You will hear sufficient people lamenting, praising, critiquing, translating, interpreting and every other “ing” of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s United Nation speech. I will spare you the long winded explanations on what he said, what was true, and what was misdirection, and will concentrate on one simple paragraph, and only one small idea out of said paragraph. First, here is the translation of the paragraph from around the midpoint of Abbas’s speech,
” Yet, because we believe in peace and because of our conviction in international legitimacy, and because we had the courage to make difficult decisions for our people, and in the absence of absolute justice, we decided to adopt the path of relative justice – justice that is possible and could correct part of the grave historical injustice committed against our people. Thus, we agreed to establish the State of Palestine on only 22% of the territory of historical Palestine – on all the Palestinian Territory occupied by Israel in 1967.”
At first glance this seems to be innocuous enough with minimal inflammatory language and no vicious or vindictive claims or statements. The reason is couched within this little piece is the crux and truth of what Mahmoud Abbas wishes to have as the final solution in the formation of a Palestinian State. Where he claims that,” we decided to adopt the path of relative justice – justice that is possible and could correct part of the grave historical injustice committed against our people,” he gives the impression that he is committed to reaching a compromise, that he has the intent to be fair and accept that possibly the Palestinians cannot have all of Israel, which has been their intended claim all along. He continues with, “Thus, we agreed to establish the State of Palestine on only 22% of the territory of historical Palestine,” which has a hidden code that belies the innocence with which he has couched his demand. He finishes by returning to complete painting a false image saying, “on all the Palestinian Territory occupied by Israel in 1967,” thus implying that his desire is simply to regain the lands conquered by Israel in her defensive struggle against Arab aggression which caused the 1947 War. But what is his real claim?
President Abbas claims he will, “establish the State of Palestine on only 22% of the territory of historical Palestine,” which is what appears to be a minimalist demand but is in fact a maximum demand. The key is the terms “historical Palestine,” with which he is actually referring to the entirety of the British Mandate lands which were referred to as the British Palestine Mandate Lands. From these lands, the British were, according to the Balfour Declaration, to establish the Jewish homeland. The British issued the Churchill White Paper of June 3, 1922 which clarified how Britain viewed the Balfour Declaration, thus allowing them to form what is today called Jordan and was referred to as Transjordan in 1922. Transjordan was established on 78% of the British Palestine Mandate Lands which left 22% of historical Palestine to be used for the Jewish State. It matters not what occurred in the United Nations on November 29, 1947 when they passed a General Assembly recommendation for the remaining 22% of the Palestine Mandate to be divided to form an Arab and a Jewish State. What matters is Mahmoud Abbas was not being satisfied with just the West Bank and Gaza with East Jerusalem as his capital; he wanted the entire of the lands from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea to be declared as the new state of Arab Palestine totally replacing Israel. This was the slight-of-hand which President Abbas tried to pass off as just a reasonable request to right an injustice. He wished to right what he sees as the injustice that there is any land that is Israel, Jewish, and not under Arab control. Also, remember that Mahmoud Abbas also has declared that once he gets his little state of Palestine, he fully intends to rid it of every single Jew. So, what President Abbas was claiming at the United Nations was the rest of the Palestinian Mandate Lands that do not make up Jordan and then to follow that by wiping every Jew from the rest of the Middle East by genocide or whatever means necessitated. He was not requesting any compromise; he was demanding every inch of Israel be handed to him on a platter.
Beyond the Cusp