Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu has had a busy week meeting with UK Foreign Minister Boris Johnson in Jerusalem, President Vladimir Putin in Moscow and then back to Jerusalem for a five hour meeting with President Trump's Special Representative for International Negotiations – Jason Greenblatt.
The framework for these meetings was set by Netanyahu – who told Johnson:
It's evident that we agree on most things, but not on all things. And one of the things, I think the source of it when you analyze a problem, get to its roots and reason that we haven't had peace for a hundred years is not the settlements, but the persistent refusal to recognize a nation-state for the Jewish people in any boundary. I think if you want to solve a problem, go to the core of the problem, and that is something I look forward to discussing with you further.
Netanyahu's claim is substantiated by the following facts:
- Settlements were not the problem when the first two-state solution was proposed by article 25 of the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine in 1922.
That solution - which envisaged allocating the Arabs 78% of Mandatory Palestine [Transjordan] and the Jews the remaining 22% - was rejected by the Arabs but accepted by the Jews.
Iran - one of the 51 States then unanimously endorsing the Jewish people's legal right to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in Palestine – now seeks to destroy the Jewish State in 2017.
- Settlements were not the problem in 1937 when the Peel Commission recommended partition of the territory of the Mandate into one Jewish State and one Arab State – again rejected by the Arabs but accepted by the Jews.
- Transjordan remained part of the Mandate for Palestine until Great Britain granted it independence on 22 March 1946. 78% of the Mandate territory was thus irrevocably transformed into an exclusive Arabs-only State contrary to article 5 of the Mandate.
- The United Nations recommendation to partition the remaining 22 % of the Mandate territory into one Arab State and one Jewish State in November 1947 was again rejected by the Arabs and accepted by the Jews – culminating in Western Palestine being invaded in May 1948 by six Arab armies and the forcible eviction of all Jews living in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.
- Settlements were not the problem between 1948 and 1967 when another Arab State could have been created with the stroke of an Arab League pen in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza whilst not one Jew lived there.
- Offers by Israel in 2000/2001 and 2008 to another Arab State being created in Gaza and the West Bank were rejected by the Arabs.
- In December 2016 UN Security Council Resolution 2334 declared that the Jewish Quarter and Kotel in East Jerusalem, the Jewish cemetery on the Mount of Olives, the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel's Tomb near Bethlehem were "occupied Palestinian territory".
UK and Russia shamefully failed to veto this Resolution.
- Gaza is ruled by Hamas and the Palestine Liberation Organization governs Areas A and B of the West Bank. Both have held onto power without holding elections since 2006. Both refuse to recognize a Jewish nation-state in any boundaries.
Johnson told Netanyahu:
I first visited [Israel] when I was – as I never tire of telling you – when I was 18.
Netanyahu should never tire of telling world leaders that the 100 years old Jewish-Arab conflict will not be resolved until the Arabs recognise the right of the Jewish people to their own independent State.
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