Google and the eternal, undivided capital of the Jewish people

Google Earth January 7 2012
Google Earth January 7 2012; Star indicates that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital

Although maps are never neutral documents, most maps we see and use are benign and have no particular mission to cause harm or further wars. Yet the history of cartography is replete with maps made to deceive, to prove, to exploit, to kill, to intimidate, to curry favor, to create a desired reality. 

What if a mapmaker came along who could control a single map that much of humanity looked to as a standard reference? In a clinical, scientific setting that seemed to place it above falsehoods or political manipulation? 

The capital of Israel is and always has been Tel Aviv. Why, then, do GoogleEarth (above) and GoogleMaps insist on marking Jerusalem as the capital? Israel occupies East Jerusalem in a brutal military occupation illegal under international law and condemned by UN Resolutions that not even the United States challenged. But Israel claims that an “undivided” Jerusalem is its capital, and that is what Google tells the world.

Is Google waging war-by-map on behalf of Israel? If not, what is its standard for accuracy?[1] As regard physical geography, that’s relatively straight-forward. But standard for accuracy in political geography? What else could be a guide but the rule of law?

The 1947 UN Partition Resolution that created the Israeli state stipulated that Jerusalem would be an open, international city administered by the UN. But like the Partition itself, this was not to be: Zionist forces quickly seized most of the city, with both David Ben-Gurion and his political nemesis Menachem Begin vowing never to relinquish it, and Jordan’s Abdullah I taking East Jerusalem and the West Bank in exchange for delaying any Arab defense.

The uneasy balance remained until the 1967 war, after which Israel claimed it had annexed East Jerusalem (in contrast to the West Bank and Gaza, which it claimed to be occupying). That ‘annexation’ has never been recognized by international law, yet in 1980 the Knesset went a step further and passed the Jerusalem Law claiming all of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Seven UN Resolutions between 1968-1980 address this illegal seizure. What is remarkable by today’s perspective is that in no case did the US vote against them.

In 1968, Res 252 “reaffirms that acquisition of territory by military conquest is inadmissible, and deplores the failure of Israel to comply with [previous] General Assembly resolutions.”[2] There were no votes against. The US and Canada abstained. Israel defied the resolution.

In 1969, Res 267 “deplores the failure of Israel to show any regard for the resolutions of the General Assembly and the Security Council… Censures in the strongest terms all measures taken to change the status of the City of Jerusalem… Confirms that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel which purport to alter the status of Jerusalem, including expropriation of land and properties thereon, are invalid and cannot change that status…”.[3] This resolution was adopted unanimously. Israel continued to defy the resolutions.

The same year, Res 271 reaffirmed the previous resolutions, and addressed Israel’s destruction of non-Jewish holy places. It determined “that the execrable act of desecration and profanation of the Holy Al-Aqsa Mosque emphasizes the immediate necessity of Israel’s desisting from acting in violation of the aforesaid resolutions and rescinding forthwith all measures and actions taken by it designed to alter the status of Jerusalem.”[4] There were no votes against. Four countries abstained: Colombia, Finland, Paraguay, and the US. Israel continued to defy the resolutions.

Two years later, in 1971, Res 298 “deplores the failure of Israel to respect the previous resolutions…” and “confirms in the clearest possible terms that all legislative and administrative actions taken by Israel to change the status of the City of Jerusalem, including expropriation of land and properties, transfer of populations and legislation aimed at the incorporation of the occupied section, are totally invalid and cannot change that status…”[5] No votes against. Syria abstained. Israel continued to defy the resolutions.

After nine more years, Res 465 of 1980 could only repeat much of the same. “All measures taken by Israel to change the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure or status of the Palestinian and other Arab territories occupied since 1967, including Jerusalem, or any part thereof, have no legal validity and that Israel’s policy and practices of settling parts of its population and new immigrants in those territories constitute a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention…” It adds concern over the reported “serious depletion of natural resources, particularly the water resources.”[6] The Security Council had asked the mayor of Hebron to testify; but Israel, which now illegally occupied Hebron, blocked his departure, and so the resolution included a protest at this new outrage. Resolution 465 was adopted unanimously. Israel continued to defy all the resolutions.

The same year, Res 476 deplored “the persistence of Israel, in changing the physical character, demographic composition, institutional structure and the status of the Holy City of Jerusalem,” and reconfirms “that all legislative and administrative measures and actions taken by Israel, the occupying Power, which purport to alter the character and status of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal validity.”[7] No dissenting votes; the US abstained.

Yet thirty days after Res 476, the Knesset defied the UN on a whole new level by enacting its “Jerusalem Law”[8] which claimed Jerusalem as Israel’s undivided capital. Within three weeks, the Security Council passed Res 478 in response. It states that Israel’s action is “a violation of international law” and asked any member countries with their embassy in Jerusalem to move it to Tel Aviv, lest its location be construed as an endorsement of Israel’s military annexation.[9] No dissenting votes; the US abstained. Israel continued to defy the resolutions.

 Each of these UN Resolutions made explicit that building ‘facts on the ground’ can not be used to leverage expropriation of land and transfers of populations in the future. Doing so with the idea of making such seizures irreversible is “totally invalid and cannot change that status.” Israel cannot erase the historic record, but forces such as Google can make the world believe falsehoods by having control over what cartographic data most people see.

By 1987, the presumably knowledgeable Thomas Friedman failed even to question Ariel Sharon when, in an interview from Sharon’s disputed residence in East Jerusalem, he emphasized that it lay in Israel’s capital.[10] Every four years, US presidential candidates promise to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, presumably aware that US law itself would have to be circumvented. Obama had already called Jerusalem the undivided capital of Israel when running for his first term; the ‘vote’ to put it in the Democratic Party platform in his second campaign was a mockery of process (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8BwqzzqcDs).

Not surprisingly, given Israel’s expertise in technology, Google has invested much in the country, and in June of 2012 Google executive Eric Schmidt met with PM Netanayhu. During the meeting, a fawning Schmidt managed even to eulogize the IDF (video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDNwQvBwe-g).

What of Google’s competitor in the smartphone field? Apple’s iPhones had used Google’s maps until its iPhone 5, which introduced Apple Maps and its now-infamous repertoire of errors. One apparent ‘error’ was its failure to mark a capital of Israel. Indignation over the missing capital quickly hit the internet and Israeli media, bloggers demanding that Apple mark Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Yet at writing (9 Jan ‘12), four months later, Israel still has no capital, and the iPhone’s world clock app shows Jerusalem as a city without an associated country. Apple appears to have taken the tack used by the CIA, whose World Factbook map[11] marks no city as Israel’s capital. Given the cartographic conundrum, this makes sense: Israel has every right to say that Tel Aviv is not its capital, so it is not shown as such, but nor does it have the right to place its capital in other people’s land, so it is not shown in Jerusalem either.

The map war continue to be fought in physical media as well. Four years ago, British authorities forced Israel to replace tourism billboards in London Transit because they flaunted a map labelling all of Palestine as Israel.[12] Cyber map warfare is more insidious, however. In Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, a news clipping makes the protagonist realize that Big Brother has been lying (all copies of the article were to have been destroyed, but one mistakenly survived). But if instead of physical copies, it were digital in cyberspace? Big Brother would simply have modified the file.

If enough of a fuss were made, Google would have to respond to the issue of Jerusalem on its maps. In the spotlight, would it really defy international law?

Author’s postscript: This article presupposes a huge gift to Israel: all the Palestinian land between the UN Partition and the 1949 Armistice or Green Line, more than half of what was to have been Palestine. The Green Line was merely a cease-fire line, not a border granting Israel the Palestinian lands within it, but Israel refused to budge and the line is now commonly presumed to be Israel’s unofficial border. The present article, like everything written on the ‘conflict’ since the Suez War, is predicated on accepting this state of affairs, vastly tilted in Israel’s favor.

                        Thomas Suarez is the author of several works on the history of cartography.  http://thomassuarez.com

Notes:

1. The author’s attempts to contact Google or correct the error remain unanswered.

2.http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/46F2803D78A0488E852560C3006023A8

3.http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/b86613e7d92097880525672e007227a7/5932ecf53ff36a04852560c300656122?OpenDocument

4.http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/b86613e7d92097880525672e007227a7/35941b603b4459b8852560c50061dc5e?OpenDocument

5.http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/441329A958089EAA852560C4004EE74D

6.http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/5AA254A1C8F8B1CB852560E50075D7D5

7.http://domino.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/b86613e7d92097880525672e007227a7/6de6da8a650b4c3b852560df00663826?OpenDocument

8. Passed by the Knesset July 30, 1980. It’s full name is Basic Law: Jerusalem, Capital of Israel.

9.http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/DDE590C6FF232007852560DF0065FDDB

10. Thomas Friedman, In Jerusalem, Sharon Apartment Creates a Stir. NY Times December 31, 1987.

11. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/graphics/maps/large/is-map.gif

12. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/may/22/israel-underground-ads-occupied-territories-map

Posted in Israel/Palestine | Tagged

{ 57 comments... read them below or add one }

  1. OlegR says:

    Babble all you want.
    Jerusalem is the capital of Israel it’s the seat of government and of parliament
    and of the judiciary system.
    Not recognizing it as such is tantamount to not recognizing the earth revolves around the sun.

    • FreddyV says:

      According to?……..

    • talknic says:

      Pity it isn’t in Israel eh. OlegR

    • Cliff says:

      Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel. Most countries in the world do not recognize it as being the capital of Israel. I can’t think of any that do in fact.

    • Citizen says:

      @ Olgeg R
      So, all the foreign embassies attendant Israel are located in Jerusalem?

    • Abdul-Rahman says:

      Not even the US government (despite the bribed AIPAC controlled clowns in the Congress and Senate trying to push the issue for those AIPAC dollars and among the Republicans the votes of the loony “Christian Zionist” end timer/rapture seekers!) accepts the Israeli government’s illegal claim to annexing Jerusalem (and as such the US embassy is not in Jerusalem). And all the Israeli claims regarding this whole issue are, as Mr. Suarez easily demonstrates, ruled entirely illegal under international law (United Nations Security Council Resolution 478 in particular!)

      As for what you claim is “not recognizing the earth revolves around the sun”, I assume your basing this ridiculous claim of yours on a mythology book with a talking snake that says the Jebusites where there “first” (in “Jebus”) anyway right?!

      link to gbe.oxfordjournals.org

      • Accentitude says:

        There are definitely strong reasons why, to this date, the U.S. Embassy is in Tel Aviv and why the U.S. Consulate is in Jerusalem. Once upon a time way before the Israelis went on a land annexation spree, building up walls and declaring closed military zones across the West Bank making it virtually impossible for any and all WB’ers to enter Jerusalem, the U.S. Consulate was conveniently placed to provide services to both Israelis…..AND PALESTINIANS….who possessed U.S. citizenships, worked abroad, or for those who required student visas, etc….because it was centrally located in the West Bank and accessible from all directions. Now with the wall zig-zagging left and right through people’s backyards, cross-cutting farmlands, imprisoning villagers, etc…most Palis can’t even get to it….and its since been relocated further into the Jerusalem area.

        As far as where the Embassy sits, you can pretend all you want that Tel Aviv isn’t your capital but in the eyes of the world….the embassies are markers for the location of your capital. Plain and simple. Of course I suppose you could piss off the Americans to the point where even their embassy will just be reduced to the title of “Representative Office of the United States of America” and could just as well be placed anywhere.

    • Accentitude says:

      Why would you put your parliament, judiciary system and government in another country? That doesn’t make any sense. Wouldn’t it be logical to put them in the capital of your country within your own borders? Tel Aviv is perfectly within reach and it’s already your capital. Put them over there.

  2. seafoid says:

    Eternal my ass.
    Undivided- sure , habibi
    The Crusaders had that arrogance thing as well.

    link to youtube.com

  3. Avi_G. says:

    This is phenomenal writing and the author is highly knowledgeable about this subject. Well done, and thanks.

  4. NormanF says:

    This discussion of cartography omits one salient fact: Jerusalem is 72% Jewish and 28% Arab. Jerusalem has an undisputed Jewish majority since the mid 19th Century. Its always been the most Jewish of cities in the world.

    And no UN resolution nor world disapproval can ever erase this fact.

    • seafoid says:

      Oh Norman.

      West Jerusalem didn’t have a majority of Jews until the Jews ethnically cleansed it. And that was 1948

      All those elegant homes belonged to Palestinians. Jewish architecture in your holy city is cat. How many a/c units deface cheap jerry built facades ?

      How many checkpoints, how many torturers have you got in your holy city ?

    • Mndwss says:

      “Its always been the most Jewish of cities in the world.”

      So Tel Aviv with 91% jews is less jewish?

      Is that zio-mathematics?

    • talknic says:

      NormanF

      Problem ….. It’s irrelevant to the actual legal extent of Israeli sovereignty

    • mondonut says:

      NormanF says: This discussion of cartography omits one salient fact: Jerusalem is 72% Jewish and 28% Arab…
      =======================================
      But Norman, what makes you think that the people of Jerusalem are entitled to self-determination?

      • Cliff says:

        Yea mondonut, the Mandate of Palestine was mostly Palestinian Arab.

        What gave Zionist Jews and the British the right to divide the land and give the best parts (and slightly more) to Jewish colonists?

        Practice what you preach, Zionist tool.

      • talknic says:

        mondonut

        ” what makes you think that the people of Jerusalem are entitled to self-determination?”

        The Jewish Agency didn’t think they had that right.

        Friday, 5 March 1948 to the UNSC “We feel under the obligation to make our position unmistakably clear. As far as the Jewish people are concerned, they have accepted the decision of the United Nations. We regard it as binding, and we are resolved to move forward in the spirit of that decision.”

        • mondonut says:

          talknic says: The Jewish Agency didn’t think they had that right.
          ==================================
          So every person of the Jewish faith, everywhere in the world, forever, have surrendered their rights to self-determination due to something a rabbi said in 1948?

        • talknic says:

          mondonut “So every person of the Jewish faith, everywhere in the world, forever, have surrendered their rights to self-determination due to something a rabbi said in 1948?”

          If you say so. I didn’t.

          BTW, not just a rabbi, he was the official representative of the Jewish Agency at the UNSC. You seem to have a problem with it. Perhaps it doesn’t fit in with the bullsh*te you need to regurgitate.

    • Woody Tanaka says:

      So what? The town of Kiryas Joel in New York state has a higher percentage of Jews. Does that automatically mean it’s Israeli?

      • mondonut says:

        Woody Tanaka says: So what? The town of Kiryas Joel in New York state has a higher percentage of Jews.
        =======================================
        Why would a minority population of Palestinian Arabs make Jerusalem part of the State of Palestine?

        • Woody Tanaka says:

          “Why would a minority population of Palestinian Arabs make Jerusalem part of the State of Palestine?”

          Who said it did? The city could be 100% Jews and israel would still have no legal jurisdiction or soverignty over the eastern half of al Quds and they only have jurisdiction but not soverignty over the western half of al Quds.

        • Hostage says:

          So every person of the Jewish faith, everywhere in the world, forever, have surrendered their rights to self-determination due to something a rabbi said in 1948?

          Jews who don’t live in Palestine have no right to exercise their right of self-determination there, regardless of what a Rabbi might have said about that particular subject.

    • norman, last i heard clearwater florida was the most ‘scientologist’ of all cities in the world.

    • Donald says:

      NormanF, suppose Jerusalem was majority Jewish since the mid 19th century. By your own argument there should never have been an Israel at all then, unless it was restricted to Jerusalem and any other portions of Palestine that were majority Jewish before ethnic cleansing took place.

      • Hostage says:

        NormanF, suppose Jerusalem was majority Jewish since the mid 19th century.

        There was usually a combined Muslim-Christian Arab majority in Jerusalem, even when the Jews supposedly outnumbered the individual Arab groups.

        Much of the supposed City of Jerusalem, like E1, consists of territory that was added to the city after 1948. During the 1931 British census the population of the Jerusalem Subdistrict was reportedly 266,562 persons, including 173,019 Mulims; 54,959 Jews; and 38,488 Christians.

        See E. Mills, “Census of Palestine 1931, Population of villages, towns and administrative areas” (1932), pdf page 26
        link to archive.org

    • Mooser says:

      “Its always been the most Jewish of cities in the world.”

      And they put it in the wrong spot? Why didn’t they put it in Israel?

    • Abdul-Rahman says:

      Using your “logic”, the Old City of Jerusalem (where all the holy sites are located) is still almost entirely Palestinian! Using the logic of Religious Zionists, they as Zionists are losing in that mathematics angle! Also you might want to check actual sources:

      link to domino.un.org

      http://books.google.com/books?id=KGuGDCc4elEC&pg=PA204&lpg=PA204&dq=96,760%2B43,770+survey&source=bl&ots=hBkW-CrBbB&sig=C57uzagxgYJD–TmLxqR4BxmrGM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=GUb9T-bEOIy20QGQv-T5Bg&ved=0CEYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=96%2C760%2B43%2C770%20survey&f=false

    • Blownaway says:

      Here is another fact. East Jerusalem is mostly Palestinian and but for ethnic cleansing home demolitions expanding the municipal boundaries of Jerusalem to capture the colonies to inflate the population none of what you said would be true. The Afrikaans ignored UN resolutions too..for a while

    • Accentitude says:

      Is that 72% already including home demolitions, forced removals, and denial of building permits as in the case of former Palestinian majority now Israeli Jewish majority villages in Jerusalem like Sheikh Jarrah?

  5. HarryLaw says:

    They hope to achieve a fait accompli, just like the settlements they now say cannot be moved, if anyone protests, the Israelis are furious and lash out at anyone brave enough to point out the illegality of it all, in contrast to the US/EU’s diplomatic language “this is unhelpful” etc while shovelling billions in aid and trade deals to them. By the way if my memory is correct that advertising poster had been taken down by the advertising authority in London, because of the persistence of just one person, a very young woman who would not take no for an answer, which should give encouragement to everyone, don’t let them get away with anything, let them know, we know their game.

  6. seanmcbride says:

    Since Google is one of the most powerful companies on the planet, I think we need to know a great deal about the political views of Google’s leaders, and how those views might affect Google’s editorial policies.

    With regard to Larry Page and Sergey Brin, however: I will always have the highest admiration for their creative genius, no matter what their political views. But I think they need to be careful not to demonstrate any political bias in their management of Google.

    And if there is even a hint that Google private data is going where it has no business going, all hell will break loose.

    • Mooser says:

      “With regard to Larry Page and Sergey Brin, however: I will always have the highest admiration for their creative genius, no matter what their political views. But I think they need to be careful not to demonstrate any political bias in their management of Google.”

      Gosh, I wonder what happens when you Google “Larry Page Zionism” or “Sergey Brin Zionism” I wonder what you might find, maybe something which could go on a list.

      • seanmcbride says:

        Mooser,

        Gosh, I wonder what happens when you Google “Larry Page Zionism” or “Sergey Brin Zionism” I wonder what you might find, maybe something which could go on a list.

        I suspect the “religion” that Larry Page and Sergey Brin are most closely associated with is transhumanism — they are strong backers of the Singularity movement (they just hired Ray Kurzweil to a top-level position at Google).

        As to their views on Judaism, Zionism and Israel — I really don’t know. My overall impression is that they are too preoccupied with creating visionary and world revolutionary technologies to get bogged down in primitive religious and ethnic disputes.

        Oh, yes: I am a transhumanist myself — along with being a theosophist. Have fun with it. Mock my “religion” to your heart’s content. :) You wont bother me in the slightest.

      • seanmcbride says:

        Mooser,

        Gosh, I wonder what happens when you Google “Larry Page Zionism” or “Sergey Brin Zionism” I wonder what you might find, maybe something which could go on a list.

        Do you yet understand that well-organized lists of well-formed semantic assertions are the foundation for creating a rapidly self-evolving global superintelligence? And that this technology has been in development for at least several decades? And that elements of this technology undergird many of the tools you are currently using to access the Internet?

        There may be more going on in the world than the narrow list of ethnocentric topics covered in your Catskills/Henny Youngman wisecracks. You need to expand your mind. A good place to start: try reading a few cutting-edge scholarly and technical books, journal articles and papers — on anything — Mideast politics, Internet technology — you name it. Feed your head.

        “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, / Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.” — Hamlet. Shakespeare was a theosophist.

  7. pabelmont says:

    Nice review. “What else could be a guide but the rule of law?”. This article takes the view (which is also mine) that international law should “trump” local (“municipal”) law, here Israeli statutes.

    But the USA (a sort of king-maker in the day-to-day enforcement regime for I/L) has effectively given Israel carte blanche so that, whatever UNSC and UNGA and ICJ may have said, and whatever legions of international lawyers may say, Israel says that Jerusalem is its capital and so it is (for most practical purposes).

    Tel Aviv remains the locus of most embassies, since most countries honor the UN’s refusal to regard Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

    Maybe Google could escape this dilemma by labeling the STAR as “Jerusalem, Israel’s capital (illegal at international law)”.

    • Tom Suarez says:

      Hello Pabelmont, thank you for the comment.
      Actually it’s not a matter of international law trumping local law. East Jerusalem does not lie in Israel, so there is no Israeli local or municipal law there to begin with—only a military occupation running the show by force. This is especially important to remember when Israel uses the “permit” issue as legal cover for ethnic cleansing in East Jerusalem. One not need even expose the scam of the permits themselves, since Israel has no jurisdiction there anyway—no more than than Saddam Hussein had in Kuwait City.

  8. Ariba says:

    Hi,
    do try the searching engine link to blekko.com considered by
    Pierro Scaruffi link to scaruffi.com (worked several years in Silicon Valley) to be a real alternative to Google.
    Greetings

  9. Les says:

    When did the old fashioned term, political geography, become apolitical? From whence did “Jewish geography” arrive upon the scene?

  10. HarryLaw says:

    pabelmont ” This article takes the view (which is also mine) that international law should “trump” local (“municipal”) law, here Israeli statutes”. I would agree with you but the Vienna conventions are a little contradictory on that point, for instance the Israeli government would argue that article 46 should not over ride a law the Israeli Government regard as of fundamental importance, for instance Israeli basic law; “Jerusalem, complete and united, is the capital of Israel”, all academic since the Israelis have not ratified the Vienna conventions which are in fact only the codification of International law, not to say that a treaty Israel reneged on would be less susceptible, in theory to the law than any other binding treaty any country undertook. Israel would in any case insist that although it had not ratified the Vienna conventions, its word is its bond, that’s good enough for me, a light unto nations

    • Tom Suarez says:

      Thanks—but as I noted on pabelmont’s posting, the issue itself is irrelevant. There is no Israeli municipal or local law in East Jerusalem for international law to have to trump. Israel’s presence there is illegitimate, period.

  11. HarryLaw says:

    Norman F “Its always been the most Jewish of cities in the world”. Liverpool has always been the most Irish of cities of the world, after all by 1848 over 100,000 poor Irish people had settled in the slum areas by the docks, Liverpool had seemed like just another part of Ireland, in fact the Irish born population exceeded that of any Irish town except Dublin, Cork and Belfast does that make Liverpool a part of Ireland?

    • mondonut says:

      HarryLaw says: …does that make Liverpool a part of Ireland?
      =======================
      Interesting history. Does the Republic of Ireland claim Liverpool? Is Liverpool otherwise absent of a sovereign nation? Did Ireland seize Liverpool from a third party that no longer makes claim to it?

  12. HarryLaw says:

    I agree 100% with you Tom, and just as I think the “Jerusalem Law” is null and void,so also is the “Golan Heights Law” which as UNSC Resolution 497 [December 1981] declared that the acquisition of territory by force was inadmissible and that Israel’s decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the Golan Heights is null and void and without legal effect. Thanks for the excellent article.

  13. seafoid says:

    Eternal capital of a gerrymandered state with a very bleak future.

    The idea that Israel is the culmination , the end state of something, is nuts.

  14. HarryLaw says:

    mondonut “Interesting history. Does the Republic of Ireland claim Liverpool”? No but that goes to show how democratic the Irish Republic is, but that was not always the case, the Irish Republic until recently claimed as part of its territory the whole Island of Ireland and territorial seas including Belfast, in articles 2 and 3 of its constitution, which was against International Law and regardless of the opinions of the people of Northern Ireland, they have now changed the constitution so that any constitutional changes between the two parts of Ireland can only come about with the will of the majority of people resident in Northern Ireland through a referendum.

    • braciole says:

      Prior to partition in 1920, Ireland was always a single major territorial unit within the United Kingdom and before that it was a single major entity, the Kingdom of Ireland. Northern Ireland simply did not exist as a separate entity. With Home Rule almost certain to be supported by the Irish population, the British government gerrymandered a territorial unit with a Unionist/Protestant majority to allow the United Kingdom to maintain control of part of Ireland. And please don’t go on about how Ulster was a province of Ireland which became Northern Ireland, because the province of Ulster consisted of nine counties (including Counties Cavan, Donegal and Monaghan which are now part of the Irish republic) rather than the six it does now as within the borders of the real province of Ulster, the Unionists/Protestants were a minority anyway. BTW, as part of the 1998 Belfast Agreement which brought the troubles to an end, all parties agreed that if a majority of the population of Northern Ireland supported the re-unification of Ireland then it would happen. So just like the modern Israel, Northern Ireland is an artificial construct of the British Empire that will most likely disappear from the pages of history.

    • mondonut says:

      HarryLaw says: No but that goes to show how democratic the Irish Republic is…
      =======================================
      Still interesting. Still entirely off topic with absolutely no relevance to Jerusalem. Nice distraction though.

  15. Hostage says:

    But like the Partition itself, this was not to be: Zionist forces quickly seized most of the city, with both David Ben-Gurion and his political nemesis Menachem Begin vowing never to relinquish it, and Jordan’s Abdullah I taking East Jerusalem and the West Bank in exchange for delaying any Arab defense.

    The Christian’s scriptures offer some sound military advice: “Or what king would go to war against another king without first sitting down with his counselors to discuss whether his army of 10,000 could defeat the 20,000 soldiers marching against him? And if he can’t, he will send a delegation to discuss terms of peace while the enemy is still far away.” Luke 14:31-32

    The Arabs were facing much worse odds than that. Their disorganized and ill-equipped force numbered about 30,000, while the Zionists mustered a force of about 80,000 who were relatively better equipped.

    The “Old Historians” invented a myth about a Jewish state under serious threat from the Arabs. Unfortunately, when the “New Historians” debunked the old myths, they created some new ones about the capabilities of the Arab forces at Abdullah’s disposal. Subsequently, Avi Shlaim and other arm-chair generals have toned-down some of the more exaggerated claims about Abdullah’s actions and possible motives.

    If I gave you the 9,000 man Arab Legion and told you to immediately go and defend all of the inhabitants and the borders of the proposed Arab state in Palestine, you simply wouldn’t have been able to do it. The British had failed miserably at maintaining law and order with a force of nearly 100,000, including elements of the Arab Legion, before the outbreak of the civil war in Palestine.

    US Secretary of Defense Forrestal, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the Pentagon’s Joint Strategic Plans Group estimated that it would take a force of at least 104, 000 to support a temporary trusteeship in Palestine based upon the condition that the Jewish Agency and Arab Higher Committee would agree to a truce. Members of the Joint Chiefs were of the opinion that a completely effective truce would still be impossible in Palestine, even if the cooperation of the Jewish Agency and Arab Higher Committee could be obtained. They advised Forrestal that if a truce broke down or couldn’t be implemented, the size of the force needed would have to be doubled or tripled. See Forrestal’s diary entry for 4 April 1948 in the FRUS: link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu
    To make matters worse, on the morning of 15 May 1948 the Syrian government frantically contacted Abdullah and advised him that they wanted to call off the joint plan to start deploying their regular forces in Palestine. The Lebanese army never had enough ammunition to defend its own borders from the Zionists, much less the Palestinian’s borders.

  16. Walid says:

    “… and Jordan’s Abdullah I taking East Jerusalem and the West Bank in exchange for delaying any Arab defense.”

    My understanding of this bit of history is that East Jerusalem was not part of the “exchange” agreement. Abdullah pulled a fast-one on the Zionists when he grabbed it.

    As to motives, Shlaim discussed Abdullah’s obsession of ruling over a Greater Syria as well as his unwillingness to allow the birth of a Palestinian state.

    • Hostage says:

      My understanding of this bit of history is that East Jerusalem was not part of the “exchange” agreement. Abdullah pulled a fast-one on the Zionists when he grabbed it.

      No the Jews started the fighting over Jerusalem. Here is Shlaim’s account:

      In Jerusalem the initiative was seized by the Jewish side. As soon as the British evacuated the city, a vigorous offensive was launched to capture the Arab and mixed quarters of the city and form a solid area going all the way to the Old City walls. Glubb Pasha, the British commander of the Arab Legion, adopted a defensive strategy which was intended to avert a head-on collision with the Jewish forces. According to his account, the Arab Legion crossed the Jordan on 15 May to help the Arabs defend the area of Judea and Samaria allocated to them. They were strictly forbidden to enter Jerusalem or to enter any area allotted to the Jewish state in the partition plan. But on 16 May the Jewish forces tried to break into the Old City, prompting urgent calls for help from the Arab defenders. On 17 May, King ‘Abdullah ordered Glubb Pasha to send a force to defend the Old City. Fierce fighting ensued. The legionnaires inflicted very heavy damage and civilian casualties by shelling the New City, the Jewish quarters of Jerusalem. On 28 May, the Jewish Quarter inside the Old City finally surrendered to the Arab Legion.

      After the Jewish offensive in Jerusalem had been halted, the focal point of the battle moved to Latrun, a hill spur with fortifications, that dominated the main route from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Like Gush Etzion, Latrun lay in the area allotted by the UN to the Arab state. But Latrun’s strategic importance was such that Ben-Gurion was determined to capture it. Against the advice of his generals, he ordered three frontal attacks on Latrun, on 25 and 30 May and on 9 June. The Arab Legion beat off all these attacks and inflicted very heavy losses on the hastily improvized and ill-equipped Jewish forces.

      Any lingering hope that Transjordan would act differently to the rest of the Arab countries went up in smoke as a result of the costly clashes in and around Jerusalem. Yigael Yadin, the IDF chief of operations, roundly rejected the claim that there had ever been any collusion between the Jewish Agency and the ruler of Transjordan, let alone collusion during the 1948 War:

      Contrary to the view of many historians, I do not believe that there was an agreement or even an understanding between Ben-Gurion and ‘Abdullah. He may have had wishful thoughts … but until 15 May 1948, he did not build on it and did not assume that an agreement with ‘Abdullah would neutralize the Arab Legion. On the contrary, his estimate was that the clash with the Legion was inevitable. Even if Ben-Gurion had an understanding or hopes, they evaporated the moment ‘Abdullah marched on Jerusalem. First there was the assault on Kfar Etzion then the capture of positions in Latrun in order to dominate the road to Jerusalem, and then there was the entry into Jerusalem. From these moves it was clear that ‘Abdullah intended to capture Jerusalem.

      Yadin’s testimony cannot be dismissed lightly for it reflected the unanimous view of the IDF General Staff that the link with Transjordan had no influence on Israel’s military conduct during the War of Independence.

      link to web.archive.org

      The Jewish forces at Kfar Etzion had been attacking traffic on the road from Hebron to Jerusalem long before the Legion began withdrawing from its garrisons in Palestine along that route. Most accounts emphasize the massacre and gloss over the fact that it was the Jewish forces that initiated the hostilities when they attacked the Legion’s convoys.

  17. HarryLaw says:

    braciole, The point I was making is that whatever the reason Ireland was partitioned, it must be remembered that the Unionist community where going to fight to stay out of a United Ireland, are you saying that the British empire at the height of its power should have forced the Northern Irish electorate at the point of bayonets into a United Ireland, I would not agree, who knows what the future holds but I see you agree that any future change in the constitutional position of Northern Ireland within the UK can only come about with the consent of a majority in Northern Ireland. By the way the Catholic community was never predominately Nationalist it was estimated that at least half the Catholic community were quite happy to stay part of the UK, provided no one tried to wrap a Union Jack around them, so the sectarian equation does not work so well.

  18. Hostage says:

    As to motives, Shlaim discussed Abdullah’s obsession of ruling over a Greater Syria as well as his unwillingness to allow the birth of a Palestinian state.

    Avi Shlaim has walked-back his claims about collusion across the Jordan and toned down his own account of the negotiations between the Jewish Agency and King Abdullah. Historian Neil Caplan described the preface of Shlaim’s more recent editions:

    The Politics of Partition is a revised paperback version of Avi Shlaim’s ground-breaking and more scholarly hardback Collusion Across the Jordan. It was recently reissued, with a new preface, because both works have been out of print since 1995. In his original 1988 study, Shlaim characterized the contacts between the Zionists and the Jordanian king as going beyond simple co-operation, alliance or strategic accord; these relations were given the sinister qualities of conspiracy, collusion and ‘unholy alliance’. This resulted in some harsh criticism from reviewers and led the author to reconsider the quality of those relations and to dropping the provocative word ‘collusion’ from the title of the subsequent edition because of its pejorative connotations (xiii-xiv, xvii-xviii).

    – See Zionism and the Arabs: Another Look at the ‘New’ Historiography
    Reviewed work(s): Righteous Victims: A History of the Zionist-Arab Conflict, 1881-1999 by Benny Morris; The Israel/Palestine Question by Ilan Pappe; The Politics of Partition: King Abdullah, the Zionists and Palestine, 1921-1951 by Avi Shlaim, Journal of Contemporary History, Vol. 36, No. 2 (Apr., 2001), pp. 345-360.

    In “War in Palestine, 1948: Strategy and Diplomacy”, Israeli military historian David Tal noted that it was Great Britain that still hoped to create a pro-British Greater Syria (page 355). For their part, the Zionists had also proposed federation of Palestine and Transjordan into one state that could eventually be merged in a larger regional federation of states, including Syria and Iraq. Its doubtful that anyone would have supported the Zionist’s hair-brained schemes if they had proposed an economically isolated enclave in a state of perpetual war. — See for example, Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, 1940. The British Commonwealth, the Soviet Union, the Near East and Africa
    (1940), pages 837-838 link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

    The original members of the League of Arab States essentially consisted of Egypt + the Greater Syrian confederation of states that had been liberated from the Ottoman Empire. Tal notes that Abdullah had already abandoned his own plans for Greater Syria by 1948, and that he entered into negotiations with Musa Alami regarding an alliance to protect the Syrian flank once they were deployed in Palestine (pages 21-23).

    Abdullah certainly had no intention of allowing the Mufti, a war time enemy, to establish a government on his own borders. But the idea that he wanted to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state is pretty far-fetched. He couldn’t even get his own country recognized at the time. Neither the UN Security Council nor the United States recognized Transjordaian statehood on 15 May 1948. Like the application submitted by Abbas, Abdullah’s application for membership in the UN had been turned down ever since 1946. Members of the Security Council contended that Transjordan was not an independent state, but rather a part of the joint Palestinian Mandate that had not been legally terminated. They said that the UN needed to address the question of Palestine “as a whole”. See The Minutes of the 57th Session of the Security Council, S/PV.57 pages 100-101 (pdf file pgs 3-4 of 52) link to doc.un.org

    From 1946 to November of 1947 Jewish Agency official policy amounted to a claim that Transjordan was an indivisible part of the Mandate and that the Jewish people had a legally protected interest in the territory that had only been temporarily withheld. See for example “Mandate is Indivisible Jewish Agency Objects to Severance of T.-J.”, Palestine Post Apr 9, 1946, page 3.

    Chaim Weizmann personally lobbied President Truman and said it was imperative that the Transjordanian port of Aqaba be included in the Jewish state. A few days before the November 29, 1947 decision on partition, U.S. Secretary of State Marshall noted frequent references had been made by the other members of the Ad Hoc Committee on Palestine regarding the desirability of the Jewish State having both the Negev and the Port of Aqaba. See Foreign relations of the United States, 1947. The Near East and Africa Volume V, page 1255
    Truman even telephoned the US UN delegation and told them he supported Weizmann’s position on Aqaba. The only reason the US Ambassador didn’t vote for inclusion and abstained, was because he wasn’t certain about the meaning of the President’s instructions (page 1271).

    Abdullah’s government highlighted that situation to the Security Council:

    I wish to draw your attention to the fact that the government of the United States of America, the author of the proposition of addressing the questions about which you informed me, has not yet recognized the government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan, despite the fact that for two years it has been in a position to meet all the required conditions for such recognition; yet the government of the United States of America recognized the so-called Jewish government within a few hours, although the factors for this recognition were lacking.
    I also would like to point out that the Security Council refused more than once to recommend to the General Assembly the admission of the Transjordan government to the United Nations.
    Therefore, my government does not feel that there is room for reply to the questions addressed to it.

    link to unispal.un.org

    There are much easier ways of preventing the creation of a Palestinian state than convening a Palestinian Arab Congress and making yourself available as a candidate for the position of “King of Arab Palestine”. The new joint entity was always described as a union between Arab Palestine and Transjordan or a joint Kingdom, e.g. link to jpress.org.il

  19. HarryLaw says:

    braciole, The point I was making is that whatever the reason Ireland was partitioned, it must be remembered that the Unionist community where going to fight to stay out of a United Ireland, are you saying that the British empire at the height of its power should have forced the Northern Irish electorate at the point of bayonets into a United Ireland, I would not agree, who knows what the future holds but I see you agree that any future change in the constitutional position of Northern Ireland within the UK can only come about with the consent of a majority in Northern Ireland. By the way the Catholic community was never predominately Nationalist it was estimated that at least half the Catholic community were quite happy to stay part of the UK, provided no one tried to wrap a Union Jack around them, so the sectarian equation does not work so well.

  20. pjdude says:

    am I the only person who finds it wierd that zionist claim Jerusalem as the eternal and undivided capital of Israel having always been such when in ancient times Jerusalem wasn’t even in the kingdom of ISrael