Contradictions abound; Palestinian leaders claim to be descended from the Canaanites, the Philistines, the Jebusites and the first Christians. They also “hijacked” Jesus and ignored his Jewishness, at the same time claiming the Jews never were a people and never built the Holy Temples in Jerusalem.
Eli Hertz, Mandate for Palestine: The Legal Aspects of Jewish Rights
In "Mandate for Palestine: The Legal Aspects of Jewish Rights," Eli Hertz gives an overview of the various contradictory histories claimed by Arab leaders for Palestinians:
Encouraged by their success at historical revisionism and brainwashing the world with the "Big Lie" of a Palestinian people, Palestinian Arabs have more recently begun to claim they are the descendants of the Philistines and even the Stone Age Canaanites. Based on that myth, they can claim to have been "victimized" twice by the Jews: in the conquest of Canaan by the Israelites and again by the Israelis in modern times – a total fabrication. Archeologists explain that the Philistines were a Mediterranean people who settled along the coast of Canaan in 1100 BCE. They have no connection to the Arab nation, a desert people who emerged from the Arabian Peninsula.Now, Maen Rashid Areikat--the chief PLO representative to the US--steps into the fray with an editorial in the Washington Post claiming to present Palestine, a history rich and deep:
As if that myth were not enough, former PLO Chairman Yasir Arafat also claimed, "Palestinian Arabs are descendants of the Jebusites," who were displaced when King David conquered Jerusalem.
Arafat also argued that "Abraham was an Iraqi." One Christmas Eve, Arafat declared that "Jesus was a Palestinian," a preposterous claim that echoes the words of Hanan Ashrawi, a Christian Arab who, in an interview during the 1991 Madrid Conference, said: "Jesus Christ was born in my country, in my land," and claimed that she was "the descendant of the first Christians," disciples who spread the gospel around Bethlehem some 600 years before the Arab conquest. If her claims were true, it would be tantamount to confessing that she is a Jew!
We go far back, much further than those doubting our existence can remember. Jericho, my home town, goes as far back as 10,000 B.C., making it the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. We Palestinians also happen to live in a place that many consider important, at the crossroads of three continents and containing a site of holy reverence for more than half of the world’s population. It has been a mixed blessing: Palestine managed to draw the good and the bad from what the world has had to offer. We lived under the rule of a plethora of empires: the Canaanites, Egyptians, Philistines, Israelites, Persians, Greeks, Romans, Crusaders, Mongols, Ottomans and, finally, the British. This has made our region rich in history, culture and heritage. Indeed, if our olive trees could speak — some are centuries old — they would have a lot to say.As Elder of Ziyon points out in his fisking of Areikat--The PLO's US envoy lies in the WaPo--Areikat wants to have it both ways: claiming a tie to the land that extends over 12,000 years while maintaining an Arab connection which goes back 1,500 years.
Areikat continues to weave his tale:
This makes us very proud and appreciative of our special place in this world. That is why we are so attached to our land and to our identity. I can’t think of a place that is quite like it. Yes, it is tumultuous, incomprehensible and, at times, very dangerous, but for us it is home. Centuries of rule by an eclectic assortment have taught us that empires come and go but legacies and values remain. We proudly carry those values today. Family is sacred, education is indispensable, and religious tolerance is innate. The fact that we outlived these empires is a testament to our resilience and strength.Here Areikat runs into a bigger problem--historically, it is not just the empires that have come and gone: the so-called Palestinians have come and gone too. In fact, history reveals that there were hundreds of thousands of new Arab settlers in the Palestinian territory just prior to 1948. Rather than having lived in the area for millenia, a huge number of those Arabs were recent arrivals who came in order to take advantage of efforts of the Jews to improve and reclaim the land that had fallen into disuse.
As he continues, Areikat gets caught up in his narrative and makes the same mistake as Ashrawi:
Many in the United States forget that Palestinians are Muslims and Christians. They ignore the fact that Palestinian Christians are the descendants of Jesus and guardians of the cradle of Christianity.More than just ignoring the implied presence and ties of Jews to the land--Areikat is noting that Christian Arabs are descended from Jews. That makes is his next comment:
Our recent history became intertwined with the plight of European Jewry seeking an end to centuries of persecution brought upon them by the West.all the more ridiculous and ignorant.
Even more fantastic is the next lie:
Before World War II, Palestinians and Jews living in Palestine enjoyed times of great harmony. My grandfather shared a bakery shop with a Jewish partner, Aaron, in Jerusalem’s Bak’a Tahta neighborhood. My mother told me stories of the period of peace and tranquillity they enjoyed with Jews during this time. That period ended in 1948, however, and a conflict began.The claim that there was tranquility up until 1948 does more than overlook the Arab massacre of Jews in Hebron in 1929--Areikat sweeps under the carpet the fact that Arabs had been persecuting Jews in the Palestinian territories for hundreds of years prior to 1948.
Areikat's final claim is no more accurate than his others:
We developed our political representation, engaged the diplomatic arena and produced a pragmatic national platform that addressed our legitimate demands as well as the concerns of all parties to the conflict. The two-state solution was this national platform. We agreed to confine our right to self-determination and statehood on only 22 percent of what used to be our historic homeland, and we did so for the sake of peace and with a sober realization that seeking “absolute justice” is a fool’s errand. We also did not wait for the removal of all the shackles to our freedom before setting out for our goal. With our can-do spirit, we built the institutions of the state in preparation for the long-awaited day when we will enjoy the freedoms that other nations of the world enjoy.The facts are actually the opposite, as the right of the Jews to rebuild and reestablish their homeland is fully supported by international law.
In short, following WWI, the Treaty of Versailles established a system of mandates for parts of the Ottoman Empire to aid them in becoming independent. That is how Lebanon, Syria and Iraq came into existence--and ultimately Jordan too. The mandate for the Palestinian territory was for the re-establishment of a Jewish home, putting the Balfour Declaration into effect, based on "the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country."
- On April 25, 1920--the mandate for Palestine was given to Great Britain to fulfill.
- On June 24, 1922--the Council of the League of Nations ratified the mandate itself.
- In March 1925--a special American-British Palestine Mandate Convention was ratified
(March 2, 1925 by President Coolidge and March 18 by Great Britain).
And the fact that the League of Nations no longer exists does not change anything--as the UN Charter itself states:
Except as may be agreed upon in individual trusteeship agreements, made under Articles 77, 79, and 81, placing each territory under the trusteeship system, and until such agreements have been concluded, nothing in this Chapter shall be construed in or of itself to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or any peoples or the terms of existing international instruments to which Members of the United Nations may respectively be parties.The International Court of Justice itself has consistently held that the League of Nations mandates continue to have force and are not abrogated by the dissolving of the League of Nations:
When the League of Nations was dissolved, the raison d'etre and original object of these obligations remained. Since their fulfilment did not depend on the existence of the League, they could not be brought to an end merely because the supervisory organ had ceased to exist. The Members of the League had not declared, or accepted even by implication, that the mandates would be cancelled or lapse with the dissolution of the League.Bottom line: the Palestine Mandate which provides for the sovereignty of Israel in accordance with international law continues to be in force and binding to this day--and predates the UN.
The last resolution of the League Assembly and Article 80, paragraph 1, of the United Nations Charter maintained the obligations of mandatories. The International Court of Justice has consistently recognized that the Mandate survived the demise of the League.
Areikat's tale lacks not only any historical basis--there is no Arab legal right to the land either according to international law.
And this Jewish sovereignty over the territory outlined by the Palestinian Mandate includes Judea and Samaria--land that is known today as the West Bank.
Whether a "Palestinian" state will some day exist in Judea and Samaria remains to be seen--but if it does, it will be because Israel agreed to cede its land to the Arabs to make a state.
And Israel will only do that on the basis of negotiations.
So it high time that Mr. Areikat stop wasting our time with stories and lies and inform Abbas to get his act together--because if the Arabs are going to get another state, they are going to have to do it the old-fashioned way.
They are going to have to earn it.
Technorati Tag: Israel and International Law and League of Nations and Treaty of Versailles.