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* Nahalal - the Biblical name of the first secular settlement ["Moshav"] in Israel, founded in 1920
The Land of Israel - Jews and "Palestinians"
1. The Land of Israel is the sole historic and national homeland of the Jewish People from Biblical times onward. The Jewish People reigned sovereign in the Land of Israel for more than a millennium until forced from their homes into an exile that lasted two thousand years. During this entire period of dispersion, they continued to regard Israel as their land by right. In fact, there was never a time without some Jewish presence in the land. It is this basic truth that led the League of Nations to declare at the 1920 San Remo Conference, while entrusting the administration of the Territory of Palestine to Great Britain, that the area was a "National Home for the Jewish People". The mandate accorded Great Britain enjoined her to "...facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and ... encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish Agency, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes."
According to Professor Eugene Rostow, Dean of the Law Faculty at Yale University and U.S. Under Secretary of State 1966-69, who formulated UN Resolution 242,
"the British Mandate recognized the rights of the Jewish People to closely built settlements throughout the mandate area; therefore, the right of Jews to settle the Land of Israel, including the area west of the Jordan River is incontrovertible. This right has never been rescinded, and cannot be rescinded except in the framework of a recognized peace".
The Mandate agreement forbade the giving over of any of the land to a foreign state in order not to detract from the goal of creating a National Home (Nordau's term for State) for the Jewish People, and that legal position has not changed. Unfortunately, Great Britain did not keep to the terms of the agreement, mainly as a result of the terrorist attacks perpetrated by Arabs living in the Land of Israel, and accorded the Arabs the land east of the Jordan River. It allowed the Arabs "to administer" 76% of the area that had been set aside for the Jews.
In actuality, the settlers of today are, somewhat belatedly, fulfilling the decision of the League of Nations. From the standpoint of international law, Jews still have the strongest claim to Israel, and the disengagement plan of Sharon - in itself an inherently immoral plan - if carried out, will for the first time in history, allow Israel to be taken from Jewish hands under the aegis of international law.
2. In contrast, up until the 1960s, there was no Palestinian people. During the British Mandate, the term "Palestinian" was used to designate subjects living in the area, including Jews. The UN partition plan of 1947 gave one state to the Jew and one to the Arabs, not to a non-existent Palestinian people. There has never been and still does not exist a Palestinian language. No encyclopedia printed before 1917 mentions a Palestinian people. The name itself was originally used by the Romans to designate the Jewish people in the first century A.D. The Arabs simply took the name and claimed it as theirs.
The Jews and not the Arabs are therefore the real Palestinians. In 1919, those Arabs living in Palestine did not claim to be a separate nation, but instead sought to "see Palestine as part of Arab Syria, from which it has never been separated. We are connected to Syria from a national, religious, linguistic, natural and geographic standpoint" [in the words of the Congress of Christian-Moslem Associations]. In fact, the 1911 edition of Encyclopedia Britannica, states that "Palestine...was defined in the Old Testament before their exile as the heritage of the Hebrews...the Jordan River.marks the demarcation between Western and Eastern Palestine."
Various Arab men of letters corroborated this: "Before 1917, when Balfour announced his Declaration, there was never any Palestinian problem and no Palestinian political or geographic entity (Professor Juchan Hazzam, appearing before the Anglo-American Committee of Inquiry on the Land of Israel, 1945).
The assertion that they are not a separate nation, but part of the Pan Arabic Nation, was repeated by the Palestinian Arabs themselves in the "Palestinian Covenant" written in 1964. Therefore, their subsequent claim that "a final status agreement perpetuating the 1967 borders is a painful concession over 77% of our historic homeland" is a baseless falsehood; as is their claim that Jerusalem was ever their capital; as is their absurd claim that "there was never a Temple of the Jews in Jerusalem and that Kings David and Solomon are Zionist fabrications".
Moreover, although today there is a population that defines itself as "Palestinian", its only unique trait is that of unyielding opposition to the return of the Jewish People to its homeland. For over eighty years this opposition has been characterized by systematic, murderous terror aimed at men, women and children and by constant attempts to initiate wars. This method of defining a national entity does not merit independent recognition as a nation or national body. Achieving independent national status is a worthy aspiration, but there are many national groups in the world who, in contrast to the Palestinians, have a unique language, culture, religion and history, yet are not allowed to become national entities due to international consideration of the best interests of the areas in which they live.
3. "The Supreme International Crime". According to the Judgment handed down at Nuremberg and subsequently repeated at the United Nations in New York in 1947 for the first time in human history, differences between nations are to be settled through peaceful means and a country that initiates wars commits the "Supreme International Crime". One year later, however, in 1948, seven Arab nations led by the "Palestinians", Jordanians and Egyptians, declared a war of annihilation against the fledgling Jewish State. They thereby created the problem of the Palestinian refugees, a direct result of this and subsequent wars that were forced on the area by the Arabs and for whose outcomes they bear complete responsibility.
During WWII, Hag Amin El Husseini, head of the "Supreme Arab Committee" met with Hitler in Berlin and publicly pledged to aid in the destruction of the Jews. Yasser Arafat continued in this vein and declared that his plan was not to establish another Arab State alongside of Israel, but rather to establish one instead of Israel (which would later join Jordan, a majority of whose citizens are Palestinian Arabs). Unfortunately, the Geneva Agreement ignored Arab intentions and their responsibility for the murder of 30,000 Jews during 100 years of violence. Instead, Israel alone was expected to accept moral and financial responsibility for violence in the region. This only served to perpetuate the wars of the Palestinians against the Jews as the message conveyed was that the Arabs may continue to initiate aggression because the Jews will be expected to recompense them. That is exactly what continues to occur: the Arabs initiate wars, and when they lose, they demand the return of the situation to its former status - as well as reparations. This position is patently absurd and exactly the opposite of what should happen to aggressors.
4. The "Occupation" was perpetrated by the Arabs, not the Jews. The use of the terms "occupation" and "conquest'' to describe Jewish settlement in the Land of Israel is biased and incorrect for three reasons:
a. The Palestinians never ruled over the Land of Israel so that the term "conquest" is simply not applicable in their case. From 1948-1967 as a result of Israel's War of Independence, Jordan occupied parts of the Land of Israel but the only two nations that recognized this as sovereignty were Pakistan and Great Britain. In any case, Jordan abrogated its claims to sovereignty in 1988, thereby returning the land to its rightful historic owners, the Jewish People.
b. The so called "occupation" of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip was not the result of aggressive action on the part of Israel, but due to a war forced on her by the Arab nations in 1967. Tellingly, the Palestinian Covenant calling for the destruction of Israel was ratified three years earlier, in 1964, when all these so called "conquered territories" were still in Arab hands. Moreover, this terrorist Covenant has never been revoked, the thousands of Jews murdered since its publication providing tragic proof of its influence on the Palestinian Arabs.
c. All the Jewish settlements in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip built after the 1967 war, in contrast to those upon which the kibbutz and moshav movements made their homes after the 1948 war, were built on lands that were never cultivated by Palestinian Arabs. The settlements were built instead on rocky, sandy and desolate areas as is the case in Gush Katif.
Thus, the use of the term "Israeli occupation" or "conquest" without the above qualifiers is an intentional distortion of the truth. It is the Arabs who conquered the Land of Israel in the past during a period known in history texts as "The Arab Conquest". The Jews cannot be termed "conquerors" or "occupiers" as a nation cannot be defined a conqueror or temporary occupier in its own homeland.
5. Jordan is in actuality Palestine. Jordan is an artificial state created by the British in 1923 in an attempt to appease Arab terror while ignoring the international mandate accorded Great Britain to create a National Home for the Jewish People on both banks of the Jordan River. In the Hebrew Encyclopedia, Jordan does not appear as a separate topic but is included under the heading "The Land of Israel"(volume 6, 1963). As Prince Hassan of Jordan stated at the National Jordanian Conference, February 2, 1970, "Palestine is Jordan and Jordan is Palestine. We are one nation and one country with one history and one future".
Zohar Muhsein, PLO steering committee member was quoted on March 31, 1977 as saying:
"It is only for tactical reasons that we are careful to stress our Palestinian identity.the founding of a Palestinian state is another tactic in the continuous war against Israel. ..once we receive our legitimate rights in all of Palestine we must not put off unification with Jordan for a minute".
The Palestinian Covenant states: "The national Palestinian rule after its founding will fight to unify those who joined it in freeing all the lands of the Palestinians as a step towards Pan Arab unity." (paragraph 8).
6. The present narrow borders of the Land of Israel can barely contain one state and certainly leave no room for a second. The founding of a Palestinian state which intends to absorb millions of refugees within these borders will lead to inevitable human, ecological and national catastrophe. The worst disaster will result in the Gaza Strip which is already the most crowded and has the highest birthrate in the world. Gaza is a strip of humanity that is destined to explode in the future if not allowed to expand in the direction of Israel or Egypt.
Imminent chaos will follow as the Palestinians, in accordance with the Covenant they refuse to change, unite in order to make life unbearable for the Jews in Israel. Acts of murder and terror will turn the area into hell on earth until resulting demoralization causes Jews to flee the country in accordance with Palestinian plans to destroy Israel by stages. "We must cleanse Palestine of the Zionist entity" (paragraph 15, Palestinian Covenant), quoted Yasser Arafat on January 30, 1996 in a speech before 40 Arab diplomats in a Stockholm hotel. His successor, whose doctoral thesis is an attempt at Holocaust denial, continues quietly to follow in his footsteps. Even the "moderate" Feisal Husseini admits that the Oslo Accords were a Trojan horse that helped speed up the destruction of Israel.
It is thus patently clear that the establishment of a Palestinian State will lead to an all out war between Israel and her neighbors.
7. Perusal of this paper leads to the inescapable conclusion that the establishment of a Palestinian State is an irresponsible and foolhardy act. The Middle East contains 21 Arab states that have similar cultures, the same language, the same Koran as their holy text. There is only one small Jewish state, that in accordance with natural and historical justice originating in Biblical times and in accordance with the international San Remo decisions, was supposed to become the Jewish national home on both banks of the Jordan. That is the basis of our claim for sovereignty on the entire West bank of the Jordan. The leftist claim that "there is no military solution" for the Israel Palestinian conflict is meant to save the Arabs from defeat but in reality perpetuates the conflict. Only a clear military victory can effect a political solution, as has been shown many times in history, including at the end of WWII.
8. Jewish sovereignty must be declared over the entire Western part of the Land of Israel. In the context of a wide ranging agreement that gains international support, the Palestinians must be brought to realize that Jordan, a majority of whose populace is Palestinian, is their national and political homeland. They will be allowed to form independent local administrations wherever they live, as long as they do not demand status as states. The Gazan Arabs, with international aid, will find that the Sinai Peninsula affords them room for expansion. The plan for "a safe passage route" that divides the State of Israel in two is untenable now that thousands of Israelis were murdered in the Intifada. Israel will never agree to be sliced into two separate sections.
There will be no transfer of Jews or Arabs. Whoever has planted trees or built a home will be allowed to remain where he is, this despite the fact that the majority of the olive trees in Samaria were planted illegally by the Palestinians on state land while Israel, in its weakness, turned a blind eye with the tacit consent of the courts (The Bedouins in the Negev are presently engaged in the same systematic encroachment of government lands).
The idea that Arabs may dwell under Israeli sovereignty but that Jews may not live under Arab sovereignty (or in the words of PM Sharon "By August Gaza will be cleansed of Jews") is totally unacceptable.
In order to prevent the stealing of government property, those Palestinians who settled illegally on government lands from 1967 onwards (as proven by aerial photography) will be considered lawbreakers occupying stolen land.
9. The Refugees
Since the Arab nations alone created the Arab refugee problem by initiating wars against Israel, they must take part in its solution. They are also guilty of purposely not attempting to absorb these refugees in their respective countries, in contrast to the 750,000 Jewish refugees expelled from Arab lands after 1947 who were all absorbed into Israel, as were tens of millions of twentieth century refugees who found new homes in various parts of the globe. The Arab intention to drive the Jews out of Israel, including those who live in Israel today after being expelled from Arab countries in 1947, causes a moral dilemma: the Arabs claim that land is holy, while human life is not holy to them. (This position was accepted de facto by the drafters of the Geneva Agreements when they agreed to free terrorist murderers jailed in Israel by due process of law). The Jews claim that life is sacred.
Whoever wishes to give the Arabs what they claim is holy to them must do the same for the Jews; so that only when the tens of thousands of Jewish and Arab war victims are resurrected can Arab claims to the right of return be put on the agenda. The clock cannot be turned back for refugees who fled their homes, just as the lives of those killed by terrorists cannot be returned to them.
Those who initiated the wars must bear responsibility for all the bloodshed they caused, for the blood spilled on both sides.
10. Today, after egregious errors have been made by the Jews themselves (as in the "Geneva Agreements", or the Saudi inspired "Roadmap"), it is clear that the international community will at first reject the plan presented here. Israel's hesitating, insecure presentation of its views despite the infamy of Arab terror and the justice of its own position is no match for the influence of the well oiled Arab propaganda machine with its unabashed outright falsification of history.
The position presented here is not only just, it also presents moral and practical solutions to the situation. If we accept this position, believe in it, adopt it and persevere unyieldingly, we will succeed in convincing the world. At the very least, the enlightened members of the international community will come to terms with our point of view. We must begin the process of presenting our position immediately, no matter how long it takes.
Signatories: members of the following settlements, kibbutzim and moshavim:
Nahalal (Mordecai Yardenai, Reuven Yefet)
Beer Tuvia (Aya Betser)
Chamadia (Yoav Tuvia)
Kfar Bilu (Dr. Gideon Ledijanski)
Kfar Gideon (Amos Yaffe)
Kfar Joshua (David Canaani)
Moledet (Ronen Tsafrir)
Nachshonim (Shlomo Chaviv)
Tirat Tzvi (Chava Chorin, Dr. Amnon Shapira)
Shuval (Dr. Ilana Zur)
Sde Eliahu (Ahrale Shachak)
And thousands more
1. The Land of Israel is the national and historic home of the Jewish People from Biblical times onward, as was recognized by the international community at San Remo in 1920 and that is why Israeli sovereignty must extend over the entire western portion of its national home. This is a painful compromise that is offered after the eastern part of our national homeland, the ancestral portion of the tribes of Reuben, Gad and half of Menasseh was taken from us in 1923 (76% of Israel-Palestina).
2. This painful compromise, a far reaching one for us, is conditional: if the Arabs reject it, or if there is Jordanian aggression or terror originating in Jordan as has occurred in the past, we will not bound by it.
3. This is the only partition that fulfills President Bush's decision "to divide the Holy Land between the Jews and Arabs"; its result will be that three quarters of the historic Land of Israel will be in Palestinian hands and only one quarter (the western part) will be in Jewish hands.
4. The establishment of a Palestinian state on any of the western portion of the Land of Israel will bring about unavoidable regional and global catastrophe. This must be prevented at all costs. The State of Israel cannot accept the establishment of a foreign national entity in its midst, especially a hostile one.
5. The refugee problem was caused by the Arabs alone, and they must solve it in their territory. 99.9% of the Middle East is in Arab hands, they own vast oil resources and have the choice of countries to absorb the refugees. There will be no right of return to Israel, not even by slow stages. The Arabs must reimburse the Jews for the properties stolen from them in 1947 and they must join the Palestinians in paying damages for the wars initiated by them over the last hundred years ("the supreme international crime").
6. The Palestinians living in Judea and Samaria will be citizens of Jordan-Palestine where they will receive their national rights. They will be allowed regional administrative autonomy in Judea and Samaria, but not statehood which they already will have in Jordan. Those living in the Gaza Strip will be citizens of Egypt or Sinai.
7. This plan takes the place of any other plans suggested and adopted by the nationalist political parties in Israel and will serve as their platform for the upcoming elections. Those parties that adopt this plan (or an equivalent plan) will choose their representatives to the Knesset and Prime Minister's position on the basis of those candidates' prior commitment to act on its implementation.
The Nahalal Manifest has been translated into English, German and Russian. However, we are in urgent need of volunteers to translate it into Arabic, French and Spanish.
Members of the Publication and Distribution Committee: Yoav Tuvia (Kibbutz Hamadia), Tsafrir Ronen (Moshav Moledet), Amnon Shapira (Kibbutz Tirat Tsvi).
Experienced surfers who would like to volunteer to insert the Manifest into internet sites (in English and Hebrew at this point) are kindly requested to write to Tsafrir Ronen, Moshav Moledet, phone: 0522-358-440; or Amnon Shapira, fax: 04-658-6336, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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