The Myth of the U.N. Creation of Israel

This essay is available in PDF format. It’s free to download, but please consider making a donation to support my work.

The U.N. General Assembly, November 29, 1947

The U.N. General Assembly, November 29, 1947

There is a widely accepted belief that United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181 “created” Israel, based upon an understanding that this resolution partitioned Palestine or otherwise conferred legal authority or legitimacy to the declaration of the existence of the state of Israel. However, despite its popularity, this belief has no basis in fact, as a review of the resolution’s history and examination of legal principles demonstrates incontrovertibly.

Great Britain had occupied Palestine during the First World War, and in July 1922, the League of Nations issued its mandate for Palestine, which recognized the British government as the occupying power and effectively conferred to it the color of legal authority to temporarily administrate the territory.[1] On April 2, 1947, seeking to extract itself from the conflict that had arisen in Palestine between Jews and Arabs as a result of the Zionist movement to establish in Palestine a “national home for the Jewish people”,[2] the United Kingdom submitted a letter to the U.N. requesting the Secretary General “to place the question of Palestine on the Agenda of the General Assembly at its next regular Annual Session”, and requesting the Assembly “to make recommendations, under Article 10 of the Charter, concerning the future government of Palestine.”[3] To that end, on May 15, the General Assembly adopted Resolution 106, which established the U.N. Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP) to investigate “the question of Palestine”, to “prepare a report to the General Assembly” based upon its findings, and to “submit such proposals as it may consider appropriate for the solution of the problem of Palestine”.[4]

On September 3, UNSCOP issued its report to the General Assembly declaring its majority recommendation that Palestine be partitioned into separate Jewish and Arab states. It noted that the population of Palestine at the end of 1946 was estimated to be almost 1,846,000, with 1,203,000 Arabs (65 percent) and 608,000 Jews (33 percent). Growth of the Jewish population had been mainly the result of immigration, while growth of the Arab population had been “almost entirely” due to natural increase. It observed that there was “no clear territorial separation of Jews and Arabs by large contiguous areas”, and even in the Jaffa district, which included Tel Aviv, Arabs constituted a majority.[5] Land ownership statistics from 1945 showed that Arabs owned more land than Jews in every single district in Palestine. The district with the highest percentage of Jewish ownership was Jaffa, where 39 percent of the land was owned by Jews, compared to 47 percent owned by Arabs.[6] In the whole of Palestine at the time UNSCOP issued its report, Arabs owned 85 percent of the land,[7] while Jews owned less than 7 percent.[8]

Despite these facts, the UNSCOP proposal was that the Arab state be constituted from only 45.5 percent of the whole of Palestine, while the Jews would be awarded 55.5 percent of the total area for their state.[9] The UNSCOP report acknowledged that

With regard to the principle of self-determination, although international recognition was extended to this principle at the end of the First World War and it was adhered to with regard to the other Arab territories, at the time of the creation of the ‘A’ Mandates, it was not applied to Palestine, obviously because of the intention to make possible the creation of the Jewish National Home there. Actually, it may well be said that the Jewish National Home and the sui generis Mandate for Palestine run counter to that principle.[10]

In other words, the report explicitly recognized that the denial of Palestinian independence in order to pursue the goal of establishing a Jewish state constituted a rejection of the right of the Arab majority to self-determination. And yet, despite this recognition, UNSCOP had accepted this rejection of Arab rights as being within the bounds of a legitimate and reasonable framework for a solution.

Following the issuance of the UNSCOP report, the U.K. issued a statement declaring its agreement with the report’s recommendations, but adding that “if the Assembly should recommend a policy which is not acceptable to both Jews and Arabs, the United Kingdom Government would not feel able to implement it.”[11] The position of the Arabs had been clear from the beginning, but the Arab Higher Committee issued a statement on September 29 reiterating that “the Arabs of Palestine were determined to oppose with all the means at their disposal, any scheme that provided for segregation or partition, or that would give to a minority special and preferential status”. It instead

advocated freedom and independence for an Arab State in the whole of Palestine which would respect human rights, fundamental freedoms and equality of all persons before the law, and would protect the legitimate rights and interests of all minorities whilst guaranteeing freedom of worship and access to the Holy Places.[12]

The U.K. followed with a statement reiterating “that His Majesty’s Government could not play a major part in the implementation of a scheme that was not acceptable to both Arabs and Jews”, but adding “that they would, however, not wish to impede the implementation of a recommendation approved by the General Assembly.”[13]

The Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question was established by the General Assembly shortly after the issuance of the UNSCOP report in order to continue to study the problem and make recommendations. A sub-committee was established in turn that was tasked with examining the legal issues pertaining to the situation in Palestine, and it released the report of its findings on November 11. It observed that the UNSCOP report had accepted a basic premise “that the claims to Palestine of the Arabs and Jews both possess validity”, which was “not supported by any cogent reasons and is demonstrably against the weight of all available evidence.” With an end to the Mandate and with British withdrawal, “there is no further obstacle to the conversion of Palestine into an independent state”, which “would be the logical culmination of the objectives of the Mandate” and the Covenant of the League of Nations. It found that “the General Assembly is not competent to recommend, still less to enforce, any solution other than the recognition of the independence of Palestine, and that the settlement of the future government of Palestine is a matter solely for the people of Palestine.” It concluded that “no further discussion of the Palestine problem seems to be necessary or appropriate, and this item should be struck off the agenda of the General Assembly”, but that if there was a dispute on that point, “it would be essential to obtain the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice on this issue”, as had already been requested by several of the Arab states. It concluded further that the partition plan was “contrary to the principles of the Charter, and the United Nations have no power to give effect to it.” The U.N. could not

deprive the majority of the people of Palestine of their territory and transfer it to the exclusive use of a minority in the country…. The United Nations Organization has no power to create a new State. Such a decision can only be taken by the free will of the people of the territories in question. That condition is not fulfilled in the case of the majority proposal, as it involves the establishment of a Jewish State in complete disregard of the wishes and interests of the Arabs of Palestine.[14]

Nevertheless, the General Assembly passed Resolution 181 on November 29, with 33 votes in favor to 13 votes against, and 10 abstentions.[15] The relevant text of the resolution stated:

The General Assembly….

Recommends to the United Kingdom, as the mandatory Power for Palestine, and to all other Members of the United Nations the adoption and implementation, with regard to the future government of Palestine, of the Plan of Partition with Economic Union set out below;

Requests that

(a) The Security Council take the necessary measure as provided for in the plan for its implementation;

(b) The Security Council consider, if circumstances during the transitional period require such consideration, whether the situation in Palestine constitutes a threat to the peace. If it decides that such a threat exists, and in order to maintain international peace and security, the Security Council should supplement the authorization of the General Assembly by taking measure, under Articles 39 and 41 of the Charter, to empower the United Nations Commission, as provided in this resolution, to exercise in Palestine the functions which are assigned to it by this resolution;

(c) The Security Council determine as a threat to the peace, breach of the peace or act of aggression, in accordance with Article 39 of the Charter, any attempt to alter by force the settlement envisaged by this resolution;

(d) The Trusteeship Council be informed of the responsibilities envisaged for it in this plan;

Calls upon the inhabitants of Palestine to take such steps as may be necessary on their part to put this plan into effect;

Appeals to all Governments and all peoples to refrain from taking action which might hamper or delay the carrying out of these recommendations….[16]

A simple reading of the text is enough to show that the resolution did not partition Palestine or offer any legal basis for doing so. It merely recommended that the partition plan be implemented and requested the Security Council to take up the matter from there. It called upon the inhabitants of Palestine to accept the plan, but they were certainly under no obligation to do so.

A Plan Never Implemented

The matter was thus taken up by the Security Council, where, on December 9, the Syrian representative to the U.N., Faris El-Khouri, observed that “the General Assembly is not a world government which can dictate orders, partition countries or impose constitutions, rules, regulations and treaties on people without their consent.” When the Soviet representative Andrei Gromyko stated his government’s opposing view that “The resolution of the General Assembly should be implemented” by the Security Council, El-Khouri replied by noting further that

Certain paragraphs of the resolution of the General Assembly which concern the Security Council are referred to the Council, namely, paragraphs (a), (b) and (c), outlining the functions of the Security Council in respect of the Palestinian question. All of the members of the Security Council are familiar with the Council’s functions, which are well defined and clearly stated in the Charter of the United Nations. I do not believe that the resolution of the General Assembly can add to or delete from these functions. The recommendations of the General Assembly are well known to be recommendations, and Member States are not required by force to accept them. Member States may or may not accept them, and the same applies to the Security Council. [17]

On February 6, 1948, the Arab Higher Committee again communicated to the U.N. Secretary General its position that the partition plan was “contrary to the letter and spirit of the United Nations Charter”. The U.N. “has no jurisdiction to order or recommend the partition of Palestine. There is nothing in the Charter to warrant such authority, consequently the recommendation of partition is ultra vires and therefore null and void.” Additionally, the Arab Higher Committee noted that

The Arab Delegations submitted proposals in the Ad Hoc Committee in order to refer the whole legal issue raised for a ruling by the International Court of Justice. The said proposals were never put to vote by the president in the Assembly. The United Nations is an International body entrusted with the task of enforcing peace and justice in international affairs. How would there be any confidence in such a body if it bluntly and unreasonably refuses to refer such a dispute to the International Court of Justice?

“The Arabs of Palestine will never recognize the validity of the extorted partition recommendations or the authority of the United Nations to make them”, the Arab Higher Committee declared, and they would “consider that any attempt by the Jews or any power or group of powers to establish a Jewish State in Arab territory is an act of aggression which will be resisted in self-defense by force.”[18]

On February 16, the U.N. Palestine Commission, tasked by the General Assembly to prepare for the transfer of authority from the Mandatory Power to the successor governments under the partition plan, issued its first report to the Security Council. It concluded on the basis of the Arab rejection that it “finds itself confronted with an attempt to defect its purposes, and to nullify the resolution of the General Assembly”, and calling upon the Security Council to provide an armed force “which alone would enable the Commission to discharge its responsibilities on the termination of the Mandate”. In effect, the Palestine Commission had determined that the partition plan should be implemented against the will of the majority population of Palestine by force.[19]

In response to that suggestion, Colombia submitted a draft Security Council resolution noting that the U.N. Charter did “not authorize the Security Council to create special forces for the purposes indicated by the United Nations Palestine Commission”.[20] The U.S. delegate, Warren Austin, similarly stated at the 253rd meeting of the Security Council on February 24 that

The Security Council is authorized to take forceful measures with respect to Palestine to remove a threat to international peace. The Charter of the United Nations does not empower the Security Council to enforce a political settlement whether it is pursuant to a recommendation of the General Assembly or of the Security Council itself. What this means is this: The Security Council, under the Charter, can take action to prevent aggression against Palestine from outside. The Security Council, by these same powers, can take action to prevent a threat to international peace and security from inside Palestine. But this action must be directed solely to the maintenance of international peace. The Security Council’s action, in other words, is directed to keeping the peace and not to enforcing partition.[21]

The United States nevertheless submitted its own draft text more ambiguously accepting the requests of the Palestine Commission “subject to the authority of the Security Council under the Charter”.[22] Faris El-Khouri objected to the U.S. draft on the grounds that “before accepting these three requests, it is our duty to ascertain whether they are or are not within the framework of the Security Council as limited by the Charter. If it is found that they are not, we should decline to accept them.” He recalled Austin’s own statement on the lack of authority of the Security Council, saying, “It would follow from this undeniable fact that any recommendation on a political settlement can be implemented only if the parties concerned willingly accept and complement it.” Furthermore, “the partition plan itself constitutes a threat to the peace, being openly rejected by all those at whose expense it was to be executed.”[23] Austin in turn explained the intent of the U.S. draft that its acceptance of Resolution 181 is

subject to the limitation that armed force cannot be used for implementation of the plan, because the Charter limits the use of United Nations force expressly to threats to and breaches of the peace and aggression affecting international peace. Therefore, we must interpret the General Assembly resolution as meaning that the United Nations measures to implement this resolution are peaceful measures.

Moreover, explained Austin, the U.S. draft

does not authorize use of enforcement under Articles 39 and 41 of the Charter to empower the United Nations Commission to exercise in Palestine the functions which are assigned to it by the resolution, because the Charter does not authorize either the General Assembly or the Security Council to do any such thing.[24]

When the Security Council did finally adopt a resolution on March 5, it merely made a note of “Having received General Assembly resolution 181″ and the first monthly Palestine Commission report, and resolved

to call on the permanent members of the Council to consult and to inform the Security Council regarding the situation with respect to Palestine and to make, as the result of such consultations, recommendations to it regarding the guidance and instructions which the Council might usefully give to the Palestine Commission with a view to implementing the resolution of the General Assembly.[25]

During further debates at the Security Council over how to proceed, Austin observed that it had become “clear that the Security Council is not prepared to go ahead with efforts to implement this plan in the existing situation.” At the same time, it was clear that the U.K.’s announced termination of the Mandate on May 15 “would result, in the light of information now available, in chaos, heavy fighting and much loss of life in Palestine.” The U.N. could not permit this, he said, and the Security Council had the responsibility and authority under the Charter to act to prevent such a threat to the peace. The U.S. also proposed establishing a Trusteeship over Palestine to give further opportunity to the Jews and Arabs to reach a mutual agreement. Pending the convening of a special session of the General Assembly to that end, “we believe that the Security Council should instruct the Palestine Commission to suspend its efforts to implement the proposed partition plan.”[26]

The Security Council President, speaking as the representative from China, responded: “The United Nations was created mainly for the maintenance of international peace. It would be tragic indeed if the United Nations, by attempting a political settlement, should be the cause of war. For these reasons, my delegation supports the general principles of the proposal of the United States delegation.”[27] At a further meeting of the Security Council, the Canadian delegate stated that the partition plan “is based on a number of important assumptions”, the first of which was that “it was assumed that the two communities in Palestine would co-operate in putting into effect the solution to the Palestine problem which was recommended by the General Assembly.”[28] The French delegate, while declining to extend either approval for or disapproval of the U.S. proposal, observed that it would allow for any number of alternative solutions from the partition plan, including “a single State with sufficient guarantees for minorities”.[29] The representative from the Jewish Agency for Palestine read a statement categorically rejecting “any plan to set up a trusteeship regime for Palestine”, which “would necessarily entail a denial of the Jewish right to national independence.”[30]

Mindful of the worsening situation in Palestine, and wishing to avoid further debate, the U.S. proposed another draft resolution calling for a truce between Jewish and Arab armed groups that Austin noted “would not prejudice the claims of either group” and which “does not mention trusteeship.”[31] It was adopted as Resolution 43 on April 1.[32] Resolution 44 was also passed the same day requesting “the Secretary-General, in accordance with Article 20 of the United Nations Charter, to convoke a special session of the General Assembly to consider further the question of the future government of Palestine.”[33] Resolution 46 reiterated the Security Council’s call for the cessation of hostilities in Palestine,[34] and Resolution 48 established a “Truce Commission” to further the goal of implementing its resolutions calling for an end to the violence.[35]

On May 14, the Zionist leadership unilaterally declared the existence of the State of Israel, citing Resolution 181 as constituting “recognition by the United Nations of the right of the Jewish people to establish their State”.[36] As anticipated, war ensued.

The Authority of the U.N. with Regard to Partition

Chapter 1, Article 1 of the U.N. Charter defines its purposes and principles, which are to “maintain international peace and security”, to “develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self-determination of peoples”, and to “achieve international co-operation” on various issues and “promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all”.

The functions and powers of the General Assembly are listed under Chapter IV, Articles 10 through 17. It is tasked to initiate studies and make recommendations to promote international cooperation and the development of international law, to receive reports from the Security Council and other organs of the U.N., and to consider and approve the organization’s budget. It is also tasked with performing functions under the international trusteeship system. Its authority is otherwise limited to considering and discussing matters within the scope of the Charter, making recommendations to Member States or the Security Council, or calling attention of matters to the Security Council.

Chapter V, Articles 24 through 26, states the functions and powers of the Security Council.  It is tasked with maintaining peace and security in accordance with the purposes and principles of the U.N. The specific powers granted to the Security Council are stated in Chapters VI, VII, VIII, and XII. Under Chapter VI, the Security Council may call upon parties to settle disputes by peaceful means, investigate, and make a determination as to whether a dispute or situation constitutes a threat to peace and security. It may recommend appropriate procedures to resolve disputes, taking into consideration that “legal disputes should as a general rule be referred by the parties to the International Court of Justice”. Under Chapter VII, the Security Council may determine the existence of a threat to peace and make recommendations or decide what measures are to be taken to maintain or restore peace and security. It may call upon concerned parties to take provisional measures “without prejudice to the rights, claims, or position of the parties concerned.” It may call upon member states to employ “measures not involving the use of armed force” to apply such measures. Should such measures be inadequate, it may authorize the use of armed forces “to maintain or restore international peace and security”. Chapter VIII states that the Security Council “shall encourage the development of pacific settlements of local disputes” through regional arrangements or agencies, and utilize such to enforce actions under its authority.

The functions and powers of the International Trusteeship System are listed under Chapter XII, Articles 75 through 85. The purpose of the system is to administer and supervise territories placed therein by agreement with the goal of “development towards self-government or independence as may be appropriate to the particular circumstances of each territory and its peoples and the freely expressed wishes of the peoples concerned”. The system is to operate in accordance with the purposes of the U.N. stated in Article 1, including respect for the right of self-determination. The General Assembly is tasked with all functions “not designated as strategic”, which are designated to the Security Council. A Trusteeship Council is established to assist the General Assembly and the Security Council to perform their functions under the system.

Chapter XIII, Article 87 states the functions and powers of the Trusteeship Council, which are shared by the General Assembly. Authority is granted to consider reports, accept and examine petitions, provide for visits to trust territories, and “take these and other actions in conformity with the terms of the trusteeship agreements.”

Another relevant section is Chapter XI, entitled the “Declaration Regarding Non-Self-Governing Territories”, which states that

Members of the United Nations which have or assume responsibilities for the administration of territories whose peoples have not yet attained a full measure of self-government recognize the principle that the interests of the inhabitants of these territories are paramount, and accept as a sacred trust the obligation to promote to the utmost, within the system of international peace and security established by the present Charter, the well-being of the inhabitants of these territories…

To that end, Member states are “to develop self-government, to take due account of the political aspirations of the peoples, and to assist them in the progressive development of their free political institutions”.

Conclusion

The partition plan put forth by UNSCOP sought to create within Palestine a Jewish state contrary to the express will of the majority of its inhabitants. Despite constituting only a third of the population and owning less than 7 percent of the land, it sought to grant to the Jews more than half of Palestine for purpose of creating that Jewish state. It would, in other words, take land from the Arabs and give it to the Jews. The inherent injustice of the partition plan stands in stark contrast to alternative plan proposed by the Arabs, of an independent state of Palestine in which the rights of the Jewish minority would be recognized and respected, and which would afford the Jewish population representation in a democratic government. The partition plan was blatantly prejudicial to the rights of the majority Arab population, and was premised on the rejection of their right to self-determination. This is all the more uncontroversial inasmuch as the UNSCOP report itself explicitly acknowledged that the proposal to create a Jewish state in Palestine was contrary to the principle of self-determination. The plan was also premised upon the erroneous assumption that the Arabs would simply acquiesce to having their land taken from them and voluntarily surrender their majority rights, including their right to self-determination.

U.N. General Assembly Resolution 181 neither legally partitioned Palestine nor conferred upon the Zionist leadership any legal authority to unilaterally declare the existence of the Jewish state of Israel. It merely recommended that the UNSCOP partition plan be accepted and implemented by the concerned parties. Naturally, to have any weight of law, the plan, like any contract, would have to have been formally agreed upon by both parties, which it was not. Nor could the General Assembly have legally partitioned Palestine or otherwise conferred legal authority for the creation of Israel to the Zionist leadership, as it simply had no such authority to confer. When the Security Council took up the matter referred to it by the General Assembly, it could come to no consensus on how to proceed with implementing the partition plan. It being apparent that the plan could not be implemented by peaceful means, the suggestion that it be implemented by force was rejected by members of the Security Council. The simple fact of the matter is that the plan was never implemented. Numerous delegates from member states, including the U.S., arrived at the conclusion that the plan was impracticable, and, furthermore, that the Security Council had no authority to implement such a plan except by mutual consent by concerned parties, which was absent in this case.

The U.S., Syria, and other member nations were correct in their observations that, while the Security Council did have authority to declare a threat to the peace and authorize the use of force to deal with that and maintain or restore peace and security, it did not have any authority to implement by force a plan to partition Palestine contrary to the will of most of its inhabitants. Any attempt to usurp such authority by either the General Assembly or the Security Council would have been a prima facie violation of the Charter’s founding principle of respect for the right to self-determination of all peoples, and thus null and void under international law.

In sum, the popular claim that the U.N. “created” Israel is a myth, and Israel’s own claim in its founding document that U.N. Resolution 181 constituted legal authority for Israel’s creation, or otherwise constituted “recognition” by the U.N. of the “right” of the Zionist Jews to expropriate for themselves Arab land and deny to the majority Arab population of that land their own right to self-determination, is a patent fraud.

Further corollaries may be drawn. The disaster inflicted upon Palestine was not inevitable. The U.N. was created for the purpose of preventing such catastrophes. Yet it failed miserably to do so, on numerous counts. It failed in its duty to refer the legal questions of the claims to Palestine to the International Court of Justice, despite requests from member states to do so. It failed to use all means within its authority, including the use of armed forces, to maintain peace and prevent the war that was predicted would occur upon the termination of the Mandate. And most importantly, far from upholding its founding principles, the U.N. effectively acted to preventthe establishment of an independent and democratic state of Palestine, in direct violation of the principles of its own Charter. The consequences of these and other failures are still witnessed by the world today on a daily basis. Recognition of the grave injustice perpetrated against the Palestinian people in this regard and dispelling such historical myths is essential if a way forward towards peace and reconciliation is to be found.

References

[1] The Palestine Mandate of the Council of the League of Nations, July 24, 1922, http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/palmanda.asp.

[2] Great Britain had contributed to the conflict by making contradictory promises to both Jews and Arabs, including a declaration approved by the British Cabinet that read, “His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, 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.” This declaration was delivered by Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour to representative of the Zionist movement Lord Lionel Walter Rothschild in a letter on November 2, 1917, and thus came to be known as “The Balfour Declaration”, http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/balfour.asp.

[3] Letter from the United Kingdom Delegation to the United Nations to the U.N. Secretary-General, April 2, 1947, http://unispal.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/87aaa6be8a3a7015802564ad0037ef57?OpenDocument.

[4] U.N. General Assembly Resolution 106, May 15, 1947, http://unispal.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/f5a49e57095c35b685256bcf0075d9c2?OpenDocument.

[5] United Nations Special Committee on Palestine Report to the General Assembly, September 3, 1947, http://unispal.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/07175de9fa2de563852568d3006e10f3?OpenDocument.

[6] “Palestine Land Ownership by Sub-Districts (1945)”, United Nations, August 1950, http://domino.un.org/maps/m0094.jpg. The map was prepared on the instructions of Sub-Committee 2 of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian question and presented as Map No. 94(b). Statistics were as follows (Arab/Jewish land ownership in percentages): Safad: 68/18; Acre: 87/3; Tiberias: 51/38; Haifa: 42/35; Nazareth: 52/28; Beisan: 44/34; Jenin: 84/1, Tulkarm: 78/17; Nablus: 87/1; Jaffa: 47/39; Ramle: 77/14; Ramallah: 99/less than 1; Jerusalem: 84/2; Gaza: 75/4; Hebron: 96/less than 1; Beersheeba: 15/less than 1.

[7] UNSCOP Report.

[8] Walid Khalidi, “Revisiting the UNGA Partition Resolution”, Journal of Palestine Studies XXVII, no. 1 (Autumn 1997), p. 11, http://www.palestine-studies.org/enakba/diplomacy/Khalidi,%20Revisiting%20the%201947%20UN%20Partition%20Resolution.pdf. Edward W. Said, The Question of Palestine (New York: Vintage Books Edition, 1992), pp. 23, 98.

[9] Khalidi, p. 11.

[10] UNSCOP Report.

[11] “U.K. Accepts UNSCOP General Recommendations; Will Not Implement Policy Unacceptable by Both Arabs and Jews”, Press Release, Ad Hoc Committee on Palestinian Question 2nd Meeting, September 26, 1947, http://unispal.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/ecb5eae2e1d29ed08525686d00529256?OpenDocument.

[12] “The Arab Case Stated by Mr. Jamal Husseini”, Press Release, Ad Hoc Committee on Palestinian Question 3rd Meeting, United Nations, September 29, 1947, http://unispal.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/a8c17fca1b8cf5338525691b0063f769?OpenDocument.

[13] “Palestine Committee Hears U.K. Stand and Adjourns; Sub-Committees Meet”, Press Release, Ad Hoc Committee on Palestine 24th Meeting, United Nations, November 20, 1947, http://unispal.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/12966c9f443583e085256a7200661aab?OpenDocument.

[14] “Ad Hoc Committee on the Palestinian Question Report of Sub-Committee 2″, United Nations, November 11 1947, http://unispal.un.org/pdfs/AAC1432.pdf.

[15] United Nations General Assembly 128th Plenary Meeting, United Nations, November 29, 1947, http://unispal.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/46815f76b9d9270085256ce600522c9e?OpenDocument.

[16] United Nations General Assembly Resolution 181, November 29, 1947, http://unispal.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/7f0af2bd897689b785256c330061d253?OpenDocument.

[17] United Nations Security Council 222nd Meeting, December 9, 1947, http://unispal.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/ce37bc968122a33985256e6900649bf6?OpenDocument.

[18] “First Special Report to the Security Council: The Problem of Security in Palestine”, United Nations Palestine Commission, February 16, 1948, http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/5ba47a5c6cef541b802563e000493b8c/fdf734eb76c39d6385256c4c004cdba7?OpenDocument.

[19] Ibid.

[20] Draft Resolution on the Palestinian Question Submitted by the Representative of Colombia at the 254th Meeting of the Security Council, February 24, 1948, http://unispal.un.org/pdfs/S684.pdf.

[21] U.N. Security Council 253rd Meeting (S/PV.253), February 24, 1948, http://documents.un.org.

[22] Draft Resolution on the Palestinian Question Submitted by the Representative of the United States at the Two Hundred and Fifty Fifth Meeting of the Security Council, February 25, 1948, http://unispal.un.org/pdfs/S685.pdf.

[23] United Nations Security Council 260th Meeting, March 2, 1948, http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/fcbe849f43cbb7158525764f00537dcb?OpenDocument.

[24] Ibid.

[25] United Nations Security Council Resolution 42, March 5, 1948, http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/d0f3291a30a2bc30852560ba006cfb88?OpenDocument.

[26] U.N. Security Council 271st Meeting, March 19, 1948, http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/5072db486adf13d0802564ad00394160?OpenDocument.

[27] Ibid.

[28] United Nations Security Council 274th Meeting, March 24, 1948, http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/NL4/812/32/PDF/NL481232.pdf?OpenElement.

[29] Ibid. [30] Ibid.

[31] United Nations Security Council 275th Meeting, March 30, 1948, http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/NL4/812/32/PDF/NL481232.pdf?OpenElement.

[32] United Nations Security Council Resolution 43, April 1, 1948, http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/676bb71de92db89b852560ba006748d4?OpenDocument.

[33] United Nations Security Council Resolution 44, April 1, 1948, http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/1b13eb4af9118629852560ba0067c5ad?OpenDocument.

[34] United Nations Security Council Resolution 46, April 17, 1948, http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/9612b691fc54f280852560ba006da8c8?OpenDocument.

[35] United Nations Security Council Resolution 48, April 23, 1948, http://domino.un.org/unispal.nsf/9a798adbf322aff38525617b006d88d7/d9c60b4a589766af852560ba006ddd95?OpenDocument.

[36] The Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel, May 14, 1948, http://www.mfa.gov.il/mfa/peace%20process/guide%20to%20the%20peace%20process/declaration%20of%20establishment%20of%20state%20of%20israel.

Like what you're reading?

Sign up now to keep up with my latest work and to stay updated about my forthcoming book, Obstacle to Peace: The US Role in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict.

You can unsubscribe at any time, and I respect your privacy (I hate spam, too).

Please share!

  • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/members/markrichey/ Mark Richey

    This is a through analysis of a question the major media, of course, prefer to ignore:the history of the creation of Israel.

    They don’t like it discussed that the UN itself at the time adknowledged the illegality of the creation of a Jewish state.

    Great work, Jeremy

    • Jeremy R. Hammond

      Thanks, Mark. Israel National News has attempted a rebuttal:

      http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/140301

      Emphasis on “attempted”. Notice the good Dr. Nisan actually acknowledges that my thesis is correct, despite all his vain efforts to obfuscate the logical corollary.

      • http://mrtapeguy.wordpress.com mrtapeguy

        You miss much of the points here Mr. Hammon and that isn’t about obfuscation – it’s about the big picture.

        No one has stated that the UN had the legal “authority” to establish a Jewish state. That is a straw man argument.

        It was a recommendation as is anything the UN does.

        However, in your own article, you correctly quote the Arab delegation as saying they would not allow ANY partition of Arab land to Jews. NOT ANY as in ZERO. NONE. NADA. ZILCH.

        This is consistent with one Arab leader who said that even if Tel Aviv were 100% Jewish, the Arabs would not allow Jewish control of one square inch of it. You clearly feel that the Jews getting more land than they represented as part of the population is unfair. Do you then also feel that the opposition of Arab leaders to Jews having ANY land is reasonable?

        Now it is well documented, after 10 years of violent anti-Zionism fathered by the future Hitler ally and Grand Mufti, and attacks on Jews before, during and after WWII, the statements of Zionist leaders such as Ben-Gurion and the very text of the Declaration of Eretz Yisrael stated IN WRITING that indigenous Arabs were welcome and in fact, implored, to stay and live together as neighbors within or alongside Israel in peace. I guess that wasn’t good enough since they invaded anyway.

        So I guess my question is, what is this “grave injustice” you speak of? Is it the documented orders of the invading armies for the indigenous population to either leave and wait for victory to return or otherwise be considered complicit with the Jews and therefore traitors, after which, as a hostile minority they were not allowed to return and subsequently abandoned by their Arab brethren?

        Forgot to mention that, didn’t you?

        Surely there could be a better solution or approach TODAY on the Israeli side, but even Benny Morris has admitted that if you are given a choice to either destroy or be destroyed, you have no other choice than but to destroy. That’s what self-defense is but the Arabs saw prohibition of Jewish control of land, not Jewish violence as requiring self-defense despite the fact that they were apparently fine with having the land controlled by the Ottoman Turks, the British or anyone else BUT the Jews…

        And if the injustice is indeed as grave as you claim, would not the methods pursued by Gandhi, Mandela and MLK been an effective way of inciting peaceful change? Instead we got Arafat, Hamas and the like.

        Your assertions are technically correct but shortsighted if you are trying to illustrate what a horrible raw deal the Palestinians got. They certaily did but blaming it on Israel and the almost irrelevant argument about the authority of the UN neglects the entire history of violent oppposition to even a modicum of Jewish control in the region.

        • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

          You miss much of the points here Mr. Hammon and that isn’t about obfuscation – it’s about the big picture.

          The big picture is that the roots of the conflict is the rejection of Palestinian self-determination, the ethnic cleansing of Arabs from Palestine, and the theft of Arab land for the establishment of a “Jewish state”.

          No one has stated that the UN had the legal “authority” to establish a Jewish state. That is a straw man argument.

          No, it is not. The belief that the UN created Israel by partitioning Palestine is a very widespread one, as you perfectly well know. Israel’s own founding document (erroneously) cites Resolution 181 as a legal foundation for the state’s establishment.

          Do you then also feel that the opposition of Arab leaders to Jews having ANY land is reasonable?

          The Arabs were not opposed “to Jews having ANY land”. They were opposed to being disenfranchized and having their land taken from them for the creation of a “Jewish state”.

          …I guess that wasn’t good enough since they invaded anyway.

          By the time the neighboring Arab states were able to muster a military response, a quarter of a million Arabs had already been ethnically cleansed from Palestine .

          So I guess my question is, what is this “grave injustice” you speak of?

          The disenfranchisement and ethnic cleansing of the Arab population and theft of their land, of course.

          …Forgot to mention that, didn’t you?

          You ask as though it wasn’t true that Arabs were ethnically cleansed, but, of course, they were.

          …even Benny Morris has admitted that if you are given a choice to either destroy or be destroyed, you have no other choice than but to destroy.

          Indeed, his criticism of the early Zionist leadership is that they didn’t do a proper job of ethnically cleansing Palestine because a significant number of Arabs remained.

          That’s what self-defense is…

          No, the ethnic cleansing of most of the Arab population of Palestine was not an act of “self-defense”.

          And if the injustice is indeed as grave as you claim…

          It is.

          …would not the methods pursued by Gandhi, Mandela and MLK been an effective way of inciting peaceful change? Instead we got Arafat, Hamas and the like.

          I certainly think non-violence would be a more effective strategy than armed resistance to the occupation.

          Your assertions are technically correct but shortsighted if you are trying to illustrate what a horrible raw deal the Palestinians got.

          I don’t know what that is supposed to mean. Shortsighted? How so?

          They certaily did but blaming it on Israel and the almost irrelevant argument about the authority of the UN neglects the entire history of violent oppposition to even a modicum of Jewish control in the region.

          Who else should be blamed for the violation of the Arabs’ rights and ethnic cleansing of Palestine but those who violated their rights and ethnically cleansed them from the land? This is an odd suggestion, that the Arabs should be blamed for their own ethnic cleansing.

          I recommend you read my book “The Rejection of Palestinian Self-Determination” for a fuller discussion of the roots of the conflict.

          http://www.amazon.com/Rejection-Palestinian-Self-Determination-Jeremy-Hammond/dp/0557095697/

          • http://mrtapeguy.wordpress.com mrtapeguy

            I appreciate your response but I have to say, I have rarely seen such cherry-picking of unsubstantiated claims.

            “The big picture is that the roots of the conflict is the rejection of Palestinian self-determination, the ethnic cleansing of Arabs from Palestine, and the theft of Arab land for the establishment of a “Jewish state”.”

            There was no rejection of Palestinian self-determination. On what basis could you possibly make such an assertion? The Palestinians were ALSO partitioned land. There was no ethnic cleansing per se and you provide no facts to back up these statements. Yes, in a war bad things happen and the Palestinians were forced to leave but you have completely ignored the facts I presented to you, which I can back up with multiple citations not only from refugees but Arab leaders documenting how they were ordered to leave or be considered traitors.

            Instead, you completely ignore almost 30 years of violent anti-semitic anti-Zionism, legitimate Jewish land purchases and the repeated statements of Zionist leaders including the declaration of Eretz Yisrael that emphasize the desire to live WITH the indigenous population in peace. Ben-Gurion himself stated that the local population was essential to the culture and business of the region.

            You can argue that the Jews were apportioned land out of proportion with the population. That is not a justification for the violent anti-Jewish attacks that long preceded any UN resolutions nor the invasion by the neighboring Arab countries that followed, which is apparently OK by you. This is well documented; even Mahmoud Abbas has stated as much. Are you completely unaware of how Hajj Amin al-Husayni almost single-handedly escalated this conflict or do you simply choose to ignore it?

            “The belief that the UN created Israel by partitioning Palestine is a very widespread one, as you perfectly well know. Israel’s own founding document (erroneously) cites Resolution 181 as a legal foundation for the state’s establishment.”

            I see nothing in the Declaration mentioning a legal foundation. I see the “right” to the land (which btw, I don’t particularly agree with) mentioned as well as the UN resolution as a logical follow up to the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate of the League of Nations. Regardless, it doesn’t matter. What sovereign nation hasn’t been established without dissent?

            “The Arabs were not opposed “to Jews having ANY land”. They were opposed to being disenfranchized and having their land taken from them for the creation of a “Jewish state”.”

            I provided you with one quote and referenced another, one of many, indicating that some Arabs did not want the Jews to have control of ANY land and publicly stated as much. This is undeniable fact, and with the Grand Mufti aggressively pushing Hitler’s agenda, the resistance to Jewish control exploded.

            You have also completely ignored that the land was not controlled by the Arabs anyway. It had been held by the Ottoman Empire for a very long time and then the British. Why weren’t the Arabs angry THEN? Why didn’t they revolt or attack the British? It wasn’t until a Jewish state was brought up that all hell broke loose.

            “By the time the neighboring Arab states were able to muster a military response, a quarter of a million Arabs had already been ethnically cleansed from Palestine .”

            Please provide unbiased and verifiable documentation of this. I grew up with Israelis who were actually there and they told a different story. Regardless, you also completely ignore well documented legitimate purchases of land, only a small percentage of which were actually owned by indigenous Arabs (about 25%). Most of the land (over 50%) was owned by international interests and even so, the Jews had largely immigrated to desolate areas with relatively low population.

            How is it that the Zionists were able to literally round up a quarter of a million Palestinians and make them leave? Do you realize what that would entail, both in terms of intent and ability? It’s completely absurd and yet, you and others somehow buy into it. And I guess the Zionists were all liars – every one of them – who invited the indigenous population to stay and live in peace. Because that’s what Jews do when they want a piece of land, right?

            “You ask as though it wasn’t true that Arabs were ethnically cleansed, but, of course, they were. Indeed, [Morris’s] criticism of the early Zionist leadership is that they didn’t do a proper job of ethnically cleansing Palestine because a significant number of Arabs remained.
            No, the ethnic cleansing of most of the Arab population of Palestine was not an act of “self-defense”.

            In addition to knowing Israelis from the region, my father and uncle served in WWII and my father lived in France for two years after the war. Some of my parents’ friends were German and European Jews. They are well aware of the mixed feelings towards Zionism and the concerns of the implications. However, the assertion that the Zionists had every intention of simply invading the area and throwing anyone Arab out is without basis save for a few possible extremists.

            Jewish teachings about others, public statements from Zionist leaders directly contradict your assertions and more importantly, if the area was to be “ethnically cleansed” then why is 20% of Israel’s population Arabs with equal rights?

            The idea that a large group of basically peaceful and moral people would miraculously morph into an army of racists and murderers for the sole purpose of taking over some land is more than a little farfetched…but apparently when it comes to Zionists, no such fantasy is off limits for Israel haters.

            “I certainly think non-violence would be a more effective strategy than armed resistance to the occupation.”

            Are you writing about that or some sort of similar advocacy or simply dwelling on all the alleged justifications for a century of violence against the Jewish invaders?

            “I don’t know what that is supposed to mean. Shortsighted? How so?”

            Because you completely ignore that the indigenous Arabs were asked to stay and live in peace by the Israelis but ordered to leave by the invading Arab armies under promise of victory, then abandoned and offered no other Arab land, including at the time Gaza and the West Bank, which were taken by Jordan and Egypt.

            In case you hadn’t noticed, Israel is the size of a matchbook on a football field of Arab land but what did their brethren offer them? Nothing. They used them as pawns and continue to do so today, although many of them are now distancing themselves from Hamas.

            Regardless, they still haven’t used any long-term strategy other than violence with multiple wars and a century of terrorism, and let’s not forget Arafat walking away from the table when Clinton and Barak were offering him 95% of what he supposedly wanted.

            “Who else should be blamed for the violation of the Arabs’ rights and ethnic cleansing of Palestine but those who violated their rights and ethnically cleansed them from the land? This is an odd suggestion, that the Arabs should be blamed for their own ethnic cleansing.”

            But the facts are exactly that, at least in part…you’ve simply chosen to ignore them.

            Abbas himself has stated that the invading Arab armies promised to destroy the Zionists and protect the Palestinians but instead, forced them to leave and then either abandoned them or put them in ghetto-type situations.

            A refugee was quoted in the Jordanian daily at the time:

            ‘For the flight and fall of the other villages, it is our leaders who are responsible, because of the dissemination of rumours exaggerating Jewish crimes and describing them as atrocities in order to inflame the Arabs … they instilled fear and terror into the hearts of the Arabs of Palestine until they fled, leaving their homes and property to the enemy.’

            How is it that you can completely ignore this part of the equation? Sadly, you’re not alone.

            “I recommend you read my book “The Rejection of Palestinian Self-Determination” for a fuller discussion of the roots of the conflict.”

            What, an entire book of the half-truths and flat-out falsehoods you’re presented here? No thanks.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            I appreciate your response but I have to say, I have rarely seen such cherry-picking of unsubstantiated claims….

            There was no rejection of Palestinian self-determination….

            There was no ethnic cleansing….

            Etc.

            Ignorance is not an argument.

            The facts are as I’ve stated them.

          • http://mrtapeguy.wordpress.com mrtapeguy

            “Ignorance is not an argument.

            The facts are as I’ve stated them.”

            The facts are not as you have stated them and you non-answer is a pretty good indication that you don’t have a response.

            Some of your claims are completely illogical. It is completely counterintuitive to say that the Palestinians were denied self-determination when they were also supposed to receive part of the land. Now one might argue that they’ve been denied it SINCE then but that is largely the result of the actions of their own government, not just Israel.

            You have completely ignored the buildup of anti-Zionism: the actions of the Grand Mufti inciting riots and his cooperation with Hitler and Mussolini, the economic sanctions beginning before the state was declared. You have also whitewashed the well-documented history that the invading Arab armies told the inhabitants to get out. Why would you do this? You are clearly NOT interested in any facts that don’t suit your narrative.

            I am not ignorant and I could provide you with dozens of legitimate, verifiable citations that clearly illustrate that Zionism was primarily about Jewish people immigrating to Israel in a desire to establish their own state. It was not about invading the area and throwing everyone else out. The Declaration of Ererz Yisrael states that in writing. This is indisputable fact. Israel is a democracy with an Arab population of 20% that enjoys full equal rights, more rights than they have in their own country. This is also indisputable fact. Hostilities were started not by Jews, but by Arabs because the extremists leading the charge didn’t want ANY Jewish control of ANY land. This is also indisputable fact.

            There are many instances of Zionist overreach and yes, war crimes. You could start with the actions of the Irgun. That doesn’t change the overall reality that rather than pursuing diplomatic solutions, the Arabs vowed that if there were to be a Jewish state, they would fight it to their last drop of blood.

            Yet somehow, to you and other far-leftist zealots, anyone who is the victor, to whom goes the spoils, must be the bad guy.

            There is plenty to criticize about Israel, just as we can find many problems with United States foreign policy and even in WWII, allied soldiers certainly committed atrocities. That doesn’t make us the bad guys.

            Your unfair one-sided narrative contributes to unfair criticism of Israel and your claims that the Palestinians don’t use human shields are blatantlly false.

            Here are some sources you will likely not read but I’ll provide them anyway. You’ll find them well sourced and cited:

            http://www.examiner.com/article/another-nation-under-god-why-the-double-standard-for-israel

            http://www.jewishjournal.com/iranianamericanjews/item/historical_facts_show_palestinians_not_mere_victims

            It takes a big man to admit he’s wrong but my guess it that your ideology is one that won’t allow for a divergence of opinion. If you are a fan of Chomsky, I doubt that anything I provide will provide reason enough for you to change your narrative in the slightest. There is a reason that John Adams said that ideology is the science of idiots. I hope you won’t be another voice that continues to prove him correct.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            The facts are not as you have stated them…

            Yes, the facts are as I have stated them.

            It is completely counterintuitive to say that the Palestinians were denied self-determination…

            Nonsense.

            http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0557095697/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=0557095697&linkCode=as2&tag=jrh-20&linkId=MWFGTAROCJBZXU3Z

            You have completely ignored the buildup of anti-Zionism…

            I discuss it and the reasons for it in my book. See link above.

            It was not about invading the area and throwing everyone else out. The Declaration of Ererz Yisrael states that in writing.

            Well, that proves it then.

            Never mind that by May 14, 1948, a quarter of a million Arabs had already been ethnically cleansed from Palestine.

            Hostilities were started not by Jews, but by Arabs…

            Do you have a specific date in mind? You note yourself the Zionists commited war crimes and mention the terrorist group Irgun.

            …rather than pursuing diplomatic solutions, the Arabs vowed that if there were to be a Jewish state, they would fight it to their last drop of blood.

            In fact, it was the Arabs who proposed a democratic solution, but this was rejected by the Zionists because it was contrary to their goal of establishing a “Jewish state”.

            …you and other far-leftist zealots…

            I am not of the political left.

            …your claims that the Palestinians don’t use human shields are blatantlly false.

            I’m not sure what comment of mine you’re referring to, but assume it was when I said there was no evidence that Hamas used human shields during Operation Cast lead. Which is true. Israel’s use of Palestinians as human shields during that massacre, however, was documented.

          • http://mrtapeguy.wordpress.com mrtapeguy

            “Yes, the facts are as I have stated them.”

            You have not provided any evidence that 250,000 Arabs were ethnically cleansed from Palestine and that there was from the getgo, deliberate intent to do so on a widespread basis. Meanwhile, you have completely ignored the widespread legal land acquisition and the forcible murder, rape and theft committed on Jews in Arab lands.

            It is completely counterintuitive to say that the Palestinians were denied self-determination…

            “Nonsense.”

            Please explain how the Palestinians were not offered a sovereign territory of their own. It was their choice to reject it and start a war, rather than working through diplomatic solutions. More likely, you are half right because the Palestinian people would more likely have been accepting than the neighboring Arab nations.

            “You have completely ignored the buildup of anti-Zionism…”

            If you’re going to tell me to buy your book so I can read some sort of justification for the Grand Mufti and his violent anti-Zionist riots beginning as early as 1920, followed by his cooperation with Hitler and Mussolini to build up the anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist, Arab nationalist movement, I think I’ll pass.

            You also continue to ignore multiple Arab leaders who emphatically stated NOT that the Jews were getting too much land but that they would not allow the Jews to have ANY land. I also failed to mention (as do you, naturally) the pan-Arabist covenant that considered the Arab nations as one and rejected any sort of other division and anything remotely perceived as colonialism. The tolerated rule by the Ottoman Empire but eventually rejected the British and they sure as hell weren’t going to have ANY land controlled by Jews.

            I’m sure the Grand Mufti had very good reasons for allying himself with the Third Reich. After all, they made him an “Honorary Aryan.” What could be better than that when you want to stop an invasion of Jews?

            It was not about invading the area and throwing everyone else out. The Declaration of Ererz Yisrael states that in writing.

            “Well, that proves it then.”

            Not in and of itself…but the tradition of the Jewish people, the words of Ben-Gurion and others about the importance to both the culture and the economy of native farmers and businessmen. Like many others, you wish to portray that the Jews magically morphed from basically peaceful moral people to a murderous thieving mob. It doesn’t work that way and unlike you, I have relatives, friends, family friends and teachers who were actually there.

            “Never mind that by May 14, 1948, a quarter of a million Arabs had already been ethnically cleansed from Palestine.”

            Again, you have no proof that these were proactively and by design instigated by Jews and/or Zionists. There is significant evidence, however, of Jews being thrown out of Arab countries. Are you aware that for much of the time up until the 20th century that the Ottoman Empire did not even allow Jews to own land? Sounds fair, doesn’t it?

            “Do you have a specific date in mind? You note yourself the Zionists committed war crimes and mention the terrorist group Irgun.”

            Where there is war there will be war crimes. I have given you extensive history of al-Husseini. He was convicted of inciting violent riots in 1920 but pardoned. That is the earliest significant event and movement that I’m aware of other than scattered reports in 1919. There isn’t much documentation of significant events prior to that but they far predate the Irgun.

            I condemn the Irgun – do you condemn the anti-Jewish violence or is that simply “expected” because the Jews were moving in?

            “In fact, it was the Arabs who proposed a democratic solution, but this was rejected by the Zionists because it was contrary to their goal of establishing a “Jewish state”.”

            Please enlighten me as to what this “proposed democratic solution” was and regardless, with a virtual football field of Arab sovereign land and a partition for the Palestinians as well, what justification would there be for opposing a matchbook-size piece of Jewish-controlled land? Does that really sound like a big deal to you? And remember – governing the land is not OWNING the land, and please don’t bring up the claims of preemptive ethnic cleansing without proof.

            “I am not of the political left.”

            Really? You seem enamored with Chomsky. Not that it matters really – I’m not big on ad hominems but how else does one classify himself with your positions, other than perhaps as an extremist libertarian? It is of no consequence. Regardless of your general political leanings you exhibit enormous intellectual dishonesty by cherry-picking which facts you choose to pay attention to.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            You have not provided any evidence that 250,000 Arabs were ethnically cleansed from Palestine…

            You acknowledged you are already familiar with the extensive documentation of the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, i.e., Pappe’s book by that name.

            Please explain how the Palestinians were not offered a sovereign territory of their own.

            I didn’t say they weren’t. I said they were denied self-determination. This is not at all the same thing. See the above essay.

            It was their choice to reject it and start a war…

            Of course they rejected the partition plan. See the above essay. And, again, by the time the neighboring Arab states managed to muster a military response, a quarter of a million Arabs had already been ethnically cleansed from Palestine.

            If you’re going to tell me to buy your book so I can read some sort of justification for the Grand Mufti and his violent anti-Zionist riots beginning as early as 1920, followed by his cooperation with Hitler and Mussolini to build up the anti-Semitic, anti-Zionist, Arab nationalist movement, I think I’ll pass.

            Of course, I am not going to tell you that, so you can read the book.

            You also continue to ignore multiple Arab leaders who emphatically stated NOT that the Jews were getting too much land but that they would not allow the Jews to have ANY land.

            The official position of the Arabs was that the independence of Palestine be recognized and a democratic government formed under which the rights of the minority Jews would be protected.

            It doesn’t work that way and unlike you, I have relatives, friends, family friends and teachers who were actually there.

            The historical fact that Palestine was ethnically cleansed is not contingent upon whether Jeremy R. Hammond has relatives, friends, family, or teachers who were in Palestine at the time.

            Again, you have no proof that these were proactively and by design instigated by Jews and/or Zionists.

            It was called Plan D (for Dalet). As you perfectly well know.

            That is the earliest significant event…

            The cause of the 1920 riots, as the British Royal Commission observed, was “namely, the demand of the Arabs for national independence and their antagonism to the [Jewish] National Home. . . . These same causes brought about the outbreaks of 1929 and 1933.”

            Here’s a relevant excerpt from my book:

            One consequence of Britain’s policy was increasing tensions between Arab and Jewish communities, resulting in occasional outbreaks of violence. In May of 1921, a series of riots occurred in Jaffa. Arabs assaulted Jewish communities, destroying property, looting, and murdering. According to a British Commission of Inquiry into the riots, 27 Jews were murdered on the first day of violence. The next day, there were Jewish reprisals. Jews beat on the door of one house and when an Arab mother opened the door, she was shot dead, her baby wounded. In another incident, Jews broke into the home of an Arab man and shot him. They proceeded to beat him where he lay and “when his little daughter ran to her father her head was cleft by a blow from an axe.” Among the examples of Arab terrorism that day, an isolated home had been attacked and the bodies of five Jews were found beaten or stabbed to death. A sixth was found some distance away, killed after having his hands tied behind his back. Sporadic violence continued in the days that followed, resulting before it was over in the deaths of 47 Jews and 48 Arabs.

            The Commission concluded that the causal factors were related to Arab political and economic grievances and that “there is no inherent anti-Semitism in the country, racial or religious.” On the contrary, Arabs “would welcome the arrival of well-to-do and able Jews who could help to develop the country to the advantage of all sections of the community.” Zionists had propagated the theme “that the realization of the policy of the ‘National Home’ will benefit Arabs as well as Jews”, but had “failed to carry conviction to the Arabs on this point.” This was due in no small part to contradictory messages about Zionist intentions. Zionist publications, for instance, had published “provocative statements”, such as the example of the lead article in the Jewish Chronicle shortly before, on May 20, which read:

            “Hence the real key to the Palestine situation is to be found in giving to Jews as such, those rights and privileges in Palestine which shall enable Jews to make it as Jewish as England is English, or as Canada is Canadian. That is the only reasonable or, indeed, feasible meaning of a Jewish National Home, and it is impossible for Jews to construct it without being accorded a National status for Jews.”

            I condemn the Irgun – do you condemn the anti-Jewish violence…

            Yes, of course. I’ll observe, however, that you have yet to condemn the ethnic cleansing of most of the Arab population from Palestine but instead try to make excuses for it.

            Really?

            Yes, really.

            Regardless of your general political leanings you exhibit enormous intellectual dishonesty by cherry-picking which facts you choose to pay attention to.

            Despite your best efforts, you have failed to make that case.

          • http://mrtapeguy.wordpress.com mrtapeguy

            I have made that case and offered you numerous citations – you simply choose to believe that the conflict was more the result of “aggressive colonialism” than anti-Jewish bigotry and Arab nationalism championed by the Grand Mufti and other Arab leaders.

            You have also not provided any evidence whatsoever that there was any “ethnic cleansing” of Palestine, particularly prior to the war, other than the Zionists presumably forcing people out they perceived to be a hostile minority.

            There is extensive documentation by Arab leaders and refugees that the Arab governments were just as responsible as the Zionists for the refugee expulsion. Your refusal to acknowledge that which has been extensively documented does mean it isn’t true. You simply don’t want to confirm anything that undermines your one-sided narrative – that is very clear.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            You have also not provided any evidence whatsoever that there was any “ethnic cleansing” of Palestine…

            Shall I copy and paste Pappe’s entire book with its footnoes here for you? You are willfully ignorant, and there is nothing I can do about that.

            There is extensive documentation by Arab leaders and refugees that the Arab governments were just as responsible as the Zionists for the refugee expulsion.

            False. This is old Zionist propaganda that no scholar today takes seriously.

          • http://mrtapeguy.wordpress.com mrtapeguy

            “The official position of the Arabs was that the independence of Palestine be recognized and a democratic government formed under which the rights of the minority Jews would be protected.”

            That sounds so reasonable. Isn’t it unfortunate that so many of the more vocal Arab leaders who were in control had other ideas. Do you really believe the Grand Mufti had any intention of protecting a Jewish minority? If you were a Jew fresh out of the Holocaust, how comfortable would you have been with some of the moderate Arabs professing to protect the Jewish minority?

            Very comforting, really.

            “It was called Plan D (for Dalet). As you perfectly well know.”

            Anyone knows that the original intent of Plan Dalet is highly controversial. Originally it was thought to be a defensive measure until revisionist historians decided the Zionists were aggressive colonialists. You choose the latter based on your ideology and preconceived notions but there is plenty of testimony (including many people I personally know who were actually there) that are quite clear that the plan was to deal with aggressive hostiles, not a preemptive master plan that would be contradictory to everything Judaism teaches and the history of the Jewish people.

            As I have repeatedly stated, war and hate does things to people – just as American GI’s committed atrocities in Vietnam. There is no doubt in my mind that thrown into a war fighting an enemy that had made it clear my people was to be driven into the sea, the chances of any individual soldier, leader or group is likely to do things that are amoral. That’s what war is and why I generally oppose it. As Benny Morris said, atrocities are never justified but if your choice is between destroying and being destroyed, you choose the former. I do not endorse every method used to win a war even when it’s “the good guys.”

            That doesn’t mean that your contention that the Zionists original intent was to ethnically cleanse is accurate and everything leaders said prior to that about respecting the indigenous population contradicts it – but of course, I’m sure you believe they were all just manipulative liars.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            “These operations can be carried out in the fol-lowing manner: either by destroying villages (by setting fire to them, by blowing them up, and by planting mines in their debris) and especially of those population centers which are difficult to control continuously; or by mounting combing and control operations according to the following guidelines: encirclement of the villages, conducting a search inside them. In case of resistance, the armed forces must be wiped out and the population expelled outside the borders of the state.”

            — Plan D

          • http://mrtapeguy.wordpress.com mrtapeguy

            On a lighter note, you would appear to be more libertarian, since your economic views are more in sync with Ron Paul than Krugman. I myself am a libertarian-leaning independent, so we probably agree on that subject. It’s unfortunate that many hard core libertarian types see any sovereign power, particularly one with military might, as an oppressor by default. I don’t agree with all of Israel’s policies now but I surely understand how they came to be and it didn’t start that way, much though you would like to claim it did.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            It’s unfortunate that many hard core libertarian types see any sovereign power, particularly one with military might, as an oppressor by default.

            What a puzzling thing for a self-described “libertarian-leaning” person to say. As though he did not understand what it meant to be a libertarian, that one believe in the non-aggression principle, which, of course, would mean rejection of the state’s use of military force to achieve its aims.

          • http://mrtapeguy.wordpress.com mrtapeguy

            “What a puzzling thing for a self-described “libertarian-leaning” person to say. As though he did not understand what it meant to be a libertarian, that one believe in the non-aggression principle, which, of course, would mean rejection of the state’s use of military force to achieve its aims.”

            Rejection of the state’s military force – oh, you mean like the preemptive invasion of Palestine by half a dozen Arab countries rather than using diplomatic means? Like opposing Jewish control of ANY land by defending it to your last drop of blood? Kinda like that?

            You’re very selective with the application of your supposed “non-aggression.” I get it – the Arabs can do it but not the Jews. LOL you’re very predictable. What’s it like to live in such a bubble of selective outrage and intellectual dishonesty?

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            Rejection of the state’s military force – oh, you mean like the preemptive invasion of Palestine by half a dozen Arab countries rather than using diplomatic means?

            It’s called the “non-aggression” principle, not the “non-self-defense” principle. Again, by the time the neighboring Arab states managed to muster a military response, three-quarters of a million Arabs had already been ethnically cleansed from Palestine.

          • http://mrtapeguy.wordpress.com mrtapeguy

            I suspect you fall into the typical intellectually bereft position of the extreme opposite of the NeoCon…

            Where the NeoCon believes that might makes right, you believe that might makes wrong and the winner with military superiority must be the bad guy. Only someone with a narrative could ignore the massive expulsion of Jews in Arab lands and the deliberate Hitler-sponsored buildup of violent anti-Semitic opposition to Zionism and somehow come to the conclusion that it was primarily the Zionist’s fault. Except to the extent of course that if there hadn’t been ANY immigration, I guess the Arabs would have been left to killing each other instead of the Jews. Who would you complain about then?

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            I believe that those who perpetrate ethnic cleansing are bad guys, yes.

          • http://mrtapeguy.wordpress.com mrtapeguy

            It is also worth noting, you may have noticed I have called you out for your pursuit of a one-sided narrative.

            Let’s look at your book, “Ron Paul vs. Paul Krugman” with the understanding that I am a firm critic of Krugman and Keynesian economics.

            The book is represented as “an examination of the root cause of the crisis as seen through the eyes of two prominent commentators on the subject, each representing a different school of economic thought.”

            But one of the reviews states (as do many others – you have as many negative reviews as positive ones):

            “This book is mis-titled. It should be called “Why Paul Krugman Is A Moron,” since the book’s little more than a case of the author hurling the kitchen sink at Paul Krugman’s head. Not that there’s anything wrong with criticism, but when you’re comparing one economic writer to another, the fair thing to do is accurately summarize the views, qualifications, and successes and failures of both.”

            So clearly, it would be naive of of me to expect any balance or intellectual honesty from you on any other subject.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            Yes, you’ll notice the guy was incapable of actually presenting an argument to support his criticism of the book. The discussion that followed was quite fun. I absolutely destroyed him:

            http://www.amazon.com/gp/review/R2IDRL3QR7GMY7/ref=cm_cr_pr_cmt_btn?ASIN=B007QHMEUO#wasThisHelpful

  • AYM

    I haven’t fully finished reading the article yet but I have a few questions which I hope you can answer:
    What level of power and autonomy did the Palestinian Administration under the British mandate have?
    When did the Jew immigration start?
    Was Palestine an independent state when the unilateral declaration of the creation of Israel occurred?

    I would very much appreciate it if you could answer these questions for me.
    Thank you beforehand.

    • AYM

      I forgot to ask for some bibliographical reference to those questions if possible!
      Thanks again

    • Jeremy R. Hammond

      Not sure how to answer your first question, as I’m not sure how to quantify “level of power and autonomy”. Their country was occupied by a European colonial power that permitted immigration resulting in their own displacement and threatening their rights and sovereignty, so that should tell you pretty much what level of power and autonomy they had.

      Immigration began in earnest following WWI, during the British Mandate.

      Palestine was occupied territory up until the unilateral declaration. The Zionists coincided their declaration with the British withdrawal.

      • AYM

        Thank you very much for the answers. If I may be so bold as to ask:

        Who do you consider started the conflict between Palestine and Israel?
        Do you consider that Israel, as a country threatened and surrounded by enemies, are legitmitaley defending themselves?

        I had a discussion with a friend where he defended that the British Mandate was the one that created Israel and therefore was to blame. That subsequent wars between arabs and the newly declared state of Israel was simply self defense by the Jews and that they had the right to conquer and move palestinians out of their homes. To justify kicking people out of their homes he used the argument that everything can be done in war.

        I did see some logic to the fact that, if Britain had given the Jews the right to create a state, then they could legitimately defend themselves. But this article has proved otherwise. From what I read of the resolution, British Mandate was supposed to help in the creation of a Jew Homeland (which doesn’t mean a State I suppose) within Palestine keeping in mind the right of self-determination of the Palestinians (as you point out throughout the article). It was also supposed to take in mind the declaration of Balfour again in favor of the Jews. I understand that the British Mandate had no actual power to allow the Jews to create a State and much less without the consent of the majority of Palestinians. Having declared the creation of the state unilaterally:

        Does this mean that the State of Israel is illegal?

        I believe that there have been other cases of unilateral declarations of indepence. They probably haven’t been recognized as independent states (I’m not sure since I havent read much about it).
        This triggers a questions which I hope someone can answer: Why?
        Why can the Jews create a state, transcending peoples’ right, and others can’t?
        It makes me sick and angry to think that such a long and painful conflict resulted from the selfishness of Jews (which we have to note are not a race). It is true that they suffered an unprecedented massacre but they aren’t the only ones: take the Armenians for example. We could also include the years of slavery the Africans had to suffer.
        Anyway, I’m just ranting here, which wasn’t the original idea when writing the comment.
        I hope some of the questions posed here will be answered and also make people think about the whole situation.

        Thank you very much for this enlightening article Jeremy.

        • Jeremy R. Hammond

          I don’t mean to dodge your question about “who started it”, but I don’t think it’s a relevant question, because any one particular event one might choose as the precise “starting point”, another could point to an event prior to that that might have been causal in some way. It becomes kind of a “tit for tat” discussion. So I would prefer for this reason to ask the question: What is the root cause? And the root cause is very simple and clear: the rejection of the Palestinian right to self-determination. Thus the question becomes: Who was responsible for rejecting their rights? The answer is not only the Zionists, but also Britain, the League of Nations, and the U.S.

          Your friend is wrong. Israel was not created under the British Mandate. It was created through a unilateral declaration by the Zionists, with absolutely no legal foundation whatsoever (I only address UNGA Res 181 here, but could just as well discuss other claimed legal foundations). Nor were the British responsible for the Zionist movement and activities. Actually, the first acts of terrorism in Palestine were carried out by Zionists against both Arabs and the British (and, actually, against other Jews, as well, such as in the bombing of the King David Hotel). I also don’t put any weight into the argument that “everything can be done in war” and therefore the ethnic cleansing of Palestine is justified. I realize that morality may be a subjective concept, but there are standardized norms of human behavior, and your friend’s comment in this regard just rejects all recognized human decency, such as is reflected in international law (e.g. UN Charter, Geneva Conventions, etc.). I mean, come on, by such logic as your friend’s, one could justify the Holocaust. I presume your friend is not an admirer or apologist of Hitler or the Nazi regime, so I cannot believe he actually honestly believes his own rhetoric. That he is selective in his use of this standard merely shows that he is a hypocrite, sadly enough. Or maybe he really would justify the slaughter of millions of Jews, in which case I can only advise you to choose your friends more wisely (not to condescend; I only say that because I’m confident it isn’t really the case).

          You said: “I did see some logic to the fact that, if Britain had given the Jews the right to create a state, then they could legitimately defend themselves.” You have rightly pointed out the fallacy in that logic.

          I wouldn’t say that the state of Israel is “illegal” by any means, any more than I would say that the U.S. is “illegal” (after all, the U.S. also came into being through acts of ethnic cleansing – worse, outright genocide – and territorial expansion by war). This is not the point. Israel is here to stay, and the people of Israel have an equal right to self-determination and a right to live in peace and security. However, the rights of Israelis do not come at the expense of the rights of their neighbors, and this is the problem, and the reality, both historical and present, that we must recognize and deal with. There is an international consensus that two states should exist, based upon UN resolution 242 and the establishment of the pre-June 1967 armistice lines as borders, with minor and mutually agreed upon revisions. The P.A. has accepted this two-state solution. Hamas has accepted it (contrary to popular belief). The single most important reason why this solution isn’t implemented is because Israel and the U.S. reject it (despite nice-sounding but meaningless rhetoric to the contrary).

          Your question of “Why can the Jews create a state, transcendign people’s right, and others can’t?” is a good one. I would ask that question of those who I’ve seen argue that the Palestinian’s attempts to seek international recognition are “invalid”, “illegal”, etc. The hypocrisy of such Zionists who make such arguments is truly astonishing.

          On selfishness, I agree with you, but caution against conflating “Jews” with “Zionists”. Many indigenous Jews (which is to say, the “Jewish Palestinians”) were actually opposed to the Zionist goals of a “Jewish state”, joining their Arab brethren in their opposition. And non-Zionist Jewish communities in Palestine got along well with their Arab neighbors, even throughout peaks of conflict between the two peoples.

          Thanks very much for your comments and questions. I always enjoy having meaningful and reasonable discussions with others about important topics. It’s actually kind of a rare thing, unfortunately. So sincere thanks.

          • AYM

            I very much appreciate your comments and answers, Jeremy. It really helps me build up weight for any further arguments I might have with my friend (or anyone) regarding this subject. As for my friend, I want to clarify that he is not in any way a supporter of the Nazi regime or Hitler. He actually defends the creation of Israel because he believes that as a people who have been prosecuted throughout history they have a “right” to have their own homeland. To this argument I always answered that even though they might have the right, Palestinians also had the right to their land. This is when he issued the argument that the creation of Israel was made under British Mandate and therefore in no way Zionists’ fault. The rest of the story you know already.

            Going off on a tangent here I wanted to know if you had articles addressing the conflicts between Hezbollah and Israel and also between Iran and Israel.
            Also I would like to know your opinion on a few subjects:
            Do you think the creation of the State of Israel was a means for the US to have an ally which would destabilize the middle-east?

            I mean, since the creation of Israel the incidence of suicide attacks has increased and (I believe) it is being exploited by the US and Israel to justify war and also to make people believe that Islam is evil, that Islamic extremism must be eradicated, that government and religion should be seperated (more so if it’s an Islamic government ie: Iran).

            In reference to the last many people ignore that Israel is self proclaimed as a Jew nation meaning that the religion of the state and government is Judaism (correct me if I’m wrong).

            As for the suicide attacks, people might be interested to know that most suicide attacks between 1980 and 2001 were perpetrated by Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (a Marxist/Leninist influenced group in Sri Lanka). But of course this doesn’t suit the powerful nations and so it is not diffused by mass media.

            Moreover and bearing in mind that:
            -The Talibans in Afghanistan recieved weapons and funds from the US Gov. during the cold war
            -That this same government provided the weapons for Iraq to fight Iran

            I wouldn’t at all be surprised that the creation of Israel were all part of a bigger plan for the middle-east.
            This reminds me of the fact that “all of a sudden” some suicide attacks have turned on Christians (especially in Iraq and Egypt).

            Coincidence? How come they weren’t attacked until just a few months back? If suicide attackers are extremists, they are extremists from the start and thus (from what is expected) they should have attacked Christians much earlier. But they didn’t. Why?

            I believe this is all a plan to prove and justify the false argument that Islamics and Christians (religions in general) cannot live together. They have for the better part of 1000 years (excepting the Crusades obviously), and now mass media wants to erase history and make us believe that it can’t happen. Look no further, Lebanon might be in a political crisis right now, but Christians, Muslims and even Jews live together… but guess what? Mass media don’t focus on that, they focus on Hezbollah and stating that they are an Islamic terrorist group that threatens Israel. Were Israel to engage in a war with Hezbollah you can bet Christians will be affected, one way or another.
            At some point there will be no more Arab Christians left.

            Maybe I’ve just seen too many conspiratorial movies but to me it does make sense. I’d like to hear some opinions on this subject.

            Again, Jeremy, thanks for answering back.
            I’m looking forward to your answer to this reply.

            Cheers!

          • Jeremy R. Hammond

            I don’t write much on Hezbollah, but I did write this piece after the ’06 summer war:

            http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/2006/09/26/escalating-terrorism-u-s-policy-and-the-israel-hezbollah-war/

            On Iran, I mostly write about it with regard to U.S. foreign policy, but since U.S. policy alignes with Israel’s, you might find my work relevant. You can find my articles on Iran from the navigation menu. There are too many to list here.

            You are right that Israel is declared as a “Jewish state”. That does have the implications you state, though I suppose it’s open to some interpretation.

            As for the rest of your comments, I think you are making a valid point about the ridiculousness of the “Clash of Civilizations” view of the world and international relations. As far as I’m concerned, this is nothing more than propaganda from Bernard Lewis, Samuel Huntington, et al.

        • Trish

          Modern Jewish immigration into Palestine began in 1882. The Ottoman Government was aware of this influx from the outset, and decided to oppose Jewish immigration to Palestine in 1881, some months before the increased flow of Jews got under way. There was a great pressure from the European on Ottoman Empire to accept Jews to settle on the east bank of the River Jordan, because neither the ruler nor the people of the empire desired to have Jews in their land.

          In November 1881, in response to the Anglo-German group’s approach, the Ottoman Government announced that: “Jewish immigrants will be able to settle as scattered groups throughout the Ottoman Empire, excluding PALESTINE.” *

          For more information on this subject please read the following book:

          * Neville J. Mandel, “The Arabs and Zionism”, 1980

          However, Herzl said that Palestine should be granted to the Jews with the great power protection but Abdulhamid II, the ruler of the Ottoman Empire rejected. He did not want the flow of Jewish immigrants into Palestine and ordered Jewish immigrants to be shipped to America. Herzl’s exchange for Palestine was “to regulate the whole finances of Turkey” * since the empire was in trouble financially. Abdulhamid told Herzl:

          “I cannot sell even a foot of land, for it does not belong to me, but to my people.”

          Now, we know how Israel was created after the demise of the Ottoman Empire and regime change in Turkey to ‘create’ homeland based on ethnic cleansing and stolen land of Palestine.
          Balfour declaration did not support Partition of Palestine and creation of a ‘Jewish state’. In fact Britain did not vote for the PARTITION of PALESTINE. Balfour clearly said:

          {Dear Lord Rothschild,
          “His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, 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.”
          I should be grateful if you would bring this Declaration to the knowledge of the Zionist Federation. Balfour }

          Balfour declaration’s objective WAS establishment of a national home in PALESTINE, not a ‘jewish state’.

          So Balfour believed in:
          [T]o facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine ..]

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            Yes, I cover the Balfour Declaration and other early documents in my book “The Rejection of Palestinian Self-Determination”
            http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/books/

  • I

    Thank you for that well researched, factual and informative article!

  • John Hillary

    What a a most enlightening historical voyage! I had already learned a few things from talknic, but now even more from you. You in effect correct or counter his view that says the partition lines are legal as they were affirmed in the Israeli Declaration of statehood.

    Perhaps you can help me with a particular issue. That is,the legality or otherwise of, and the apparent Palestinian agreement to, the 1949 armistice lines. Palestine is going for the 1967 lines in September, so either Arafat or Abbas must have signed something to that effect. Otherwise they would surely be going for the 1947 partition lines Israel affirmed in its 1948 Declaration does not belong to it. So, has Palestine and the UN actually accepted the extra 26% Israel holds from the 1947-49 war? As you know, that is contrary to international law as such. But maybe that is over-ridden if all affected parties agree to it.

    Anyway, hope you can clarify this as I have been in a quandary about it since the push for UN status. Thanks.

    • Jeremy R. Hammond

      The Palestinians have already conceded not only the territory originally proposed for the Jewish state in 181 in 1947, but also the territory Israel captured during the war and ethnic cleansing of Palestine in 1948. One hears of Israeli “concessions”, but the fact is Israeli concessions are nonexistent, and it is the Palestinians who have already made enormous concessions of land. All they are asking for now is to have their state recognized on what remains of Palestine, the West Bank and Gaza Strip. They will be going to the UN in September to pursue the two-state settlement as per the international consensus, which is based upon the universal right to self-determination as recognized by the UN Charter and Resolution 242 of ’67, which called upon Israel to withdraw from all the territories it occupied and for the establishment of secure and recognized boundaries.

  • John Hillary

    Thanks Jeremy, for such a fast answer.

    It appears therefore, that although the partition lines have no legality, Israel’s unilateral declaration has no legality, and the spoils of the 1947-49 war have no legality, yet the world, including the Palestinians, accept them. The mind boggles!

    Yet it may be relevant to remember what happened elsewhere during that period. That is, the redrawing of boundaries and the transfer of peoples at the end of and soon after World War 2, especially in Europe and India-Pakistan.

    The Israeli-US opposition to Palestine UN recognition and entry may well succeed. The fact is, their stonewalling and stealing have rendered the two state solution so unviable. However, such a UN failure may have a silver lining, in that the one state solution will have to be faced by all parties because, as Obama said, “the status-quo is unsustainable”.

  • http://www.rachelgolem.com Rachel Golem

    The Zionists send out secret mind control waves, causing Iraqis, Egyptians, Libyans, Syrians, Afghans and Pakistanis to kill each other.

    And Americans don’t like people crashing planes into their tall buildings because the Zionist controlled media tells them to feel that way.

  • Marian

    Minor point: the Palestine Mandate was, as you wrote, “issued” in July 1922 to Britain — who had been administrating the territory from the time its army swept up out of Egypt in 1918, arrived in Jerusalem, and then went through what became Transjordan onto Iraq –but this Mandate did not legally go into effect until the formal surrender of Turkey in 1923 [Lausanne Conference].

    After the Second World War, Britain wanted to divest itself of this responsibility, and turned to the newly-formed UN, as you write.

    More major point: The Proclamation of the State of Israel on 14-15 May 1948 was based in part on the “Partition Plan” UNGA Resolution 181 of November 1947. Yes, as you say, it was a recommendtion, which was not accepted at that time by both parties: “It merely recommended that the UNSCOP partition plan be accepted and implemented by the concerned parties. Naturally, to have any weight of law, the plan, like any contract, would have to have been formally agreed upon by both parties, which it was not“.

    And, as you write, the U.S. soon turned to another idea, that of Trusteeship, and soon gave that idea up as well.

    But, some four decades later, in November 1988, the PLO Declaration of Independence was issued and ratified at a Palestine National Council [PNC] meeting in Algiers, and it, too, relied in part on UNGA Res 181 — however unjust it had been, as the PLO declaration noted — as part of its legal basis for proclaiming a State of Palestine.

    This is the point that both parties are considered to have given their agreement to the partition of the territory.

    The same PNC meeting in Algiers ratified, in a separate decision, the PLO leadership’s decision to establish the State of Palestine within the territory occupied by Israel in the June 1967 war [and by this moven, the PLO gave up any claim on title to the land lying between the 1947 Partition Plan demarcation and the 1967 lines]…

    • Jeremy R. Hammond

      Yes, the PLO has long accepted the international consensus on a two-state solution based on Israeli withdrawal to the ’67 lines, with minor and mutually agreed revisions to a final border. Hamas, too, has for many years declared its willingness to accept a Palestinian state alongside Israel on the ’67 borders. It is the U.S. and Israel who alone defy the international consensus with their rejectionist policies.

      • http://www.israelunlocked.wordpress.com israelunlocked

        Unfortunately, I don’t have the time to discuss your article in its entirety, so I’ll have to restrict my response to this comment.

        The PLO has indeed officially accepted a two-state solution based on the 1949 armistice lines. The key word here, however, is “officially.” Numerous factors indicate that this acceptance was insincere. For instance,
        • Arafat himself stated that the Oslo Accords were equivalent to the Treaty of Hudaybiya, which Muhammad signed but abrogated shortly thereafter
        • Arafat also made a number of other post-Oslo statements to the effect that the Palestinians would continue to fight until all of “Palestine” was “liberated”
        • The PLO’s symbol continues to display a map of the entire State of Israel
        • The PLO refuses to recognize Israel as a Jewish state
        • And, of course, there’s the PLO charter’s continued call for Israel’s destruction

        Hamas is even more open about its refusal to accept Israel’s existence in any form. In May 2011, for instance, Hamas agreed to establish a Palestinian state on 1967 borders – but not to recognize Israel along those borders, because “a formal recognition would cancel the right of the next generations to liberate the lands.” In the same month, Hamas announced its intent to “bring an end to the Zionist project” and restated that it would not recognize “the Zionist entity.” And, of course, Hamas’ constitution not only precludes co-existence with Israel, it also glorifies the murder of Jews generally.

        • Jeremy R. Hammond

          “Arafat himself stated that the Oslo Accords…”

          Which has what, exactly, to do with the two-state solution? Apart from being the US-Israeli means by which to block its implementation, that is?

          “The PLO’s symbol continues to display a map of the entire State of Israel”

          Perhaps you mean all of Palestine.

          “The PLO refuses to recognize Israel as a Jewish state”

          Rightly so. This also has nothing to do with the two-state solution. But why should Palestinians accept Arab-Israelis as second class citizens and renounce their right of return?

          “And, of course, there’s the PLO charter’s continued call for Israel’s destruction”

          You mean continued call for the unity of Palestine. A rather hypocritical criticism, given the Zionists’ actually having destroyed Palestine, unilaterally declaring the state of Israel and ethnically cleansing the land of its Arab inhabitants, and to this day continuing to occupy Palestinian soil beyond the Green Line.

          As for Hamas, it has repeatedly declared its willingness to accept a state of Palestine alongside Israel on the ’67 borders.

          • http://www.israelunlocked.wordpress.com israelunlocked

            See my response below.

  • http://www.israelunlocked.wordpress.com israelunlocked

    Which has what, exactly, to do with the two-state solution?

    It has everything to do with the two-state solution. The PLO officially recognized Israel as part of the Oslo process, but Arafat did not consider that recognition to be binding. This is because the PLO considers the two-state solution to be a mere tactic, employed until a newly formed Palestine is strong enough to withdraw recognition from Israel and set about destroying it.

    Perhaps you mean all of Palestine.

    No, I meant Israel.

    Rightly so. This also has nothing to do with the two-state solution.

    Again, it has everything to do with the two-state solution. The two-state solution is meant to result in one Jewish state (Israel) and one more Arab state (Palestine). If there is no Jewish state, there is no need for an Arab state. Consequently, anyone who doesn’t recognize Israel as a Jewish state cannot support a two-state solution, but supports a single-state solution instead.

    But why should Palestinians accept Arab-Israelis as second class citizens and renounce their right of return?

    Arab-Israelis are full Israeli citizens, and Palestinians don’t have a “right of return.”

    You mean continued call for the unity of Palestine. A rather hypocritical criticism, given the Zionists’ actually having destroyed Palestine, unilaterally declaring the state of Israel and ethnically cleansing the land of its Arab inhabitants, and to this day continuing to occupy Palestinian soil beyond the Green Line.

    So we’re going to discuss the entire conflict, then, are we?

    The Zionists didn’t destroy Palestine – Palestine did not exist as a state at any time in history; logic dictates that it therefore could not have been destroyed. In contrast, the State of Israel does exist, and the PLO Charter calls for its destruction.

    There was no ethnic cleansing of Arab inhabitants. There was a war, which, like all wars, resulted in refugees – both Jewish and Arab. In contrast, the Arabs did ethnically cleanse the Jews of Gaza, Hebron, and other areas during the early 20th century. In addition, Israel retained a sizable Arab population following the 1948 war, while Egypt and Jordan made Gaza, Jerusalem, and Judea and Samaria “Judenrein.” Numerous other Arab countries also ethnically cleansed their ancient Jewish communities during the same period, resulting in nearly one million Jewish refugees.

    With regard to the “occupation” – contrary to popular belief, the term “occupation” does not apply to Judea and Samaria because those areas did not formerly belong to an independent state. However, even if one insisted on calling it an occupation, the occupation of land during war is completely legal according to international law. An occupation legally continues until the two sides can reach a peace agreement. In this case, the Arabs have rejected every offer of peace, resulting in the legal continuation of the so-called “occupation.”

    In contrast, the Arab targeting of Israeli civilians by rocket fire, suicide bombings, stabbings, shootings, etc. are blatant violations of international law.

    As for Hamas, it has repeatedly declared its willingness to accept a state of Palestine alongside Israel on the ’67 borders.

    December 14, 2011: Hamas leader Haniyeh: “Resistance is the way and it is the strategic choice to liberate Palestine from the (Jordan) river to the (Mediterranean) sea and to remove the invaders from the blessed land of Palestine.” Look it up.

    • Jeremy R. Hammond

      Here are the facts:

      1) The “peace process” is the process by which the US and Israel prevent implementation of the two-state solution.

      2) The right of persons to return to their own land is an guaranteed under international law and Palestinians’ right of return is internationally recognized.

      3) Palestine was not an independent state, but it doesn’t follow that it shouldn’t be, that its inhabitants’ right to self-determination should not be recognized and respected (which it wasn’t, which is the root of the conflict).

      4) 750,000 Palestinians were ethnically cleansed from Palestine.

      5) All of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are occupied Palestinian territories.

      6) UNSC Resolution 242 emphasized the inadmissibility under international law of the acquisition of territory by force and called upon Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories. Israel remains in violation of that and numerous subsequent resolutions.

      7) Indiscriminate rocket attacks from Gaza are a war crime. Israel’s war crimes are on an incomparably greater scale, e.g. Operation Cast Lead.

      8 ) Hamas has repeatedly declared its willingness to accept a state of Palestine alongside Israel on the ’67 borders. Look it up. See my “The Rise of Hamas in Gaza”, for example.

      • http://www.israelunlocked.wordpress.com israelunlocked

        You can call them ‘facts,’ Jeremy, but that doesn’t make them facts.

        1) The “peace process” is the process by which the US and Israel prevent implementation of the two-state solution.

        This is pure opinion. I’m not going to respond to this.

        2) The right of persons to return to their own land is an guaranteed under international law and Palestinians’ right of return is internationally recognized.

        The right of return is most definitely not guaranteed under international law, and the international community has provided Palestinians with alternative remedies to return, including compensation and resettlement.
        Note that the existence of an internationally guaranteed right of return would guarantee the right of Jews to return to their homes in Gaza, Judea and Samaria, the Golan, Jerusalem, and the many Arab countries from which they were forced to flee.

        3) Palestine was not an independent state

        Great. I’m glad we agree on something – Palestine was not a state, and therefore the Zionists could not have “destroyed Palestine.”

        but it doesn’t follow that it shouldn’t be

        Of course it doesn’t follow. Whether or not a state called Palestine should be created is an entirely different discussion.

        that its inhabitants’ right to self-determination should not be recognized and respected (which it wasn’t, which is the root of the conflict).

        You are mistaken – self-determination is irrelevant to the conflict: Arab attacks on Palestinian Jewish communities began long before Palestinian Arabs began to even consider the possibility of self-rule (e.g., Safed Massacre 1834)

        4) 750,000 Palestinians were ethnically cleansed from Palestine.

        There was no ethnic cleansing of Arab inhabitants. There was a war, which, like all wars, resulted in refugees – both Jewish and Arab. In contrast, the Arabs did ethnically cleanse the Jews of Gaza, Hebron, and other areas during the early 20th century.
        In addition, Israel retained a sizable Arab population following the 1948 war, while Egypt and Jordan made Gaza, Jerusalem, and Judea and Samaria “Judenrein.”
        Numerous other Arab countries also ethnically cleansed their ancient Jewish communities during the same period, resulting in nearly one million Jewish refugees.

        5) All of Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, are occupied Palestinian territories.

        Contrary to popular belief, the term “occupation” does not apply to Judea and Samaria because those areas did not formerly belong to an independent state.
        However, even if one insisted on calling it an occupation, the occupation of land during war is completely legal according to international law. An occupation legally continues until the two sides can reach a peace agreement. In this case, the Arabs have rejected every offer of peace, resulting in the legal continuation of the so-called “occupation.”

        6) UNSC Resolution 242 emphasized the inadmissibility under international law of the acquisition of territory by force and called upon Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories. Israel remains in violation of that and numerous subsequent resolutions.

        International law prohibits the acquisition of territory through wars of aggression, a principle that is meant to discourage war by removing incentive. When a country fights a war of self-defense, this principle is not applicable.
        Res 242 states that Israel should withdraw “from territories,” not “from the territories,” an intentional omission, according to those involved with the resolution’s formation – Israel was expected to retain part of the territory it had acquired.
        It’s interesting that those who hold anti-Israel views tend to forget that the Arabs also had responsibilities under this and other resolutions, and have never complied with them.

        7) Indiscriminate rocket attacks from Gaza are a war crime. Israel’s war crimes are on an incomparably greater scale, e.g. Operation Cast Lead.

        Again, we agree. Hamas, Fatah, and other terrorist groups commit war crimes on a regular basis.
        In contrast, “During operation Cast Lead, the Israeli Defense Forces did more to safeguard the rights of civilians in the combat zones than any other army in the history of warfare.” – British Colonel Richard Kemp

        8 ) Hamas has repeatedly declared its willingness to accept a state of Palestine alongside Israel on the ’67 borders. Look it up. See my “The Rise of Hamas in Gaza”, for example.

        It’s amazing how you will insist on this mistaken belief of yours, when Hamas has repeatedly, clearly, and emphatically stated otherwise.
        In May 2011, for instance, Hamas agreed to establish a Palestinian state on 1967 borders – but not to recognize Israel along those borders, because “a formal recognition would cancel the right of the next generations to liberate the lands.” In the same month, Hamas announced its intent to “bring an end to the Zionist project” and restated that it would not recognize “the Zionist entity.” And, of course, Hamas’ constitution not only precludes co-existence with Israel, it also glorifies the murder of Jews generally.
        December 14, 2011: Hamas leader Haniyeh: “Resistance is the way and it is the strategic choice to liberate Palestine from the (Jordan) river to the (Mediterranean) sea and to remove the invaders from the blessed land of Palestine.”

        • Jeremy R. Hammond

          You are right, me calling something a fact doesn’t make it true, just as you can deny facts, but that doesn’t make them untrue.

          1) It is as I’ve said.

          2) The right of return, as I’ve said, is internationally recognized and codified in international law. http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/2011/12/13/newts-invented-history-of-the-israeli-palestinian-conflict/. Yes, of course it applies to Jews, too. Jews weren’t ethnically cleansed from Palestine, though, Arabs were.

          3) The root of the conflict is the rejection of the right of the Arabs to self-determination. That you reject that they have such a right, and/or that it doesn’t apply is instructive as to your prejudice.

          4) 750,000 Arabs were ethnically cleansed from Palestine.

          5) All of the West Bank and Gaza are “occupied Palestinian territories” (quoting the International Court of Justice) under international law. This is absolutely noncontroversial.

          6) There is no such exception to the principle of the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war, and the Zionists weren’t fighting a defensive war. They were on the offensive. It was the Arabs who were defending the political and property rights of the majority Arab inhabitants whose land the Zionists unilaterally declared for themselves and then ethnically cleansed them from.

          This argument about the “the” is asinine. It’s true, it says “territories occupied”, not “the territories occupied”–but also not “some of the territories occupied”, as you would have it be interpreted. The absence of the definite article has no effect on the meaning of the resolution and doesn’t determine the extent of the withdrawal called for. Resolution 242, emphasizing the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war, calls for Israeli withdrawal from “territories”, plural, that it occupied in June 1967. The Syrian Golan Heights, Egyptian Sinai, the Gaza Strip, and the West Bank are all “territories”, plural, that Israel occupied, and thus, which it must withdrawal from under 242. The only authoritative interpretation of U.N. resolutions is that of the Security Council itself, and the intent of the Council was that Israel fully withdrawal, a point the French delegate made when he told Abba Eban that, anyway, the French text, equally authentic as the English, does contain the article, so the point was moot.

          7) Kemp is a moron and a UN Watch stooge. His remark that you quoted is prima facie nonsense. The war on Gaza itself was a criminal act of aggression, and Israel committed numerous grave war crimes during its operations, including its direct attack upon civilians and civilian objects (e.g. homes, schools, hospitals, etc.), indiscriminate attacks including the use of white phosphorus over populated areas, deliberate destruction of the civilian infrastructure, etc. Also completely noncontroversial outside the Wonderland of Washington and Tel Aviv.

          8 ) You are conflating the issue. Hamas does not recognize that Israel has a “right to exist”, nor should it, for the reasons already given. Nevertheless, Hamas does recognize that Israel does exist, and has long and repeatedly expressed its willingness to accept a Palestinian state alongside Israel on the ’67 borders.
          http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/2010/01/20/the-rise-of-hamas-in-gaza/
          http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/2009/05/06/hamas-leader-reiterates-goal-of-palestinian-state-neighboring-israel/

          • http://www.israelunlocked.wordpress.com israelunlocked

            1) You’re entitled to your opinion.

            2) The Arabs certainly did ethnically cleanse Jews from Gaza, Judea & Samaria, and “eastern” Jerusalem during the first half of the 20th century. Jews were only able to return to these areas after Israel gained control of them in the course of 1967 Six Day War.
            International law requires that the issue of refugees be settled “justly,” and the international community offered alternatives to return, including compensation and resettlement. The sources you cite do not support your argument because they aren’t relevant to the situation.

            3) The root of the conflict is anti-Semitism, as evidenced by the fact that Palestinian Arabs attacked Palestinian Jewish communities long before self-determination in Palestine was even an issue under discussion, e.g. Safed massacre 1834.

            4) There was no ethnic cleansing of Arab inhabitants. There was a war, which, like all wars, resulted in refugees – both Jewish and Arab. In contrast, the Arabs did ethnically cleanse the Jews of Gaza, Hebron, and other areas during the early 20th century.
            In addition, Israel retained a sizable Arab population following the 1948 war, while Egypt and Jordan made Gaza, Jerusalem, and Judea and Samaria “Judenrein.”
            Numerous other Arab countries also ethnically cleansed their ancient Jewish communities during the same period, resulting in nearly one million Jewish refugees.

            5) Contrary to popular belief, the term “occupation” does not apply to Judea and Samaria because those areas did not formerly belong to an independent state.
            However, even if one insisted on calling it an occupation, the occupation of land during war is completely legal according to international law. An occupation legally continues until the two sides can reach a peace agreement. In this case, the Arabs have rejected every offer of peace, resulting in the legal continuation of the so-called “occupation.”
            Note: The International Court of Justice is not the decisive authority on international law

            6) There certainly is an exception when a war is fought in self-defense, for the reasons I explained. The Six Day War was the clearest example of a war fought in self-defense – it began with the Arab countries’ mobilization on Israel’s borders and Arab threats to “wipe Israel off the map.”
            Re: Res 242 – If the French and the English texts are equally authentic, the French text is not more authentic than the English, and a number of those involved in the resolution’s formation have made it clear that the omission of the word “the” in the English version was deliberate.

            7) Kemp’s statement was right on the money. Cast Lead was fought in self-defense to stop rocket-fire from Gaza into Israeli civilian centers. It was fought in civilian areas because Hamas chose to station its militants and weaponry in civilian areas (homes, schools, hospital, etc.), making these legitimate and necessary targets. Even so, Israel did its utmost to prevent civilian casualties when at all possible. Sometimes it was not possible. That’s war.
            In contrast, Hamas, Fatah, and other terrorist groups commit the gravest of war crimes on a regular basis by targeting civilians, dressing as civilians, etc.

            8) Your articles simply support what I’ve written:
            Hamas agreed to establish a Palestinian state on 1967 borders – but not to recognize Israel along those borders, because “a formal recognition would cancel the right of the next generations to liberate the lands.”
            With this in mind, Hamas’ mention of a “long term truce” with Israel makes sense: A truce is not a peace agreement. A truce is a temporary cessation of violence – until Hamas is ready for its final attack.
            In May 2011, Hamas announced its intent to “bring an end to the Zionist project” and restated that it would not recognize “the Zionist entity.”
            In December 2011, Hamas leader Haniyeh stated: “[Armed] Resistance is the way and it is the strategic choice to liberate Palestine from the (Jordan) river to the (Mediterranean) sea and to remove the invaders from the blessed land of Palestine.”
            And, of course, Hamas’ constitution not only precludes co-existence with Israel, it also glorifies the murder of Jews generally.

            We will not persuade each other, Jeremy, and my intent was not to get into a discussion with you about every aspect of this conflict. It appears that the best we can do is agree to disagree.

          • Jeremy R. Hammond

            1) Yes. My opinion happens to be supported by the facts, though, unlike yours.

            2) Jews were not ethnically cleansed from Palestine. 750,000 Arabs were.

            3) The root of the conflict is the rejection of the right of the Arab Palestinians to self-determination.

            “[T]here is no inherent anti-Semitism in the country, racial or religious.” — British Commission of Inquiry into the May 1921 riots

            4) 750,000 Arabs were ethnically cleansed from Palestine

            http://www.jstor.org/pss/10.1525/jps.2006.36.1.6

            5) All of the West Bank and Gaza Strip are “occupied Palestinian territory” under international law. This is absolutely non-controversial, your delusion to the contrary notwithstanding.

            6) There is no exception, and Israel started the June ’67 war on the morning of June 5 with a surprise attack on Egypt. The facts on Resolution 242 are as I stated them. The universal will of the Council was that Israel fully withdraw to the pre-June 5 lines, historical revisionist accounts to the contrary notwithstanding.

            7) It was Israel, not Hamas, that violated the cease-fire. Israel committed grave war crimes, including attacks on civilians and civilian objects such as homes, schools, hospitals, UN sites, etc. Repeating Israeli lies about Hamas using “human shields” to attempt to justify these war crimes does not help your case.

            8) Like I said, Palestinians rightly do not recognize that the Zionists had a “right” to steal their land and ethnically cleanse Palestine, but Hamas has for a long time repeatedly expressed its willingness to accept a Palestinian state alongside Israel on the ’67 borders. You seem to have conceded this point, so I’ll leave it at that.

        • Jake

          Jeremy,

          “1) Yes. My opinion happens to be supported by the facts, though, unlike yours.”

          Snippy one you are and very selective when posting YOUR “facts.

          Have you bothered writing anything about the persecution of Christians of the Middle East or are you too busy with YOUR facts about Israel only ?

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            You are welcome to make an argument if you think you can support your assertion that I’m somehow being dishonestly “selective” or that my facts are wrong.

            I am American. The US does not support the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. It does, however, support Israel’s persecution of the Palestinians. Hence I choose to focus on the latter. What moral cowardice and hypocrisy to criticize and condemn the crimes of other peoples and other nations while refusing to do the same for your own!

        • http://mrtapeguy.wordpress.com mrtapeguy

          Thank you for your comments IsraelUnlocked. I think we can say that Israel is not blameless in this ongoing conflict but the ability of authors such as Mr. Hammond to cherry-pick and conflate the facts and completely ignore others is staggering.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            You are welcome to present an argument. I’ve already addressed IsraelUnlocked’s.

          • http://mrtapeguy.wordpress.com mrtapeguy

            I presented an argument above and below. You responded by saying ignorance is not an argument. Is ignoring what I’ve said an argument?

  • http://www.israelunlocked.wordpress.com israelunlocked

    *Apparently, the number 8 next to a parenthesis shows up as an emoticon with sunglasses – who knew?*

  • http://www.samibedouin.wordpress.com Sami, the bedouin

    They perfectly knew what they were doing …. wasn’t it like this: President Franklin D. Roosevelt put it in 1942, (6 years before the actual ethnic cleansing of Palestine): “I actually would put a barbed wire around Palestine, and I would begin to move the Arabs out of Palestine…. I would provide land for the Arabs in some other part of the Middle East…. Each time we move out an Arab we would bring in another Jewish family…” …. and it was far more violent than that !! @

    http://samibedouin.wordpress.com/2009/12/02/29/

  • Blake

    Yep. UN cannot create states. Can only recommend a solution.
    “The Partition Plan” was UTTERLY ILLEGAL and a violation of the UN Charter, because the UN had NO RIGHT OR POWER to take land from one people and give it to another. It was never ratified by the Security Council, and so does not exist in law, which means the UN played no role in the creation of Israel. Israel was created illegally. The UN Charter Article 73,b. says the UN is mandated to only build nations with SELF RULE, not to build nations with immigrant rule.

  • Mark

    Give it up. The UN is an anglo-american-zionist entity. Zionists dictate the rules. You can’t beat them at their own game, because the system is rigged against you from the start.

    The UN did create Israel, whether arbitrarily or not.

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      Several problems with that: Zionists do not control the U.N.; I’m not playing their game; and, no, the U.N. really did not create Israel, “arbitrarily” or otherwise.

  • http://www.palestinematters.com Vacy Vlazna

    Superb research and valuable information. Thank you Jeremy.

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      You’re welcome!

  • http://www.palestinematters.com Vacy Vlazna

    Jeremy, your article deals thoroughly with the illegality of the partition plan so why did the UN vote for the recognition of the State of Israel and for its membership in the UN?

    Isn’t this recognition the actual UN creation of the State of Israel?

    And what legal right does a people have to declare a state in a land that has not legally been established as their own?

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      The UN recognition of the state of Israel in granting Israel membership was also a violation of Charter principles. To gain membership, the UN had to recognize Israel as a peace loving state. Which the UN did, even though three quarters of a million Palestinians had just been ethnically cleansed and Israel was refusing to permit the refugees to return to their homes. As for your third question, the answer is “none”. There was no legal foundation for the declaration of the existence of the state of Israel.

  • gay o’connor

    I always felt there was something intrinsically wrong with the UN “creating” Israel – giving the majority of the land to the minority. I didn’t know just how wrong that concept was. Thanks you Jeremy for increasing my understanding of the whole sorry sad saga

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      You’re welcome!

  • gay o’connor

    You refer to the UN recognising Israel as a peace loving state. It went further than that – based on Israel’s agreement to abide by resolution 194 (to allow the refugees back or pay just compensation) Israel was given membership of the UN by res. 273. I once heard someone say that the reason Israel broke her promise was because res. 194 had a proviso – that Israel allow the refugees back providing they – the refugees – agreed to live in peace with Israelis – and, it was said, they refused to do that. This rationale means the 750,000 Palestinian refugees were all if they agreed to live in peace and they all said “no”. What nonsense that attempted justification is. Though I must say I haven’t heard it recently – I assume whoever promulgated it has seen how silly it sounds.

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      The right of return of refugees is not a conditional right, and UNGA res 194 accordingly contained no such provision. So, yes, that is a silly justification indeed.

    • HarryFeldman

      Actually, UNGAR 273 does not enjoin Israel to comply with 194, nor did Israel agree to do so. On the contrary, in 273, the GA recalled ‘its resolutions of 29 November 1947 [181] and 11 December 1948 [194] and’ took ‘note of the declarations and explanations [http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/85255a0a0010ae82852555340060479d/1db943e43c280a26052565fa004d8174?OpenDocument#Mr.%20EBAN%20%28Israel%29%20understood%20tha] made by the representative of the Government of Israel before the ad hoc Political Committee in respect of the implementation of the said resolutions’. The ‘declarations and explanations’ Mr Eban had provided six days earlier, on 5 May 1949, interpret 194 ‘the earliest practicable date’ as intending for repatriation to take place after a regional peace and declaration of borders, which of course have not been achieved to this day. He also argued, considerably less plausibly, that the Arab countries were responsible for the refugees’ flight and should therefore accept responsibility for their resettlement. Whatever the merits of his arguments, the GA took note of them and must have found them persuasive, because they immediately proceeded to decide ‘that Israel is a peace-loving State which accepts the obligations contained in the Charter and is able and willing to carry out those obligations’ and to admit it to membership. Note that Israel ‘accepts the obligations contained in the Charter’ specifically, and not in GA resolutions. Lebanese representative, Mr Malik, argued on 5 May that under the circumstances, ‘Admission of Israel…would be tantamount to the revocation of the previous Assembly decisions’, an interpretation I find much more plausible than protestations that International Law™ requires Israel to repatriate the refugees. Eban argued, and this may have been decisive, that 181 and 194 were irrelevant to Israel’s admission, citing ‘the General Assembly resolution of 8 December 1948 (197 (III)[http://daccess-ods.un.org/access.nsf/Get?OpenAgent&DS=A/RES/197(III)&Lang=E&Area=RESOLUTION]), which stated that juridically no State was entitled to make its consent to the admission of an applicant dependent on conditions not expressly provided by paragraph 1 of Article 4 of the Charter.’ (‘Membership in the United Nations is open to all other peace-loving states which accept the obligations contained in the present Charter and, in the judgment of the Organization, are able and willing to carry out these obligations.’)

      What this makes clear is, for one thing, lawfare is not a new item on the hasbara menu and that its 21st Century adherents have not surpassed Mr Eban’s efforts 64 years ago. Furthermore, since International Law™ is inevitably subject to interpretation and the hasbaristas’ interpretations are at least as soundly reasoned and convincing as their interlocutors’, is it really useful to appeal to International Law™ (particularly when broadly construed, as in common parlance, to include UNGARs, ICJ advisory opinions, etc.) as part of a struggle against colonialism or oppression? In my view, it’s immaterial whether Israel’s actions are ‘illegal’ or not. What if some judicial instrumentality that International Law™ advocates regard as legitimate were to hand down a ruling that upheld the Israeli interpretation – that circumstances had rendered 181 and 194 moot (or that 273 annulled them), that Israel had ‘withdrawn from territories’ as required by UNSCR 242 by relinquishing the Sinai, that Israel had not ‘transferred or deported’ its population into the West Bank, etc.? Wouldn’t we still know that racism, colonialism, ethnic cleansing…are wrong and wouldn’t we still have to fight them? Indeed, 65 years down the track, it might be time to admit that nobody is ever going to enforce the refugees’ right of return just because 194 says they should. It’s going to require a completely different kind of struggle.

  • HarryFeldman

    Thanks for this useful perspective. You point out aspects of 181 I hadn’t considered before. (e.g. http://bureauofcounterpropaganda.blogspot.com.au/2007/01/mighty-effort.html; http://bureauofcounterpropaganda.blogspot.com.au/2007/04/land-for-peace.html) I’ll be taking them into consideration next time I broach the subject.

    I think it’s worth considering, in light of your research and your argument, whether it matters whether or not 273 violated Charter principles or not, whether there is any legal foundation for the State of Israel, etc.

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

      Watch for the next issue of the Washington Report on Middle East Affairs! It just so happens I wrote a piece discussing that. http://www.wrmea.org

      • HarryFeldman

        I look forward to it. When does it come out?

        A couple of minor points I omitted yesterday –

        – In his discussion of 273. Mr Malik seems to have been in no doubt that ‘Israel had actually been created in November 1947 by a resolution of the General Assembly (181 (II))’. For whatever that’s worth.

        – Khalidi cannot be right to assert that ‘the partition resolution’ (not the UNSCOP proposal, per se) recommended ‘that the Arab state be constituted from only 45.5 percent of the whole
        of Palestine, while the Jews would be awarded 55.5 percent of the total
        area for their state’. The proportions would have had to sum to less than 100%, not more, although not much less – just reckoning by eye, the proposed corpus separatum would have encompassed some 100 sq km, about 0.4% of the 27,300 sq km of Mandatory Palestine.

        • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

          You’re quite right, it can’t be 55.5 and 45.5%. I double checked the source to see whether this was my mistake, but indeed that is what the source states. I assume Khalidi meant 44.5%. Thank you for pointing out my repetition of this error.

          I’m not sure when the next issue of WRMEA is to come out, but I’ll be sure to announce it on my blog when it does.

          • HarryFeldman

            MERIP claims 56%/43%: http://www.merip.org/palestine-israel_primer/un-partition-plan-pal-isr.html

            But if you’re rounding to one decimal place, 56.0%/43.5% would probably be closer, to account for the corpus separatum. That said, as far as I can tell, nobody knows the proportions with sufficient precision to justify representing fractions of a percent. It would probably be more honest to express it as ‘about 56%/44%’ (the proportion allocated to the corpus separatum would round to 0%).

  • iakovos

    Israel and Conspiracy Theories

    http://iakal.wordpress.com/2014/05/06/62/

  • john j

    Your whole assumption is incorrect since there has never been a Palestinian country, it was only a name for this land (some used deference names). No one recognized it as the land of the ppl that lived here (Jews first than Arab and I am sure some Turkish Romans Greeks… that stayed there) since it was occupied territory for 100’s of years. The Arab Palestinians that lived on this land are just as immigrant as the Jewish that came to this land in some point of the history.

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      I don’t know what “assumption” you’re referring to when you say it is incorrect. Nothing I wrote was premised on Palestine having been a state at the time. The fallacy here is yours.

  • Thomas

    You make quite an argument. As an Orthodox Jew this has completely pulled the rug out and I really hope you’re wrong. Will be doing more research into this.

    Unfortunately, what happened in 1948 wouldn’t matter as far as a conflict between Jews and Muslims – https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=612531542116109&id=100000778063637

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      Thanks for your comment, Thomas.

      I’m not wrong. 😉

      • Thomas

        So what now? Assuming that’s correct, where does that leave Israel?

        • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

          I’m afraid I don’t understand your question.

          • Thomas

            My question should be taken at face value. Assuming you are correct – now what? Where do we go from here? Move all Jews out of Israel? Etc…? Honestly – now what?

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            Now we must work to end the US’s support for Israel’s violations of international law, because it is the US’s support that is sustaining it.

          • Thomas

            I mean long term – once aid is cut off… What’s your long term suggestion for Israel?

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            My suggestion for Israel? End its violations of international law. Withdraw from Palestine. Recognize and respect the rights of the Palestinian people. I’m not really sure what you’re looking for beyond the obvious.

          • Thomas

            Withdraw from the whole country? Or just vacate certain areas? Do they give up running the country? Do they hand everything over to the PA? Do all the Jews need to leave?

            Why are you making me pull teeth?

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            Israel needs to withdraw its military from the West Bank and end its blockade of Gaza. If Jewish residents of the W. Bank living in illegally constructed settlements wish to live in Palestine, they should be allowed to stay. If they wish to live in Israel, they will need to relocate.

          • Thomas

            And what of their security? Hamas has stated – as recently as this week – that the goal is to rid Israel of Jews. How do you address that?

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            You ask “And what of their security” as though occupying and illegally colonizing the West Bank and collectively punishing the civilian population of Gaza had something to do with Israel’s “security”.

          • Thomas

            The blockade came about when Hamas was elected and started attacking Israel. Ending the blockade will only mean Hamas brings in more weapons.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            The blockade was escalated when Hamas was elected, yes, to punish the Palestinians for voting the wrong way. This had nothing to do with rocket fire from Gaza. As the PM’s senior adviser Dov Weissglas described the policy, “It’s like an appointment with a dietician. The Palestinians will get a lot thinner, but won’t die.” Rather than encouraging Hamas’s evolution away from use of violence towards engagement in the political process, the US and Israel backed Fatah, including with arms, and pressured Abbas to illegally overthrow the elected Hamas government. This led to the ousting of Fatah from Gaza, leaving Hamas as governing authority in Gaza and an illegitimate Abbas regime in authority in the West Bank. Hamas had strictly observed a ceasefire for 16 months when Israel on June 9, 2006 launched artillery into Gaza, killing 7 Palestinians having a picnic on the beach. It wasn’t until this murder of civilians by Israel that Hamas resumed rocket fire. Israel has repeatedly violated its ceasefire agreements with Hamas since, including the 2008 ceasefire (prior to Operation Cast Lead) and a 2012 ceasefire that Israel violated to initiate Operation Pillar of Defense.

            There is no justification, legal or moral, for Israel’s policy of collectively punishing the civilian population of Gaza.

  • http://www.fregger.com Brad Fregger

    I’m very late into the discussion and haven’t finished reading your report. However, it appears that you have overlooked an issue that probably played a major behind the scenes role in the entire negotiation. That issue was the partition of India that gave 350,000 square miles of the subcontinent of India to the Muslims. In addition, there is the question of the Muslim treatment of Hindu citizens vs the Jewish treatment of Muslim citizens. It is my view that the two partitions were actually linked in the mind of the British and the the territorial exchange was in favor of the Muslims.

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      It’s not clear to me what relevance that would have to the thesis of this paper.

  • daphne

    Jeremy, I have some questions. The UN wanted to create an Arab state and a Jewish state. A large Arab population lived within the borders of what would become the Jewish state. Would all this people have been expelled from their land? Or would they have lived in the Jewish state as a minority as is now the case for the Arab-Israeli’s today? You also say that Arabs owned 93% of the land. Is that like I own my house today? Palestine was not a state so I assume that they all owned little pieces of land?

    I also read that “there was an alternative plan proposed by the Arabs, of an independent state of Palestine in which the rights of the Jewish minority would be recognized and respected, and which would afford the Jewish population representation in a democratic government.”Is this realistic? There had been a lot of battles and some Arabs in Palestine had even befriended nazi-Germany. Maybe there was a reason why the UN rejected this offer?

    I am not Jewish, I am just interested.

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      Actually, if one includes the bedouins, the population of Arabs within the proposed Jewish state would have exceeded that of Jews.

      You ask what would have happened to this population if the plan had been implemented? Do you mean: what did UNSCOP have in mind for them? They didn’t consider it much, but seemed to expect they would have just become citizens of Israel. Maybe they privately hoped the Arabs would just up and move. I don’t know.

      I don’t say Arabs owned 93% of the land. The 1943 land survey cited by UNSCOP said that (actually, 94%, or 24,670,455 dunams). At that time, Jews owned 5.8%. By 1948, Jews still owned less than 7%, while Arabs remained in possession of 85%, according to UNSCOP. I don’t understand your question, “Is that like I own my house today?” If you are asking whether this meant most of the land was privately owned, the answer is yes.

      As for the two proposed solutions, it is self-evident that the unrealistic one was the one favored by the majority members of UNSCOP: partition. There is a reason these members rejected the democratic solution in which Palestine independence was recognized and a government formed respecting minority rights: they were operating in a racist, colonialist framework. This explains why they explicitly rejected the right of the majority Arabs who owned most of the land to self-determination. This racist colonialist framework was also the one upon which the Zionist project was founded. The conflicts between the Arab and Jewish communities was not due to some kind of inherent prejudice and enmity between them, but a product of Zionist project and its goal of disenfranchising the Arab population.

  • daphne

    Thanks for your answers!

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      You’re welcome.

  • Tobin

    Jeremy,
    I find, in your article and your subsequent remarks, a clarity that removes some shadowy assumption, on my part, in favor of the Jewish State. My premise for so believing is a long history of reading the Christian/Jewish Bible (New and Old Testaments). Given the history written there, the “testimony” of historical residents of “Palestine” be both Hebrew and multiple other ethnic societies, I’m uncertain who can claim ownership, in the 21st Century.

    The wars the Hebrews fought for “self-determination” were for land and the right to exist, as a people, among other mobile agrarian tribes. When larger armies (Assyrians, Greeks, and Romans conquered and displaced the Hebrews and other ethnic societies, the Arab influence moved in, following the destruction of the Roman Empire.

    With this above narrative as my base, does not the Jewish population,have as much or more claim to the Palestinian landmass as any subsequent opportunistic later resident?

    The Ottoman Empire replaced the destabilizing Mohammed inspired conquest of nearly all of the Middle East, and nearly all Europe too. WW I reset the parameters of “ownership”, so to speak. Local tribal chief’s still heavy handedly conducted local affairs. Emigration from all over the known world brought peoples back to their ancestral land.

    My history may be a little wanting, do to my fading recollections, but who is to determine who owns what or entitled to what, given the chaotic history of the Middle East?

    You rightly noted the “settling of the Continent of the Americas”, as being aggressively taken through guile or bloodshed. Is this not the same right the Israelis claim, “Might makes right” and right trumps everything? That principle is the conquest of European tribes as well, in some instances. Ancestral lands can’t be given back, can they? Where is the reset button in the game of world political domination?

    I’m still not sure who a “Palestinian”.

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      No, Israeli Jews certainly do not have “as much or more claim” to Palestine as the Arab population.

      No more than they had a right to ethnically cleanse most of the Arab population from 1947-49, destroy their villages, and construct new Jewish villages in their place.

      Beyond that, I don’t understand what you are trying to ask with your “reset button” question and so forth.

      • http://mrtapeguy.wordpress.com mrtapeguy

        Please provide any evidence that Jews proactively and by design ethnically cleansed most of the Arab population, as opposed to reactively taking what was left when the indigenous Arabs were ordered to leave by the invading Arab neighbors. While you’re at it, please refute citations from Arab leaders and refugees who have clearly stated that the blame rests as much on their own people as with the Zionists for the reasons I stated, as well as being abandoned after the fact. Finally, you can explain why Jordan and Egypt took control of the West Bank and Gaza and didn’t immediately turn it over to the Palestinians.

        • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

          Please provide any evidence that Jews proactively and by design ethnically cleansed most of the Arab population….

          http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005KR0M5Q/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B005KR0M5Q&linkCode=as2&tag=forepolijour-20&linkId=DZDK6MZFNIFF2UNG

          • http://mrtapeguy.wordpress.com mrtapeguy

            I am very familiar with Pappe’s book. Unfortunately, much like you, he behaves somewhat like an attorney representing a client rather than doing a historical analysis that acknowledges all the facts, regardless of whether they confirm or deny his beliefs.

            Like you and people like Chomsky, he cannot envision the Zionists as people simply wanting a homeland. Rather, he views them as aggressive colonialists with no regard for anything but taking the land by force. This is contrary to the entire history of the Jewish people, the concept of Tzedakah, the words of Ben-Gurion, the text of the DOEY and a simple extrapolation of the situation that has little basis in fact. As I’ve said earlier, of course there were extremists…but they do not represent the whole of the Zionist movement. I suspect, although I could be wrong, that unlike you, I have family, family friends and teachers who were both israeli and European Jews who grew up during the time. While many had concerns or were somewhat apathetic about Zionism, none observed any significant sentiment of “we’re taking the land and we don’t care who gets hurt.”

            A couple of examples of things that are outright absurd in Pappe’s book:

            1) Pappe claims the Palestinians have no leadership because it was destroyed by the British in the uprising of 1936-39 but fails to mention the longstanding violent anti-Zionist activities predating the Declaration of Eretz Yisrael nor the assassinations of moderate opponents

            2) He claims Jews attacked the Palestinian population that had no defenses. There surely may have been instances of this but he completely ignores decades of attacks on Jewish villages and of course, the economic sanctions starting in 1945 and again, the Grand Mufti’s collaboration with Hitler to fight Zionism.

            I could go on. But there are other questions for you.

            I’ve already cited decades of anti-Jewish violence before Israel was every created, which you have ignored. You have also failed to acknowledge all of the legal land purchases made by Jews. In Arieh Avneri’s 1984 book, “The Claim of Dispossession: Jewish Land Settlement and the Arabs” there were more than 800,000 Jews living in the Arab countries who were murdered, raped, and many had their properties taken away by the Arab governments they lived under. Where is your story on the ethnic cleansing of Jews from the Arab world? Where is your demand for justice for them? Do they have a right of return or was, in fact, Israel the only hope for these people to live without constant threat of being murdered.

            Please show me an Arab nation with 20% ethnic or religious minority population that has equal rights.

            I know it is very uncomfortable to confront your prejudices and come to grips with telling a story that is missing at best, half of the important facts…but I encourage you to do so.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            Rather, he views them as aggressive colonialists with no regard for anything but taking the land by force.

            That’s because they were aggressive colonialists who took the land by force, as Pappe extensively documents.

            I’ve already cited decades of anti-Jewish violence before Israel was every created, which you have ignored.

            No, again, I have not “ignored” it. It simply has no bearing on the thesis of the paper. Nor does it change the fact that the Zionists ethnically cleansed Palestine. For a discussion of the violence by both sides during the Mandate era, see my book:

            http://www.amazon.com/Rejection-Palestinian-Self-Determination-Jeremy-Hammond/dp/0557095697/

          • http://mrtapeguy.wordpress.com mrtapeguy

            “I am very familiar with Pappe’s book. Unfortunately, much like you, he behaves somewhat like an attorney representing a client rather than doing a historical analysis that acknowledges all the facts, regardless of whether they confirm or deny his beliefs. Like you and people like Chomsky, he cannot envision the Zionists as people simply wanting […]

            Rather, he views them as aggressive colonialists with no regard for anything but taking the land by force.

            “That’s because they were aggressive colonialists who took the land by force, as Pappe extensively documents.”

            Your propensity for perpetrating half-truths is staggering. I realize that Pappe points out anything that could remotely be construed as colonialism. You, like Pappe, completely ignore the activities of legal land purchases. You both have a preconceived notion of the aggressive Zionists and you then reinforce your confirmation bias by cherry-picking instances that support it.

            As I’ve told you, I grew up with people who were actually there. None of them has claimed there were no instances of inappropriate behavior – that’s what happens in a violent conflict. Misbehavior is human nature. That doesn’t change that revisionist historians such as you and Pappe have misrepresented the fundamental desires and actions of Zionism which were not about ethnic cleansing or aggressive colonialism in the way you represent.

            “No, again, I have not “ignored” it. It simply has no bearing on the thesis of the paper. Nor does it change the fact that the Zionists ethnically cleansed Palestine. For a discussion of the violence by both sides during the Mandate era, see my book:”

            It has every bearing on your paper. While nearly a million Jews have been expelled from Arab lands, you focus exclusively on Palestinians who largely left on their own, as is well documented by multiple statements of Arab leaders and refugees. Not acknowledging this is blatant hypocrisy and the height of intellectual dishonesty. Honest scholars understand and admit that the Zionists invited the indigenous Arabs to stay and live in peace while the invading armies told them to get the hell out of their way or be considered complicit.

            It’s unfortunate that you aren’t able to give a balanced presentation based on your bigotry and no, I am not going to subsidize your propaganda campaign by buying your book of half-truths.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

            You, like Pappe, completely ignore the activities of legal land purchases.

            False. I have repeatedly addressed the fact of legal land purchase by the Jewish community already, both in the essay and again in the comments. Again, it was less than 7% of the total land in Palestine. You are trolling.

            Not acknowledging this is blatant hypocrisy and the height of intellectual dishonesty.

            Nonsense. If I was an apologist for the expulsions of Jews from Arab countries, the way you are for the ethnic cleansing of Arabs from Palestine, that would make me a hypocrite. But I’m not like you.

            You’re commenting privilege is revoked for trolling and engaging in personal attacks in lieu of substantive arguments.

  • http://frenchroadbakery.wordpress.com caperash

    truly excellent presentation and discussion. I have always felt that the UN has been compromised ab initio by the Israel project and now I know how so much of what I had assumed about its creation was simply untrue, and yet also how much the UN has been essentially complicit in perpetuating an injustice that is entirely contrary to its mandate. What a sad result that out of all the suffering caused by war in 1914-45, the ostensible reason for the creation of the UN, that it has been undermined from the get-go by the very same people who keep claiming incessantly how they suffered the most and were treated the worst.

    I just wish there was a way to dissolve the entire State and distribute their population throughout the world. I believe they have demonstrated that even if one could argue that they should have the right (and after reading Schlomo Sand I tend to disagree on the basis that they are not a true people and thus have no historic claim to any land in that region!), they do not have the ability to govern themselves in a fashion that does not cause perpetual discomfort, insecurity and loss of life to those in their environs, and moreover without massive financial aid, they lack the maturity and wisdom to govern their own affairs. They are so used to being minority populations feeding off the spoils of larger host populations that they seem to be unable to learn how to stand on their own feet as independent adults.

    But they are here to stay, and I suspect that the troubles they create will increase, not decrease, and indeed it is looking increasingly like they will be a central part of yet another world war in which yet more millions will die and which the UN will do nothing to prevent – indeed it will be used to endorse and empower such tragedies.

    Again, thanks for your excellent, sober, clarifying coverage.

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      Yes, the UN was then and continues to be complicit in Israel’s crimes and injustices against the Palestinian people. I go into this in additional detail in my forthcoming book. Please stay tuned!

      I’m not sure what you mean exactly about distributing the population of Israel elsewhere but condemn any suggestion that Jews should be forced to relocate.

      • http://frenchroadbakery.wordpress.com caperash

        I understand your sentiment. However, the displaced Palestinians both in the diaspora in camps and herded into Gaza and the West Bank displaced from their villages and farms etc. have been relocated already and if they are to return, as they should, then Israelis will have to relocate in any case. Better to just start over. Have all the Israelis leave, let the Palestinians establish a proper State and give them a few decades to get it going, and then they can open up for immigration if they so choose. On the surface this might seem like a rather fanciful, even outrageous, suggestion, but if you think about it, anything else being considered, or the situation as has been unfolding in reality these past few decades, is more fanciful and outrageous and causes far more suffering and indecency. I am aware that what is being suggested here is unlikely etc., but it is what should be done, and indeed it really could be done if the world, via the UN, stood up and insisted upon it. There are high percentage numbers of Israelis who would like to leave if given the chance. Let’s all help them do it. (Also, large territories in Arizona and Texas are basically empty: let them be made available for development. Not to mention that territory in Eastern Russia they were granted decades ago.)

        • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

          If the Palestinian refugees are allowed to return, Jewish Israelis would be free to leave or stay. Again, I condemn the suggestion that Jews should be forced to leave. Heaping injustice upon injustice doesn’t solve anything.

          The same is true for Jews in illegal settlements. When the occupation ends, they will be free to remain if they wish to become citizens of Palestine and live under the jurisdiction of Palestine’s government. If they don’t like that, they will be free to relocate to Israel or elsewhere.

  • rtucker41

    I am in agreement with Caperash. It is possible that being Jewish gives me a tiny but essential insight into the thinking and behavior of my birth culture and it is my opinion that the only solution is the One State Solution. For nearly 15 years I have maintained the One Democratic State website in pursuit of this goal. In the meantime I have not only been keeping up with events there but have done a great deal of reading on the general subject of Jewish culture and history. The conclusion that I have come to is that the only way for the Palestinians to achieve any measure of justice is for them to establish their own State, not only in the little Bantustans that Israel might allow them in the Zionist version of One State – which is the current reality – but encompassing all of historic Palestine.

    I have come to this conclusion based on the roots of the Jewish culture, which stretch back to biblical times and became solidified in the development of the Talmud. It is an irredeemably fascist culture which will eventually subvert any country where it is implanted. One need only reflect on the dominance of tribal Jewry in the Western democracies. It is a jealous, wrathful God (the personification of its community of adherents) that will not suffer any opposition. And this is in countries where the entire (not only the tribal, talmudic, Pharisaic, Zionist component) is only about 1.5%. What chance would the Palestinians have if even a tiny fraction of such people were allowed to remain in Palestine. I’ll answer the question – zero to none.

    It is for this reason – and a host of others – that I have switched from a South African style solution to what I call the Algerian solution. If you recall, after the Pied Noirs in Algeria lost the support of de Gaulle, leading to the independence of the country, the French citizens of Algeria were allowed to remain. However, enough of them refused to accept their new status and became so obnoxious – ,mostly through continued terrorism – that the remaining French were forced to leave. Can you imagine what the remaining Israeli Jews – a culture based on supremacism, exceptionalism, militarism, racism, terrorism, ethnic cleansing, genocide, apartheid, etc. – would do?

    One would hope that the very small number of Israelis who actively supported the Palestinians – that is to say, put their humanity above their ethnic, religious, national identity – would be allowed to stay following an appeal process. The rest would no doubt be welcomed and cared for by a sympathetic and wealthy diaspora. Or not – doesn’t really matter.

    Roger Tucker
    One Democratic State
    https://sites.google.com/site/onedemocraticstatesite/

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      The only way to a one-state solution is through the two-state solution in favor of which there is an international consensus.

  • https://plus.google.com/102226045462106651986 Michael Hess

    Jeremy, I don’t have any questions. I applaud your patience in these comments. It was inevitable that the state of Israel would garner so much derision in the community of nations, by continuing down a path of colonial expansionism by force of war (and other insidious tactics), so much and so blatantly, that people would start to question where the state of Israel came from in the first place. And you have done a great deal, along with the New Israeli Historians, to explain how it came about, and how we came to be here and now.

    It has been my position for more than a decade that the state of Israel should accept the Arab Peace Initiative (Saudi initiative) and by doing so — by simply abiding by international law and UN resolutions and prior agreements — that the original conflict which you elucidate would be a matter of history and not ongoing brutal occupations of land that cannot be taken under international law. Because as you point out (as so many others in history have), the ‘acquisition of territory acquired by force of war is inadmissible’. As you also point out, the roots of the conflict lie in the denial of the rights of the people who were already there.

    The API would not right the wrongs of the sordid history so far, but it would go a long way towards some rapprochement that may lend itself to a durable peace. Perhaps not fully just, but viable.

    To say that bedrock legal principle of the inadmissibility of territory acquired by war, has been articulated time and time again over the decades is an understatement. Even on an individual level people have a good idea that it is wrong to steal your neighbors garage, and even worse to make them leave their entire land/property/rights at the point of a gun and maybe kill some of them to make their point.

    To believe otherwise gives Putin et al complete free reign to take whatever territory he covets with no legal recourse for those having their land ripped out from under them.

    I am one of those idealists in favor of international law, I’ve been studying this conflict in particular since 1972 and writing about it for almost 25 years. I find your patience astonishing. I shed much of my patience after Cast Lead and Cast Lead II only strengthened my opposition to the actions of the state of Israel against the Palestinians.

    You’ve forgotten more than I even know. And I am looking forward to your next book. I believe that an equal amount of application of international law, for once, in this regard is key to a lasting solution. Thanks for your work.

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      Thanks for your comment, Michael. My book focuses heavily on your main point about applying international law.

  • Michael

    One contributor said something about the name “Palestine” having been recently invented. I don’t suppose that is worth a reply, but I can’t resist mentioning the lines

    … One next himself in power and next in crime,
    Long after known in Palestine and named
    Beelzebub.

    — Milton, Paradise Lost, Book 1, lines 79-81.

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      A worthy reply!

  • Rupayan Bhattacharyya

    Dear Jeremy R. Hammond, your article, and your replies on the comments of readers are most important DOCUMENT OF HISTORY .I appreciate your knowledge and wisdom. Humanity is and will be benefited by your thoughts, ideas and analysis. I have shared this valuable article in my Facebook page for my 1528 friends. Thank you and regards. Rupayan Bhattacharyya

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      Thank you for your kind words, Rupayan, and for sharing the article!

  • https://plus.google.com/112666471896024861687 John Reynolds

    Jeremy, thanks, an interesting read.

    Can I sketch out a contrary argument: the legal authority to partition a Mandated territory into two (or more) successor states did indeed exist. That is incontrovertible, evidenced by the creation of the state of Transjordan, and by the partition of the Mandate for Syria into the successor states of Syria and Lebanon.

    So Mandated territories can be partitioned, and it was the Mandatory Power who possessed the legal authority to do so.

    But that legal authority was not boundless – a Mandatory could not slice ‘n’ dice as it saw fit – because the Mandatory was under the supervision of the League of Nations.

    In the case of the Mandate for Palestine that is explicitly stated in Article 27 of Mandate: “The consent of the Council of the League of Nations is required for any modification of the terms of this mandate.”

    Now, certainly, the League of Nations no longer existed by 1947, but its supervisory role had not simply gone up in a puff of smoke – that role had been taken over by the UN General Assembly.

    Again, that’s not particularly novel – if the Mandate system is viewed as a “trust” (which it was) then it will survive the “death” of the trustee (i.e. the Mandatory power) or the “death” of its supervising body (i.e. the League of Nations). In either case a new trustee or a new supervisory body would simply be selected in their place.

    So what I’m leading up to is this: I suspect you are looking in the wrong place for the legal authority to partition this Mandated territory into two successor states: a “Jewish state” *here* and an “Arab state” *there*.

    I would argue that this legal authority did exist, and it resided with the Mandatory Power.

    But while the Mandatory Power could accept a Partition Plan (and it did indeed accept) there was still one more step: this Mandatory Power still needed the “consent” of its supervisory body in order to satisfy Article 27 of Mandate.

    That’s what UNGAR 181 represents i.e. the Mandatory Power took that Partition Plan to the General Assembly and asked “Do you agree with this?”. And the reply from the UNGA was “Yeah, sure, we do”.

    As far as I can see that was the only legal hurdle the Mandatory Power had to surmount, and once it jumped over that hurdle then the “Jewish state” and the “Arab state” became the one and only legal way in which the Mandate for Palestine could progress to statehood(s).

    But I really do believe that talking about the legal authority of the UN General Assembly is a Red Herring.

    You are simply looking in the wrong place. Look to the Mandatory Power instead.

    • Egbert Talens, Zutphen

      The League of Nations was a construct, concocted by the political zionists in Versailles 1919. With shiploads of money, Bernard Baruch c.s. were able to ‘convince’ those nations to the fantastic view that Palestine ought to become the National Home for the Jewish people, by which the political zionists ‘simply’ meant a sovereign Jewish State. They simply thought that international law, in Versailles-parlance public law, could be bougth. And in the United Nations, from the 2nd April 1947 until the 29th November 1947 they, those political zionists, again made a mockery of international law, by ‘convincing’ obstructionist UN-member-states, that voting against UN-GA-resolution 181-II was not a very wise thing to do. And by the same means and methods as in Versailles, the political zionists ‘convinced’ those obstructionist nations to change their original ‘nay’ or abstantion, into a ‘yeah’. If this can be called international law, this world better prepares for disaster.

      On the concept or the idea of ‘Der Judenstaat’ — proposed on the first Zionist Congress in 1897, in Basel, Switzerland — so far discusions merely have touched on the symtoms thereof. The proper discours or debate on and around this concept, has only recently begun.

      • https://plus.google.com/112666471896024861687 John Reynolds

        And what does any of that have to do with my comments?

        The Middle East territories of the former Ottoman Empire were most definitely turned over to the administration of a series of Mandatory Powers in the 1920s. There is no disputing that.

        Those Mandatory Powers were tasked with shepherding those Mandated territories into eventual independent statehood. Again, there can be no disputing that.

        Those eventual states – the successor states to the Mandates – did not have to be monolithic. A Mandatory could split the Mandated territory into two (or more) successor states. Again, that is indisputable, as the very existence of Lebanon and Syria demonstrate.

        Nothing in your post negates those facts, because facts they are.

        All I have pointed out is that the legal authority of a Mandatory Power to slice ‘n’ dice a Mandated territory was very real, but it was not boundless; the Mandatory Power required the “consent” of its supervising body, precisely because it was a “Mandated power”, not a “sovereign power”.

        The only other thing that needs to be understood is that prior to 1946 that supervisor was the Council of the League of Nations, and post-1946 that role passed over to the United Nations General Assembly.

        Once you understand all that then the importance of UNGA Resolution 181 becomes clear: that affirmative vote to “recommend” the Partition Plan to the Mandatory Power represents the “consent” of the UNGA, and according to the plain text of the Mandate for Palestine that was the one and only legal hurdle that the Mandatory had to jump.

        From that point on the Partition Plan was legally-binding on all parties, not through any authority granted to the UNGA by the UN Charter but by the legal authority that had always resided with the…. Mandatory Power.

        • Egbert Talens, Zutphen

          Your points — comments, if you will — seem to be nothing else but an effort to convince yourself and those who share the same miserable point of view. A vain effort, imho, if not a shameless sign of an egotistic stance re the natural political rights of (the) authentic populations, in this case of the authentic inhabitants in the region where the political zionists had laid there greedy eyes on. There is hardly a way, or no way at all, to argue with people like you, holding on to such an, I say extraordinary, approach,

          And fwiw: the Mandate(s) lacked the support of a majority verdict c.q. support by the people that would have lend legitimacy to it/them and as such it could come to pass that the scenes where the political zionists showed off their despicable attitudes — Versailles; San Remo; Lausanne a.s.f. — came to be commented on by Woodrow Wilson, who spoke of: “the whole disgusting scramble…”.

          • https://plus.google.com/112666471896024861687 John Reynolds

            An ad-hom. How predictable.

    • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

      John Reynolds,

      Your argument is founded on numerous false assumptions, but it is enough to merely point out that it still rests on Resolution 181 as somehow conferring legal authority to the Zionist leadership to unilaterally declare their own state on land mostly belonging to the majority non-Jew inhabitants.

      • https://plus.google.com/112666471896024861687 John Reynolds

        JH: “Your argument is founded on numerous false assumptions,”

        Oh, please….

        JH: “but it is enough to merely point out that it still rests on Resolution 181 as somehow conferring legal authority to the Zionist leadership to unilaterally declare their own state on land mostly belonging to the majority non-Jew inhabitants.”

        No, sorry, that is a misstatement of my argument.

        The vote of UNGAR181 represents the “consent” of the UN to a plan to the Mandatory Power’s plan to partition the Mandated territory of Palestine into *two* successor states: one *here* and the other *there*.

        The UNGA wasn’t conferring “legal authority” to the Zionist organization, it was agreeing with the Mandatory, as is required under the articles of Mandate i.e. a deal was made, not between the UN and the Zionist Organization, but between the UN and the Mandatory Power.

        I’m not saying that was “moral”.
        I’m not saying that was “wise”.

        I am saying that under the terms of the Mandate for Palestine it was perfectly “legal” for a Mandatory Power to make the decision that there would be two successor states, and – again, according to the plain text of the Mandate – the only legal hurdle to that taking place was not “the will of the majority non-Jew inhabitants” but was, instead, “the consent of the United Nations General Assembly”.

        • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com Jeremy R. Hammond

          I did not misrepresent your argument. You wrote:

          That’s what UNGAR 181 represents i.e. the Mandatory Power took that Partition Plan to the General Assembly and asked “Do you agree with this?”. And the reply from the UNGA was “Yeah, sure, we do”.
          As far as I can see that was the only legal hurdle the Mandatory Power had to surmount….

          Are you now taking back your statement that passage of Resolution 181 was a “legal hurdle” for those desiring partition? If so, what, then, is the legal authority you are citing? Please show us where it exists.

          Your argument is ridiculous nonsense.

          1) Neither the League of Nations nor the UN had authority to take land from the Arab Palestinians to hand it over to the Zionists for their “Jewish state”.

          2) Neither ever claimed to have such authority.

          • Johnboy4546

            Jeremy: “Are you now taking back your statement that passage of Resolution 181 was a “legal hurdle” for those desiring partition?”

            No, I’m pointing out that the “consent” of the UN General Assembly is the one and only legal hurdle the MANDATORY POWER had to surmount in order for its decision to partition a Mandated territory into two successor states to become legally binding.

            I’ve even quoted you the paragraph in the Mandate for Palestine that sets out that legal hurdle i.e. Article 27 of The Mandate for Palestine.

            Now, once more: are you denying that this Mandatory Power wanted to partition this mandate into two successor states?

            And, again: are you denying that a Mandatory Power **can** partition a mandate into two successor states?

            Because if you *are* denying that a Mandatory Power can partition a mandate into two successor states then I will ask you – once more, yet again – to consider the undeniable existence of Lebanon and Syria, and also the unquestioned existence of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

            Jeremy: “1) Neither the League of Nations nor the UN had authority to take land from the Arab Palestinians to hand it over to the Zionists for their “Jewish state”.”

            And, one more time, I’m point out that you have just slapped a red herring onto the table.

            The authority to partition a Mandated Territory into two or more successor states lay with someone else entirely: the Mandatory Power.

            And as Exhibits (A) and (B) I give you: Lebanon/Syria, and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

            Sorry, Jeremy, are you just going to keep ignoring them in the hope that they go away, or are you actually going to finally address the point that I am making?

            “2) Neither ever claimed to have such authority.”

            Nor should they, since that is nought but your own red herring.

            The Mandatory Power, Jeremy: you keep pretending that those two words do not exist.

            So I’ll ask again: did a Mandatory Power have the authority to partition a Mandated territory into two successor states?

            Yes? Or No?

            And if you (finally) get around to addressing that question then we might have something to discuss.

            But as it is now I’m debating you, but in response you keep debating your own straw man.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            Thank you for confirming once again that your argument rests on the assumption that Resolution 181 somehow conferred legal authority for the partition of Palestine (i.e., was a “legal hurdle” to that end).

            That is false, of course. See above.

            That is just one of your fundamental errors. Furthermore, the Mandatory power, in this case, the UK, had no authority to partition Palestine, nor ever claimed any such authority. And if by “Mandatory Power” you mean the League of Nations and/or UN, the same holds true.

          • Johnboy4546

            “Furthermore, the Mandatory power, in this case, the UK, had no authority to partition Palestine, nor ever claimed any such authority.”

            A Mandatory Power has the legal authority to partition a Mandate into two (or even more) successor states, Jeremy.

            That is axiomatic, because the Mandatory Power in Syria partitioned the Mandate for Syria into two successor states: Syria and Lebanon.

            And it is equally axiomatic that this Mandatory Power had the legal authority to create more than one successor state out the Mandate for Palestine: the existence of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan proves that.

            You simply refuse to address this point, Jeremy: your argument demonstrably fails to account for the indisputable existence of…. Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan.

            All were **parts** of a Mandated Territory, and all **exist** as the result of the partition of a Mandated territory into more than one successor states.

            Now, I’ve gone back and looked at all of your “rebuttals” and, sure enough, not once have you so much as acknowledged that the words “Syria”, “Lebanon” or “Jordan” even exist, much less account for their existence.

            How odd. How very odd indeed.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            A Mandatory Power has the legal authority to partition a Mandate into two (or even more) successor states, Jeremy.

            False. The facts are as I’ve stated them.

            the Mandatory Power in Syria partitioned the Mandate for Syria into two successor states: Syria and Lebanon

            1) Just because state powers do something doesn’t mean they have authority to.

            2) The title of the Legaue of Nations mandate was “The French Mandate for Syria and the Lebanon.

            So please stop making silly arguments.

          • Johnboy4546

            “Thank you for confirming once again that your argument rests on the assumption that Resolution 181 somehow conferred legal authority for the partition of Palestine (i.e., was a “legal hurdle” to that end).”

            *sigh*
            What is it with red herrings?

            I have never claimed that UNGA 181 “conferred legal authority” on anybody.

            I said what I said, and what I said was this: the “legal authority” to partition a Mandated Territory had always resided with…. the Mandatory Power.

            The UN could not “confer” that legal authority *to* the Mandatory Power, precisely because that legal authority had *already* been conferred on that Mandatory (as it had on all Mandatory Powers in all the Mandated Territories) by the Mandate system that was set up in the early 1920s.

            The Mandate – all Mandates – were analogous to a trust fund i.e. there was:
            a) A Trustee (in this case, the Mandatory Power)
            b) A Supervising Body (in this case, the LoN followed by the UNGA)
            c) A list of assets (in this case, the territory)
            d) One or more beneficiaries (in this case, anyone living in that territory)

            And like all trust funds it is the TRUSTEE alone who decides how the assets are to be apportioned *this* and *so* between the beneficiaries, but that apportionment needs to be approved by the SUPERVISING BODY.

            There is nothing the least bit controversial about that, because that’s precisely how trust funds work.

            And this is another thing that is not the least bit controversial – no matter how loudly the beneficiaries may complain that the apportionment Is Not Fair! Not Fair! they don’t get to decide on Who Gets What.

            The TRUSTEE decides that, not the BENEFICIARIES.

            Now, I know you don’t agree with that. I know that.
            But simply saying “that’s false, of course” is not an argument – it’s a polemic.

          • http://www.jeremyrhammond.com/ Jeremy R. Hammond

            Your comments illustrate your cognitive dissonance.

            It cannot both be true that Resolution 181 neither authorized nor conferred any authority to partition Palestine and yet also true that it constituted a “legal hurdle” for the partition of Palestine.

            Beyond that, I’ve already addressed your other ridiculous errors.

  • Egbert Talens, Zutphen

    Somehow John Reynolds, or Johnboy4546, makes me think he falls victim to his own
    fantasies; in the way that he believes the League of Nations (LoN) to
    be a proper body, an able if not more so a rightful instrument, to
    arrange political structures wheresoever in the world by means of a
    (selfconjured) Mandate. As was done in the Middle-East, with dreadful
    results for those who do have a mentality completely different from
    the political zionists and or from Johnboys with whatever serial
    number. Such a different mentality that it’s hard, if not totally
    impossible, to argue about the nature of what the LoN set in motion
    in the Middle-East. The words ‘victim to his own fantasies’ come to
    mind when reading the account of how matters were arranged in
    Versailles 1919 as to initiate the LoN; a more than recommendable
    account by Dr. E.J. Dillon, called THE INSIDE STORY OF THE PEACE
    CONFERENCE (Harpers). In the last chapter Dillon mentions the name of
    M. Gauvain, of France, who remarked the following: Their (British and
    American; e.t.) conduct is awakening among the states ‘whose
    interests are limited’ the belief that they are the victims of an
    arbitrary policy.

    An arbitrary policy, that’s precisely the term for what the LoN’s Mandate became
    at the behest of the ruthless political zionists…