The 1948 Jericho Conference and Palestinian Self-Determinism –
Why is the Arab “Palestinian” case any different from all other cases of political expression? For instance, is Kurdish Independence entitled to special treatment (a special referendum) or like all other bodies politic do they require a simple “Declaration of Independence” to gain independence?
I posit that because Delegates from “Western” Palestine attended the Jericho Conference in December 1948 and voted for King Abdullah I of the Hejaz as their independent sovereign, they fulfilled the terms of UNGA Res. 181 (Chapter 3, ).
Why should Arab refugees from Judea and Samaria be treated any differently than other refugees since all Arabs of “Palestinian extraction” have Jordanian Citizenship based on Jordanian collective naturalization in February 1949?
Collective Naturalization by Annexation
“When territory is transferred to a new sovereign by conquest or cession the inhabitants become nationals of the new government only by their own consent, express or implicit. …. If the inhabitants remain within the territory their allegiance is transferred to the new sovereign.” American Insurance Co. v. 356 Bales of Cotton, I Pet. 511, 542, 7 L. Ed. 242.
Since All Arabs of Palestinian extraction were “collectively naturalized” as Jordanian Citizens in February 1949 and all West Bank Palestinian hold Jordanian Passports; there is no need for an independent “State of Palestine,” a [Palestinian] right of return under UNGA Resolution 194, UNRWA or the PLO!!!
The Islamic Kingdom of Jordan is Eastern Palestine.
Should the Arabs of Palestinian extraction be held to their exercise of self-determinism at the 1948 Jericho Conference or are they entitled to a second vote for a new sovereignty as an independent body politic at a new “conference” based on the 1993/95 Oslo Accords?
Was King Hussein entitled in 1988 to ceed to the PLO Judea and Samaria; or, what was not his to ceed based on his illegal Islamic Occupation could not be ceeded to the PLO since by terms King Hussein and the Jordanian Administration relinquished all claims to “the West Bank;” the PLO is not an independent sovereignty and Judea and Samaria (“Western Palestine”) are Treaty Lands – in situ by virtue of the 1919 Faisal-Weizzman Agreement, the San Remo Resolution, the Treaty of Sevres and by virtue of the Anglo-American Treaty of 1924!
King Hussein could not ceed what was not his to occupy!!!
The right of self – determinism for the Arabs of Palestinian extraction were given under treaty law by the Mandates for Syria, Lebanon and Mesopotamia (Iraq)…, while the right of self-determinism for Jews were given to the Jews by the Mandate for Palestine!
Election of Jordanian Citizenship and Independent Sovereignty by the Arabs of Palestine was the “free expression of the will of the people” and, absent the 1948 Israeli War of Independence; full-filled the terms of Chapter III (1) of the UNGA Resolution 181 (notice of intention, option of Citizenship and election of an independent sovereign).
Lest we forget, the Jordanian Kingdom’s Civil War of September 1970 (Black September) determined the fate/ fait accompli of the PLO; preventing the establishment within the Islamic Kingdom of Jordan of an independent “Eastern [non-Islamic] Palestine”….
Under the terms of Article 25 (postpone or withhold) of the Mandate for Palestine, the Mandatory (the UK) illegally established trans-Jordan in violation of Article 5 of the Mandate since the HaShemites are a foreign Islamic power having their origins in Mecca and Article 25 of the Mandate for Palestine only allowed for the [temporary] administration of Eastern Palestine during the time while the terms of the rest of the Mandate were withheld or postponed within that territory!!! Article 25 did not authorize a grant of sovereignty to the HaShemites; certainly not in violation of Article 15 – “No person shall be excluded from Palestine on the sole ground of his religious belief.”
Moreover, by virtue of Article 80 of the UN Charter, the rights granted to the Jews under the Mandate for Palestine did not terminate merely because the Mandate had expired since no trusteeship was established for Eastern and Western Palestine.
OBVIOUSLY if one Palestinian party to UNGA Resolution 181 exercised “the free will of the [Jewish] people” before war broke out, and the other Palestinian party to 181 after the cessation of hostilities exercised “the free will of the [Arab] people” then both parties have expressed their “Political Will” and nothing except recognition of the facts on the ground and within our history books needs to be done.
The fact is when King Hussein abolished the Jordanian Lower House of Deputies in 1988 he sequestered the Palestinian Arabs right to self-rule as a stratagem of war in collusion with the PLO and the Arab League!
To answer our question, Why is the Arab “Palestinian” case any different from all other cases of political expression? I think there is no unique difference, the Arab Palestinians have been afforded self-determinism as an expression of the free will of the people at the December 1948 Jericho Conference!
Doesn’t the fact that Jews of “Palestinian extraction” (under the Mandate) when give the opportunity to exercise political will, having exercised those political rights May 1948; lend credence to our answer?
The Jericho Conference was held in December 1948 to decide the future of the portion of Palestine that was held by Jordan at the end of the 1948 Arab–Israeli War, led by Sheikh Muhammad Ali Ja’abari.
Pro-Jordanian personalities called for the annexation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, to Jordan.
In October 1948, King Abdullah began a series of steps in order to effect the annexation of those parts of Palestine that his army and other Arab forces had captured and held during the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. He did this while the cease-fire line was settled or agreed in February 1949.
The first step was a congress session in Amman, convened upon the initiative of the Transjordanian government, in which King Abdullah’s representatives and a large number of Palestinian refugees called for a wider Palestinian congress to declare Palestinian unity and acknowledge King Abdullah as King of Palestine. On 1 December 1948, a conference in Jericho called for the annexation of what was left of Palestine under the Hashemite crown in light of the reality that the remaining Palestinian territory was effectively administered by the Jordanian authority. The Conference was attended by numerous delegations including the mayors of Hebron, Bethlehem, Ramallah, the Arab Legion Military Governor General, military governors of all the districts, and other notables. The audience was estimated at several thousand.
Six resolutions were proposed but only four were adopted. They contained the following provisions:
1. Palestine Arabs desire unity between Transjordan and Arab Palestine and therefore make known their wish that Arab Palestine be annexed immediately to Transjordan. They also recognize Abdullah as their King and request him proclaim himself King of new territory.
2. Palestine Arabs express gratitude to Arab states for their efforts in behalf of liberation of Palestine. (The delegates indicated that the object of this was to hint to the Arab states that their job was done).
3. Expression of thanks to Arab states for their generous assistance and support to Palestine Arab refugees.
4. Resolve that purport of first resolution be conveyed to King at once.
The Transjordanian cabinet and parliament agreed within the following two weeks.
Reactions to the resolution
A Palestinian conference in Ramallah personally attended by King Abdullah on 26 December 1948 declared its support for the Jericho Conference resolution, as did a subsequent Nablus conference, calling for unification of the two banks of the Jordan under the Hashemite crown.
The termination of the Palestine Mandate gave the Arabs of Palestine the opportunity to exercise their right to self-determination. That meant they could determine their own political status and form or dissolve unions among themselves or with other states.
In December 1948 the Secretary of State authorized the US Consul in Amman to advise King Abdullah and the officials of Transjordan that the US accepted the principles contained in the resolutions of the Jericho Conference, and that the US viewed incorporation with Transjordan as the logical disposition of Arab Palestine
The United States subsequently extended de jure recognition to the Government of Transjordan and the Government of Israel on the same day, 31 January 1949.
The 1950 State Department Country Report on Jordan said that King Abdullah had taken successive steps to incorporate the area of Central Palestine into Jordan and described the Jordanian Parliament resolution concerning the union of Central Palestine with Jordan. The report said the US had privately advised the British and French Foreign Ministers that it had approved the action, and that “it represented a logical development of the situation which took place as a result of a free expression of the will of the people.” (Foreign relations of the United States, 1950. The Near East, South Asia, and Africa Volume V, Page 1096)
The major problems of concern to the United States were the establishment of peaceful and friendly relations between Israel and Jordan and the successful absorption into the polity and economy of Jordan of Arab Palestine, its inhabitants, and the bulk of the refugees now located there.
The Arab League condemned the Jericho Conference, and the Syrian press considered its resolution a violation of self-determination. Iraqi prime minister Nuri as-Said called upon King Abdullah to hold his moves towards annexation which succeeded in delaying the implementation of the Transjordanian plans of unity for a year and a half. Hajj Amin al-Husseini protested against King Abdullah’s measures, declaring them null and void and calling to boycott them, but his voice was ignored.
Notables from Ramallah and Jerusalem in particular were reluctant to give King Abdullah a carte blanche. Although they were prepared to recognize him as monarch, they were unwilling to give up their claim to the whole of Palestine, and refused to endorse his policy of consolidating the partition.
The Transjordanian government gradually assumed the civil functions of the West Bank, paying the salaries of civil servants and absorbing local governors into what was henceforth called the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. In February 1949, the Jordanian Nationality Law was amended to grant every Palestinian Jordanian citizenship.
SOURCE: Wikipedia Jericho Conference