muslim bloc not only carries the weight of its own hundreds of millions of people, but also the influence of controlling fuel and vast landmass on the planet. When the Russians or the Chinese or even the French do their bidding at the UN, it is purely political and has nothing to do with justice or proper legalities.

            Having said that, San Remo, the British Mandate and Article 80 of the UN Charter are serious international documents that hold sway over this conflict. They are not supposed to be ignored and even if you oppose
            settlements in “Palestinian territories” the fact is that those binding agreements and rules of the international community DEMAND that Jews be permitted to settle in all of the land from the ocean to the river. I challenge you to prove me wrong on this point.

            Furthermore, UNSCR 242 is not just a Security Council resolution (which, admittedly is under Title VI and therefore advisory), it is the underpinning of the Oslo Agreements between Israel and the PLO and therefore it drives the situation. 242 essentially permits the presence of Israeli troops on any of this land until there is peace and recognized borders for all states in the region. Furthermore, it specifies that Israel will only need to move back to territories, not “the” territories. The reason for this wording has been made clear by people who introduced this language and it essentially means that Israel is to negotiate what it gives up and what it doesn’t but not all of the land is to be given up.

            “Based on your reasoning, Palestine, recognized as a non-member State by the UNGA on 29 November 2012, could theoretically start building settlements on Israeli soil.”

            As far as I know, the UNGA resolution, which like all UNGA resolutions is merely advisory, specifies 1967 lines. I guess that means that Palestinians could build in the areas around eastern Jerusalem. Oh wait, THEY ALREADY DO. All the time.

            “what is going on beyond the green line, including the exploitation of the Palestinian natural resources (94 percent of the materials produced nowadays in the Israeli quarries in the West Bank is transported to Israel), have little to do with security.”

            Indeed, if the Israelis weren’t there with their hundreds of factories and dozens of settlements, the Palestinians would be starving. There are hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who survive economically precisely because of Israeli industry.

            “Both people have the right to self-determinate their past, present and future. To write that the Palestinian territories are just “territories” is like to say “war is peace”.”

            They are just territories and they are disputed territories. If you want them to more than that, then you should spend all your energy convincing the Palestinian leadership to sign an end-of-conflict agreement with Israel on the basis of Israeli offers of the past because then these disputed territories would become Palestine. After all, the Israelis have offered the Palestinians 100% of Gaza, 95% of Judea and Samaria, land to replace the missing 5%, and all the Arab neighborhoods as well as control over the Christian and Muslim holy places in eastern Jerusalem. According to your own claims, this represents nearly ALL of the “Palestinian territories.” Right? In fact, the deals also offered to remove all the Jews living beyond the 4-5% line beyond the Green Line.

            If you are serious about your positions, then your energy against Israel is clearly misplaced. It is time to convince the Palestinians to accept what they claim they want…

            Reply to Comment
          • carl

            BAR

            ‘….Filastin is the name used because that’s what the Romans renamed Judea to spite the Jews…’

            It was used much earlier with herodotus and even earlier with aristotle, that wrote about a “lake in palestine”. Its cognate, peleset, can be found in egyptian texts 1000 years before christ. A “duke of palestine” is also mentioned in the talmud.

            ‘…And if I can do that and show you writings in Hebrew and Aramaic then suddenly we know who came when, right?…’

            “The wedge script records an inventory of sounds that is closer to that found in Classical Arabic (ca. 28 sounds) than to that found in Biblical Hebrew (ca. 22 sounds)”. W. BRIGHT (ed), The World’s Writing System, Oxford UP, 1996.

            ‘….But what was it at the beginning of the 19th Century?..’:
            NO, beginning of the 20th century.

            ‘…And if we go by numbers then Jerusalem is Jewish because there was a Jewish majority in it in the mid-1800s, right?…’:

            Jewish absolute majority from 1896 (christian were mainly arabs). A majority is not 9/10th of the population and I Never claimed that Jerusalem should not be shared. The opposite is the case.

            ‘…treat Israel differently than any and all other countries…’

            shtuiot, Israel is the only EU member state to be admitted in horizon 2020 and dozens of other EU programs (just to speak about the EU). it is single out
            for how positively is treated.

            ‘…Having said that, San Remo, the British Mandate and Article 80 of the UN Charter are serious international documents that hold sway over this conflict. …I challenge you to prove me wrong on this point…’:

            The assertion that Article 80 of the UN Charter implicitly recognizes the Mandate for Palestine is much more complex. One of the legal advisors to the Jewish Agency, Jacob Robinson, published a book in 1947 that presented a historical account of the Palestine Question and the UN. He explained that when the Jewish Agency learned that the Allied Powers had discussed at the Yalta Conference (February 1945) a new system of international supervision to supersede the system of mandates, the Agency decided to submit a formal request to the San Francisco Conference (April-June 1945) to obtain a safeguarding clause in the UN Charter. The proposed clause would have prevented a trusteeship agreement from altering the Jewish right to nationhood secured by the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate for Palestine. The UN Conference ignored the Agency’s request and stipulated in article 80 of the Charter that the UN organization did have the necessary power to conclude trusteeship agreements that could alter existing rights held under a mandate.

            Robinson tried to portray a legal setback as a victory and convince everyone that Article 80 of the Charter accomplished the Agency’s stated objective. Indeed, the final text adopted by the working paper for international trusteeship contained an exception that allowed trusteeship agreements to do exactly what the Jewish Agency had tried to prohibit. In Article 80’s words: “Except as may be agreed upon in individual trusteeship arrangements placing each territory under the trusteeship system, nothing in this chapter should be construed in and of itself to alter in any manner the rights of any state or any peoples in any territory”.

            Article 1 of General Assembly resolution 24(I) reserved the right of the UN to decide not to assume any function or power of the League of Nations. On the 19th March 1948, during the 271st meeting of the Security Council, US Ambassador Warren Austin cited UN General Assembly resolution 24(I) and pointed out:

            The United Nations does not automatically fall heir to the responsibilities either of the League of Nations or of the Mandatory Power in respect of the Palestine Mandate. The record seems to us entirely clear that the United Nations did not take over the League of Nations Mandate system.

            On top of all these considerations, the thesis of “exclusivity”, besides being unjustified from an historical point of view – Palestine did not belong in an exclusive way to one single population in its entire history – is incorrect also from the legal perspective imposed since the early stage by London. Hubert Young, an important figure of the Foreign Office, wrote in November 1920 that the commitment made by London “in respect of Palestine is the Balfour Declaration constituting it a National Home for the Jewish People”. Lord Curzon corrected him: “No. ‘Establishing a National Home in Palestine for the Jewish people’ – a very different proposition”.

            The British White Paper of June 1922 – the first document that officially clarified the interpretation of the Mandate’s text – clarified that the Balfour Declaration does “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’”. Furthermore, it stressed – and this is perhaps the most relevant aspect – that the “Zionist congress” that took place in Carlsbad in September 1921 had officially accepted that “the determination of the Jewish people to live with the Arab people on terms of unity and mutual respect, and together with them to make the common home into a flourishing community, the upbuilding of which may assure to each of its peoples an undisturbed national development”.

            It is only in light on these clarifications that the preamble as well as Article 2 of the Mandate text can and should be understood. It is noteworthy that Zionist consent to such interpretation was requested, and received, before the Mandate was confirmed in July 1922. In Weizmann’s words: “It was made clear to us that confirmation of the Mandate would be conditional on our acceptance of the policy as interpreted in the White Paper [of 1922], and my colleagues and I therefore had to accept it, which we did, though not without some qualms”.

            Israel’s right to defend itself against terror and discrimination is something that any person interested in peace cannot but support. Equally true is that the attempt to exploit and colonize the Palestinian territories through a misleading use of history, international law, and international consensus is a dangerous threat that requires better public understanding.

            ‘…the Palestinians would be starving…’

            Your attitude recalls to mind the times in which historical figures used to praise the economic opportunities afforded by the benevolent colonial power to the occupied people.

            Most of the things about which you wrote are more complex than what you think.
            Two peoples, two states, respect for the other: no other solutions.

            Reply to Comment
          • Bar

            For some reason, my response fell to the bottom of the discussion.

            Reply to Comment
          • rose

            Bar@
            Edward Said’s mother was born in Nazareth (the father of the mother was born in Safed). Said’s grandfather was Palestinian. The fact that Said moved to Cairo , or that somebody else of his family moved to work or to study or simply to live in other cities in the region, is irrelevant and does not make them “less palestinian”.
            Also Leila Khaled, that I personally dislike, was born in haifa and moved with her family in lebanon after 1948. Wait, was Mahmoud Darwish Palestinian? Or should we consider him a lebanese, or more in general a ‘foreigner’, because his family was forced to leave to Lebanon in 1948?
            Funny that you speak about bias.

            Reply to Comment
          • Bar

            Hmmm…no mention of Arafat.

            Leila Khaled’s parents were Lebanese. She acknowledged this on this very site in a recent interview.

            Said wasn’t a refugee and he wasn’t a Palestinian, although he LIED about it his entire life.

            Carl, below tries to justify the known emigration of large numbers of people (although, strangely, the British only counted the Jews coming in, not the Arabs, and kept writing reports where they described their confusion at how Palestinian demographic growth was surprisingly high considering their recent mortality rates) by telling us that it was normal for people from nearby Ottoman provinces (Palestine was part of the Syrian province) to move in for work purposes. Yes, it was. And therefore we can all deduce that when many of these families moved away in 1948, they were going back to their old homes, homelands or places to which they would have moved anyway.

            An unpleasant truth considering the cult around the refugees, and the constant attacks on Jewish Zionists being “Europeans” (though the Arab and Muslim states helped with that one and half of Israel’s population today are the Jews who used to but no longer live in those countries) but true nonetheless.

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            Illegal immigration was a negligible factor in the increase of Palestine’s Muslim population, as the British report from Jan. 1946 makes clear. There were high mortality rates in the late Ottoman period due to epidemics, plus population growth was dampened by conscription; otherwise the rate of natural increase remained constant throughout the British years.

            palestineremembered.com/Articles/A-Survey-of-Palestine/Story6652.html

            For that matter, the total of registered Arab/Muslim immigrants throughout the whole period added up to ~8,600 persons (I’m not counting the pre-1935 “Christian” immigrant column since it doesn’t distinguish between Europeans and Arabs) vs. 367,845 Jewish persons. Obviously, the Palestinians expelled by the Zionists during 1948 were not recent immigrants.

            palestineremembered.com/Articles/A-Survey-of-Palestine/Story6626.html

            Reply to Comment
          • Bar

            You know, the other day I met a young Lebanese man, Muslim, who had lived in Gaza for a while. We got into a discussion and then a debate about Israel and its neighbors and it was fascinating in some respects. He told me for example, that Jews were always treated fairly and equally in Muslim lands. I told him “what about jizya?” He said, “So what? They need protection.” Then he said, “All the Jews of Israel are from other places.” I said, “So are many Palestinians.” He said, “No, they’re not.” I said, “Are you telling me that Arabs didn’t come from neighboring areas into Palestine for work?” Without even blinking he answered, “Yes, of course, but so what, they were from Syria and Lebanon and other areas that were always part of the same land.”

            End of discussion.

            Look, nobody knows the numbers because the Ottomans were lousy census takers and the British did not count Arab emigration into Mandatory Palestine. For example, TransJordanians who moved into Palestine were able to move in without even registering anywhere. But the fact is that there was some Arab emigration. How many Palestinians are called Al Masry (Egyptian), just as that Hamas official claimed while asking Egyptians for help with their economy?

            Reply to Comment
          • rose

            bar@
            your logic is not clear to me, that’s why i am interested in it.
            According to you Leila Khaled’s parents were Lebanese (btw, the author of that article is wrong,as proved by her biography; she didnt “acknowledged” anything, just that she was born in Haifa where her father was a café owner; why, if her parents were lebanese, they were forced to live in a refugee camp and were denied lebanese citizenship?) and so she is not palestinian, despite being born in haifa.
            Said, born in Jerusalem, from a mother born in Nazareth and a grandfather born in Safed, is not palestinian because he left very young.
            What is the logic of this double-approach?

            Reply to Comment
          • Bar

            We aren’t in dispute. My point is that when people point at Jewish immigration to Mandatory Palestine and condescendingly claim that this was colonization, they should first look in their own closet. Khaled’s parents were Lebanese. They moved into this territory and she was born in Haifa. Okay, so if she’s a “Palestinian” then so are all the Jews who moved there and their children. Right?

            As for why her parents were made to live in a refugee camp, etc., I’m afraid I don’t know the details of her family but I do know that the Arab states refused to allow Palestinian refugees to settle in their countries, and used the refugee camps to press a political point against Israel. Also, it was well know the camps were a place receiving support from the UN and many people moved to the camps precisely because it alleviated some economic concerns for them.

            As for Said, enjoy the read:
            http://www.meforum.org/191/edward-said-and-me

            Nobody bothers to defend his being a Palestinian any longer.

            And, again, Arafat was also Egyptian.

            Erakat, by the way, has Saudi Arabian roots.

            The point being, as I say above, that before we get into this “Jews are European colonizers” bullshit, look in the Palestinians’ closet first.

            Reply to Comment
          • rose

            Bar@
            You write that “We aren’t in dispute”, that
            “Khaled’s parents were Lebanese” (no they are not) and that “Nobody bothers to defend his [Said] being a Palestinian any longer”:
            How come?
            Your article, from a biased neo-con source, simply claims that “Said was in fact not exiled from Jerusalem”. At best, and this not the case, it proves that Said is a lier. Certainly doesn’t prove that he is not Palestinian, as you claim.
            Said was born in Jerusalem, from a mother born in Nazareth and a grandfather born in Safed. How can you claim that he is not Palestinian? At best you can claim that he lied when he claimed that he grew up in jerusalem. You claim that a Jew arrived from New York last year is legitimately Israeli. How come that a person born in jerusalem form a family born in palestine is not palestinian simply because he left palestine when he was quite young?

            You commented a valuable academic article on a very prestigious journal saying that “scholars who come to the topic with a bias (thereby undermining their credibility and scholarship)”…could it be that you see in others what you contain?

            Reply to Comment
          • Bar

            Rose, Said built his career around being a Palestinian refugee. He was raised in Cairo and was in Cairo in 1948. Yet, somehow, he is a Palestinian refugee.

            Okay. If that’s what you want to claim, then claim what you will. I come from a family of refugees and they hold a very different meaning for that term.

            Regarding my bias, it is most certainly there. I don’t deny it for a minute. Yet, if you accept the writings of someone like Said, at least when you read what I write you can be certain that I’m not making things up.

            Reply to Comment
          • rose

            Bar@
            we never discussed if he was or not a refugee. We discussed if he was or not Palestinian and you claimed that “nobody bothers to defend his being a Palestinian any longer.”
            This goes beyond being biased. Said was born in Jerusalem, from a mother born in Nazareth and a grandfather born in Safed: he was 100% Palestinian.

            Reply to Comment
          • Bar

            ” HERE ARE the bare bones of the truth: Said’s father Wadie (also known as William) grew up and went to school in Jerusalem but evidently emigrated in 1911 to the United States. During World War I, he reportedly served with American forces in Europe before returning to the Middle East with a U.S. passport to start what would become a very successful career in business. At least nine years prior to his son’s birth in 1935, however, Wadie Said was already residing permanently in Cairo, Egypt. There, according to the 1926 French edition of the Egyptian Directory, he owned the Standard Stationery Company. The company prospered sufficiently to open a branch in Alexandria in 1929 and in due course a second store in Cairo itself.

            It was to Cairo that Edward Said’s mother Hilda (Musa), of Lebanese origin, moved upon marrying his father in 1932, and it was in Cairo that the nuclear family continued to reside over the ensuing decades in a series of ever more elegant and spacious apartments, the last three of which were located in Cairo’s best neighborhood on the island of Zamalek in the Nile River. Documentation of their residences and other pertinent facts can be traced in decades’ worth of consecutive annual editions of the Egyptian Directory, the Cairo telephone directory, Who’s Who in Egypt and the Middle East, and other sources; a long-time family friend, Huda Gindy, a professor of English at Cairo University, has reminisced in an interview about her former neighbors, the Saids, who from 1940 lived upstairs from her at 1 El-Aziz Osman Street. By 1949, the capital of Standard Stationery was listed in the Egyptian Trade Index at the then very significant sum of 120,000 Egyptian pounds.

            And Jerusalem? In that city lived Wadie Said’s brother Boulos Yusef, his wife Nabiha, and their five children. To this branch of the family, as to other destinations, the affluent Cairo-based Said made periodic visits. In November 1935, during one of those visits, Edward Said was born. On his birth certificate, prepared by the ministry of health of the British Mandate, his parents specified their permanent address as Cairo, and, indicating that they maintained no residence in Palestine, left blank the space for a local address. Similarly blank is the entry for a local address in the church record of Edward Said’s baptism, an event that likewise too place in Jerusalem two years later. Of the 29 telehone and commercial directories for Jerusalem and Palestine from 1931 through 1948 that I was able to locate, more than half carry business and/ residential listings for Boulos Said and his wife. There are no listings for Edward Said’s parents any of the directories, whether in English, Hebrew or Arabic.”

            http://cosmos.ucc.ie/cs1064/jabowen/IPSC/glosses/weinerAttackOnSaid.html

            Reply to Comment
          • rose

            bar@
            ‘Carl tries to justify the known emigration of large numbers of people’:
            The important article that Carl posted was not about immigration. But, even if you want to stick to demographic data, you should consider the Emigration process that was registered in the 30s in Palestine (not only Immigration).
            Latin America hosts the largest Palestinian presence outside the Arab world: these people arrived from Palestine mainly in the 1930s.

            ‘And therefore we can all deduce that when many of these families moved away in 1948, they were going back to their old homes:’
            Are you implying that the about 700.000 Palestinian refugees were mainly immigrants from other countries? Are you also comparing them with immigrants from other continents?

            Reply to Comment
          • Bar

            “Are you implying that the about 700.000 Palestinian refugees were mainly immigrants from other countries?”

            Of course not. Many of them were born there and many had families going back to the 1800s and some from even earlier. And many of them came from other countries and many of them came from families who came from other countries. The suggestion that somehow the Palestinians of today are all autochthonous to Israel simply doesn’t hold water.

            The implications of this, and what I’m trying to say, is that it isn’t serious when we try to refer to the Israelis as colonizers of this land and the Palestinians as its true owners.

            “Are you also comparing them with immigrants from other continents?”

            Sure I am. First of all, half of Israel’s Jewish population comes from Arab and Muslim countries from this very region. These Jewish refugees are not from other continents (well, I guess you could say North Africans are not Asia, but since the language and the customs, not to mention Islamic domination prevails in these areas, we can claim they’re very similar.

            But I get your meaning. You want me to say that a Jewish person from Romania in 1890 who purchased land in the Ottoman Syrian province of Palestine is different from an Arab from the Syrian part of the province who moved to Ottoman Palestine. Well, he is different because he belongs to a culture whose connection to this land precedes that of the Arab Syrian immigrant by 1000-1500 years. That Romanian read and prayed in the language that pervaded this area 2000-3000 years ago and was seeking to return to it via legal channels and through the purchase of land. So they are different. Does one have a greater right to the land over the other? No. That right was determined by the history of this conflict and the belief of the Arabs that they do indeed hold superior title to this land and may therefore launch wars over it instead of compromising peacefully.

            Reply to Comment
          • rose

            Bar@
            Most of them were from this land, and almost all of them from this region. Furthermore, Immigration in Palestine cannot be assessed without considering also Emigration from it.

            I think that your comment has several weak points. I focus only on 1 of them. You claim that ‘is different because he belongs to a culture whose connection to this land precedes that of the Arab Syrian immigrant by 1000-1500 years. That Romanian read and prayed in the language that pervaded this area 2000-3000 years ago..’.

            I read a few days ago a sentence by one of the most renown scholars of the last century, Maxime Rodinson:

            “The Arab population of Palestine were native in all the usual senses of that word. Ignorance, sometimes backed up by hypocritical propaganda, has spread a number of misconceptions on this subject, unfortunately very widely held. It has been said that since the Arabs took the country by military conquest in the seventh century, they are occupiers like any other, like the Romans, the Crusaders and the Turks. Why therefore should they be regarded as any more native than the others, and in particular than the Jews, who were native to that country in ancient times, or at least occupiers of longer standing? To the historian the answer is obvious. A small contingent of Arabs from Arabia did indeed conquer the country in the seventh century. But as a result of factors which were briefly outlined in the first chapter of this book, the Palestinian population soon became Arabized under Arab domination, just as earlier it had been Hebraicized, Aramaicized, to some degree even Hellenized. It became Arab in a way that it was never to become Latinized or Ottomanized. The invaded melted with the invaders. It is ridiculous to call the English of today invaders and occupiers, on the grounds that England was conquered from Celtic peoples by the Angles, Saxons and Jutes in the fifth and sixth centuries. The population was “Anglicized” and nobody suggests that the peoples which have more or less preserved the Celtic tongues – the Irish, the Welsh or the Bretons – should be regarded as the true natives of Kent or Suffolk, with greater titles to these territories than the English who live in those counties.”

            Reply to Comment
          • andrew r

            You want me to say that a Jewish person from Romania in 1890 who purchased land in the Ottoman Syrian province of Palestine is different from an Arab from the Syrian part of the province who moved to Ottoman Palestine.

            Anyone migrating to the Ottoman Empire for permanent residence was obligated to take Ottoman citizenship, which Europeans, including Zionist Jews, typically didn’t. Still, if it had stopped with the first aliyah, I’d be inclined to dismiss the Rothschild-backed colonies as no threat. There was a major difference when the WZO resolved to obtain land for the “Jewish people” and create a majority immigrant population over Palestine. This is what makes Zionism a colonial-settler movement: the creation of a an alien state that would privilege the settlers over the natives.

            And before WWI broke out, the WZO amply demonstrated were they to establish a state at that moment, former Ottoman nationals, even if they were Jewish, would have inferior rights against the Europeans.

            That right was determined by the history of this conflict and the belief of the Arabs that they do indeed hold superior title to this land and may therefore launch wars over it instead of compromising peacefully.

            It’s a stretch to portray the Zionist movement as peaceful due to the Balfour Declaration. This was simply attempting to get someone else to commit violence on their behalf that they weren’t materially equipped for.

            Reply to Comment
          • Bar

            That Romanian Jew read and prayed in the same language as Jews did in Judea 2000, 2500 and possibly 3000 years earlier. And he was returning to his ancient homeland legally.

            And later Zionists did as well. And they came peacefully. The Arabs taught them that, alas, peace was not going to be possible, but the intentions of Zionism were peaceful. They just weren’t idiots. Once they understood this was going to be violent, they adjusted. Thank the Arabs for the outcome.

            Reply to Comment
          • Baladi Akka 1948

            You’re lying ! Neither Edward Said nor Arafat were Egyptians ! Arafat had a paternal Egyptian grand-mother, his grand-father as well as his mother were Palestinians. Edward Said was born in Jerusalem to a Palestinian father and a mother of Lebanese origin.
            Amazing how Ashekenazi intruders try to present the indigenous population as aliens of the land.

            Reply to Comment
          • It is easy to say that it was only 6%, but it is not about how much land was purchased, it is about what happened to the land tenure system: http://www.routledge.com/books/details/9780415527255/#
            Zionist actors had a direct and collaborative role in each part of the land tenure system (legislation, cadastral survey, registration of title, land sales, and disputes) which together caused the landownership conflict in British Mandate Palestine.

            Reply to Comment
          • Bar

            Aida, I did try to read your book but could only access the introduction. Perhaps you could elaborate? It seems to me that if Zionists had been so effective as you claim, they would have ended up with more than 7% of the land over the course of decades of purchases. It also seems to me that they would have found a way to gain control of the land without paying a fortune for it. Finally, considering how much land was given to the Arabs under Hope Simpson, in violation of the Mandate’s own requirements, if you’re right and the Zionists were complicit in land-transfer rules, why would they agree to something so fundamentally opposed to their goals?

            Reply to Comment
          • carl

            “It is easy to say that it was only 6%, but it is not about how much land was purchased, it is about what happened to the land tenure system”:

            Aida I fully agree with you, and in fact the article that I posted is not about the 6%. It is about what happened to the land tenure system. But mainly on the roots of it and not on the later consequences in Mandate Palestine.
            I will read you book with interest.

            Reply to Comment
    2. liad hussein kantorowicz

      on other imaginary trips across politically-impossible borders, check out the short film ‘mondial’ by lebanese artist and director roy dib. the film is about a gay couple from beirut who decide to go on a trip to ramallah and documents their drive across the borders. it was shot in both countries. it won the berlinale’s teddy award for best short film this year.

      Reply to Comment
    3. Livia

      A slight correction needs to be made for accuracy’s sake: The 12 Palestinian refugee camps aren’t scattered around Beirut but around Lebanon. The largest one, Ein El Helwe is situated in the southern city of Saida, for instance. In Beirut I believe there are 4 camps (Shatila, Sabra, Bourj El Barajneh and Mar Elias).

      Reply to Comment
      • Edo Konrad

        Thanks Livia! Correction made.

        Reply to Comment
    4. Bar

      Oh my god! I am stunned.

      First of all, even if Herodotus matters, by the time he uses Palaestina, the Jews are already in exile in Babylon where they write, “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither.”

      But even so, you show a complete misunderstanding of Peleshet, a word that appears in the Hebrew Bible hundreds of times. It means invasion or invaders and it refers to the Plishtim or Philistines, who, to use your Egyptian sources, are sea-farers almost certainly from the Aegean. They are not Arabs and their descendants are most certainly not Palestinians.

      Palestinians are unable to use P, by the way, just to mock your use of Peleshet. They use B instead. If you look at comparative alphabet charts, you’ll see that the P in Hebrew and Ugaritic is an F in Arabic.

      ““The wedge script records an inventory of sounds that is closer to that found in Classical Arabic (ca. 28 sounds) than to that found in Biblical Hebrew (ca. 22 sounds)”. W. BRIGHT (ed), The World’s Writing System, Oxford UP, 1996.”

      Brilliant! Except for the fact that Ugarit is found in Northern Syria, not in Israel or Judea or Samaria. If you’re trying to prove that Arabs aren’t from Palestine, congratulations, you did it. I could have saved you the trouble and told you they came in the 7th Century CE.

      And, of course, you can’t show me any of these writings in Arabic because Arabic wasn’t spoken in Israel, Judea or Samaria. Hebrew and Aramaic were. And we have the writings to prove it…but not in Arabic.

      There was a Jewish absolute majority in the 1850s, and perhaps earlier. It doesn’t matter that they weren’t 9/10ths of the population. After all, if you simply look at a map of the region and its population, it will become abundantly clear why the Ottoman Syria’s province’s sub-section of Palestine was predominantly Arab. In fact, you should look at today’s map of the region to see how petty you are to deny a sliver of land to a people who are ancient and of the place but aren’t Arab.

      “Israel is…positively…treated.”

      Right. That’s why we’re debating its existence but not that of, say, Jordan, which was born on the same land, at the same time, with the same international forces. That’s why the UNHRC only has a standing agenda item for one country in the whole world. That’s why UNESCO has 88 resolutions against one country and none against any other. That’s why until last year Israel was the only country in the world that could not vie for a seat on the Security Council. Please. Enough.

      Article 80:

      “Except as may be agreed upon in individual trusteeship agreements, made under Articles 77, 79, and 81, placing each territory under the trusteeship system, and until such agreements have been concluded, nothing in this Chapter shall be construed in or of itself to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments to which Members of the United Nations may respectively be parties.”

      Whoever wrote whatever it was you copied and pasted obviously didn’t want you to read Article 80. It explicitly addresses the issue.

      “Article 1 of General Assembly resolution 24(I) reserved the right of the UN to decide not to assume any function or power of the League of Nations.”

      Yes, but the resolution specifically states that this shall be done at the request of the states directly involved with whatever League of Nations issues are being discussed. The British did approach the UNGA with a request for ending their responsibility as Mandatory government. The UNGA’s response was 181, the Partition Plan which was accepted by the Jews and rejected by the Arabs. However, since 181 could not be implemented and never was, it is clear that the UNGA never cancelled this League of Nations decision. Sorry about that. Whoever wrote that idiotic piece you copied didn’t drill down to the legalities (or truth), just what suited him/her.

      “US Ambassador Warren Austin…pointed out:

      The United Nations does not automatically fall heir to the responsibilities either of the League of Nations or of the Mandatory Power in respect of the Palestine Mandate. The record seems to us entirely clear that the United Nations did not take over the League of Nations Mandate system.”

      Yes, he did, and it was an about-face for what had been a completely different position for the US until a few days earlier. Except, that if you read the entire debate, you will see the context of this statement. He is indicating that if the UN is responsible for Mandatory Palestine, then it has to keep the peace there, which means sending troops and forces. This is something the US doesn’t wish to do, so he makes this claim about the Mandate. The Russians, by the way, rejected what he said. Either way, he is proven wrong, because he believes the situation warrants labeling as per Chapter XI of the United Nations Charter and events 6 weeks later would prove him conclusively wrong…as does the US recognition of the State of Israel.

      “National Home”

      Churchill, in secret testimony to the Peel Commission in 1937 stated that the British concept was that eventually a Jewish majority would convert the home into a democratic Jewish state. Sorry about that.

      “The British White Paper of June 1922 – … “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’”.”

      Um, of course. This is because they gave the Hashemites 78% of Mandatory Palestine. This was the British going back on their promise in Balfour and they had to justify it. However, it doesn’t address the question of all the land west of the Jordan River.

      ““the determination of the Jewish people to live with the Arab people on terms of unity and mutual respect, and together with them to make the common home into a flourishing community, the upbuilding of which may assure to each of its peoples an undisturbed national development”.”

      A perfect description of Israel.

      “Your attitude recalls to mind the times in which historical figures used to praise the economic opportunities afforded by the benevolent colonial power to the occupied people.”

      Don’t look at me. The Arabs have received billions and billions and billions in aid and support over 6 decades and in that time have not developed their own economy. This might be explained, for example, in the recent findings of the EU that 2 billion (with a b) Euros of support to Palestinians have disappeared, presumably to corruption. Or, we may point to Hamas in Gaza which has used its resources to build tunnels and rockets and TV programs where kids state their desire to kill Jews instead of building business and civic infrastructure.

      Also, the Palestinian economy would become independent the day that they sign a peace deal with Israel, something they have been offered 3 times since 2000. Obviously, you’d rather they starve by not working because of supposed “colonial” structure but in reality, it’s because they refuse to make peace and their leaders steal their funds or give them to terrorists – one of the few lucrative professions when it comes to the PA and Hamas.

      “Most of the things about which you wrote are more complex than what you think.”

      Dude, you cut and paste without even bothering to go to the original sources and you have the gall to tell me that this is more complex than I think? Stop joking already, I’m dying of laughter here.

      “Two peoples, two states, respect for the other: no other solutions.”

      On this we agree completely. Too bad the Palestinians do not.

      Reply to Comment
    5. Click here to load previous comments