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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.

Paige Rogers is a Christian artist and author, and a former professional practitioner in the field of Early Childhood Development. She is the creator of ThePaintingPastor.org, a blog offering Christian reflection, exhortation and discernment alongside various artistic techniques visually documented through Paige's unique artistic endeavors. A lover of learning, Paige is an avid enthusiast of history, civics, political geography and human nature, physical geography and the sciences. She is an incurably inquisitive and chronically creative “egghead.” Paige is a strong supporter of America's service members and veterans.

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