• The Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO], forerunner of today's Palestinian Authority, was founded in 1964, three years before Israel came into the unintended control of the West Bank and Gaza. What therefore was the PLO planning to "liberate"?

  • Why does no one expect the Palestinians to cease all deliberate and random violence against Israeli civilians before being considered for admission to statehood?

  • On June 30, 1922, a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress of the United States endorsed a "Mandate for Palestine," confirming the right of Jews to settle anywhere they chose between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. This is the core American legacy of support for a Jewish State that President Obama now somehow fails to recall.

  • A sovereign state of Palestine, as identified by the Arabs -- a Muslim land occupied by "Palestinian" Arabs -- has never existed; not before 1948, and not before 1967. From the start, it was, and continues to be, the Arab states -- not Israel -- that became the core impediment to Palestinian sovereignty.

When U.S. President Barack Obama announces in the United Nations that he wants a two-state solution for Israel and "Palestine," and when U.S. Secretary of State repeated it recently -- and when Sweden and the UK vote for a Palestinian State, and now possibly Spain and France -- they should be more careful what they wish for.

Although there is no lawful justification for offering statehood, but Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, on September 26, 2014, told the United Nations that "the hour of independence of the state of Palestine has arrived." Earlier, in 2012, the PA had already received elevated status from the UN General Assembly to that of a "nonmember observer state," but this elevation fell short of full sovereignty.

There can also be no justification -- ethical, legal, or geopolitical -- for waging war against the ISIS jihadis in Syria and Iraq, while simultaneously urging statehood for the Hamas/PA jihadis in West Bank [Judea and Samaria] and Gaza.

The so-called "Two-State Solution" approach to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, strongly reaffirmed by the US, Sweden and the UK, is founded upon multiple errors. For one, it still accepts the false Arab narrative of an Israeli "occupation."

Recurrent and virulent Arab terrorism against the Jews -- who have lived in the area for nearly three thousand years -- began many years before Israel's de jure statehood. The Hebron riots and massacre of 1929 are perhaps the best known example; and Arab terrorism continued throughout the British Mandate period, 1920-1948.

Organized Arab terrorism against the state Israel began the first hour of Israel's independence, in mid-May 1948.

The Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO], forerunner of today's Palestinian Authority [PA] was founded in 1964, three years before Israel came into the unintended control of the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] and Gaza.

What therefore, between 1964 and 1967, was the PLO planning to "liberate"? The answer, of course, was -- and still is -- all of Israel. These are precisely the "1967 borders" that President Obama has insistently identified as the appropriate starting point for peace negotiations, and that are generally recognized by military experts -- American as well as Israeli -- as the invitingly indefensible "Auschwitz borders."

Furthermore, the PLO was formally declared a "terrorist organization" in a number of major U.S. federal court decisions, including Tel-Oren v. Libyan Arab Republic (1984).

Then, almost ten years ago, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, seeking peace with the fratricidal Palestinian factions, in 2005 forcibly expelled more than 10,000 Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria. Immediately, these ethnically cleansed areas, as a result of relentless and discriminatory Palestinian demands, were transformed by Hamas from productive agricultural and living areas to barren fields and, frequently, extended terrorist rocket-launching sites.

Since then, Israel has had to undertake several major self-defense operations against Gaza-based Palestinian terrorism, most recently, the Gaza War of this summer, Operation Protective Edge.

Why does no one expect the Palestinians to cease all deliberate and random violence against Israeli civilians before being considered for admission to full statehood in the civilized community of nations? It is sadly and abundantly clear that the Palestinians are actually seeking something very different from an "end to occupation." Both Fatah and Hamas, in their charters, daily declarations, non-stop incitement to murder, and official maps -- long familiar in Washington -- include all of Israel as a part of "Palestine." For both Fatah and Hamas, there has always been the disingenuous quest for a "One-State Solution," a not-so-secret code for demographically flooding Israel to make it an Arab state in which the Jews, who have lived on that and for roughly 3000 years, might continue there on sufferance as "tolerated" subjects or be completely expelled, depending on the speech. [1]

It probably has never even occurred to the U.S. Administration, Sweden or Britain that both Hamas and Fatah still identify their common ideological mentors as Hitler and Goebbels, two figures who remain ardent objects of admiration for the prospective rulers of a nascent "Palestine".[2]

At its core, President Obama's, Sweden's and Britain's policy toward Israel and "Palestine" reveals dangerous and hard-to-correct bewitchments of language. However untrue, the ritualistic canard of an Israeli "occupation" has now been repeated so often, and so authoritatively, that it is generally taken prima facie as irrefutable "fact."

On June 30, 1922, however, a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress of the United States unanimously endorsed the "Mandate for Palestine," confirming the irrevocable right of Jews to settle in the area of Palestine -- anywhere they chose -- between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. This is the core American legacy of support for a Jewish State that President Obama now somehow fails to recall.

Today, Palestinian claims and policies are fashioned not so much as proper material for diplomatic negotiation (after all, the PA and Hamas are already pursuing accelerated Palestinian statehood outside the framework of previous bilateral legal arrangements with Israel), but rather as a lethal incantation, which still does not make its claim true.

One Israeli prime minister after another has attempted to trade land for peace and each has received, in response, only endless terror attacks, rockets, and protracted war. The reasons for the unrelenting lack of Palestinian reciprocity, generally unhidden and doctrinal[3] can easily be found in our daily newspapers. Both the PA and Hamas leaderships, for example, demand that Israel continue to have 1.8 million Arabs as full citizens of the Jewish State, but simultaneously insist that not a single Jew be allowed to remain as a citizen of the impending Palestinian state. This expectation, that Palestine will be "judenrein," or free of Jews, is a total contradiction of the original U.S. support for the Palestine Mandate, and of all authoritative international law.

Also widely disregarded is that Egypt, Syria, and Jordan were the principal aggressors in the openly genocidal Arab attacks that first began on May 15, 1948, literally moments after the new Jewish State's UN-backed declaration of independent statehood entered into force.

Already, back in 1918[4], Jerusalem's Muslim religious leader, Grand Mufti Hajj Amin el-Husseini, stated plainly: "This was and will remain an Arab land.... the Zionists will be massacred to the last man.... Nothing but the sword will decide the future of this country."

The U.S. Administration, Sweden and Britain also disregard that these same Arab states launched yet another aggression -- that of 1967, or the Six Day War. As a direct result, the so-called Israeli "occupation" followed. The Israelis pushed back their aggressors, then immediately tried to exchange the newly-acquired land for peace, recognition and negotiations -- only to be told, by the Khartoum Conference the same year, No, no and no.

No, no and NO. From left to right: 1) King Faisal of Saudi Arabia, President Nasser of Egypt, President Sallal of Yemen, Sheikh Sabah of Kuwait and President Arif of Iraq at the1967 Arab League Summit in Khartoum; 2) Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas; 3) Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal.

A sovereign state of Palestine, as identified by the Arabs -- a Muslim land occupied by "Palestinian" Arabs -- has never existed -- not before 1948 and not before 1967. Moreover, UN Security Council Resolution 242 never promised a state of Palestine. Even as a non-state legal entity, "Palestine" ceased to exist when Great Britain relinquished its League of Nations mandate.

During the 1948-49 Israeli War of Independence, the West Bank [Judea and Samaria] and Gaza came under the illegal control of Jordan and Egypt respectively. Nothing in prior international law, including the 1947 U.N. General Assembly partition resolution, had ever said anything about any Jordanian or Egyptian title to these lands. The West Bank and Gaza were simply seized -- those were the lands that were "occupied" -- by these two Arab states after their 1948 aggressions against Israel; and thereafter claimed, as a fait accompli, as the traditional (and no-longer legal in the post-UN Charter world) prerogative of an armed conflict.

These Arab aggressions in 1948 did not put an end to any already-existing Arab State of "Palestine" state. Ironically, what these aggressions did manage to accomplish was the deliberate prevention of an Arab state of "Palestine." From the start, it was, and continues to be, the major Arab states -- not Israel -- that became the core impediment to Palestinian sovereignty. The current predicament of what to do with West Bank [Judea and Samaria] and Gaza is the direct result of Arab states' non-compliance with the original UN partition plan of 1947, for which the Jewish side, however reluctantly, had given its full approval.

* * *

A continuous chain of Jewish possession of the land was legally recognized after World War I, during the San Remo Peace Conference in April 1920. The Treaty of Sèvres was signed, in which Great Britain was given mandatory authority over "Palestine," based on the expectation that Britain would correctly prepare the area to become the "national home for the Jewish People": To wit:

"The Mandatory will be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 8, 1917, by the British Government, and adopted by the other Allied Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people."

In 1922, however, Great Britain, unilaterally, and without lawful authority, split off 78% of the lands promised to the Jews -- all of "Palestine" east of the Jordan River -- and gave it to Abdullah, the non-Palestinian son of the Sharif of Mecca. Eastern "Palestine" now took the name "Transjordan," which it retained until April 1949, when it was renamed "Jordan".

From the moment of its creation, Transjordan was closed to all Jewish migration and settlement, a clear betrayal of the British promise in the Balfour Declaration of 1917, and a grave contravention of its core Mandatory obligations under international law.

In 1947, the newly formed United Nations, rather than designate the entire land west of the Jordan River as the long-promised Jewish national homeland, enacted a second partition. Jewish leaders reluctantly accepted the painful and unjust division. Ironically, despite this second allotment again giving complete advantage to Arab interests, the Arab states did not.

On May 15, 1948, exactly twenty-four hours after the State of Israel came into existence, Azzam Pasha, Secretary General of the Arab League, declared to a tiny new country founded upon the still-glowing ashes of Holocaust: "This will be a war of extermination, and a momentous massacre."[5]

This unambiguously genocidal declaration has been at the very heart of all subsequent Arab, Muslim and Islamist actions against Israel, including those of the supposedly "moderate," U.S.-supported Palestinian Authority leadership of Fatah. Even by the strict legal standards of the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, the actions and attitudes of Arabs and Muslims toward the microscopic Jewish state in their midst have remained genocidal.

Jurisprudentially, what they have in mind for Israel has a formal name: it is called crimes against humanity. Crimes against humanity, which include "Extermination," was one of three original counts of indictment at the post-World War II Nuremberg Tribunal, invoked pursuant to the London Charter of August 8, 1945.

In 1967, the Jewish state, as a result of its unexpected military victory over Arab aggressor states after the Six Day War, gained unintended control over West Bank and Gaza. Although the inadmissibility of the acquisition of territory by war is codified in the UN Charter, there still existed no authoritative sovereign to whom the territories could possibly be "returned." Israel could hardly have been expected to transfer them back to Jordan and Egypt, which had exercised unauthorized and terribly harsh control since the Arab-initiated "War of Extermination" in 1948-49, as well as the Arabs repeatedly using that territory to launch aggression against Israel. Moreover, the idea of Palestinian "self-determination" had only just begun to emerge after the Six Day War; it had not even been included in UN Security Council Resolution 242, adopted on November 22, 1967.

The Arab states convened a summit in Khartoum in August 1967, concluding with "Three Nos": "No peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, no negotiations with it."

The Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO] had been formed three years earlier, in 1964, before there were even any "Israeli occupied territories." From their own candid statements in the PLO Charter of 1964 and the Hamas Charter of 1988 -- it is this very same territory -- all of Israel -- that they are now planning to liberate.

President Obama's still-proposed "Two-State Solution" derives from a misunderstanding based on ignorance -- legal, historical and conceptual -- of Israel and "Palestine."

Even if Israel's Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu were to agree to a complete cessation of all so-called Jewish "settlement activity," no quid pro quo of any kind would be forthcoming from any quarter of the Arab/Islamic world.[6] There was none when Israel left southern Lebanon, none when Israel left Gaza and there is therefore reason to expect there will be none now.

Rather, what still seems in place, and backed by the President Obama, Sweden and the UK, is the PLO "Phased Plan" of June 9, 1974, which repeats the principle policies of the Palestinian National Council: to take what one can get, then to use that to take the rest "as a step along the road to comprehensive Arab unity."[7]

For Israel, any Two-State Solution would conclusively codify another Final Solution -- and simultaneously create another jihadist, enemy terrorist state

Louis René Beres is a Professor of International Law in the Department of Political Science at Purdue University.


[1] "PLO ambassador says Palestinian state should be free of Jews", USA Today, Sept. 13, 2011.

[2] On this point, see Andrew G. Bostom, MD, especially the essay, "A Salient Example of Hajj Amin-al-Husseini's Canonical Islamic Jew Hatred," and also The Legacy of Jihad, 2005). Hajj Amin el-Husseini, preeminent Islamic leader during the World War II era, was viewed by Adolf Hitler, Goebbels, and the Waffen-SS, as a "Muslim pope." As Bostom further indicates, "The Nazi regime promoted this former Mufti of Jerusalem in an illustrated biographical booklet, printed in Berlin in 1943, which declared him Muhammad's direct descendant, an Arab hero, and the "incarnation of all ideals and hopes of the Arab nation." On pertinent connections between the current Palestinian movement and Nazism, see also: Jennie Lebel, The Mufti of Jerusalem Hajj Amin-el-Husseini and National Socialism, Paul Munch, Belgrade, 2007, p. 243; and Jeffrey Herf, The Jewish Enemy - Nazi Propaganda during World War II and the Holocaust, Cambridge, 2006, pp 180-181.)

[3] See seminal writings by Dr. Andrew Bostom, above.

[4] Dr. Andrew Bostom in The Legacy of Islamic Anti-Semitism (p. 92)

[5] Akbar al-Yom, Egypt, October 11, 1947, quoted by David Barnett and Efraim Karsh, "Azzam's Genocidal Threat," Middle East quarterly, Fall, 2011

[6] See, for consistently authoritative quotations from official Palestinian sources, PA and Hamas, Palestinian Media Watch, especially its regular special section on "Israel's right to exist denied." See: www.palwatch.org

[7] Article 4: "Any step taken towards liberation is a step towards the realization of the previous Palestinian National Councils." and Article 8: "Once it is established, the Palestinian national authority will strive to achieve a union of the confrontation countries, with the aim of completing the liberation of all Palestinian territory, and as a step along the road to comprehensive Arab unity."

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