Monday, February 1, 2016

Where is this country called "Palestine"?

Keep in mind that the Arabs control 99.9 percent of the Middle East lands. Israel represents one-tenth of one percent of the landmass. But that's too much for the Arabs. They want it all. And that is ultimately what the fighting in Israel is about today . . . No matter how many land concessions the Israelis make, it will never be enough. — from "Myths of the Middle East", Joseph Farah, Arab-American editor and journalist,WorldNetDaily, 11 October 2000

In a previous Blog entry of mine I laid out the historical facts regarding this supposed entity that never existed as an independent country know as "Palestine". Since the"Falestinians" and their admirers love to distort history and spread lies and disinformation, I will cite my facts.

Where does the name “Palestine” come from?

The name is derived from the biblical name for the Philistines who were called Philistim from the Hebrew term for invaders or (Hebrew: פלשת‎, Pleshet), according to Joshua 13:3 and 1 Samuel 6:17, They arrived on the coastal area of Ashkelon, Ashdod, Ekron, Gath, and Gaza around 1525 to1500 BCE.

The origins of the Philistines are not clear and is the subject of considerable research and speculation in biblical archaeology. Some scholars have connected the Biblical Philistines with the Egyptian "Poleshet" inscriptions of "Sea Peoples" and since 1873 comparisons were drawn between them and to the Aegean "Pelasgians".

Archaeologists working on Philistine sites on the western coastal areas of Israel, and in the past in Gaza, have shown that the Philistines were part of the Minoan-later the Mycenaean civilization, from the island of Thera (also called Santorini) in Greece.

The first actual written historical text reference is by Herodotus around.450 BCE in his "The Histories" Book 7 and it clearly states that the "Palestinians" were descendant from invaders from the Mediterranean Sea
"The Phoenicians and the Syrians of Palestina, according to their own account, dwelt anciently upon the Erythraean Sea, but crossing thence, fixed themselves on the seacoast of Syria, where they still inhabit. This part of Syria, and the entire region extending from hence to Egypt, is known by the name of "Palestina"."

The origin of the term "Palestine"

The term "Palestine" actually refers to, a geographical and historical region in the Middle East.

In ancient times the Bible to referred to a pentapolis in the Southern Levant, established by Philistines circa 1175 BC and existing in various forms until the Assyrian conquest in 8th century as "Philistia".

The ancient Greek and Romans referred to parts of the Levant during the Persian and Hellenic periods as Palaistinê or Palaestina.The coastal eparchy was called Paralia which some associate with (Palestine).

There was a Roman province (135-390 CE) (135-330 CE), of the Roman Empire following merger of renamed Iudaea with Roman Syria called Syria Palaestina or Roman Palestine.


From 390 to 636 CE there were three Byzantine provinces in the Levant:
  • Palaestina Prima which comprised the area of the Galilee and northern Jordan Valley 
  • Palaestina Secunda, which comprised the area of the shoreline and hills of the Southern Levant (Judea and Samaria)
  • Palaestina Salutaris alias Palestina Tertia, which comprised the area of the Negev and Transjordan
In the period from 638CE through the 10th century one of the military districts of the Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphate province of Bilad al-Sham (Syria) was called Jund Filastin.

During the period of the Ottoman Empire within the Levant divisions of the "Ottoman Syria" the area was divided into administrative divisions know as Sanjaks:
The Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem (1872-1917), was also known as the "Sanjak of Jerusalem", an Ottoman district commonly referred to as "Southern Syria" or "Palestine". The district encompassed Jerusalem, Gaza, Jaffa, Hebron, Bethlehem and Beersheba.

Faris Khoury who was thee representative of the Arab Higher Committee to the United Nations stated to the General Assembly in May 1947:
"What the British call Palestine was part of the Province of Syria [...] politically, the Arabs of the Mandated Area were not independent in the sense of forming a separate political entity."
The Mandate for "Palestine"

Mandatory Palestine (1920–1948), a geopolitical entity under British administration

"The Palestine Mandate was a League of Nations mandate for the territory that had formerly constituted the Ottoman Empire sanjaks of Nablus, Acre, the Southern part of the Vilayet of Syria, the Southern portion of the Beirut Vilayet, and the Mutasarrifate of Jerusalem, prior to the Armistice of Mudros." 
The Armistice of Mudros (Turkish: Mondros Mütarekesi), which was concluded on 30 October 1918, ended the hostilities, at noon the next day, in the Middle Eastern theater between the Ottoman Empire and the Allies of World War I.
The armistice was followed by the occupation of Constantinople (Istanbul) and the subsequent partitioning of the Ottoman Empire.

The Treaty of Sèvres (10 August 1920) which was signed in the aftermath of WWI was never ratified by the Ottoman Parliament in Istanbul (the Ottoman Parliament was disbanded by the Allies on 11 April 1920 due to the overwhelming opposition of the Turkish MPs to the provisions discussed in Sèvres). It was later superseded by the Treaty of Lausanne (24 July 1923) following the Turkish victory at the Turkish War of Independence (1919–1922) which was conducted by the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in Ankara (established on 23 April 1920 by Mustafa Kemal Pasha and his followers, including his colleagues in the disbanded Ottoman military, and numerous former MPs of the closed Ottoman Parliament in Istanbul.)

Why was the Mandated area called “Palestine” if it was meant to be as stated in the Balfour Declaration: “…national home for the Jewish people”? ‎ 

When the British received the mandate at the San Remo after the utter defeat and breaking apart of the Ottoman Turkish Empire in 1922 they called the land on both sides of the Jordan River, by the Roman term "Palestine". It was specifically employed to avoid the use of the name "Eretz Yisrael" by members of the British Foreign Office, who despised the Balfour Declaration. According to the Minutes of the Ninth Session of the League of Nations' Permanent Mandate Commission Lieutenant Colonel Sir George Stewart Symes (1882–1962)  explained;
"... that the country was described as 'Palestine' by Europeans and as 'Falestina' by the Arabs. The Hebrew name for the area was the designation 'Land of Israel', and the British Government grudgingly agreed to meet Jewish wishes by allowing the use of the initials which stood for that designation 'Land of Israel' in Hebrew characters following the word "Palestine" in all official documents and monies.
As a set-off to this, certain Arab politicians suggested that the country should be called "Southern Syria" in order to emphasize its close relation with another Arab State."
Henry McMahon had exchanged letters with Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca in 1915, in which he had promised to recognize the independence of the Arabs subject to certain exemptions:
The districts of Mersina and Alexandretta, and portions of Syria lying to the west of the districts of Damascus, Homs, Hama and Aleppo, cannot be said to be purely Arab, and must on that account be excepted from the proposed limits and boundaries.
McMahon's promises were seen by the Arabs as a formal agreement between them and the United Kingdom. On this understanding the Arabs established a military force under the command of Husayn bin Ali's son Faisal which fought, with inspiration from 'Lawrence of Arabia', against the Ottoman Empire during the Arab Revolt.

In January 1918 Commander David Hogarth, head of the Arab Bureau in Cairo, was dispatched to Jeddah to deliver a letter written by Sir Mark Sykes on behalf of the British Government to Hussein (now King of Hejaz). The message assured Hussein that:
The Entente Powers are determined that the Arab race shall be given full opportunity of once again forming a nation in the world. This can only be achieved by the Arabs themselves uniting, and Great Britain and her Allies will pursue a policy with this ultimate unity in view.
In respect to Palestine and in the light of the Balfour Declaration Hogarth continued by stating:

Since the Jewish opinion of the world is in favour of a return of Jews to Palestine and in as much as this opinion must remain a constant factor, and further as His Majesty's Government view with favour the realization of this aspiration, His Majesty's Government are determined that insofar as is compatible with the freedom of the existing population both economic and political, no obstacle should be put in the way of the realization of this ideal.


Nakba or The Palestinian Failure


Regarding the "Nakba (Catastrophe)".

I previously wrote in detail about the Nachbah or Nackba in an earlier Blog entry of mine. After seeing comments from readers and in Talkbacks, the one question never asked is why this fictional country Palestine was not created after the Partition vote in 1947.

It is a historically recorded fact that the "existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine" or as they called themselves the "Arabs of the Mandated areas" refused to accept the UNR181 ‎‎(The Partition Plan) in 1947 to create a “Palestinian State.

 Instead they allowed the seven armies of the Arab League, who not only outnumbered the Israeli forces but had superior arms and funds, ‎to invade the League of Nations Mandated territory only to be humiliated in an overwhelmingly inglorious defeat at the hands of the fledgling Israeli army.

The question that begs to be asked is; "Why did  these "Arabs of the Mandated areas" allow themselves to be shunted aside and "invaded" by the Arab League?"

"Was there no "Palestinian Arab" shadow government and leadership like that of the "Jewish Zionists" to take control?"

The answer to this is a resounding "NO"! And they still do not!

So who were the “Palestinian Leaders”?

The "Arabs of the Mandated Area" were divide between two powerful extended family groups the Nashashibi and the al-Husayni clans who dominated Palestinian affairs during the British Mandate period, from 1920 until 1948.
Throughout the British mandate period, the Husayni and Nashashibi clans constantly competed for power. At the end of World War II, the Palestinian Arabs were divided and leaderless.

While the two families did not differ on their long-term goals (stopping the influx of European Jews and preserving the future Arab Palestinian state), they disagreed on the best way to achieve those goals. The al-Husayni family rejected the British mandate and Zionism as a whole, while the Nashashibis felt that the best approach was through political compromise.

Mohammad Amin al-Husayni was appointed Grand Mufti of Jerusalem by the British High Commissioner in 1921, a position he used to promote Islam while rallying a non-confessional Arab nationalism against Zionism. He was also President of the Supreme Muslim Council.
Haj Amin al-Husseini had been in exile since 1937 after evading an arrest warrant and spent the war years in occupied Europe. He actively collaborated with both Italy and with the Nazi leadership in Germany by making propagandistic radio broadcasts and by helping the Nazis recruit Bosnian Muslims for the Waffen-SS. On meeting Adolf Hitler he requested backing for Arab independence and support in opposing the establishment in Palestine of a Jewish national home. At the war's end he came under French protection, and then sought refuge in Cairo to avoid prosecution.

In June 1946, the Arab League imposed upon the Palestinians the Arab Higher Executive, renamed as "Arab Higher Committee" in 1947, with Amin al-Husayni (then living in Egypt) as its chairman and Jamal al-Husayni as vice-chairman.

On the left above is a copy of a leaflet, distributed by the Mufti High Command after the U.N partition resolution, which calls on the Arabs to attack and conquer all of Palestine, to ignite all of the Middle East and to curtail the U.N partition resolution.

In September of 1948 with the defeat of the Arab League armies and the failure of the Arabs of the Mandated Areas to found a state.  The Mufti participated in the creation of an All-Palestine Government within the Egyptian controled Gaza Strip. All-Palestine Government won limited recognition by Arab states but was eventually dissolved by Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1959.
After the creation of the Jewish State of Israel in the 1948 War. The Mufti's claims at leadership were shunned aside as he had been discredited in the defeat. In 1964 with the establishment of the PLO - Palestine Liberation Organization, he had lost all credibility and political influence. He died in July of 1974 in Beirut, Lebanon.
It has been a matter of historical dispute whether this highly controversial figure's fierce opposition to Zionism was grounded in nationalism or antisemitism or a combination of both.

Abd al-Qadir al-Husayni  was the nephew of Mohammad Amin al-Husayni, the Grand Mufti. Abd al-Qadir led the Jaysh al-Jihad al-Muqaddas or Holy War Army a force of Palestinian irregulars against the Haganah and other Jewish militias during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
Abd al-Qadir's  army consisted of a force of 5,000 to 10,000, both foreign fighters from Arab states, They conducted a blockade of Jerusalem by attacking the Jewish convoys that attempted to breach the closure and bring relief and supplies to the starving population in the city.
Abd al-Qadir was killed during the battle for control of Qastal Hill on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem road, on 8 April 1948 and his death was a factor in the loss of morale among his forces.
Abd al-Qadir was the father of Faisal al-Husayni, born July 17th,1940 and died May 31st 2001. Faisal was the founder and leader of Arab Studies Society and he was considered to be a possible future leader of the Palestinian people. He also served as head of Fatah organization in the West Bank and Palestinian Authority Minister for Jerusalem Affairs from his headquarters,in the Orient House.

The Nashashibi family was considered to be politically moderate compared to the more militant views of the Husayni family. The Nashashibis favoured political, rather than violent, opposition to the British mandate and Zionism. They were also willing to compromise in some areas that many Palestinians were not. For example, the Nashashibi family favoured the partition proposed by Britain.

The bickering and diverse political views of these two partisan families largely created a rift of factionalism among Arabs of the Mandated areas that crippled them in fighting the "Zionists" and this is the story of why there is no "Palestinian" country.

Jordan is Palestine


What happened to the Mandated Area East of the Jordan River? Is Jordan actually "Arab" Palestine?

Henry McMahon had exchanged letters with Hussein bin Ali, Sharif of Mecca in 1915, in which he had promised to recognize the independence of the Arabs subject to certain exemptions:
The districts of Mersina and Alexandretta, and portions of Syria lying to the west of the districts of Damascus, Homs, Hama and Aleppo, cannot be said to be purely Arab, and must on that account be excepted from the proposed limits and boundaries.
McMahon's promises were seen by the Arabs as a formal agreement between them and the United Kingdom. On this understanding the Arabs established a military force under the command of Hussein's son Faisal which fought, with inspiration from 'Lawrence of Arabia', against the Ottoman Empire during the Arab Revolt.

In January 1918 Commander David Hogarth, head of the Arab Bureau in Cairo, was dispatched to Jeddah to deliver a letter written by Sir Mark Sykes on behalf of the British Government to Hussein (now King of Hejaz). The message assured Hussein that:
The Entente Powers are determined that the Arab race shall be given full opportunity of once again forming a nation in the world. This can only be achieved by the Arabs themselves uniting, and Great Britain and her Allies will pursue a policy with this ultimate unity in view.
In respect to Palestine and in the light of the Balfour Declaration Hogarth continued by stating:

Since the Jewish opinion of the world is in favour of a return of Jews to Palestine and in as much as this opinion must remain a constant factor, and further as His Majesty's Government view with favour the realization of this aspiration, His Majesty's Government are determined that insofar as is compatible with the freedom of the existing population both economic and political, no obstacle should be put in the way of the realization of this ideal.

"Was Trans-Jordan not part of the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine specified as the 'Homeland for ‎the Jewish People'?"Article Two of the Mandate for Palestine states:‎
"The Mandatory shall be responsible for ‎placing the country under such political, ‎administrative and economic conditions as will ‎secure the establishment of the Jewish ‎national home, as laid down in the preamble, and ‎the development of self-governing ‎institutions, and also for safeguarding the civil and ‎religious rights of all the inhabitants ‎of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion."‎
‎‎"In August 1920, Sir Herbert Samuel's request to extend the frontier of British territory beyond the River Jordan and to bring Transjordan under his administrative control was rejected."

Okay so what happened to the 72% of the Mandatory lands east of the ‎Jordan River?”
"The British Foreign Secretary, Lord Curzon, proposed instead that British influence in Transjordan should be advanced by sending a few political officers, without military escort, to encourage self-government and give advice to local leaders in the territory. Following Curzon's instruction Samuel set up a meeting with Transjordanian leaders where he presented British plans for the territory. The local leaders were reassured that Transjordan would not come under Palestinian (meaning part of the Jewish homeland) administration and that there would be no disarmament or conscription. Samuel's terms were accepted, he returned to Jerusalem, leaving Captain Alec Kirkbride as the British representative east of the Jordan."(citation)
In July 1920, when Faisal bin Hussein was expelled from Syria by the French, he cancelled the proposed agreement that he had made with Dr. Chaim Weizmann on the 3rd of January, 1919 at the Paris Peace Conference. The two had negotiated and signed an agreement, which spoke of full cooperation in the development of the independent Arab state in present-day Syria and Iraq (as promised by the British to Faisal) and the Jewish home in Palestine (from the Balfour Declaration), and encouraging "the immigration of Jews into Palestine on a large scale".

Just consider for one moment the impact of how this last part of the statement by Emir Faisal:"I cannot be answerable for failing to carry out this agreement", changed history forever and condemned thousands if not a millions people to death and agony! One wonders just how many lives would have been saved had the Machiavellian maneuvers of the French and the British had not played out.

What happened next was that on the 21st of November 1920, Hashemite Emir Abdullah I bin al-Hussein, elder son of Britain's wartime Arab ally Hussein bin Ali and the brother of the deposed King Faisal, marched into Ma'an at the head of an army of 300 men. At the Cairo Conference, of March 1921 they appointed Hussein Emir of Transjordan, while assuring that no Jews would be allowed to settle in Transjordan. In that same month Abdullah and his army had effectively occupied most of Transjordan.

"On what legal basis did this 2/3 of the Palestinian ‎Mandate get handed over to Abdullah other than as an arbitrary whim of the British government?" Was not the area under the League of Nations authority? Article Five of the Mandate for Palestine states:‎
"The Mandatory shall be responsible for seeing that no Palestine territory shall be ceded ‎or leased to, or in any way placed under the control of the Government of any foreign ‎Power."
The 1922 White Paper (also called the Churchill White Paper) was the first official manifesto interpreting the Balfour Declaration. It was issued on June 3, 1922, after investigation of the 1921 Moslem riots "disturbances" against the Jews in the Yishuv.
Although the White Paper stated that the Balfour Declaration could not be amended and that the Jews were in Palestine by right. The White Paper partitioned the area of the Mandate by excluding the area east of the Jordan River from Jewish settlement. The White Paper included the statement that the British Government:
"... does not want Palestine to become "as Jewish as England is English", rather should become "a center in which Jewish people as a whole may take, on grounds of religion and race, an interest and a pride."
The Transjordan memorandum was a British memorandum passed by the Council of the League of Nations on 16 September 1922. The memorandum described how the British government planned to implement the article of the Mandate for Palestine which allowed exclusion of Transjordan from the provisions regarding Jewish settlement.

ART. 25.
In the territories lying between the Jordan and the eastern boundary of Palestine as ultimately determined, the Mandatory shall be entitled, with the consent of the Council of the League of Nations, to postpone or withhold application of such provisions of this mandate as he may consider inapplicable to the existing local conditions, and to make such provision for the administration of the territories as he may consider suitable to those conditions, provided that no action shall be taken which is inconsistent with the provisions of Articles 15, ;16 and 18.

ART. 15.
The Mandatory shall see that complete freedom of conscience and the free exercise of all forms of worship, subject only to the maintenance of public order and morals, are ensured to all. No discrimination of any kind shall be made between the inhabitants of Palestine on the ground of race, religion or language. No person shall be excluded from Palestine on the sole ground of his religious belief.
The right of each community to maintain its own schools for the education of its own members in its own language, while conforming to such educational requirements of a general nature as the Administration may impose, shall not be denied or impaired.

ART. 16.
The Mandatory shall be responsible for exercising such supervision over religious or eleemosynary bodies of all faiths in Palestine as may be required for the maintenance of public order and good government. Subject to such supervision, no measures shall be taken in Palestine to obstruct or interfere with the enterprise of such bodies or to discriminate against any representative or member of them on the ground of his religion or nationality.

ART. 18.
The Mandatory shall see that there is no discrimination in Palestine against the nationals of any State Member of the League of Nations (including companies incorporated under its laws) as compared with those of the Mandatory or of any foreign State in matters concerning taxation, commerce or navigation, the exercise of industries or professions, or in the treatment of merchant vessels or civil aircraft. Similarly, there shall be no discrimination in Palestine against goods originating in or destined for any of the said States, and there shall be freedom of transit under equitable conditions across the mandated area.
Subject as aforesaid and to the other provisions of this mandate, the Administration of Palestine may, on the advice of the Mandatory, impose such taxes and customs duties as it may consider necessary, and take such steps as it may think best to promote the development of the natural resources of the country and to safeguard the interests of the population. It may also, on the advice of the Mandatory, conclude a special customs agreement with any State the territory of which in 1914 was wholly included in Asiatic Turkey or Arabia.

ART. 27.

The consent of the Council of the League of Nations is required for any modification of the terms of this mandate.

So the answer to the question: "Was it not given as a payoff to the Hashemite Bedouin ‎Clan by the British ‎Government in detriment to the Palestinians?" The answer is obvious yes it was.