Special solutions to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict

By Shaul Arieli

October 5th, 2017
Via Haaretz
Washington must ensure a detailed framework for negotiations that gives room for the two versions of justice and fairness
Jared Kouchner, the Jewish brother-in-law of US President Donald Trump and his envoy to the Middle East, questioned Trump's ability to find a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. His statement came in July of this year, a hundred years after the start of the conflict, similar to the Balfour Declaration (November 1917). "You have to understand what they did at the time," Kouchner said. "You have to understand that they did this." Kouchner wonders: "How can this lead us to peace? We do not want a lesson in history. We read enough books. Let's focus on finding a solution to the situation. "
On the one hand, in Kouchner's approach, after my work is required more than anything else to settle the dispute, this is something positive. For over 100 years, we have learned that the conflict can not be resolved by creating a common narrative of the two parties that will form the basis for reconciliation. It is true that each party retains a novel of legal, political and historical impact, but it conflicts with the other side's narrative. The potential for resolving the conflict lies in finding a compromise that is in line with the fundamental interests of the parties, such as those based on the criteria negotiated in Annapolis in 2008.
Kouchner and others must understand that such a compromise can not contradict the two sides' accounts, and certainly not ignore them altogether. These narratives serve public awareness and create the psychological conditions necessary to recognize the need to pay a painful price. The two narratives should be assigned a mysterious presence with broad interpretation, but without practical implications. To this end, within his duties, Mr. Kouchner should recognize and understand the special nature of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the distinctive solutions needed to resolve it.
Every international conflict has its own advantages, but it seems that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is unique in history after the Spring of the Peoples. Its own nature has many and varied elements that can explain the fact that this is one of the longer conflicts and the many complexities required to settle them within the framework of the Permanent Agreement.
General Judiciary. In the first Zionist Congress in Basel in 1897, where he adopted the decision formulated by Max Nordau under the Basel Plan, under which «Zionism aspires to establish the Jewish people a homeland in the Land of Israel, promised by the common law». A young national movement has never undertaken a similar size commitment. It ruled that the right to self-determination of the Jewish people in their homeland would be resolved by the international communit.
The leaders of the movement understood that the way in which the Jewish people would embody their right to self-determination would be anomaly, because the 2,000-year-old Jewish tragedy was anomaly. They did not believe that this anomaly reduces the moral justification for realizing this right. Thus, 50 years later, in the Declaration of Independence on 14 May 1947, Ben-Gurion was keen to point out the fact that the State of Israel had also been established "on the basis of the resolution of the General Assembly of the United Nations."
Balfour Declaration:
This was a statement of legal effect, in its reliance on the imperialist principle of that time, under which each State could embark on a war that invaded lands and decided its fate. "The importance of the declaration lies first and foremost in the fact that it was the legal basis for the claim of Zionism in Palestine," wrote Edward Said, a member of the Palestinian National Council, in 1979. The declaration was issued to the Jewish people, who was not a resident at that time in the country. . Thus, the Jews consider the declaration to be the first political force in their claim to the national homeland, which the Palestinians see as the starting point of the conflict. They say in their 1964 charter: "The Council recognizes that aggression against the Muslim Ummah and its land began in 1917. Their position in the Palestinian narrative did not change until 100 years later. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas insisted in his speech at the United Nations in September 2016: "A hundred years have passed since the notorious Balfour Declaration.
Special mandate:
Mandate instrument for Palestine Palestine, which was decided at the San Remo Conference in April 1920 and adopted by the League of Nations in August 1922, stated that the British Mandate "should create in the country political, administrative and economic conditions that guarantee the establishment of the Jewish national homeland." Which is very abnormal, and third in the special advantage of the dispute.
Under the leadership of US President Woodrow Wilson, the principle of self-determination replaced the imperialist principle and decided as a rule that "the country belongs to its inhabitants and not to its occupiers." But this principle was applied in the areas occupied by empires in World War I, the only place where it did not apply was in Palestine. In 1947, the UN Special Committee on Palestine stated that "the principle of self-determination did not apply to Palestine when the Mandate was established in 1922 because of the aspiration to allow the establishment of a Jewish national homeland. The Arabs, who at the time were 90 percent of the country's population, had to be content with equal civil and religious rights in a state established for the Diaspora Jewish people.
Demographic Importation:
The demographic balance in the Land of Israel at the time of the Balfour Declaration and the Mandate Mandate was 9: 1 in the interest of the Arabs and created an unprecedented special challenge on the road to the establishment of a Jewish democratic state. Unlike the process of determining borders after the First World War, when the people remained in their places, including the major minorities, and new borders arose around them, in the Jewish case there was a need to import the Jewish people distributed in the world to the Land of Israel.
This is how Ze'ev Jabotinsky describes it in the Council of Israel in 1919: "In other countries, the place where all the people live in their country is simple and simple. This is the principle; but not in our country, which is in this regard the land of" non-naturalism " Its citizens are outside the borders of the country. " Thus, the fact that the country brought the Jewish people was not empty of the population. Since 1891, Ihad stressed that "we are accustomed to faith in the outside of the country, that the Land of Israel is now all desolate ... but the truth is that there is no such thing." The people of this country had different national aspirations than the aspirations of the Zionist movement.
Lessened land. Palestine's borders Mandatory Palestine as agreed in the end of 1922 was different from the one that was discussed at the Versailles Peace Conference in February 1916. The Delegates' Committee in Versailles presented the proposal of the Zionist Histadrut, which included parts of Lebanon, Syria , Jordan and Egypt today the size of about 45 thousand square kilometers. In the end, Israel's political borders were set at about 27,000 square kilometers as a result and the rest to determine the boundaries of the territorial units adjacent to the Land of Israel, according to the considerations of the victorious superpowers, Britain and France: the Sinai Peninsula was given to Egypt on the basis of the administrative line 1906. East Jordan was handed over to the Hashemite family, partially implemented by the British promise of Hussein ibn Ali in 1915, and the line in Syria and Lebanon was decided on the basis of the interests of the French.
The emergence of a people:
Another special feature relates to the fact that the Palestinians are a people that grew up, despite their nose, like other Arab peoples crystallized in the Arab sphere of the Ottoman Empire. In the report of the partition committee in 1947 it was said that "the will of the Arab people in Palestine to ensure their national existence is certainly natural. But Palestinian nationalism, unlike Arab nationalism, is itself a relatively recent phenomenon. "
Until the end of the nineteenth century, the Arab population did not use the name of Palestine to refer to their national territory. They saw themselves as belonging to Greater Syria, in the southern part of the region, which now includes Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Jordan. At the first Arab National Congress held in Jaffa in January 1919, the Arabs had to be part of Greater Syria. With the consolidation of the mandates at the San Remo Conference in April 1920, the Arab world showed that Britain had no intention of carrying out its promises to Hussein Ben Ali about the establishment of the Kingdom of Arabia. France, which received the mandate of Syria, expelled Faisal from his chair in Damascus in the Battle of Methallon in July 1920. These steps led to the general Arab dream and prompted the Arabs of the Land of Israel to crystallize their political demands in Palestine and the Land of Israel.
At the Third Arab National Congress, in December 1920, they began to define themselves as the Arab-Palestinian Executive Committee and asked for the formation of an original government. At the Fourth National Congress, in May 1921, they became known as the "Palestinian Arab people". The national movement of Palestine Arabs crystallized the Land of Israel quickly and culminated in the Arab revolution in 1936 and in the formation of the Higher Arab Committee headed by Mufti Amin al-Husseini.
White Paper:
Another special feature relates to the narrow form in which the British applied the Mandate instrument issued by the San Remo Conference in a land that was annexed by the Land of Israel and the Kingdom of Jordan today (about 130,000 square kilometers). And with the experience of imperialism many years already promised Balfour Declaration in 1917 to establish a national homeland for the Jews «in Palestine». That is, in part of the Land of Israel, and not all of them. Later, after the French overthrew Faisal, Winston Churchill rushed to announce at the Cairo Conference in March 1921 the granting of East Jordan (about 91,000 square kilometers) to Prince Abdullah (Faisal got Iraq).
In order to ensure this legal political decision, the first White Paper was published by Churchill in June 1922, and before the adoption of the Mandate, an item was added stating that "in the areas extending between Jordan and the eastern borders of Palestine ... the administration will be authoritative, Nations, to prevent or delay the application of this mandate clause. "
After the adoption of the mandate of Palestine from the League of Nations in August 1922, the Zionist movement accepted that month at the conference of Clerlsbad both the Mandate and the White Paper. "The current political situation exists under two important documents, the Mandate instrument and the White Paper of the British government ... the White Paper, which the Zionist administration agreed upon after long and difficult consultations with the British government and with the High Commissioner and not with an easy heart," Chaim Weizmann wrote at the time. Even Jabotinsky acknowledged this. In response to press questions following his resignation from the Histadrut, he said: "I am a full participant in the responsibility of the administration in London to sign our agreement to the White Paper." In September 1922, the British Mandate was issued by the British High Commissioner for Palestine, Hilbert Samuel, who took out the eastern part of Jordan from the application of the Balfour Declaration and established the Emirate of Eastern Jordan.
In 1937, following the Arab revolution that broke out a year ago, the Bill Commission published its recommendation for the partition of Palestine, declaring that "this is a struggle between two national movements whose demands are effective and can not be reconciled between the demands of one another. The proposal to implement the Balfour Declaration was once again reduced to about 17 per cent of the country's area between the river and the sea. It should be noted that the rest of the land, with the exception of Jerusalem and Riwaq to Jaffa, remains under the control of the Mandate, for Prince Abdullah, not for an independent Palestinian state. The British, who despaired of the possibility of finding a solution to the differences between the two peoples in the country, did not eventually implement the Mandate instrument and did not establish a national homeland for the Jewish people in the Land of Israel.
Recognition of the Arabs The Zionist movement, even though it was in a struggle for life or death with the Palestinian national movement, was the first to recognize the Arabs of Israel with the right to self-determination in the framework of the division of the country. In a speech in Ein Harod in 1924, Ben-Gurion said: "Certainly, the Arab community in the country has the right to self-determination and to govern themselves. It is not reasonable to underestimate or minimize this right. "
In February 1947, after deliberations on the future of the Land of Israel in London, Ben-Gurion sent a letter to British Foreign Secretary Ernest Bowen, calling for partition and the establishment of two independent states: "The only possible immediate arrangement, the basis of which is the completion of two states, one Jewish and one Arabic, "he wrote. Without borders: The State of Israel has never declared its borders. Not in the Declaration of Independence with its establishment on May 14, 1948, and not for the 70 years of its existence. In the Arab world this is a strategy of permanent expansion at their expense, without giving importance to Arab responsibility in this regard. Thus, for example, in the deliberations of the Security Council in April 1948, the delegate of the Arab Higher Committee, Jamal al-Husseini, admitted that "the representative of the Jewish Agency told us yesterday that they are not the aggressor. The Arabs are the ones who started fighting ... In practice, we do not deny this fact ... We told the world ... We do not agree to divide the small Palestine, and we intend to fight against it.
The decision not to declare borders was a conscious choice for the Government of Israel, as Ben-Gurion described it to the People's Administration in May 1948. "We decided to evade (and deliberately choose this word) from this issue for a simple reason: if the United Nations implements its decision, Opinion of the people) we will respect all decisions. So far the United Nations has not done so ... and therefore everything is not necessary and we have kept this issue open. Did not transfer «to the borders of the United Nations, did not transfer the contrary. We kept it open to developments. "
The Green Line:
As a rule, the recognized borders of Israel from the international community are the armistice lines of 1949, which are called the Green Line or the June 1967 lines. It grants Israel 78 million of the land of Palestine. With the end of the War of Independence, the Minister of Defense published decrees, which apply the law, the administration and the Israeli judiciary on the land occupied behind the borders of the partition resolution.
Despite the article in the Charter of the United Nations, which prohibits the acquisition of territory by force, Security Council resolution 242 of November 1967 granted a de facto recognition of Israel's occupation of the war of independence. The resolution called for the withdrawal of Israel's armed forces only from the territories occupied in the Six-Day War, and thus, without any agreement, recognized Israel's sovereignty over 23 of the 100 other Mandatory Land of Israel in addition to the partition areas. This decision was formally made in the advisory opinion of the International Court in The Hague in June 2004 when judges pointed out that the West Bank and Gaza Strip are only occupied territories.
This declaration was once again formally endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly when voting by a majority of 138 States in the interest of the acceptance of Palestine, in the 1967 lines as an observer State of the United Nations.
Another special feature of the conflict relates to the fact that Israel, despite its power, still places the issue of security as a central factor that requires the implementation of the two-state solution. Israel's demands to strip the Palestinian state of the army and heavy weapons and the prohibition of Palestine from holding military alliances with other countries and the presence of international forces in the Palestinian state and others reflects this advantage.
The right of return: the demand of a part of the Palestinians to realize the right of return in the State of Israel, even if symbolically is a special advantage. The solution to the question of Palestinian refugees, which allows them to return to the State of Palestine is not acceptable to some of them and in an unprecedented way, they want to return specifically to Israel and not to their state. For their part, to return to their villages even if they were in another country and even if they could return to their homeland and country.
They demand recognition:
a new and important feature of Israel's demand that the Palestinians recognize it as a Jewish state. The national state of the Jewish people. Israel is the only country that demands recognition of its identity, not just its sovereignty. The recognition by the PLO of Resolution 181 of November 1988, the State of Israel's right to exist within recognized and secure borders in accordance with UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, as in 1993 does not satisfy Israel.
Interference of interests:
A very special feature is the "laver" consciousness, which is necessary in both parties to reach agreement. That is, each party's willingness to compromise stems from the understanding that its ability to achieve its intrinsic national interest also involves the other party's interest.
Fundamental issues:
The last advantage is that each of the four core issues requires flexibility and creativity to address the tension between the positions of the parties. The Palestinian principled position on three issues (security, borders and Jerusalem) is one. Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 lines in return for a Palestinian concession to achieve 100 of the hundred of the territory of Palestine, that is, only 22 of the hundred of the Palestinian territories.
The Israeli position demands the security needs of the absence of a Palestinian army in the Palestinian state. In the border area, Israel demands that 600,000 Israelis living behind the Green Line be evacuated. A possible solution is land exchange. In the question of Jerusalem, Israel's interest is concentrated in the holy places. Two solutions are presented on the table, one is the division of sovereignty in the Wailing Wall, the Jewish Quarter, half the Armenian Quarter and the rest of Mount Zion. And the internationalization of the historic basin by international administration and arrangements between Israel and Palestine.
The refugee issue is experiencing an emerging tension between a refugee's personal right and a demographic threat to Jewish identity in the State of Israel. The absorption of refugees in the State of Palestine is a possible solution to this issue. Knowing each of these advantages of the conflict and the proposed solutions can relieve them of failure and frustration and relieve the parties of another round of violence.
It must ensure a clear and detailed framework for the conduct of negotiations, but to give room for both narratives and a self-sense of fairness and integrity in the agreement. This mixture can ensure the parties' commitment to negotiations, signing and implementing the agreement and working with determination on its stability.