2017 is a crucial year for the Palestine Question

Middle East
on 45 Comments

Several people have been noting that next year, 2017, will mark the 50th anniversary of Israel’s occupation of the West Bank (including East Jerusalem), Gaza, and Golan. But the imminent arrival of this somber– and truly mind-boggling– anniversary reminds me that 2017 will mark important anniversaries of three other crucial developments in the Palestine Question, too. These are:

  • The centennial (100-year anniversary, no less!) of the Balfour Declaration, the diktat from the British Foreign Secretary that imperial London would support the creation of a “Jewish national home” in Palestine– whatever that meant… but would do so only provided that the “civil and political rights” of the non-Jewish inhabitants of Palestine would not be adversely affected. (Fat chance!)
  • The 70th anniversary of the UN Partition Plan for Palestine– which gave Israel (along with its conjoined twin, the never-born Palestinian Arab state) the only “birth certificate” it has ever had in international law; and
  • The 30th anniversary of the launching of the First Intifada, which started in Gaza on December 9, 1987, spreading rapidly through the whole of the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Make no mistake about it: 50 years of rule by a foreign military is already a terrible travesty, and a crime against the whole Lockean concept that government can only legitimately be exercised “through the consent of the governed.” When the international community most recently codified and regulated the whole concept of rule by “military occupation”, in the Geneva Conventions of 1949 (especially the 4th one), it was only ever envisaged that military occupation by a foreign military power would be a temporary, or short-term situation, pending the conclusion of a conflict-resolving final peace treaty.

But for Palestinians and the legitimate indigenous residents of occupied Golan? No. For them, occupation has hardened into a 50-year-old force that because of Israel’s massive (and completely illegal)  policy of moving large numbers of its own civilians into the West Bank and Syria’s Golan region now looks harder than ever to reverse or displace.

I remember back in early 1987, when pro-peace (or pro-peace-ish) Israelis first started facing up to idea that their occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, and Golan was about to hit the 20-year mark. They were nonplussed! “How did this happen!” some of them exclaimed. That was back then, when there was still a fairly large “Peace Now” movement in Israel…

Six months after June 1987, the first intifada broke out. What heady (and painful) days those were for Palestinians. It may be hard to remember now, but traveling among all the cities of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and between those cities and Gaza was still relatively easy to do. Jerusalem was the organizing hub for the whole intifada. Throughout the six years that followed, the occupied territories were abuzz with numerous, very creative forms of nonviolent resistance…

Oslo, and the “return” soon thereafter to the OPT’s of the PLO leadership apparatus, put an end to all of that. Oslo ushered in, in quick order, the severing of Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank by an Israeli ring of steel; and then the progressive quadrillement of the whole of the West Bank– its dividing-up into tiny, mutually impenetrable cantos– by the new Israeli road system that had been specifically allowed by the PLO leadership as part of the Oslo arrangements; and the cutting-off of Gaza which later allowed Israel’s imposition on it of a debilitating, total siege…

At this point, nearly 30 years after 1987, I think the most constructive and realistic way to view “the occupation” is not as a singular step that started in 1967 that was somehow a “deviation” from what “should” have been Israel’s rightful path, but rather as a continuation of the settler-colonial process that started to gain international political traction with Lord Balfour’s declaration of 1917… and then won a serious (and troublingly “colonial”) international imprimatur from the infant United Nations in 1947…and has certainly continued since 1967 with Israel’s increasingly blatant colonization of the West Bank (and Golan.)

So let’s not just look at 1967. Let’s look at 1947, too– the year just 20 years earlier than 1967 when (a) the United Nations voted to give half of Palestine, lock-stock-and-barrel, to its overwhelmingly recently arrived population of Jewish settlers– this, in an era when everywhere else in the world de-colonization was already underway; and (b) the leaders of the Zionist yishuv in Palestine took the Partition Plan as their carte blanche (as Ilan Pappe has so rightly documented) to start launching their program of anti-Palestinian ethnic cleansing in–and soon enough also beyond– the areas the Partition Plan had allotted them. Yes, as Pappe has shown in his work, the Nakba started in November 1947.

And yes, the period of time that Israel has controlled the West Bank, Gaza, and Golan is far, far longer than the earlier period during which it controlled “only” the area within its pre-1967 boundaries (which were already, as we know, considerably broader than what the UN gave to the “Jewish state” in the Partition Plan.)

… And let’s look, too, at 1917, the year that Chaim Weizmann, Lord Rothschild, and other Zionist leaders managed to persuade British Foreign Secretary Lord Balfour to issue his infamous declaration, which was later incorporated into all the post-WWI peace agreements– as part of which, by amazing happenstance, Britain emerged with a neo-imperial “Mandate” from the League of Nations to rule over Palestine (and Jordan and Iraq)… just until these countries’ own inhabitants should be “ready” to exercise self-rule, you understand.

1917 came 32 years after the infamous Conference of Berlin,  in which the European powers sat round and solemnly carved up the whole of the African continent amongst themselves, to let each participating power engage in settler colonialism, looting, and rapine within its designated zone, exactly as it wished. But still, by 1917, the tide of global opinion was already starting to turn against settler colonialism and the “rights” of all the world’s peoples were much on the lips of diplomats.

Zionists have often tried to portray their movement as one of “national liberation” from foreign (including British) rule. In truth, though, they have always relied on the patronage of other, much larger, globally powerful states in order to realize their settler-colonial objectives in historic Palestine. That was the case in 1917. It was the case in 1947. It was the case in 1967. And it remains the case, today. Without the support that Washington has lavished on Israel– within its current, expansionist borders– for several decades now, there is no way that Israel could have defied all the norms by which the whole of the rest of the world community has to abide… and could have done so, continuously, for the whole of the past 50 years.

The publishing company that I founded in 2010, Just World Books, has published numerous great books on the Palestine Question. You can see the whole list of our publications here. Now, we are  working on our plans for the books we’ll be publishing later this year, and in 2017. (Stay tuned!) And we’re also, along with our friends, allies, and partners, planning to organize a great series of events around the whole United States in 2017, so that communities everywhere around the country can better understand what is happening in Palestine/Israel. More people in the United States than ever before are now hungry for good information about what’s happening in Palestine, and eager to understand both how the situation got to be where it is today, and what our own country’s role in that has been.

There’s no doubt that 2017 will be a crucial year for broadening the discussion of what’s happening in Palestine/Israel. But we shouldn’t just be looking at 50 years of occupation. We need to look, too, at 100 years of Western-supported Zionist settler-colonialism in Palestine, the 70-year anniversary of the Partition Plan and the Nakba that it sparked, and the 30-year anniversary of the First Intifada. When we look at all these anniversaries and put them into perspective alongside each other, then we can much better understand the state of Palestine Question today.

This post first appeared on Helena Cobban’s site, Just World News.

About Helena Cobban

Helena Cobban is the owner of Just World Books. She’s been blogging since 2003 at JustWorldNews.org. Her 1984 book The Palestinian Liberation Organisation: People, Power, and Politics, was published by Cambridge University Press and is still in print. Her early-1990 study “The PLO and the Intifada” was published in The Middle East Journal (Spring 1990).

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45 Responses

  1. Boomer
    March 6, 2016, 11:56 am

    Thanks for all your good work over the years, Helena. People of good will deeply appreciate it. 2017 is also the year when a new president will occupy the White House, and some new members of Congress will join those who are reelected. On many things it is hard to predict what will happen, but I’ll hazard a guess that U.S. policy regarding Israel will change very little.

  2. pabelmont
    March 6, 2016, 12:34 pm

    Helena: nice report. One thing I believe to be true — and if true then very worth remarking — is that Fourth Geneva Convention provides that no agreement by the governance of the protected people (e.g., PLO or PA) is good to the extent that it agrees to a diminishment of protections afforded during the course of occupation by the Fourth Genava Convention. So if he PLO by agreeing to roads, checkpoints, settlements, etc., agreed to violations of G-IV — and settlements (and also settlers) surely do — then such agreements between Israel and PLO/PA cannot be valid.

  3. Blaine Coleman
    March 6, 2016, 2:38 pm

    Thank you, Helena,
    You have produced a big storehouse of valuable resources for activists to read before they go out and demand boycott against Israel. Here it is: http://justworldbooks.com/print-books/?sort=newest

    Mondoweiss has done the same: created a storehouse of valuable resources for activists to ponder before they go out and demand boycott against Israel.

    Now we have a nationwide network of SJP chapters who spend 11 months out of every year reading your books, and strategically planning, and pondering, before they go out and… spend another year strategically planning. That planning has its fun moments: conferences, banquets, but of course no campus-wide divestment debates.

    And after that fun year of strategy, planning, pondering, and reading, we enter the blessed season (March-April) when a couple dozen divestment resolutions will finally be promoted on U.S. campuses. That starts with Vassar tonight. This is where the public learns that divestment is really being demanded, out in public.

    I am glad for that month or so. Of course, if the Black freedom movement had spent just one month a year marching, and 11 months “strategizing”, there would be no such thing as Black voters, outside of Northern cities. There would be no Martin, no Malcolm, no Panthers, nothing outside of a few publishing houses producing weepy memoirs of injustice.

    So I hope the coming month of divestment resolutions goes well. I dread the 11 months after that, because Israel will feel very free to massacre, without fear of campus divestment movements. Then in March-April 2017 we will see a few more divestment resolutions. Then silence until March 2018.

    If ever the campuses would like to speed up that process, with some good loud boycott demands every month, then the liberation of Palestine would actually happen. Until then, I guess that Palestine must wait for March-April 2017. And March-April 2018.

    • Annie Robbins
      March 7, 2016, 2:26 pm

      blaine, always the bearer of blame news chastising activist about how lame they are.

    • Mooser
      March 7, 2016, 2:56 pm

      “Of course, if the Black freedom movement had spent just one month a year marching, and 11 months “strategizing”, there would be no such thing as Black voters, outside of Northern cities. There would be no Martin, no Malcolm, no Panthers, nothing outside of a few publishing houses producing weepy memoirs of injustice.”

      Just wanna mention, Bruce, that’s lame, and seems to land somewhere between patronizing and insulting. Not to mention completely inexplicable. You might want to drop that schtik.

      • Mooser
        March 7, 2016, 3:14 pm

        Where the heck did I get “Bruce” from? An unintentional misnomer. I’m sorry, “Blaine Coleman” or “Blaine”.

  4. Bumblebye
    March 6, 2016, 2:45 pm

    I fear what 2017 may have in store for Palestine.

    The Israeli lunatic element (which is sadly not a fringe) will surely be conspiring to finish their “conquest” and expulsion of Palestinians during that anniversary year. I expect a build-up of egregious racist laws, miltary and militant shtetler actions against the population they just don’t want in order to control even more of the land and resources. Increased pushback will provide the flimsy excuse to ramp up the IOF killing machine and cause/force people to flee for their lives. 48. 67. 17.

  5. echinococcus
    March 6, 2016, 2:53 pm

    Ms Cobban,

    Your interpretation of each of the horror landmarks was exactly right.

    Speaking of Berlin, very appropriate inclusion in the list, we also will have the 120 years from the infamous Basle Congress, that clearly announced the colonial intent of the Zionists, somehow like a slightly late imitation of the Berlin Conference powers. Where the Zionists gave notice to the inhabitants of Palestine that they were intent on stealing an entire country.

  6. Ramzi Jaber
    March 6, 2016, 3:33 pm

    It’s 2016. A Jew knocks at the door of a house of a Christian man. No, this is not the start of a bad joke. The Jew holds up the Bible and orders the Christian man to leave his house. The Jew says: “God gave me this house. It says so in the Bible. This is not your house. Get out. NOW!”.

    It’s 2016. If someone does this today, then that person will be immediately hauled into a mental institution. In a straight jacket.

    It’s 2016. And that’s exactly what the zionists have been doing for 100 years and continue to do each and every day in Palestine. They do it not with words but with weapons and killings. No one cares. And not only no one cares, but the West supports these criminal acts of the zionists.

    Now that’s crazy. Not only because it’s 2016. But because it’s just plain crazy.

    Tell me I’m wrong.

    • Mooser
      March 6, 2016, 4:02 pm

      “Tell me I’m wrong.”

      I’m sorry, but I think you might be considered wrong. It was very much the start of a bad joke. A lot of other worse things too, of course, but I’m pretty sure, as far as the bad joke goes, even if we haven’t heard the punchline yet, who the joke will be on when the punchline comes.

    • Froggy
      March 6, 2016, 6:11 pm

      Ramzi Jaber : “ No one cares.

      Some of us care. That’s why we’re here. There are others who care even though they are not here.

      Froggy, from rural France

      • Whatt
        March 6, 2016, 7:51 pm

        Froggy: I grant/assume that you do care by reading MW. Good. But the facts on the ground are not changing but worsening for the Palestinians, and the “care” reference seems to be pointing to that fact.

      • Froggy
        March 7, 2016, 12:55 am

        Whatt :: “ I grant/assume that you do care by reading MW. Good. But the facts on the ground are not changing but worsening for the Palestinians, and the “care” reference seems to be pointing to that fact.

        Like many people, I do what I can. (I don’t have a lot of power, just a wee bit of influence.) And I can offer what support I can, demonstrate, and speak out openly.

        It’s just a matter of time before the (admittedly) little I can do will land me in jail as just by speaking out I am breaking French law.

        France Outlaws BDS Anti-Semitism
        The French Supreme Court has outlawed the BDS movement and all related activities.
        By: Hana Levi Julian
        Published: October 29th, 2015

        The highest court in France this week upheld the criminal conviction of 12 political activists for the crime of advocating sanctions and a boycott against Israel.

        “BDS is illegal in France,” announced Pascal Markowicz, head attorney for CRIF, the umbrella organization for Jewish communities in France. Any actions to promote the movement, he added, “are completely illegal. If [BDS activists] say their freedom of expression has been violated, now the highest legal instance in France has ruled otherwise.”

        The group was arrested for distributing anti-Israel material in a supermarket under the French law on Freedom of the Press.

        Twelve activists wearing shirts that bore the words, “Long live Palestine, Boycott Israel” entered the store and began passing out flyers from the BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement.

        The flyers said: “buying Israeli products means legitimizing crimes in Gaza.”

        The law imposes a prison term and/or fine of up to $50,000 for those who “provoke discrimination, hatred or violence toward a person or group of people on grounds of their origin, their belonging or their not belonging to an ethnic group, a nation, a race or a certain religion.”

        The court ruled that BDS is inherently discriminatory and thus outlawed its promotion.

        When French citizens are no longer permitted to peacefully pass out flyers urging a boycott, or otherwise peacefully demonstrate or publish criticism against a murderous racist foreign regime, then France herself is no longer free.

        Froggy

      • eljay
        March 7, 2016, 11:55 am

        For almost 70 years (and counting), Zio-supremacists have been doing a damn fine job of anti-Semitically conflating Israel with all Jews and all Jews with Israel.

        And when the blowback against all Jews finally hits, they’ll do a damn fine job of saving their hateful and immoral selves by excitedly pointing and wildly screeching: That one over there – he’s a Jew! Get him!!

  7. Keith
    March 6, 2016, 3:51 pm

    HELENA- “…100 years of Western-supported Zionist settler-colonialism in Palestine….”

    A somewhat different form of settler-colonialism, however, insofar as a significant part of the settlers truly believe in the “redemption” of the sacred soil of Judaic mythology. This fundamentalist belief system stands in the way of rational pragmatism and of anything even approaching a just solution.

    • Whatt
      March 6, 2016, 10:41 pm

      “insofar as a significant part of the settlers truly believe in the “redemption” of the sacred soil of Judaic mythology ”
      I have called it a “collective psychopathology”, difficult to handle and very dangerous.

      • Mooser
        March 7, 2016, 3:22 pm

        “I have called it a “collective psychopathology”, difficult to handle and very dangerous.”

        I think you are right. That’s why I feel fortunate to have only been exposed to some of the milder social and rhetorical manifestations of the Ziocaine Syndrome.

  8. yourstruly
    March 6, 2016, 5:03 pm

    A few remembrances from a visit to occupied Palestine near the beginning of the First Intifada –

    taking a taxi from outside the Damascus Gate to Ramallah. The old taxi reminded me of the vintage cars I’d seen a decade earlier in Havana during a visit there. One of my fellow passengers kept his head behind a newspaper for most of the ride, except for periodically peering out to glance at me. I wondered whether I was under surveillance.

    Upon arriving at Ramallah, initially receiving a cold reception from a street vender; until, that is, I asked him if he knew a certain physician whose name I’d been given as someone to visit. Instantly he turned friendlier, at least trusting enough to direct me to said physician’s house.

    At a Ramallah hospital, going to meet a physician who a friend of the hotel manager where I was staying had suggested I visit. Upon informing him of this his response – something like “Why the hell did so & so do that. I’ve just been released from three months in prison, and now he sends me a known activist? Just what I need to get myself back in prison.” Still, albeit not too happily, he answered my questions as to the medical problems his hospital was facing consequent to the Intifada.

    Another day & another vintage taxi ride, this time to Jerusalem. Noticing, upon entering the city, from his perch on the 2nd story of a building opposite the entrance, a rifle toting IDF soldier with his mounted weapon pointing in our direction. Walking down the streets radiating outwards from the Church of the Nativity one couldn’t help notice the Israeli settlements built on hills overlooking the Palestinian city.

    Ordered by an Israeli policeman on a street near the Damascus Gate to get out of their car,the sight of three young Palestinian men lined up against a wall as she checked there identification papers. “Just like Africaaners asking an African for his papers,” I thought. “How humiliating that has to be.”

    The three co-passengers in the Israeli taxi (a relatively new Bentley this time)) that took us from Bethlehem back to the Damascus Gate. They got in the taxi a few minutes after me and, ? coincidentally. just happened to work with the Palestinian physician whose home I had been in the day before.

    Upon returning home from Gaza one afternoon I was confronted by the serious risks accepted by participants in the Intifada. Arriving again by vintage taxi outside the Damascus Gate, I noticed there seemed to have been some sort of commotion. I asked a bystander what had happened. Turned out that a Palestinian protester had been shot dead by Israeli cops.

    Changing the scene to the Dome of the Rock which I entered one Friday afternoon after performing the rituals of washing my feet and putting on fresh slippers. Palestinian entrance being restricted during Islam’s holy day of the week, at that moment my guide & I were the only persons inside the Dome.It being a hot summer day, I was suffering somewhat from heat exhaustion (dizzy and weak). My guide took my hand and led me to what appeared to a section inside the building that was covered by a canvas. “Put your hands through this.” Following his instructions I reached through an opening in the canvas to where my hand felt like it was in some sort of indentation in a very hard rock. “You have your hand in the footstep of Mohammed” said the guide* Immediately it felt like an electric current had passed through my hand, whereupon my head cleared and I became, if anything, hyper alert. I attributed this turnabout to the emotional shock that the words “hands in the footstep of Mohammed” had delivered me. A couple years later I told this story to a Sufi. Asked him what he thought the above experience was about, “a signal from Mohammed, perhaps?” “No, from god, he replied,” claiming that the same thing had happened to him. Being an atheist and rarely delving into mysticism, I still believe that my sudden recovery from heat exhaustion was some sort of neuropsychological reaction.

    Lastly, another unusual occurrence upon departing from Palestine. Just before leaving the hotel its mgr. gave me if a dinner plate for me to deliver to a relative of his back home. While waiting in the airport lobby for boarding, a young Israeli approached and asked me if I had been asked to carry any dinner plates back home. I said yes and gave it to him. He said wait here. Shortly thereafter he returned, thanked me and gave me back the plate. What’s this about, I wandered. Later, I read that such plates were sometimes used to conceal explosives.

    Enough to turn anyone paranoid, don;t you think?

    *later he recanted and said that scholars doubted this was historically correct

  9. Les
    March 6, 2016, 6:44 pm

    In 1917 Palestine was part of the Ottoman Empire which ended in 1922. The British government’s promise that it would donate at some future time another nation’s land to Jews was made as part of the effort to obtain British Jewish support for World War I.

    • Mooser
      March 6, 2016, 7:28 pm

      “it would donate at some future time another nation’s land to Jews was made as part of the effort to obtain British Jewish support for World War I.”

      Oh yes, that was a big question wasn’t it, whether the Jews in England would support Britain, or instead, turn into a fifth column and perform acts of sabotage for the Kaiser? Interesting times.

  10. lysias
    March 6, 2016, 6:47 pm

    Since Weizmann has come up, let me repeat something I posted here a month ago:

    I happen to be reading at the moment The Maisky Diaries: Red Ambassador to the Court of St James’s, 1932-1943, an abridgement of the diaries of Ambassador Ivan Maisky. In his entry for Feb. 3, 1941, he recounts a visit that Chaim Weizmann paid to him on that day:

    Here he [Weizmann] began to set out his fears. The English — and especially their colonial administrators — don’t like Jews, This is particularly noticeable in Palestine, which is inhabited by both Jews and Arabs. Here the British ‘high commissioners’ undoubtedly prefer the Arabs to the Jews. Why? For one very simple reason. An English colonial administrator will usually get his training in British colonies like Nigeria, the Sudan, Rhodesia and so one. These places have a well-defined pattern of rule: a few roads, some courts, a little missionary activity, a little medical care for the population. It’s all so simple, so straightforward, so calm. No serious problems, and no complaints on the part of the governed. The English administrator likes this, and gets used to it. But in Palestine?

    Growing more animated, Weizmann continued: ‘You won’t get very far with a programme like that here. Here there are big and complex problems. It’s true that the Palestinian Arabs are the kind of guinea pigs the administrator is used to, but the Jews reduce him to despair. They are dissatisfied with everything, they ask questions, they demand answers — and sometimes these answers are not easily supplied. The administrator begins to get angry and to see the Jews as a nuisance. But the main thing is that the administrator constantly feels that the Jews is looking at him and thinking to himself: “Are you intelligent? Maybe I’m twice as intelligent as you.”‘

    … And then, taking all these circumstances into account, Weizmann anxiously asks himself: ‘What has a British victory to offer the Jews?’ The question leads him to some uncomfortable conclusions. For the only ‘plan’ which Weizmann can think of to save Central European Jewry (and in the first place Polish Jewry) is this: to move a million Arabs now living in Palestine to Iraq, and to settle four or five million Jews from Poland and other countries on the land which the Arabs had been occupying. The British are hardly likely to agree to this. And if they don’t agree, what will happen?

    I expressed some surprise about how Weizmann hoped to settle 5 million Jews on territory occupied by 1 million Arabs.

    ‘Oh, don’t worry,’ Weizmann burst out laughing. ‘The Arab is often called the son of the desert. It would be truer to call him the father of the desert. Hiz laziness and primitivism turn a flourishing garden into a desert. Give me the land occupied by a million Arabs, and I will easily settle five times that number of Jews on it.’

    Weizmann shook his head sadly and concluded: ‘The only thing is, how do we obtain this land?’

    So this is confirmation that the ethnic cleansing of Palestine and a transfer of populations was already a part of the plans of the Zionist movement at the beginning of 1941. And Weizmann’s words confirm what Iraqi Jew Naeim Giladi said in his book Ben-Gurion’s Scandals: How the Haganah and the Mossad Eliminated Jews, that the Zionist plan in the late 1940s and early 1950s was indeed a transfer of populations: Jews out of Iraq into Palestine, and Palestinians out of Palestine into Iraq.

    • Jackdaw
      March 8, 2016, 6:12 am

      @lysias

      Weizmann’s musings came to naught because the 5 million Polish Jews he’s hoped to save, were all murdered during the Holocaust.

  11. bopfromthedarkside
    March 6, 2016, 7:21 pm

    Mind she doesn’t start a war with Iran. She’ s having Bibi in for a chat her first month.

  12. Kay24
    March 6, 2016, 9:07 pm

    Will those land thieves, true to form, announce MORE illegal settlements as usual?

    It seem Biden is going to visit apartheid land soon.

    “Netanyahu: Biden Visit Is Proof of Strong Ties Between Israel and U.S.
    ‘There have been those who have already predicted the collapse of this relationship – but that is not the case,’ prime minister says ahead of vice president’s visit.”

    read more: http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.707213

  13. ckg
    March 6, 2016, 9:40 pm

    The year 2017 is also the year that the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics has recently said that the Palestinians population will equal the Jewish population in size in the land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. Afterwards Palestinians will be in the majority. Analogies with Apartheid South Africa will be harder for Zionists to rebut.

    • Kay24
      March 7, 2016, 12:21 am

      We can conclude that many intelligent and informed students attend Vassar.

  14. yonah fredman
    March 6, 2016, 11:33 pm

    The fact that there is significance to the 100th, 70th, 50th and 30th anniversaries is certainly a neat point of departure for those who wish to raise questions about the entire enterprise. But crucial is a term whose first definition is: “decisive or critical, especially in the success or failure of something.” and there is nothing about the roundness of these numbers that indicate that 2017 will be decisive or critical.

    • Mooser
      March 7, 2016, 10:33 am

      ” and there is nothing about the roundness of these numbers that indicate that 2017 will be decisive or critical.”

      Finally, finally, a subject which can engage your expertise in numerology and Kaballah.

  15. Dan Walsh
    March 6, 2016, 11:35 pm

    Palestinian nationalists and political Zionist saw, and continue to see, the Balfour Declaration and Balfour himself from very different perspectives:

    The Historic Day of the Balfour Declaration For Our Nation

    http://www.palestineposterproject.org/poster/the-historic-day-of-the-balfour-declaration-for-our-nation

    and:

    Half Century of Struggle

    http://www.palestineposterproject.org/poster/half-century-of-struggle

    View more Balfour Declaration related posters here:

    http://www.palestineposterproject.org/special-collection/san-remo-conferencebasel-programbalfour-declaration-of-sympathy1947-un-partition

  16. Kay24
    March 7, 2016, 5:43 am

    The zionists keep proving apartheid is alive and well in that only “democracy” in the Middle East.

    “Adalah unpacks 10 Israeli laws and bills with provisions liable to harm Palestinians and those who defend Palestinian rights.
    Adalah: the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel released a summary of ten Israeli laws and bills that include “discriminatory and/or anti-democratic provisions that are liable to severely harm the human rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel and Palestinians living in the 1967 Occupied Palestinian Territory, as well as those who defend their rights.”

    http://www.juancole.com/2016/03/israel-prepares-10-new-laws-to-discriminate-against-palestinians-rights-activists.html

  17. Jackdaw
    March 7, 2016, 5:55 am

    “The diktat from the British Foreign Secretary that imperial London would support the creation of a “Jewish national home” in Palestine.

    Didn’t London also promise Palestine to Hussein?

    Didn’t London also promise in the Picot-Sykes Agreement, to divide up Palestine, exclusively between France and Great Britain?

    That’s what countries do when they’re in a desperate war where millions of their citizens are dying. They make wild, contradictory promises.

    • Mooser
      March 7, 2016, 10:37 am

      “That’s what countries do when they’re in a desperate war where millions of their citizens are dying. They make wild, contradictory promises.”

      Fortunately, that never happens when a people are confronted with a Holocaust. Honesty, disinterestedness and rationality are the only criteria in that situation.

    • talknic
      March 7, 2016, 7:55 pm

      @ Jackdaw March 7, 2016, 5:55 am — wades around over his head in Ziopoop, again

      “Didn’t London also promise Palestine to Hussein?”

      No. In 1922 they agreed to the LoN Mandate for Palestine (which doesn’t mention any Hussein or Husseini) whereby they had a duty to foster Palestine’s independence. Seems after all this time spouting Ziocrap, you still haven’t read Article 7 of the Mandate for PALESTINE

      “Didn’t London also promise in the Picot-Sykes Agreement, to divide up Palestine, exclusively between France and Great Britain?”

      Predictably, like a true and proud peddler of Ziocrap, you haven’t even bothered read the 2nd line and definitely haven’t bothered to read the 13th line . Why am I not amazed?

      … “France and Great Britain are prepared to recognize and protect an independent Arab states or a confederation of Arab states (a) and (b) marked on the annexed map, under the suzerainty of an Arab chief. That in area (a) France, and in area (b) Great Britain, shall have priority of right of enterprise and local loans. That in area (a) France, and in area (b) Great Britain, shall alone supply advisers or foreign functionaries at the request of the Arab state or confederation of Arab states. ”

      “The British and French government, as the protectors of the Arab state, shall agree that they will not themselves acquire and will not consent to a third power acquiring territorial possessions in the Arabian peninsula, nor consent to a third power installing a naval base either on the east coast, or on the islands, of the red sea. This, however, shall not prevent such adjustment of the Aden frontier as may be necessary in consequence of recent Turkish aggression. “

      http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/sykes.asp

      Why are you so full of sh*te?

      “That’s what countries do when they’re in a desperate war where millions of their citizens are dying. They make wild, contradictory promises”

      You’ve shown no evidence of any wild, contradictory promises. The document you cited shows the opposite of your baseless assertions.

      All you’ve done is another smelly non-factual Ziodump. Congratulations for yet again for the opportunity to show folk how dishonest you and your kind can be

      • Jackdaw
        March 8, 2016, 1:53 am

        @talknic

        The year under discussion is 1917. You are discussing 1922.

        Anyway. Preceding the Balfour Declaration was the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916, and the Hussein-McMahon Correspondence was 1915-1916.

      • Mooser
        March 8, 2016, 1:11 pm

        “The year under discussion is 1917. You are discussing 1922.”

        Are you expecting any of those years to come around again soon, “Jackdaw”? I can’t wait for the “roaring 20” and then WW1.

  18. Ossinev
    March 7, 2016, 9:05 am

    @Kay24
    “Will those land thieves, true to form, announce MORE illegal settlements as usual?”

    No I think having dropped a huge one on the occasion of the VP`s previous visit I think the Yahoo will be Biden his time until good old Joe is on his way back home.

    • Kay24
      March 7, 2016, 11:22 am

      I am sure there will be deep devotion and love shown by all, when JB gets there.
      Each side will be proclaiming just how close the two nations are, and the undying support the US must give poor old Israel. Meanwhile over the gigantic fence that cuts through Palestinian property, the true suffering of a people is totally ignored, and the building of those cursed settlements continue. I wonder if Obama and Biden feel pangs of guilt sometimes. Nah, I think not.

      • eljay
        March 7, 2016, 1:13 pm

        || Kay24: … I wonder if Obama and Biden feel pangs of guilt sometimes. Nah, I think not. ||

        Dunno about Biden, but Barry has his Nobel Peace Prize to soothe any feelings of unease.

        Obama [in a despondent whisper]: I’m a good man, aren’t I, Nobey?
        Nobel Peace Prize [in an Obama-like voice]: You sure are, Barry. You’re the best!
        Obama [cheefully]: Awww, thanks, Nobey!

      • Mooser
        March 7, 2016, 3:32 pm

        “Obama [cheefully]: Awww, thanks, Nobey!”

        At this point, the report from the drone-strikes is brought into the Oval (Oval… Oval Office… Lord, don’t let Hilary win! Who wants to hear… oh God, Trump might be the alternative. See ya later, I’m gonna go look at the tree-limbs in my yard. Forget about Urkel, and a drone, it wasn’t that funny.)

  19. Blake
    March 7, 2016, 12:10 pm

    MASS OF TRICKS: The point needs no pressing. The very fact the Balfour Declaration [from Nov 1917] was not proclaimed in Palestine until 1920 is sufficient proof of its character.

    Into the Maze – Four Plain questions (examining the Balfour Declaration point by point):
    Mass tricks of Balfour Declaration
    1. What exactly is a “National Home”? Nobody knows. The expression was used because it was ambiguous. To Syrians it is explained as a home. Fifteen months after the British Government had declared that it viewed this ambiguity with favour, Mr Lansing, the American Foreign Secretary, was obliged to ask at the Paris Peace Conference in Paris what “National Home” meant. Dr Weizmann replied that it meant there should be established such conditions ultimately in Palestine that “Palestine shall be just as Jewish as America is American and England is English. “ Mr (as he was then) Balfour was very pleased with this reply. It is difficult to see why, since Dr Weizmann had removed with his frankness a good deal of ambiguity.
    2. “Nothing shall be done,” says the vigilant Declaration, “which may prejudice the civil & religious rights of non-existing Jewish communities in Palestine.” No phrase could sound better but what exactly are “civil rights”? Again nobody knows. That is why the Declaration is anxious to guarantee them. Observe that the phrase “political rights” is not used. Political rights would have been something definite. The political rights of a people are its ownership of its country. The right to have, as Syrian-Arabs demand, “a National Government created, which shall be responsible to a Parliament elected by the people of Palestine – Muslims, Christians, and Jews.” A Subterfuge: When the Zionists drew up their programme of October 1916, the first portion of that program reads thus: “The Jewish population of Palestine shall enjoy full civic and POLITICAL rights…” no mistake here and at the end of the Balfour declaration itself is it civil rights guaranteed to the Jews? Read and see: “the rights and POLITICAL status enjoyed by the Jews.” No mistake again.
    3. The third point is less important but worth noting. The people of Palestine are referred to as the “Non-Jewish communities in Palestine.” There are about 80000 Jews & 670000 non-Jews in Palestine [1922]. The word would give anybody the impression that the “non-Jewish communities” were some specialised sort of bodies & not the mass of the population.
    4. Nothing, according to the declaration, is to prejudice the “political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.” What does this mean? It means that Jews, besides being put on the road to establishing a Jewish state in Palestine, are also guaranteed against not belonging to it if they don’t wish. Political Zionism may look forward, therefore, to having their cake and eating it.
    The truth peeps out very clearly from this part of the Declaration. If there existed no intention in the minds of its framers of founding a Jewish state, why were they moving to protect their co-religionists from the necessity of belonging to it? If the National Home was only to be a home, the political status of Jews elsewhere could no more be altered by it than is the status of Englishman because thousands of them have homes in France & Italy. But if a state was erected in Palestine? Ah then!
    Excerpt from: Palestine Deception
    [Balfour Declaration] FORMULA MAKING:
    There was a meeting at the house of one of their number [British Zionist] in Feb 1917, Sir Mark Sykes was there “in his private capacity.” He was told there MUST be no internationalisation of Palestine because the Zionists desired a British protectorate with full rights to the Jews to develop as a nation. M. Nahum Sokoloff, the chief representative in Britain of the International Zionist Executive, was chosen, as the result of the meeting, to continue negotiations with Sir Mark Sykes & M. Picot, who acted for the French Government. The Zionist report says with satisfaction: “Thus opened the chapter of negotiations which ended 9 months later with the Balfour Declaration.” Still fearful of internationalisation, which would have made the Zionist state impossible, Mssrs Weizmann & Sokoloff spent some months vainly trying to get the Sykes-Picot Agreement cancelled. Though they failed in this, yet somehow internationalisation did drop out of sight.
    The goal was getting visible. A number of prominent Zionists, Ahad Ha-am, the writer, Mssrs Joseph Cowen, Akiva Yaakov Ettinger, Albert Hyamson, Simon Marks, Harry Sacher, Israel Moses Sieff, Leon Simon, Samuel Tolkowsky, Aaron Aaronsohn, Vladimir (Ze’ev) Jabotinsky, Samuel Landman, & others from continental countries, as they visited England from time to time, were gathered in to form a Political Committee. Their names are of great interest, since it was they, together with well-known Zionist leaders, who began work on the “Balfour Declaration.” Many versions of the suggested formula were drafted,” says the Zionist report, “by various members of the Political Committee.” Drafts went back and forth to the Foreign Office. “Some were detailed and elaborate,” but the Government did not want to commit itself to more than a general statement of principle. Finally, a “concise and general formula was agreed upon.” This was made known to and approved by President Woodrow Wilson, Sir Mark Sykes, and Baron Edmond de Rothschild. All seemed finished. On July 18 Lord Rothschild forwarded the Balfour Declaration to Mr Balfour [to sign].
    Source: “The Palestine Deception, 1915–1923: The McMahon-Hussein Correspondence, the Balfour Declaration, and the Jewish National Home” By: J. M. N. Jeffries
    Edited by William M. Mathew

  20. MHughes976
    March 7, 2016, 4:01 pm

    Margaret Macmillan’s ‘Peacemakers’, an excellent anslysis of Versailles and all its circumstances, makes it clear that the stuff in the Declaration about non-Jewish rights was not meant seriously. The intention was to fulfil Zionist ambitions and the Press was immediately briefed to that effect.

  21. Jackdaw
    March 8, 2016, 1:45 am
    • Mooser
      March 8, 2016, 1:13 pm

      “Israel will survive Vasser’s ‘Israel fisters’.”

      “Jackdaw, the peculiar sex-practices of Zionists are not at issue here.

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