The Palestinians Say 'No'

MODERN
HISTORY

OF
ISRAEL


SUMMARY

Jewish Exiles
from
Arab
Countries
________

Palestinian\
Refugees

Palestinians
Timeline


Together


Palestine
Name

Palestinian
Human
Rights


VIDEOS
Jews Who Fled from Arab Countries

Jews Who Fled from Arab Countries

Reparations for
Jews who Fled
from Arab Countries

The Other
Jews

Frequently
Asked Questions About Jews Who Fled/Left
Arab Countries


PALESTINIANS
AND THE
ARAB-ISRAEL
CONFLICT

The
Palestinians
Say ‘No’

A New Future
for the
Palestinians (1)

A New Future
for the
Palestinians (2)


VIDEOS

Palestinian
Refugees

Palestine
Refugee
Statistics

Legal
Situation of
Palestinian Refugees

Arab
Discrimination
Against
the Palestinian
Refugees

Lives of
Palestinian Refugees

Palestinian
Refugees
by
Country
_______

Refugee
Camps

Palestinian Refugees

Past, Present
and
Future


VIDEOS
UNWRA
and
UNHRC

UNWRA
and
UNHCR

UNWRA and
the USA

Why
UNWRA
Should be
Abolished

Trump
Peace  Proposals

UNWRA
Education


VIDEOS
Peace
Radicals
Extremists
Martyrs

Extremists.
Radicals and
Martyrs


Palestinian
Groups

VIDEOS
Gaza & Hamas

Gaza

and

Hamas

Gaza Tunnels
and
Blockade

Hamas Covenant
and
History

Abbas
and the
Mufti of Jerusalem


VIDEOS
Palestinian
Corruption

Palestinian

Corruption

Payments to
Palestinians
in Prisons
and as Martyrs


Why Christians
have Fled from
Arab Countries


Links

CLICK HERE  TO ACCESS  COUNTRIES

T O P I C

I  S  R  A  E  L

Videos -

Maps -

Mogan David
(Flag of Israel)

Statistics  and Information

Jewish History
Videos


Expulsion
of the Jews  
from
Arab Countries,
1948-2012

Palestinians

Christians
Leaving the
Middle East


4000 YEARS OF
JEWISH HISTORY

Jewish
Timelines
and Story


What Was the Holocaust ?

Antisemitism


Who is a Jew?

The Jewish Law

The Hebrew Bible

Interpretation

The Temples

The Synagogues

Jewish Messiah
Ciaimants

Jewish Conversion

Jewish Women
in Judaism

Jewish
Education

Rabbi's
and
Jewish Culture  


Jewish Diaspora

Jewish Festivals

Jewish Languages


Lost Tribes

Jewish-Roman  Wars

Year 1000

Understanding the
Middle Ages

The Inquisition

Jewish Pirates


Why has Christendom
Attacked the Jews?

Catholicism

Islam

Your Feedback Please to the

jewishwikipedia.info Guestbook

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via e-mail Print

THE

INCREDIBLE

STORY OF THE JEWISH PEOPLE



THE PALESTINIANS SAY ‘NO’


Editors Note: In 1917 the British issued the Balfour Declaration entitling them to a national home in Palestine.    

This page has three topics - Palestine - about the British experience of their mandate from after WW1 until after WW2 to answer questions such as

In 1937 the British put forward the Peel proposals splitting Palestine between the Jews and Arabs.  The Arabs said ‘no’.


The British creation of ‘Transjordan’(later called ‘Jordan’)  from their Palestine mandate


In 1948 the Arabs said ‘No’ to UN partition proposals.  The day after Israel was declared they invaded with the objective of occupying the are partitioned to the Jews and now called Israel.

As another example of saying ‘No’ is the meeting at Camp David in 2000.   Yasser Arafat was representing the Palestinians, Barak represented Israel and President Clinton was the Mediator  The Israeli main points of a future settlement to the Palestinians included

To each of these Arafat said ‘No’ and offered no alternative.


______________________________________________


Why this is the case is summarised by the Hamas Covenant

__________________________________________________

























PALESTINE
The British Empire

ADMINISTRATION

The intense rivalry and competition between the Jews and Arabs was to afflict the British administration for virtually their entire period of governance. Unfortunately, the Zionists and the Arabs had mutually exclusive goals. The Zionists wished to create a Jewish homeland in their Holy Land. Whereas the Arabs were equally adamant that they should not lose their autonomy and rights in their own homeland. At this stage, the Arabs still massively formed the majority of the population. But what the Zionists lacked in numbers they more than made up for with political influence in the West and a zeal to succeed that bordered on fanatacism.

The fact that the British mandate included references to the Balfour Declaration and the establishment of a Jewish homeland was a severe blow to the Arabs. Partly to try and mollify this disappointment, the British split the Palestine mandate into two distinct areas, using the Jordan River as a natural boundary. The British claimed that Jewish immigration would be confined to the West of the river. The East of the river, which represented three quarters of the whole mandate area was to be reserved for the Arabs alone. The Hashemite Abdulla was to become the ruler of what was to become Transjordan. Most Arabs still felt ill at ease with this British plan. They regarded Transjordan as little more than an arid, empty desert. Besides, the principle of any Jewish homeland anywhere in Arab lands was still completely abhorrent to them.

Arab intransigence and unwillingness to work with the Jews was demonstrated almost immediately as the British tried to set up a legislative council and a constitution. The council was supposed to have ten of the seats allocated to the Arabs and only two to the Jews. The Arabs refused to cooperate on the basis that two seats for so few Jews meant that they were relatively over represented. They also resented the comments and concessions made to Zionism in the constitution. This failure meant that the British had no choice but to continue ruling Palestine directly themselves.

Over the next few years, the British made repeated attempts to include both communities in the day to day running of the mandate. Time and time again, Arab intransigence resulted in an absolute refusal to cooperate in any way. Conversely, the Jews were happy to work and cooperate with the authorities and thus gained a legitimacy and administrative experience far and above that which the size of their community merited. The best example of this was the creation of a Jewish agency in 1929. Arabs flatly refused to do the same.

In fact, 1929 saw the birth of the first real instance of communal ugliness. It would set off a trend that would keep rearing its ugly head for nearly as long as the British were in control of the mandate. The Wailing Wall incident was when Arabs and Jews clashed over a stretch of wall that was regarded as religiously important to both religions. Arabs tried to make access to this wall for the Jews as awkward and difficult as possible. In the end, fights broke out which flared into riots around the country. Some 133 Jews were killed (mostly by British authorities) and 116 Arabs died.

The most important outcome of the Wailing Wall incident was the establishment of the Shaw commission. This commission reported that the Arabs were very concerned about Jewish expansion and that steps should be taken to redress these feelings. The resulting Passfield white paper recommended that Jewish immigration should be stopped and that Jews should not be able to acquire new land. It also suggested a new legislative council which was biased more towards the Arabs. Once again, Arab intransigence failed to take advantage of the situation offered to them. When the Arabs refused to take part in a conference at which Zionists were present, the council lapsed.

The Passfield recommendations were not fully implemented. A combination of Zionist pressure, British official ambivalence and the accession of Hitler in Germany all allowed some immigration to continue. And, when the British failed to fully prevent sales of land to Jews, the Arabs decided to implement a non-cooperation policy and a boycott of British goods. Jews were also unhappy at the idea of these restrictions, even if they weren't fully implemented, and more riots and protests resulted.

Increasing militancy and organisation by the Arabs resulted in the formation of the Arab High Committee in 1936. This virtually coordinated whole-scale attacks and riots directed towards Jews over the next three years. Another commission was put together under Lord Peel in 1936. Yet again, Arab intransigence led to their boycotting of its procedures until just before it left. The almost inevitable conclusion that the committee reached was that there was impossible for the Arabs and Jews to live and work together. It therefore recommended partition - despite the population relocations and upheavals that would be necessary.

The Arabs responded to the commission with yet more riots and violence. The British felt compelled to disband the Arab High Commission and deport its leading members. Meanwhile, they also appointed yet another commission to examine the Peel commission report. The Woodhead report felt that the Peel commission was too generous to the Jews in terms of land to be set aside, but that the principle of partition was still maintained. All be it on a much smaller scale for the Jews. This had the effect of losing the support of the Jews, who thought that it was still inadequate, and yet didn't reconcile the Arabs who were against any partition.

As it happened, international events were eclipsing the luxuries of negotiated settlements in Palestine. The rise of Hitler inevitably cast the Jews into the camp with the British, who were unquestionably the lesser of two evils. The Arabs however, also needed to be coaxed into submissiveness so that the Suez Canal could be maintained in relative tranquility. With this in mind, the British published yet another White paper which was heavily biased in favour of the Arabs. It stated that there would be no partition of Palestine and that Jewish immigration would be limited to 75,000 a year for the next five years and that the Arabs could veto any immigration after that period. Jews had no option but to throw in their lot with the allies and most of them cast aside concerns for their dreams of a homeland in order to concentrate on the destruction of the virulently anti-semitic German Reich. Arabs were similarly pacified by these concessions to them. Palestine settled down to a relatively quiet time during the Second World War. The major concern being the approaching Italians and Germans who advanced towards the Suez. The battle of El Alamein removed any real threat to Palestine in this period.

ECONOMICS OF EMPIRE

Despite the massive upheavals and difficulties between the two competing communities, economically, Palestine was a surprisingly successful colony. And this was despite the fact that the colony had virtually no natural resources. Even the farmland was not that great. In fact, the main reason for success of Palestine was probably a strange combination of the competition between the Arabs and Jews and the synthesis that they also provided for each other. In competitive terms, both communities wanted to prove themselves better and more abler than the other. They both realised that economic success for their community would probably be the clinching factor in demonstrating their ability to govern themselves. The synthesis came about in matching the economic and technical sophistication of the Jews with the hardworking and relatively cheap Arabs who had an excellent understanding of the local terrain and economy. They both could offer qualities that the other community could utilise.

The economic success of the colony was inevitably curtailed with the worldwide depression of the 1930's. Although, relatively, it did not suffer as badly as most other colonies and countries did. A more serious challenge to the economic success of this colony was the terrorist campaigns that were conducted with increasing severity following the end of the Second World War. Both communities were involved, although the Jews were much more the active of the two. Although the terrorists principally aimed at military targets, the fact that this was a directly ruled colony meant that the local authorities would force the colony to try and pay for any damage done anywhere. This put a serious strain on the budget of the colony. In fact, the costs of this campaign were so high that the colony had to try and get money from an exhausted Britain. The difficulty that both Palestine and Britain had in covering the costs of this campaign were to be a major reason for the British to withdraw so quickly and completely.

ROLE WITHIN THE EMPIRE

In many ways, Palestine was an accidental acquistion. More a spoil of war than an activley sought after colony. It's only real strategic importance to the British was the fact that it was near the Suez canal. This seemed as if it might become important during the Second World War with the Axis powers nearing Cairo - but in the end proved superfluous.

Other than that, there was no particular reason for Britain to have control over it. Limited attempts were made at using it as a stop over base for communications to Asia. Roads linked Palestine to Transjordan and Syria and on into Iraq and the Persian gulf. Attempts were made at refuelling planes and seaplanes on their way between India and Britain. None of these schemes proved to be outstandingly significant or important. It felt more as if the British were trying to find reasons to justify its existence as a colony. The best thing that could be said about the colony was that it was relatively self-sufficient.

The rise of Mussolini's Italy with aspirations to recreate a Roman Empire in the Mediterranean did see Britain redouble its commitment to the region. The rise of Fascism meant that Britain had a delicate path to walk between appearing to be strong without provoking a war. Goodwill visits by the Royal Navy in to friendly ports such as those on the Eastern Mediterranean were all part of that balancing act.

WITHDRAWAL FROM EMPIRE

As the Second World War came to a close, the Jews felt that it was time to redress the imbalances of the 1939 White Paper. A number of factors contributed to giving them the diplomatic initiative. The first was the fact that so many Jews had fought so loyally with the Allies against the Germans and that the Jewish Agency had done so much to help the Allied war effort within Palestine itself. Another, was the guilt felt by the Allied powers as they uncovered the full extent of German designs against the Jews at concentration camps throughout Central Europe. Equally important was the fact that the Americans were becoming increasingly sympathetic to their claims and disproportionately powerful in Post-War Europe. Another more sinister development was the fact that the most important Jewish terrorist groups had all come together into a coalition. Thus, they could present a concerted military front for the first time. This they used to increasingly destructive means as they turned their terrorism against a war weary British military establishment.

The Labour Party's granting of independence to India in 1947 pulled the rug from any strategic value in holding colonies such as Palestine. British soldiers who wished to be demobilised increasingly resented being posted to Palestine to hold the line between Arabs and Jews who sought advantage over one another whilst not worrying about striking the forces of Law and Order in between. Jewish terrorist groups in particular saw British soldiers and police as an obvious soft target representing the regime denying them free entry after the horrors of the Second World War had laid bare the extent of their suffering in Europe.

The British entered into yet another commission, although this time together with the Americans. The Anglo-American commission published a paper heavily in favour of the Jews. It recommended an immediate end to restrictions on land purchases, on immediately allowing admission to 100,000 European Jews and the creation of a bi-national state under United Nations tutelage. This last option was a new one for the British and one that they took advantage of just as soon as they could. Economically tired and war weary the British were in no mood to fight to maintain a mandate that was proving so troublesome and irksome. The relatively anti-imperial Labour government was keen to cut these imperial knots and indeed was already planning to lose the most important of all British colonies; India. Therefore, Britain leapt at the opportunity of off-loading this problem to the United Nations and invited a UN commission (UNSCOP) to examine the problem whilst they hastily made preparations to withdraw.

UNSCOP found little that was new other than the feeling of urgency. Yet again, the Arabs boycotted the proceedings which gave the Jews an excellent opportunity to plead their case. It recommended to the General Assembly that partition was the only option that could work for both parties, although it was to be mitigated by an economic union. The British, relievedly, had completed their withdrawal of forces by 1948. Not long after this the Jews were to declare independence to which various surrounding Arab countries responded by invading the new Israel. The highly motivated Jews not only withstood the onslaught of the Arabs but actually turned them back and captured many areas that were not designated to them by the United Nations. A new nation had been formed out of the imperial mandate.


CREATION OF TRNSJORDAN (LATER ‘JORDAN’)
FANACK


After the French occupation of Syria, nationalists had fled south to Amman, whence they had been calling on Sharif Husayn’s second son, Abdullah, to lead a campaign to recover Syria. In November 1920 he responded by travelling with a force of armed tribesmen to the small oasis town of Maan, today in southern Jordan but then in the kingdom of Hejaz. Abdullah remained in Maan for three months awaiting the British reaction. The British, whose presence in Transjordan was only nominal, were worried that Abdullah might complicate Britain’s relations with France.

By early 1921, however, London had decided that Transjordan should be included formally in its Palestine mandate; that, as a gesture to their wartime promises to the Arabs, the territory should be exempted from the mandate’s provisions concerning a Jewish National Home; and that Abdullah should abandon his declared designs on Syria and instead head a British-sponsored Transjordanian administration.

In March 1921 Abdullah moved north to Amman. That month a conference of British officials in Cairo resolved that Abdullah should govern Transjordan under the British high commissioner in Palestine. In late March, Winston Churchill, the Colonial Secretary, accompanied by Lawrence, travelled to Jerusalem, where he signed a formal agreement with Abdullah.

King Abdullah

In 1921 Transjordan’s population was only about 230,000. It had no significant natural resources and few settlements, and its only real revenue was a British subsidy. Transjordan was ‘a country – if it was a country at all… which was conceded to Abdullah because nobody else really cared to have it’, wrote Lebanese historian Kamal Salibi. Abdullah was utterly dependent on the British, especially for cash and military support. Although he cultivated, and generally enjoyed the allegiance of, the tribes, the ultimate guarantor of his rule was his army, the British-officered Arab Legion, formed in 1923 (from 1939 to 1956 led by Sir John Bagot Glubb, better known as Glubb Pasha).

At that time Ibn Saud and his Wahhabi fighters were expanding their power in what would become Saudi Arabia, a process that would bring about the demise of the Sharif Husayn’s Kingdom of the Hejaz. In an effort to salvage at least a part of his family’s domains, Abdullah, backed by the British, in 1925 announced the incorporation of Maan and Aqaba districts into Transjordan.

In 1923 London recognized the existence in Transjordan of a government under Abdullah and acknowledged him as emir but said nothing about the status of his domain. An Anglo-Transjordanian Agreement of 20 February 1928 went a step further, recognizing the territory as an ’emirate’, or principality. Transjordan’s formal independence from the UK was agreed in a treaty signed on 22 March 1946 that also provided for ‘perpetual peace and friendship’ between the two, while providing for continued British support for the Arab Legion and access to military facilities. On 15 May 1946 Abdullah’s compliant government resolved that his title should be upgraded from ‘Emir’ to ‘King’, and this was endorsed by his equally compliant Parliament on 22 May 1946. In the same session, Parliament voted to change the country’s name to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.


ARAFAT DIDN'T NEGOTIATE - HE JUST KEPT SAYING NO

(EDITORS NOTE:  Since 1948 the Palestinian Refugees have been used as a political weapon against Israel whose well being is irrelevant.  Since 1967 the only major agreement made by their leadership with Israel has been the division of the West Bank into Areas A, B and C (see Maps and Areas A,B and C). There have been peace negotiations since then which have come to nothing (see BBC History of Mid East Peace Talks).  For peace talks to succeed would mean recognition of the State of Israel. They will appear to be reasonable but always include a mandatory clause they know Israel will not acccept so causing the talks to collapse) This can be seen in writing as it is part of the Hamas Covenant).  


   



























Ever since the start of the second Palestinian intifada, a row has raged over who was responsible for the breakdown of the peace process. Now, for the first time, former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak has weighed in, accusing Yasser Arafat of being a liar who talked peace while secretly plotting the destruction of Israel. Interview by Benny Morris

The Guardian, Benny Morris, 23 May 2002

The call from Bill Clinton came hours after the publication in the New York Times of a "revisionist" article on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. On holiday, Ehud Barak, Israel's former prime minister, was swimming in a cove in Sardinia. According to Barak, Clinton said: "What the hell is this? Why is she turning the mistakes we [ie, the US and Israel] made into the essence? The true story of Camp David was that for the first time in the history of the conflict the American president put on the table a proposal, based on UN Security Council resolutions 242 and 338, very close to the Palestinian demands, and Arafat refused even to accept it as a basis for negotiations, walked out of the room, and deliberately turned to terrorism."

Clinton was speaking of the two-week-long Camp David conference in July 2000 which he had organised and mediated and its failure, and the eruption at the end of September of the Palestinian intifada which has continued since. Halfway through the conference, apparently on July 18, Clinton had "slowly" - to avoid misunderstanding - read out to Arafat a document, endorsed in advance by Barak, outlining the main points of a future settlement. The proposals included the establishment of a demilitarised Palestinian state on some 92% of the West Bank and 100% of the Gaza Strip, with some territorial compensation for the Palestinians from pre-1967 Israeli territory; the dismantling of most of the settlements and the concentration of the bulk of the settlers inside the 8% of the West Bank to be annexed by Israel; the establishment of the Palestinian capital in east Jerusalem, in which some Arab neighborhoods would become sovereign Palestinian territory and others would enjoy "functional autonomy"; Palestinian sovereignty over half the Old City of Jerusalem (the Muslim and Christian quarters) and "custodianship," though not sovereignty, over the Temple Mount; a return of refugees to the prospective Palestinian state though with no "right of return" to Israel proper; and the organisation by the international community of a massive aid programme to facilitate the refugees' rehabilitation.

Arafat said no. Enraged, Clinton banged on the table and said: "You are leading your people and the region to a catastrophe." A formal Palestinian rejection of the proposals reached the Americans the next day. The summit sputtered on for a few days more but to all intents and purposes it was over.

Today Barak portrays Arafat's behaviour at Camp David as a "performance" geared to exacting from the Israelis as many concessions as possible without ever seriously intending to reach a peace settlement or sign an "end to the conflict".

"He did not negotiate in good faith; indeed, he did not negotiate at all. He just kept saying no to every offer, never making any counterproposals of his own," he says. Barak shifts between charging Arafat with "lacking the character or will" to make a historic compromise (as did the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in 1977-79, when he made peace with Israel) to accusing him of secretly planning Israel's demise while he strings along a succession of Israeli and Western leaders and, on the way, hoodwinks "naive journalists".

"What they [Arafat and his colleagues] want is a Palestinian state in all of Palestine," says Barak. "What we see as self-evident, [the need for] two states for two peoples, they reject. Israel is too strong at the moment to defeat, so they formally recognise it. But their game plan is to establish a Palestinian state while always leaving an opening for further legitimate demands down the road. They will exploit the tolerance and democracy of Israel first to turn it into 'a state for all its citizens', as demanded by the extreme nationalist wing of Israel's Arabs and extremist leftwing Jewish Israelis. Then they will push for a binational state and then demography and attrition will lead to a state with a Muslim majority and a Jewish minority. This would not necessarily involve kicking out all the Jews. But it would mean the destruction of Israel as a Jewish state. This, I believe, is their vision. Arafat sees himself as a reborn Saladin - the Kurdish Muslim general who defeated the Crusaders in the 12th century - and Israel as just another, ephemeral Crusader state."

Barak believes that Arafat sees the Palestinian refugees of 1948 and their descendants, numbering close to four million, as the main demographic-political tool for subverting the Jewish state. Arafat, says Barak, believes that Israel "has no right to exist, and he seeks its demise". Barak buttresses this by arguing that Arafat "does not recognise the existence of a Jewish people or nation, only a Jewish religion, because it is mentioned in the Koran and because he remembers seeing, as a kid, Jews praying at the Wailing Wall". Repeatedly during our prolonged interview, which was conducted in his office in a Tel Aviv skyscraper, Barak shook his head - in bewilderment and sadness - at what he regards as Palestinian, and especially Arafat's, mendacity: "They are products of a culture in which to tell a lie... creates no dissonance. They don't suffer from the problem of telling lies that exists in Judaeo-Christian culture. Truth is seen as an irrelevant category. There is only that which serves your purpose and that which doesn't. They see themselves as emissaries of a national movement for whom everything is permissible. There is no such thing as 'the truth'."

Speaking of Arab society, Barak recalls: "The deputy director of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation once told me that there are societies in which lie detector tests don't work, societies in which lies do not create cognitive dissonance [on which the tests are based]."

But Barak is far from dismissive of Arafat, who appears to many Israelis to be a sick, slightly doddering buffoon and, at the same time, sly and murderous. Barak sees him as "a great actor, very sharp, very elusive, slippery." He cautions that Arafat "uses his broken English" to excellent effect.

Barak was elected prime minister, following three years of Benjamin Netanyahu's premiership, in May 1999 and took office in July. He immediately embarked on his multipronged peace effort - vis-a-vis Syria, Lebanon, and the Palestinians - because he felt that Israel and the Middle East were headed for "an iceberg and a certain crash and that it was the leaders' moral and political responsibility to try to avoid a catastrophe". Barak said he wanted to complete what Rabin had begun with the Oslo agreement, which inaugurated mutual Israeli-Palestinian recognition and partial Israeli withdrawals from the West Bank and Gaza Strip back in 1993. Barak says that, before July 2000, Israeli intelligence gave the Camp David talks less than a 50% chance of success. The intelligence chiefs were doubtful that Arafat "would take the decisions necessary to reach a peace agreement". His own feeling at the time was that he "hoped Arafat would rise to the occasion and display something of greatness, like Sadat and Hussein, at the moment of truth. They did not wait for a consensus [among their people]. They decided to lead."

Barak dismisses the charges levelled by the Camp David "revisionists" as Palestinian propaganda. The visit to the Temple Mount by the then Likud leader, Ariel Sharon, in September 2000 was not what caused the intifada, he says. "Sharon's visit, which was coordinated with [the West Bank security chief of the Palestinian Authority] Jibril Rajoub, was directed against me, not the Palestinians, to show that the Likud cared more about Jerusalem than I did. We know, from hard intelligence, that Arafat [after Camp David] intended to unleash a violent confrontation - terrorism. [Sharon's visit and the riots that followed] fell into his hands like an excellent excuse, a pretext."

One senses that Barak feels on less firm ground when he responds to the charge that it was the continued Israeli settlement in the Occupied Territories, during the year before Camp David and under his premiership, that had so stirred Palestinian passions as to make the intifada inevitable: "Look, during my premiership we established no new settlements and, in fact, dismantled many illegal, unauthorised ones. Immediately after I took office I promised Arafat, 'No new settlements' - but I also told him that we would continue to honour the previous government's commitments, and contracts in the pipeline, concerning the expansion of existing settlements. But I also offered a substantive argument. I want to reach peace during the next 16 months. What was now being built would either remain within territory that you, the Palestinians, agree should remain ours - and therefore it shouldn't matter to you - or would be in territory that would soon come under Palestinian sovereignty, and therefore add to the housing available for returning refugees. So you can't lose."

But Barak concedes that while this sounded logical, there was a psychological dimension that could not be neutralised by argument: the Palestinians simply saw, on a daily basis, that more and more of "their" land was being plundered and becoming "Israeli." Regarding the core of the Israeli-American proposals, the "revisionists" have charged that Israel offered the Palestinians not a continuous state but a collection of "bantustans" or "cantons".

"This is one of the most embarrassing lies to have emerged from Camp David," says Barak. "I ask myself, why is he [Arafat] lying? To put it simply, any proposal that offers 92% of the West Bank cannot, almost by definition, break up the territory into noncontiguous cantons. The West Bank and the Gaza Strip are separate, but that cannot be helped [in a peace agreement, they would be joined by a bridge]." But in the West Bank, Barak says, the Palestinians were promised a continuous piece of sovereign territory except for a razor-thin Israeli wedge running from Jerusalem through from Maale Adumim to the Jordan River. Here, Palestinian territorial continuity would have been assured by a tunnel or bridge.

Barak also rejects the "revisionist" charge that his body language toward Arafat had been unfriendly, that he had, almost consistently during Camp David, avoided meeting the Palestinian leader, and that these had contributed to the summit's failure. "I am the Israeli leader who met most with Arafat. He visited Rabin's home only after [the assassinated leader] was buried on Mount Herzl [in Jerusalem]. He [Arafat] visited me in my home in Kochav Yair where my wife made food for him. I also met Arafat in friends' homes, in Gaza, in Ramallah."

The former prime minister believes that since the start of the intifada Israel has had no choice "and it doesn't matter who is prime minister" (perhaps a jab at his former rival and colleague in the Labour party, the dove-ish-sounding Shimon Peres, currently Israel's foreign minister) but to combat terrorism with military force. But he believes that the counter-terrorist military effort must be accompanied by a constant reiteration of readiness to renew peace negotiations on the basis of the Camp David formula. Nevertheless he holds out no chance of success for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations so long as Arafat and like-minded leaders are at the helm on the Arab side. He seems to think in terms of generations and hesitantly predicts that only "80 years" after 1948 will the Palestinians be historically ready for a compromise. By then, most of the generation that experienced the catastrophe of 1948 at first hand will have died; there will be "very few 'salmons' around who still want to return to their birthplaces to die".

He points to the model of the Soviet Union, which collapsed after roughly 80 years, after the generation that had lived through the revolution had died. In the absence of real negotiations, Barak believes that Israel should begin to prepare unilaterally for a pullout from "some 75%" of the West Bank and, he implies, all or almost all of the Gaza Strip, back to defensible borders, while allowing a Palestinian state to emerge there. Meanwhile Israel should begin constructing a solid, impermeable fence around the evacuated parts of the West Bank and new housing and settlements inside Israel proper and in the areas of the West Bank that Israel intends to permanently annexe to absorb the settlers who will move out of the territories. He says that when the Palestinians will be ready for peace, the fate of the remaining 25% of the West Bank can be negotiated.

At one point in the interview, Barak pointed to the settlement campaign in heavily populated Palestinian areas, inaugurated by Menachem Begin's Likud-led government in 1977, as the point at which Israel took a major historical wrong turn. But at other times he pointed to 1967 as the crucial mistake, when Israel occupied the West Bank and Gaza (and Sinai and the Golan Heights) and, instead of agreeing to immediate withdrawal from all the territories, save East Jerusalem, in exchange for peace, began to settle them. Barak recalled seeing David Ben-Gurion, Israel's founder and first prime minister (1948-53 and 1955-63), on television in June 1967 arguing for the immediate withdrawal from all the territories occupied in the six-day war in exchange for peace, save for East Jerusalem.

"Many of us - me included - thought that he was suffering from [mental] weakness or perhaps a subconscious jealousy of his successor [Levi Eshkol, who had presided over the unprecedented victory and conquests]. Today one understands that he simply saw more clearly and farther than the leadership at that time."

· This is an edited version of an article which appears in the current edition of the New York Review of Books. Barak's interview with Morris was a reply to an article by former US negotiator Robert Malley and Hussein Agha in the New York Review of Books. Malley and Agha also respond to Barak in the current issue.



THIS TOPIC IS DIVIDED INTO TWO PARTS


Part 1  MODERN HISTORY OF ISRAEL

Part 2  JEWISH EXILES FROM ARAB COUNTRIES and

PALESTINIAN REFUGEES

PALESTINE

CREATION OF TRANSJORDAN
(LATER ‘JORDAN’)


ARAFAT DIDN'T NEGOTIATE -
HE JUST KEPT SAYING NO

Israel

PLO/FATAH AND THE NAZIS
FACESHIRHOME  2013 (15.11)

Documentation: http://www.hirhome.com/iraniraq/plo-iran2.htm

Traces the history of PLO/Fatah, now better known as the 'Palestinian Authority,' the organization that will govern a future Palestinian State. The video shows how PLO/Fatah emerged from the German Nazi Final Solution. Hajj Amin al Husseini, father of the Palestinian Movement, creator of Fatah, and mentor to Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas, was co-director with Adolf Eichmann of the death camp system
that exterminated between 5 and 6 million European Jews in WWII.

PLO/FATAH AND IRAN: THE SPECIAL RELATIONSHIP
FACESHIRHOME  2015 (9.54)

Documentation: http://www.hirhome.com/iraniraq/plo-i...

PLO/Fatah, now better known as the “Palestinian Authority,” will govern a Palestinian State in the militarily strategic territories of Judea and Samaria (or “West Bank”) if the Middle East “peace process” concludes with a “Two-State Solution.” Given that Iranian leaders daily promise the destruction of Israel, most people assume that PLO/Fatah has nothing to do with Iran. It would be absurd,