The Franco-British Boundary Convention

The Franco-British Boundary Convention of December 6, 1920.

The San Remo Resolution (April 24-25, 1920) stipulated that the borders of the Jewish National Home in Palestine should be determined by the Principal Allied Powers.  On December 6, 1920 Britain and France signed a treaty delineating the borders of the territory that would be placed under the Mandates System.

The territory included in the 1920 convention included most of the land that had been under Jewish rule during Biblical times. However, there were some modifications. It was realized that much of the territory north of the Golan Heights was supposed to be part of the Syrian Mandate (see the Adam Smith map of the Kingdoms of David and Solomon). As a result, the Jewish National Home was given extra land in what today is eastern Jordan.

The Convention involved bitter negotiations. The French were opposed to giving up control of the Roman Catholic sites in Palestine. The Turks who ruled in Palestine for the four-hundred years prior to World War I did limited access to the sites. In the end, the British had guaranteed they would protect access of Catholics to their religious sites.

Additionally, the British gave the French administered mandates large amounts of land that were supposed to be included in the Jewish National Home. The land in the Upper Galilee, from what today is the Israel/Lebanon border extending north to the Litani River bend as well as the central Golan Heights was removed from the demarcated borders of Palestine.

…to postpone or withhold application of such provisions of this mandate

According to Article 25 of the Mandate for Palestine, the Mandatory (His Britannic Majesty) had the right to separate the administration of the Mandate in Trans-Jordan from the rest of the Palestine territory. This had to be done with the approval of the League of Nations:

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

The wording, “postpone or withhold application of such provisions of this mandate as he may consider inapplicable to the existing local conditions” is by the nature of the wording a temporary action. That action was only valid until there was a change in the conditions leading to that decision. It did not authorize the British to permanently cut off portions of the land and turn it over to a foreign people.

Furthermore, according to Article 25, the postponement or withholding of the application of the Mandate in Trans-Jordan could not be inconsistent with Article 15 of the Mandate for Palestine which states:

“No discrimination of any kind shall be made between the inhabitants of Palestine on the ground of race, religion or language. No person shall be excluded from Palestine on the sole ground of his religious belief.”

The British “White Papers” policies, which prohibited Jewish settlement East of the Jordan, while allowing a foreign group of Arabs (the Hashemites) to settle and eventually be given all of Trans-Jordan, was in clear violation of Article 15, as well as Article 5 of the Mandate which stated that “no Palestine territory shall be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed under the control of the Government of any foreign Power.

The full text of  Articles 5, 15, and 25:

ARTICLE 5. The Mandatory shall be responsible for seeing that no Palestine territory shall be ceded or leased to, or in any way placed under the control of the Government of any foreign Power.

ARTICLE 15. The Mandatory shall see that complete freedom of conscience and the free exercise of all forms of worship, subject only to the maintenance of public order and morals, are ensured to all. No discrimination of any kind shall be made between the inhabitants of Palestine on the ground of race, religion or language. No person shall be excluded from Palestine on the sole ground of his religious belief.

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

****

“… and to make such provision for the administration of the territories… suitable to those conditions….”

The wording, “for the administration of” is by the nature of the wording a temporary provisio. That “provision for the administration of the territories” was only valid until there was a change in the conditions leading to that administration, as mandated by Article 2. It did not authorize the British to permanently cut off portions of the land and turn it over to a foreign people (the Hashemites, Bedouin and Arabs of Palestinian extraction) by granting the Arabs of Palestinian and Meccan extraction independence and sovereignty over Mandate for Palestine territory.

The Arabs (the Hashemites in Particular) were granted political independence with the Mandates for Mesopotamia (Iraq), Lebanon and Syria. Political independence for Jews was through the Mandate for Palestine whose borders were determined by the Franco-British Boundary Convention of 1920.

Until “such political, administrative and economic conditions” exist for the “close Jewish settlement” of Eastern Palestine “as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home,” the Mandatory was entitled, with the consent of the League of Nations to place such territory under administrative control of the Mandatory but not in violation of Articles 5 and 15.

The British are responsible for establishing the APARTHEID Hashemite [ Jordanian ] Kingdom and the enactment of the Jordanian Citizenship Law which prohibits Jews from settling in Mandatory Eastern Palestine (Eretz Yisrael) in violation of the Mandate for Palestine.

ARTICLE 2. The Mandatory shall be responsible for placing the country under such political, administrative and economic conditions as will secure the establishment of the Jewish national home, as laid down in the preamble, and the development of selfgoverning institutions, and also for safeguarding the civil and religious rights of all the inhabitants of Palestine, irrespective of race and religion.