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Palestine - Jews and Arabs, the Mandate and the law

By David Singer - posted Wednesday, 1 August 2012


The Levy Commission's resurrection of the Mandate for Palestine as the legal title deed establishing Israel's entitlement to claim sovereignty in the West Bank has come 48 years after the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) first tried to bury it.

A member of the Levy Commission - Alan Baker - stated this week that the three Commissioners were:

...legal experts examining a legal situation and making legally oriented recommendations.
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Two short statements made by the PLO in 1964 and 1968 had attempted to negate the unanimous decision of the League of Nations in 1922 to grant the Mandate for Palestine to Great Britain to enable the Jewish people to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in any part of former Palestine.

Those statements also became the opening shots in an ongoing and concerted Arab campaign of misinformation and disinformation to denigrate and vilify the Jewish People's entitlement to its own state in its ancient and biblical homeland. They provide potent evidence to explain why the conflict between Arabs and Jews still remains unresolved in 2012.

The first statement - in 1964 - appeared in Article 18 of the Palestinian National Covenant :

The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate system and all that have been based upon them are considered fraud

The second - in 1968 - followed the loss of the West Bank by Jordan to Israel in the 1967 Six Day War.

Article 18 was replaced by Article 20 in a revamped document - the Palestinian National Charter - to declare:

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The Balfour Declaration, the Mandate for Palestine and everything that has been based on them are deemed null and void.

The change - from the “Mandate system” being “fraud” - to the “Mandate for Palestine” being “null and void” - was deliberate.

The “Mandate system “- in the form of the Mandates for Syria and Lebanon and Mesopotamia (Iraq) - had delivered self-determination for the Arabs and the creation of three sovereign Arab states. To continue to declare the Mandate system a “fraud” would undermine the sovereign integrity of those Arab states.

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About the Author

David Singer is an Australian Lawyer, a Foundation Member of the International Analyst Network and Convenor of Jordan is Palestine International - an organisation calling for sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza to be allocated between Israel and Jordan as the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine. Previous articles written by him can be found at www.jordanispalestine.blogspot.com.

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All articles by David Singer

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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