This post is continued in another one, so read to the end of this and then click here.
I have been making the folks over at Kaboomfest love me over the past couple of weeks and I though I should share part of a response I gave in a discussion because it includes some info that I didn’t know before and I assume others don’t either.
To the person who mentioned AIPAC talking points. You may wish to look up what Palestine meant 100 years ago. It included not only Israel, Gaza and Judea and Samaria, but it also included Transjordan – today’s Jordan. This was the “Palestine” that was promised to the Jews in the Balfour Declaration and in subsequent discussions with the British and some Arabs.
However, the British, who had a mandate and had made a promise to the Jewish people, established Transjordan over the territory of approximately 82-83% of the entire land of Palestine. This territory, by the way, was intended to house the Arabs while the Jews were supposed to receive the remainder.
So the land about which the conflict remains today is really 17% of “historic Palestine” which, of course, was never a state but had been a province of other empires since, well, since the Israelites last controlled it. When those Palestinians who say they would accept 1967 borders speak of their compromise of 22% of the land, they mean 22% of the 17%, and of course never mention all the Palestinians who live in Jordan on the other 83% of â€œhistoric Palestine.â€
In 2000, the Palestinians were offered funds that were considered restitution. They were offered these funds as part of a peace deal which would have included a Palestinian state. You know what happened, you guys launched a war. At Taba they were actually talking about $30 billion!!!!
However, just to point out also, Israel created a mechanism in 1950 (Absentee Lands) that allows any Arab who had lived and controlled land in what became Israel, which in some form was lost to the new state, to receive compensation for such land. There is an actual body in the Israeli government that to this day managing this function. I believe the formula was the value of the property in 1950 + 3% annual increase. Many Arabs have chosen to accept this compensation but even more have not either because they are unaware, as you seem to be, or because they do not wish to provide legitimacy to giving up land they consider theirs to the Jewish state.
You mention that in 1947, the partition plan was unfair because it offered the Jews this, this and that. Again I repeat, the UN divided the land on the basis of population. There was a definite Arab minority in the land allotted to the Jews, the coastal areas were given to them because that is where they built their communities – on legally acquired land, I might add. As we can see from the development of Israel over the decades, the technology and modern economy was brought to the land in large part by the Jews and their community. If you resent that a power plant was included in the UN offer, the Palestinians could have negotiated for one as well. They didn’t.
Of course, we both know that these were not the reasons that the partition wasnâ€™t accepted and it is disingenuous to claim they were.
Hereâ€™s an interesting backgrounder on the 1947 Arab position and Palestinian position, tell me if it reminds you of what we hear on your site today:
The Palestinian national movement, on the other hand, has not agreed to any such compromise. It did not agree to it in 1947, and it does not agree to it today. It is not a question of borders, or of drawing the line dividing the two states; rather of the very principle of two states for two peoples.
IT IS A historic crime that the Palestinian leadership did not agree to this concept in the debates that preceded the United Nations resolution regarding partition, which came in the wake of the recommendations made by the majority in the special committee established by the United Nations General Assembly.
Few recall that this Palestinian leadership opposed not only the majority view, which favored partition into two states, but even that of the pro-Arab minority in that committee.
The minority view proposed the establishment of a single federative state having two cantons, Jewish and Arab; the independence of the Jewish canton would be more limited and matters of immigration – the existential matter that the Jews fought for – would be removed from its authority.
With the minority proposal it would not have been possible to save the majority of displaced Jews, Holocaust survivors, from their shameful existence in DP camps on German soil.
The recommendations of the pro-Arab minority nevertheless recognized the existence of a Jewish national entity, and it was this idea that was anathema to the Palestinian leadership and Arab countries. That is why they opposed both the minority and majority recommendations in the committee.
Most of the delegates to the UN General Assembly took a negative view of this recalcitrant and extreme position, as well as of the leadership of the Nazi mufti, Haj Amin el-Husseini. Had the mufti had his way, the Jewish population of Eretz Yisrael/Palestine would also have been exterminated in death camps – a small addition of 10 percent to the number of Jews murdered by his Nazi partners.
FROM THE moment the decision in favor of partition was made, the Palestinian Arabs and Arab nations rose up against the Palestinian Jews. Instead of accepting the compromise decided upon by the supreme international organization, which also had the authority to decide on the future of the areas under the Mandate of the League of Nations, the Arab countries made a declaration of war and began to plan their invasion of the Jewish state by regular Arab armies and a Palestinian Arab army led by the mufti.
Of course, by launching this war and being unwilling to accept compromise, the Palestinians created the Nakba for themselves.
… (more to follow in the next post)