Grief: All of Palestine belongs to the Jews
Howard Grief is the author of The Legal Foundation and Borders of Israel under International Law and is the leading expert on the subject. He co-copied me with three powerful letters in defence of our rights, which follow.
To Mr. Leonello Gabrici
The Head of the Division,
Middle East II: Israel, Occupied Palestinian Territory,
Middle East Peace Process,
European External Action Service
Dear Mr. Gabrici,
I am appalled and dumbstruck by the fact that you are the Head of a Division of the European External Action Service whose jurisdiction explicitly deals with “Middle East II: Israel, Occupied Palestinian Territory, Middle East Peace Process”. This title is an insult to the Jewish People, to Zionism and the valiant struggle that the Jews waged to reclaim their ancient homeland, a struggle that began in earnest with the convocation of the first Zionist Congress at Basel, Switzerland in 1897. The country of Palestine was created in April 1920 at the San Remo Peace Conference for one purpose only – to be the Jewish National Home, and the term “Occupied Palestinian Territory” is thus an oxymoron since Palestine was never intended to be an Arab land under international law now supposedly “occupied” by Israel, as the title of your office implies, but rather was always intended to be a Jewish land that was to reconstitute the ancient Jewish State of Judea destroyed by Rome in the first century C.E. It takes staggering ignorance or ingrained hostility to the Jewish People and Zionism to believe that the land known to the Jews as Eretz-Israel since the time of Joshua Bin-Nun, long before it was called Palestine, belongs to the local Arab inhabitants who have falsely re-branded themselves as “Palestinians”.
To disabuse yourself of the notion that there is such a thing in international law as “Israel-Occupied Palestinian Territory”, I would highly recommend that you read the pronouncements made by two eminent British statesmen who were instrumental in creating Palestine as the Jewish National Home and future independent Jewish State, namely, Prime Minister David Lloyd George and Foreign Secretary Lord Balfour, as well as those of Balfour’s successor, Lord Curzon, who did not favour the concept of Zionism but nevertheless admitted that Palestine was to become a Jewish country. I would also recommend that you read the statements made at the San Remo Peace Conference at the two sessions of April 24 and April 25, 1920 dealing with Palestine by the French Prime Minister Alexandre Millerand and the Director of the French Foreign Ministry, Philippe Berthelot, who, though vehemently opposed to establishing Palestine as a Jewish State, nevertheless conceded that was the actual purpose of the Balfour Declaration that was adopted in a new format by means of the San Remo Resolution that henceforth became part of international law and the foundation document of the State of Israel.
You condescendingly state that I am “fully entitled to express [my] particular historic and legal interpretations regarding Israel’s territorial rights”, as if I am formulating a non-legal, individualistic argument that is not in accord with the facts or the truth. I have in my correspondence with Mr. Ilkka Uusitalo enumerated all those acts, principles and norms of international law which evidence the fact that an undivided Palestine was to be established as a Jewish State, without the creation of an Arab state in any part of the country. I will thus not repeat these arguments here. What I wrote is not “particular” to myself but is based solidly on the texts of various acts of international law that were approved by all the victorious Allied powers that dismantled the Ottoman Empire, including three prominent states of the European Union today, namely: Britain, France and Italy.
Upon the re-birth of the Jewish State on May 15, 1948, Jewish legal rights to Palestine were devolved upon the State of Israel. Whatever you may think, those rights never lapsed, were never annulled or voided and never validly or legally transferred to an Arab people known as “Palestinians”, as you so wrongly assume. Moreover, subsequent events – such as the 1947 Partition Resolution, Security Council Resolution 242, the Israel-PLO Agreements or the Road Map Peace Plan – have not superseded or curtailed the rights of the Jewish People to former Mandated Palestine, since none of those documents constitute acts of binding international law, despite the impression given to the contrary by advocates of the Arab “Palestinian” cause, including leading officials of the European Union and its bureaucratic apparatus, that includes your own office.
Mr. Gabrici, the acts and provisions of international law as well as the legal principles and norms I cited earlier to Mr. Uusitalo are not my “interpretations” of international law; they were what the law clearly states or connotes, without the necessity for “interpretation”, as you so glibly tell me. An interpretation of a specific law or that of an international agreement or treaty is only required when their plain meaning is unclear or ambiguous. That is certainly not the case for the relevant documents of international law pertaining to the legal status of former Mandated Palestine and Jewish legal rights thereto. It is you, not I, who prefers to “interpret” international law to favour the artificial and fabricated Arab “Palestinian” claim to Palestine. You ought to open your mind to the legal truth that you have never learnt or assimilated and the accompanying legal facts which underpin and confirm the ironclad Jewish case to the Land of Israel. If you do so, you will no longer be associated with a European office that falsely asserts that “Palestine” is “Israel-occupied Palestinian territory”.
I shall follow your advice and desist from any further exchanges with the European External Action Service, in particular with the Division you head. Perhaps you will be so kind as to place this letter in the hands of Lady Catherine Ashton to dispel her ignorance in addition to your own.
Dear Mr. Sherman,
I congratulate you on your excellent column published in The Jerusalem Post on Friday, February 24, 2012 on the misjudgments and detrimental concessions made by Israeli decision-makers dating from the Six-Day War that were also urged on by various prominent Israelis in our relations with Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, the “Palestine Liberation” Organization and its offshoot created by Israel itself, the “Palestinian Authority”.
You rightly stated that the Israeli leadership displayed “moronic myopia” and blindness in proposing a total withdrawal from the Golan Heights and South Lebanon and even earlier from Sinai, and you backed up your appraisal by quoting the exact words of those who fit into this embarrassing category. No doubt you stand on solid ground in reminding ordinary Israeli and their government leaders of the folly of the “land for peace” formula – or as you also aptly call it, the “Nirvana-Now” formula – an unattainable goal with the Arab haters of Israel infused with the tenets of Islam, particularly those found in Islam’s oral tradition known as the Hadith. This tradition defines the whole of the Land of Israel as Muslim or Waqf territory which, as one Islamic scholar, a Moslem himself, Professor Khaleel Mohammad of the Department of Religious Studies at San Diego State University, has said is “is to be wrested from the accursed Jews in a brutal and bloody eschatological battle”.
While I salute you for naming those public figures who have made “appallingly inaccurate assessment[s] of Israel’s adversaries”, particularly in regard to negotiating a peace agreement with Syria’s Hafez Assad and, after his death, with his son, Bashar Assad, to wit: former IDF Chief-of-Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, former Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, former Director-General of the Foreign Ministry Dr. Alon Liel and the celebrated but anti-nationalist, extreme left-wing author Amos Oz, what I found lacking in your otherwise astute column was that you failed to mention at all the worst culprits, who recklessly and I may add illegally proposed giving up either all or most of the Golan Heights to Syria as part of a “land-for-peace” agreement, that as we know now would have put Israel in the most precarious position possible requiring no less than a new Six-Day War to recapture it. In this regard, the first Prime Minister to propose withdrawing from the Golan was Yitzhak Rabin in the early to mid-nineties, who told U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher that Israel would be willing to cede the Golan in return for ending the war with Syria, as confirmed by Rabin’s military aide, Danny Yatom, who sat in on the meeting between the two where this subject was discussed.
That proposed cession was in my legal opinion a clear violation of Sections 97 and 100 of the Penal Code dealing with treason. Rabin’s offer to Syria was made without the consent of the Cabinet and at a time when there was no law or procedure that allowed the cession of Israeli territory to another state for any reason whatsoever. Rabin’s alleged act of treason was then pursued by Shimon Peres when he succeeded Rabin as Prime Minister. Even Prime Minister Netanyahu in his first term of office (1996-1999) was reported in the press to have made a similar offer that would have entailed a treasonous withdrawal from most of the Golan. What good then are the laws of treason in our law books if they are not enforced or prosecuted by the Attorney-General against those in positions of power or influence who make offers or devise plans to cede sovereign Israeli territory to another state or entity – that is expressly prohibited by the Penal Code? The Attorney-Generals who did nothing when these offers were made – Michael Ben-Yair and Meni Mazuz – should themselves have been prosecuted for dereliction of duty and failure to uphold the laws of the State they swore under oath to uphold.
As regards Dr. Liel, I take the liberty to mention that several years ago I tried to convince MK Professor Arieh Eldad to file treason charges under the aforementioned Sections 97 and 100 of the Penal Code against Liel for cooking up, without lawful authority to do so, a private or unofficial peace agreement with a Syrian representative who was an American citizen, Ibrahim (Abe) Suleiman, under which Israel would crazily surrender the entire Golan to the young and brutal tyrant, Bashar Assad, as evidenced by a document to that effect, termed a “non-paper”, dated August 29, 2005, thus committing an act to impair Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan according to our law, punishable by the death penalty or life imprisonment. However, I never heard back from MK Eldad though I know he later made use of the legal information I gave him on the treason provisions of the Penal Code to accuse Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of committing treason for his ludicrous offer to the PLO to re-divide Jerusalem and surrender practically all of Yosh, separate and apart from conceding all of the Golan to Syria in a failed bid to satisfy all alleged or imagined Arab grievances against Israel., grievances that can never be satisfied except by the disappearance of the Jewish State.
The Golan Heights, of course, was not the only case where land was relinquished to “buy peace” with our adversaries. We have to go back as you rightly pointed out to Prime Minister Menahem Begin, who, upon winning power after 29 years in the Opposition, decided to surrender Sinai to Egypt even though Sinai had never in the modern period been a recognized sovereign part of Egypt under international law. It is clear today that this cession has caused enormous harm to Israel since Sinai, thanks to Begin’s foolish and illegal “land for peace” treaty with Egypt, is now a terrorist and smuggler’s paradise that threatens Israel’s security and has also become an open door for tens of thousands of African migrants to enter Israel with all the social problems this will cause us in the future.
It should interest you to know that Begin was explicitly forewarned by two of his brightest advisers at the time of the Camp David negotiations not to proceed with his ill-conceived plan to cede Sinai to Egypt, a territory which was really a part of the historical Land of Israel mentioned in our Torah, that was also formerly included in the Independent Sanjak of Jerusalem under Turkish rule before Britain, in a famous incident of gunboat diplomacy against the Ottoman Sultan in 1906 forced him to relinquish direct Turkish rule over this territory and hand it over to British administration, who then appended it to Egypt. That is how Sinai, a non-Egyptian land, became “Egyptian”, contrary to the historical and geographical truth. Those aforesaid prescient advisers were Hebrew University Professor Moshe Sharon and, of course, the late Shmuel Katz. However, Begin, in his desire to be remembered as a great “peacemaker”, listened not to the sage advice proferred by Sharon and Katz, but rather to the injurious advice tendered by Foreign Minister Moshe Dayan, Defense Minister Ezer Weizmann, Agriculture Minister and Chairman of the Ministerial Committee for Settlement, Ariel Sharon, as well as that of Law Professor Aharon Barak, the future President of the Supreme Court and Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S., Meir Rosenne.
Unfortunately, the “moronic myopia” and shallow thinking exhibited by Begin, Rabin and Peres was afterwards manifested to the same degree by their successors: Ehud Barak, Ariel Sharon, Ehud Olmert and, surprisingly enough, Binyamin Netanyahu, all of whom made tentative offers to Syria to cede all or most of the Golan. Netanyahu who, not content with his concessions under the Wye Plantation Agreement, during his first term of office, has formally adopted the anti-Likud and suicidal Two-State Solution as a cornerstone of his policy. I am aware that Netanyahu’s advisers and supporters pretend it is only a Machiavellian tactical move to fend off relentless pressure on Israel applied by U.S. President Obama and the European Union. What will happen, though, if the next non-Likud Prime Minister of Israel adopts Netanyahu’s course as a firm and unchangeable policy? Netanyahu’s deception will then become reality, though that may truly never have been intended by Netanyahu himself.
I hope your great column will bang some common sense into the minds of those directing Israel’s Government now or in the future as to why we should never cede, under any circumstances, any more of our precious territory to Syria nor, for that matter, to the “Palestinian Authority” for the sake of a mirage “peace”. However, I admit that that is a forlorn hope.
Copies: Rich Frostig
Prof. Moshe Sharon
Dr. Netta Dor-Shav
M,K. Prof. Arieh Eldad
Dr. Alex King
Mr. David Lee
Thanks for sending me the article that appeared December 13, 2011 in Front Page Magazine on “An Invented People, the so-called ‘Palestinians’”, by David Meir-Levi, an American-born Israeli, currently living in Palo Alto, California, who serves as the Director of Peace and Education at Israel Peace Initiative.
Meir-Levi uses several sources to substantiate Gingrich’s truthful statement, particularly that of Daniel Pipes, who incidentally has a copy of my book, The Legal Foundation and Borders of Israel under International Law, where I expatiate at length on this subject in Section Four entitled “The Switch of National Identities and Names”, and an additional segment in Appendix II entitled “The Historical Origin of the Name ‘Palestine’ and Related Regional Terms”.
All of Meir-Levi’s sources are from internet websites, as appears from his footnotes, with only two quotations in the text of his article culled from actual books. No serious scholar or researcher would rely exclusively or almost exclusively on that source to elucidate a subject he or she wishes to write about. The internet has not yet replaced traditional sources found in books, documents and archival material. Not everything has been digitalized for use on the internet. Meir-Levi would certainly have learned more about the newly-invented Arab “Palestinian” People, one of the greatest hoaxes, if not the greatest, of the latter half of the 20th century, had he consulted my own book, which incidentally may also be accessed – I am told – on the internet. It contains a lot more background information on the evolution of the name “Palestine” and its derivative, “Palestinians”, from first connoting the Jews of Mandated Palestine until May 14, 1948, and today, the Arab inhabitants of the Land of Israel and also the so-called “refugees” who are resident in Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and elsewhere.
It is incorrect for Meir-Levi to state that the “Palestinian national identity was invented in 1920 and midwifed by Zionism”. No such thing! There was no Arab Palestinian national identity in 1920 despite the fact that a small number of Arabs out of the larger Arab population then living in Mandated Palestine may have also accepted this appellation for themselves especially for legal purposes as a citizen of the country. However, the great majority of Arabs rejected this name since they knew this was how the Jews of the land were identified by one and all. They definitely did not want to have the same name as that applied to the “hated Jews”.
In my opinion, the term “Palestinians” in its present usage and form was derived from or was a direct by-product of the founding of the “Palestinian Liberation Organization” in 1964 whence the term started to appear first in UN resolutions beginning in 1969, then afterwards in the media. It was the UN, aided and abetted by the Arab League states, rather than Zionism, that “midwifed” the “Palestinian national identity” in the new guise as used today. In actual fact, it was part of a successful public relations scheme to change the nature of the Arab war against Israel, the so-called “conflict” from that of pitting 21 Arab states against the lone Jewish State to a more equitable ratio of one alleged “Palestinian” nation seeking its pretended self-determination in conflict with the existing State of Israel, i.e., one against one. The linguistic problem that then resulted from the fallacious use of “Palestine” and its derivative “Palestinians” was that the name of Palestine had already officially ceased to exist as a geographical term when the State of Israel was reborn in May 1948. Furthermore, the part of former Mandated Palestine that was not included in the State of Israel was no longer called “Palestine” after the Jordanian annexation in April 1950, but was designated the “West Bank” of the Kingdom of Jordan, which also controlled the East Bank, east of the Jordan River, that had originally also been designated for inclusion in the Jewish National Home.
It is a pity that no one has yet uncovered or exposed the name of the American Madison Avenue public relations firm which first advised the Arab League state and the PLO a year or so after the Six-Day War of June 1967 to change the designation of the Arab “refugees” who had been resident in former Mandated Palestine to “Palestinians” if they wanted to shift world public opinion in their favor against Israel. That is how the Arab-Israel “Conflict” was transformed from 1969 onwards into the new formula – the “Israeli-Palestinian Conflict”. Kindly note the position of the word “Israeli” before “Palestinian”, when previously the word “Arab” preceded the word “Israel”, a subtle inversion of the nature of the “conflict” and Israel’s supposedly equal responsibility for it. In the old formulation, Israel was perceived as the biblical David, but in the new formulation it was now Goliath in the eyes of the world, denying the oppressed “Palestinians” of their alleged right of self-determination in regard to Palestine. Hence, thanks to this unknown American public relations firm, an instant nation – the so-called “Palestinians” – came into being as a new tactic to destroy the Jewish State that has succeeded magnificently as a propaganda ploy.
It is well to remember the fact, as I have just noted above, that contrary to Meir-Levi’s assertion, the designation of “Palestinians” for the Arabs of former Mandated Palestine did not come into widespread use until 1969 and the early 1970s, a fact I have documented in my book. As evidence of this fact, Meir-Levi should know that as late as November 22, 1967, UN Security Council Resolution 242 still referred to those Arabs who had left Mandated Palestine or the new-born State of Israel as “refugees” and not as “Palestinians”. This change of nomenclature demonstrates how instant nations are born in the Arab world, such as the fallacious “Jordanian” nation, the “Iraqi” nation, the “Kuwaiti” nation, etc., separate and apart from the invented “Palestinian” nation.
I myself denounced the fraudulent usage of this term of “Palestinians” for Arabs when it first emerged in those early years (the 1970s) and I often mentioned this point in various articles I composed that appeared in the Hebrew-language Nativ Journal in the 1990s. It is incorrect therefore for Meir-Levi to heap undue praise on Daniel Pipes for being “the first to say so” when he certainly was not the first.
Meir-Levi would do well to read the revealing column written by ex-Prime Minister Golda Meir for the New York Times on January 14, 1976. She demolished the myth of the existence of the so-called “Palestinian People”. She said everything that needed to be said about the invention of this false moniker for Arabs. Most of what she wrote in her New York Times article is re-produced in my book (see pp. 511ff). In addition, it should be noted that as far back as June 1969, Golda Meir told the London Sunday Times”:
It was not as though there was a Palestinian people in Palestine considering itself a Palestinian people and we came and threw them out and took their country from them. They did not exist.
Thus, as you can see, Golda Meir preceded Gingrich’s statement by 43 years that Pipes fails to mention. Though it is true that many Israeli left-wing people and Labour Party supporters accepted the idea of the “Palestinian” People as a new nation on the world stage once that idea gained currency in the 1970s, it was definitely not Zionism that acted as a “midwife” for the forged “Palestinian national identity” as Meir-Levi asserts, but more accurately that was the work as noted above of the Arab League states and the PLO in conjunction with the U.N. where they have a dominant influence, especially in the General Assembly and the blatantly pro-Arab organ today ludicrously called the Human Rights Council. Finally, it fell to Shim’on Peres to give added credibility to this fraudulent usage of the term “Palestinians” for Arabs, when he accepted the idea in April 1986 as Chairman of the Labour Party that “Palestinians” are a distinctive people among the other Arab peoples just as Arieh “Lova” Eliav mischievously said in his 1972 book Land of the Hart.
In conclusion, while I commend Meir-Levi for making the valid and incontestable point that the “Palestinians” are, as Gingrich correctly stated, an invented people, his presentation, however, is far from comprehensive, lacks proper depth and relies much too much on internet sources instead of the primary or first-hand sources that are not posted on the websites.