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Politico reports on Obama’s favors to Hezbollah and conservative media responds

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Report from Politico The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook

An ambitious U.S. task force targeting Hezbollah’s billion-dollar criminal enterprise ran headlong into the White House’s desire for a nuclear deal with Iran.

What? In a short-sighted legacy quest, the Obama administration placed roadblocks in the way of anything that would have halted the nuclear deal with Iran:

The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hook

https://www.politico.com/interactives/2017/obama-hezbollah-drug-trafficking-investigation/In its determination to secure a nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration derailed an ambitious law enforcement campaign targeting drug trafficking by the Iranian-backed terrorist group Hezbollah, even as it was funneling cocaine into the United States, according to a POLITICO investigation.

The campaign, dubbed Project Cassandra, was launched in 2008 after the Drug Enforcement Administration amassed evidence that Hezbollah had transformed itself from a Middle East-focused military and political organization into an international crime syndicate that some investigators believed was collecting $1 billion a year from drug and weapons trafficking, money laundering and other criminal activities.

The criminality stretched far and wide:

They followed cocaine shipments, some from Latin America to West Africa and on to Europe and the Middle East, and others through Venezuela and Mexico to the United States. They tracked the river of dirty cash as it was laundered by, among other tactics, buying American used cars and shipping them to Africa. And with the help of some key cooperating witnesses, the agents traced the conspiracy, they believed, to the innermost circle of Hezbollah and its state sponsors in Iran.

Here’s how conservative media is responding to the report:

Perspectives

Obama’s Iran Deal Makes Trump’s ‘Collusion’ Look Like Child’s Play

http://thefederalist.com/2017/12/18/obamas-iran-deal-makes-trumps-russia-collusion-look-like-childs-play/We don’t know how Robert Mueller’s investigation into the Trump administration will play out, but if it’s half as bad the Obama administration’s coddling of terror-supporting Iran, it should be a massive national scandal.

Empowering terrorist groups. Paying ransom that emboldened our enemies to kidnap Americans. Creating an echo chamber that undermined a free press. Releasing spies, terrorists, and criminals who assisted not only our enemy and her terrorist proxies, but Russia as well. In the Iran deal, we have clear-cut case of the United States handing over extensive concessions to a nation that openly aimed to destabilize our interests, attack our allies, and kill our people — for nothing in return. It’s worse than anything we know about “Russian collusion.”

BOMBSHELL REPORT: Obama Colluded With Putin To Release Lebanese Terrorist Responsible For Targeting Americans

https://www.dailywire.com/news/24799/bombshell-report-obama-colluded-putin-release-ben-shapiroWe’re all supposed to believe that President Trump, as a candidate, colluded with the Russian government to “steal” the 2016 election. There’s no serious evidence to that effect, despite a massive FBI investigation, a Congressional investigation, and a special counsel investigation initiated by the Department of Justice.

But there is clear evidence that the Obama administration colluded with the Russian government to free an Islamic terrorist responsible for the deaths of Americans — all in order to appease Iran to pave the way for the Obama administration’s surrender to the burgeoning Iranian nuclear program and Iran’s escalating regional ambitions.

REPORT: Securing the Iran Deal Turned Obama Administration into Hezbollah Enablers

https://www.redstate.com/slee/2017/12/18/report-securing-iran-deal-turned-obama-administration-hezbollah-enablers/In short, for the sake of the vanity project that gave Iran a pathway to nuclear weapons and an influx of cash, the Obama administration allowed Hezbollah to grow “from a Middle East-focused military and political organization into an international crime syndicate that some investigators believed was collecting $1 billion a year from drug and weapons trafficking, money laundering and other criminal activities.”

Over…eight years, agents working out of a top-secret DEA facility in Chantilly, Virginia, used wiretaps, undercover operations and informants to map Hezbollah’s illicit networks, with the help of 30 U.S. and foreign security agencies.

Obama, Iran & Hezbollah: Administration Ignored Terrorist Drug Trafficking

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/454737/obama-iran-hezbollah-administration-ignored-terrorist-drug-traffickingOver the weekend Politico’s Josh Meyer published a blockbuster report that can’t be allowed to disappear into the void of the holiday season. In painstaking detail, it documents claims that the Obama administration crippled Drug Enforcement Administration operations against Hezbollah as part of its effort to reach a nuclear deal with the Iranian regime.

Why would the DEA, of all agencies, target an international terrorist organization? It turns out that Hezbollah had become a major player in international cocaine trafficking and was using proceeds from its drug-running and arms-dealing to finance — among other things — the purchase of explosively formed penetrators (EFP’s), the deadliest IEDs used against American soldiers in Iraq.

Politico investigation: Obama protected Hezbollah in order to preserve Iranian nuclear deal – TheBlaze

http://www.theblaze.com/news/2017/12/18/politico-investigation-obama-protected-hezbollah-in-order-to-preserve-iranian-nuclear-dealPolitico released an in-depth examination Monday detailing the Obama administration’s alleged attempts to curtail Project Cassandra, a DEA campaign to expose a money-laundering scheme in which “proceeds from Latin American drug-running were being funneled to Hezbollah.” Hezbollah is the pro-Iranian Lebanese militia, which U.S. Department of State has declared a foreign terrorist organization since 1997, that has allied with, among others, Iran, Syria, Iraq, Venezuela and North Korea.

The Obama administration “tamped down” the investigations in order to preserve the Iran nuclear deal, which lifted economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for the alleged suspension of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.

Differential equations teaches us that one can use the initial conditions of the present to extrapolate events in the near term balanced with the knowledge of the past. The interaction of technological advances and the march of history is fascinating. History can inform those willing to listen as to what will happen in the future because the laws of human natural are as immutable as the elegant equations of Newtonian physics.

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Foreign Affairs

Today’s Red Pill: 1947, Palestinians granted, but rejected independence

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[AUTHOR’S NOTE: Before reading this article, you should first select a large glass and then fill it – to the rim – with your beverage of choice. Get ready to swallow today’s Red Pill.]

You’ve likely heard of the long sought-after “Two-State Solution” for the area modernity refers to as Palestine, a solution designed to bring peace to the Middle East and end the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Get ready to gulp.

Glug.

Glug.

Glug.

Here’s today’s Red Pill: The Two-State Solution was already passed on November 29, 1947 and was officially begun on May 14, 1948. That’s right, the Arab Palestinians were granted their own independent state.

So… What went wrong?

The “great irony” of the situation, as Alan H. Luxenberg of George Washington University explains, is that [1]:

…the leadership of the Arabs of Palestine consistently rejected the two-state solution in the belief that they could have everything; the result was that they ended up with nothing.  In contrast, the Zionist leadership—perhaps more desperate for a piece of land no matter how small and certainly more pragmatic—was willing to accept very little, and they ended up with nearly everything.


BRIEF RECAP:

In my last Red Pill article, There Never Was a “Palestine,” I presented an historical timeline  of the area – from Ottoman rule through 1947 – disproving the commonly-believed myth that “Palestine” was at some point an autonomous country.

As elucidated in the article’s timeline, while the Jewish Palestinians accepted a plethora of compromises from the ruling British, agreeing to numerous concessions along the way, the Arab Palestinians refused each offer of statehood and each offer of peace.

This pattern has continued to this very day. As Luxenberg explained [2]:

[None of the plans] were entirely unacceptable to the Arab leadership, and they fought a war to exterminate the Jewish state just three years after the German effort to exterminate the Jewish people had come to an end.  After that war, the Israelis ended up with an even higher percentage of the land.

The real stumbling block to the creation of a Palestinian state are Palestinians—Hamas, in particular—who cannot bring themselves to accept a state that doesn’t comprise all of “historic Palestine.”  Tragically, the recent reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas means there will be no two-state solution—and no peace agreement.


1947 UNITED NATION TWO-STATE SOLUTION:

Picking up where the last article’s timeline left off – the year 1947 – the below timeline historically and chronologically illustrates the establishment of two states – one Palestinian Jewish, one Palestinian Arab – between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, and the events that led to the Arab’s self-inflicted forfeiture of independent statehood (maps and historical photographs included).

2 April 1947

After continued talks failed to produce any viable solutions, compromises, or agreements, the British referred the “Palestine Problem” to the United Nation [3].

15 May 1947

A special committee was formed to create: the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine (UNSCOP). Representatives from 11 nations concluded that the only solution to the recurring conflict in Western Palestine would be a two-state solution [4].

16 June – 3 July 1947

UNSCOP members embarked on a tour of the British Mandated area of (Western) Palestine. Committee held 12 public hearings. Committee members were presented with evidence and testimony from Jewish groups and British authorities. The Arab Higher Committee (AHC) boycotted the UNSCOP proceedings and threatened Arab opposition leaders with death should any choose to speak with the committee [5]. Despite the Arab boycott, several Arab officials met secretly with UNSCOP members [6].


11 July 1947

4,515 “Displaced Persons” (survivors of Hitler’s Final Solution), including 655 children, sailed from Europe to the British Mandate aboard the Exodus 1947 ship [7]. Several babies were born during the voyage.

August 1947

Two maps were drawn up and put forth for a vote. See each map and accompanying plan below.
1) The Majority Plan:
“Seven nations – Canada, Czechoslovakia, Guatemala, The Netherlands, Peru, Sweden and Uruguay – recommended the establishment of two separate states, Jewish and Arab, to be joined by economic union, with Jerusalem an internationalized enclave.” [8]

August 1947

2) The Minority Plan:
“The minority proposed the establishment of a binational federal state.” [9]

8 Sept 1947

“Ultimately, the British take the refugees from the Exodus 1947 to Hamburg, Germany, and forcibly return them to DP camps [Displaced Persons camps]. The fate of the Exodus 1947 dramatized the plight of Holocaust survivors in the DP camps and increased international pressure on Great Britain to allow free Jewish immigration to Palestine,” [10].

29 Nov. 1947

The UNSCOP voted on and passed the majority’s two-state solution for the partition of Western Palestine [11]. (Resolution 181)
The “checkerboard appearance” of the UN’s official partition map “was largely because Jewish towns and villages were spread throughout Palestine. This did not complicate the plan as much as the fact that the high living standards in Jewish cities and towns had attracted large Arab populations. This demographic factor insured that any partition would result in a Jewish state that included a substantial Arab population. Recognizing the need to allow for additional Jewish settlement, the majority proposal allotted the Jews land in the northern part of the country, Galilee, and the large, arid Negev desert in the south. The remainder was to form the Arab state.” [12]
“These boundaries were based solely on demographics. The borders of the Jewish State were arranged with no consideration of security; hence, the new state’s frontiers were virtually indefensible. Overall, the Jewish State was to be comprised of roughly 5,500 square miles and the population was to be 538,000 Jews and 397,000 Arabs. The Arab State was to be 4,500 square miles with a population of 804,000 Arabs and 10,000 Jews. Though the Jews were allotted more total land, the majority of that land was in the desert.” [13]
60% of the new Jewish state was comprised of desert lands, “while the Arabs occupied most of the agricultural land” [14].
The British accepted the plan, the Palestinian Jews reluctantly accepted the plan, and the Palestinian Arabs immediately rejected it, vowing to spill blood.

Prior to the UN’s partition vote, the spokesman for the Arab Higher Committee told the UNSCOP that the Arabs were committed to drench “the soil… with the last drop of blood,” were the UN to allow a Jewish state to exist in Palestine [15].

This promise came to fruition immediately following the UNSCOP vote to partition British Palestine.

30 Nov. 1947

Arabs attack:
“Fighting began with attacks by irregular bands of Palestinian Arabs attached to local units of the Arab Liberation Army composed of volunteers from Palestine and neighboring Arab countries. These groups launched their attacks against Jewish cities, settlements, and armed forces. The Jewish forces were composed of the Hagenah, the underground militia of the Jewish community in Palestine, and two small irregular groups, the Irgun, and LEHI. The goal of the Arabs was initially to block the Partition Resolution and to prevent the establishment of the Jewish state. The Jews, on the other hand, hoped to gain control over the territory allotted to them under the Partition Plan,” [16].

 

The chairman of the Arab Higher Committee declared that the Arab world would “fight for every inch” of Palestine [17]. Days later, holy men from Al-Azhar University (Cairo) commanded the Muslim world to engage in a jihad (holy war) against the Jews [18].


THE INVASIONS OF 1948:

“Early in January, the first detachments of the Arab Liberation Army began to infiltrate into Palestine from Syria. Some came through Jordan and even through Amman . . . They were in reality to strike the first blow in the ruin of the Arabs of Palestine,” [19].

– John Bagot Glubb, The British commander of Jordan’s Arab Legion

Jan. 1948

The first large-scale attacks began. “Approximately 1,000 Arab Muslims attacked Jewish communities in northern Palestine” [20].

Feb. 1948

“By February, the British said so many Arabs had infiltrated they lacked the forces to run them back. In fact, the British turned over bases and arms to Arab irregulars and the Arab Legion[21].

Sadly, the United Nations was prevented from upholding its duty to ensure a peaceful transition between British Mandated Palestine and the May 14, 1948, official establishment of two independent states, because both the Arabs and the British never permitted the UN to enter Mandated Palestine [22].

16 Feb. 1948

The Commission on Palestine, reporting to the United Nations Security Council, cast the blame for the increasing violence in Mandated Palestine directly on the Arabs, declaring that “Powerful Arab interests, both inside and outside Palestine, are defying the resolution of the General Assembly and are engaged in a deliberate effort to alter by force the settlement envisaged therein,” [23].

16 Apr. 1948

The Arab representatives proudly and bluntly took full responsibility for the violence in front of the United Nations Security Council, stating, “The representative of the Jewish Agency told us yesterday that they were not the attackers, that the Arabs had begun the fighting. We did not deny this. We told the whole world that we were going to fight” [24].

26 Apr. 1948

Transjordan’s King Abdullah said, “All our efforts to find a peaceful solution to the Palestine problem have failed. The only way left for us is war. I will have the pleasure and honor to save Palestine” [25].

14 May 1948

The British officially end their Mandate over Western Palestine, in accordance with the UNSCOP resolution, and two independent states were created: one for the Arabs and one for the Jews, with Jerusalem remaining in the position and care of the United Nations.
That same day the independent state of Israel declared its independence [26].
The U.S. President, Harry Truman, officially recognized the state of Israel within the first hour of its birth [27].


A “WAR OF ANNIHILATION”:

“It will be a war of annihilation. It will be a momentous massacre in history that will be talked about like the massacres of the Mongols or the Crusades,” [28].

– Azzam Pasha, Secretary-General of the Arab League

14 May 1948

Rather than celebrating the independence of a Arab Palestinian state, the Arabs rejected peace and chose war. The very night the British Mandate over Palestine ended, and the two new, independent Jewish and Arab states were officially born, the armies of five Arab states – Egypt, Syria, Transjordan, Lebanon and Iraq – immediately invaded Israel [29]. “Saudi Arabia sent a formation that fought under the Egyptian command. British trained forces from Transjordan eventually intervened in the conflict,” [30]. (See the map of the invasion below.)

15 May 1948

The governments of the Arab League states issued a formal Declaration of Invasion under the auspices of establishing order and democracy, and for the liberation of Palestine [31].

19 May 1948

Jerusalem, which had been designated an independent, international city under the control of the United Nations, is cut off by Arab forces [32].

28 May 1948

The “Jewish Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem falls to the Jordanian Arab Legion” [33].

31 May 1948

The IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) is formed [34].

15 July 1948

“The initial phase of the fighting ended after the Security Council threatened July 15 to cite the Arab governments for aggression under the Charter. By this time, the Haganah had been renamed the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and succeeded in stopping the Arab offensive” [35].


THE LOSS OF AN INDEPENDENT ARAB STATE:

“After tense early fighting, Israeli forces, now under joint command, were able to gain the offensive,” [36].

– The US State Department’s Summary of the Israeli War for Independence

24 Feb. 1949

The Israel-Egypt Armistice Agreement was signed [37]. (The Armistice talk had begun back on January 12, 1949.)

23 Mar. 1949

The Israel-Lebanon Armistice Agreement was signed [38].

3 Apr. 1949

The Israel-Jordan Armistice Agreement was signed [39]. (The Armistice talk had begun back in March of 1949.)

11 May 1949

Israel was admitted to United Nations as 59th member [40].

20 July 1949

The Israel-Syria Armistice Agreement was signed [41]. (The Armistice talk had begun back in April of 1949.)

(See the below map of Israel’s borders following the conclusion of the war.)

In the end, the Arab-Israeli War did not go as the Arabs had anticipated. What was intended to be a “war of annihilation,” ended in a victory of Israel.

Although the war has never officially been ended between the various Arab countries and Israel, “Arab countries signed armistice agreements with Israel. Iraq was the only country that did not sign an agreement with Israel, choosing instead to withdraw its troops and hand over its sector to Jordan’s Arab Legion,” [42].

Egypt gained control of the Gaza Strip, while Transjordan gained control of Jerusalem and the West Bank.

As illustrated by the map below, the “Arab war to destroy Israel failed. Indeed, because of their aggression, the Arabs wound up with less territory than they would have had if they had accepted partition,” [43].


Citations (in order of usage):

[1] “The Ironic History of Palestine,” Alan H. Luxenberg, George Washington University, retrieved at: https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/139168

[2] Ibid.

[3] “The Partition Plan: Background and Overview”: retrieved at http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/map-of-the-u-n-partition-plan

[4] Ibid.

[5] UNSCOP Report, 1947, retrieved at: http://www.mideastweb.org/unscop1947.htm

[6] Morris, Benny, “1948: A History of the First Arab-Israeli War”

[7] Immigration to Israel: Exodus 1947 Illegal Immigration Ship (July 1947), retrieved at: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/quot-exodus-1947-quot-illegal-immigration-ship

[8] See [3].

[9] Ibid.

[10] “Timeline of Jewish History: Modern Israel & the Diaspora (1946 – 1949),” Retrieved at: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/timeline-of-modern-israel-1950-1959

[11] “Palestine, Partition and Partition Plans,” retrieved at: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/palestine-partition-and-partition-plans

[12] See [3].

[13] Ibid.

[14] “Myths and Facts,” p. 30, retrieved at: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/images/mf2017.pdf#page=38

[15] J.C. Hurewitz, The Struggle for Palestine, (NY: Facts on File, Inc., 1948), p. 231.

[16] “Milestones: 1945-1952,” The United States Office of the Historian, retrieved at: https://history.state.gov/milestones/1945-1952/arab-israeli-war

[17] New York Times, (December 1, 1947).

[18] Facts on File, p. 48. See [14].

[19] John Bagot Glubb, A Soldier with the Arabs, (London: Staughton and Hodder, 1957), p. 79.

[20] “Israeli War of Independence: Background & Overview (1947 – 1949),” retrieved at: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/background-and-overview-israel-war-of-independence

[21] Ibid.

[22] Ibid.

[23] Security Council Official Records, Special Supplement, (1948), p. 20.

[24] Security Council Official Records, S/Agenda/58, (April 16, 1948), p. 19.

[25] Howard Sachar, A History of Israel, (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1979), p. 322.

[26] See [20].

[27] See [10].

[28] “Interview with Abd al-Rahman Azzam Pasha,” Akhbar al-Yom (Egypt), (October 11, 1947); translated by R. Green.

[29] See [20].

[30] See [16].

[31] The Arab League: Declaration on the Invasion of Palestine (May 15, 1948),retrieved at: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/arab-league-declarationon-the-invasion-of-palestine-may-1948

[32] See [10].

[33] Ibid.

[34] Ibid.

[35] See [20].

[36] See [16]

[37] “Israel War of Independence: Israel-Egypt Armistice Agreement (February 24, 1949),” retrieved at: https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/israel-egypt-armistice-agreement-1949

[38] “Israel War of Independence: Israel-Lebanon Armistice Agreement (March 23, 1949),” retrieved at: https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/israel-lebanon-armistice-agreement-1949

[39] “Israel War of Independence: Israel-Jordan Armistice Agreement (April 3, 1949),” retrieved at: https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/israel-jordan-armistice-agreement-1949

[40] See [10].

[41] “Israel War of Independence: Israel-Syria Armistice Agreement (July 20, 1949),” retrieved at: https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/israel-syria-armistice-agreement-1949

[42] See [20].

[43] Ibid.

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Foreign Affairs

Trump’s trade war faces resistance from GOP, but it probably won’t matter

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While the government-contrived immigration “crisis” at the border involving forced family separations has captured the headlines—effectively giving Trump and the GOP the cover they need to save DACA and create a pathway to citizenship for millions of illegal aliens—Trump’s trade war was the topic of the day during hearings with the Senate Finance Committee yesterday.

Following recent announcements of retaliatory tariffs being leveled against the US by Canada, China, Mexico, and the EU, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross appeared before the committee to defend what the committee referred to as Trump’s “knee-jerk impulses” with his trade policies.

Senators from both parties blasted Ross over Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs—which Ross once defended as “no big deal” because any impact they might have on consumer prices would be “trivial”—following recent economic data indicating that tariffs were indeed having a negative impact on the US economy.

After pointing out that tariffs were responsible for raising prices by 20 percent or more for certain US manufacturers, Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch questioned the administration’s claim that Trump’s trade war was a matter of national security.

“These tariffs do not support US national security; instead, they harm American manufacturers, damage our economy, hurt American consumers, and disrupt our relationship with our long-term allies, while giving China a free pass.”

As regular readers of the Strident Conservative already know, Trump has been particularly soft on China after receiving favorable treatment for his and Ivanka’s business interests in China from the Chinese government.

Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA), who attempted to get a law passed that would return the power to levy tariffs back to Congress as the Constitution requires—it was shot down by Mitch McConnell—also pointed out that Trump’s trade war has nothing to do with national security.

“I wish we would stop invoking national security because that’s not what this is about. This is about economic nationalism.”

“We’re picking winners and losers.”

Hmm… picking winners and losers. Isn’t that something Obama did?

Despite Trump’s misguided optimism, it’s important to remember that there are always casualties in war—even in a trade war—and he is personally responsible for them because he will have caused them.

While news that there are Republicans willing to take a stand against Trump’s disastrous trade policies should be something to cheer, the GOP has become the party of Trump where loyalty and undying devotion to the NY liberal has replaced conservative values. It was just yesterday that I wrote about Sen. Dean Heller’s conversion to Trump conservatism and how as a Trump loyalist, he would be giving Trump “a wide berth” concerning tariffs.

With the GOP adopting a Trump loyalty test when it comes to enacting policy and running elections, it’s likely that we’ll see more Republicans giving Trump a wide berth on tariffs and pretty much everything else Trump wants.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 


David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His daily radio commentary is distributed by the Salem Radio Network and is heard on stations across America.

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Culture and Religion

Today’s Red Pill: There never was a “Palestine”

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Woooo-dawgie! Ever since the commemoration of the move of the United States’ embassy to Jerusalem, which coincided with Israel’s 70th anniversary as an independent state, and the corresponding Palestinian violence on the ground, there has been a fierce, vitriolic uproar of competing narratives.

Observing the spectacle, I’ve reached an unpleasant conclusion: there is an inexcusably large number of people operating under false information, an indefensibly great number of people inflicted by historical illiteracy.

The most obvious manifestation of the historical ignorance of our body politic is the belief that Palestine was once a sovereign country, the land having been wrongfully stolen by the evil Israeli stormtroopers…. or something.

Is there any truth to this?

Well, if you answered this question with, “Yes,” you need to grab a glass of water and prepare to swallow today’s Red Pill.


First, it is important to know that there has never – not ever – been any autonomous country of Palestine.

Second, it is important to know that, since the defeat of the Ottoman Empire in WWI, the Arab Palestinians have obstinately, doggedly, repeatedly refused a multitude of generous offers of compromise, including the establishment of their own independent, Arabic country.

As Allen H. Luxenberg of George Washington University explains the above two points [1]:

Historic Palestine as we know it today is derived from a map drawn up by the British at the end of World War I—in particular by British Christians whose understanding of the geography of Palestine was largely based on the Bible, which, as we all know, is derived from the Jews. 

So, it is the height of irony when we hear the militant Islamists of Hamas insisting that any compromise about the land that constitutes “historic Palestine” is impossible, for, as they argue, the entire land is a waqf, or Islamic trust, bestowed by God.  Think about it: a border drawn by British Christians based on their reading of the Jewish Bible is now interpreted by Muslim fundamentalists as God-given and unchangeable!

…In fact, historically, there was never an independent country named Palestine.  There was for a time a Roman province named Palestine, when the Romans bestowed that name in the second century A.D. on an area that was previously called Judea, and which had been sovereign for a time.  Having defeated the Jews in what the ancient historian Josephus labeled “the Jewish Wars,” the Romans then expelled the Jews from Jerusalem and renamed the province after the Jews’ historic archenemy, the Philistines.

I’ve compiled a timeline of events, complete with maps, to elucidate the pertinent history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (1880-1946). (For the sake of brevity, a follow-up piece will cover the 1947 United Nations passage of the Two-State Solution and the Establishment of Israel.)


SEGMENT 1: OTTOMAN RULE

THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE
16th Century The Middle East, part of North Africa, and parts of Europe belong to the Turkish Ottoman Empire.
1880 Jewish population one again becomes the majority in Jerusalem.
1891 By 1891, the number of Jewish immigrants into the area known as Palestine (referred to by the local Arab population as Lower Syria) equaled the number of Jews moving out of the area.
1891 Disturbed by the rising number of Jewish citizens, local Arab notables called upon their Ottoman administrators, demanding Jewish immigration to the area be banned and that the sale of land to Jews be prohibited. “In response, the Turks briefly suspended Jewish immigration, a ban lifted only when Jews agreed to pay a per capita bribe.” [2]
29 Oct. 1914 The “Ottoman Surprise Attack” – The Ottoman Empire enters WWI with an attack on Russia’s Black Sea coast. This attack and the series of events that followed would ultimate lead to the defeat and dissolution of the Ottoman Empire.
1 Nov. 1914 Russia declares war on the Ottomans.
5 Nov. 1914 Britain and France, Russia’s allies, declare war on the Ottomans. Swaths of Ottoman land were quickly captured. [3]
(See the map below.)
1917 British capture Jerusalem, ending Ottoman rule. [4]

SEGMENT 2: BRITISH MANDATE

BRITISH-CONTROLLED MANDATE OF PALESTINE

1917

The Balfour Declaration: The British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, Arthur Balfour, issued instructions for what was to be done with the former Ottoman Empire territory known as Palestine, now controlled by Great Britain.
(See the map below.)
1919 Versailles Peace Conference decides that the Ottoman Empire’s land which had been conquered during the war would not be returned to Ottoman rule.

 

1919 The League of Nations was established as to prevent further war.

1921

Arab Executive Committee demands the British halt all Jewish immigration to the territory which the British now label “Palestine.” The committee also demands the British rescind the Balfour Declaration and, then, appoint a national Palestinian legislative parliament controlled by the Arab population. [5] Arabs riot in Jaffa and other cities.
1921 The British temporarily halted Jewish immigration in response to the Arab Executive Committee’s demands. I addition, the British convened the 1921 Haycraft Commission of Inquiry to examine Arab violence which had broken out across the area. The Haycraft Commission rules that the Arabs had been responsible for the intense outbreak of Arab-on-Jew violence.

1921

In the fall of 1921, Winston Churchill invited Arab and Jewish Palestinians to come together in hope that a peaceful coexistence would be negotiated between the parties. For months upon months, the Arab Palestinians doggedly refused to join any discussion involving Jews. [6]

Feb. 1922

Winston Churchill offered to establish a legislative body as the Arab Palestinians had requested. However, the Arabs refused, because the legislative body included provisions for Jewish representations. [7]

July 1922

The League of Nations officially entrusts Britain with as the administrator of the Palestinian Mandate. [8] Britain was called upon to facilitate the creation of a Jewish National Homeland as was ordered by the Balfour Declaration. [9]
(See the map below.)

Sept. 1922

The very first plan for the partition of Palestine is proposed, often referred to as The Churchill White Paper: Great Britain, along with the League of Nations, attempts to strike a compromise in Palestine by dividing the single state into two territories: one Jewish Palestinian Home Land and one Arab Palestinian Home Land. [10]
In an effort to forge a compromise, the British chose to divide the “Palestine” Mandate into two halves (east and west) along the line of the Jordan River.

The terms of the partition were as follows:

The Jewish Palestinians agreed to the terms of the Churchill White Paper. The Arab Palestinians, however, vehemently rejected it

The terms of the partition were as follows:

“Jews were prohibited from settling in 77 percent of Mandate Palestine—all the territory east of the Jordan River . They were allowed to settle anywhere in western Palestine (including today’s Israel proper, the West Bank and Gaza .) Thus, Eastern Palestine, renamed Transjordan , was removed from the area that was set aside for the Jewish National Home in the historic Balfour Declaration and handed over to the Emir Abdullah. This split was viewed as the “definitive Palestinian Settlement,” with Transjordan as ‘the Arab National Home,’ parallel to the Jewish National Home on the West Bank of the Jordan River all the way to the Mediterranean Sea (from the river to the sea).” [11]

(See the map below.)

1923

The British administration suspends the Palestinian constitution due to the Arab Palestinians’ refusal to cooperate.

 

1930

British authorities organize and invite Arab and Jewish Palestinians to a “roundtable discussion,” hoping to reach and agreement regarding Palestinian-Mandate constitutional issues. The Arabs boycotted the efforts and the plans were shelved. [12]
 Jan. 1935 A fatwa (religious declaration) is issued by 500 Muslim religious notables prohibiting Muslims from selling land to Jews. Muslims caught selling land to Jews could face death.

1936

The Arab Higher Committee (AHC) is created after six Arab political factions joined forces.
The AHC’s first resolution called for a general strike until 3 demands were met [14]:
1) All Jewish immigration into Palestine must be banned.
2) Land sale and land transfers to Jews must be banned.
3) An Arab national government must be established with no representation – none – for Jews.  This would ensure Jewish disenfranchisement.

 

1936-1939 The Peel Commission is formed to investigate the Arab riots. The Commission was also tasked with making recommendations for a peaceful coexistence of Arab and Jewish Palestinians in Western Palestine.

1937

The Mufti presents Arabs’ demands to the Peel Commission. The demands were as follows [15]:
1) the abandonment of all plans for a Jewish Home;
2) a cessation of and prohibition on all Jewish immigration to the entire territory, as well as a ban on all land purchases to Jews;
3) and the immediate end to the British Mandate, to be replaced by a pro-British, Arab regime.
4)*There was a fourth condition desired by the Mufti: a decrease in the number of Jews already living in the Palestine Mandate.
After a Peel Commission member questioned the Mufti about decreasing the number of Jews, the Mufti frankly responded to the commissioners that some Jews would simply have to leave, either “kindly or painfully.” [16]

July 1937

The Peel Commission “issued its recommendations: to abolish the Mandate and partition the country between the two peoples. Only a zone between Jaffa and Jerusalem would remain under the British mandate and international supervision.” [17]
“The Jewish state would include the coastal strip stretching from Mount Carmel to south of Be’er Tuvia, as well as the Jezreel Valley and the Galilee. The Arab state was to include the hill regions, Judea and Samaria, and the Negev. Until the establishment of the two states, the commission recommended, Jews should be prohibited from purchasing land in the area allocated to the Arab state.” [18]
(See the map below.)
The British authorities accepted the recommendations of the Peel Commission, the Zionists, displeased, requested the opportunity to negotiate further, and the Arabs immediately rejected the committee’s report in its entirety. [19]

Sept. 1937

Meeting in Syria, 450 delegates of the Arab National Congress officially reject the Peel Commission’s plan.
The Arab Revolt was resumed. Those targeted with violence included Jews, as well as moderate Arabs who were open to compromise.
Approximately 25% of the Arabs who lost their lives during the 1936 to 1936 revolts were killed by their fellow Palestinian Arabs. [20] The plan was then shelved.

 

17 May 1939

Hoping to gain backing from the Arabs amidst the dawning of WWII, the British issued the 1939 White Paper, in which, “The Peel Commission’s partition plan on the grounds that it was not feasible. The document stated that Palestine would be neither a Jewish state nor an Arab one, but an independent state to be established within ten years. Jewish immigration to Palestine was limited to 75,000 for the first five years, subject to the country’s “economic absorptive capacity”, and would later be contingent on Arab consent. Stringent restrictions were imposed on land acquisition by Jews.” [21]
A scathing report was issued by the Jewish Agency for Palestine regarding the 1930 White Paper, exclaiming, “It is in the darkest hour of Jewish history that the British Government proposes to deprive the Jews of their last hope…” [22]
Delegates from all Arab states, following a September meeting in Syria, proclaimed all of Palestine to be “an integral part of the Arabian homeland and no part would be alienated with Arab consent.” [23]

 

Oct. 1945 The United Nations is founded.
23 Oct. 1946 The first ever United Nations meeting is help in New York.
1946 Two more plans are proposed for the establishment of peace and stability and British Mandated Palestine. Both plans rested as single-state solution, and both called for increased Jewish immigration to alleviate the plight of displaced Jews, a result of the Holocaust. Both plans are explained below:

Apr. 1946

1) The Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry Plan (April):
This plan called for equal representation and equal powers for Jews and Arabs. It called for the issuance of “100,000 certificates for immigration to Palestine be issued immediately and that the U.S. and British governments try to find new places for the Displaced Persons, in addition to Palestine. Future immigration to Palestine should be regulated by the Mandatory administration, and the land transfer regulations of 1940, which forbade the sale of land in certain parts of the country to Jews, should be annulled.” [24]
(See the map below.)
“The White Paper of 1939, and the drastic limitation of Jewish immigration and of land sales to Jews which followed, met the Arab view only in part. The Arabs would have gone much further. The demands voiced by their leaders are for immediate independence, for the final cessation of Jewish immigration and for the prohibition of all land sales by Arabs to Jews,” the report explained. [25]
Failure:

The Jewish Agency for Palestine accepted the plan; the Arab rejected it. The report notes that, since the very beginning of the British Mandate, the Arabs had vocally and firmly held a stance in opposition to all possibilities of allowing a Jewish Homeland. [25] Furthermore, the British continued the White Paper’s strict immigration limitations. [26]

July 1946

2) The Morrison-Grady Plan (July):
The scheme called “for the division of Palestine into four provinces: an Arab province, consisting of about 40% of the area; a Jewish province, with 17%, and two British provinces – the Jerusalem district and the Negev – covering 43% of the area. A British high commissioner, assisted by a nominated executive council, would head the central government. The Arab and Jewish provinces would have elected legislatures, with executives appointed by the high commissioner from among their members. The powers of these executives would be very limited…” [27]
(See the map below.)
Failure:

The plan was rejected by both Arabs and Jews.

It was after the failure of these talks that the British then handed the “Palestine Problem” over to the United Nation for final resolution.

From there, this story really gets interesting… but that’s for next time.

(To be continued…)


Citations (in order of usage):

[1] “The Ironic History of Palestine,” Alan H. Luxenberg, George Washington University, retrieved at: https://historynewsnetwork.org/article/139168

[2] Avraham Yaari, The Goodly Heritage: Memoirs Describing the Life of the Jewish Community of Eretz Yisrael from the 17th to 20th Century , Jerusalem, ZOA 1958, pp. 215-16.

[3] “History of the Ottoman Empire”  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Ottoman_Empire_during_World_War_I

[4] Unrest & Realignment in the Middle East (1914-1918 CE) : http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/timeline-for-the-history-of-judaism

[5] Christopher Sykes, Cross Roads to Israel – Palestine from Balfour to Bevin, Collins London 1965, p. 59

[6] Ibid. pp. 71-72

[7] Christopher Sykes, Cross Roads to Israel – Palestine from Balfour to Bevin, Collins London 1965, p. 81.

[8] “League of Nation,” retrieved at: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/league-of-nations

[9]  “British-Palestine Mandate,” retrieved at: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/history-and-overview-of-the-british-palestine-mandate

[10] “The Churchill White Paper,” retrieved at: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/churchill-white-paper-1922

[11] “Rejectionism,” retrieved at: http://www.mythsandfacts.org/Conflict/6/rejectionism.htm

[12] Christopher Sykes, p. 128.

[13] “The Arab Revolt,” retrieved at: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-1936-arab-riots

[14] See [11]

[15] Christopher Sykes, p. 174.

[16] Ibid. p. 174.

[17] “British Palestine Mandate: The Peel Commission”: retrieved at http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-peel-commission

[18] Ibid.

[19] Christopher Sykes, p. 185

[20] Christopher Sykes, p. 188.

[21] “British Palestine Mandate: The British White Papers”: retrieved at http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-british-white-papers

[22] “British White Papers: Zionist Reaction to the White Paper (1939)”: retrieved at http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/zionist-reaction-to-the-white-paper-of-1939

[23] See [20].

[24] “Pre-state Israel: The Anglo-American Committee (1946)”: retrieved at http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/the-anglo-american-committee

[25] “Report of the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry”: retrieved at http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/psychological-analysis-of-hitler-s-life-and-legend

[26] See [24].

[27] “Palestine, Partition and Partition Plans”: retrieved at http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/palestine-partition-and-partition-plans

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