By Ted Belman
The Bush trip to the Middle East was over before it began. Or putting it another way, Bush is just going through the motions.
The impediments to progress are so great that only the naive believe that a deal can be reached. In fact many people have written to the effect that the gaps have widened since Barak’s offer at Camp David.
Thus it is fair to say that the goal of a two-state solution is unattainable and must be abandonned. What then should replace it?
The two-state solution essentially was formulated in the Resolution 181 otherwise known as the Partition plan. Actually the idea of partition was entertained almost the day after the signing of the Palestine Mandate. British policy was to restrict Jewish immigration contrary to its mandate.
In fact the British through its secret service instigated Arab violence so that their new policies could be implemented.
At the height of the 1936-39 disturbances, a royal commission of inquiry came to Palestine from London to investigate the roots of the Arab-Jewish conflict and to propose solutions. The commission, headed by Lord Robert Peel, heard a great deal of testimony in Palestine, and in July 1937 issued its recommendations: “to abolish the Mandate and partition the country between the two peoples”.
Both Jews and Arabs objected so the report was shelved only to be resurrected in the Partition Plan. The Arabs still rejected it.
Thus the two-state solution is the Partition Plan. Arabs rejected it throughout.
It is time to return to the original mandate which favoured “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”.
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.
ART. 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.
The Mandate created a civilizational trust in favour of the Jews which still exists today. It is legal and binding. Israel is now in control of all of the land excluding Gaza and it is well within her legal rights to fulfill the mandate. Thus only the Jews have political rights and the other inhabitants only have “civil and religious rights”.
There is no doubt that the Arabs really want a bi-national state in which the Arabs will outnumber the Jews, due to a return of refugees, with the result that Israel as a Jewish homeland would cease to exist.
It goes without saying that Israel will absolutely reject such a state which would be its death warrant and which is contrary to its rights flowing from the Mandate.