Part 1 - Background
The Mandate for Palestine
In April 1920, the San Remo Conference decided to assign the Palestine Mandate under the League of Nations to Britain. The agreed text of this Mandate was confirmed by the Council of the League of Nations in July 1922 . The aim of the Mandate, as stated in its preamble and Article 2 was to prepare the area for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people. ” There is no mention of the establishment of a national home for the Arabs. In fact, the term Palestinian Arabs, is completely absent from the various documents of this period. Palestinian Arabs, who now claim a history extending over thousands of years, were never heard of 70 years ago!
The area known as Palestine in this Mandate document extended from the Mediterranean to the eastern border of what is today known as Jordan. Article 6 of this document stated that an aim of the Mandate was to “encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency,... close settlement by Jews on the land .”
Article 25 allowed the Mandatory Power, with the consent of the League of Nations, “to postpone or withhold application” of certain articles of this Mandate in the area known as Transjordan . Although this meant that Jewish settlement organised by the Jewish agency could no longer take place in Transjordan, individual Jewish settlement was not excluded . It must however be stressed that Transjordan was always part of the British Mandate over Palestine .
In March 1946, Britain acting unilaterally and contrary to Article 5 of the Mandate, detached the area of Transjordan from the Mandate and set up “a sovereign independent State” named Transjordan . This act had no foundation in law and thus the legality of the country of Transjordan has always been very questionable.
The United Nations Resolution of November 1947
On 29 November 1947, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution dividing up Palestine west of the Jordan River into two independent states, a Jewish one and an Arab one . The Arabs rejected this resolution and as soon as Israel was born, five Arabs countries attacked in order to destroy her. Thus begun the War of Independence. In this war Israel succeeded in acquiring a large part of the area allocated by the United Nations to the Arab state. This included West Jerusalem, Beersheba, Ramla, Lod, Nazareth, Acre, Nahariya, Jaffa, Ashdod and Ashkelon . The area of Judea and Samaria, (described by the world as the “West Bank”) was occupied and annexed by Jordan, and Egypt captured the area known as the Gaza Strip. The only countries in the world to recognise Jordan’s annexation were Britain and Pakistan .
The Six Day War
In June 1967, Egypt, Jordan and Syria made an unprovoked attack on Israel. As a result of this attack, the Six Day War broke out. During the course of this war, Israel succeeded in acquiring Judea and Samaria, the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights.
In the following years, leading international lawyers discussed Israel’s international rights to Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, and they concluded that Israel has a better title to these areas than any other country in the world. These legal authorities included, Professor Julius Stone , Professor Stephen Schwebel , Professor Yehuda Blum , Dr. Benjamin Halevi and Alan Levine .
Israeli Settlements in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip
Since the Six Day War, Israel has built settlements in these areas (including east Jerusalem) and towards the end of 2003, there were about 400,000 Jews living there .
The world as well as the Israeli Left has been condemning these settlements as illegal. What in fact is their status?
The late Eugene Rostow, who was Professor of Law at Yale University and U.S. Assistant Under-Secretary of State, wrote, “Since the Palestine Mandate conferred the right to settle in the West Bank on the Jews, that right has not been extinguished, and, under Article 80 of the [United Nations] Charter, cannot be extinguished unilaterally .” It follows that one therefore cannot describe any Jewish settlement in these areas as illegal. This naturally includes “outposts” which the Israeli Government is in the process of dismantling in response to American pressure. It should be pointed out that President Bush’s actions in condemning settlement building and demanding the demolishing of the outposts, are a flagrant breach of the U. N. Charter to which his country is a signatory.
Jews from Arab Countries
Jews have lived in Arab countries for thousands of years. They were often persecuted and such persecution greatly intensified from the end of 1947. Three quarters of a million Jews fled to Israel, either having their property and assets confiscated or having to abandon them . This property and assets have been valued at one hundred billion dollars.
Transfer of Population
Transfer of population has been successfully put into practice in the 20th century in different parts of the world. Here are some of examples of such transfers:
Following World War I there was a compulsory transfer of population involving nearly two million people between Greece and Turkey. This transfer had been proposed by Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Fridtjof Nansen.
At about the same period there was an exchange of population between Greece and Bulgaria.
After Pakistan split from India in August 1947, 8 million Hindus went from Pakistan to India and 6 million Muslims in the reverse direction. This was an operation which had broad international support.
A discussion of the advantages and moral aspects of transfer of population is given in Part 3 of this paper.
A Historical Survey on Transfer of Arabs from Eretz Israel
It is a common misconception that the idea of transfer of Arabs from Eretz Israel originated with Rabbi Meir Kahane. In fact this idea stems from Theodor Herzl himself. In his private diary entry in June 1895, he wrote regarding the indigenous non-Jews in the Jewish State, “We shall try and spirit the penniless population across the border by procuring employment for it in the transit countries whilst denying it any employment in our own country. ” Further, his Charter for Palestine of 1901, gave the right to transfer Arabs from Palestine to any other part of the Ottoman Empire .
Herzl was not the only Zionist leader to make such proposals. David Ben-Gurion repeatedly made such proposals in his private diary and in closed meetings . He even said “I favour compulsory transfer [of Arabs]. I see nothing unethical in it .” Immediately after the establishment of the State of Israel, he gave the order to expel the Arabs from Lod and Ramla . He was also angry that they had not been expelled from Nazareth , and that Abba Hushi, who was later the Mayor of Haifa, tried to persuade them to remain .
Chaim Weizmann, the liberal, told the British Colonial Secretary that “the Jews ... will help in getting Arabs out of Galilee .” In fact, the majority of the Zionist leaders - for example, Berl Katznelson , Leo Motzkin , Nachman Syrkin , Menachem Ussishkin , Yosef Weitz - put forward proposals for such transfer.
In 1937, the Jewish Agency Executive set up a Committee whose function was to “prepare a programme for the transfer of [the Arab] population and to coordinate the information required for this .”
The Six Day War with its consequent large increase of Arabs under Israel’s jurisdiction, spurred on further transfer proposals. In a Cabinet meeting held a week after the war, Abba Eban and Pinchas Sapir called for the transfer of the Arab refugees residing in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza strip to the neigbouring Arab countries . In 1970, Chaim Herzog stated at a seminar, “Were it possible for us to take a million Arabs and move them out, it would be good .”
Such proposals were not limited to Jews. It was President Franklin Roosevelt who stated that “Palestine should be for the Jews and no Arabs should be in it .” His predecessor President Herbert Hoover worked on a plan to resettle the Arabs from Palestine in Iraq . The pro-Arabist Harry St. John Philby, worked for several years on a transfer plan and said that “Western Palestine should be handed over completely to the Jews, clear of Arab population.... .”
In 1939, Mojli Amin,, a member of the Arab Defense Committee for Palestine, put forward a proposal to transfer the Arabs of Palestine to Arab countries in exchange for Jews then living in Arab countries. This proposal was published in Damascus and distributed among the Arab leaders .
Public bodies also put forward transfer proposals. The British Royal Commission under the Chairmanship of Lord Peel thoroughly studied the situation in Palestine in 1936/7, interviewed over one hundred witnesses and in their detailed 400 page report unanimously included the recommendation for the transfer of Arabs, if necessary by compulsion, from the proposed Jewish state .
Another British public body to propose transfer was the British Labour Party who, in a Resolution at their Annual Conference of 1944, overwhelmingly voted for the encouraging of the Arabs of Palestine to move out .
Part 2 - The “Accord”
Borders of the two states
Population of the two states
Part 3 - Answers to Objections to “Accord”
It is naive to expect that there will be no objections to this “accord” from the world and from the Israeli Left. Let us therefore try to anticipate these objections by giving our answers here.
Is not transfer “racial cleansing”?
a) Many people erroneously believe, that population transfers originated with the Nazis who adopted large-scale transfer of national minorities as part of their “New Order” in Europe . Such transfers are undiluted “racial cleansing” and must be highly deplored.
In fact, well before the Nazi era, successful and beneficial population transfers took place. The reason for such transfers was summed up in an article on the exchange of populations appearing in the “Encyclopaedia Britannica: “The mixture of populations had led to so much political trouble in modern times that this unmixing process must be regarded as a very considerable advantage .”
A classic case of such a transfer took place between Greece and Turkey soon after World War I. This transfer was proposed by the Nobel Peace Prize winner, Fridtjof Nansen and it involved the transfer of about two million persons.
It was so successful that the British Royal Commission, under the Chairmanship of Lord Peel, when considering the Palestine problem in 1936/7, introduced it as a precedent . They unanimously recommended that a similar population transfer, compulsory if necessary, be implemented in Palestine. They felt that this was the only constructive and permanent solution of the Arab-Jewish conflict over Palestine.
This Commission was comprised of six distinguished Englishmen with highly respected backgrounds and it could not be suggested that their motives were “racial cleansing.” Since then a further three Nobel Peace Prize Winners , two American Presidents and many distinguished Jews and non-Jews have proposed the transfer of Arabs from Palestine.
Over 65 years have passed since the Royal Commission made this recommendation. Today relations between the Arabs and the Jews are no better than they were then. If anything, terrorism and the negative relation of Arabs to the State of Israel are increasing from year to year. In the early years of the State of Israel, there were two Arab parties in the Knesset allied to the dominant Mapai (Labour) party. These two parties had a total of 5 seats . However, as time went on they disappeared and were replaced by Arab nationalistic parties, each trying to be more extreme than the next!
b) Of course, mass transfer of population, or, for that matter, transfer of individuals is not to be undertaken lightly, but it is sometimes the only solution to a problem. It was a former director of the Pan-European Union who wrote of population transfer, “To cut the cancer from a sick body is not cruel, it is necessary .”
Let us not pretend that transfer is not painful. People are uprooted from their homes, moved to a different location and then have to reorganise their lives. But what is the alternative? Continual wars, terrorism, numerous people who are killed and maimed for life. As the Jewish writer Israel Zangwill wrote on this question, “One single act of compulsion is better for both sides than perpetual friction .”
c) One should mention here that the Government of Israel has forcibly transferred Jews. This was done with the full support of the Left, who made no suggestion that it was “ethnic cleansing”! This occurred in 1982 when Israel transferred the thousands of Jews living in the various settlements in the Sinai peninsula, including the entire city of Yamit. This was absolutely against the will of those settlers and they were even removed in cages! They were given no option to remain .
d) Section 4 paragraph 5 of the “Geneva Accord” of Beilin et al. states that 100,000 Jews at present living in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza strip will be compulsorily transferred to within the borders of their intended State of Israel . They obviously do not consider such compulsory transfer of all the Jews from their intended State of Palestine to be “ethnic cleansing.” There is no option included for these Jews to remain in the intended State of Palestine. In contrast, no Arab would be required to leave the intended State of Israel.
Why not the pre-1967 borders?
One might well ask why not make the borders of Israel identical to those prior to the Six Day War and those of the Palestine state the areas of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip?
There are a number of answers to this question:
a) In the partition plan of November 1947, Palestine west of the River Jordan was divided into two states, an Arab state and a Jewish state, and the plan precisely defined the borders of each of these states. As a result of the Arab attack on the emerging Jewish state, the War of Independence followed and Israel acquired part of the area of the intended Arab state, (we shall call the resultant borders the “1949 borders”). As a result of a further attack in 1967, Israel acquired the remainder of the area allocated to the intended Arab state, (and we shall call the resultant borders the “1967 borders”).
One could call the United Nations 1947 borders, borders which were recognised by this world body. However, the areas acquired in the War of Independence and in the Six Day War, have the same status - namely, areas acquired during a war. One could therefore understand (although not agree with) those wanting to fix the borders of the Jewish and Arab states according to the 1947 borders. But why should those on the Left choose the 1949 borders, rather than the 1967 borders, for the future borders of Israel?
b) One does not require a degree in War Studies to realise that the 1949 borders of Israel were indefensible. There was the very narrow waist - a mere 15 km - on the coastal strip, making it easy for an enemy to bisect Israel. There was also the narrow Jerusalem corridor, surrounded on three sides by Jordan making it easy to besiege Jerusalem.
c) A few weeks after the end of the Six Day War, the United States Secretary of Defence asked Earle Wheeler, the Chairman of the American Joint Chiefs of Staff, to put forward “the minimum territory, in addition to that held on 4 June 1967, Israel might be justified in retaining in order to permit a more effective defense against possible conventional Arab attack and terrorist raids.” In Wheeler’s secret memorandum, he considered that this minimum area included about two thirds of the area of Judea and Samaria and the entire Gaza Strip .
d) The Security Council Resolution 242 of November 1967 states that Israel has the “right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries .” Those of 1949 were certainly not “secure boundaries”!
e) A few days before the outbreak of the Six Day War, Jordan, (who then thought she would conquer Israel!) told the Security Council, “The [Armistice] Agreement [of 1949] did not fix boundaries; it fixed the demarcation line .”
f) It was Abba Eban, who was on the left-wing of the Israel Labour Party, who said, “We have openly said that the map will never be the same as on June 4, 1967. For us, this is a matter of security and of principles. The June map is for us equivalent to insecurity and danger. I do not exaggerate when I say that it has for us something of a memory of Auschwitz .”
The Israel-Arab Reader. third revised edition, ed. Walter Laqueur, (New York: Bantam Books, 1976), p.34.
Ibid., pp.34, 35.
Dr. Paul Riebenfeld, Professor of Political Science, Touro College, New York, The Palestinian Issue in the Middle East, (London: Conservative Friends of Israel, 1977), p.8.
Ibid., pp.4, 8; J. Nedava, Professor of Political Science, (The Institute for Israel’s Heritage, [n.d.]), p.6.
Ibid., p.11; Ibid., p.9.
Ibid.; Ibid., pp.10, 13.
The Israel-Arab Reader, op. cit., pp.113-22.
Martin Gilbert, The Arab-Israeli Conflict - Its History in Maps (Hebrew), (Ministry of Defence, Israel, 1994), p.52.
e.g. Meir Shamgar, “The Observance of International Law in the Administered Territories”, Israel Yearbook on Human Rights, vol. 1, 1971, (Faculty of Law, Tel-Aviv University), p.264.
Professor Julius Stone, No Peace - No War in the Middle East, (Sydney: Maitland Publications, 1970), p.40.
Professor Stephen Schwebel, Israel Yearbook on Human Rights, vol. 1, 1971, op. cit., p.374 (symposium).
Professor Yehuda Blum, “The Missing Reversioner: Reflections on the Status of Judea and Samaria”, Israel Law Review, vol. 3, no. 2, April 1968, (Faculty of Law, Hebrew University of Jerusalem), p.294.
Dr. Benjamin Halevi, Israel Yearbook on Human Rights, vol. 1, 1971, op. cit., p.369 (symposium).
Alan Levine, “The Status of Sovereignty in East Jerusalem and the West Bank”, New York University Journal of International Law and Politics, vol. 5, no. 3, Winter 1972, p.495.
Beilin et al., Geneva Accord, November 2003, (Hebrew text), pp. 7, 10.
Eugene V. Rostow, Comment and Correspondence, Foreign Affairs, vol. 58, No. 4., Spring 1980, (Council on Foreign Relations U.S.A.), p.956.
The Hon. Terence Prittie and Bernard Dineen, The Double Exodus, (London: The Goodhart Press, [n.d.]), pp.20-26; Samuel Katz, Battleground: Fact and Fantasy in Palestine, (New York: Steimatzky, 1985), pp. 33-37.
“Jewish Property in Muslim Countries: $100 Billion”, Jewish Post (New York), (Internet: http://www.jewishpost.com/jp0908/jpn0908j.htm).
e.g. “Refugees”, Encyclopaedia Brittanica, vol. 19, (Chicago, 1963), pp.58-62.
Theodor Herzl, Handwritten Diary entry 12 June 1895, (Central Zionist Archives (CZA) H ii B i) ; The Complete Diaries of Theodor Herzl, trans. Harry Zohn, (New York: Herzl Press, 1960), vol.1, p.88.
Theodor Herzl, Uebereinkommen uber die Privilegien, Rechte, Schuldigkeiten u. Pflichten der Judische-Ottomanischen Land-Compagnie (J.O.L.C.) zur Besiedelung von Palastina und Syrien, (CZA H vi A 2); Adolf Bohm, Die Zionistische Bewegung, (Berlin: Judischer Verlag, 1935), pp.706; Walid Khalidi, “The Jewish-Ottoman Land Company: Herzl’s Blueprint for the Colonization of Palestine”, Journal of Palestine Studies, (Berkeley), vol.XXII no.2 (Winter 1993), pp.44-45, (English translation).
e.g. David Ben-Gurion, Handwritten Diary entries 12 July 1937, 10 December 1938, (Ben Gurion Archives ).
e.g. Minutes of Meeting Jewish Agency Executive, Jerusalem, vol.25/3, no.65a, 10 July 1936, p.3, (CZA).
Ibid., vol.28, no.53, 12 June 1938, afternoon session, pp.8-9 aleph, (CZA).
Benny Morris, “Operation Dani and the Palestinian Exodus from Lydda and Ramle in 1948”, The Middle East Journal, (Washington D.C.), vol.40, no.1, Winter 1986, p.91; Michael Bar-Zohar, Ben-Gurion - A Political Biography, vol. 2, (Tel-Aviv: Am Oved, 1977), p.775.
Bar-Zohar, op. cit., p.776.
“Hamahapach”, Al Hamishmar, (Tel-Aviv), 5 April 1985, Pesach supplement, p.29; Yoram Nimrod, Patterns of Israeli-Arab Relations: The Formative Years, 1947 - 1950, Doctoral Thesis, (Hebrew University, Jerusalem, 1985), p.268.
Minutes of meeting between Ormsby-Gore and Weizmann, 19 July 1937, (Public Record Office London (PRO) Colonial Office (CO) 733/328/4 6029); Minutes in Handwriting of Ormsby-Gore, (PRO CO 733/352 75718/21).
Al Darcei M'dinateinu, (Tel-Aviv: Central Office of Ihud Poalei Zion - Hitahdut, 1938), pp.179-80.
Leo Motzkin, “Unsere Palastinapolitik”, Juedische Rundschau, (Berlin), no.28, 12 July 1912, p.261; Sefer Motzkin, ed. Alex Bein, (Jerusalem: Zionist Executive & Executive of World Jewish Congress, 1939), pp.163-64.
“Ben-Eliezer” (pen-name for Nachman Syrkin), Die Judenfrage und der Socialistische Judenstaat, (Bern: Stieger & Cie, 1898), pp.59-61; Writings of Nachman Syrkin, arr. Berl Katznelson and Yehudah Kuperman, (Tel-Aviv: Davar, 1939), pp.53-54.
“Lecture by M. M. Ussishkin before Journalists”, Doar Hayom, (Jerusalem), 28 April 1930, pp.1, 4.
Yosef Weitz, Handwritten Diary entry 20 December 1940, pp.1090-91, (CZA A246/7) ; Yosef Weitz, My Diary and Letters to the Children, (Ramat Gan: Masada, 1965), vol.2, pp.181-82.
Minutes of Meeting Jewish Agency Executive (Jerusalem), vol. 27/1, no.14, 21 November 1937, p.3, (CZA).
Minutes of Meeting Population Transfer Committee, 15 November 1937, (CZA S25/10060).
From private diaries kept by Yaacov Herzog, Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office. Revealed in June 1987 by Meir Avidan and in February 1988 by Yossi Melman and Dan Raviv.
quoted by Mordechai Nisan, The Jewish State and the Arab Problem, (Tel Aviv: Hadar, 1986), p.117.
The Diaries of Edward R. Stettinius Jr. 1943 - 1946, ed. Thomas M. Campbell and George C. Herring, (New York: New Viewpoints, 1975), p.170.
“Hoover Urges Resettling Arabs to Solve Palestine Problem”, World - Telegram, (New York), 19 November 1945, p.1.
Notes on Meeting between Weizmann, Shertok, Namier and Philby, 6 October 1939, p.1, (Weizmann Archives).
Proposal, 21 May 1939, (CZA S25/5630).
Palestine Royal Commission Report, Cmd. 5479, London, July 1937, Chapter xxii, (henceforth Peel Report), para.43, 44, pp. 391-92.
Report of the Forty-third Annual Conference of the Labour Party, (London, 1944: Transport House), p.140.
Joseph B. Schechtman, Postwar Population Transfers in Europe 1945-1955, (University of Pennsylvania Press, 1962), p.389.
“Refugees and the Exchange of Populations”, Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol.19, (Chicago, 1955), p.56.
Peel Report, para 40, p.390.
This Commission was chaired by Lord Peel, a former Secretary of State for India. The five other members were Sir Horace Rumbold, one of the ablest men in the Diplomatic Service with wide experience as Minister and Ambassador in many countries of the world; Sir Laurie Hammond, a distinguished Indian Civil Servant; Sir William Morris Carter, an ex-Colonial Chief Justice, better known for his searching analysis of the problems of native lands and interests confronted with an immigrant community, both in Rhodesia and Kenya; Sir Harold Morris, the universally acclaimed Chairman of the Industrial Court in Britain; and Professor Reginald Coupland, Professor of Colonial History at Oxford, whose knowledge and study of Colonial administration in the then British Colonial Empire and in other colonial spheres was well known to students throughout the world.
Sir Norman Angell, Christian Lange and Philip Noel-Baker.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt and President Herbert Hoover.
Examples in addition to the Zionist leaders given above, include the Jewish writer, Israel Zangwill; Father of the Yishuv, Baron Edmond de Rothschild; Chairman of the Jewish Agency Administrative Committee, Felix Warburg and the British industrialist and Zionist, Israel Sieff.
Examples include the President of Czechoslovakia, Dr. Eduard Benes; Ambassador William Bullitt; the historian and philosopher, Edward Bevan; Colonel Richard Meinertzhagen; the English theologian and historian, Rev. Dr. James Parkes; the Democratic Senator from Florida, Claude Pepper and the English philosopher and mathematician, Bertrand Russell.
“Israel, State of (Political Life)”, Encyclopaedia Judaica, vol. 9, (Jerusalem: Keter, 1971) cols. 667-68.
Schechtman, op. cit., pp.374-75.
“Zangwill on Weizmann”, The Jewish Chronicle, (London), 27 February 1920, pp.18-19.
See the various Israeli newspapers of April 1982.
Beilin et al., op. cit., pp.20-21.
The Meaning of “Secure Borders”, (Tel-Aviv: Israelis Reply, [n.d.]), p.13.
Map of minimum territory needed by Israel for defensive purposes. Secret memorandum sent by Earle G. Wheeler, Chairman of the American Joint Chiefs of Staff to the Secretary of Defense on the subject of Middle East Boundaries, (JCSM 373-67).
The Israel-Arab Reader, op. cit., p.365.
quoted by Blum, op. cit., p.291.
quoted from Der Spiegel, 5 November 1969, by David Bedein, “Abba Eban: the June 1967 map represented Israel’s “Auschwitz” borders, (Internet: http://israelbehindthenews.com/Archives/Nov-17-02.htm).
Israel's Title under International Law to Judea and Samaria ("West Bank") and the Gaza Strip and the Legality of Jewish Settlement in these Areas (including specific reference to Hebron)
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A Historical Survey of Proposals toTransfer Arabs from Palestine,
1895 - 1947
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