Questioning Israel’s ‘international legitimacy,’ Siegman says two-state solution would require Kerry to reject ‘robbery’ beyond ’67 lines

Israel/Palestine
on 69 Comments

In an incisive piece at Huffpo, Henry Siegman asks, Can John Kerry rescue the two-state solution? And though Siegman clings to the prayer of two states, the answer is evidently no, given Siegman’s belief that the two-state solution depends on Israel returning to the ’67 lines so as to immortalize the only compromise that either side has ever made, the Palestinian concession of 1988 to accept Partition on starkly-unfair proportions. Some of Siegman’s insights.

Obama didn’t do anything to revive the two-state solution on his trip:

But nothing he said in Jerusalem or Ramallah–and, more importantly, that he failed to say–justifies an expectation that his reengagement will be of a kind that has any chance of preventing Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government from finally nailing down the coffin in which they are burying a viable two-state outcome. For no matter how much he was pressed–by reporters and others–Obama could not get himself to affirm the main point of his speech of May 19th, 2011 at the Department of State that peace talks must begin at the 1967 border..

The ’67 borders were in the Road Map, but Obama has walked away from that:

It is important to understand that Netanyahu’s unilateral abrogation of so central a provision of the Roadmap is based on his bizarre determination to present the West Bank as “disputed” territory, not occupied territory. That is why he has been so insistent on the eradication of the 1967 line, even to the point of calling President Obama moments before his speech of May 19th, 2011 to demand that he omit any reference to the 1967 border from his speech. [Obama went ahead with that reference; how did Netanyahu know ahead of time?] And that, too, is why he recently appointed a commission of rightwing judges who share his view to help determine the government’s position on this question..

I like how Siegman rejects the “disputed” territory appellation for illegally occupied territory:

In both Jerusalem and Ramallah President Obama called for the abandonment of old formulas that haven’t worked and for new out-of-the-box ideas that can yield a two-state accord. But there is no formula in the world that can do this if resumed talks are premised on the principle that the West Bank is contested territory…

Seigman notes that Naftali Bennett responded to Obama by saying it’s “our land.” An extremist position.

Obama’s failure to address these well-known Israeli positions tells us how seriously to take his attempts to establish his evenhandedness in this conflict. In both Jerusalem and Ramallah, he ruled out recognition of Hamas and its participation in a Palestinian unity government as long as it refuses to recognize Israel’s legitimacy. He also expects them to renounce resort to violence. Now that Bennett has informed Obama that he mirrors precisely Hamas’ positions in his own view of Palestinian claims–denying Palestinian rights to a state anywhere in Palestine and justifying the use of IDF violence in the implementation of that denial (it certainly will not be self-implementing)–will Obama apply the same standard to Netanyahu’s government that he applies to the Palestinians?…

All Israeli governments, including three headed by Netanyahu, have blocked the two state solution:

Unless Kerry’s strategy for achieving a two-state agreement is absolutely clear-eyed about this reality, he will get nowhere. Its dishonest denial by the U.S. and by other Western countries is the reason the Oslo Accords yielded nothing but a deepening of the occupation it was supposed to end…

The only confidence that Palestinians seek is in a credible Israeli acceptance of the pre-1967 border as the starting point of peace talks. What they need to hear from Secretary Kerry is unwavering American support for this demand..

Palestinians are the only party that has truly accepted Partition:

John Kerry must bear in mind that the only painful compromise that was ever made by either party was Arafat’s decision not to seek the return of Palestinian territory that was lost to Israel in the war of 1948 when Arab armies invaded the newborn state. It was not an apologist for the Palestinians but Shimon Peres, Israel’s president, who when recently challenged to defend his claims for the importance of the Oslo Accords (for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize) said the following: “Before Oslo, the Palestinian state’s size should have been according to the 1947 … UN map [about 44 percent of Palestine]. In Oslo, Arafat moved from the 1947 map to the 1967 one. He gave up on 22 percent of the West Bank. I don’t know any Arab leader [does he know an Israeli leader?] who would give up 2 or 3 percent. He gave up 22 percent.”

Peres was mistaken. Arafat did not give up 22 percent of the West Bank but much more: 22 percent of Palestine–fully 50 percent of the territories recognized in the UN Partition Resolution of 1947 as the legitimate patrimony of the Palestinian people. And instead of acknowledging that this concession was a gut-wrenching one-sided Palestinian contribution to peace, Peres described it as “our [i.e., Peres’s] greatest achievement.”…

This is from the ending. Note the incredibly incisive treatment of the legitimacy of Israel:

And theft, or more precisely robbery, is exactly what the settlement project is. For if the UN’s Partition Resolution of 1947 lost its legal standing when Arab countries rejected it, as Likud ideologues claim, then the State of Israel, whose Declaration of Independence cites the UN Partition Plan as the source of its legitimacy, is also left without international legitimacy.

69 Responses

  1. pabelmont
    April 3, 2013, 1:35 pm

    The UNGA’s 1947 proposal (UNGA 181) was a proposal for cooperation between a new Jewish and a new Arab state. The cooperation never happened. Terror (Jewish terror. mind) was responsible for the British decision to leave, and it continued and morphed toward and then into warfare.

    I’d be very surprised if Jewish troops had not invaded territory proposed for the arab state BEFORE Israel was declared a state (and also before any Arab state invaded anything). If I am right on this, it means that the Jews of Palestine rejected UNGA 181 before ever being attacked aby any Arab state and began their clearance project (transfer, exile, whatever) before they were opposed by any military power, the Palesrtinians having none then (as now).

    • ryan-o
      April 3, 2013, 3:32 pm

      I would also be surprised. The Zionists had been smuggling weapons, aircraft, and ammunition from Europe, mostly from Czechoslovakia, since at least early 1947 (Operation Balak). An early 1948 communist coupe in Czechoslovakia cut off their primary supplier though smuggling continued even after Israel was created. The Zionists also recruited mercenaries with military training (both Jewish and non-Jewish). They were obviously preparing for something big and it wasn’t resisting the British or “defensive”. My guess is the so-called “Plan D” (the ethnic cleansing conquest plan) was already in place.

      10 years prior the Zionists rejected the first partition (Peel), settling Jews throughout the territory such as in the Negev Desert in order to claim more land for their state in a future partition. In the ensuing war, Arab armies primarily concentrated on defending the territory outlined as Arab in the partition plan.

      The Arab League concluded “The prevailing events in Palestine exposed the concealed aggressive intentions of the Zionists”. They also concluded the Palestinians had no chance of a victory on their own and that the British left the Zionists in a position to take over the land and flood it with immigrants. Jordan was one of the few Arab states with a modern military and military training. King Abdullah supported partition, although he wanted to make the Arab part of Palestine as part of Jordan (and later did, but that’s another story).

      Now if you compare this to the narrative which says Israel declared independence and the Arabs invaded them to destroy it and push them to the sea, the narrative does not hold up to the actual history. The Zionists were an agressor who planned their agression before the partition plan meaning they had no intention of upholding their end of the bargain even if Arabs accepted partition (events would have unfolded the same).

      • RoHa
        April 3, 2013, 9:49 pm

        In the late 1930s the Haganah was being trained by no less than Orde Wingate, who can be regarded as the founder of modern guerrilla warfare. (He later established the Chindits Long Range Penetration Group, which was a major factor in the Burma campaign.)

      • Hostage
        April 4, 2013, 1:24 am

        King Abdullah supported partition, although he wanted to make the Arab part of Palestine as part of Jordan (and later did, but that’s another story).

        It’s not another story. Transjordan and its government were the subjects of, and subject to, the Palestine Mandate. The Zionists usually succeed in portraying them as foreign interlopers.

        In 1946-47 the Security Council refused to approve Jordan’s application for membership in the UN on the grounds that it was an integral part of the Palestine Mandate that had not been formally terminated. That situation was part of an ICJ advisory opinion on the criteria for membership in the UN. link to icj-cij.org

        The President of the Security Council had cited a statement by the US Secretary of State recommending that Transjordan’s application be taken-up later-on when the United Nations addressed the future of Palestine “as a whole”. The General Assembly’s Ad Hoc Committee formally considered allocating the district containing the Port of Aqaba in Transjordan to the new Jewish State in November of 1947. President Truman supported the demand that it be given to the Zionists.

        All of that is a matter of public record that we’ve discussed here in the past. link to mondoweiss.net

      • Obsidian
        April 4, 2013, 11:23 am

        @Hostage

        The Trans-Jordanian parliament declared Trans-Jordan independent on May 25, 1946.
        What happened to the Trans-Jordanian people’s rights to self-determination?

      • ryan-o
        April 4, 2013, 2:09 pm

        Thanks for the info, Hostage. Sorry, I wasn’t trying to make Jordan sound like they were an unrelated third party. I did not know about the UN SC situation or that the US didn’t recognize Transjordan independence in 1946. So many ugly truths hidden beneath the politics

      • Obsidian
        April 4, 2013, 5:41 am

        @Ryan

        You’ve got it all wrong.

        link to joshualandis.com

      • ryan-o
        April 4, 2013, 3:17 pm

        Black Gold, Texas Tea

        There is no doubt that British and French meddling in the region is largely responsible for the events of the 20th century and much of the instability which still reamins today. Whatever was going on behind the scenes, there was obviously some sort of dispute between Arabs, the French, and the British over Damascus. King Faisal, a Hashemite, was supported by the British who later made him the king of Iraq. Faisal also supported the Zionist movement at first before ultimately seeing its true face. This has little, if anything, to do with Palestinians and everything to do with oil.

        Quwatli was exiled after being sentenced to death by the French, then years later became the president of Syria. The CIA staged a coupe to remove him because he wouldn’t let them build an oil pipeline and was a communist sympathizer (the rest of his life is unrelated).

        This is just a related add-on to what was simultaneously occurring in Palestine.

      • talknic
        April 4, 2013, 10:08 am

        @ ryan-o ” King Abdullah supported partition, although he wanted to make the Arab part of Palestine as part of Jordan (and later did, but that’s another story)”

        Israel agreed under the ’49 Armistice Agreement that Jordan would be the Occupying Power over what was renamed the West Bank

        The Jordanian annexation was
        A) at the request of and in agreement with the Palestinians. (perhaps they thought it was a way of stopping Israel from implementing Deuteronomy 20:15)
        B) as a trustee. Session: 12-II Date: May 1950 under pressure of the other Arab States, complying with the UN Charter on the treatment of non-self-governing-territories

        There are no UNSC resolutions against the Jordanian annexation, unlike the numerous UNSC resolutions against Israel for its unilateral annexation of East Jerusalem.

        BTW It would seem that under Jordanian Sovereign rule from 1955 til 1967 the West Bank would have been a part of a UN Member State.

      • ryan-o
        April 4, 2013, 2:22 pm

        I was under the (apparently false) impression that Jordan’s annexation of the WB wasn’t internationally recognized. I’ll have to research it more because that doesn’t seem to be the case, only the Arab League initially didn’t recognize it later changing their minds to temporarily recognize it until a settlement. Future settlement not necessarily an allusion to an independent West Bank state. It would be interesting to get both a Palestinian and Jordanian perspective on this. Transjordan was part of mandate Palestine and they still have a large Palestinian population of mostly refugees though I assume many others have since taken up Jordan citizenship (which once applied to the entire West Bank).

        Settlement could have referred to border issues, Jerusalem, refugees, holy sites, and not so much West Bank independence as is assumed when reading this in historical context as part of the conflict’s narrative. All those things obviously still apply but Jordan is no longer part of it. Things seemed better off before 1967, even from a legal perspective.

      • talknic
        April 6, 2013, 11:54 am

        @ ryan-o “I was under the (apparently false) impression that Jordan’s annexation of the WB wasn’t internationally recognized”

        Acquiring territory by an existing state is deemed legal (or not) by the law. Not on the recognition of states.

        The US in annexing Hawaii, Texas, even Alaska by a treaty or agreement or a referendum of the legitimate citizens of those territories, was instrumental in that legal process passing into Customary International Law. It is inherently tied to the notions of self determination

        The majority of states via the UNSC deemed the Israeli annexation of East Jerusalem without agreement with its legitimate citizens (sans illegal Israeli settlers, Jewish or Arab) or their representatives, to be illegal under the law. UNSC res 252 and EIGHT or so reminders. UNSC res 476 encapsulates it nicely link to domino.un.org

        There is no such resolution against the Jordanian annexation of the West Bank on the request (agreement) of Palestinian representatives, as a trustee by demand of the other Arab States. Both aspects comply with the notion of self determination and the UN Charter Chapt XI.

        ” Future settlement not necessarily an allusion to an independent West Bank state.”

        The West Bank is only a part of the territories that were allotted for the Arab State. None of which have ever been legally annexed to Israel. link to wp.me

        “It would be interesting to get both a Palestinian and Jordanian perspective on this”

        Jordan relinquished all control in 1974

        “..they still have a large Palestinian population”

        All citizens of Jordan are Jordanian. In 1946 only the folk who lived in the area that became Jordan had an automatic right to Jordanian citizenship. Those who lived outside of the area in 1946 did not.

        Annexation to Jordan as trustee gave the West Bank a cohesive rule of civil law and governance under a sovereign power, instead of living under the rule of military occupation. Citizenship was automatically extended to West Bank residents whilst it was under the trusteeship of Jordan.

        From what I can gather and I might be wrong, Palestine refugees in Jordan, sans the West Bank, from areas other than the West Bank were treated as refugees and offered refuge. Jordanian citizenship was not automatic. They had to apply. Same as refugees can in Australia today.

    • yonah fredman
      April 4, 2013, 12:25 am

      pabelmont- How many Jewish Palestinians were killed in fighting between Dec. 47 and March 48? If Palestinians had zero power, then how did they enforce a siege of Jerusalem and how did they kill a few hundred Jews? Ultimately the Palestinians did not have sufficient power to defeat the Zionists, who were soon in May 48 to become Israelis, but to state that they had no power is a false statement (aka rhetorical excess). They had insufficient power, but power they had to kill and to attempt to starve the Jews of Jerusalem.

      • Obsidian
        April 4, 2013, 9:19 am

        Between the U.N. General Assembly vote to partition Palestine on November 29, 1947, and Israeli independence almost six months later, Arab irregulars killed 1,256 Jews in Palestine[1]–almost all of whom were civilians.
        [1] The Palestine Post (Jerusalem), May 6, 1948

        Over 6,600 Jews were killed during Israel’s War of Independence. That’s over 1% of the entire population of Jews in Palestine, a large percentage of fatalities during wartime.

      • talknic
        April 6, 2013, 12:08 pm

        @ Obsidian “Over 6,600 Jews were killed during Israel’s War of Independence.”

        Israel was independent as of 00:01 May 15th 1948 (ME time).

        The figures you give include those from Israel’s war on what remained of Palestine after Israel became independent from Palestine.

    • amigo
      April 4, 2013, 3:58 pm

      pabelmont–your answer lies here.

      “One day after the UN vote to partition Palestine, Menachem Begin, the commander of the Irgun gang and Israel’s future Prime Minister between 1977-1983, proclaimed: “The Partition of Palestine is illegal. It will never be recognized …. Jerusalem was and will for ever be our capital. Eretz Israel will be restored to the people of Israel. All of it. And for Ever.” (Iron Wall p. 25) *

  2. pabelmont
    April 3, 2013, 1:57 pm

    As to Siegman’s essay on Huffpo: The idea that negotiation is the only game in town is the main error of just about everybody. International law does not (in terms) demand an end of occupation, or peace. But it does make the settlements (the buildings on confiscated land) and the presence of the settlers within occupied territories illegal, and there is no argument at all that Israel “occupied” the land it captured in 1967.

    Therefore, my recommendation is that all powers who want to make progress here begin (and for the moment limit themselves to) pressuring Israel to remove the wall, remove the settlers, and remove the settlements (also end the siege of Gaza). This would not — directly — be peacemaking, but would be law enforcement, always a fine thing to do on a nice spring day. By contrast, ignoring the law in favor of a spurious “peace process” is, in Talleyrand’s words, “worse than a crime, it is a blunder”.

    • James Canning
      April 3, 2013, 2:05 pm

      International community should pressure Israel to relocate the Separation Barrier to the Green Line. And then pressure some more.

    • Les
      April 3, 2013, 2:18 pm

      It would be international peacekeeping in contrast to Israel’s pursuit of ever growing piecekeeping.

    • Hostage
      April 3, 2013, 6:54 pm

      International law does not (in terms) demand an end of occupation, or peace.

      The Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States (1933) is still listed by the State Department as a treaty in force. It stipulated that military occupations are illegal:

      Article 11

      The contracting states definitely establish as the rule of their conduct the precise obligation not to recognize territorial acquisitions or special advantages which have been obtained by force whether this consists in the employment of arms, in threatening diplomatic representations, or in any other effective coercive measure. The territory of a state is inviolable and may not be the object of military occupation nor of other measures of force imposed by another state directly or indirectly or for any motive whatever even temporarily.

      link to jus.uio.no

      The State Department also lists the Charter of the Organization of American States as a treat in force. Chapter IV on the Fundamental Rights and Duties of States stipulates that military occupations are illegal:

      Article 21

      The territory of a State is inviolable; it may not be the object, even temporarily, of military occupation or of other measures of force taken by another State, directly or indirectly, on any grounds whatever. No territorial acquisitions or special advantages obtained either by force or by other means of coercion shall be recognized.

      Article 22

      The American States bind themselves in their international relations not to have recourse to the use of force, except in the case of self­defense in accordance with existing treaties or in fulfillment thereof.

      link to oas.org

      The legal corollary was enshrined in the prohibition contained in Article 2 of the UN Charter, which is also a multilateral treaty that is still in force. It stipulated that:

      3. All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and. justice, are not endangered.

      4. All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.

      link to yale.edu

      Note that waging a war in violation of the sanctity of international treaties, agreements or assurances was considered a punishable crime under the terms of Article 227 of the Treaty of Versailles and Article 6(a) of the Charter of the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg.
      * link to wwi.lib.byu.edu
      * link to avalon.law.yale.edu

      In Regina v Jones (2006) the UK Law Lords accepted the proposition that the core elements of the crime of aggression have been understood, at least since 1945, with sufficient clarity to permit the lawful trial (and, on conviction, punishment) of those accused of this most serious crime. They said that: “It is unhistorical to suppose that the elements of the crime were clear in 1945 but have since become in any way obscure.”

      So it should come as no surprise that the UN General Assembly and the Assembly of State Parties to the Rome Statute of the ICC agreed upon a definition of the Crime of Aggression which cites military occupations as a constituent act:

      Any of the following acts, regardless of a declaration of war, shall, in accordance with United Nations General Assembly resolution 3314 (XXIX) of 14 December 1974, qualify as an act of aggression:
      (a) The invasion or attack by the armed forces of a State of the territory of another State, or any military occupation, however temporary, resulting from such invasion or attack, or any annexation by the use of force of the territory of another State or part thereof;
      (b) Bombardment by the armed forces of a State against the territory of another State or the use of any weapons by a State against the territory of another State; (c) The blockade of the ports or coasts of a State by the armed forces of another State;
      (d) An attack by the armed forces of a State on the land, sea or air forces, or marine and air fleets of another State;

      — General Assembly resolution 3314 (XXIX) link to un.org
      — Article 8 bis 2(a) of the Rome Statute as amended by the Kampala Conference link to icc-cpi.int

      • Hostage
        April 3, 2013, 7:03 pm

        P.S. I’ve noted here on many occasions that the General Assembly has never rescinded its resolutions which demanded the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of the Israeli armed forces from the territories captured in 1967. It stated that Israel’s continued occupation in violation of numerous UN resolutions satisfied the elements of its Definition of Aggression. See:
        *General Assembly Resolution ES-9/1 link to un.org
        *General Assembly resolution 39/146 link to un.org

  3. James Canning
    April 3, 2013, 2:04 pm

    Great piece. How many Americans even read in their newspapers, that Obama was pressed to confirm the “1967” borders as the borders of Palestine?

    • talknic
      April 6, 2013, 12:20 pm

      James Canning “How many Americans even read in their newspapers, that Obama was pressed to confirm the “1967″ borders as the borders of Palestine?”

      I believe he said “lines” not ‘borders’. The only references I can find to “lines” are the Armistice Demarcation “Lines” and/or Ceasefire “Lines” neither of which changed any pre-existing borders.

      The borders of what remained of Palestine, after Israel was declared and recognized ” as an independent republic within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947, were by default of the borders of the countries surrounding what remained of Palestine, including Israel.

      • James Canning
        April 6, 2013, 3:30 pm

        Talknic – – Some Arabists would argue that since virtually every Arab country is willing to accept Israel within its pre-1967 borders, that is the border of Israel. Even if it is an armistice line dating from 1949.

  4. ryan-o
    April 3, 2013, 2:50 pm

    It would be nice if Israel was called out every time they claim the partition plan is invalid because Arabs rejected it. It’s true that if Israel’s declaration of independence cites an invalid UN resolution for the basis of its legitimacy, Israel is not legitimate. The “Arabs rejected partition” rhetoric ignores the PLO accepting it as the basis for Palestinian statehood in 1988. Yes it is a fact that they rejected it in 1947 while the Zionists accepted it. The plan was never implemented though. If both Israel’s 1948 declaration and Palestine’s 1988 declaration cite the plan as the basis of statehood then either the plan is valid or it isn’t. If Israel claims it is invalid because Arabs rejected it, then Israel is also invalid as an independent sovereign nation state which is something I’ve been arguing for years on account of them having no borders.

    • tree
      April 3, 2013, 4:48 pm

      Actually, its not a fact that the Zionist accepted the UN partition plan. They merely accepted the idea of a Jewish state, not surprising since that is what they were pushing for all along. They would not have engaged in ethnic cleansing, which was totally in conflict with the parameters and protections of the UN plan if they had truly accepted it. The big lie is that the Zionist leaders accepted such a plan as the UN proposed. They didn’t.

      • ryan-o
        April 4, 2013, 3:25 pm

        That is a good point. “The Arabs rejected it” refers to the Arab League as well as the UN members representing Arab nations who voted against. Zionists did not have their own representation at the UN (other than the support it is rumored they bought). Proto-Likudites rejected it, there was not a universal acceptance among Zionist or even Jewish groups.

      • tree
        April 5, 2013, 2:52 pm

        Proto-Likudites rejected it, there was not a universal acceptance among Zionist or even Jewish groups.

        Even the Jewish Agency (the prime Jewish governing agency in Palestine pre-1948) refused to accept the UN plan as outlined. Hostage ably made this point on another thread. I’ll quote him here:

        “Here’s how the State Department noted that the Jewish Agency’s “acceptance” was really just a counter-offer of more discussions:

        Abba Hillel Silver, on behalf of the Jewish Agency, appeared before the Committee on October 2. The summary of his statement, printed ibid., pages 12-19, set forth the approval of the Agency of the eleven unanimous recommendations of UNSCOP except for Recommendation VI on Jewish displaced persons, which the Agency did not disapprove. He also termed Recommendation XII unintelligible.

        Rabbi Silver deemed the minority report unacceptable; nor did the majority report satisfy the Jewish people because of the limited area of the proposed Jewish state and the exclusion of Jerusalem from that state. Nevertheless, the Agency was willing to accept the majority report since it made possible the immediate reestablishment of the Jewish State. This acceptance was made subject to further discussion of constitutional and territorial provisions (pages 15-17).

        link to mondoweiss.net

      • tree
        April 5, 2013, 10:53 pm

        Awaiting moderation on the above comment.

      • talknic
        April 6, 2013, 12:35 pm

        Hostage / ryan-o / Tree

        Statements in 1947 were superseded Friday, 5 March 1948

        Rabbi Silver stated to the UNSC

        “Nevertheless, reluctantly but loyally, we accepted the decision which appeared fair and reasonable to the United Nations”

        “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”

        The final and definitive acceptance by the Jewish People’s Council and the Zionist movement was the enshrining of UNGA res 181 in the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel. link to mfa.gov.il

        There can be no doubt that UNGA resolution 181 was accepted by Jewish representatives for the Jewish state

      • Hostage
        April 6, 2013, 2:38 pm

        Statements in 1947 were superseded Friday, 5 March 1948

        Rabbi Silver stated to the UNSC

        Nope, Rabbi Silver was never a citizen of Palestine or Israel. More importantly, he was never a member of the Provisional Government of Israel.

        He was only speaking to the Security Council in his capacity as the representative of “the Jewish Agency for Palestine” – a strictly advisory creature of the Palestine Mandate and the Zionist Organization. He was the same person who stated on the record that the Jewish Agency itself would only recommend (to the Yishuv) acceptance of the majority UNSCOP proposal, subject to constitutional and territorial reservations that have never been withdrawn. He specifically reserved the right to deal at a later stage with territorial modifications. See the Yearbook of the United Nations for 1947-48 link to mondoweiss.net

        It’s 60 years later and both Israel and the Jewish Agency for Israel are still reserving their positions on the contents of the future constitution and the incorporation of Jerusalem and other territory in the Jewish State. See for example the note in the FRUS which also cited the statements of Rabbi Silver to the Ad Hoc Committee when he explained the Jewish Agency’s conditional acceptance, subject to further discussions on constitutional and territorial provisions. link to digicoll.library.wisc.edu

    • James Canning
      April 6, 2013, 3:32 pm

      ryan-o – – Doesn’t one need to refer to the 2002 Saudi peace plan, to get an accurate take on Israel’s borders?

  5. Rusty Pipes
    April 3, 2013, 4:27 pm

    Oslo is dead. Sharon declared it so years before he became comatose. Why should the Palestinians be limited by its boundaries and obligations when the Israelis do not feel so bound? Arafat recognized the ’47 partition in 1988.

  6. Sin Nombre
    April 3, 2013, 6:23 pm

    It’s funny but things move so fast and subtly and dishonestly on this issue that even Henry Siegman is behind the times. Thus he writes:

    “Obama’s failure to address these well-known Israeli positions tells us how seriously to take his attempts to establish his evenhandedness in this conflict.”

    But to me at least the whole *point* of Obama’s recent address was to as openly as possible admit our *inability* to be evenhanded, phrased, of course, in the language of saying how much we all love to take Israel’s side. Indeed he as much said that even no matter what Israel may do (ethnic cleansing being even mentioned elsewhere in his address), and no matter what Israel may become (ethno-supremacist, apartheid non-democracy), the U.S. would *still* support it.

    Thus it was that Obama laid the ground for his big pitch, made direct over the Israeli gov’t to its people: “Please don’t really want to go too far or become a non-democracy” he essentially (and pathetically) said, further essentially saying that while he himself doesn’t have the cojones to object anymore the rest of the world would and would punish Israel.

    Even the great Henry Siegman then has let his hopes (that the U.S. would ever force Israel into a 2SS) blind him and let him get behind the curve. But … Netanyahu has won, Henry. Time to admit it. The *only* faction in the U.S. that really could have stood in his way—Progressives, the Dem. Party—has thrown in the towel. Your Israel is gonna go ahead on its lebensraum project and is gonna get the U.S. to support, subsidize, fund and protect it, period. And the Dem Party is gonna continue to rake in jewish cash and votes because that’s what’s important to it, period.

    All we’re doing right now is waiting for Netanyahu’s new coalition to get its feet under it, address some other issues, and then turn to its lebensraum project. My bet: Not expressly but in effect Bennet’s plan to concentrate on flooding Area C with settlements, putting special pressure on the arabs there to flee same, but at the same time never give up the legal stance that the entire West Bank belongs to it.

    Nothing’s stopping it now.

    Interesting factoid vis a vis the recent talk here about dual citizenship and how we allow it and etc.: Bennett actually held American citizenry due his parents having held same when he was born. But, golly gee-whiz, did you know that upon being elected to the Knesset that isn’t allowed? That he had to give that American citizenship up?

    Be an amusing thing to see the names you’d get called demanding that anyone entering our government give up any dual citizenship status. With “anti-semite” of course being one of the first on the list.

    • MRW
      April 3, 2013, 7:36 pm

      Americans weren’t allowed to hold two passports in the 1970s except Jews.

      • yonah fredman
        April 4, 2013, 12:30 am

        MRW- This is a bold assertion. Care to back it up with quotes of some sort?

      • MRW
        April 4, 2013, 9:39 am

        Look it up yourself. I can’t remember when they changed the law to allow two passports for all–why would I –but in the 1970s, the only ones who could hold two passports were Jews (for Israel). A foreigner/immigrant could get a Green Card, but if he or she wanted to become an American citizen, he or she had to give up his other nationality/passport.

      • mondonut
        April 4, 2013, 1:29 am

        MRW says: Americans weren’t allowed to hold two passports in the 1970s except Jews.
        =========================================
        So if someone wanted passports from both the US and Mexico, it was OK for Jews only? Was there a ImaJew check box on some application?

      • MRW
        April 4, 2013, 9:35 am

        Now that would be three passports, wouldn’t it. And no, that wasn’t permissible for American Jews in the 70s.

      • mondonut
        April 4, 2013, 4:13 pm

        MRW says: Now that would be three passports, wouldn’t it. And no, that wasn’t permissible for American Jews in the 70s.
        ==============================================
        No, it would be two (US and Mexico). And you definitively stated that was OK only if someone was a Jew.

      • MRW
        April 5, 2013, 8:26 pm

        Implying, tacitly, that only Jews could have two passports: US and Israeli. No American, Jew or Gentile, could hold a US and Mexico passport in the 1970s. Stop playing cute.

      • Hostage
        April 6, 2013, 6:22 am

        No, it would be two (US and Mexico). And you definitively stated that was OK only if someone was a Jew.

        When the Supreme Court declared the Bancroft Treaties and the associated US Statutes unconstitutional in 1967, it was a case involving a Zionist – Afroyim v. Rusk, 387 U.S. 253 (1967).

        The Supreme Court has subsequently upheld the right of the US government to strip citizenship from members of other groups for failing to fulfill residency requirements or other arbitrary grounds that are not mentioned in the Constitution. The Israeli press has cited cases where Knesset members have drafted legislation and passed it along through their agents to our Congress for adoption. The same thing applies to the participation of organizations comprising the Israel or Zionist lobby in Supreme Court cases concerning Israeli interests. Lawyers for the Jewish Agency have published advisory opinions in which they recommended bringing lawsuits against governments, i.e. lawfare: See Hersh Lauterpacht: Collected Papers, Cambridge University, 1977, page 100 link to books.google.com

        I’ve commented on several cases here in the past, e.g. link to mondoweiss.net

        It would be disingenuous to pretend that Zionists haven’t constantly sought to establish a special legal status for “the Jews” ever since the days of the Balfour Declaration, the Anglo-American Palestine Mandate treaty, and the minority treaties pertaining to all of the new states created by the Versailles Peace Conference. See Oscar I. Janowsky, “The Jews And Minority Rights, (1898-1919), Colombia University Press, 1933.

      • mondonut
        April 6, 2013, 11:27 am

        MRW says: Stop playing cute.
        ======================================
        I am not playing cute, I am trying to get you to explain your patently bigoted, and false, statement that “jews” alone possessed the right to hold multiple passports.

        If you want to amend your statement to something less ugly, feel free to do so.

      • Cliff
        April 6, 2013, 4:03 pm

        Nut,

        You mean your bigoted notion that because someone is Jewish, they can colonize Palestinian land and historic Palestinian land, while Palestinian refugees and their descendants are never allowed their right of return?

        Oh I forgot, you cite the circular logic that because Israel is a sovereign State it can do as it pleases.

      • MRW
        April 7, 2013, 1:48 am

        I am amending nothing. Only Jews in the US during the 1970s could hold dual passports. Period. It’s the truth. Now deal with it.

        It wasn’t multiple passports. It was two. American and Israeli. So an Israeli Jew did not have to give up his or her Israeli passport when acquiring an American one, unlike people from other countries.

        If you came from Mexico and gave up your Mexican passport to become an American and wanted, because you were Jewish, to then get an Israeli passport, you could.

        Stop trying to turn the truth into some twisted anti-semitism charge.

      • MRW
        April 7, 2013, 1:51 am

        BTW,

        I am trying to get you to explain your patently bigoted, and false, statement that “jews” alone possessed the right to hold multiple passports.

        Prove it’s wrong. Go on. Prove it. No one else could hold two passports legally per US laws in the 70s.

      • mondonut
        April 8, 2013, 8:49 pm

        MRW says:I am amending nothing. Only Jews in the US during the 1970s could hold dual passports. Period. It’s the truth. Now deal with it.
        ==========================================
        So when an Israeli asked for a US passport with the intention of keeping their Israeli passport, did the US ask if they were a Jew? Did they deny that privilege to non-Jewish Israelis? How did the US verify the Jewishness of the Israeli passport holders?

      • Cliff
        April 9, 2013, 8:07 pm

        MRW said:

        Stop trying to turn the truth into some twisted anti-semitism charge.

        That is EXACTLY what he is doing.

        And once again, this comment will be censored by annie and Phil for my ‘intemperateness’ (caps lock, oh noes!)

    • ToivoS
      April 4, 2013, 12:36 am

      Sin you do bring up interesting points. But I do think that when Obama acknowledged “expulsion” in his speech that he saying something that no other US president mentioned (dear readers, correct me if I am wrong on this point). I brought this up earlier without any reaction.

      We all know that the current admin cannot defy the lobby, Obama tried in 2009 and was crushed. But it does sound like he is trying to make a few hints. Mentioning that Israeli policy involves “expulsion” sounds to me that he is trying to make a statement.

      And this is a statement that American Zionist do not want placed on the table of the contemporary debate of the IP discussion.

  7. RJL
    April 3, 2013, 7:07 pm

    This article is so skewed, where does one begin to put the author’s head back into place? Nations aren’t legitimate because of the UN; did the US ask for approval? The League of Nations, San Remo Conference, etc. established many countries in the 1920s besides the Jewish Homeland, such as Iraq, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. Do you question their legalities? Come on Mr. Weiss, you’re in hot water over this sham. Israel is there to stay, regardless of final borders-and you know quite well the 67 lines are armistice lines, not final borders. SC resolution 282; you know the drill. Get your bugle and soap box and try another topic. You too, Ryan. What about the legality of Northern Ireland?

    • Blank State
      April 3, 2013, 10:22 pm

      RJL…..

      Lest you forget, you’re the liar that claimed IAEA verification of a Iranian nuclear weapons program. I would be interested in what argument you can offer in defense of your credibility. Why should your opinion, (or “facts”), be given consideration by anyone reading them? Personally, I consider researching or devoting time to the comments of a known prevaricator to be an enormous waste of time. Perhaps you can enlighten me as to why I should feel otherwise.

      • Blank State
        April 4, 2013, 11:16 pm

        Interesting. Most people, when offering “facts” in a comment, react to verify or butress thier “facts” if they are accused of purposely offering “information” that is challenged as a lie by other commentors. But RJL offers no such effort when being accused of being a liar. See, thats the problem with so much of the hasbara crap talking points. One really wonders what kind of person offers a lie when common sense should tell them the lie will be recognized as a lie by the targeted readers. I guess its the old addage about throwing enough crap that some of it is bound to stick. Only a fool could fail to recognize the damage this has done to the whole hasbara effort. Anyone here trust anything RJL has to say?

    • Ellen
      April 4, 2013, 2:39 am

      RJL, ah…the ole ‘whaddabout blah blah blah. The intended diversion to hijack a discussion.

      I’ll behave and not go there other than to say Northern Ireland is a legacy embarrasement for the UK. Upon the peace agreement, it will exists as long as the majority of its citizens vote to remain loyalist to the UK.

      Should the majority vote to unite with the rest of Ireland, there will be unification — one state as agreed by its citizens.

      A model Israel may want to explore.

      • Citizen
        April 6, 2013, 2:18 pm

        @ Ellen
        Yes.

    • Hostage
      April 4, 2013, 6:55 am

      Nations aren’t legitimate because of the UN

      No, but nation states, including the former Union of South Africa and Rhodesia have been declared illegitimate by the UN.

      The League of Nations, San Remo Conference, etc. established many countries in the 1920s besides the Jewish Homeland, such as Iraq, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon.

      The League of Nations deliberately avoided calling the Jewish national home a “Jewish Homeland”. Try reading Churchill’s White Paper and take your lame hasbara and try another topic. The other states that you listed are all composed of several ethnic groups or cultures.

      you know quite well the 67 lines are armistice lines, not final borders.

      The armistice lines have been internationally recognized as the existing borders, pending the conclusion of a mutual international agreement to alter them. The UN Charter and the Law of Treaties prohibit the conclusion of any such agreement as the result of the unilateral threat or use of force, e.g. through a belligerent occupation or colonization.

    • Talkback
      April 4, 2013, 9:07 am

      RJL says: “Jewish Homeland”

      Norman Bentwich’s definition of “homeland”, the first General Attorney of mandated Paletine and a Jewish Zionist:

      “A national home, as distinguished from a state, is a country where a people are acknowledged as having a recognized legal position and the opportunity of developing their cultural, social and intellectual ideals without receiving political rights.”

      RJL says: “SC resolution 282; you know the drill.”

      You hit the nail on the head, RJL:

      “United Nations Security Council Resolution 282, adopted on July 23, 1970, concerned by violations of the arms embargo passed against South Africa in Resolution 191, the Council reiterated its total opposition to the policies of apartheid and reaffirmed its previous resolutions on the topic. ”
      link to en.wikipedia.org

    • ryan-o
      April 4, 2013, 4:00 pm

      The Irish in me isn’t a big fan of that orange part of the flag. Northern Ireland is legally a part of the United Kingdom and combined they are a UN member state. It’s only been six years since the end of Operation Banner and tensions still remain.

      We always hear about Israel’s right to exist. What nation in the history of the world has a right to exist? Nations are not immortal, they have a beginning and they have an end. Other nations recognize them or they don’t recognize them. If they don’t recognize them, they don’t exist. Northern Ireland exists and is internationally recognized. Israel exists and is internationally recognized. Palestine exists and is internationally recognized. The quote about legitimacy pertains to Likud’s insistence that Palestine has no legal standing due to rejecting partition at the UN. It is simply saying if the same standard is applied to Israel, Israel has no legal standing either.

    • talknic
      April 6, 2013, 10:42 am

      @ RJL “where does one begin to put the author’s head back into place? “

      Let’s see whose head is out of place..

      “Nations aren’t legitimate because of the UN; did the US ask for approval? “

      You’re not doing too well. The UN didn’t exist July 4, 1776

      “The League of Nations, San Remo Conference, etc. established many countries in the 1920s besides the Jewish Homeland, such as Iraq, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon”

      Jewish homeland, not a Jewish state. In fact the LoN Mandate for Palestine says

      Article 7 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 .

      Can you feel that head of yours tilting yet?

      “Come on Mr. Weiss, you’re in hot water over this sham”

      See above

      “Israel is there to stay, regardless of final borders-and you know quite well the 67 lines are armistice lines, not final borders.”

      Quite. The armistice Demarcation Lines aren’t borders . Israel asked to be recognized and was recognized ” within frontiers approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations in its Resolution of November 29, 1947″ link to trumanlibrary.org

      As Israel has never legally annexed any of the territory it has illegally acquired by war. No borders have changed since Israel was recognized. The 1948 borders are currently the final borders.

      ” SC resolution 282; you know the drill”

      Oh dear, your head just fell off. UNSC Res 282 “The Question of race conflict in South Africa resulting from the policies of apartheid of the Government of the Republic of South Africa” link to un.org

      <em"What about the legality of Northern Ireland?"

      What about it? Try not to step on your head if you answer ..

  8. Sumud
    April 3, 2013, 9:14 pm

    And theft, or more precisely robbery, is exactly what the settlement project is. For if the UN’s Partition Resolution of 1947 lost its legal standing when Arab countries rejected it, as Likud ideologues claim, then the State of Israel, whose Declaration of Independence cites the UN Partition Plan as the source of its legitimacy, is also left without international legitimacy.

    I wonder ~ is Siegman is aware that Israel repeatedly declared it’s own borders in 1948/9 to be those of UN181?

    UN181 is not just a reference in Israel’s Declaration of Independence, it is also the basis of Israel’s application to join the UN and the basis on which numerous countries recognised Israel diplomatically in the late 40s, including the US.

  9. US Citizen
    April 3, 2013, 10:40 pm

    Obviously there was a misquote here:
    “he ruled out recognition of Hamas and its participation in a Palestinian unity government as long as it refuses to recognize Israel’s legitimacy. He also expects them to renounce resort to violence. ”

    Really? Shouldn’t it be “he ruled out recognition of Palestine and its participation in a Palestinian unity government as long as Israel refuses to recognize Palestinian legitimacy. He also expects Israel to renounce resort to violence as in what the illegal settler squats do everyday to terrorize, kill, and steal more land. What a hyprocrite, same old crap.

  10. mondonut
    April 4, 2013, 12:17 am

    Henry Siegman says this …

    It is a valid point if, as the Roadmap to Middle East Peace of 2003 that was signed by Israel clearly provides, the negotiations begin at the 1967 line, and changes to that border are made only by agreement between the parties.

    But Netanyahu has explicitly rejected that Road Map provision.

    And Philip Weiss says this ….

    The ’67 borders were in the Road Map, but Obama has walked away from that:

    The problem of course is that neither statement is true, and thus neither is the basis of the Huffpo article. The only thing more ridiculous than interpreting the reference of ending the occupation of 1967 as giving the Palestinians those lines as borders is the idea that the Israelis would sign an agreement in which they concede both East Jerusalem and the Kotel.

    • Shingo
      April 4, 2013, 9:30 am

      The problem of course is that neither statement is true, and thus neither is the basis of the Huffpo article.

      No, the problem is you have no idea what you are talking about. The Road Map is based on UNSC242 and UNSC242 refers to the ’67 borders.

      The only thing more ridiculous than interpreting the reference of ending the occupation of 1967 as giving the Palestinians those lines as borders is the idea that the Israelis would sign an agreement in which they concede both East Jerusalem and the Kotel.

      In other words, you admit Israel is never going to agree to a peace deal or respect international law.

      Good for you.

    • talknic
      April 6, 2013, 10:53 am

      mondonut “The only thing more ridiculous than interpreting the reference of ending the occupation of 1967 as giving the Palestinians those lines as borders is the idea that the Israelis would sign an agreement in which they concede both East Jerusalem and the Kotel”

      Not Israel’s to concede. (UNSC res 476)

      What is ridiculous are your attempts to defend the indefensible by relying on propaganda. Propaganda is for people who don’t check and idiots who’ll believe any olde wholly holey Hasbara and for propagandists like yourself to propagate.

      Alas for you and your ilk some folk have a nasty ‘Antisemitic’, ‘self hating Jew’ habit of checking and the wholly holey moldy olde Hasbara FAILS dismally EVERY time.

  11. DICKERSON3870
    April 4, 2013, 12:46 am

    RE: “Henry Siegman asks, Can John Kerry rescue the two-state solution? And though Siegman clings to the prayer of two states, the answer is evidently no, given Siegman’s belief that the two-state solution depends on Israel returning to the ’67 lines~ Weiss

    MY COMMENT: Fat chance of Israel returning to the ’67 lines! We might as well sloppily kiss the the two-state solution goodbye.

    • ryan-o
      April 4, 2013, 4:54 pm

      I’m starting to think this whole thing is a no-win situation. The Zionists have made virtually every peaceful outcome impossible. Ronald Reagen even defended Israel against returning to ’67 lines with the “barely 10 miles wide” excuse. If Israel annexed their largest settlements they would still be “barely 10 miles wide” north of Tel Aviv which is still their most densely populated area. Even between the wall and the sea (and the wall extends well into Area C whenever it can). It is obvious they consider Area C, including the Jordan River Valley, as part of Israel.

      No Palestinian would ever agree to conceding this much land or live in an enclave. An enclave is not a viable state by any means and the international community wouldn’t agree to it either. The question of land swaps is not something Israel would even consider. Israel wouldn’t even swap land in the desert since they got a lot going on there. Swapping Arab majority areas along the green line would shorten the “10 mile wide” area they complain about. The Arab-majority areas in the North are enclaved by Jewish-majority areas and would also shorten their precious borders. Swapping Arab citizenship (and borders) from Israel to Palestine wouldn’t go over very well either.

      This is all before even factoring in the settlers. A two-state solution does depend on Israel returning to ’67 lines or equivalent minor land swaps. Since this will make Israel’s borders “indefensible” and require the expulsion of settlers from the WB, they will never agree to it. There is no viable alternative for a Palestinian state making the 2SS is dead.

      Yet the Palestinians have full and legal support of the international community for the 2SS based on ’67 lines. This means at some point Israel is going to have to decide between a Jewish-majority state based mostly on the green line as an international border (with a shared Jerusalem, settlements abandoned, and some form of reparations/settlement for refugees) or their continued existence. The other alternative is Apartheid which won’t last very long or one state where Jews are a minority (which will be the end of Israel).

      The smartest thing to do would be to return to 1967, if they don’t there will not be an Israel. I can’t imagine the international community liking the idea of one democratic state either with all those nukes and stuff lying around. This is going to end very badly, isn’t it?

      • libra
        April 6, 2013, 3:41 pm

        ryan-o: I’m starting to think this whole thing is a no-win situation.

        ryan, a lot of what you say about Israel’s best option if it wishes to preserve itself as “the Jewish state” makes sense. Ironically, a united Palestinian call for equal rights within a single state may be the only realistic threat that would make Israel pull-back to its 67 borders together with the settlers.

        But it’s probably too late for Israel to do that. Hence, in my view, it makes sense to focus on the single, democratic state as the way forward. Of course, there is no shortage of problems in the way of this outcome. And if you start with a pessimistic view that this is a second-best option and these problems are insurmountable then you will get nowhere. But there is another stage to thinking about the single, democratic state in which it becomes the best long-term option for all people involved. In this context all the problems become open to solutions.

        To get to this second stage you need to stop thinking that a single state means the end of Israel. It doesn’t. It means the end of Zionism, the end of the notion of “the Jewish state” with the emphasis on the “the” and implied exclusivity. It can still be a Jewish state as well as a Muslim state and a Christian state. Jewish Israelis can still live and prosper in such a state. In fact, it’s long-term prosperity will be increased by being properly integrated into the wider regional economy. And it is that regional integration that will ensure it’s long-term strategic future – a far better substitute for survival than reliance on nuclear weapons.

        Start thinking this way and issues like nuclear weapons becomes less frightening. After all, a single state that has secured peace and co-prosperity with its neighbors would have as much need for nuclear weapons as Lebanon. So I see the single state as removing a major obstacle towards the creation of a nuclear-free Middle East.

  12. NickJOCW
    April 4, 2013, 10:40 am

    Two states might have been a stage in the evolution of this mess but it could/can never be a solution since it wouldn’t interrupt Israel’s aggression (think Lebanon), and the animosity and distrust would continue with both feeling deprived of their rights. The only peaceful solution surely lies in one state, which would move the conflict from territory to rights, perhaps resulting over time in the isolation of Zionists and their sympathizers until they are congregated in an area that could become designated an autonomous region, or even an influential peaceful religious entity like the Holy See.

  13. American
    April 4, 2013, 1:55 pm

    “then the State of Israel, whose Declaration of Independence cites the UN Partition Plan as the source of its legitimacy, is also left without international legitimacy.”

    Well obviously.. a point made by most of us over and over. As well as the fact that Israel ‘violating the conditions and requirements” set forth in the UN Partition should ‘invalidate’ the UN award of Palestine to Israel.

    IMO there aren’t going to be 2 states, and if Isr won’t allow 2 states they sure as hell won’t accept a 1 state solution…..nope, something very bad is going happen.

  14. foresomenteneikona
    April 4, 2013, 3:54 pm

    The only action that could have a chance of convincing an Israeli government to stop settlement expansion is the threat or application of sanctions against Israel for its colonization activities. Such action is unthinkable now, because the United States will protect Israel from any such resolution that comes before the Security Council.

    By the time this situation changes, the process of colonization will probably be irreversible, and the two-state solution will be an antiquated notion. The only question remaining will be what option Israel chooses to pursue: turning itself into a binational state; apartheid; or ethnic cleansing.

    In any case, Kerry will not be able to convince the present Israeli government to halt or even slow down settlement expansion, and so his efforts are bound to fail.

  15. MK_Ultra
    April 4, 2013, 8:19 pm

    P U L E A S E! Kerry is just the last in a long line of puppets, double talkers and ass-kissers. He’s no more the hope than Hillary Clinton was.

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