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falling into ruins

Reader comment on item: Netanyahu's Steady Hand
in response to reader comment: The Arab Spring series will run and run....

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Mar 9, 2015 at 19:44

Jon, you made a curious comment:

"Of course the Israelis have listened probably to Daniel Pipes "We have no dog in this fight", but perhaps they do... as Palestine emerges from the ruins of TransJordan.... ripe for a transfer of an educated elite, with UNWRA subsidies from the West Bank..."

I know there's a pseudo-state called "Palestine" trying to emerge from its self-inflicted ruin; but it certainly has never been in Transjordan. The first claim to statehood was by the Egyptian Yasser Arafat and his PLO bunch, in 1964. Their original charter specifically excluded the "West Bank" of what was then Jordan from their claims. That fantasy "Palestine" consisted of present-day Israel, MINUS Judea, Samaria and Golan, all of which were won in the 1967 war. I am not sure what their plans were at the time for Gaza, which was ruled by Egypt as a territory (with no citizenship for the Gazans). "Palestine", in short, was what we now call "Green Line Israel".

"Transjordan" was, as the name implies, the part of the original British "Mandate of Palestine". It was originally reserved for Jewish settlement, but the British reneged on their promise and separated it as an Arab homeland. In that respect, Transjordan could actually be thought of as "Arab Palestine". In 1948, Transjordan seized and occupied Jewish lands west of the Jordan River, in an occupation that was never recognized by the international community (save the UK and Pakistan). Jordan (as Transjordan was re-named after the annexation) officially quit the "West Bank" (so-named from Transjordan's perspective) in October, 1994.

In July, 1967, meanwhile, Arafat & Co. revised the PLO charter to include the "West Bank" and Gaza; but this claimed entity of "Palestine" had no reality on the ground: The land was Israeli sovereign territory in July, 1967, and has been ever since. None of it arose out of "Transjordan"; all of it had been part of the British Mandate of Palestine reserved for Jewish settlement, until the British unilaterally quit the area in May, 1948.

I have been trying, lately, to follow events in the Middle East; but am continually confronted by proclamations of legitimacy for entities that do not exist. Libya, for instance, is claimed by two rival governments. The same is true for Yemen. The Syrian government has been called "illegitimate" by the international community, and legitimacy transferred to a government that has never held power and resides in exile. The government in Baghdad claims authority over all of Iraq; but the Kurds are largely self-governing; and the Islamic Caliphate; which rules on what is internatioanally called "Iraq" and "Syria", recognizes neither as legitimate. Egypt had a recognized government in 2011, ruled by Hosni Mubarak; but the international community decided that he was illegitimate; so he was replaced by Mohammed Mosri and then by Abdel al-Sisi. This last has been accepted as legitimate by the Egyptian people, but not much of the international community, who insist that he seized power in a "coup". Meanwhile, a leader long considered "legitimate" (though he actually did come to power in a coup) ruled in Sudan, presumably a sovereign state; but the international community has decided that he is a criminal because of "crimes" he committed in a country that he presumably ruled (and therefore had the say-so as to what was a "crime" and what wasn't). Fortunately for him, the actual member states of that "international community" have not seen fit to arrest and therefore depose him.

Some countries, of course, do not exist as countries at all except in fantasies of some in the "international community". The foremost example is Somalia, which consists of independent Somaliland, autonomous Puntland, a "central government" that consists essentially of Ethiopan and Kenyan occupation troops, and an Islamist regime. "Western Sahara", likewise, consists primarily of a refugee camp in Algeria. And on the margins of the area, let us not forget the real but largely unrecognized entities of Kosovo, Northern Cyprus, Abkhazia, the Donetsk Republic, Nagorno-Karabakh, South Ossetia and the Nuer and South Yemen separatists -- all of them claiming to be "peoples" with "legitimate rights". It's anyone's guess, where this will all end.

It has occurred to me that all of these "peoples" with "legitimate rights" throughout the chaotic region, had their spiritual birth with the "legitimate rights of the Palestinian people". You spoke of a country "arising from the ruins". What I see instead, is many former countries that have become ruins. This could be thought of as Yasser Arafat's legacy -- come to fruition, as you have noted, with considerable help from Barack Obama and other Western leaders.


Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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Reader comments (32) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
1You can't fool the children of the revolution [160 words]FrankzJul 5, 2014 14:31215789
Clueless [58 words]Peter C MonatJul 5, 2014 11:50215787
1natural allies [25 words]PermReaderJul 3, 2014 12:29215751
Hoping that PM Netanyahu is right about this [116 words]A. DaytonJul 3, 2014 10:28215742
Bravo for Natanyahu [314 words]john w mcginleyJul 3, 2014 09:28215741
1Netanyahu's steady hand. It takes resolve and character to do the right thing. [191 words]AnneJul 3, 2014 08:01215738
how do Israel's neighbors understand his speech? Israel assumes responsibility [235 words]mythJul 3, 2014 05:55215736
Clueless in D.C. [25 words]GarlandJul 2, 2014 23:58215729
Talk Is Cheap [313 words]yonasonJul 2, 2014 21:55215720
Equivalent Of Bug Zapper For Terrorists? [155 words]yonasonJul 3, 2014 12:04215718
3Very tall order to follow [144 words]Michael Hanni MorcosJul 2, 2014 17:58215716
1Gaza [67 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
David W. LincolnJul 2, 2014 17:56215715
2The One-State Solution is only peace solution that is based on reality. [74 words]Robin RosenblattJul 2, 2014 17:17215714
2Hypocritical Leftist Jews [36 words]Robin RosenblattJul 2, 2014 23:55215714
2The One State Solution. [89 words]AnneJul 3, 2014 08:10215714
1Re: Netanyahu's steady hand; Challenge 2 [87 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Ronald SheinsonJul 2, 2014 17:01215713
Only one viable solution [287 words]Michael SJul 5, 2014 21:58215713
1Netanyahu's steady hand, The One State solution helps Israel...not two state solution to appease Palestinians [143 words]AnneFeb 8, 2015 15:23215713
Netanyahu is likely to continue as PM [224 words]Michael SFeb 15, 2015 09:47215713
Thanks for the summary on the different parties. response to Michael S [156 words]AnneFeb 17, 2015 12:34215713
Netanyahu: Right President for wrong country? [455 words]Michael SFeb 23, 2015 01:01215713
Netanyahu's Steady Hand. response to Michael S [434 words]AnneFeb 25, 2015 05:14215713
of Jews and yellow dogs. [255 words]Michael SFeb 26, 2015 04:23215713
Common Sense and leadership, What can we do for our country? Not grind it down and dismantle it. [211 words]AnneFeb 28, 2015 09:00215713
Obama has become Caesar [693 words]Michael SMar 11, 2015 04:13215713
Agreement and a question [155 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Doug MayfieldJul 2, 2014 16:44215711
1The Arab Spring series will run and run.... [177 words]Jon, a Brit in EurolandJul 3, 2014 12:05215711
You asked for a comment... [128 words]Michael SJul 5, 2014 21:43215711
1Possible ME shift afoot March 2015 [336 words]Michael SMar 1, 2015 19:59215711
Thanks [42 words]Doug MayfieldMar 3, 2015 23:20215711
falling into ruins [769 words]Michael SMar 9, 2015 19:44215711

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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