Hasbara News Club — In the publication World Israel News Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu was said to have had a “moving moment” standing in the place where Arthur Balfour, the British Foreign Secretary in 1917, recognized Palestine as a “country” and that the Palestinians not only existed in their country a century ago, but Balfour recognized that a “Jewish national home” was envisioned within “part” of the country of Palestine, “it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine.”
As the article points out, in 1922 the infamous Balfour Declaration was included in the Palestine Mandate, along with Article 22, paragraphs 1 and 4 of the League of Nations Covenant. The country of Palestine was thus transformed into the Class-A mandate state of Palestine, a majority indigenous Muslim Palestinian state, with a population of indigenous Palestinians outnumbering Yishuv Jews eight to one according to the official British Census of 1922.
British White Paper 1922
Also in 1922, Winston Churchill was instrumental in a timely White Paper on behalf of the British government, released two months before the Palestine Mandate. The document specifically addresses the Benjamin Netanyahu’s and others even though they had not come on the scene yet. About a century ago, others were trying to run game just like Bibi is today, this broad assumption that all of historic Palestine was destined to become a “Jewish national home” and yet this was never true as Arthur Balfour’s policy statement shows, and the following passage from the Churchill White Paper also makes extremely clear:
Unauthorized statements have been made to the effect that the purpose in view is to create a wholly Jewish Palestine. Phrases have been used such as that Palestine is to become “as Jewish as England is English.” His Majesty’s Government regard any such expectation as impracticable and have no such aim in view. Nor have they at any time contemplated, as appears to be feared by the Arab delegation, the disappearance or the subordination of the Arabic population, language, or culture in Palestine. They would draw attention to the fact that the terms of the Declaration referred to do not contemplate that Palestine as a whole should be converted into a Jewish National Home, but that such a Home should be founded ‘in Palestine.’
It appears as if Churchill was directly addressing Benjamin Netanyahu and the Hasbara brigade who has spent decades trying to cloud these truths.
Fast Forward to the “partition” resolution UNGAR 181
The average person on the street barely pays attention to politics and obscure historical documents are even less of an interest. Most people lead full lives, they have families and jobs and a host of their own problems. The Israeli-Palestinian illegal colonial project barely registers but many people are aware that at some point there was a United Nations resolution involved in the creation of the state of Israel in 1948.
That resolution was passed by the United Nations General Assembly on November 29th, 1947 (UNGAR 181), nearly seventy years ago this year. It is commonly known as the “partition” resolution because it was the state of Palestine to be partitioned, roughly in accordance with the Churchill White Paper parameters from twenty-five years before. The indigenous Palestinians were quite understandably against having their state torn in half with the larger and more arable half given away to a bunch of foreigners.
So-called “pro-Israel” people bristle at this dispassionate objective look at the facts, but when the situation is boiled down, this is a land dispute where powers greater than what Palestine and even the rest of the Arab world could muster at the time, a United Nations resolution gave cover to what was to become one of the most devastating and wrong colonial projects of all time. For a long time many people even believed the false notion that Palestine was an empty land, with no people, just sand and the occasional camel, it was even cynically said ‘a people for a land for a land without a people’ even though the official British Census of Palestine in 1922 puts that nonsense to the lie.
The false impression lives on not only in comment sections on the Internet but still to this day in the minds of many people who refuse to even consider that they have been badly hoodwinked.
Nevertheless, it is the Israeli declaration of independence itself that bears out the facts. The declaration acknowledges that Balfour’s policy statement played a key role in the creation of Israel, “in the Balfour Declaration of the 2nd November, 1917, and re-affirmed in the Mandate of the League of Nations which, in particular, gave international sanction to the historic connection between the Jewish people and Eretz-Israel and to the right of the Jewish people to rebuild its National Home.”
As the Churchill document attests as well, and yet it was never intended to be all of the already existing state of Palestine. The Israeli declaration continues strongly asserting:
On the 29th November, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution calling for the establishment of a Jewish State in Eretz-Israel; the General Assembly required the inhabitants of Eretz-Israel to take such steps as were necessary on their part for the implementation of that resolution. This recognition by the United Nations of the right of the Jewish people to establish their State is irrevocable…
…THE STATE OF ISRAEL is prepared to cooperate with the agencies and representatives of the United Nations in implementing the resolution of the General Assembly of the 29th November, 1947…
A few days later in answer to written questions from the United Nations Security Council in S/766 the provisional state of Israel testified in answer:
Question: Over which areas of Palestine do you actually exercise control at the present time?
Answer: [O]ver the entire area of the Jewish State as defined in the Resolution of the General Assembly of the 29th November, 1947. In addition, the Provisional Government exercises control over the city of Jaffa; Northwestern Galilee, including Acre, Zib, Base, and the Jewish settlements up to the Lebanese frontier; a strip of territory alongside the road from Hilda to Jerusalem; almost all of new Jerusalem; and of the Jewish quarter within the walls of the Old City of Jerusalem. The above areas, outside the territory of the State of Israel, are under the control of the military authorities of the State of Israel, who are strictly adhering to international regulations in this regard. The Southern Negev is uninhabited desert over which no effective authority has ever existed…
Thus early on, the [provisional] government of Israel officially acknowledged to the United Nations Security Council that it was well understood that the partition resolution, UNGAR 181, was the extent of the borders of the nascent state of Israel and in no way can Benjamin Netanyahu now change the overwhelming weight of the historical evidence, backed up by primary and secondary documents that cannot and should not be ignored at the expense of the rights and sovereignty that belongs to the state of Palestine and the Palestinians, whom Churchill himself named as Palestinians in 1922.
The depths of Hasbara propaganda has hidden so many facts over the decades that some people are actually convinced that there is no such thing as a Palestinian, they were all “made up by Arafat” and countless other Hasbara versions of the same false claim.
The only way that Israel can redeem itself from what is clearly inevitable existential harm is to come clean and stop letting a corrupt near-dictator in the form of Prime Minister of Israel continue to be the driving force in not only the only Jewish national home there ever will be, but also the incalculable damage he and the alt-right Likud along with the complicit alt-right led by Donald Trump in America is doing to ethical Judaism.