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Palestine: two new Arab myths

By David Singer - posted Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Two new Arab myths have surfaced in the past week to complicate attempts by US Secretary of State John Kerry to procure the resumption of the long stalled negotiations between Israel and the PLO.

The first myth can be directly attributed to Mustafa Barghouti - a Presidential candidate for the now defunct Palestinian National Authority - who was roundly defeated by Mahmoud Abbas when elections were last held in January 2005.

Interviewed by Arab American News (AAN) - Mr Barghouti was asked the following question:


AAN: What about the United Nations situation with Palestine being granted Non-Member Observer State status this past fall, any new developments?

Mr Barghouti gave this remarkable answer:

Not new, but this achievement was very important from a symbolic standpoint, it also eliminated any Israeli claim that the West Bank and Jerusalem are disputed territory. Now they are part of an occupied Palestinian state... 

This is arrant nonsense.

According to Mr Barghouti there is apparently no need for further negotiations to determine the sovereignty of these areas - only a timetable for Israel to hand them over to the State of Palestine and to arrange for the uprooting of all 500000 Jews presently living there.

If you believe this myth - then you accept that:

  1. United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338 are no longer of any relevance.
  2. The 1948 armistice line is wiped off the map and negotiations to establish secure and recognised boundaries for the State of Israel can be shredded.
  3. Article 80 of the United Nations Charter has become a footnote in history.
  4. The Jewish claim to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in Palestine - including the West Bank and Jerusalem - as conferred by the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine - is an anachronism.
  5. The claimed right of return for millions of Arabs into the State of Israel remains unresolved.
  6. The United Nations decision has unreservedly endorsed the PLO's stated policies of ethnic cleansing and apartheid in denying Jews any rights of residency or citizenship in the State of Palestine.
  7. General Assembly Resolutions of the United Nations create binding obligations in international law.

Kerry's planned fortnightly shuttle from America to Jerusalem and Ramallah appears to be a waste of time unless this latest myth is quickly nipped in the bud.

President Abbas needs to immediately repudiate Mr Barghouti's statement.

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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

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