Monday, September 19, 2011

Historic Palestine Belongs to the Jews or, The Myths of Thomas Friedman - Jew & NYTimes Columnist

Thomas Friedman in his New York Times's piece seems to believe in a myth.  He writes

Israel should have...reaffirmed the right of both the Palestinian and the Jewish people to a state in historic Palestine and reignited negotiations.

As EOZ points out, that echoes Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh's claim:

Hamas on Sunday said it would not back a U.N. membership bid, and warned that no Palestinian leader had a mandate to sacrifice fundamental Palestinian rights.  Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniya, speaking in Gaza, said the group also continued to support the establishment of a Palestinian state on any part of “historical Palestine” but would not seek to disrupt the U.N. bid.

Now, if we're talking about something termed "historic Palestine", let's be clear about the borders:

In 1920, Britain received a provisional mandate over Palestine, which would extend west and east of the River Jordan. The area of the mandate (see map at right) given to Britain at the San Remo conference was much larger than historic Palestine as envisaged by the Zionists, who had sought an eastern border to the West of Amman

EOZ has a most comprehensive post on that.

"Historic[al] Palestine" was not identical to the boundaries of British Mandate Palestine and during 1922, and finalized in September 1923, TranJordan was effectively separated from the Mandate when Jewish settlement was suspended.  That was the first partition.  Note:

Article 25.

In the territories lying between the Jordan and the eastern boundary of Palestine as ultimately determined, the Mandatory shall be entitled, with the consent of the Council of the League of Nations, to postpone or withhold application of such provisions of this mandate as he may consider inapplicable to the existing local conditions, and to make such provision for the administration of the territories as he may consider suitable to those conditions, provided that no action shall be taken which is inconsistent with the provisions of Articles 15, 16 and 18.

"Palestine", of course, is first of all meant by Arabs to replace Israel.

Second, there are many maps delineating "Palestine" (one here; another here; and yet another here). But all point to land area on "both banks of the Jordan River", as the Betar song, penned by Jabotinsky, goes.  If anything, there is an historic Eretz-Yisrael (see there "Descriptive Geography and Brief Historical Sketch of Palestine").

It is to the Jews that an "historic Palestine" belongs.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"It is to the Jews that an "historic Palestine" belongs."

Sure it is. Where was your family living in the 19th century?

Why do those haredim in Jerusalem wear Polish outfits ? Why doesn't anyone else in the middle East wear furry hats in 100 degree heat?

Because you don't belong in the Middle East, honey.