Saturday, July 11, 2015

THE 1920-1947 BRITISH MANDATE OVER PALESTINE and its violations - YJ Draiman


PALESTINE and its violations

As stated above, the 1920 San Remo Conference decided to place Palestine under British Mandatory rule making Britain responsible for giving effect to the 1917 Balfour declaration that had been adopted by the other Allied Powers and ratified under International treaty as International law.. The resulting “Mandate for Palestine,” was an historical League of Nations document that laid down the Jewish legal right to settle anywhere in Palestine and the San Remo Resolution which was confirmed by the Treaty of Sevres and Lausanne, together with Article 22 of the Covenant of the League of Nations became the basic documents on which the Mandate for Palestine was established. The Mandate’s declaration of July 24, 1922 states unambiguously that Britain became responsible for putting the Balfour Declaration, in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, into effect and it confirmed that recognition had thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country. It is highly relevant that at that time the West Bank and parts of what today is Jordan were included as a Jewish Homeland. However, on September 16, 1922, the British in violation of the Treaty divided the Mandate territory of Palestine, west of the Jordan became Transjordan, east of the Jordan River was for the Jewish State, in accordance with the McMahon Correspondence of 1915 which was not approved by the British Parliament. Transjordan became exempt from the Mandate provisions concerning the Jewish National Home, effectively removing about 78% of the original territory of the area in which a Jewish National home was to be established in terms of the Balfour Declaration and the San Remo resolution as well as the British Mandate.
This action violated not only Article 5 of the Mandate which required the Mandatory to 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 but also article 20 of the Covenant of the League of Nations in which the Members of the League solemnly undertook that they would not enter into any engagements inconsistent with the terms thereof.
Article 6 of the Mandate stated that 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. Political rights were exclusively granted only to the Jewish people.
Nevertheless in blatant violation of article 6, in a 1939 White Paper Britain changed its position so as to limit Jewish immigration from Europe, a move that was blatant violation by Zionists as betrayal of the terms of the mandate, especially in light of the increasing persecution of Jews in Europe. This caused the death of millions of Jews trying to escape Nazi extermination. In response, Zionists organized Aliyah Bet, a program of illegal immigration into Palestine.

The frequently voiced complaint that the state being offered to the Palestinians comprises only 22 percent of Palestine is obviously invalid. The truth is exactly the reverse. From the above history and international treaties, it is obvious that the territory on both sides of the Jordan was legally designated for the Jewish homeland by the 1920 San Remo Conference, mandated to Britain as trustee, endorsed by the League of Nations in 1922, affirmed in the Anglo-American Convention on Palestine in 1925 and confirmed in 1945 by article 80 of the UN. Yet, approximately 80% of this territory was excised from the territory in May 1923 when, in violation of the mandate and the San Remo resolution, Britain gave autonomy to Transjordan (now known as Jordan) under as-Sharif Abdullah bin al-Husayn. Further-more, as the San Remo resolution has never been abrogated, it was and continues to be legally binding between the several parties who signed it. It is therefore obvious that the legitimacy of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and a Jewish state in Palestine all derive from the same international agreement at San Remo.

In essence, when Israel entered the West Bank and Jerusalem in 1967 it did not occupy territory to which any other party had title. While Jerusalem and the West Bank, (Judea and Samaria), were illegally occupied by Jordan in 1948 they remained in effect part of the Jewish National Home that had been created at 1920 San Remo and in the 1967 6-Day War Israel, in effect, recovered and liberated territory that legally belonged to Israel. To quote Judge Schwebel, a former President of the ICJ (International Court of Justice), “As between Israel, acting defensively in 1948 and 1967, on the one hand, and her Arab neighbors, acting aggressively, in 1948 and 1967, on the other, Israel has the better absolute title in the territory of what was Palestine, including the whole of Jerusalem.

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