There is an unspoken racist assumption that underlies the drive for a separate Palestinian Arab state: that no Jews should be allowed to live there. Presumably, this is why any land now resided on by Jews in the West Bank is called a "settlement." The assumption is apparently that the entire area is an illegal colony.
A map of Palestine published in an 1890 atlas by John Y. Huber & Co. of Philadelphia (click to enlarge).
What is less well known is that even though Jews have continuously lived in this region -- it is called Judea -- for nearly 4,000 years, to many Muslims, the entire State of Israel, not just the West Bank, is considered an "illegal settlement." Please look at any map of "Palestine." It is exactly this view that is the real source of the dispute. The real dispute is not about a "Palestinian State." It is about who has the right to the entire area. This is also the reason the Palestinian negotiators will never sign an "end of conflict" agreement. As we have seen with Syria and Iraq, "official borders," even and including the "pre-1967 line," do not matter any more.
Further, the Palestinian Authority (PA) -- Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah as well as Hamas -- continues to educate the next generation of Arab Palestinians that Israel is destined to disappear. The PA continues to depict a world without Israel and a future without Israel -- a vision first embodied in the Palestinian Liberation Organization's (PLO) 1974 Ten Point Program, known as the "Phased Plan." Its stated goal -- never rescinded -- is the "liberation of all of Palestine." This is to be done in stages, a "salami" tactic, by which any land acquired is to be used as a forward base from which to take the rest.
Hamas, with whom the PA is now aligned in a "Unity Government," takes the Phased Plan a bit farther. Hamas, in its Charter, advocates not only displacing Israel, but killing all the Jews worldwide as well, or genocide. This too has never been rescinded.
The fraudulent diplomatic charade now underway in the U.S. and Europe, treating Palestinian Arabs as the only victims, ignores the historical reality that a Jewish claim to these territories is at least as valid, if not more.
It is not the Jews or the Israelis who have rejected peace; they signed agreements, still in effect, with both Jordan and Egypt, and have offered the Palestinians opportunity after opportunity to do the same.
It was the Arabs and Muslims that rejected the Partition Plan internationally offered them in 1947. It was the Arabs and Muslims that attacked Israel on the day of its founding -- as they did every war after that -- but were defeated. The 1949 armistice line -- where the fighting stopped -- is now pointed to as the new border to which Israel must supposedly retreat.
And now they are about to be rewarded for aggression?
There are nearly two million Arabs with full and equal rights living in Israel to this day. Ironically, they enjoy greater rights than they would have in any other regional state, including seats in Israel's Parliament, the Knesset, from which many of them freely and loudly criticize Israel non-stop. Non-Muslims in many Islamic states do not enjoy full citizenship. Minorities in many Muslim states are treated as dhimmis, at best: "tolerated" second-class residents, who have to pay protection money (jizya) to live at the whim of their Muslim rulers.
There has for years been a silent movement afoot -- a diplomatic sleight-of-hand -- which implies that "Israel," the name, may exist, but as a Muslim State, where Jews may live, as dhimmis. The same plan probably exists among many Muslims to rule over Catholics in parts of Spain. The notion of being treated as dhimmis in their own Biblically historic land has been met by Jews with less than enthusiasm.
To protect Israel from such a maneuver, some Israelis have suggested that its parliament pass a law that Israel be declared officially a Jewish state -- just as Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan are officially Islamic states, and as England is officially an Anglican Christian state. Unlike the leaders of Iran or England, however, those who have suggested that Israel be officially a Jewish state have been denounced as racists.
The question that refuses to go away is: Why the double standard?
As mountainous evidence accumulates that any territory presently ceded by Israel at this time would be vulnerable to seizure by extremist Islamic terrorists, there seems to be another diplomatic movement afoot, among some Europeans, unilaterally to grant the Palestinians their own state. Presumably, it is all right with these Europeans if that state is ruled by Islamist terrorists, such as Hamas, or if it is taken over by terrorists worse than Hamas, such as ISIS. Presumably it is all right with these Europeans if the leadership remains repressive, lawless and despotic -- indifferent to human rights, the rule of law, and still promoting genocide. And these Europeans actually think they are being so good and moral?
So far, all diplomatic progress toward the emergence of a separate Palestinian state has happened only with the hypocritical non-binding endorsements of several EU member-state parliaments, namely Sweden, Ireland and France.
Such a move flies in the face of the UN's own international agreements -- signed by all parties under international law. They state that the Israel-Palestinian dispute is to be resolved only by face-to-face negotiations.
The decades-old failure of the UN to abide by its own diplomatic agreements has created an opportunity for Palestinians to manufacture a false narrative. Furthermore, the UN has arrogated to itself the entirely false air of legitimacy for establishing yet another Arab state.
In failing to adhere to international law, the United Nations has, as its principal violator, primarily itself.
Internationally binding post-World War I conferences and treaties, as well as the Mandate system of the League of Nations (LN), make no mention that any portion of the land of Palestine would be ceded to Arabs. On the contrary, all of these international documents delineate that the new state that would emerge from the LN's assignment of the Palestine Mandate to the United Kingdom would be a "Jewish National Home." Moreover, this Jewish National Home was also recognized as consisting of the historically recognized land of Biblical Israel, including Judea and Samaria, which are today often referred to as the "West Bank" of the Jordan River.
These documents contain no ambiguity, and no counter-narratives suggesting otherwise. In fact, U.S. President Calvin Coolidge enthusiastically affirmed in 1922 that it was official U.S. policy to recognize a planned future state for the Jewish people by his support for a Joint Congressional Resolution endorsing the Balfour Declaration. There was also never any challenge to the historical reality that Jerusalem has always been the capital of Israel, and exclusively and entirely within the land of Israel.
This juxtaposition of internationally-certified, legally-documented, historical commitments, contrasted to the current Palestinian narrative as "victims of occupation," is simply another extreme example of "historical revisionism," a specialty of the Kremlin. Unless this false narrative is exposed for the fabrication it is, the future viability of international law -- and the continued U.S. funding of the United Nations -- should be in serious question.
Dr. Lawrence A. Franklin was the Iran Desk Officer for Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. He also served on active duty with the U.S. Army and as a Colonel in the Air Force Reserve, where he was a Military Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Israel.
 The Palestinian Liberation Organization, at the 12th meeting of the Palestinian National Council in Cairo, in 1974, presented their "Ten Point Plan," called the "Phased Plan" or "salami strategy" because of its endorsement of a step-by-step process until all of the territory held by Israel was captured by any means necessary.
 Arab League Secretary-General Abdul Rahman Azzam (Azzam Pasha) rejected the UN's 1947 Partition Plan.
 Israel had repeatedly said that any Arab who stayed would be welcome, as evidenced that there are within the borders of Israel today about two million Arabs.
 Dhimmitude: Jews and Christians under Muslim Rule, by Bat Ye'or, 1985.
 The resolution was later endorsed by 37 state governors.