Mandate for Palestine - July 24, 1922

Mandate for Palestine - July 24, 1922
Jordan is 77% of former Palestine - Israel, the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza comprise 23%.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Palestine - Pope Forfeits Spiritual And Moral Authority


[Published 20 May 2015]


Pope Francis has suffered a serious blow to his spiritual and moral authority following the Vatican’s recognition of the “State of Palestine” in a new treaty announced on 13 May.

The Vatican’s latest slippery slide into political and legal chaos represents a clear breach of clause 11(2) of the 1993 Fundamental Agreement Between The Holy See And The State Of Israel which provides:
“The Holy See, while maintaining in every case the right to exercise its moral and spiritual teaching-office, deems it opportune to recall that owing to its own character, it is solemnly committed to remaining a stranger to all merely temporal conflicts, which principle applies specifically to disputed territories and unsettled borders.”

Vatican officials openly admitted that this new treaty did not constitute the Holy See’s first breach of the Fundamental Agreement - Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi pointing out:
“We have recognized the State of Palestine ever since it was given recognition by the United Nations and it is already listed as the State of Palestine in our official yearbook,”

This latest challenge to the Pope’s spiritual and moral authority - first transgressed by his predecessor Pope Benedict - arises from the fact that the United Nations recognition of the State of Palestine on 29 November 2012 affirmed:
..."the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to independence in their State of Palestine on the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967…"

600,000 Jews presently live in this designated territory.

PLO Chairman - Mahmoud Abbas - warmly welcomed by Pope Francis this week as a potential “angel of peace” - has insisted upon their total displacement and removal as a condition of any peace agreement.

Abbas made his racist views very clear in Cairo on 28 July 2010 when he told Wafa - the official Palestinian news agency:
“I’m willing to agree to a third party that would supervise the agreement, such as Nato forces, but I would not agree to having Jews among the Nato forces, or that there will live among us even a single Israeli on Palestinian land.”

Abbas - Israel’s putative “partner for peace ” - leads an Organisation that claims the entire territory of former Palestine as another exclusive Arab fiefdom - denying the Jews any political rights in their biblical, ancestral and internationally sanctioned homeland.

Abbas’s continuing refusal to recognise Israel as the nation State of the Jewish people has been a major roadblock to the successful conclusion of negotiations between Israel and the PLO.

Pope Francis - like his predecessor Pope Benedict - is apparently prepared to ignore that Abbas and the PLO remain sworn enemies of the Jewish people - pursuing the total elimination of the Jewish State by armed struggle as documented in the 1968 PLO Charter.

The Pope has strayed from the eternal message of the Psalms - the key to the spirituality of the Old Testament and an essential and permanent part of Christian prayer.

Psalm 28 in the New Jerusalem Bible declares:
"Do not drag me away with the wicked, with evil-doers, who talk to their partners of peace with treachery in their hearts.

Repay them as their deeds deserve, as befits their treacherous actions; as befits their handiwork repay them, let their deserts fall back on themselves.

They do not comprehend the deeds of Yahweh, the work of his hands. May he pull them down and not rebuild them!"

Pope Francis - like Pope Benedict - has joined the evil-doers to the chagrin of the Jewish people.

Pope Benedict’s dessert - the birth of Islamic State in 2014 - has seen the willful killing, forced conversion and wholesale destruction of ancient Christian communities in Iraq and Syria.

Pope Francis’s dessert remains unrevealed.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Palestine - Continuing Jew-hatred Must Exact A Heavy Price


[Published 20 November 2014]


The slaughter of four Rabbis with axes, knives and guns whilst praying in a synagogue along with the serious wounding of six other Jews caught in this horrific blood bath — and the murder of a Druze police officer who went to their rescue — is the end result of endemic Jew-hatred:
1. Begun in the 1920 Jerusalem riots
2. Embodied in the 1964 PLO Covenant, and
3. Reinforced in the 1987 Hamas Charter

Arab Jew-hatred has continued unabated for the last 90 years since the Jewish people’s right to self- determination was unanimously endorsed by the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the UN Charter.

Alarm bells warning of this week’s massacre should have sounded loud and clear when American Secretary of State John Kerry visited Israel on 2 January following Israel releasing 26 long term Palestinian Arab prisoners convicted of murder and other serious criminal offences.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presciently told Kerry on that occasion:
“A few days ago in Ramallah, President Abbas embraced [these] terrorists as heroes. To glorify the murders of innocent women and men as heroes is an outrage. How can President Abbas says — how can he say that he stands against terrorism when he embraces the perpetrators of terrorism and glorifies them as heroes? He can’t stand against terrorists and stand with the terrorists. And I’m wondering what a young Palestinian would think when he sees the leader of the Palestinian people embrace people who axed innocent men and women — axed their heads or blew them up or riddled them with bullets — what’s a young Palestinian supposed to think about the future? What’s he supposed to think about what he should do vis-a-vis Israelis and vis-a-vis the state of Israel? So it’s not surprising that in recent weeks Israel has been subjected to a growing wave of terrorist attacks. President Abbas didn’t see fit to condemn these attacks even after we learned that at least in one case — I stress, at least in one case — those who served and are serving in the Palestinian security forces took part in them.”
Among those 26 prisoners released were:
1. Yakoub Muhammad Ouda Ramadan, Afana Mustafa Ahmad Muhammad, and Da’agna Nufal Mahmad Mahmoud — convicted of stabbing Sara Sharon, 37, to death in Holon on January 20, 1993.
2. Abu Mohsin Khaled Ibrahim Jamal — convicted of the ambush and murder of Shlomo Yahya, a 76-year-old gardener, in a public park in Moshav Kadima and stabbing him to death.
3. Barham Fawzi Mustafa Nasser — convicted for the murder of Morris (Moshe) Edri 65 — a former employer of Nasser who Nasser ambushed and stabbed in the back.
4. Muammar Ata Mahmoud Mahmoud and Salah Khalil Ahmad Ibrahim — convicted of murdering Menahem Stern, a history professor at Hebrew University. Stern, 64, a winner of the prestigious Israel Prize, was stabbed to death while walking to work at the university’s Givat Ram campus on June 22, 1989.
5. Abu Hadir Muhammad Yassin Yassin — convicted for the murder of Yigal Shahaf — shooting him in the head as he and his wife were walking through Jerusalem’s old city toward the Western Wall.
Netanyahu then told Kerry to his face:
“In the six months since the start of peace negotiations, the Palestinian Authority continues its unabated incitement against the state of Israel. This Palestinian Government incitement is rampant. You see it in the state-controlled media — the government-controlled media — in the schools, in textbooks, in kindergartens. You see it at every part of Palestinian society. So instead of preparing Palestinians for peace, Palestinian leaders are teaching them to hate Israel. This is not the way to achieve peace. President Abbas must lead his people away from terror and incitement, towards reconciliation and peace.”

Kerry failed to address this virulent Jew-hatred motivating Palestinian Arabs to murder Jews - ignored the adulation afforded these convicted murderers by Abbas and remained silent on the rampant incitement conducted on a daily basis against Israel.

Instead — Kerry — apparently languishing in a time warp—sought to provide some comforting reassurance for Netanyahu with these incredibly inane remarks:
“On a personal level, last month I travelled to Vietnam on my first visit there as Secretary of State. And the transformation in our relationship—I was a young soldier who fought there—the transformation in our relationship is proof that as painful as the past can be, through hard work of diplomacy history’s adversaries can actually become partners for a new day and history’s challenges can become opportunities for a new age.”

Kerry’s words have turned out to be a massive misjudgement.

It is surely time for America and the European Union especially - and for the rest of the international community generally - to take stock and make clear that:
1. no further financial aid will be given in either Gaza or the West Bank
2. Abbas and his Government will be regarded as persona non-grata
Until:
1. the insidious Jew-hating provisions in the PLO Covenant and Hamas Charter are repealed
2. Government-controlled media and schools excise all references denigrating and demeaning Jews.
3. The PLO is prepared to recognise Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people in any peace agreement signed by Israel and the PLO.
Failure to so act can only see the Jewish-Arab conflict spiralling out of control into a crisis of catastrophic proportions.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Syria Hysteria Dooms Obama's Plan To Destroy ISIL


[Published 21 September 2014]


President Obama’s failed policies in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Egypt and the West Bank do not bode well for the success of the President’s current plans to end the threat to world peace posed by the meteoric rise of both the Islamic State in Syria and the Levant (ISIL) and the Al-Nusrah Front (ANF).

That threat was articulated by UN Security Council Resolution 2701 - passed on 15 August - which expressed:
” its gravest concern that territory in parts of Iraq and Syria is under the control of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Al Nusrah Front (ANF) “

Acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter—the Security Council strongly condemned:
“the indiscriminate killing and deliberate targeting of civilians, numerous atrocities, mass executions and extrajudicial killings, including of soldiers, persecution of individuals and entire communities on the basis of their religion or belief, kidnapping of civilians, forced displacement of members of minority groups, killing and maiming of children, recruitment and use of children, rape and other forms of sexual violence, arbitrary detention, attacks on schools and hospitals, destruction of cultural and religious sites and obstructing the exercise of economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to education, especially in the Syrian governorates of Ar-Raqqah, Deir ez-Zor, Aleppo and Idlib, in northern Iraq, especially in Tamim, Salaheddine and Niniveh Provinces;”

America has subsequently acted as though Resolution 2701 had never been passed.

In his speech to the American nation on 11 September Obama declared:
“Now let’s make two things clear: ISIL is not “Islamic.” No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim. And ISIL is certainly not a state… It is recognized by no government, nor the people it subjugates.”

The President is wrong on both counts.

Firstly — ISIL is Islamic — as its formal Declaration of Statehood on 29 June 2014 proclaims - and this following analysis asserts:
“The Islamic State is not only a terrorist group. It is an extremist, Islamist, political and military organization that holds a radical interpretation of Islam as a political philosophy and seeks to impose that worldview by force on Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Expelled from al-Qaeda for being too extreme, the Islamic State claims to be the legitimate ruler of all Sunni Muslims worldwide. They have established what they regard as a state which includes large swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq, governed from Raqqa in Syria.

It advances a number of theological opinions to support its claims. Its adherents hold that they are merely practicing Islam fully, pronouncing those who disagree with them takfir (heretics).

This designation is used as religious justification for killing the Islamic State’s opponents”

Secondly - ISIL is a State - meeting the legal requirements of Article 1 of the 1933 Montevideo Convention:
“The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications:
(a) a permanent population; (b) a defined territory; (c) government; and (d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states.”

Thirdly - Obama’s claim that ISIL is recognized by no other government is irrelevant — as article 3 of the Montevideo Convention makes indisputably clear:
“The political existence of the state is independent of recognition by the other states."

Obama’s false assumptions are a recipe for policy failure — as the goals enunciated by Obama in the same address clearly demonstrated:
“Our objective is clear: we will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.”
Destroying the UN condemned Al Nusrah Front did not rate a mention. A lukewarm response from 57 Islamic States to help defeat ISIL’s declared world threat to peace was not factored into Obama’s thinking.

Four days later an international conference held in Paris made it clear that Syria was not even part of the battleground where ISIL was to be confronted, degraded and destroyed.

Mouram Daoud—a member of the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change in Syria — an internal opposition coalition — opined that ISIL cannot be defeated militarily without Syria and Turkey’s backing:
“The US administration should first pressure the Turkish partner to stop the flow of jihadists through its airports and stop buying oil from IS. According to [United Nations] Resolution 2170, the US will not be able to strike IS sites in Syria without the approval of the Syrian government, which is eagerly awaiting this type of cooperation to restore its international legitimacy. But the US will not include the Syrian government in this war, and will not recognize the government either. This means that the US will stick to its decision to only provide weapons to the Syrian [rebel] factions.”

Obama’s mantra - first delivered in August 2011 - remains unchanged:
“The future of Syria must be determined by its people, but President Bashar al-Assad is standing in their way. For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside.”

Not even 200000 deaths and the creation of millions of Syrian civilian refugees since 2011 have produced any momentum for rapprochement between Obama and Assad that would enable Assad to extend - and Obama to accept - any invitation to confront ISIL in occupied Syria.

Any expectation that Assad and his backers — Russia, Iran and Hezbollah — will help Obama by destroying ISIL in Syria - is a pipe dream.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Russia And America Must Jointly Confront Islamic State



[Published 18 September 2015]


The possibility that Russia and America may at long last be seeking common ground on confronting Islamic State has been increased with US Secretary of State John Kerry revealing that his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov has approached America proposing military talks over Syria.

Kerry told reporters:
“The Russians proposed in the conversation I had today and the last conversation specifically that we have military-to-military conversation and meeting in order to discuss ... precisely what will be done to de-conflict with respect to any potential risks that might be run, and to have a complete and clear understanding as to the road ahead and what the intentions are,”
Russia is concerned to ensure that America will not take the opportunity to use any jointly agreed action against Islamic State as a pretext to try and oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad or weaken his hold on power.

America suspects that Moscow’s motives in sending 200 Russian naval infantry soldiers, seven tanks, a portable air traffic control station and components of an air defense system to an Assad-stronghold airbase near Latakia on the Mediterranean coast is part of an ongoing military build-up to support Assad’s continued hold on power.

Russia would also not have been too impressed with White House spokesman Josh Earnest reportedly stating a few days earlier:
“What we would prefer to see from the Russians is a more constructive engagement with the 60-member coalition that’s led by the United States that’s focused on degrading and ultimately destroying ISIL,”
Eleven members of that US coalition comprise a group known as the London 11 supporting and arming the rebels fighting Assad for the last five years.

American and Russian distrust of the other’s possible motives in Syria were successfully put aside when they co-operated to have all chemical weapons in Syria held by Assad and his opponents destroyed by jointly securing the passing of Security Council Resolution 2118 (2013) on 27 September 2013.

Such agreement - reached between Russia and America without threatening to either restrict or extend Assad’s hold on power - was an impressive diplomatic achievement. However it only came about after they both decided to focus on destroying all chemical weapons in Syria — rather than focusing on whether Assad or the rebels was responsible for the use of chemical weapons that caused the deaths of 1429 Syrians on 21 August 2013.

Security Council Resolution 2118 ended the deadlock that had paralysed the Security Council’s efforts to end the civil war in Syria for the previous thirty months.

Russia and America now need to solely focus on defeating Islamic State - whilst putting their support for Assad or his overthrow on the backburner until Islamic State is defeated.

They can achieve this by jointly sponsoring another Security Council resolution under Chapter VII article 42 of the United Nations Charter which empowers the Security Council to:
“take such action by air, sea, or land forces as may be necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security. Such action may include demonstrations, blockade, and other operations by air, sea, or land forces of Members of the United Nations.”
Every day’s delay in securing the passage of such a resolution - and acting on it - means further deaths, injuries and suffering for the Syrian and Iraqi populations at the hands of Islamic State. Internal displacement of those populations inside Syria and Iraq, or to neighbouring countries - or even into the European Union - has had disastrous consequences that have shocked all people of compassion and goodwill over the last three weeks.

The time for procrastinating, arguing and blaming is surely over.

Obama And Kerry Must Stop Playing Games With Israel's Future


[Published 9 September 2015]


Attempting to secure the Congressional vote required to confirm President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran has necessitated Secretary for State John Kerry pledging Obama’s “rock solid” diplomatic support and increased military assistance for Israel — the bitterest opponent of Obama’s Iranian proposal.

Speaking at the National Constitution Center on 2 September—Kerry said:
"And diplomatically, our support for Israel also remains rock solid as we continue to oppose every effort to delegitimize the Jewish state, or to pass biased resolutions against it in international bodies."
Kerry continued:
"I take a back seat to no one in my commitment to the security of Israel, a commitment I demonstrated through my 28-plus years in the Senate. And as Secretary of State, I am fully conscious of the existential nature of the choice Israel must make…"
If Kerry is to be seriously believed then he must reassure Congress — irrespective of its vote on Iran - that the commitments made to Israel by President Bush in his letter dated 14 April 2004 supporting Israel’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza will be scrupulously adhered to by the current Obama administration.

Kerry unequivocally supported those Presidential commitments when interviewed by Tim Russert on Meet the Press on 18 April 2004:
RUSSERT: On Thursday, President Bush broke with the tradition and policy of six predecessors when he said that Israel can keep part of the land seized in the 1967 Middle East War and asserted the Palestinian refugees cannot go back to their particular homes. Do you support President Bush?

KERRY: Yes.

RUSSERT: Completely?

KERRY: Yes.
Those commitments included:
1. Preventing any attempt to impose any plan other than President Bush’s Roadmap envisioned by him on 24 June 2002.
2. Being strongly committed to Israel’s security and well-being as a Jewish state.
3. Understanding that an agreed, just, fair and realistic framework for a solution to the Palestinian refugee issue as part of any final status agreement would need to be found through the establishment of a Palestinian state, and the settling of Palestinian refugees there, rather than in Israel.
4. Accepting as part of a final peace settlement that Israel must have secure and recognized borders, which should emerge from negotiations between the parties in accordance with UNSC Resolutions 242 and 338.
5. Acknowledging that in light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it would be unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations would be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949,
Bush’s commitments were overwhelmingly endorsed by the House of Representatives 407-9 on 23 June 2004 and the Senate 95-3 the next day (“the Bush/Congress Commitments”).

Obama attempted to water down these commitments in 2011 by suggesting possible Israeli land swaps be made for any territory Israel acquired in the West Bank.

Kerry piggybacked Obama in 2013 - inducing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to resume negotiations with Israel with this letter:
Dear Mr. President

In response to your question regarding our position on the issue of borders, this letter is to confirm that the position set forth by President Obama in his May 2011 speeches, that Palestine’s borders with Israel should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, still represents our position. As negotiations begin, I reiterate our commitment to this position. As you confirmed, this letter is and will remain private and confidential between you and me.”
Playing such furtive games with Abbas contrary to the Bush/Congress Commitments is now surely over following Kerry’s statement. Those commitments are set in concrete - binding all American administrations including Obama’s.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Iran - Is Obama Conning 340 Rabbis or 200 Generals?


[Published 3 September 2015]


The upcoming debate and vote in the US Congress to endorse the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran (JCPOA) has become even more critical now that President Obama has reportedly secured the necessary votes to veto any Congressional resolution of disapproval.

Congress has been flooded with petitions - ostensibly neither Democrat nor Republican - urging Congressmen to cast their votes by crossing political party lines.

340 Rabbis in their appeal to Congress dated 17 August — have made the following assertions:
1. The Obama administration has successfully brought together the major international powers to confront Iran over its nuclear ambitions. The broad international sanctions moved Iran to enter this historic agreement. Should this agreement be rejected by the U.S. Congress, those sanctions will end. There will be no new negotiations, as the other member countries are fully in favor of this agreement and have no desire to re-negotiate.

2. We understand that while this agreement blocks Iran’s path to a nuclear bomb, we recognize it does not deal with Iran’s support for terror, but that was never the purpose of these talks.

On the other hand some 200 retired generals and admirals in their open letter to Congress dated 25 August — have counterclaimed:
1. As you know, on July 14, 2015, the United States and five other nations announced that a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) has been reached with Iran to prevent it from developing nuclear weapons. In our judgment as former senior military officers, the agreement will not have that effect.

2. There is no credibility within JCPOA’s inspection process or the ability to snap back sanctions once lifted, should Iran violate the agreement. In this and other respects, the JCPOA would threaten the national security and vital interests of the United States and, therefore, should be disapproved by the Congress.

3. The agreement as constructed does not “cut off every pathway” for Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. To the contrary, it actually provides Iran with a legitimate path to doing that simply by abiding by the deal. JCPOA allows all the infrastructure the Iranians need for a nuclear bomb to be preserved and enhanced. Notably, Iran is allowed to: continue to enrich uranium; develop and test advanced centrifuges; and continue work on its Arak heavy-water plutonium reactor. Collectively, these concessions afford the Iranians, at worst, a ready breakout option and, at best, an incipient nuclear weapons capability a decade from now.

These claims are highly disturbing and require a reasoned and detailed rebuttal by President Obama prior to the Congress vote — especially since President Obama sought to assure America to the contrary in the following statement made by him on 15 July at his Press Conference:
"It [JCPOA] solves one particular problem, which is making sure they don’t have a bomb. And the point I’ve repeatedly made and I believe is hard to dispute is that it’ll be a lot easier for us to check Iran’s nefarious activities, to push back against the other areas where they operate contrary to our interests or our allies’ interests if they don’t have the bomb."

The considered opinion of 200 retired generals and admirals cannot be brushed off with a deafening silence from President Obama — nor can those 340 Rabbis who call for support of the President on the basis of an “understanding”.

Before it votes - Congress should demand that President Obama provide it with written reasons substantiating that Iran cannot get the bomb under the terms of the concluded JCPOA.

Who has Obama conned - the Rabbis or the Generals? Congress—and the world - need to know.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Palestine - Changed Narratives Need To Nurture New Negotiations


[Published 26 August 2015]


France is not expected to present its anticipated draft proposal for the declaration of a Palestinian State to the U.N. Security Council in September — having reportedly been criticized both by Israel - which does not want any external solution imposed on it - and by the PLO - which fears the Security Council will not meet its demands.

The Oslo Accords and the Bush Roadmap are dead and buried — even if the headstone is yet to be ceremoniously unveiled marking the actual date when the collective records, transcripts and secret minutes detailing fruitless negotiations conducted during the last 20 years between Israel and the now-disbanded Palestinian Authority were finally consigned to the graveyard of history.

It is now also becoming increasingly apparent that creating a 22nd independent Arab State between Israel, Jordan and Egypt can:
1. ever peacefully eventuate without Israel, Jordan and Egypt’s express consent

2. be unilaterally imposed on Israel as a result of any resolution passed by the United Nations Security Council contrary to the express terms of its own Resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).
Filling this potentially explosive void will require the groundwork to first be meticulously prepared before any new negotiations can actually be undertaken to try and resolve competing Arab and Jewish claims to sovereignty in the remaining 6% of the territory of the former Mandate for Palestine — Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), East Jerusalem and Gaza — where sovereignty still remains undetermined (“the disputed territories”).

Such groundwork will require the following factual narratives to have been commonly agreed on and adopted by the negotiating parties prior to commencing negotiations to resolve the conflict:
1. Two of Israel’s immediately adjoining neighbours — Jordan and Egypt — have recognised the existence of Israel as a sovereign State in peace treaties signed by them with Israel in 1979 and 1994 respectively. These peace treaties have been honoured and respected during difficult periods when they might have been abrogated. They stand as a tribute to the determination of all three sovereign States to maintain a state of peace and avoid a position of confrontation as differences were resolved. Jordan and Egypt are accordingly indispensable parties to any new negotiations with Israel — if Arab sovereignty is to be established in any parts of the disputed territories.

2. Two of Israel’s other immediately adjoining neighbours — the PLO and Hamas — have since 1964 and 1988 respectively maintained in their respective Charters that the Jews have no claims to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in any part of the territory of the Mandate for Palestine vested in the Jews by the unanimous vote of all 51 members of the League of Nations in 1922. Including either the PLO or Hamas in any new negotiations is pointless and meaningless whilst those Charters remain unrevoked.

3. The on-going conflict needs to be re-branded “the Jewish-Arab conflict” replacing “the Israeli-Palestinian conflict”. The current conflict had its origins in the events that took place during World War 1 — well before the State of Israel was declared in 1948. Marginalising the ongoing conflict by avoiding any consideration of the events that occurred between 1915 and 1948 has operated to paper over any proper discussion of the many opportunities presented to and rejected by the Arabs in relation to gaining territorial sovereignty in the disputed territories during that time - and indeed after 1948. This could impact on the current Arab claims to sovereignty over any of the disputed territories which may have been jeopardised or prejudiced as a result.

4. Recognition that the territory of the Mandate for Palestine is currently under Jewish sovereignty in 17% (Israel), Arab sovereignty in 78% (Jordan) with the remaining 6% comprising the disputed territories.

5. Claims that the building of Jewish settlements in the disputed territory are illegal in international law — based on the 1949 Fourth Geneva Convention - need to be reconsidered having regard to the following prior territory-specific piece of legislation — Article 6 of the 1922 Mandate for Palestine — legalising such Jewish settlement:
"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.”

Pursuant to this provision — preserved in 1945 by article 80 of the UN Charter - Jews have legally settled in the disputed territories between 1922 and 1947 - and since 1967.

6. The continued use of language referring to the disputed territories as being “occupied territory” or “Occupied Palestinian Territories” and the need for Israel to “end the occupation” fails to recognise that it was the Jews whose occupation in the disputed territories was first abruptly ended in 1948 — after every single Jew then living there was forcibly driven out by six invading Arab armies and not allowed to return until after the Six Day War in 1967.

Unless these narratives are changed, nurtured and mutually accepted by the parties before formal negotiations actually begin - one can confidently predict that any fanfare trumpeting yet another round of negotiations will be destined to see those negotiations inevitably end up in their own designated graveyard plot alongside the tomb housing the Oslo-Roadmap failed negotiations.

Negotiations based on shaky foundations without real substance can only guarantee their eventual death-throes.