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Israel should stick to the terms of the Ottoman cession of Sovereignty, the British Mandate and the Balfour Declatiion

Reader comment on item: Israel's Arabs, Living a Paradox
in response to reader comment: Mr Pipes is well ahead of the game

Submitted by Wallace Edward Brand (United States), Mar 22, 2012 at 23:39

Only civil rights and religious rights were reserved to the non-Jews in Palestine in 1920. They had never had any political rights -- you can't preserve something that had never existed. They were always ruled from afar. The WWI Allies freed them from 400 years of occupation by the colonialist Turks, ruling them from Istanbul that turned the Biblical land of Milk and Honey into a wasteland. .

Civil rights includes the individual political rights, electoral rights, but not collective political rights or national rights. the right to self government. When the French signed the Agreement at San Remo, they attached what is called a "process verball to the French copy, written in French.. That is not an amendment. It is a statement of what the French believed the British Mandate for Palestine meant when it said it was preserving civil and religious rights of the non-Jews. To the French, it meant that the non-Jews would not have to "surrender any rights." The process verbal was accepted by the other parties to the agreement. This leads me to the conclusion that if Israel retakes Gaza for one of two legitimate reasons that I will list below, it can satisfy that condition by establishing a form of Home Rule for the Gazans. That would mean that Israel could have full control of all external affairs, and could ensure that no terrorist candidate or party could run for an election within or without Gaza. This would satisfy the terms of the British Mandate process verbal. The Arabs in Gaza never had the right to vote on Turkish Caliphate policy. They would not have to surrender any right with such Home Rule. Israel could do the same things it now does in terms of Gaza's external affairs.. In the long run, with the Jewish immigration law in place, Gaza could be annexed without impairing a Jewish majority and retaining a Jewish democracy with Western values.

The continued firing of rockets into Israel is a casus belli that would justify Israel retaking Gaza.

Also, when the Sharon government ceded political rights to Gaza, it was a unilateral, tacit cession but the tacit cession was carried out pursuant to a tacit agreement. That tacit agreement was that the firing of missiles and rockets would stop. It hasn't. Therefore there is a failure of consideration, a material breach of the tacit agreement, justifying getting back what was given.

In the Narrative that contiinues unabated, the Narrative of the Perpetual Palestinian Victimhood, (see Shelby Steele,, Stonegate blog, the one theme continually pursued is that the Jews are stealing the land of the Arabs. In fact, since 1920, for 92 years, the Arabs' complaint has gone unanswered except for the defense recently pushed by Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon, that the land in the West Bank is not occupied, it is disputed and the Jews have the better claim to it. But there is a stronger answer. That is to traverse the canard of land theft by showing that the political rights to Judea and Samaria were granted to the Jews in 1920, the same time that they received the beneficial political rights to all the land West of the Jordan River. The Partition in 1948 was a recommendation of the General Assembly that had to be accepted by both sides to become effective. It wasn't a grant and it wasn;t accepted. Ben Gurion was willing to give up some of the 1920 political rights, preserved by Article 80 of the UN Charter, if he got de jure political rights to enough land to commence a state on a practical basis. He said so in the UNSCOP hearing. The Partition, along with the abandonment of the trust by the trustee, just had the effect of the trustee giving to the beneficiary, the Jews or its representative, Israel, the trust res.

Note that the Partition did not grant political rights to either party, although it would have resulted in political rights to both parties had the Arabs accepted. In fact it was the Arabs who also were responsible for he events that led to the political right vesting in the Jews,That was a mass exodus of Arabs, from there homes, voluntarily at the behest of the Arab Higher Executive without ever seeing a Jewish soldier. Some 600,000 to 700,000 left, after having been told they could come back to their homes in a couple of weeks after the invading armies from surrounding states had annihilated the Jews. The Arab complaint became, they said go out so we can come in. We got out but they never got in. We were thrown into prison camps.

That is what Mahmoud Abbas wrote in "Filastin" the official organ of the PLO as revealed by the Wall Street Journal many years later. That mass exodus, along with the arrival of many new immigrants, gave Israel a fairly earned population majority and therefore satisfied the purpose of the Mandate as clearly intended. The language of the mandate, in my opinion is not clear but the purpose is quite clear. And in the US, the UK, and Canada at least, perhaps in other jurisdictions as well, evidence of purpose is admissible to clarify intent. The language of the mandate is nowhere inconsistent with that intent and in facts does support it.


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