BY HILLEL FENDEL, ARUTZ 7—
It turns out that the Fatah movement realizes that the international treaty signed at San Remo in 1920 grants internationally-accepted Jewish national rights in the Holy Land.
The WAFA news agency of the Palestinian Authority recently reported that Fatah issued a 25th anniversary statement proclaiming that the San Remo Conference is the root of all “Palestinian catastrophes and sufferings.”
The widely-disseminated article did not make clear what the 25th anniversary commemorated, however. Fatah is 47 years old, and the San Remo Conference was held 91 years ago. The statement was issued for the Fatah Revolutionary Council’s Mobilization and Organization Committee, whose mandate appears in the original Fatah charter of 1964.
The San Remo Conference was an international meeting of four of the leading Allied powers of World War I, known as the post-World War I Allied Supreme Council. It was held in San Remo, Italy, and was attended by the prime ministers of Britain, France, and Italy, and Japanese Ambassador K. Matsui. Its resolution that a Jewish state must be established in Palestine, based on the Balfour Declaration of 1917, was confirmed by the League of Nations in 1922.
“It’s not strange that Zionist gangs considered San Remo Conference as the ‘Magna Carta’ of the Jews,” the Fatah statement asserted.
Following World War I and the fall of the Ottoman Turkish Empire, it became necessary to determine how the formerly Ottoman-ruled lands would be ruled. The ruling powers decided the Holy Land was to be entrusted to a Mandatory, as the San Remo resolution stated: “The High Contracting Parties agree to entrust… the administration of Palestine, within such boundaries as may be determined by the Principal Allied Powers, to a Mandatory, to be selected by the said Powers.”
The resolution continued: “The Mandatory will be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 8, 1917 by the British Government, and adopted by the other Allied Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”
Political Rights for Jews, not Arabs
The international community – the Alllies in 1920, and the League of Nations in 1922 – thus officially recognized the national legal rights of the Jewish People in the Land of Israel. Significantly, similar rights for the Arabs were specifically not recognized.
The resolution mentioned that the “civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine” must be upheld – but specifically left out any mention of “political” or “national” Arab rights.
A parallel League of Nations resolution did grant the Arabs “political” rights in four other mandates – Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and later Trans-Jordan.
Last year at this time, the European Coalition for Israel marked the 90th anniversary of San Remo, noting that it essentially gave birth to the League of Nations’ “British Mandate for Palestine,” which laid down the Jewish legal right to settle anywhere in western Palestine between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. Later, the 51 member countries of the League of Nations unanimously approved the Jews’ historical connection with the Holy Land.
Clearly, then, San Remo truly was a catastrophe for Fatah and the Palestinian Authority.