Politics

Jordan/West Bank reunification key to peace in Jerusalem


An alternative one-state solution that separates Jews and Arabs–reducing conflict- is feasible


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Jordan/West Bank reunification key to peace in JerusalemSeparating Jews and Arabs in former Palestine– first decreed by the League of Nations 100 years ago under article 25 of the Mandate for Palestine and subsequently endorsed by the United Nations in its 1947 Partition Plan – has become even more urgent following:

  • the outpouring of rabid Jew-hatred emanating from the Temple Mount in Jerusalem during Ramadan 
  • three Jewish fathers being murdered—leaving 16 Jewish children fatherless—and seven more Jews being wounded—in an axe and knife wielding bloodbath perpetrated by two Arabs

Violent Arab riots against Jews first occurred in 1920 and 1921.

Secretary of State for the Colonies—Winston Churchill—in his White Paper dated June 3, 1922 -had sought to allay Arab fears of a Jewish takeover of all of Palestine 

“Unauthorized statements have been made to the effect that the purpose in view is to create a wholly Jewish Palestine. Phrases have been used such as that Palestine is to become “as Jewish as England is English.” His Majesty’s Government regard any such expectation as impracticable and have no such aim in view. Nor have they at any time contemplated, as appears to be feared by the Arab delegation, the disappearance or the subordination of the Arabic population, language, or culture in Palestine. They would draw attention to the fact that the terms of the [Balfour -ed]Declaration referred to do not contemplate that Palestine as a whole should be converted into a Jewish National Home, but that such a Home should be founded ‘in Palestine.’”

As a result—Article 25 was inserted in the Mandate adopted by the League of Nations on July 24, 1922: 

  • Restricting the reconstitution of the Jewish National Home after 3000 years in just 22% of Palestine located west of the Jordan River—today called Israel, Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and Gaza –
  • Granting Arab self-determination in the remaining 78% of Palestine located east of the Jordan River—today called Jordan. 

The Jews accepted—albeit reluctantly—article 25’s inclusion in the Mandate. 

The Arabs never did—demanding 100% of Palestine—not the 78% they were allocated under article 25 

100 years later:

  • Israel exercises sovereignty in 17% of former Palestine 
  • Jordan exercises sovereignty in 78% of former Palestine
  • Sovereignty in 5% of former Palestine west of the Jordan River—Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and Gaza—remains unallocated.

According to a recent poll conducted by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research:

  • 32% of Palestinian Arabs living in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and Gaza support one state west of the Jordan River with equal rights for Jews and Arabs 
  • 44% think that armed struggle is the most effective means of ending the “Israeli occupation” 

This proposed one-state solution—bringing Arabs and Jews together—is only agreed to by 10% of Israelis.

However an alternative one-state solution that separates Jews and Arabs—reducing conflict- is feasible and involves:

 


Direct negotiations between Jordan and Israel—the two successor states to the Mandate for Palestine -to redraw their current international border—which would result in:

  • Gaza—plus the heavily-populated Arab areas of Judea and Samaria (West Bank) as existed between 1950 and 1967—becoming part of Jordan 
  • the heavily-populated Jewish areas of Judea and Samaria (West Bank) becoming part of Israel
  • no Arab or Jew having to leave his current home
  • Jordan being affirmed as Custodian of the Islamic Holy Shrines in Jerusalem
  • Freedom of worship in Jerusalem for Jews, Christians and Moslems

The League of Nations and United Nations mutually-agreed destination—one Jewish State and one Arab state in former Palestine—will have finally been reached.

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.


David Singer — Bio and Archives

David Singer is an Australian Lawyer, a Foundation Member of the International Analyst Network and Convenor of Jordan is Palestine International—an organization calling for sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza to be allocated between Israel and Jordan as the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine. Previous articles written by him can be found at: jordanispalestine.blogspot.com




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