Aboriginal (Indigenous) Title & a Trusteeship Agreement

The Supreme Court of Canada has decided that, where a “First Nation” maintains demographic and cultural connections with the land, aboriginal title (including self-government rights) can survive both sovereignty changes and the influx of a new majority population, resulting from foreign conquest.Delgamuukw v. British Columbia, [1997] 3 SCR 1010 (Case Number 23799).

This jurisprudence is an important decision because it is only Jews who are indigenous to “Palestine” (Eretz Yisrael) that have maintained an “indigenous demographic and cultural connection” to the Land of Eretz Yisrael, have survived foreign (Arab) conquest/colonialism and were guaranteed POLITICAL rights to self-government within Mandate for Palestine “Treaty Territories” pursuant to the San Remo Resolution!

(The Arabs acquired independence, as contemplated by the Faisal-Weizmann Agreement via the Kingdom of the Hejaz, were guaranteed political rights at the San Remo Conference via the Mandates for Syria, Lebanon, and Mesopotamia (Iraq) and are indigenous to Arabia!)

The Canadian Treaty Land Entitlements Agreements process, and the Jurisprudence decided in behalf of Indigenous First Peoples provides a useful model that could be negotiated as part of a comprehensive Arab-Israeli settlement under a ‘post-OsloTrusteeship Agreement as contemplated by Chapter XII (Articles 75 through 85) of the UN Charter, to “set aside” Land Reserves for “close Jewish and Arab settlement” in historical “Eretz Yisrael” (Palestine) both East and West of the Jordan River.

Antony Blinken’s track record

A person’s track record is usually essential for predicting his behavior. Blinken’s Middle East policies do not bode well for Israel. Op-ed/

Amb. (ret.) Yoram Ettinger , Nov 25 , 2020 8:00 AM Share

Dr. Albert Ellis, one of the world’s top psychologists, suggests that the study of past track records is an essential undertaking for an effective assessment of the future: “The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior.”

This suggestion is also applicable to the assessment of policy formulation by the next US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, who will be the most influential foreign and national security policy-maker in President-elect Joe Biden’s Administration.

Blinken’s close ties with Biden, dating back to Biden’s chairmanship of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, make him, potentially, as influential as were Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and Jim Baker during the presidency of Richard Nixon and George H.W. Bush respectively.

Israel policy. Blinken opposes Israel’s annexation of – and expanded Jewish presence in – any part of Judea and Samaria, as well as in Jerusalem beyond the 1949 ceasefire lines. He considers Israeli dramatic land concessions to be a prerequisite for peace. He supports the establishment of a Palestinian state in Gaza and the pre-1967 Jordan-occupied-Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem.

However, according to Blinken, “US aid to Israel is beyond debate and should never be used as leverage to influence Israel’s policies toward Palestinians…. It’s in the US interest that Israel has the means to secure itself…. Israel’s security is challenged on a daily basis. Israel faces existential threats every single day.”

Palestinian policy. Blinken assumes that a Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and East Jerusalem would serve justice and would spare Israel a demographic calamity. He ignores the well-documented demographic reality, which exposes the myth of the Arab demographic timebomb. He approaches the Palestinian issue from the human rights angle, notwithstanding the Palestinian track record as a role model for anti-Jewish hate-education and incitement, 100-year-old anti-Jewish terrorism and intra-Arab terrorism and treachery.

Irrespective of Middle East reality, he believes in the centrality of the Palestinian issue on the Arab agenda and the pursuit of Israel-Arab peace.

Blinken aims to restore annual financial aid to the Palestinian Authority (which was suspended due to the PA’s financial support of families of terrorists and the systematic heralding of terrorists), as well as the annual financial transfer to UNRWA (which was suspended due to its funding of the PA’s hate education). Also, he will reopen the PLO office in Washington, DC.

Libya policy. Blinken believes that the introduction of human rights and democracy to the Arab World would constitute a most effective foundation of peaceful coexistence. In 2011, as the National Security Advisor to Vice President Biden, along with Ben Rhodes, the Deputy National Security Advisor to
Contrary to the well-intentioned Blinken worldview, in the real Middle East, the choice is between pro-Western – or anti-Western – non-democratic anti human rights regimes.
President Obama, he urged a US/NATO military offensive against Qadhafi, in order to stop “Qadhafi’s human rights violations and slaughter of his own people.” The war on the arch human rights violator, Qadhafi, evolved Libya into a major platform of arch human rights violating Islamic terrorists, which is still haunting Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Europe and Africa. The war on Qadhafi – and his eventual lynching by Islamic terrorists – ignored his transformation (since 2003!) from a ruthless supporter of terrorism into a ruthless warrior against Islamic terrorism in north, central and western Africa, who provided the US with invaluable intelligence on global terrorism, and transferred his nuclear infrastructure to the US.

Sadly, contrary to the well-intentioned Blinken worldview, in the real Middle East, the choice is between pro-Western – or anti-Western – non-democratic anti human rights regimes.

“Arab Springpolicy. The Libya policy was reflective of the worldview of key foreign policy and national security players – including Blinken – who formulated the US Middle East policy during the 2010/2011 volcanic eruption of violence, including terrorism, from Morocco in northwest Africa through Egypt and the Arabian Peninsula to Bahrain in the Persian Gulf.

Blinken assessed the brutal confrontations on the Arab Street – which has been an intrinsic feature of the Arab World since the 7th century – through the prism of human rights. He overlooked the complexity of these confrontations (among non-democratic, violent elements) and underestimated the dominant role of Islamic terrorism and inherent intra-Arab domestic and regional brutal power struggles.

Along with most of the Western foreign policy establishment, Blinken referred to this wave of violence, which still haunts the Arab Street, as the “Arab Spring,” “youth revolution” and “march for democracy;” while, in fact, it has been a tectonic Arab Tsunami all along.

Saudi Arabia policy. A reassessment of US policy toward Saudi Arabia, and putting on notice Crown Prince Muhammed Bin Salman (whom he considers “impulsive and reckless”), are expected due to Blinken’s focus on human rights, while underestimating the impact on the intensified anti-Western Shite and Muslim Brotherhood Sunni terrorism, which aim to topple all pro-US and relatively-moderate Arab regimes, establish a pan-Islamic state, and proliferate Islamic terrorism globally.

Blinken may precondition the sale of advanced weaponry to Saudi Arabia upon improved human rights (which would increase Chinese, Russian and European military sales to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf).

In addition, Blinken opposes the Saudi involvement in the civil war in Yemen, which has become a most active Iranian beachhead against Saudi Arabia aiming to topple the Saudi regime. He, also, objects to the Saudi aggressive policy toward Qatar, which is a strategic ally of Iran’s Ayatollahs and Turkey’s Erdogan and a chief financier of Muslim Brotherhood terrorists – three major threats to the House of Saud.

Egypt policy. In 2009, Blinken supported the human rights-centered US policy toward Egypt, courting the Muslim Brotherhood terroristic opposition, which led to its 2012-2013 rise to power, while toppling the pro-US President Mubarak (similar to President Carter’s policy, which betrayed the Shah of Iran, providing a tailwind to the rise of Iran’s Ayatollahs).

Blinken’s pledge to renew US emphasis on human rights violations in Egypt was expressed via November 19 and 20, 2020 Tweets, protesting the arrest of three Egyptian human rights activists. However, Middle East reality suggests that, notwithstanding his honorable intentions, Blinken’s only choice is between a pro-US and an anti-US non-democratic Egypt.

Iran policy. Driven by his globalist, multilateralist, joint leadership world view (contrary to unilateral US national security action), Blinken was closely involved in the formulation of the game-changing 2015 nuclear accord with Tehran.

Therefore, Blinken will reenter the accord, seeking a stronger and longer-lasting agreement, playing down Iranian human rights violations, lifting as many sanctions as possible, which will yield a robust tailwind to Iran’s economy (as documented by the 2015 precedent), bolstering Iran’s efforts to topple all pro-Western Arab regimes and expand its terror network in the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa, South and Central America.

Will Antony Blinken learn from past errors by repeating – or avoiding them?

Will Blinken adjust his policy recommendations to Middle East reality, or is he determined to export “cancel-culture” to the Middle East, with the well-intentioned aim to introduce human rights, democracy and peaceful-coexistence into the ruthlessly entrenched Middle East culture?

Yoram Ettinger is a former ambassador and head of “Second Thought: a U.S.-Israel initiative.” A writer, lecturer and consultant on US affairs, he is former Minister for Congressional Affairs and former Consul General in Houston, Texas.

Tags: Antony Blinken Qaddafi Elimination Amb. (ret.) Yoram Ettinger

Can Biden renew foreign aid to Palestinians while still adhering to Taylor Force Act?

“Sympathizers in the Democratic Party are trying to convince the Palestinians to make changes in the law so salaries will be based on economic conditions and not just on terrorism,” said Yossi Kuperwasser, a senior intelligence and security expert at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

By Israel KasnettU.S. Vice President Joe Biden meets with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on March 9, 2016. Photo by Flash90.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden meets with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on March 9, 2016. Photo by Flash90.

(November 24, 2020 / JNS)

The incoming Biden administration has made clear it intends to renew funding to the Palestinian Authority and reopen the PLO mission in Washington, D.C. In November, Vice President-elect Kamala Harris said in an interview, “We will take immediate steps to restore economic and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people, address the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza, reopen the U.S. consulate in East Jerusalem and work to reopen the PLO mission in Washington.”

But how will that comport with the Taylor Force Act and the Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act (ATCA), which prohibit funding to entities that fund terrorism?

Jonathan Schanzer, senior vice president at Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said the incoming Biden administration “can certainly reopen the PLO mission unilaterally.”

He told JNS, however, that funding “could be complicated by congressional Republicans or even pro-Israel Democrats.”

He also warned against renewing funding for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

“Funding for U.N. organizations that promote Palestinian narratives or refugee narratives may come under similar scrutiny, and for good reason,” he said.

In 2018, U.S. President Donald Trump pulled funding from UNRWA due to corruption and its anti-Israel stance.

The Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act (ATCA) of 2018, and the Promoting Security and Justice for Victims of Terrorism Act (PSJVTA) of 2019 are two amendments to the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) that have significant implications for U.S. aid to the Palestinians and U.S. courts’ ability to exercise jurisdiction over Palestinian entities.

PSJVTA, which came into effect in December 2019, reverses ATCA, which says that a defendant consents to personal jurisdiction in the United States for lawsuits related to international terrorism if the defendant accepts American foreign aid.

After the P.A. requested to not receive such aid so as to sidestep this legislation and avoid being brought to court on terrorism charges, Congress passed the PSJVTA, which eliminates the defendant’s acceptance of U.S. foreign aid as a trigger of consent to personal jurisdiction. Instead, PSJVTA says that any P.A. or PLO payments related to terrorist acts that kill or injure a U.S. national act is a trigger of consent to personal jurisdiction.

Thus, PSJVTA seeks to force the P.A. to pay damages to U.S. terror victims and their families, whether or not the P.A. receives U.S. aid.

‘Policies and legislation will act as a balance’

According to Yossi Kuperwasser, a senior intelligence and security expert, and a fellow at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, “it is clear that the Biden administration is keen to resume aid to the Palestinian Authority. Several people have spoken about it, including Harris, so obviously, this is what they plan to do.”

However, he told JNS that the Biden administration is required to abide by the legislation that Congress adopted over the last few years, which will make it quite difficult to give money to the Palestinians.

The Taylor Force Act demands that the Palestinians stop paying salaries to terrorists, which “will be difficult for the Palestinians to do,” noted Kuperwasser.

“All kinds of sympathizers in the Democratic Party are trying to convince the Palestinians to make changes in the law so the salaries will be based on some sort of economic conditions and not just on the issue of terrorism,” he added.

What worries Kuperwasser is that the Palestinians are “going to play all sorts of tricks.”

“They are not really going to change anything significant,” he said. “They will keep paying salaries to terrorists and pretend it is based on economic characteristics. But they will not change anything. Terrorists will continue receiving salaries from the Palestinian Authority.”

What also worries Kuperwasser is that some people may try to do exactly what the Obama administration did in 2014 when it came under pressure to prevent funds from reaching Palestinian terrorists.

“The Obama administration simply asked the Palestinians to not pay terrorists from the P.A. budget,” he said.

According to Kuperwasser, the Palestinians simply moved the office responsible for paying terrorists from the P.A. to the PLO, and in the P.A. budget, there was a clause that gave money to the PLO, which then gave the money to the terrorists.

“On the basis of that move, which changed nothing, the State Department wrote that there are efforts, and things are moving in the right direction,” he said. “But no action was taken.”

“I am worried that something similar is going to happen now,” said Kuperwasser. “The new State Department under Biden may say they are in the midst of making changes. They might say: ‘We should wait and encourage the Palestinians, so let’s resume the aid even if they are still paying terrorists.’ ”

He said that while the situation “is much better than it was in 2014,” the Palestinians continue to be worried about ATCA, the United States continues to worry about the Palestinians, and Israel is worried that America will renew funding to the P.A.—funding that will end up in the pockets of terrorists.

But Kuperwasser said Israel will be watching the Biden administration’s decisions with regard to renewing aid to the Palestinians, hoping that the new administration will move beyond the Obama administration’s foreign-policy approach and move closer to the moves of the Trump administration, which placed more pressure on the Palestinians.

“The Taylor Force Act and other relevant legislation remain a deterrent to Palestinian terror support, although it clearly hasn’t halted that activity,” said Schanzer.

“Opposition to Palestinian intransigence and radicalism will remain a centrist issue in Congress, even if the incoming administration is eager to re-establish ties with the Palestinians,” he added. “In short, existing policies and legislation will act as a balance against some of the moves the next administration might consider.”

Dominion Executive:

‘Trump is not going to win. I made ****ing sure of that’

One America speaks with founder of FEC United, Joe Oltmann, who made bombshell discovery about key member of Dominion leadership.

One America’s Chief White House Correspondent Chanel Rion spoke with the founder of FEC United, Joe Oltmann, who made a bombshell discovery about a key member of Dominion’s leadership.

Tags: Voter Fraud One America News Network Trending 2020 USA Elections

The status of Judea/Samaria: Examination of Israel’s lawful rights

The winning card lies in Israel’s legal – not its historical and religious – claims to Jerusalem. Arutz Sheva spoke to the former head of the Ministry for Jerusalem to clarify the issue.

Rochel Sylvetsky Share

Rochel Sylvetsky

Rochel Sylvetsky is Senior Consultant and op-ed and Judaism editor of Arutz Sheva’s English site. She is a former Chairperson of Emunah Israel,1991-96, was CEO/Director of Kfar Hanoar Hadati Youth Village, member of the Emek Zevulun Regional Council and the Religious Education Council of Israel’s Education Ministry as well as managing editor of Arutz Sheva (2008-2013). Her degrees are in Mathematics and Jewish Education.More from the author ►

The winning card lies in Israel’s legal – not its historical and religious – claims, but can the legal status of Jerusalem be determined?

With a new coalition in formation,Trump’s “Deal of the Century” hovering in the air, and the Arab world continuing to vent its fury at the US for the Embassy’s move to Jerusalem and daring to try to make a deal, Arutz Sheva talked to Amb. (ret.) Ran Ichay, who initiated the First International Legal Conference on Jerusalem last year, to examine the legal aspects of Israeli rights more closely. 

Ichay served at a crucial period as Israeli Ambassador to Kazakhstan, then moved to the Foreign Affairs Ministry and was, until his recent retirement, Director General of the Ministry for Jerusalem and Heritage under Minister Zev Elkin. He lives in Gush Etzion, serves in the Border Police, and is a graduate of the Netanya Bnai Akiva Yeshiva H.S. and Bar Ilan University.

Ran Ichay, Director General for The Ministry of Jerusalem and Heritage ILTV

Why is it important to examine the legal status of Jerusalem?  

Amb. Ichay: “We are used to the Jewish people justly claiming powerful religious, emotional and historical rights to Jerusalem –  while archaeological finds, the Bible and Roman writings make that truth self-evident – but we are just as used to the Arabs (and their willing UN helpers in UNESCO and other organizations) totally denying Jewish history, ignoring- if not destroying – archaeological finds and claiming that the city and the Temple Mount are holy only to Islam.
 

“The legal claim to Jerusalem, in contrast, is based on facts, but years of listening to unsubstantiated and downright false statements purporting to be truth have made most people unaware of the legal truths.
 

“Also, the international talk is predominantly legal. We seem weak because we talk history and religion, which the world sees as debatable in the first case and contested in the second. 


“Let’s face it, the whole world sees us as criminals, so that the very fact of starting a debate is a healthy development.  The elite echelons are still against us but the conference brought about a change in that the ring is not empty anymore, not totally one-sided anymore. There is still a dispute, but there are two sides to it.”

Amb. Ichay chaired the conference, titled Israel’s Rights to Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and moderated by Dr. Tal Becker and Dr. Roy Schondorf of the Foreign Affairs and Justice Ministry. The featured presenters and the sponsors were an impressive array of world famous academics and/or legal experts on the topic.


Scholars of international renown who participated were Israel Prize winner Professor Ruth Lapidoth of Hebrew University, Professor David Ruziel, Legion d’Honneur, of the Sorbonne, Dr. Jacques Gauthier, Legion D”Honneur, legal expert on the status of Jerusalem, Amb. Dr. Alan Baker, former legal advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Professor Eugene Kantorovich of the Kohelet Forum and Northwestern University. 

The three sessions set for the conference precluded having additional presenters, but, says Ichay, there was no shortage of legal experts who wanted to attend and expressed the hope that there would be more conferences in the future.

  
Who are we trying to convince?
“We have to convince ourselves first, in this order: Start with Israelis, then pro-Israel Jews and Gentiles, and last of all, anti-Zionist Jews and the rest of the world 
 

“To our hard line opponents, I say: I won’t try to convince you, I am here to explain. If you don’t accept the facts, what’s the difference? It is still the truth.
 

“We have ignored the legal front for years and have reached the point where we ourselves have doubts about its validity. 
 

“The Jewish general public understands the historic, security, moral and even the religious rights we have, but we make the mistake of assuming that these should influence the world to recognize our legal rights even though we believe that we are the underdog legally. And that is not true, we are not the underdog. The reality is quite the opposite.”
 

Is the public interested? And is the government?
 

“Minister Elkin feared the conference would not draw interest, but I convinced him to let me give it a try.  At one of our weekly meetings, then Senior Deputy of the Attorney General’s office (and current A-G), Avichai Mandeblitt, an expert on land issues, told me to be careful, but I did what I felt was right.   
 

“To some, it seemed a bit old school to have scholars in a conference intended for the public. But what happened? We advertised a hall with 200 places and 400 people registered within a day. We had to close registration, still people sat on the steps, on folding chairs – and there were a good many people left outside.
 

“The diplomatic community and the legal community – they naturally go together – attended. Minister Elkin and Dep. Minister Hotovely did as well.

“And in the end, the government, for the first time, published an official work on the subject. The report of the conference was a joint effort of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Jerusalem.  (All 500 copies were snatched up, another printing is planned)
 

Was it hard to get speakers to agree to come?
 

“Although we decided on five speakers, there were many more we could have chosen. The only problem we had was one of ill health on the part of Professor Stephen Schwebel, former Judge of the International Court of Justice (1981–2000, President of the International Court of Justice (1997–2000),  and then Vice President of the International Court of Justice (1994–1997)[7] and Judge of the International Court of Justice (1981–2000). He was hit with a lot of criticism in the past for his forthrightness on Israel and Jerusalem.  Because of his age, we were set to interview him in Vermont and show it on a screen. Everything was ready, even the journalist to accompany us, but Judge Schwebel became ill and we cancelled our plans to fly there.”

 (For excerpts from Professor Schwebel’s writings, see the appendix to this article.)


Can you summarize some of the main points said at the conference that shed light on the legal situation of Israel and Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria in particular? 
 

The conference emphasized the legal history of the land. Speakers first dealt with a. the process of the allocation of title to the land meant for a Jewish homeland and then went on to discuss b. developments after the establishment of the Jewish state:
 

a. Allocation and title:

The decisions on granting a homeland for the Jews after WWI were authorized legally by those who had the legal right to do so. They clearly stated which map they used to delineate that homeland and why it was used and who became the titleholders of that land. This, in brief, is how it happened:


1, After WWI, the victors, who were Great Britain, France, Italy and Japan (The US did not enter a state of war with the Ottomans and Russia made a separate agreement.) became titleholders to the land that had belonged to the Ottomans since 1517 and had been recognized by the world as theirs.
2. The victors’ representatives used the map taken from the 1915 edition of the Atlas of the Historical Geography of the Holy Land, designed and edited by George Adam Smith in 1894, in which the boundaries of the Kingdom of Israel are clearly defined and include both sides of the Jordan River. This is the area they decided to grant the Jewish people. We have the minutes of those meetings. We  have photos of the group.

Adam Smith Map appended to the Mandate INN: RI

3. Great Britain received the mandate over the Land of Israel until the Jewish homeland could be established (when more Jews immigrated to the region), ratifying the declarative 1917 Balfour Declaration and making it binding. The mandate Britain received from the nations at the 1920 San Remo Conference of the League of Nations was that the land was to be held in trust for the Jewish people on behalf of the nations. It was dubbed “the Magna Carta of the Jewish People”. Turkey signed its agreement to the mandate at the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923.
4. The UN inherited this trust and extended its validity.
5. The British announced that the trust would end on May 14, 1948, making the Jews of Israel the titleholders.
 

That is the story in a nutshell, omitting many additional details, but it is most important to realize the idea behind it as seen in the minutes of the San Remo Conference:
 

The plan in dividing up the defunct and defeated Ottoman Empire was to give the Jews the area on the map that had been the historic kingdom of Israel and the Arabs all the rest of the Ottoman Empire. Just as the Jews could not exercise national rights in the Arab lands in which they lived for millennia, but had to go to the national home designated for them to do that, so the Arabs (no one said Palestinian then for any Arabs – in fact, at the 1919 Faisal-Weizmann talks, Weizmann signed for Palestine -!- and Faisal for the Arab state) had to be in Arab-titled lands to do that. 
 

b. Developments:

1. The British hacked off much of the land they had held in trust for the Jewish Homeland to reward the Hashemites for helping them in WWII. The Jews remained the legal titleholders of that land.  Jordan took possession of Judea and Samaria in an aggressive action, but was not the titleholder of that land and only two states afforded it recognition. In 1988 Jordan relinquished rights to Judea and Samaria.

2. The UN General Assembly passed Resolution 181 the Partition Plan, hacking off even more. The resolution was not binding because the General Assembly  only has the power to give recommendations, and its decisions are not enforceable. 

3.  The experts at the conference stressed the difference between UN decisions that have the status of recommendations and those that are enforceable decisions. General Assembly (GA) resolutions are recommendations, while the Security Council (SC) has the choice of basing a decision on Chapter 6 of its charter, which means it is a recommendation, or on Chapter 7 which means it is enforceable. The proof of the status of GA Resolution 181 is that the Jews accepted it, mainly so as to have a state for Holocaust survivors to come to. The Arabs didn’t and attacked, 

As Amb. Alan Baker said: ‘The Arabs declared war not on the fledgling state of Israel but on a UN General Assembly resolution.’  This aggression made 181 null and void, no matter how many times the Palestinian Authority chairman says it is not.

2. The GA Resolution called Jerusalem corpus separatum, but, as Professor David Ruzie said: “That is a breach of the fundamental principle of the UN charter, the right to self determination. Since there has been a Jewish majority in Jerusalem for at least 100 years, it is Jewish.

3. The experts also discussed the legal status of land gained as a result of aggression as opposed to wars of defense, the rights of a victor in a war of defense and in a defensive war (South Korea’s borders, for example, are farther north than originally designated because of the defensive war it fought with North Korea)  Although the Arabs, realizing this, tried to convince the world that the Six Day War was due to Israeli aggression, that vote did not pass and Israel has the right to the land it conquered as a result. 
4. UN Security Council (SC) Resolution 242 called to “return territories” now under Israel’s aegis due to that war. The law includes the fact that it is based on Chapter 6 of the UN Charter meaning it contains only recommendations, although passed unanimously in the SC.  It carefully did not say “all the territories,” and those who wrote it are on record saying that this was done on purpose – after all, it also says that Israel has a right to defensible borders, which contradicts giving up all the territory. The Arabs saw to translating the resolution into French and added the word ‘all.’ 

When Israel relinquished the Sinai for a peace agreement with Egypt, it gave up 90% of the territory gained in the war, and therefore actually did as recommended in the official wording of Resolution 242.                                                                                                                                           .
 

Which, in your mind, are the most misleading misconceptions and relating to the conflict?

“The world talks about our record on human rights. Human rights? We introduced the concept to the world. Before the Bible, nations were leaving the disabled out to die, let alone sacrificing their children to idols.

I ask myself why the hypocrisy – look at the Falklands and Gibraltar, which no one talks about, for starters. Israel has a much stronger claim than they do.

Why ignore the fact that six European monarchs claim to be kings of Jerusalem because of the Crusade conquering of the city. When President Chirac came to the Old City, he called it French soil. The king of Spain calls himself rei de Jerusalem. They don’t see it as Arab territory.

Focus has been turned from what is important to the use of the misplaced term “occupation.” The Geneva Conference, which is not applicable here at all, is constantly invoked, while legally binding San Remo is ignored.

There is purposeful mistranslation of UN Resolutions and misrepresentation of which ones are binding.”

How can we get this information to help Israel?
 

“Let’s be realistic:  Under no circumstances even if Jews become more numerous than Arabs in the world, will it make a difference in the ICC and Hague – they are political institutions. Nor will it make a difference to the Arabs.
 

“The Arabs, aided by the West, will always be antisemites and anti Zionist They fight us on what they consider moral, legal and historical grounds, on security and religion. The truth is no object. They use oil as a weapon and threats as blackmail. 
 

“They totally deny the history, blacken our names morally with falsities and “won” the legal battle in the public’s eye a long time ago.

“Australia reviewed the legal materials for the first time and had to realize that it was not “occupied” territory but “disputed” territory, but Arab pressure made them backtrack.


“We tried to change the talk in the Jerusalem Ministry office: Historically, by running archaeological exhibits, Legally, through this conference. 

“And as I said, the goal is to teach our supporters the truth.

“If more pro-Israel people know the legal facts, their love for the country will be bolstered by a matter-of-fact rationale.”
 

Do we still have those sovereign rights, are we still the title holders? Didn’t we give them up in some areas?

Dr. Jacques Gauthier said: ‘There is the test of reality.  If I had to defend Israel’s rights in Judea and Samaria, I could. But Jerusalem is even stronger because until 1967 Jordan was thought by many to have the legal rights and did not implement them.’

“From 1967 on, Israel could put have put its rights into practice but did so only in Jerusalem, yet it did not abrogate its rights even in the Oslo Agreement.
 

“From 1967 up until 1993 (Oslo) we had the Civilian Administration in charge, sovereign by law, and it took full responsibility for the area and what was in it, so we did implement our rights to a certain degree. We just didn’t formalize them.
 

“Did PA autonomy mean waiver of rights? No, it is open to negotiation. In Area A, totally under PA control, we go in when we need to. We gave them a chance for us to be uninvolved and they failed. 


“We didn’t give up rule (meshilut),  Autonomy is self-government not sovereignty.
 

“Gaza is different because we left of our own accord.. There we have a problem to regain rights. 
 

Can you tell us the most salient facts  in the list of facts you designed at the start of the report on the conference?

Briefly, they can be summed up as the following:

-San Remo was never reversed
-181 is not a reversal;. It was voted for by the inappropriate body and never accepted 
-242 is not valid, only recommended (based on chapter 6 not 7) and not accepted
-The British said what they meant and those who wrote it down corroborated that interpretation
– Self defense acquisitions are legal
-We gave up more than 90% of the territory with withdrawal from Sinai. 
 

Can you choose a few sentences from those said at the conference?

“Professor Lapidot: When Britain left the area at the end of the Mandate, it left a vacuum of authority which could be filled only by a state that acted lawfully. Israel, in defending itself, acted lawfully and therefore could fill the vacuum of sovereignty.

“Dr. Gauthier: Ten years of research sans opinions and sentiments, 3500 footnotes, give  me the self-confidence to tell you to just look at the facts and if you want to be fair, realize that Jewish Israelis are here as a right. ..I read the minutes of San Remo and saw the photos. The nations wanted the border to be derived from the Adam Smith map. 
“Professor Kontrovich: There really is no case like this, in which the ongoing de facto capital of a recognized country is not recognized as its capital. 181 is some kind of special disability the Jewish state has to contend with in order to determine its own capital.

“And I, as organizer of the conference, would like to posit that President Trump’s decision was on firm legal standing. We have to inculcate these facts and use them to stand strong on our legal rights to our land and its holiest city, Jerusalem.”

Tags: Partition Plan San Remo Resolution UN Resolution 242

The Israel Apartheid Lie

Israel is the most diverse nation in the Middle East and guarantees equal rights for all citizens: 20% of the population is Arab, more than half of Israeli Jews are of Middle Eastern descent, its Christian population is the only one increasing in size in the region. (Photo: United with Israel)

Contrary to all facts, Israel’s enemies maliciously accuse the Jewish state of South African-style discrimination against Arabs. Why do they tell this obvious lie?

Despite Israel’s exemplary civil rights record and its laws protecting all ethnicities and religions, colleges still host Israel Apartheid Weeks and some critics insist Israel is or will become an apartheid state. The truth quickly exposes the malign motives of these accusations.

What are the facts?

“Time to stop the Big Lie about apartheid in Israel.”

Apartheid in South Africa was enforced by dozens of laws that restricted where citizens of color could live, work, congregate and go to school—even whom they could marry. None of these laws—nor any like them—exists or ever has existed in Israel. How could this bizarre “Israel Apartheid” calumny spread so pervasively in Western academies and mainstream media? The answer is The Big Lie—the Nazi propaganda principle, recognizing that when a falsehood is repeated often enough, it becomes accepted. Even former President Jimmy Carter—no friend of Israel—titled his book, “Palestine: Peace or Apartheid.”

What was South African apartheid? “Apartheid,” the Dutch-Africaans term for separation, was the social order of the former South Africa. It meant that the Black majority of the nation, as well as the so-called Colored, were kept strictly apart in all aspects of life. White domination over the native population was fundamental. For instance: Non-Whites had to carry a “passbook.” Passbook infringement could lead to deportation to one of the Bantu “homelands.” Blacks and Coloreds were kept from a wide array of jobs. Black-White sex was a serious, jail-time criminal offense. Hospitals and ambulances were strictly segregated. Whites enjoyed free education until graduation. Not so for Blacks, whose education was strictly limited by the oppressive “Bantu Education Act.”

By law, no mixed sports were allowed. Park benches, swimming pools, libraries, and movies were strictly separated. Blacks were not allowed to purchase or imbibe alcoholic drinks. This is only a small, partial list of the many abusive indignities that non-Whites suffered under the South African apartheid regime.

Israeli Equality. Even to hint that Israel practices apartheid is outrageous and hateful, since the exact opposite is the case. Not a single apartheid practice applies to Israel. Israel is by far the most racially mixed and tolerant nation in the entire Middle East. Israeli Arabs, who are about 20% of Israel’s population, enjoy, without exception, the same rights and opportunities in all fields as their Jewish fellow citizens. The total equality of all Israelis is assured in Israel’s founding document. All non-Jews—which means primarily Muslim Arabs—have full voting rights. At present, 13 Arabs sit in Israel’s Knesset (parliament), one of Israel’s Supreme Court judges is Arab, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) has Arab generals. Arabs are represented in Israel’s diplomatic service all over the world. Homeownership is higher for Arabs than Jews. Arab students study in all Israeli universities. All children in Israel are entitled to subsidized education until graduation, with no restrictions based on ethnicity or religion. In short, Muslim Arabs and other non-Jews are allowed everything that Jews are allowed—everything that non-Whites were not allowed in apartheid South Africa. These facts should shame anyone who accuses Israel of apartheid.

But, yes, there is one difference: Jewish Israeli men and women are obligated to a multi-year stint in the IDF or community service; For Arab Israeli citizens, this service is voluntary.

Separation from Palestinian Arabs. Some critics accuse Israel of segregation because it prevents Arab Palestinians who live in Gaza or the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria (aka the West Bank) from freely entering Israel. This of course is absurd. Arab Palestinians are citizens of the Palestinian Authority, not of Israel, and some 95% have never set foot in Israel. While Israel regularly allows about 55,000 Palestinian workers into Israel daily (pre-COVID-19), it controls its borders strictly, just as the U.S. does. Border enforcement is not apartheid.

What’s more, Israel has many times offered to cede its territorial rights in the West Bank to the Arab Palestinians for a state, but they have refused all offers, instead continuing terrorist and missile attacks against Israeli civilians, including Israeli Arabs.

Time to stop the Big Lie about apartheid in Israel. Too many people have been duped by the hateful language of Israel’s enemies. In fact, Israel is a beacon of freedom and enlightenment in the Middle East. It’s time for fair-minded people—and mainstream media—to broadcast the truth about Israel . . . and forcefully reject the apartheid label. One who demonizes Israel with this falsehood fully deserves the label of anti-Semite.

The Choice of Simeon

B”H

Mikeitz (Genesis 41:1-44:17)

The Torah tells us that Simeon was named because HaShem heard that Leah was “hated” (B’rashith [Genesis] 29.33). The Torah also tells us that Yoseph was hated by his brothers because he was “Yisrael’s favorite” and because of his “evil tales” and his “dreams” (B’rashith [Genesis] 37.2, 3-5); and that they envied Yoseph (37.11); yet it does not tell us why Yoseph chose Simeon to be imprisoned in Egypt, it [merely] states, “They did not know that Joseph understood, for the interpreter was between them. And he turned away from them and wept, then returned to them and spoke to them; -”

“and he took Simeon from among them and imprisoned him before their eyes.” (42.24)

Rashi states that he took Simeon because it was Simeon who instigated the incident (of selling him to the Yishmaelites 37.28) by saying to Levi, “here comes that dreamer” 37.18-20 and who threw Yoseph into the pit – Rashi tells us that the Torah is telling us that Reuven exhonorated himself before Yoseph: “And Reuben answered them, saying, “Didn’t I tell you, saying, ‘Do not sin against the lad,’ but you did not listen? Behold, his blood, too, is being demanded!” (42.22)

I suggest that Yoseph, (by selecting Simeon) was hinting to his brothers that it was he, (Yoseph) who was hated, yet HaShem heard [his affliction] when he was in the pit (the Midianites lifted him out of the pit) for that is the meaning of Simeon – the text is hinting “but you did not listen?” 42.22 he was hinting so as to reveal himself to them for the Torah tells us that

  1. “he yearned for his brother” 43.30 and that
  2. “Benjamin’s portion was five time bigger than his brothers” (43.33, 34) and that he
  3. (Yoseph) “seated them according to their birth order” (how could he know?) so that they (his brothers) were
  4. “astonished” and that
  5. “they made merry with him”

The Torah (42.22, 28, 44.16) is telling us that they knew they were being “punished” – “Behold, his blood, too, is being demanded!” (42.22) – “And he said to his brothers, “My money has been returned, and indeed, here it is in my sack! ” Their hearts sank, and trembling, they turned to one another, saying, “What is this that God has done to us?” “ (42.28)

“And Judah said, “What shall we say to my master? What shall we speak, and how shall we exonerate ourselves? God has found your servants’ iniquity, behold, we are my lord’s servants, both we and the one in whose possession the goblet has been found.” (44.16)

but you did not listen?” (42.22) Simeon = HaShem heard (listened 29.33); Hear O’Yisrael (Devarim 6.4); Hear in Heaven (1 Kings 8.28,-30, 34, 36, 39, 43, 45, 49, 52 ) and forgive…! 50.15 And when Joseph’s brethren saw that their father was dead, they said: ‘It may be that Joseph will hate us, and will fully requite us all the evil which we did unto him.’ 16 And they sent a message unto Joseph, saying: ‘Thy father did command before he died, saying: 17 So shall ye say unto Joseph: Forgive, I pray thee now, the transgression of thy brethren, and their sin, for that they did unto thee evil. And now, we pray thee, forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of thy father.’ And Joseph wept when they spoke unto him. 18 And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said: ‘Behold, we are thy bondmen.’ 19 And Joseph said unto them: ‘Fear not; for am I in the place of God?

****

Why did Yoseph accuse his brothers of being spies?

The Torah reveals to us that Yoseph tested his brothers to see if they had improved their behavior before he could reveal to them that he was Yoseph. This bring us to another question: Why did Yoseph wait to send for his father two years into the famine? I think the answer lies in the naming of Yoseph’s sons Ephraim and Manasseh

And Yoseph called the name of the first-born Manasseh: ‘for G-D hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father’s house.’ 41.51 And the name of the second called he Ephraim: ‘for G-D hath made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.’ 41.52

‘for G-D hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father’s house.’ ‘for G-D hath made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.’

When will Jewish refugees from Arab nations get the justice they deserve?

Dear Friend of FLAME:

When the mainstream media and United Nations refer to refugees in the context of the Israel-Palestinian conflict, they’re usually referring only to the so-called Palestinian refugees.

While much can be said about the Palestinian refugees and their controversially unique and privileged status globally, the media and international organizations rarely address hundreds of thousands of Jews who were forcibly exiled from their homes and communities in the Middle East and North Africa during the mid-20th century.

While many, if not most, Palestinian refugees had only arrived in their new homes in the Holy Land during the previous century, Jews had been living in places like Iraq for over 2,500 years. In fact, the Jewish presence in the wider Middle East predates the rise of Islam—as well as the Arab conquest, occupation and colonization of the region—by over 1,000 years.

In the early part of the 20th century, some 850,000 Jews lived in what is today known as the “Arab World.” However, today there are no more than a few thousand Jews left in that region—meaning this was one of the most successful ethnic-cleansing events in modern history.

In 2014, the Israeli Knesset passed a law mandating that November 30th would be the Day to Commemorate the Expulsion of Jews from the Arab Countries and Iran. The Jewish refugees from Arab countries issue remains an unresolved issue, even though international law and United Nations resolutions mandate a redress.

On two separate occasions the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) ruled that Jews fleeing from Arab countries were indeed ‘bona fide’ refugees who fall under its mandate. Many of the most pertinent and relevant resolutions on the conflict that reference refugees—including UN General Assembly Resolution 194 and UN Security Council Resolution 242—do so without defining the type of refugee. This means that such resolutions—whether referencing compensation or assistance—can and should also apply to Jewish refugees.

Meanwhile, there have been 172 resolutions specifically on Palestinian refugees, 13 UN agencies and organizations mandated or newly created to provide protection and relief to Palestinian refugees, and tens of billions of dollars disbursed by the international community to provide services and assistance to Palestinian refugees.

During that same period, the U.N. offered no specific resolutions, no support by UN agencies, nor any financial assistance from the international community to reduce the suffering of Jewish refugees from Arab countries.

Unlike Palestinian refugees, the Jews from Arab countries were not involved as combatants, Jewish leaders had not called for the destruction of the countries they lived in nor the annihilation of its inhabitants, and were not even in a theater of war. They lived as law-abiding citizens, under repressive dhimmi subjugation—a special discriminatory legal system for Jews, who had to pay special anti-Semitic taxes and endure pogroms and massacres.

Overnight, in 1946—two years prior to Israel’s declaration of independence—thanks to a decision by the Arab League, all Jews in member states were considered enemies: Their citizenships were revoked, bank accounts frozen, tens of thousands thrown out of certain professions and many imprisoned, simply because of their identity.

While the number of 1948 Palestinian refugees is around two thirds of the number of Jewish refugees, the difference in personal and communal assets was stark. Though the average Palestinian refugee was rural and had few assets, the Jews of places like Baghdad and Cairo were urban, cosmopolitan and wealthy.

According to the research undertaken by an international accountancy firm, the total assets of these dispossessed Jews in today’s currency would be worth around $250 billion. The calculations took into account land, real estate in cities and villages, business value, loss of income and income potential, movable property and Jewish public and community property.

In 2009, the U.S. Congress passed a bill recognizing the plight of the Jewish refugees, noting that for any “comprehensive Middle East peace agreement to be credible and enduring, that agreement must address and resolve all outstanding issues relating to the legitimate rights of refugees, including Jews, Christians and other populations displaced from countries in the Middle East.”

The U.S. resolution encourages the President and their administrations to mention Jewish and other refugees when mentioning Palestinian refugees at international forums. This was followed by a law in the Knesset that also mandated the Israeli government to bring up the issue of the Jewish refugees whenever the issue of refugees is raised.

Most Jews in Israel are Mizrahim (literally meaning “Eastern”)—from the Middle East and North Africa. They or their descendants, were kicked out of their homes with next to nothing, and many were murdered or died during their flight.

Israel, as the national homeland of the Jewish people, took them in as they did all Jews fleeing persecution and helped them integrate and be absorbed to their new-old home, where they created new lives for themselves. This does not, however, mean their pain and suffering should be forgotten, or that redress should not be demanded.

The crux of this conflict—and the reluctance of media and international bodies to address it—has always been about recognizing the Jews as a nation who reconstituted national sovereignty in their indigenous and ancestral homeland. The attacks and ethnic cleansing of Jews in Arab countries was one of the most egregious examples of the violent rejectionism of Jewish human rights by Arab leaders.

While some measures—like the Clinton Parameters, guidelines for an end to the conflict presented by then-President Bill Clinton in 2000—did refer to an international fund for both Arab and Jewish refugees displaced by the conflict, the issue remains on the sidelines.

Ideas such as an international compensation fund, or one funded by Arab countries that expelled the Jews, or the proposal for one refugee crisis to annul the other, have all been raised at one point or another.

I hope that in conversations with friends, family, colleagues and elected officials—as well as in letters to the editor—you’ll emphasize that in order for the Israel-Arab conflict—including the Israel-Palestinian conflict—to be solved, the crime of ethnic cleansing of Jews has to be acknowledged. Then generous redress must be demanded and granted.

I hope you’ll also take a minute, while you have this material front and center, to forward this message to friends, visit FLAME’s lively Facebook page and review the P.S. immediately below. It describes FLAME’s new hasbarah campaign—which exposes the outrageous, false accusation that Israel is an “apartheid state.”

Best regards,

Jim Sinkinson
President, Facts and Logic About the Middle East (FLAME)

P.S.Every year, dozens of major American colleges and universities host Israel Apartheid Week, sponsored by radical pro-Palestinian groups like Students for Justice in Palestine. In addition, critics of Israel also assert that Israel is or will soon become an apartheid state. As you know, nothing is further from the truth. Israel guarantees equal rights to all its citizens and its laws bear zero resemblance to any of the hateful rules of apartheid South Africa, where the term was invented. To clarify this point, FLAME has created a new hasbarah message called “The Israel Apartheid Lie.”
I hope you’ll review this convincing, fact-based paid editorial, which will run in USA Today, the Washington Post, and other media nationwide. It spells out specific tenets of apartheid and refutes the apartheid calumny against Israel point by point. This piece will also be sent to all members of Congress, Vice President Pence and President Trump. If you agree that this kind of public relations effort on Israel’s behalf is critical, I urge you to support us.
Remember: FLAME’s powerful ability to influence public opinion—and U.S. support of Israel—comes from individuals like you, one by one. I hope you’ll consider giving a donation now, as you’re able—with $500, $250, $100, or even $18. (Remember, your donation to FLAME is tax deductible.) To donate online, just go to donate now.
Now, more than ever, we need your support to ensure that the American people, the U.S. Congress and President Trump stay committed to realistic policies in relation to Israel, Iran and the entire Middle East. As of today, more than 15,000 Israel supporters receive the FLAME Hotline at no charge every week. If you’re not yet a subscriber, won’t you join us in receiving these timely updates, so you can more effectively tell the truth about Israel? Just go to free subscription.

The False ‘Nakba’ Narrative

Nakba Day 2010, Hebron. Sign reads ‘Surely we will return, Palestine.’ Photo via Wikipedia

BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,143, April 16, 2019

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The term “Nakba,” originally coined to describe the magnitude of the self-inflicted Palestinian and Arab defeat in the 1948 war, has become in recent decades a synonym for Palestinian victimhood, with failed aggressors transformed into hapless victims and vice versa. Israel should do its utmost to uproot this false image by exposing its patently false historical basis.

Nowadays, the failed Palestinian Arab attempt to destroy the state of Israel at birth, and the attendant flight of some 600,000 Palestinian Arabs, has come to be known internationally as the “Nakba,” the catastrophe, with its accompanying false implication of hapless victimhood.

This, ironically, was the opposite of the original meaning of the term, when it was first applied to the Arab-Israeli conflict by the Syrian historian Constantin Zureiq. In his 1948 pamphlet The Meaning of the Disaster (Ma’na al-Nakba), Zureiq attributed the Palestinian/Arab flight to the stillborn pan-Arab assault on the nascent Jewish state rather than to a premeditated Zionist design to disinherit the Palestinian Arabs:

When the battle broke out, our public diplomacy began to speak of our imaginary victories, to put the Arab public to sleep and talk of the ability to overcome and win easily – until the Nakba happened…We must admit our mistakes…and recognize the extent of our responsibility for the disaster that is our lot.

Zureiq subscribed to this critical view for decades. In a later book, The Meaning of the Catastrophe Anew (Ma‘na al-Nakbah Mujaddadan) published after the June 1967 war, he defined that latest defeat as a “Nakba” rather than a “Naksa” (or setback), as it came to be known in Arab discourse, since – just as in 1948 – it was a self-inflicted disaster emanating from the Arab world’s failure to confront Zionism.

At that time, the term “Nakba” was glaringly absent from Arab and/or Palestinian discourse. Its first mention – in George Antonius’s influential 1938 book The Arab Awakening – had nothing to do with the (as yet nonexistent) Arab-Israeli conflict but rather with the post-WWI creation of the modern Middle East (“The year 1920 has an evil name in Arab annals: it is referred to as the Year of the Catastrophe or, in Arabic, Aam al-Nakba”).

Similarly, in his 1956 book Facts on the Question of Palestine (Haqa’iq an Qadiyat Falastin), Hajj Amin Husseini, the leader of the Palestinian Arabs from the early 1920s to 1948, used the term “al-Karitha” to describe the Palestinian Arab collapse and dispersal. According to Palestinian academic Anaheed Al-Hardan of the American University of Beirut, this reflected Husseini’s desire to avoid the term “Nakba,” which was widely associated at the time with a self-inflicted Palestinian Arab disaster – either through land sales to Zionists, failure to put up a fight, or the issuing of instructions to the people to leave.

Nor did the term resurface for decades following the 1948 war – not even in the PLO’s hallowed founding document, the Palestinian Covenant (1964, revised in 1968). It was only in the late 1980s that it began to be widely perceived as an Israeli-inflicted injustice. Ironically, it was a group of politically engaged, self-styled Israeli “new historians” who provided the Palestinian national movement with perhaps its best propaganda tool by turning the saga of Israel’s birth upside down, with aggressors turned into hapless victims and vice versa, on the basis of massive misrepresentation of archival evidence.

While earlier generations of Palestinian academics and intellectuals had refrained from exploring the origins of the 1948 defeat, PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, who was brought to Gaza and the West Bank as part of the 1993 Oslo Accords and allowed to establish his Palestinian Authority (PA) in parts of those territories, grasped the immense potential of reincarnating the Nakba as a symbol of Palestinian victimhood rather than a self-inflicted disaster. In 1998, he proclaimed May 15 a national day of remembrance of the Nakba. In subsequent years, “Nakba Day” has become an integral component of the Palestinian national narrative and the foremost event commemorating their 1948 “catastrophe.”

Israeli sensitivity vis-à-vis the term “Nakba” grew after it was reported that on May 15, 2007, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon telephoned PA President Mahmoud Abbas to express empathy with the Palestinian people in honor of “Nakba Day.” The deputy head of Israel’s UN mission complained that the word “Nakba” is a tool of Arab propaganda used to undermine the legitimacy of the establishment of the State of Israel and should not be part of the UN’s lexicon.

While Israeli diplomats were busy dissuading their counterparts from falling for the PA’s false narrative, in July 2007 the Knesset debated a decision by Education Minister Yuly Tamir to include the Nakba as a topic on the annual syllabus for the Arab minority in Israel.

Fortunately, on March 30, 2011, the Budget Principles Law (known as Amendment #40) –“Reduction of financial allocations or support due to activity against the principles of the state” – was published in the Israeli official registry. Amendment #40 added a section to the Budget Principles Law of 1985 authorizing the Minister of Finance to reduce financial allocations or support to any organization or entity that receives state funding if it engages in any of five activities:

  1. Rejecting the existence of the State of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state;
  2. Inciting racism, violence, or terrorism;
  3. Supporting armed struggle or an act of terror by an enemy state or a terrorist organization against the State of Israel;
  4. Commemorating Independence Day or the day of the establishment of the state as a day of mourning;
  5. Vandalizing or physically desecrating the state’s flag or symbol.

Amendment #40, unofficially nicknamed the Nakba Law, is now entrenched in the Israeli juridical and parliamentary daily discourse, though it faced strong criticism from Arab parties who argued that it fails the test of freedom of expression. In their view, the law undermines freedom of artistic expression at events such as theater productions or poetry readings that deal explicitly with the Nakba, Palestinian refugees, or the yearning to return to the homeland.

The legitimization of the now common use of the term “Nakba” in the Israeli official and public discourse, whether positively or negatively oriented, provides a service to the Palestinian cause. If considered to reflect an integral segment of Israeli history, the term contradicts Israel’s longstanding, rightful position rejecting responsibility for the creation of the refugee problem. In the process, it legitimizes the false Palestinian victimhood narrative that defines the Nakba as the “greatest sin of the 20th century.”

The “Nakba” is not a fact. It is a manipulative and catchy term designed to service the Palestinian propaganda campaign against Israel. Israel should refrain from legitimizing the term, as it imposes a false sense of guilt or culpability for the creation of the refugee problem onto the state. Nor should the word be used to refer to the mass deportation of Jews from the Arab states, as doing so creates an impression of equivalent injustice. The flight of the Palestinian Arabs was the direct result of a failed “war of extermination and momentous massacre” (in the words of the Arab League’s secretary-general). The Arab states’ expulsion of their Jewish populations was an unequivocal act of ethnic cleansing.

Israel would be well advised to hearken again to the momentous speech of Abba Eban, then Israeli Ambassador to the UN, on November 17, 1958. He addressed the refugee issue without using the term Nakba:

The Arab refugee problem was caused by a war of aggression, launched by the Arab States against Israel in 1947 and 1948. Let there be no mistake. If there had been no war against Israel, with its consequent harvest of bloodshed, misery, panic and flight, there would be no problem of Arab refugees today. Once you determine the responsibility for that war, you have determined the responsibility for the refugee problem. Nothing in the history of our generation is clearer or less controversial than the initiative of Arab governments for the conflict out of which the refugee tragedy emerged. The historic origins of that conflict are clearly defined by the confessions of Arab governments themselves: “This will be a war of extermination,” declared the Secretary-General of the Arab League speaking for the governments of six Arab States. “It will be a momentous massacre to be spoken of like the Mongolian massacre and the Crusades.”

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Dr. Raphael G. Bouchnik-Chen is a retired colonel who served as a senior analyst in IDF Military Intelligence.

Important Event Commemorating Jewish Refugees from Arab Countries and Iran


In the early 20th Century, nearly 1-million Jews were expelled from nine Arab countries and Iran, where their ancestors had lived for more than 2,500 years. Their assets, businesses and properties were seized and they were frequently subjected to pogroms, systemic violence and religious persecution.

Today, while stories abound of many Arab refugees, few are aware or even acknowledge this forgotten mass forced exodus of Jewish refugees. Only in Israel has Nov. 30, called Yom Plitim, been marked to commemorate their plight.