Boundaries are the first obstacle to peace
Boundaries are the first obstacle to peace

Ending the Arab-Jewish conflict over the territory called “historic Palestine” has little chance of success until its territorial boundaries are first agreed between Israel, the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), Jordan, the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN).

Rima Najjar – a retired professor of English literature at Al-Quds Unversity - claims in a recent article that the territory of “historic Palestine” has been subdivided into Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip but is effectively controlled by the Jewish State.

The following facts contradict her assertions:

  • Jordan comprises 78% of the territory of Palestine under the League of Nations 1922 Mandate for Palestine - and Jews were denied the right to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in any part of that area of Palestine under article 25 of the Mandate

  • The Old Testament records that two and a half of the twelve tribes of Israel settled in Jordan and cities of refuge were established by the Israelites in Golan, Ramoth, and Bosor - on the eastern side of the Jordan River - and Kedesh, Nablus, and Hebron - on the western side.

  • Jordan, Israel, the West Bank and Gaza form one indivisible territorial unit under Article 2 of the PLO Charter.

  • Many leading PLO, Jordanian, Arab and Israeli leaders have acknowledged that Jordan formed part of Palestine and that Jordanians and Palestinians are one people – not two.

  • Under the 1993 Oslo Accords and following Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza in 2006 - the PLO effectively controls 40% of the West Bank and Hamas effectively controls all of Gaza.

  • Many leading PLO, Jordanian, Arab and Israeli leaders have acknowledged that Jordan formed part of Palestine and that Jordanians and Palestinians are one people – not two.

Najjar’s intention is clear: to misleadingly and deceptively allege that Israel effectively controls 100% of historic Palestine - when Jordan effectively controls 78%.

In fact:

  • Israel currently exercises sovereignty in only 17% of historic Palestine whilst Jordan exercises sovereignty in 78% - leaving competing Arab and Jewish claims to sovereignty in the remaining 5% of historic Palestine – the West Bank and Gaza - to be resolved.

  • The Palestinian Arabs already have their own State in 78% of historic Palestine where not one Jew lives.

Najjar has claimed in an earlier article:

“How deep is the historical illiteracy of Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic Party and Donald Trump and his party?

It is so deep, they are even immune to déjà vu, also known as “cryptomnesia”, which is where history is forgotten but nevertheless stored in the brain.”

Najjar, the UN, EU, even Mahmoud Abbas, are the historical illiterates suffering from cryptomnesia when it comes to determining the boundaries of historic Palestine - having written off the biblical history of “Eretz Yisrael” and the modern day history of “Palestine” between 1917 and 1947.

Najjar has form – having falsely stated in 2017:

“Israel now has sovereignty over all of mandate Palestine.”

Najjar also uttered her historic Palestine canard when calling for Israel’s elimination in 2018:

“The Palestinians have never held the bargaining chips in their tragedy and might as well go for broke – ending the Apartheid Zionist colonial regime in all of historic Palestine.”

Najjar lamented in 2017:

“I don’t know what it means to be Palestinian Jordanian, which is how I began my life …” 

Najjar’s identity crisis disappears once she recognises that Jordan is 78% of historic Palestine.

Until Israel, the PLO, Jordan, the UN and EU all agree on the boundaries of historic Palestine – any hope for ending the 100-years conflict between Arabs and Jews remains a mirage.

Dry Bones 20.2.19 Borders
Dry Bones 20.2.19 BordersINN:HK

Author’s note: The cartoon — commissioned exclusively for this article — is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators — whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog