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Saturday, March 9, 2013

International Law Favors Israel With Balfour Declaration

Nadene Goldfoot
Throughout the centuries, Jews returned to the Land to join the ones who never had left between 70 CE and 135 CE.  They came in groups and individually.  In the Diaspora, philanthropic assistance for the Jewish community became a tradition.  There were emissaries who went back and forth between the Land and the communities in Europe and elsewhere.  Jews prayed for 2,000 years to not to forget Jerusalem.

WWI had just come to an end.(July  28, 1914-November 11, 1918)  The Allies won and Germany, Austria/Hungary, Bulgaria  and the Ottoman Empire lost. Italy had been siding with the Axis but in 1915 joined up with the Allies, instead.   The League of Nations had given a mandate to Britain to carry out the creation of the Jewish National Home.  The mandate for Palestine was written up on July 24, 1922.  There were 28 Articles for Britain to carry out.

The mandates for Palestine and Syria came into force together on September 29, 1922.  Here the League of Nations recognized the "historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine" and the "grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country."  

Britain was responsible for putting this into effect the declaration made on November 2, 1917 in the Balfour Declaration by the Government of His Brittannic Majesty and adopted by the said Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country;

and....Now this part was a joke.  Jews everywhere, and especially in Europe, were not only suffering from anti-Semitism, shown to the Jewish leaders plainly in the Dreyfus Affair in France, but also in the multitude of pogroms going on in the Pale of Settlement, where Jews were kept to live, not being desirous enough to walk on Russian soil.  This was the whole reason why our Jewish leadership felt the need finally, of getting back our own country, and here was the opportunity.  Our old stomping grounds was desolate and virtually empty after 2,000 years of negligence by other ruling powers.  Nobody wanted our ancient land.  Nobody, but us, that is.

Our leadership had no intention of harming any of the but few Arabs that lived on our ancient land. They planned for a Utopia where all would live in peace and comfort.   Most were very poor people as the Arab landowners lived on other continents, usually Paris, France. Theodore Herzl wrote the pamphlet, Der Judenstaat in 1896 of just such a Utopia.  In 1902, he published a Utopian novel about the Jewish state, Altneuland (old-new land) a vision complete with monorails and modern industry. The novel concludes, "If you will, it is no legend."  "The Old New Land is the classic Utopian novel published by Theodor Herzl, who is in effect the father of Israel. A very well-written work of fiction, it also outlines Herzl’s progressive vision for a Jewish state in the Land of Israel."

Under the 400 years of Ottoman rule, and especially in the 17th and 18th centuries, conditions of insecurity and oppression prevailed in the Land.  Marauding Bedouin tribes made incursions.  There was internal strife between rival local alliances of Arabs.  The number of villages was reduced by about one half between the 16th and early 19 century.  The population of the Land dwindled and at the beginning of the 19th century did not exceed 250,000.  In the 2nd half of the 19th century, both Arabs and Jews began to grow.  by 1914, the population of the Land (west of the Jordan) was estimated at 680,000 of whom 85,000 were Jews.  That means that there were 595,000 Arabs in Palestine at that time.

An agreement was reached with King Husseins' son, Emir Feisal, chief Arab delegate at the Paris Peace conference, and Dr. Chaim Weizmann. King Hussein was of the Hejaz, and they were also negotiating with Britain for the recognition of Arab national rights in the territories of the Ottoman empire throughout the Middle east.   Feisal endorsed the Balfour Declaration and Palestine was recognized as a separate Jewish entity, with which the then imminent Arab State would maintain diplomatic relations, on condition that Britain and France met Arab demands in other territories.  This Mandate extended over both sides of the river Jordan, but in 1922, Britain divided the mandated territory in half and established Transjordan, depriving the Jews any rights to the Land east of the river which was not in the agreement.  Now Jews faced a ruling that they could not purchase land or settle there.

The Brits interpreted the Articles of the agreement to fit their national desires.  It wound up that at certain times, Jewish immigration to the land was allowed but at other times, it was severely restricted and land purchase was prevented.   On the other hand, they allowed Arabs to enter illegally and didn't even bother to include them in the count.  They were truly showing their bias from long ago when Jews were kept out of England for over 200 years.  At the start of WWII, Jews were prevented from entering Palestine, and instead had to return to their host country and face death in the Holocaust.  My thought is that Britain purposely was trying to sabotage the Balfour Doctrine so that they could take over the whole land themselves, hoping for oil to be found.  It's weird, but of all the places of the Middle East, oil has not been found in what is today's Israel.

Between the Sherif of Jerusalem, who was the opposite of Feisal, and the Brits, Arabs were goaded into attacking Jews living in Palestine by this time, and they were easily roused.  All the good plans of Chaim Weizmann to live in a peaceful land together had to be laid aside in order to survive at this point.  Jews were attacked, whole Jewish communities were rubbed out.  The Jews did everything in their power to carry out the legalities of the Balfour Doctrine and tried to establish a Jewish state that would be fair to the Arabs there as well.  They did not count on them attacking for no reason.

By 1881 Jewish immigrants made aliyah to Israel and created communities and did farming.  They came mostly from Russia's Pale of Settlement, where life was absolutely intolerable.  They were Socialists who knew what it was like to live under a yoke of submission.  By 1897, Theodor Herzl formed the World Zionist Organization and the age-old yearning of the Jewish people to return to its land was the topic.  It became our national liberation movement of the Jewish people and they had 2 goals:
1. To carry out the return of the Jews to the Land and the revival in it of Jewish national life, socially, culturally, economically and politically.
2. To get a publicly recognized, legally secured home for the Jews where they would be free of persecution and free to evolve their own life and identity.

 Palestinian Arab murdered over 1,000 Jews between 1920 and 1967, and they ethnically cleansed all Jewish communities from the areas they captured during the 1948 war, including the West Bank, Gaza and eastern Jerusalem, and that's why they had fallen into Arab hands.  The pattern of terrorism simply continued after Israel's victory in its 1967 defensive war.  Yasser Arafat organized 61 Fatah   military operations from the West Bank in the few months after the war, and 162 Israelis were killed by terrorists between 1968 and 1970.

Whether is has been in Gaza or Judea-Samaria or East Jerusalem, since 1967, when they regained these places, Israel has set out all kinds of helps for the Arabs.  They have returned the kindness with bombs, mortars, missiles and suicide bombers.

Israel is now made up of 6 million Jews and 1.4 million Arabs.  In 1973 Israel said she will continue to seek peace within secure boundaries between itself and its Arab neighbors.  Until a negotiated peace becomes possible, Israel will continue to pursue the policy of peaceful co-existence with the Arabs in the administered areas. That was declared 40 years ago.  Israel is still waiting for a negotiated peace treaty which must recognize Israel right to exist and to be there.  International Law says that Israel has the right to be in the land and to rule over Judea, Samaria, and east Jerusalem.  It came to them legally by the Arab nations attacking and losing.  Let that be a lesson to them.  Might does not make right.  

Reference: with internatonal lawyers Eugene Rostow, Julius Store, David Phillips and Alan Dershowits with Eugene Kontorovich telling about Palestinians treatment of Jews.

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