Op-Ed: The Two-State Solution Was Tried 91 Years Ago
Victor SharpeVictor Sharpe is a prolific freelance writer with many published articles...
In 1920, Great Britain was given the responsibility by the League of Nations to oversee the Mandate over the geographical territory known as Palestine with the express intention of reconstituting within its territory a Jewish National Home.
The territory in question stretched from the Mediterranean Sea to the eastern boundary of Mandatory Palestine, which was a border that would separate it from what was to become the future state of Iraq.
The League of Nations created a number of articles, which were in line with the original intent of the Balfour Declaration of November 29th, 1917. At the last minute, however, a new article was introduced by the British Colonial Office: article number 25.
At first, the sudden addition of this article was not a cause for alarm, but gradually it became apparent that its inclusion directly enabled Great Britain in 1921/22 to tear away all the territory of geographical Palestine east of the River Jordan, and give it to the Arab Hashemite family; the territory to become Trans-Jordan and led by the emir Abdullah.
Britain presented this gift to Abdullah, the son of the Sherif of Mecca, as a consolation prize for its awarding of the Hedjaz territory and Arabia, which included Mecca, to the rival Saud family: That vast territory is now Saudi Arabia.
British officials also claimed that the gift of Mandatory Palestine east of the Jordan River was in gratitude to the Hashemites for their contribution in helping defeat the Turks. However, even T.S. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia) later described in derisory terms the Hashemite role as "a side show of a side show." The Jewish Nili underground, along with the pro-Zionist Christian Colonel Meinertzhagen, gave the British and Anzac forces far more valuable assistance in defeating the Ottoman Turks than ever did Lawrence’s Bedouins.
This was the first partition of Palestine and created a brand new entity 91 years ago covering some 35,000 square miles or nearly four-fifths of the geographical territory of Palestine. Immediately, Jewish residence in the territory was forbidden and it became in effect judenrein - the German Nazi term for the ethnic cleansing of Jews from a territory.
This betrayal by none other than Winston Churchill, the Colonial Secretary at the time, was a devastating blow to the Jewish and Zionist leadership, which now saw the promised Jewish homeland reduced to the remaining narrow territory between the Mediterranean Sea and the River Jordan - an area barely 40 miles at its widest.
Shortly after, in 1923, the British and French colonial powers also divided up the northern part of the Palestine Mandate. Britain stripped away the Golan Heights (ancient biblical Bashan) and gave it to French occupied Syria. Interestingly Israel has now possessed the annexed territory for longer than Syria occupied it – 46 years to Syria’s 44 years.
The Balfour Declaration issued by Lord Balfour, British Foreign Secretary, never envisaged that the Jordan River would be the eastern boundary of the reconstituted Jewish homeland. Indeed, the Zionist leadership had put forward in February 1919 its first submission that the eastern boundary would run well east of the Hedjaz railway. The incorporation of the railway would be an economically essential requirement for the Jewish community living east of the River Jordan as well as providing it with vital security.
The squabbling by the French and British colonial powers over the final frontiers of the Palestine Mandate had earlier led the London Times to urge Paris to accept sensible and rational frontiers in both the north and east of Jewish Palestine. As early as September 19th, 1919 it had thundered in an editorial:
"The Jordan will not do as the eastern frontier of Palestine ... Palestine must have a good military frontier east of Jordan ... Our duty as Mandatory is to make Jewish Palestine not a struggling state but one that is capable of vigorous and independent life ... "
But Jewish aspirations inevitably were dashed as a new British Foreign Secretary, Lord Curzon, took the place of Lord Balfour. This new British official, within weeks of succeeding Balfour, made it clear that Britain was intent upon separating Transjordan from Palestine: the first two-state solution.
The succeeding history of the remaining one fifth of the original territory promised to the Jewish people by Lord Balfour and the British government was one of continuing betrayal as each successive Mandatory administration displayed pro-Arab and anti-Jewish policies.
During its administration up until 1947, Britain severely restricted Jewish immigration and purchases of land while turning a blind eye to massive illegal Arab immigration into the territory from neighboring Arab states.
Britain's sorry record of appeasement of the Arabs, at the expense of Jewish destiny in the remaining territory, culminated in the infamous 1939 White Paper, which limited Jewish immigration to just 75,000 souls for the next five years. This onerous and draconian policy, coming as it did on the eve of the outbreak of World War 2, was a death blow to millions of Jews attempting to flee extermination by Nazi Germany.
Britain's mismanagement of the Mandate finally led to the United Nation's Partition Plan of 1947. The Jewish Agency reluctantly accepted this additional dismemberment of what was left in Mandatory Palestine of the promised Jewish National Home.
They did this in order to provide a refuge for the surviving Jewish remnants of the Holocaust and for the growing numbers of Jewish refugees being driven out of their homes throughout the Arab world. In contrast, the Arab regimes rejected the Partition Plan. Then, as now, they worked against the existence of an independent Jewish state.
Israel was officially re-born as a sovereign nation in 1948 and its 600,000 Jews fought to survive the massive Arab onslaught, which was intended to wipe out the Jewish state.
In 1948, Trans-Jordan, renamed the Kingdom of Jordan since 1946, had joined the other Arab nations in invading the Jewish state, illegally occupying the eastern half of Jerusalem and annexing the Biblical and ancestral Jewish heartland of Judea and Samaria, renaming it the West Bank. Only Britain and Pakistan recognized Jordan’s occupation.
The war ended in tortuous armistice lines where the fighting stopped resulting in an Israeli border a mere nine to fifteen miles wide at the most densely populated area, which stretched from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordanian occupied West Bank. Israel's late Foreign Minister, Abba Eban, described these dangerously vulnerable armistice lines as the Auschwitz borders.
Nineteen years later the Arab states declared again their imminent intention to destroy Israel. In the June 1967 Six Day War Israel liberated Judea and Samaria from Jordan in a defensive war. Israel offered to give away the newly liberated West Bank to the Hashemite regime in Jordan and the Gaza Strip to its erstwhile Egyptian occupiers in return for a full and lasting peace.
But the Arab League, meeting in Khartoum in August, 1967, delivered the infamous three No's: No peace with Israel, no negotiations with Israel, no recognition of Israel. Subsequent peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan have remained frigidly cold with both Arab countries refusing to enter any semblance of a true and lasting peace.
What irony when the homes of Peace Now members living in Tel Aviv become daily targets of missiles launched from the very areas they campaign for their fellow Jews to be expelled from.
It is within the narrow territory remaining for the Jewish state, if one includes Judea and Samaria, that the world now demands the establishment of yet another Arab state. Hamas controlled Gaza would be included in this future state to be called Palestine; a state which has never existed before by that name in all of recorded history - certainly not as an independent Arab state.
Gaza has already been given to the Arabs in a monumental Israeli error and the Arabs who call themselves Palestinians have turned it into a terror base from which they have launched a lethal missile blitz against Israel numbering to date over 15,000 deadly missiles.
Israeli leaders should never have accepted even one missile fired from Gaza at its citizens in southern Israel. To let thousands fall with relative impunity for so many years led the world to believe that it was acceptable. After all, if Israel wasn't interested in safeguarding its own civilians, why then should the world be. It was accepted as business as usual.
The disputed 'West Bank', which is the ancient biblical heartland of Israel, is now the territory U.S. Secretary of State, John Forbes Kerry, just like his predecessor, Hillary Clinton, is pressuring Israel to give away to the Arabs who call themselves Palestinians. This is the present day so-called two state solution and will dismember what is left of Israel and drive some 350,000 Jewish residents from their towns and villages. Why? Because just as in Jordan, Jews will not be permitted to live within Arab territory, while Arabs can remain free to live within Israel.
It is instructive to remember that upon the granting of the Palestine Mandate to Great Britain, an eminent British celebrity and supporter of Zionism, Josiah Wedgwood, addressed a Jewish crowd of thousands at the Royal Albert Hall in London in which he urged the audience to stand up for Jewish rights in its homeland.
According to the late Shmuel Katz in his groundbreaking biography of the great Zionist leader, Vladimir Ze'ev Jabotinsky, titled The Lone Wolf, Wedgwood said:
"... This lesson I want the new Jewish nation to learn and to get by heart: Stand up for your rights. Let us have more of the spirit in the Jewish movement of my good and gallant friend Jabotinsky."
Sadly, Israeli governments have become notoriously fearful of rejecting outright the deadly trap inherent in the so called two-state solution. Their muted responses have merely encouraged world leaders to repeatedly breathe new life into the discredited plan. The searing tragedy is that the two-state solution may presage for the Jewish people another Final Solution.
Perhaps the Secretary of State prefers to remain oblivious to the stark fact that the Arabs, whom he embraces and who today call themselves Palestinians, are as committed as their parents and grandparents before them to destroy the Jewish state. The fact is that this is not a dispute over borders; this is a religious war and the Arabs, so long as the overwhelming majority remain Muslim, will never accept the existence of a non-Muslim state in territory previously conquered in the name of Allah - whatever the size or shape of its borders. Indeed, if Israel shrank to just one down town city block in Tel Aviv, the Muslim Arabs would still call for “holy war” against it.
Some years ago, Muhammad Dahlan, speaking on behalf of Fatah and the Palestinian Authority, declared on PA TV that the PA will not recognize Israel - one of the primary demands made upon the Palestinian Arabs in the Oslo Peace Accords. Indeed, Dahlan admitted that the only reason they meet with Israelis at all is in order to continue receiving the immense flow of international funds that the U.N., the EU and successive U.S. Administrations pour down the proverbial Palestinian rat hole.
Is John Kerry who has even suggested providing $4 billion more to the Palestinian Authority – this after giving over a billion dollars to the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Egypt - aware of this Arab charade? Or does he dismiss it and care not for the absence of a sincere and honest Palestinian Arab peace partner and the inevitable plight of the 350,000 Jewish residents who will become displaced refugees by enacting the next two-state solution. Perhaps he cares little for the resulting takeover of Judea and Samaria by Hamas and the inevitable missile blitz that will be launched by the Palestinian Arabs upon the rest of Israel.
Incidentally, what irony when the homes of Peace Now members living in Tel Aviv become daily targets of missiles launched from the very areas they campaign for their fellow Jews to be expelled from.
One wonders if Secretary Kerry knows that 91 years ago an original two-state solution was enacted in infamy. If he does, it is unlikely that he cares - anymore than the rest of the Obama Administration or State Department cares.
And what of those Jewish Americans who support the Secretary of State and President Obama and who will be responsible in helping to destroy Jewish patrimony in the Land of Israel. Will they have a conscience or feel shame for the calamity they create?