Let’s talk about borders

By Ted Belman (originally written in 2003)

Any discussion of borders should start with the Torah wherein the land, including, what is now Jordan, was promised by God, to the Israelites. What’s that you say? Such arguments don’t resonate with the secular. But it is the Torah that gave a history to these lands and reflects the Jewish presence there for over one thousand years. It is also why the Arabs are fighting for these lands so vehemently. Okay, okay, let’s forget about the God arguments.

How about the Balfour Declaration in 1917, which stipulated that Britain, the leading power of the day, favoured the establishment of a Jewish “Homeland” in Palestine. What, you say, it didn’t say a “state” or it was only intended to get the Jews in Russia and Europe to support Britain in the war against Germany. Nevertheless the Jews gave valid consideration to Britain binding this commitment.

Oh, you want something more international and more binding. No problem.

In accordance with the principles of the Balfour Declaration and Article 22 of the League Covenant, the League of Nations drew up the Mandate for Palestine. It included this in the preamble,

Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country; and

And it included these two provisions.

    ART. 2. The Mandatory shall be responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home, as laid down in the preamble, and the development of self-governing institutions, and also for safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion

    ART. 6. The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes.

The purpose of the mandate was to establish a Jewish homeland (and not a Arab homeland along side of it) in the total land from the Mediterranean to the Jordan. The Arabs were only entitled to the protection of ”their civil and religious rights”.

Furthermore, Britain was to encourage “close settlement by Jews on the land including State land.”. There you have it. The Jews are entitled to settle anywhere in the mandate. No such right was given to the Arabs. What flows from this is that all Jewish settlements in the territories are legal and remain so.

But you say that a lot of water has flown under the bridge since then. So it has.
In 1947 Britain formerly asked the UN to take over the Mandate and the UN General Assembly passed Res 181 in response. This provided inter alia, that the Mandate would end on or before August 1, 1948, that a “Arab and Jewish State” be created and that “If by 1 April 1948 a Provisional Council of Government cannot be selected for either of the States, or, if selected, cannot carry out its functions, the Commission shall communicate that fact to the Security Council for such action with respect to that State as the Security Council may deem proper, and to the Secretary-General for communication to the Members of the United Nations.”

As you know the State of Israel was declared on May 1st 1948 pursuant to this Resolution but the Arabs rejected the Resolution and went to war against Israel. Thus the Mandate ended and the Security Council did not act under the last provision until it passed Resolution 242 after the Six Day War.

An armistice line was agreed upon in ‘48, which left much more property to Israel than in the Partition Pan. It is this line, which is called the Green Line or the ’67 lines. (Prior to Six Day War)

Now the Arabs are calling for a two state solution centered on the ’48 armistice line though amongst themselves they argue for the Partition line, and rightly so. What is the difference between the pre Six Day War armistice line and the post one? My point being, there may be magic in the ’47 line which was passed by the General Assembly but there is no legal reason to choose the ’48 line rather than the post ’67 line.

Resolution 242 provided that Israel could remain in occupation until an agreement was reached with the surrounding states for “secure and recognized borders”. The Oslo accords provided for the PA to replace the surrounding states as the negotiating partner. In this formula either party has a veto by simply not agreeing to the borders. The PA is hoping to remove Israel’s veto and to have the international community force the 48 borders on Israel. Israel on the other hand wants to maintain its veto to ensure it gets borders to its liking. With the War of Attrition going on now (2003), both sides are hoping to get the other to say “uncle”.

(The current negotiations have excluded the requirement that Israel’s border be secure.)

The Left say they are only being realistic in agreeing to the ’48 lines. Nothing else they say will get the agreement from the Arabs and it is necessary to avoid the demographic time bomb. They are not being realistic in thinking it will bring peace or security for Israel. (Since the New Demographic Study was released in 2005 it may safely be said there is no demographic problem.)

The Right on the other hand say they are being realistic in arguing that peace and security are not achievable for generations and that the best policy is not to make any concessions until then.

The ultra Right is being even more realistic in saying that the only way to bring peace and security to Israel for generations is to remove the Arabs from the territories because there is not enough room for two States between the Jordan and the Mediterranean, to make certain that Israel remain a Jewish State and not a State like any other and to promote Arab emigration and to resist Arab immigration.

In other words, a two-state or bi-national state solution is no solution. It is a prescription for war and endless conflict.

So who’s being realistic?

November 10, 2007 | 3 Comments »

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3 Comments / 3 Comments

  1. Abe fortas was a famous Jewish uncle tom. Good buddy of LBJ. Alan J. in someways fits the mold. American Jews still do not realize that Judaism is not Thomas Jefferson! Neither is the concept of Democracy!

    Israel reminds me of the Jewish tale of the King who loved fish. One Fri afternoon the king felt an urge to eat fish so he called for his major Domo and said go to the market and buy some fish for my dinner. He gave his servant some money and when the servant arrived at the market he found only one stinking rotting fish left. Being afraid to incur the wrath of the king if he returned with no fish. He quickly purchased the fish and rushed to bring the stinking rotten fish to his master the king. When the King saw and smelled the stinging rotten fish he exploded and cursed the servant and then demanded his money back. The servant not wanting to pay out of his own meager savings tried to convince the King that the fish was edible. The King would have none of this unconvincing argument and asked again for his money returned, he then challenged the servant to eat the whole fish by himself or to be whipped to death if he refused either to return the money or eat the whole fish himself. The servant still not willing to part with his meager savings started to eat the fish, but quickly vomited it up, still not willing to to part with his meager savings he accepted the whipping, but after a few dozen strokes Pleaded to stop and paid the king his money back.



  2. Ted,

    if all your faith relies on the Balfour Declaration rather than on G-d then one can very good understand your hypothesis that we are completeley lost without John Hagee’s support. But just as Church-ill gave us a kick in the a.. — so will your church-friends, too.

  3. Concur that a border discussion should start with the Torah. I’d say use Tanakh to include King Solomon’s additional teritories and sphere of influence.

    He ruled over all the kings from the Euphrates to the land of the Philistines and to the border of Egypt. II Chronicles 9:26

    Yet, leaving the reference books aside for a moment, King Solomon and the current Israeli replacements (Not “modern”; just current.) relied on a basic common denominator to establish and maintain national and internal borders: the catapult and cavalry serve as 2 examples.

    Current Israel has no CLEAR order of battle. Terms from the Jacobins (Robespiere) and Cordeliers (the lower socio-economic classes) DO NOT establish the sides of the battle today.

    Israel’s Jewish factions are too small in numbers and wealth to prepare for a confrontation. Diaspora Jewish oriented Halachic Jews are in worse shape. Our conversion rate allows for accurate forecasts. Only a combination of Israeli and diaspora Jews = seeking a Jewish Israel = can prevail.

    Our label “Jewish” has been stolen. Middle America and support of Jews is dangerously hinderd by the “American Jewish World Service” supporting maintaince of the US high sugar tariff. Other examples are too many to list.

    We have no clearly established political order of battle.

    The score, to date: Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan and the New School For Social Research, winning.

    Alan Dershowitz probably never heard of the law firm “Arnold, Fortas and Porter”.

    Maybe he has heard of it.

    Kol tuv,

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