By Dr. Alex Grobman, Arutz7—
Palestinian Arabs have threatened to sue the British for issuing the Balfour Declaration, but Israel was not a creation ex nihilo. These rights were upheld by the U.N. under Article 80 of the UN Charter after the U.N. replaced the League of Nations.
The recent request by Palestinian Arabs for the Arab League’s assistance in preparing a legal brief against the British government for issuing the Balfour Declaration almost 100 years ago, is another blatant attempt to publicize one of the most persistent canards against the Jewish state–that Israel stole Palestinian Arab land.
The late Edward Said, a professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and Palestinian Arab activist, postulated that the underlying cause of “the conflict between the two peoples has always been about possession of and sovereignty over the land… It is by no means an exaggeration to say that the establishment of the Israel as a state in 1948 occurred partly because the Zionists acquired control of most of the territory of Palestine, and partly because they had already won the political battle for Palestine in the international world in which ideas, representations, rhetoric, and images were at issue.”
Palestinian Arab activist Mazin Qumsiyeh, a professor at Bethlehem University, goes even further in accusing Israel of stealing “most of the land and now controls some 93 percent of the land of Palestine. Before the British invasion and the Balfour Declaration, native and Zionist Jews collectively owned only 2 percent of Palestine.”
Not to be out done in his criticism of Israel is New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who charges Israel with “devouring Palestinian farms and homes in the West Bank in ways that are ugly, brutal, selfish and deceitful, so much worse than its supporters will ever admit.”
Exacerbating the problem is that Israelis are viewed as infidels who seized control of dar el-Islam, sacred Muslim land. Their dominion over Islamic holy sites presents a risk to the holiness of these sites, arousing the religious emotions of many Muslims. As a result, Israelis are seen as part of Islam’s historical battle against heretics, principally those attempting to conquer Jerusalem and the land of Israel.
A number of Israeli leaders have ridiculed this proposed law suit. Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Avi Dichter wondered “If PA President Abu Mazen can sue Great Britain on the Balfour Declaration from 99 years ago, then who is next in line, the Egyptian Pharaoh?” Perhaps the charge could read: “You sent the Jews out of Egypt 3,500 years and since then there has been only trouble in the land of Israel.”
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan facetiously advised the Palestinian Arabs to consider suing G-d for promising Abraham in the book of Genesis, Bereshit, that he would give the Land of Israel to his descendants.
Given the attempts to distort Israel’s historic, legal and moral right to the land of Israel, it is imperative to tell the truth and restate the legal and moral justification for the re-establishment of the Jewish state as well as the legal rights of other populations. Read on.
Dr. Alex Grobman is a historian and author of The Palestinian Right To Israel (Balfour Books, 2010). He co-authored “Denying History: Who Says The Holocaust Never Happened And Why Do They Say It?” (University of California Press, 2000). His newest book is License to Murder: The Enduring Threat of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.