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Anti-Israel Petitions Supported by Israeli Academics
Balfour Declaration Centenary and the Academic Radical-Left

01.11.17
Editorial Note

Last week, on October 26, 2017 members of the Israeli Political Working Group (PWG) sent a petition to the UK Government titled "Britain’s Broken Promise: Time for a New Approach." They urged the British Government, upon marking the Balfour Declaration Centenary, to issue a statement expressing recognition of the State of Palestine which they believe should correct "historical wrong" and complement the original Declaration. The petitioners suggested that Britain should state that "both the Israeli and the Palestinian people have equal rights to self-determination in two states – Israel and Palestine — living side by side along the 1967 borders in peace, security, and prosperity."

The PWG group includes a number of academics such as Dr. Alon Liel, Prof. Amiram Goldblum, Prof. Dan Jacobson, Prof. Daniel Bar-Tal, Prof. Eli Barnavie, Prof. Galia Golan, Prof. Menachem Klein, Prof. Nura Resh, Prof. Itzhak Schnell, Dr. Dmitry Shumsky, among others. 

Interestingly, PWG admits that "The year 2017 marks the 70th anniversary of United Nations Resolution 181 which terminated the mandatory powers of Great Britain in Palestine and paved the way for its partition into a Jewish and an Arab state."  But as well known, Resolution 181, did admit that both the Jews and the Palestinians have a right to self determination and offered a bigger state to the Palestinians and a very small one to the Jews who accepted it.  The Palestinians, on the advice of the Arab nations, rejected the proposal, started a war and suffered grave consequences after losing it.  

Camp David II offered the Palestinians another chance of independence. After arduous negotiations mediated by President Bill Clinton, the Palestinian delegation headed by Yasser Arafat was offered to create a Palestinian state which with minor territorial adjustments would reflect the 1967 borders and a capital in the Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem.  The Old City and the Holy Sites were to be co-administered by the Palestinian and Israeli states.  But Arafat rejected the proposal and, soon after, the Palestinians started the bloody Second Intifada.  In their memoirs, the Americans present at Camp David - Clinton, his Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and the CIA director George Tenet, expressed dismay at the erratic behavior of Arafat and lamented the missed opportunity.   Ironically, Benny Morris, a leading New Historian and critic of Zionism, was profoundly shaken by these developments.   In a series of searing articles in the New York Times and other premier media, Morris denounced the Palestinians as historical losers and questioned their fitness to run a state.  He was joined by others who pointed out that the Palestinian Authority which the Oslo Agreement created in 1993 was a corrupt, lawless, and violent entity.  If anything, the Gaza Strip, under Hamas management since 2006, has rejected anything the PA was offered. Hamas and the smaller Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a wholly owned subsidiary of Iran, have never been shy about their plans to make Israel disappear from the map.

The petition is a vacuous gesture of the radical-left, a symbol of its utter failure to admit that the Palestinians are to a large degree responsible for what had befallen them. But then again, what can be expected of a group who has stayed silent about the unparalleled evil which the Jihadists have inflicted on civil populations?  These are the same type of academics who spent untold hours in conferences and seminars denouncing the ills of Israeli treatment of the inhabitants of the West Bank, but have failed to discuss the treatment of populations in territories occupied by ISIS, including murder, heinous torture, sexual enslavement of Yazidi and Christian women, among others. 

By their obsessive concentration on Israel, this group and other radical-leftist academics have lost their intellectual and moral footing as purveyors of a balanced view of reality.


  

PROMINENT ISRAELIS CALL FOR RECOGNITION OF PALESTINE

Posted on October 28, 2017 by admin
                                                                                    Jerusalem,  26.10.2017

BRITAIN’S BROKEN PROMISE: TIME FOR A NEW APPROACH

The 1917 Balfour Declaration, issued by the British Empire at the height of its power, promised to help “facilitate the achievement” of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine. This recognition of the Jewish people’s right to a national homeland was integrated into the Mandate granted by the League of Nations to the British Crown in 1922 and was considered a key step toward the achievement of statehood for the Jewish people in its ancestral homeland. In Israel’s 1948 Declaration of Independence, it was presented as one of the major internationally recognized foundations for the establishment of the State of Israel.
The language of the Declaration, however, was somewhat vague and noncommittal. It did not define the borders of the territory on which the Jewish state was to be established.  Moreover, it did not explicitly mention the rights of the indigenous Palestinian people who had inhabited the land for centuries and, most importantly, failed to recognize the Palestinian right to self-determination in a national home alongside the Jewish state. In fact, the seeds of the ongoing dispute between the Palestinians and Israelis were, to a large extent, sown in 1917.
The year 2017 marks the 70th anniversary of UNGA Resolution 181 which terminated the mandatory powers of Great Britain in Palestine and paved the way for its partition into a Jewish and an Arab state. It also marks the 50th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of Palestine in its entirety in the Six-Day War of June 1967.  Although Israel subsequently ceded some of that territory, the occupation of Palestinian lands continues to this day.
We, the undersigned members of the Political Working Group (PWG), believe that the meeting on Britain’s Broken Promise: Time for a New Approach in Central Hall Westminster is the appropriate occasion to correct this historical wrong and complement the original Declaration by stating that both the Israeli and the Palestinian people have equal rights to self-determination in two states – Israel and Palestine — living side by side along the 1967 borders in peace, security, and prosperity.
We call upon the UK Government to issue such a statement, expressing recognition of the State of Palestine without further delay.
Sincerely,
Ilan Baruch
 
 
 
 
PWG members:
Dr. Amb. Alon Liel, Prof. Amiram Goldblum, Ms. Anat Ben-Nun, Prof. Dan Jacobson, Prof. Daniel Bar-Tal, Mr. Dan Bitan, Prof. Amb. Eli Barnavie, Prof. Galia Golan, Ms. Betty Hershman,  Mr. Hillel Schenker, Ms. Tania Hary, Ms. Jessica Montel, Mr. Lior Amihai, Prof. Menachem Klein, Prof. Nura Resh, MK Mossi Raz, Prof. Itzhak Schnell, Ms. Susie Becher, Dr. Dmitry Shumsky,    Mr. Shemuel Meir, Ms. Yael Patir, Ms. Yudith Oppenheimer.


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