Jihad Watch posted an article today about three Palestinian NGOS who are suing Great Britain for the Balfour Declaration. This is not a joke. I guess the Palestinians are upset about being left out of the peace deals that are currently being brokered in the Middle East.
The article reports:
Actually the Balfour Declaration is the “historic precursor” to the Palestine Mandate (1922), which in turn is the real precursor of the Jewish state, setting out its territorial boundaries, and detailing the duties of Great Britain, as the holder of the Mandate, to further the establishment, through “encouraging Jewish immigration” and “close settlement by Jews on the land,” of the Jewish National Home.
In this document – the Mandate for Palestine — the League of Nations recognized the “historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine” and the “grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country.” Thus was acknowledged the 3500-year Jewish connection to this land, where Judaism, and the Jewish people, were both formed. This historic claim thus became a legal one, for the League of Nations’ system of mandates became part of international law.
If you look at the original boundaries for Israel laid forth in the Balfour Declaration, you see that Israel was intended to be much larger than it currently is. The original boundaries of Israel included Jordan, which was later separated from Israel to become a Palestinian state for the Arabs.
The article continues:
In 1917 there were no “Palestinians.” Or rather, the word “Palestinian” was used to describe the Jews, not the Arabs, then in “Palestine.” In that land, at the time of the Balfour Declaration, there were fewer than 600,000 Arabs, none of whom were considered in 1917, or in 1937, or in 1957, to constitute a separate “Palestinian people.” They were indistinguishable in religion, language, dress, cuisine, and customs, from Arabs in neighboring lands; in fact, many of the Arabs in “Palestine” in the first half of the 20th century had recently come from Syria, Egypt, and Iraq, attracted by the economic development that the arrival of the Zionist pioneers fostered.
The article notes:
The Jews, right up to the War of Independence in 1948, paid for every dunam of private land they settled on in Mandatory Palestine. The Mandate’s explicit provisions gave Jews the right to settle on “state and waste lands,” which they also did. After the 1948 war, in which the armies of five Arab countries tried to snuff out the young life of the nascent Jewish state, Jews did settle on land that had been abandoned by their Arab owners, rather than let it remain unused. Great Britain had nothing to do with that.
As for Mahmoud Abbas’ claim about the U.K. “signing away the Palestinians’ homeland,” the “Palestinians” came into existence as a separate — if entirely factitious — people only in the late 1960s, created for propaganda purposes, to turn inside-out the Arab gang-up on Israel, which could now be presented as the struggle of a tiny people — the “Palestinians” — against the mighty Israelis.
The article concludes:
It’s not the Palestinian Arabs who have a case to bring against Great Britain. It is, rather, the Jews whom the British repeatedly betrayed, both in Mandatory Palestine and in Europe, from where so many might have escaped the Holocaust and made it to Palestine, had the British not directly violated Article 6 of the Mandate, according to which the Mandatory “shall facilitate Jewish immigration” to Palestine. Were the U.K. government to pay any attention to this ludicrous lawsuit in Nablus, it should use the occasion to tell the world all they ways His Majesty’s Government betrayed the Jews of Palestine. The opening is there — provided by those Palestinian lawyers themselves — for those home truths to be told. It’s the perfect time to tell them.
Please follow the link to read the entire article. It is a history lesson most of us never got in school.