Dry Bones - Mandate Centennial
Dry Bones - Mandate Centennial Y. Kirschen

The creation of the Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine –the merger of Jordan, Gaza and part of the 'West Bank' into one single territorial entity comprising about 80% of the territory of the Mandate for Palestine (Mandate) – will be a fitting end to the Mandate saga which began on 24 July 1922 with the unanimous approval of its terms by all 51 Members of the League of Nations.

The remaining 20% of the Mandate territory will mark the final internationally recognised boundaries of Israel - 3000 years after the loss of the Jewish ancient and biblical homeland to the Roman General – Pompey – following his conquest of Jerusalem and its surroundings in 63 BC.

This two-state solution in Palestine – one Arab the other Jewish -had not been that originally planned by the Principal Allied Powers at the San Remo Conference in April 1920 and confirmed by the Treaty of Sevres in August that year.

San Remo had provided for:

  • Arab self-determination within the territory comprised in the Mandate for Syria and Lebanon and the Mandate for Mesopotamia – comprising 99.99% of the territory formerly part of the 400 years old Ottoman Empire liberated after World War 1
  • Jewish self-determination within the territory comprised in the Mandate for Palestine located on both sides of the Jordan River – the remaining 0.01% of the liberated Ottoman Empire

Two and a half of the 12 Tribes of Israel had settled East of the Jordan River after reaching the Promised Land - as recorded in the Torah portion read this past Shabbat.. The other nine and a half tribes had continued on to settle West of the Jordan River

However the arrival of Abdullah, a member of the Hashemite dynasty, in Transjordan on 21 November 1920 accompanied by a band of armed troops en route to help his brother Faisal fight the French to retain Faisal’s crown in Syria – resulted in:

  • Great Britain - at the Cairo Conference held on 12 March 1921 – stopping Abdullah by creating the Emirate of Transjordan for Abdullah in 78% of Mandatory Palestine East of the Jordan River.-The Emirate remained part of the Mandate until granted independence by Great Britain in 1946 – changing its name to the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan.\
  • Article 25 being inserted into the Mandate document on 24 July 1922 - restricting the right of the Jewish people to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in 22% of Mandatory Palestine West of the Jordan River
  • The Council of the League of Nations approving these changed arrangements on 16 September 1922.

These changes have been preserved until today under article 80 of the United Nations Charter.

The United Nations failure to observe the terms of its own Charter has been the greatest obstacle to achieving the Mandate-contemplated two-state solution.

That two-state solution, as opposed to the one espoused by Biden, has however become politically attainable following a detailed plan for its creation in an article dated 8 June - written by Ali Shihabi a close confidante of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman the next King of Saudi Arabia – and published in Al-Arabiya News –owned by the Saudi Royal Family.

Successful negotiations between Israel and Jordan to implement Shihabi’s plan would result in:

  • The merger of Mandate territory located East and West of the Jordan River into one Arab State and
  • the recognition of a Jewish State in the remaining Mandate territory West of the Jordan River including significant swathes of Judea and Samaria.

The last chapter of the Mandate saga begun on 24 July 1922 is on the diplomatic horizon.

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.