Would You Rather Have Sovereignty or Control

The “Would you rather…” game has been played by young children, adults and seniors around the world. People in the game have a question poised between two seemingly comparable good or bad choices and must decide which is more appealing. The games can be funny or revealing about how people think. Examples include:

  • Would you rather be locked in a steam room for an hour or a walk-in refrigerator for 20 minutes?
  • Would you rather have to brush your teeth with peanut butter or wash your hair with prune juice?
  • Would you rather know the day you are going to die or the cause?
  • Would you rather give up your mobile phone for a day or drinking anything for two days?

The game can reveal something about an individual’s fears, preferences and priorities.

In February 2017, a group from the University of North Carolina, Florida State University and University of Queensland published a study in which they asked the study participants a series of “Would you rather…” questions to test how they valued their reputations. The study was entitled “Death Before Dishonor,” and produced interesting findings as to the lengths that people would go through (theoretically) to avoid being branded as a bad person. (A sample question was would you rather die immediately or live to 90 but be known as a pedophile?) The study concluded that people treated their reputations very seriously – to the point of death or dismemberment – or at least wanted the test-takers to believe that they were not terrible people.

Professional negotiators dabble with such “would you rather” tactics in particularly difficult negotiations, posing questions to the two parties which might reveal where they stand on seemingly intractable situations.

Consider the thorniest question in the long-running Arab-Israeli conflict: the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

How would the Israelis and Palestinian Authority each respond to the question: Would you rather have sovereignty over the Temple Mount/ Noble Sanctuary or have control over it?

One scenario would have the Temple Mount be under complete Israeli sovereignty, but the Palestinian Authority would have administrative control over the 35 acre compound. For example, the PA could decide to restrict access to the compound only to Muslims, but an Israeli flag would be flying over the Dome of the Rock.

The other scenario would have the Temple Mount be part of a new country of Palestine. However, Israel would administer the site, and could open the platform to daily Jewish prayer services.

Each party would need to decide the critical rationale as to why it wants the site. Is it about religion (which would argue to have administrative control), or about national pride (which would argue for sovereignty).

If each party arrives at the same answer for the Temple Mount, an extra level of complexity would be added: the two sides would have to live with the opposite conclusion for the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. So if the Temple Mount became part of Palestine, and the Jews had complete administrative control over the site, the Cave of the Patriarchs would therefore be part of Israel, but under Palestinian administration.

The two parties might still come to the same conclusions so the impasse remains. But even though the situation is unresolved, there is better clarity as to the motivations of the parties, which could, in turn, bring additional strategies to resolve the situation.

Something to consider on the 70th anniversary of the United Nations Partition Plan.

Related First.One.Through articles:

Joint Prayer: The Cave of the Patriarchs and the Temple Mount

Dignity for Israel: Jewish Prayer on the Temple Mount

The UN’s Disinterest in Jewish Rights at Jewish Holy Places

The US State Department’s Selective Preference of “Status Quos”

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Al Jazeera’s Lies Call for Jihad Against the Jewish State

Al Jazeera is a media company owned by the government of Qatar. It has been actively fanning the flames of hatred and violence in the Israel-Arab conflict, most notably, during the July 2017 tensions around the Jewish Temple Mount/ al Aqsa Mosque Compound.

The quotes below are from Al Jazeera’s website covering the background and story, followed by comments by First.One.Through. In summary, it is a tale of revisionist history in which Jews are European colonialist who have been stealing Palestinian Arab land for 100 years, and are now poised to continue their illegal activity by taking over Islam’s third holiest site. Unless the Arab world does something.

“The last couple of weeks have seen daily demonstrations and confrontations between Israeli forces and Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territories.

“Tensions have risen in occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City after Israel shut down al-Aqsa Mosque compound for the first time since 1969, after a deadly gun battle between Palestinian citizens of Israel and Israeli forces.”

  • occupied East Jerusalem’s Old City.Israel reunified the city of Jerusalem in 1967 and annexed the eastern half of the city in 1980. It does not consider there to be an “East Jerusalem” which was an artifact of war waged by Arab countries in 1948.
  • al-Aqsa Mosque compound.” No mention that the site is the holiest location for Jews, the Jewish Temple Mount.
  • deadly gun battleDescribing the event as a gun battle between “Palestinian citizens” on one hand and “Israeli forces” on the other is a complete mischaracterization. This was an unprovoked attack by Israeli Arabs on Israeli policemen.
  • Palestinian citizens of IsraelRoughly 20% of Israelis are Arab, and are called Israeli Arabs. They are not “Palestinian citizens of Israel,” which would imply dual citizenship with a country called Palestine and Israel.

“The attack, which took place on July 14, ended in the deaths of two Israeli police officers and three Palestinian attackers. Israel subsequently closed the site for Friday prayers and reopened it the next Sunday with new measures of control, including metal detectors and additional cameras, at the compound’s entrances.”

  • ended in the deaths of two Israeli police officers and three Palestinian attackersAgain, there is no mention that the Israeli Arabs launched the unprovoked attack, and that the attackers were not Palestinian but Israeli Arabs.
  • measures of controlThe Israeli forces installed security measures, not of control. The choice of language of “control” is an attempt to enflame the ire of Palestinian Arabs.

“Palestinians have been refusing to enter the compound until Israel removes the new measures, which are being seen as the latest move by Israel to impose control and Judaise the city. They have been praying outside the gates in protest for more than a week.”

  • impose control and Judaise the cityAdding to the mischaracterization and seeking to inflame the passions of Muslims, Al Jazeera continued that not only was Israel seeking to “impose control,” but it was seeking to eliminate the Islamic presence at the compound. Al Jazeera turned the episode into a religious war, in which the Jewish State was trying to insert a false history on a purely Islamic holy place. Al Jazeera was both being completely deceitful and actively engaged in promoting a violent jihad.

“During Friday prayers on July 21, thousands of Palestinians came out to pray in the streets outside of Lion’s Gate, one of the entrances to the Old City. Tensions raged after peaceful demonstrations were violently suppressed by Israeli forces, resulting in hundreds of injuries. Four Palestinians have so far been shot dead in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, one of whom was shot by an Israeli settler.”

  • peaceful demonstrations were violently suppressed by Israeli forces As Al Jazeera did earlier in the article, it mischaracterized the Arabs as peaceful citizens confronted by Israeli forces. As before, there was no mention of horrific violence perpetrated by Palestinian Arabs, such as the murder of three Israeli Jews who were quietly having dinner in the town of Halamish on July 21.

“The following is a breakdown of why the al-Aqsa Mosque compound is a constant point of contention in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

1. What is al-Aqsa Mosque compound and why is it important?

Al-Aqsa is the name of the silver-domed mosque inside a 35-acre compound referred to as al-Haram al-Sharif, or the Noble Sanctuary, by Muslims, and as Temple Mount by Jews. The compound lies in the Old City of Jerusalem, which has been designated a World Heritage site by the United Nations cultural agency, UNESCO, and is important to the three Abrahamic religions.

  • important to the three Abrahamic religionsbut the holiest location only for one: Judaism. Muslims venerate the cities of Mecca and Medina more than the Noble Sanctuary.

“The site has been the most contested piece of territory in the Holy Land since Israel occupied East Jerusalem, including the Old City, in 1967, along with the West Bank and Gaza Strip. However, the conflict dates even further back, to before the creation of Israel.

In 1947, the UN drew up a partition plan to separate historic Palestine, then under British control, into two states: one for Jews, mainly from Europe, and one for Palestinians. The Jewish state was designated as 55 percent of the land, and the remaining 45 percent was for a Palestinian state.”

  • mainly from Europe is a dog whistle for people to consider Jews as interlopers and colonialists from Europe. It is a farce. Jewish history in Jerusalem predates the birth of Mohammed by thousands of years. Jews have been a majority in Jerusalem since the 1860s. And most of the Jews in the world lived in Russia and the Arab world in 1947.
  • Palestinians in 1947 meant both Jews and Arabs. Palestinians co-opted the word to only mean Arabs when they created the Palestinian Liberation Organization in 1964, to make the Arabs appear as the indigenous population of the land.

Jerusalem, which houses al-Aqsa compound, belonged to the international community under the administration of the UN. It was granted this special status for its importance to the three Abrahamic religions.”

  • Jerusalem was not the only area that was suggested by the UN to be a “corpus separatum,” a distinct entity to be administered by the UN. It was GREATER JERUSALEM AND GREATER BETHLEHEM that was proposed to be the international Holy Basin. Al Jazeera deliberately omitted mentioning Bethlehem, as Israel has handed it to the Palestinian Authority and does not want to make the PA’s administration of that city a question.
  • belonged to the international communityNothing belonged to the international community. The 1947 partition plan was a proposal – and it was roundly rejected by the Arab world. Al Jazeera omits the Arab world’s rejection completely.

“The first Arab-Israeli war broke out in 1948 after Israel declared statehood, capturing some 78 percent of the land, with the remaining areas of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza coming under Egyptian and Jordanian control.”

  • war broke out.” The 1948 war did not “break out” on its own; five armies from surrounding Arab countries invaded Israel with a stated goal of destroying the fledgling country.
  • capturing some 78 percent of the land.” Israel did not capture 78% of the land; it ended up with 78% of the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean. This was a small fraction of the land that was ascribed in international law in 1920 to be the homeland of the Jews. The vast majority of the land was given away by Great Britain to the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan.

“Israel’s increasing encroachment on the land intensified in 1967, after the second Arab-Israeli war, which resulted in the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, and eventually the illegal Israeli annexation of Jerusalem, including the Old City and al-Aqsa.”

  • increasing encroachment on the land…. Illegal Israeli annexation of Jerusalem This is a complete distortion in multiple levels. First, the entirety of the land was proposed to be made as a homeland for Jews according to international law. Second, the incremental land beyond the UN’s 1947 Partition Plan that Israel took in 1948 and 1967 were both as a result of DEFENSIVE WARS. Israel was invaded by five countries in 1948 and took incremental land that did not belong to any nation, and in 1967 it responded to an attack by the Jordanian army and took the land that the Jordanians themselves had illegally annexed.
  • In recounting the history of Jerusalem, Al Jazeera omits that Jordan illegally annexed the West Bank of the Jordan River including eastern Jerusalem, and evicted all of the Jews.

“The illegal Israeli control of East Jerusalem, including the Old City, violates several principles of international law, which outlines that an occupying power does not have sovereignty in the territory it occupies.”

  • violates several principles of international law. As described above, Israel took land that had been allocated to it by international law, in a defensive battle. This does not run afoul of international law. However, the Jordanian action of expelling all Jews from the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem in 1949 is contrary to the Geneva Convention.

“Over the years, the Israeli government has taken further steps towards controlling and Judaising the Old City and East Jerusalem as a whole. In 1980, Israel passed a law that declared Jerusalem the “complete and united” capital of Israel, in violation of international law. Today, no country in the world recognises Israel’s ownership of Jerusalem or its attempts to change the geography and demographic makeup of the city.”

  • controlling and Judaising the Old City and East Jerusalem.” As detailed above, Al Jazeera seeks to inflame the Muslim world against the Jewish state by using language like “controlling and Judaising the Old City and East Jerusalem.” It does this by ignoring the 3700 year history of Jews in Jerusalem and the unique relationship that only Jews have towards the city, such as being the only people that pray towards Jerusalem and make pilgrimages three times a year to the city. Further, Jews have been a majority in Jerusalem since the 1860s.
  • no country in the world recognises Israel’s ownership of Jerusalem.The Oslo II accords between the government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority recognized Israel’s control of Jerusalem, as did the 1994 peace treaty between Israel and Jordan.

“Palestinians in Jerusalem, who number around 400,000, hold only permanent residency status, not citizenship, despite being born there – in contrast with Jews who are born in the city. And since 1967, Israel has embarked on a quiet deportation of the city’s Palestinians by imposing difficult conditions for them to maintain their residency status.”

  • hold only permanent residency status, not citizenshipPalestinians in Jerusalem are free to apply for Israeli citizenship and thousands have already done so.
  • Israel has embarked on a quiet deportation of the city’s Palestinians.” The growth in the number of Arabs in Jerusalem surpasses the number of Jews and surpasses the growth of Arabs in almost the entire region.

“Israel has also built at least 12 fortified Jewish-only illegal settlements in East Jerusalem, housing some 200,000 Israelis, while rejecting Palestinian building permits and demolishing their homes as punishment for building illegally.”

  • Israel… built… Jewish-only illegal settlements…, while demolishing [Palestinian] homes as punishment for building illegally.” Al Jazeera played cute – and inconsistently – with the term “illegal.” It contended that Israel builds for Jews illegally but demolishes Arab illegal homes. In truth, Israel demolishes both Jewish and Arab homes that are built illegally according to Israeli law. It is Israel that is in charge with approving permits in its territories. The Jewish “illegal settlements” that Al Jazeera referenced are not illegal under Israeli law, but considered so by some countries.
  • The real racist laws related to living in Jerusalem are from the Palestinian Authority, which demands a country free of any and all Jews. Not mentioned by Al Jazeera.

“2. The compound’s religious significance

For Muslims, the Noble Sanctuary hosts Islam’s third holiest site, the al-Aqsa Mosque, and the Dome of the Rock, a seventh-century structure believed to be where the Islamic Prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven.

Jews believe the compound is where the Biblical Jewish temples once stood, but Jewish law and the Israeli Rabbinate forbid Jews from entering the compound and praying there, as it is considered too holy to tread upon.”

  • Islam’s third holiest site It is worth noting that Al Jazeera knows how to count and the importance of ranking as it wrote that compound is Muslims THIRD holiest site. However, it deliberately did not mention that it is the HOLIEST SITE FOR JEWS! No accident.
  • Jewish law and the Israeli Rabbinate forbid Jews from entering the compound and praying there Jews prayed on the Temple Mount until they were kicked off by Suleiman I around the year 1560. Almost all rabbis believe that it is permissible to ascend the Temple Mount, but should avoid entering the Dome of the Rock which was built on top of the location of the Temples. Did Al Jazeera mention that every Jew in the world prays in the direction of the Temple Mount while all Muslims pray in the direction of Medina? No, that would undermine its argument that the site is uniquely the holiest spot for Jews.

“The compound’s Western Wall, known as the Wailing Wall to Jews, is believed to be the last remnant of the Second Temple, while Muslims refer to it as al-Buraq Wall and believe it is where the Prophet Muhammad tied the Buraq, an animal upon which he ascended to the sky and spoke to God.”

  • believed to be the last remnant of the Second Temple The Western Wall is simply the retaining wall for the Temple Mount built by King Herod 2,000 years ago. It is NOT part of the Second Temple itself.

3. The site’s status quo

Since 1967,Jordan and Israel agreed that the Waqf, or the Islamic trust, would have control over matters inside the compound, while Israel would control external security. Non-Muslims would be allowed onto the site during visiting hours, but would not be allowed to pray there.

  • Waqf… would have control… inside, while Israel would control external security The agreement was that the Waqf would handle non-security matters while Israel would handle all security matters – inside and outside of the compound.

“But rising Temple movements, such as the Temple Mount Faithful and the Temple Institute, have challenged the Israeli government’s ban on allowing Jews to enter the compound, and they aim to rebuild the Third Jewish Temple in the compound.”

  • aim to rebuild the Third Jewish TempleThe goals of most of the Temple Mount activists are the basic ability to pray at their holiest site, not to rebuild the Temple nor destroy any Muslim sites. Al Jazeera’s statement is deliberately provocative.

“Such groups are funded by members of the Israeli government, though it claims a desire to maintain the status quo at the site.”

  • funded by members of the Israeli government The groups are NOT funded by the government but by individuals.

“Today, Israeli forces routinely allow groups, some in the hundreds, of Jewish settlers who live in the occupied Palestinian territories to descend on the al-Aqsa compound under police and army protection, stirring Palestinian fears of an Israeli takeover of the compound.”

  • Jewish settlers who live in the occupied Palestinian territories There are basic visiting hours established for non-Muslims to visit the Temple Mount, as has been the case for centuries. There is no BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) against allowing visitors because of where they live – as it should be.
  • under police and army protectionThe police and army protection because the Waqf has allowed “Mouraboutin” gangs of men and women to harass and attack Jewish visitors on the Temple Mount.
  • stirring Palestinian fears of an Israeli takeoverAl Jazeera’s distorted narrative has led Palestinians to fear an Israeli destruction of al Aqsa, inverting the facts.

“In 1990, the Temple Mount Faithful declared it would lay a cornerstone for the Third Temple in place of the Dome of the Rock, leading to riots and a massacre in which 20 Palestinians were killed by Israeli police.

In 2000, Israeli politician Ariel Sharon entered the holy site accompanied by some 1,000 Israeli police, deliberately reiterating Israeli claims to the contested area in light of then Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s US-brokered peace negotiations with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, which included discussions on how the two sides could share Jerusalem. Sharon’s entrance to the compound unleashed the Second Intifada, in which more than 3,000 Palestinians and some 1,000 Israelis were killed.

And most recently in May, the Israeli cabinet held its weekly meeting in tunnels below al-Aqsa Mosque, on the 50th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of East Jerusalem, “to mark the liberation and unification of Jerusalem” – a move that infuriated Palestinians.”

  • Al Jazeera cherry-picks three incidents over 27 years to lead people to believe that there is Israeli action to takeover the Temple Mount and build a Third Jewish Temple. It does not post any history of Israeli laws protecting Islamic holy sites. It does not mention that the Ariel Sharon visited the Temple Mount during regular visiting hours and never entered the al Aqsa Mosque and that the Second Intifada was launched by Arafat (fungus be upon him) because he could not bring himself to the necessary compromises to conclude a peace deal.

“Israel already restricts Palestinian entry into the compound through several methods, including the separation wall, built in the early 2000s, which restricts the entry of Palestinians from the West Bank into Israel.”

  • the separation wall, built in the early 2000s The Security Barrier was built by Israel in reaction to the horrific violence from Palestinians against Israeli citizens in the Second Intifada unleashed by Arafat (fungus be upon him). Al Jazeera called it a “separation wall” to make it appear that Israel is trying to cut off access to al Aqsa. Untrue.

“Of the three million Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, only those over a certain age limit are allowed access to Jerusalem on Fridays, while others must apply for a hard-to-obtain permit from Israeli authorities. The restrictions already cause serious congestion and tension at checkpoints between the West Bank and Jerusalem, where tens of thousands must pass through security checks to enter Jerusalem to pray.”

  • pass through security checks As described above, it has long been established in agreements and law that Israel handles security. Added measures are taken when there is violence.

“The latest measures, including the new metal detectors, are seen by Palestinians as part of Israel’s efforts to impose further control on the site, and are a violation of the freedom to worship, protected under international law, according to experts.”

  • violation of the freedom to worship The only true violation to the freedom of worship and basic human rights is the denial of Jewish prayer at their holiest site.

“President Mahmoud Abbas recently announced that the Palestinian leadership had frozen all contact with Israel due to the growing tensions at al-Aqsa compound, saying relations would not resume until Israel removed all security measures.”

  • Israel removed all security measures Abbas wanted the INCREMENTAL security items removed, not ALL security measures. This is not a purge of Israeli security control over the Temple Mount which is the established agreed upon status quo.

4. Recent tensions

Tensions have been simmering near al-Aqsa for the past two years. In 2015, clashes broke out after hundreds of Jews tried to enter the mosque complex to commemorate a Jewish holiday.”

  • clashes broke outPalestinian Arabs rioted and went on a rampage to kill Jews; clashes didn’t simply break out of the thin air. Arab rioters attacked Jews at the Western Wall on the Jewish holiday of Tisha B’Av and the rioters retreated into the al Aqsa Mosque. Al Jazeera inverted the facts to make it appear that the Jews stormed the mosque as part of a holiday ritual. By September 2015, Israel labelled the Mourabitoun that continued to attack Jews on the Temple Mount an illegal organization.
  • Jews tried to enter the mosque complex Jews did not enter any mosque; they came to their holiest location during regular visiting hours, as they had every right to do. Visiting the site during Tisha B’Av has long been a Jewish tradition.

“A year later, protests also erupted after visits by Jewish settlers groups at the compound during the last 10 days of Islam’s holy month of Ramadan, in contravention of tradition.”

  • contravention of tradition Israeli security forces had recently suspended the visitation rights of non-Muslims during the end of Ramadan because of Arab violence. This has not been a long-established tradition. It would appear that Al Jazeera likes some changes to the status quo if it impedes on the rights of non-Muslims.

“Most clashes in the compound have occurred because of Israeli settlers trying to pray within the compound, which directly violates the status quo.”

  • Israeli settlers Al Jazeera time-and-again refers to Jewish visitors as “settlers” to try to make their actions appear as illegal. They are ordinary Jews seeking a legal right to visit, and basic human right to pray at their holiest site. The clashes were precipitated by the illegal Mourabitoun, funded by Arab groups like the northern branch of the Islamic Movement, which Israel finally labelled an illegal group in November 2015.

“Over the last two weeks, Israeli forces fired live ammunition, tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinians demonstrating against the imposed measures, including the barring of Muslim men under the age of 50 from the holy site.”

  • In recalling “recent tensions,” Al Jazeera neglects to mention Arab violence, even the attack of three Israeli Arabs that killed Israeli border policemen on the Temple Mount in an unprovoked attack which set the latest crisis afire.

“Following the recent events, Israel has deployed 3,000 Israeli police and border police units around the compound.”

  • Al Jazeera’s narrative continued to show Israelis amassing force to make the Israeli government appear as unleashing an assault as opposed to providing security in light of Arab violence.

The Western Wall and Temple Mount, October 2016

“5. The greater context

Al-Aqsa is just a small area within Palestine, but it is a symbolic part of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.”

  • symbolic part of the conflict Is Al Jazeera stating that the conflict is really a war over religions more than about land?

“Though the mosque itself is significant for Muslims especially, even Palestinian Christians have protested against Israeli encroachment on the compound, joining Muslims in prayer outside of Lion’s Gate on Friday.”

  • significant for Muslims especiallyNo, the site is especially significant only for Jews, which Al Jazeera doesn’t mention at all.

“The issue of al-Haram al-Sharif stands as a symbolic, but very strong catalyser of the routine of injustice and oppression that Palestinians in Jerusalem are facing, and that causes a continuous eruption of popular anger and uprisings,” Yara Jalajel, a former legal adviser to the Palestinian minister of foreign affairs, told Al Jazeera.

“Recent clashes near al-Aqsa compound have also led to protests and violence throughout the West Bank and Gaza.”

  • very strong catalyzer Al Jazeera knows that the Temple Mount is a “strong catalyzer” of Arabs and Muslims around the world, so it fans the flames to increase violence against the Jewish State while promoting its viewership.

“With more restrictions placed on Palestinian access to the compound and ongoing calls by Israeli religious groups to allow Jews to pray at the site, many Palestinians fear a possible division of the compound.

“The Waqf stated on Wednesday that the longer Israel delays the removal of the new measures, the worse the situation will become.”

  • Palestinians fear a possible division of the compound.” The reason why Palestinians might fear a division of the compound is due to the history of Cave of the Jewish Patriarchs in Hebron, which Al Jazeera never mentioned. That site – the second holiest for Jews – had banned Jewish prayer for centuries while under Ottoman and Jordanian control. When Israel took control of the site in 1967, it opened the site to Jewish prayer. Today, there are distinct time for Muslims and Jews to pray and visit the site. It has largely been a peaceful coexistence. That is seemingly a heretical solution for Jerusalem for the promoters of lies and Jihad at Al Jazeera.

Al Jazeera not only lied about the history of Jerusalem, but it sought to incite a global jihad against the Jewish State as it tried to portray Israel as attacking al Aqsa. It actively contributed to murder and terrorism in its actions.

Related First.One.Through articles:

Tolerance at the Temple Mount

The Arguments over Jerusalem

Al Jazeera (Qatar) Evicts Jews and Judaism from Jerusalem. Time to Return the Favor

An Easy Boycott: Al Jazeera (Qatar)

The United Nations’ Incitement to Violence

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Enduring Peace versus Peace Now

There have been many failed attempts at forging a peace deal in the Israel-Arab Conflict. In 2017, the Trump Administration stepped into the situation with a very different approach than the Obama Administration. While there are many facets to the new methods, a clear distinction is Trump’s goal of an “Enduring Peace” versus Obama’s goal of “Peace Now.”

Team Trump’s “Enduring Peace”

Trump placed two people with seemingly little diplomatic experience – but significant deal experience – to try their hands at crafting a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians: Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt. While unfamiliar with diplomatic protocol, both Kushner and Greenblatt visited the region many times over their lives. They were joined in their effort by Dina Powell, an Egyptian-American who is the US deputy national security adviser for strategy.

A White House spokesperson made its goal clear for the talks on August 11, 2017 when it stated:

“Trump has previously noted that achieving an enduring Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement will be difficult but he remains optimistic that peace is possible.”

Jason Greenblatt echoed those words in November after visiting the region several times stating:

“We have spent a lot of time listening to and engaging with the Israelis, Palestinians and key regional leaders over the past few months to help reach an enduring peace deal. We are not going to put an artificial timeline on the development or presentation of any specific ideas and will also never impose a deal. Our goal is to facilitate, not dictate a lasting peace agreement.”

Jason Greenblatt and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
(photo: Kobi Gideon, GPO)

Team Trump’s stated mission is to forge a lasting peace that would endure for the future. The negotiators will take the time to work with the parties to structure an agreement that would provide lasting peace and security. This is a break from the Obama Administration.

Obama’s Progressive “Peace Now”

Obama had less international experience than Donald Trump when he assumed the office of the presidency in January 2009, and relied on his “progressive” liberal colleagues to educate him on the Israel-Arab conflict. Those left-wing parties included J Street and Americans for Peace Now. These groups advocated that the administration put “daylight” between America and Israel, as negotiations under President George W. Bush (which was viewed as very close to Israel), came up short of a deal. Obama made clear – to the delight of the far-left wing groups – that he was going to push the Israelis hard to stop building homes for Jews east of the Green Line (EGL).

The far-left groups believed that strong pressure on Israel was key to getting to a peace deal. They were ecstatic when Obama won a 10-month settlement freeze a few months after they met with Obama in July 2009 at the beginning of his term. They celebrated at the end of the Obama administration in December 2016, when Obama let United Nations Resolution 2334 pass declaring it was illegal under international law for Jews to live in EGL.

Jeremy Ben Ami, head of J Street said after the July 2009 meeting with Obama: “I left the room feeling we are at a truly historic moment of opportunity.  There may never be another American President who so clearly gets the issues strategically and has the political capital to try to pull off an agreement.”

The differences between Obama and Trump are both stark and clear.

The left-wing radicals believed that they had a moment in time, and that their anointed Messiah had a unique chance to forge peace in the Middle East. They felt both emboldened by Obama’s presidency and felt the urgency of time. They pushed the Obama Administration to get to a deal as quickly as possible by pushing a solution onto Israel.

Conversely, Team Trump has not shown such hubris. Their focus is not to get to a deal in the fastest time possible, but to establish an enduring peace. They recognize the fact that when Israel uprooted all of its settlements in Gaza and gave the land to the Palestinians it did not result in peace, but in three wars. Greenblatt and Kushner are content to take time to get to a lasting resolution, not the gratification of an immediate deal. They have stated that they are not going to let the UN impose a solution, like the Obama Administration advanced in December 2016.

Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry failed to advance peace between Israel and the Palestinians and watched the region descend into chaos. Their creation of “daylight” between Israel and the US; the use of international fora to attack Israel; and their rush to embrace the approach of “Peace Now” neither got to a deal nor set the parties on the path to enduring peace.

Hopefully the new approach of seasoned negotiators Greenblatt and Kushner to take their time to get to an “enduring peace” will yield much better results.

Related First.One.Through articles:

Jared Kushner’s Parents Donate $20 million to the First Hospital Likely to Win the Nobel Peace Prize

Mutual Disagreement of Mediators and Judges in the Arab-Israeli Conflict

John Kerry: The Declaration and Observations of a Failure

The Evil Architects at J Street Take a Bow

J Street is a Partisan Left-Wing Group, NOT an Alternative to AIPAC

J Street: Going Bigger and Bolder than BDS

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Failing to Mention the British White Paper of 1939 when Discussing Refugees

In article after article and Op-Ed after Op-Ed, writers have expressed their dismay about the United States ban on refugees fleeing from Muslim countries. Many of those articles described the US turning away the S.S. St. Louis, a boat full of Jews from Europe during World War II, sending the ship back to Europe where the Jews would be killed in the Holocaust, arguing that America closing its borders today would have similar ramifications for Muslim refugees.  Some journalists went so far to claim that Anne Frank is a Syrian girl today.

There would be many people that called such comparisons outlandish, and a minimization of the atrocity and uniqueness of the Holocaust. They would further point out that there are over 100 times more Muslims than Jews, and 50 Muslim-majority countries today while there were zero Jewish countries in World War II, so the Muslim refugees’ options for sanctuary countries today are not remotely comparable to the plight of Jews in the 1930s and 1940s.

Curiously, while journalists attempted to connect the Holocaust of the Jews in Europe to the plight of Muslim refugees from the Middle East today by referencing the S.S. St. Louis or Anne Frank, they declined to ever mention the British White Paper of 1939 when discussing the “Muslim ban.” The pundits wouldn’t even discuss the White Paper when reviewing the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration.

On November 9, 1938, as Kristallnacht was shattering the lives of Jews in Europe, the British would call upon the leaders of the Arabs in Palestine to assess how to quell the riots they had been waging against the Jews for the prior two years. The result of the multi-week consultations was the British White Paper of 1939.

As the flames of the Holocaust began to incinerate the Jews of Europe, the British White Paper undermined the basic principle laid out in international law to facilitate the immigration of Jews to Palestine. The document set a five-year cap of only 75,000 Jews to be admitted to Palestine, at a time when the Jews of Europe were desperately fleeing the Nazi regime. The British-Arab edict likely contributed to over 100,000 Jews perishing in the Holocaust.

Not just a single Jewish girl like Anne Frank.

Not the nearly 1,000 Jews who were returned on a ship to Nazi Europe to perish in concentration camps.

Over 100,000 Jews, who died because of the British White Paper of 1939.

Arab riots of 1936 fighting Jewish immigration

(source: American-Israeli Cooperative Enterprise)

Yet the discussions about refugees fleeing for their lives from the carnage in the Middle East today never mention the cap on admitting Jewish refugees into Palestine during the Holocaust. Why?

Could it be because of the lectures from progressive professors and politicians that the narrow strip of land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River is “Arab land” and “Palestinian land,” so the Jews don’t really belong there at all? Has the Palestinian propaganda machine so cloaked itself in the the mantle of victimhood, that people cannot fathom the reality that the Palestinian Arabs were complicit in turning away desperate Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust?

November 9 has long been remembered as a Day of Infamy, when the slaughter of Jews began in Europe at the hands of the Nazis. It is time to also mark it as the day that the British and Palestinian Arabs helped seal the fate of thousands of those innocent Jews.

Related First.One.Through articles:

The Holocaust and the Nakba

Extreme and Mainstream. Germany 1933; West Bank & Gaza Today

Austria’s View of Kristallnacht

Palestinians of Today and the Holocaust

Stopping the Purveyors of Hateful Propaganda

Mahmoud Abbas’s Particular Anti-Zionist Holocaust Denial

If you Only Loved Refugees as Much as you Hate Donald Trump

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Unity – not Uniformity – in the Pro-Israel Tent

The story of the Tower of Babel in the Bible is just a few sentences in length, but it has long captured the imaginations of all sorts of people. Artists have pictured its physical heights, while biblical scholars and theologians have sought to decipher the story’s meaning.

A new book by Rabbi Shai Held, “The Heart of the Torah,” took an interesting approach to the story. Held questioned the essence of the “sin” of the architects and builders of the Tower of Babel. If the punishment for their actions was that the people of Babel were scattered around the Earth, each speaking a different language, it would imply that the crux of the offence was the group’s cohesiveness. Too much unity was a seemingly bad thing, at odds with today’s view of unity as a worthy goal.

Held responded to his own observation by advancing the notion that the problem of the people building the Tower was not their unity, but their uniformity. It was not a problem that everyone was working to accomplish something together, but that the societal structure created a monolithic mass in which people were indistinguishable from each other. Such a state is unnatural, and could only be accomplished with an authoritarian ruler. It was that totalitarian regime that was the core of the sin and what needed to be broken, not the cohesiveness of a multitude of people. Hence the “punishment” to create more unique individuals with their own language and direction who could not be controlled by a single ruler.

Unity of Purpose

A good example of a group of different people uniting in a common purpose can be found in sports.

A professional basketball team typically includes players with a variety of different skills: one player may be a good outside shooter; another a solid rebounder; a third good at dribbling and passing; etc. The players likely do not have a uniform set of skills, but have a unity of purpose of winning a game.

As part of the effort to win, the players support each other. They pass each other the ball. They set screens and picks to provide an open shot. They encourage and cheer their teammates on, whether they are playing well, or need encouragement to perform better.

That is unity, and the mark of a successful team dynamic.

Conversely, a bad teammate is one that throws the ball to opposing team. That never shows up for practice. That tells the referee that one of their teammates committed a foul. Allowing such a player onto the court hurts the entire team.

A good teammate tells a fellow teammate when he is in the paint for too long; a bad teammate tells the referee that his teammate should be called with a 3-second violation. A strong team witnesses teammates pulling each other up; a weak team has teammates shouting each other down.

In short, a team with unity uses active and passive means to help the team win. A flawed team has teammates yelling at each other and calling for outside forces to punish their own team.

With such orientation, it is useful to explore unity and uniformity in the pro-Zionist tent.

The Pro-Israel Tent

The pro-Israel camp has been attempting to figure out how wide to extend its community tent. There are many opinions surrounding Israel, whether about land, politics or religion. There is certainly no fear of uniformity. But what about unity? When do the myriad opinions become intolerable for a joint effort?

As in the sports example above, the pro-Israel tent should allow people with different voices, but not those that seek to use external pressure to harm the Jewish State. Outside forces might be financial, such as the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement against Israel, and using the United Nations or United States to pass anti-Israel resolutions and laws.

There are a number of groups that claim to be pro-Israel that precisely take these actions:

  • Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) is an advocate for BDS of Israel and lobbies governments, churches and schools to support BDS. It seeks to use financial pressure to force Israel to capitulate to a variety of demands ranging from giving up Judea and Samaria, to removing the limited blockade of Gaza. It has also proudly hosted events for convicted terrorists. The group’s leader, Rebecca Vilkomerson has stated clearly “our charge is to change U.S. policy [about Israel].”
  • J Street pushed the Obama Administration to declare the Jewish towns in Judea & Samaria (the “settlements”) as illegal and to allow a United Nations resolution to pass in December 2016. That action has set in motion a massive action campaign against businesses in Judea & Samaria.
  • New Israel Fund (NIF) supports a variety of groups that seek to end Israel as a Jewish State. NIF supports Adalah which seeks to replace the Jewish State with a bi-national state in which Jews would be a minority. NIF funds groups and movies that tour the world that demonize Israel and the Israeli Defense Forces.

All of these groups are bad actors. They go to international fora to condemn Israel and suggest punitive actions against the Jewish State. They do not seek to advance Israel by engaging with the country directly with concerns, but through external force.

Rabbi Held described the dangers of uniformity in his review of the Tower of Babel. “If everyone says the same words and thinks the same thoughts, then a society emerges in which there is no room for individual tastes, thoughts and aspirations, or for individual projects and creativity.” Uniformity is a problem, but not unity. Unity without uniformity combines the talents of each individual in a common purpose and enhances the participants as well as the end-result. However, a lack of uniformity together with a lack of unity is simply chaos. There is nothing that binds the people or mission together other than a flimsy veneer that will ultimately dissolve.

The Jewish State and pro-Israel groups will never have uniformity of opinions, but it should have unity of purpose. Those groups that want to be part of the Pro-Israel and Pro-Zionist movement should adhere to the basic principle of not going to external fora to harm Israelis or the government of Israel. While these groups may self-identify as pro-Israel, they cannot be welcomed into the pro-Israel community.

Related First.One.Through articles:

There are Standards for Unity

A Disservice to Jewish Community

Students for Justice in Palestine’s Dick Pics

The Fault in Our Tent: The Limit of Acceptable Speech

The Evil Architects at J Street Take a Bow

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A Response to Rashid Khalidi’s Distortions on the Balfour Declaration

On the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, Columbia University professor Rashid Khalidi took the stage to address “United Nations’ Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestine People.” Yes, that’s the organization’s actual title, that only a group like the UN could contrive.

Khalidi fed the group the lying propaganda they sought. Below is the speech, with fact-checking inserted after each paragraph.

Rashid Khalidi on Russian TV

“It is a great honor to be asked to speak here on the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration. I am grateful to Ambassador Fodé Seck, to the Committee on the Exercise of the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People, and to the staff of the UN Secretariat for making this event possible. It is particularly fitting to be speaking today at the United Nations, which has played such a large role in the Palestine tragedy. Today I will be addressing the impact on the Palestinian people of the Balfour Declaration, and of the League of Nations mandate based upon it. I can only hope that if we can all become more aware of this historical background, the United Nations may be able to address the harm caused by this Declaration, and all that followed, more fairly and effectively than it has done over the past 70 years.”

Palestine tragedy.” Perfect propaganda. Not a statement of fact, but one of complete biased narrative which stands counter to the facts. A land that had failed for hundreds of years would in the following years become a global leader. From a failed economy to a thriving one. From a malaria invested desert region to an environmental leader. From a land with virtually no minority rights to the most diverse and liberal in the entire Middle East. Oh, and the number of Arabs in Israel and Israeli territories surpassed the growth of any neighboring countries.

past 70 years.” Meaning since the creation of Israel in 1948, not the Balfour Declaration (1917) itself nor the Palestine Mandate (1922), which both established legal rights for Jews throughout the land. Khalidi’s beef was about creating the State of Israel.

“The momentous statement made on behalf of the British cabinet on November 2, 1917 by Arthur James Balfour, His Majesty’s Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, is usually regarded in light of British imperial interests, or in terms of its ostensible subject, a “national home for the Jewish people.” We know a great deal about Britain’s commitment to Zionism. We know less about what the support of the British Empire via this declaration meant for the aims of the Zionist movement – which for nearly half a century proudly described itself as a colonial endeavor, and which at the same time was a national movement in the making.  The ultimate objective of political Zionism, as laid out by its founder, Theodor Herzl, in his 1896 booklet Der Judenstaadt, was as far-reaching as it was crystal clear: a Jewish state in Palestine, meaning Jewish sovereignty and control of immigration into the country. And whatever Britain may have intended, complete and exclusive control over the entirety of Palestine was what the Zionist movement consistently fought for during the ensuing half century, and eventually obtained. It did so largely as a result of over two decades of unstinting British support secured via this Declaration, and the League of Nations mandate that was based upon it.”

complete and exclusive control.” The leading terminology of “complete and exclusive control,” is specifically intended to make political Zionism appear as a racist ideology. It was nothing of the sort. It was an attempt to reestablish Jews in their homeland as a self-governing entity. It did not mean that non-Jews would be evicted from the land nor be denied citizenship. Indeed, at the founding of the country in May 1948, approximately 160,000 non-Jews were given immediate Israeli citizenship. Unlike neighboring Lebanon and Syria, there is no religious litmus test on who can be prime minister or serve in governmental positions in Israel; Arabs and Muslims are not excluded.

“Much of this is well known. However, the Balfour Declaration has another aspect of paramount importance that is often ignored. This was the perspective of the people of Palestine, whose future the Balfour Declaration ultimately decided. For the Palestinians, this statement was a gun pointed directly at their heads, particularly in view of the colonialist ambiance of the early twentieth century. As I will show, the Balfour Declaration in effect constituted a declaration of war by the British Empire on the indigenous population of the land it was promising to the Jewish people as a National Home. It launched what has become a century-long assault on the Palestinian people aimed at implanting and fostering this national home at their expense.”

For the Palestinians, this statement was a gun pointed directly at their heads,Let’s be clear who were the “people of Palestine:” they were Jews and Arabs. The Jews did not view this as a “gun to their heads.” It was a chance to achieve more rights and support for the Jewish immigration to their holy land which had been going on for decades. For the Arabs living in Palestine, there was absolutely no threat to their lives counter to Rashidi’s absurd claim. The declaration actually stated just the opposite of ensuring the rights of non-Jews.

the Balfour Declaration in effect constituted a declaration of war by the British Empire on the indigenous population of the land it was promising to the Jewish people “ Khalidi declared that only Arabs are indigenous to the land. Such a statement deliberately cast that Jews as foreigners and interlopers with no connection to the land. It is a complete falsification of Jewish history, as Jew have lived continuously in the land for 3700 years, and for over one thousand years as the majority, before being expelled by hostile forces. Jews have been a majority in Jerusalem since the 1860s!

a century-long assault on the Palestinian people Khalidi’s warped view of history is that the world has waged a war on Arabs for a century. It completely ignores the active warfare launched by the Arabs from the region against the Jewish people. The “assault” from one side is that the British (and the world) recognized the legitimate rights of Jews to reestablish their homeland; on the other is an Arab world that launched a century-long war to murder and expel the Jewish people. Who really made a “declaration of war” and “assaulted” whom?

“From its inception, Zionism was both a nascent national movement and a colonial enterprise in search of a metropolitan sponsor. After having failed to find that sponsor elsewhere, Chaim Weizmann succeeded with the wartime British cabinet.  The Zionist movement thereafter had the support of the greatest power of the age, which was about to become one of the victors in World War I.  Whereas Zionism had begun to be viewed with concern in Palestine since the late 19th century, the Balfour Declaration meant that the country was now threatened by a far greater danger. Indeed, at the very moment that the declaration was issued, British troops were advancing northwards through Palestine, capturing Jerusalem five weeks later.”

colonial enterpriseis a favorite phrase used by anti-Zionists. It follows from the basic line of reasoning of denying the Jews their 3700 year-old history in their homeland. Once Jews have been divorced from their historical connection to the land, their insertion into the region would be as a foreign transplant. As the Jews did not control any country, Khalidi coined the term “metropolitan sponsor” suggesting that since the Jews were scattered all over the world, they were pushing governments to endorse this Zionist initiative. They finally succeeded with the UK as their sponsors.

the country was now threatenedis a theme used over and again by Khalidi, that the indigenous people of the “country” were threatened by both the British and the Zionistic cause laid out in the Balfour Declaration. But Palestine was not a country, but a province of the Turkish Empire. The Empire was already long engaged in World War I when the Balfour Declaration was issued.

“The text of the Declaration confirmed the nature of this danger. It consisted of a single paragraph of 67 words:

“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.

“The overwhelming Arab majority in Palestine (which then constituted around 94% of the population) went unmentioned by Balfour, except in a backhanded way: as the “existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.” They were not described as a people – notably, the words “Palestinian” and “Arab” do not appear in the text of the Declaration. Furthermore, they were offered only “civil and religious rights,” and no political or national rights whatsoever. By way of contrast, Balfour ascribed national rights to “the Jewish people,” who in 1917 were represented in Palestine by a tiny 6 percent of the total population. Regarded in this way, Britain’s backing for Herzl’s aims of Jewish statehood, sovereignty, and control over immigration into the country had portentous implications. It meant British support for bringing into Palestine and implanting a foreign majority at the expense of the indigenous population’s rights, and ultimately at the expense of its existence as a people in its own land.

the words “Palestinian” and “Arab” do not appear in the text of the Declaration.As described above, the term “Palestinians” in 1917 meant both Jews and Arabs that both lived in the region. Palestinian Arabs chose to declare themselves as the sole people entitled to the name “Palestinian” decades later, after the Jewish State was established in 1948 and the Palestinian Liberation Organization was created in 1964 claiming that only Arabs could be Palestinians.

implanting a foreign majority at the expense of the indigenous population’s rights, and ultimately at the expense of its existence as a people in its own land.This phrase sums up the grievances of Arabs: Jews are “foreign” and the Arabs are “indigenous” who have “rights” which are threatened from these invaders coming to take Arab land. However, this is preposterous. Jews are indigenous to the holy land. Arabs invaded the entirety of the Middle East and North Africa in the 7th and 8th centuries. The Arabs that lived throughout the region in what is now known as Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and Egypt traveled constantly from location to location. Many of the Arabs who lived in Palestine at the time of the Declaration were tenants in homes that were owned by Egyptians. Hundreds of thousands of Arabs from around the region moved to Palestine in the decades after the Balfour Declaration. Who is really indigenous and who really owns the land? An Iraqi that moved to Palestine in the 1930s and rented a house owned by an Egyptian is somehow a “Palestinian” and more indigenous than a Jew that moved to the Jewish homeland in the same year? That’s the ridiculous claim of Khalidi.

“The Balfour Declaration thus meant that the Palestinians faced the prospect of being outnumbered by unlimited immigration, and of losing control of Palestine to the Zionist drive for sole sovereignty over a country that was then almost completely Arab in population and culture. It took just over three decades, and the mass expulsion of most of the Arabs of Palestine from their homes in 1948, for these things to happen, but happen they did.”

losing control of Palestine is a complete lie that the Palestinian Arabs “controlled” Palestine. The Arabs had no control of Palestine. The region was a part of the Turkish Empire – Muslim, but not Arab. The local Arab population did not rule a country nor control its destiny.

mass expulsion of most of the Arabs of Palestine” in Khalidi’s narrative, the local Arabs then living in Palestine were passively minding their business, tending to their orchards when “the Zionist drive” forced them from their lands. The reality is that the Arabs began to attack Jews in Palestine beginning in the early 1920s (including the massacres of 1929) and the first multi-year riots (now called “intifadas”) in the late 1930s. When the Jewish State declared its independence in 1948, armies from five neighboring Arab countries invaded Israel to wipe the Jews into the sea. Palestinian Arabs left the fighting scene while they waited for their Arab brethren to destroy Israel. While some Arabs were forced by Israel to leave the land, most left on their own as they prayed for “their land” (to quote Khalidi) to be liberated and the Jews to be slaughtered.

“Even before World War I, there had been trepidation among the Arabs of Palestine about the rapid progress of the Zionist movement. This became a widespread sentiment as the movement grew in strength and as immigration to Palestine increased: between 1909 and 1914, the leading Haifa and Jaffa newspapers, al-Karmil and Filastin, published over two hundred articles warning against the dangers of Zionism for the Palestinians. Among the peasantry in areas of intensive colonization, Zionist inroads were felt in concrete terms, as land purchase led to the removal of Arab peasants working the land. Their concerns were shared by Arab city dwellers, who observed with mounting concern the constant arrival of new European Jewish immigrants.

dangers of Zionism for the Palestinians.” How dangerous were these Jews? Did they have blood libels against Muslims the way the Arabs had against Jews? No. Did they force Arabs from their homes? No, they purchased the Arab houses (and had the audacity to move in to them afterwards!) Did they initiate riots and kill Arabs? No. So what was the danger from the Jews who were moving to Palestine? Their physical presence. Their being. Something that rankles anti-Semites (93% of Palestinian Arabs are anti-Semitic according to ADL) to their core.

new European Jewish immigrants.” Jews were the only people to move to Palestine during the last century of Ottoman rule. The annual growth rate of Muslims in Palestine was 1.1%, essentially the rate of births minus deaths. Meanwhile Jews moved to Palestine at an annual growth rate of 2.1% from 1800 to 1914. In other words, Jews always moved to Palestine, even before the Balfour Declaration, while Muslims did not. The Arabs only began to descend on Palestine from around the region after the Declaration in numbers that matched the immigration of Jews.

“News of the Balfour Declaration reached Palestine only with much delay after November 2, 1917. All local newspapers had been shuttered since the beginning of the war. Then, after British troops occupied Jerusalem in December 1917, the strict military occupation regime banned news of the declaration from being spread, and did not allow papers to reopen for two year. There were other reasons for the delayed Palestinian reaction to the Balfour Declaration. They relate to the extraordinary wartime conditions that prevailed in Palestine and that caused intense suffering. The country was the scene of a more than a year of grinding battles between British and Ottoman forces which continued until mid-1918.”

delayed Palestinian reaction to the Balfour Declaration,” continues the layering of Khalidi’s #AlternativeHistory. Stating that there was delayed Palestinian reaction suggested that the Palestinians were a people and an entity. They were not. They were part of the Turkish Empire which was melting at the end of World War I. The entire region was collapsing and its fate was uncertain.

“By the war’s end, the Palestinians were already prostrate and exhausted by severe wartime shortages, penury, dislocation and famine, the requisitioning of draft animals, a plague of locusts, and draconian conscription that sent most working-age men to the front. Of all the major combatant powers, the Ottoman Empire suffered the heaviest wartime death toll, with over three million war dead, or 15% of the total population, most of them civilians. Greater Syria, including Palestine, suffered half a million deaths due to famine alone between 1915 and 1918.  Civilian deaths were compounded by horrific war casualties: 750,000 Ottoman soldiers out of the 2.8 million mobilized died during the war. The impact of all these factors on Palestine was intense. It is estimated that after growing about 1 percent annually in the prewar years, Palestine’s population declined by 6 percent during World War I.

growing about 1 percent annually in the prewar years, Palestine’s population declined by 6 percent during World War I.” War is terrible, no doubt. The Jews in Palestine that accounted for over 8% of the population suffered right alongside their Arab neighbors. And the annual growth in the population of Palestine in the prewar years was mostly because of Jewish immigration.

“It was against this grim background of mass suffering and the advance of the British army that Palestinians eventually learned about the issuance of the Balfour Declaration. The shock of hearing about it was exacerbated by a British occupation that marked the end of 400 years of Ottoman sovereignty, a regime which had prevailed for a full twenty generations. There was nevertheless a rapid evolution in the way the Palestinians saw themselves during and after World War I. In a world where nationalism had been gaining ground for many decades, a world war driven largely by unrestrained nationalist sentiment provided a major boost to the national idea in Palestine and other parts of the world. The enhanced salience of nationalism was compounded by the espousal in 1917 by Woodrow Wilson and Vladimir Lenin of the principle of national self-determination. The endorsement of the national principle by two ostensibly anti-colonial powers had an enormous impact on peoples the world over. As a result of the hopes aroused, and later disappointed, by Wilson’s Fourteen Points, the Bolshevik Revolution, and the Paris peace conference, India, Egypt, Korea and many other countries witnessed massive anti-colonial upheavals.

a rapid evolution in the way the Palestinians saw themselves during and after World War I… unrestrained nationalist sentiment”  Khalidi pivots his view of history from stating that Palestine was a country, to the Palestinians suddenly finding an “unrestrained nationalist sentiment,” like much of the world. Which was it? Were the Palestinian Arabs sovereign and autonomous in their own country of Palestine the way Khalidi began the speech, or were they part of a 400 year Ottoman Empire as Khalidi stated here? Were the people fighting in defense of their country, or were they suddenly self-aware, and now considered themselves a unique people? Khalidi wants you to believe both, as convenient to different parts of the story.

massive anti-colonial upheavals. As in the entirety of Khalidi’s view of history, the local Arabs were the only rightful owners of the land. Jews who moved to the area and purchased homes? Colonialists. After the British took over the Palestine Mandate in 1924, did they export thousands of British Jews to act as their colonial imprint on the territory? Nope. The Jewish immigration to Palestine from 1917 to 1948 came principally from other countries. Further, the British government treated the Jews in Palestine terribly.

“As a result of the war, the Palestinians were suffering from what might be described as collective post-traumatic stress syndrome. They now had to face entirely new realities as they entered a post-war world suffused by nationalist fervor. The Ottoman Empire was gone, replaced by the hegemony of Britain and France, which in 1915-16 had secretly carried out a self-interested colonial partition of the region — the Sykes-Picot accords — that was publicly revealed in 1917. Against this could be set the possibilities of Arab independence and self-determination, promised secretly by Great Britain to Sharif Husayn of Mecca in 1916, and the subject of repeated public British pledges thereafter. While these promises were at best partially and belatedly kept as regards other Arab peoples, they were never honored where the Arab population of Palestine was concerned. So while other Middle Eastern countries eventually achieved a measure of independence, no such option was on offer for the Palestinians.”

 promises were at best partially and belatedly kept as regards other Arab peoples, they were never honored where the Arab population of Palestine. Khalidi sets the tone in a difficult dance in the speech by acknowledging that the Palestine Mandate was both not unique and unique at the same time. The French and British set up new regions in the collapsed Turkish Empire which would ultimately become countries, including Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Jordan. Khalidi was nominally fine with those colonial projects since the Arab populations in those manufactured countries got independence. But the Arabs in Palestine did not. But he misleads the audience as to the reasons, as described below.

“In Palestine, Great Britain operated with a different set of rules than in other League of Nations mandates. Unlike all the other class A mandates established in the former Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire, all of which were treated according to Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations as provisionally “independent nations,” Palestine was denied such treatment. Instead it faced a set of rules rigidly dictated by the terms of the Balfour Declaration. And the Declaration had been tailored to suit the desiderata of Zionism, a European colonizing project and a national movement which had now acquired as its patron a formidable empire whose armies were just then in the process of conquering Palestine. British troops were not to leave the country for over thirty years, by which time the Zionist enterprise had become firmly entrenched.”

European colonizing project… British troops were not to leave the country for over thirty years,” To listen to Khalidi, one would think that the British and French set up mandates throughout the Middle East and then left quickly, giving independence to the local population. However in Palestine, the British army was entrenched so it could set up its “European colonizing project.” It is an absurd falsification of history.

The length of mandates were decades for many regions. Lebanon became independent in 1943. Syria in 1946. Israel in 1948.

Second, the Balfour Declaration had nothing to do with the borders of the Jewish homeland. That was laid out in the San Remo Conference in 1920 which was authored by several global powers including France, Italy and Japan. This was not a British exercise, nor just a European one. It was approved by international law.

Additionally, the San Remo Conference and then the Palestine Mandate gave the British the right – which they exercised – to break the Palestine Mandate in two to establish an Arab state (Article 25). The British did just that, and created the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan in two-thirds of the land of the Palestine Mandate. The Arab country that Khalidi claimed was never created, WAS CREATED at the outset and exists today in the country known as Jordan.

As soon as they were able to do so in the wake of World War I, the Palestinians began to challenge vigorously both the form of governance imposed by the British, based on the Balfour Declaration, and the introduction of the Zionist movement as a privileged interlocutor of the British. They did so initially in the shadow of a strict British military occupation regime that lasted until 1920, followed by rule by a series of British High Commissioners. The first of them was Sir Herbert Samuel, a committed Zionist and former cabinet minister, who laid the governmental foundations for much followed.”

As soon as they were able to do so” is a rewrite of history to vilify Britain in particular for stating that it was in favor of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. The Palestinian Arab riots began in the 1920s due to the San Remo Conference which gave international legitimacy to the Zionist dream and detailed the historic rights of Jews to reestablish their homeland in Palestine.

challenge vigorously.The Arab riots of 1920 and 1921 and the massacre of Jewish civilians in 1929 cannot be called “challenge vigorously” by anyone other than someone suffering from deep pathology.

“In understanding the unsuccessful efforts of the Palestinians to oppose this regime, two crucial factors are of paramount importance. The first is that unlike most other peoples who fell under the sway of colonial rule, the Palestinians had to contend not only with the colonial power in the metropole but also with the terms of the Balfour Declaration. Thus they had to deal with a colonial settler movement which, while beholden to Britain, was independent of it and had a powerful national impulse and an international base, most importantly in the United States. The second is that Britain did not rule Palestine outright: it did so as a mandatory power of the League of Nations. In rejecting Palestinian protests about the Balfour Declaration, British officials could point to the international legitimacy for its terms provided by the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, which, at the instigation of the British themselves, had incorporated verbatim the text of the Balfour Declaration, and in 7 of its 28 articles, substantially amplified and expanded on its commitments. Thus the British government could hide behind the terms of their League of Nations mandate in denying the Palestinians treatment as an “independent nation” in accordance with Article 22 of the Covenant.”

colonial, colonial, colonial” Did Khalidi mention colonial? While repeating that the British were a colonial power and tying the Jews to this colonialist enterprise, Khalidi gives a whiff of honesty when he mentioned the “international legitimacy” of the Mandate and the rights of Jews to live, buy land and obtain citizenship in Palestine. But he did this as an aside, suggesting that the goal of a British outpost was a disgraceful subterranean plot in cahoots with Zionists, masked in international law. At this point, Khalidi’s hatred for Jewish presence has taken on an air of an anti-Semitic caricature with Jews now gaining more patronage from other global powers like the United States, while the real motivation and truth was concealed.

“The Palestinians were therefore in a triple bind, which may have been unique in the history of resistance of indigenous peoples to European colonialism. They faced the might of the British Empire in the era between the two world wars when not one single colonial possession, with the partial exception of Ireland, succeeded in freeing itself from the clutches of the European imperial powers. They faced as well an international colonizing movement with a national mission, and with its own independent sources of finance and support, besides those generously offered by Britain. And finally they were confronted with the international legitimacy accorded to British rule by the League of Nations, which had sanctified the Balfour Declaration and its colonial import for the Palestinians by endowing it with the legal imprimatur of the preeminent international body of the day. The Balfour Declaration thus became more than a statement by the British cabinet: it was an internationally sanctioned legal document. In explaining the failure of the Palestinians to retain control of their ancestral homeland, alongside understanding the shortcomings of their leaders and the hindrances resulting from fissures within their society, it is vital to keep in mind this triple bind they were in.”

resistance of indigenous peoples to European colonialism… international colonizing movement… own independent sources of finance and supportThe sum of Khalidi’s arguments of the Palestinians “triple bind” was a combination of lies. Rather than state that the international community had come to realize that the Jews deserved to reestablish their homeland – the EXACT OPPOSITE OF A COLONIZING MOVEMENT – in Palestine, Khalidi advanced that the Jewish money (“independent sources of finance and support”) were able to advance their “colonizing movement” under the umbrella of “international legitimacy” to advance Britain’s “colonial” aspirations. The simplicity and beauty of Jews returning to their homeland was too much for Khalidi, so he invented a multi-headed scheme to vanquish the “indigenous” Palestinian Arabs.

The French and British administered several mandates during these years, ultimately giving each autonomy and statehood. Why would they single out the Arabs living in Palestine for such abuse? If the “European imperial powers” truly wanted to subjugate the Arabs of the Middle East, why did every other region become a state with the exception of the Arabs west of the Jordan River?

For Khalidi, the answer is that the scheming Jews took something that they had no right to – Arab land. In the decades following Israel’s independence in 1948, the Iraqis, Egyptians, Syrians and other Arab states evicted one million Jews from their homes. Where in power, the Arabs could rid themselves of their Jewish neighbors. But the thorny issue of a Jewish State is a bone still lodged in the throat of the Arabs. And rather than accept the legitimacy of the Jewish State, Khalidi and other anti-Zionists have spun a tale of Palestinian victimhood.

“Before November 2, 1917, the Zionist movement was both a national movement in embryo, and a colonial enterprise without a fixed metropole, like an orphan searching for a foster parent. When it found one in Great Britain, as symbolized by the Balfour Declaration, the colonization and transformation of Arab Palestine into a Jewish state could begin in earnest. This process was backed soon afterwards by the international legitimacy provided by the League of Nations. It was backed as well by an indispensable “iron wall” of British bayonets, in the words of that most forthright of Zionist leaders, Ze’ev Jabotinsky.”

transformation of Arab Palestine into a Jewish stateKhalidi makes clear that he believes that Arab Palestine was a proper and appropriate state, and its transformation into a Jewish State happened with shameful “international legitimacy” and the force of British arms. He is correct that Zionism was recognized in international law as described above, but the British did not attack Palestinian Arabs to make this happen. The British came to the defense of Jews being massacred by Palestinian Arabs during their mandate, but they were no friends of the Zionists.

“Seen from the perspective of the Palestinian people, the careful, calibrated prose of the Declaration amounted to a proclamation of war on them. For the next few decades, this war was waged by the Zionist movement with money, legal means, propaganda, and mortars and car bombs, and by the British Empire with multiple forms of repression, prison camps, exile, summary executions, warplanes, tanks and artillery. The issuance of the Balfour Declaration thus marked the beginning of a century-long colonial conflict in Palestine, supported by an array of outside powers. In much different forms, this conflict continues until this day.”

war was waged by the Zionist movement with money, legal means, propaganda, and mortars and car bombs, and by the British Empire with multiple forms of repression, prison camps, exile, summary executions, warplanes, tanks and artillery.” Wow and wow. Once Khalidi established that the natural state of Palestine was an Arab Palestine in which the Arabs were the sole indigenous people, he added that a war was declared to alter that ideal state. He offers an extensive list of aggressions used by the Zionists to execute their war. However, the unvarnished truths were too difficult for Khalidi to admit: that Palestine has been the homeland for the Jewish people for thousands of years; that the Jews had always lived in Palestine, and had always moved to Palestine, despite the difficulties imposed by various ruling authorities; and that the British and the international community had finally recognized that it was time to ease those restrictions as the Ottoman Empire collapsed. Could the international community predict that local Arabs would object to Jews returning to their homeland in a small sliver of the entire Middle East dominated by millions of Arabs? The war was WAGED BY ARABS, not the other way around, made clear the Arab rejection of any Jewish rights or claims to the land.

“I realize that I have imposed on your patience by summarizing some of the history around the Balfour Declaration. Some say that we should forget history in dealing with the Palestine conflict. Those who say this, however, have an absolutely miserable track record of failure in attempting to resolve the core issue at stake: the conflict between the Palestinian and Israeli peoples. In fact, this historical background is essential to understanding why this conflict has lasted for so long, and to its just resolution. It also helps us to understand that it did not begin in 1967 or 1948, as some shortsighted observers would have it. Finally, it points out the avenue towards a real lasting, sustainable peace, and towards real reconciliation and compromise between the Palestinian and Israeli peoples. Genuine reconciliation depends on acknowledging historical realities rather than ignoring them. And genuine compromise must be based on justice and absolutely equal treatment, and absolutely equal rights, for all, not on the imposition of the will of the stronger on the weaker. That is not compromise.”

Genuine reconciliation depends on acknowledging historical realities rather than ignoring them.There are multiple problems with Khalidi’s world view. If he believes that peace will only be achieved by the world adopting his false version of history, there is no chance of ever realizing peace. It augers a future where Israel will have to finally wage a war against the Arabs that reject the very legitimacy of its existence, rather than just fighting defensive wars against Arab foes that seek to destroy it.

“This historical background points to another fact. This is that peace between Palestine and Israel is far too important to be left to the self-interested ministrations of the great powers alone. Again and again, the history of the League Nations and the United Nations shows us that these great powers were responsible for imposing formulas in Palestine that suited their interests of the moment. In every single case these formulas exacerbated and magnified this conflict. In so doing, these great powers have ignored international law, and essential elements of the covenants and charters they themselves helped to shape, such as the principle of self-determination that animates both the Covenant of the League of Nations and the Charter of the United Nations.”

great powers have ignored international lawInternational law gave Jews the right to reestablish their homeland in their homeland. International law permitted two-thirds of the Palestine Mandate to be separated into a country where Palestinian Arabs would have self-determination. The great powers supported the Zionist project in international law. Yet the great powers failed in upholding the principles of human rights and self-determination when it allowed two-thirds of Palestine to become a country which expelled and banned Jews. This pathetic travesty is  being further advanced at the United Nations which similarly is advocating for such policy for the West Bank of the Jordan River (all contrary to Article 15 of the Palestine Mandate).

“As the son of an international civil servant who served the United Nations for his entire career, I have been a close witness for decades to the failure of this body to live up to its principles where Palestine is concerned, largely because of the machinations of the great powers.  I am not naïve, however, and as a historian I know all too well that power has its prerogatives. But the United Nations was not set up to make the world a more comfortable place for the powerful, but rather to bring about peace with justice, and the rule of international law. Over the hundred years since the Balfour Declaration was issued, the 70 years since the passing of the Partition resolution, and the fifty years since the adoption of UNSC 242, neither peace with justice nor the rule of law has prevailed where Palestine is concerned. It is high time for the United Nations and the entire world community to act in this spirit.”

the failure of this body.” For 100 years the Arabs have fought against the formation and existence of a Jewish State, not the global community. Seventy years ago the Arabs rejected the Partition plan; not the global community. Fifty years ago the Palestinians and Jordanians attacked Israel and thereby lost the “West Bank” which it had illegally annexed; the global body did not initiate the war. Just after that 1967 war, it was the Arab countries that refused to negotiate peace with Israel, not the global community.

And it is the Palestinian Arabs today that continue with anti-Semitic and anti- Zionist vitriol that prevents peace. In line with UN Resolution 242, Israel gave territories (Sinai) for peace with Egypt. Israel gave territories (Gaza) in exchange for war with Palestinian Arabs.

The problem is neither Israel nor the international community. The problem is Palestinian Arabs.

“Specifically, after a century, it is high time that the establishment of a national home promised by Balfour and the League of Nations to the Jewish people in 1917 and afterwards be matched by the establishment of a national home for the Palestinian people. After 70 years, it is high time that the national self-determination promised to the Israeli people by the UN in 1947, and that they have enjoyed since 1948, be enjoyed by the Palestinian people. And after 50 years, it is high time for the injunction in UNSC 242 forbidding “the acquisition of territory by war” to be vigorously enforced where the territories occupied in 1967 are concerned.”

promises, promises.” If Khalidi wants an Arab parallel to the Balfour Declaration and the UN Partition Plan, he is presumably now in favor of those articles which he had just spent ten minutes lambasting. And if he understood anything about UN Resolution 242, he would understand that land is forbidden to be taken in an offensive war, not a defensive war. The Jordanians and Palestinian Arabs attacked Israel first and lost the land in June 1967. The same way that Israel was allowed to take more land in the 1948-9 war, than had been suggested in the 1947 Partition Plan.

“Finally, it is high time for the United Nations and the entire international community to take vigorous action to break the century-old logjam created and perpetuated by the great powers. This man-made logjam has prevented the principles of self-determination from being applied fairly and equally to both parties to this conflict, the Palestinian and the Israeli peoples. They both deserve the peace and stability that an equitable resolution of the conflict between them on the basis of international law and in a spirit of justice and equality would bring.”

The Palestinian Arabs have shown no interest in the “spirit of justice and equality” for 100 years. The have refused to allow Jews to pray at their holiest location on the Jewish Temple Mount. They have stated that they will not allow a single Israeli to live in Palestine. They have stated that they will never recognize the Jewish State of Israel. They maintain laws that make it a capital offense for an Arab to sell land to a Jew.

The “logjam” to peace in the region is the failure of Palestinian Arabs to recognize the historic and human rights of Jews to be self-governing in their homeland. The myth of passive victimhood and the tainting of the Balfour Declaration and history, is yet another arrow in the Palestinian propaganda machine to defame and undermine the existence and viability of the solitary Jewish State surrounded by over 50 Arab and Muslim countries.

Related First.One.Through articles:

Israel was never a British Colony; Judea and Samaria are not Israeli Colonies

The Original Nakba: The Division of “TransJordan”

750 Years of Continuous Jewish Jerusalem

The Palestinian’s Three Denials

The Many Lies of Jimmy Carter

Nicholas Kristof’s “Arab Land”

Squeezing Zionism

The United Nations’ Remorse for “Creating” Israel

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From the Balfour Declaration to the San Remo Conference

On November 2, 1917, Lord Arthur Balfour wrote a letter to Lord Walter Rothschild, a leader of the British Jewish community, that the British government supported the establishment of a Jewish home in the land of Palestine. It became known as the Balfour Declaration:

“Dear Lord Rothschild,

I have much pleasure in conveying to you. on behalf of His Majesty’s Government, the following declaration of sympathy with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to, and approved by, the Cabinet

His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors 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.


Arthur James Balfour”

The letter became the basis of international law in following years which expanded on the principle of a Jewish homeland.

In April 1920, Great Britain, France, Italy and Japan met in San Remo, Italy to consider what to do with the collapsed Ottoman Empire after its defeat in World War I. On April 24, the powers decided to adopt the key essence of the Balfour Declaration (being in favor of a Jewish homeland) as a basis for the disposition of Palestine. The language of the San Remo Convention expanded on the theme with several additional declarations:

  • Historical basis for the Balfour Declaration:Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connexion of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country;
  • Provide safety for the Jews: “The Mandatory shall be responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home, as laid down in the preamble, and the development of self-governing institutions, and also for safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion.” (Article 2)
  • Jews to have autonomy (possibly an independent state or something short of it): “The Mandatory shall, so far as circumstances permit, encourage local autonomy.” (Article 3)
  • Facilitate Jewish immigration and land ownership: “The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.” (Article 6)
  • Citizenship. “The Administration of Palestine shall be responsible for enacting a nationality law. There shall be included in this law provisions framed so as to facilitate the acquisition of Palestinian citizenship by Jews who take up their permanent residence in Palestine.” (Article 7)
  • Access to Holy Places. “All responsibility in connexion with the Holy Places and religious buildings or sites in Palestine, including that of preserving existing rights and of securing free access to the Holy Places, religious buildings and sites and the free exercise of worship, while ensuring the requirements of public order and decorum, is assumed by the Mandatory, who shall be responsible solely to the League of Nations in all matters connected herewith, provided that nothing in this article shall prevent the Mandatory from entering into such arrangements as he may deem reasonable with the Administration for the purpose of carrying the provisions of this article into effect; and provided also that nothing in this Mandate shall be construed as conferring upon the Mandatory authority to interfere with the fabric or the management of purely Moslem sacred shrines, the immunities of which are guaranteed.” (Article 13) “A special Commission shall be appointed by the Mandatory to study, define and determine the rights and claims in connection with the Holy Places and the rights and claims relating to the different religious communities in Palestine. The method of nomination, the composition and the functions of this Commission shall be submitted to the Council of the League for its approval, and the Commission shall not be appointed or enter upon its functions without the approval of the Council.” (Article 14)
  • Freedom to Worship and Live throughout the land:The Mandatory shall see that complete freedom of conscience and the free exercise of all forms of worship, subject only to the maintenance of public order and morals are ensured to all. No discrimination of any kind shall be made between the inhabitants of Palestine on the ground of race, religion or language. No person shall be excluded from Palestine on the sole ground of his religious belief.” (Article 15)
  • Hebrew an official language.English, Arabic and Hebrew shall be the official languages of Palestine. Any statement or inscription in Arabic on stamps or money in Palestine shall be repeated in Hebrew and any statement or inscription in Hebrew shall be repeated in Arabic.” (Article 22)

As detailed above, the San Remo Conference took many more exhaustive steps in broadening the rights of Jews to a homeland beyond the simple statement of support in the brief Balfour Declaration.

It would ultimately be the Palestine Mandate of 1922 that would repeat the terms laid out in the San Remo Convention and cement them into international law. The British would assume their role as the administrator for the Mandate in 1924.

On November 2, 2017, Zionists around the world celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration which declared Britain’s approval of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. That short letter became the basis for the global powers formally laying out the historical and legal rights of Jews to reconstitute their autonomy and live, worship, own property and have citizenship throughout Palestine.

As they celebrate, they appreciate the emergence of the Jewish State as a leading democracy, military and economic powerhouse, and environmental and technological marvel. Unfortunately they will have to also acknowledge that much of the world  refuses to recognize Jewish history in the land, thinks that Israel should be limited in its defenses against hostile forces, believes Jews should not have rights to worship at their holiest location, and not be allowed to live and own land throughout Judea and Samaria.

Still much to do 100 years on.

Related First.One.Through articles:

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Heritage, Property and Sovereignty in the Holy Land

Dignity for Israel: Jewish Prayer on the Temple Mount

The Original Nakba: The Division of “TransJordan”

Obama’s “Palestinian Land”

Squeezing Zionism

The New York Times will Keep on Telling You: Jews are not Native to Israel

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