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Not in Our Name, Mr President
If I "propose" to a lady, it will strain neither comprehension nor credulity to suggest that whatever her response to the overture, it's certain to be vastly different from what it would be had I "propositioned" her despite the etymological similarity of the two verbs. By the same token the nouns, "legality" and "legitimacy," which likewise share a common root (lex L: law), are seen as related.
But, again, as in the previous instance, the mere fact of their kinship is of itself insufficient to render them synonymous, and outside of a court-of-law most especially in the devious world of diplomatic skullduggery you will never hear somebody employ the two in the same discussion, let alone, as approximate interchangeables. Instead, the looser locution, legitimacy, is used whenever the speaker chooses to suggest but NOT explicitly reference or invoke legality; notwithstanding that in a finite and fallen world, the only true measure of legitimacy IS the Law.
That's why we order our lives by it.
NOW, CONTRARY TO the popular myth, carefully cultivated in some quarters, Mr Obama was never, strictly speaking, a university professor. Never a professor of law, never a professor of professing never, in point of fact, a professor of anything. Certainly he never held actual title to the designation.
Traditionally the formal appellative of "Professor" is one which academic faculties have guarded jealously indeed zealously and one which college and university administrations confer only advisedly. Typically it reflects, among other things, the awarding of tenure (or the positioning onto a "tenure track," for prospective or provisional granting of same). To be awarded tenure represents the attainment of membership, as it were, in a very exclusive and prestigious "club"; and usually entails beyond the matter of teaching at minimum, a diligent, sustained and concretely demonstrated attention to: (A) research, and (B) publishing of pertinent work in one's field of focused study. The tenure prize is so esteemed for the very best and most occupationally pertinent of reasons. The idea is that tenure serves to shelter a professor's scholarly integrity against a world outside (or even on-campus) that may be fearful of his or her dedicated pursuit of truth, no matter where it leads.
Of course, were it anybody other than Borukh, Our Gracious Master of the Holy Hope'n'changen, to whom the tenured-professor handle was being erroneously attached or intimated, the grumbling and the grousing and the growling from the groves of academe, the shrecking and shrying, the bellowing and blustering to say nothing of the sneering and jeering would, you may rest assured, never end (even after the presumptuous usage of the honorific did). Imagine, if you can, ex-president Bush similarly miscredited.
The curious fact that the university crowd virtually never does speak up when the illustrious designation is freely bandied about by our Chief-of-State's koolaid-addicted acolytes is less a measure of the present era's laxity in scholastic and administrative standards than simply a reflection of the university's own ideological enshacklement to the political (not to say, culturo-political or socio-political) camp from which he hails. That a full dozen academics supported his candidacy for every one who opposed it (a 92 percent endorsement as compared with the 53 percent from the broader electorate) comes surely as no shock to anybody.
All the same, you can bet the farm that as they hasten to
circle the prairie schooners in the face of the gathering hordes of
the hopelessly and hideously benighted shades Mary Manicure,
Joe Sixpack, Joe-the-Plumber, Sarah-Barracuda, and the motley,
affiliated, mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging, flag-waving,
Tea-Partying, small-town, small-business, entrepreneurial types,
"bitterly clinging to their guns and religion" the scholarly
and the pseudo-scholarly bite their tongues to suppress the impulse
to howl and hiss their scorn, ridicule and general opprobrium every
time they hear the misdirected distinction.
THAT ALL HAVING BEEN SAID, it may correctly be noted that while Master Hope'n'change was working in the private sector (sort of) he, nonetheless, most certainly was, in verifiable fact, officially designated a non-tenured, part-time guest Lecturer, and then a staff-level, non-tenured, part-time Senior Lecturer, at the University of Chicago Law School for a total of some twelve years. During this period, although he never completed or published a single work of legal scholarship, he did maintain an ongoing schedule wherein he regularly taught three law courses as a means of supporting himself, while he embarked on five electoral political races.
It is therefore, by any rational assessment, safe to say that our learned and illustrious President, quite surely does know his way around the law, and more significantly that, in understanding the general terrain, he understands, as well, how to find his way around the law.
It is equally safe to say, then, also that he understands good-and-well that he would never get away with characterizing the residential, civilian Jewish communities in Jerusalem's eastern sector and the Holy Land's unincorporated, heartland provinces of Judea and Samaria and Gaza as "illegal." Indeed if he tried pulling such a howler, all kinds of folks YoursTruly amongst them would instantly jump all over such an assertion. (We might even find ourselves wondering aloud just what kind of smokes the 'Professor' was sneaking in those nine-holes-on-the-green and other off-camera moments and whether he really was "trying to quit.")
Because in truth the upright and hard-working residents of the rural and suburban Jewish "settlements" of the "West Bank" and those of the reestablished Jewish communities of eastern Jerusalem whose habitations have necessitated neither the displacement of anybody, nor the theft, usurpation, damage, endangerment or devaluation of anybody's bona fide property (real or chattel; individual or communal) have every right, I repeat (and I stress), every RIGHT, in international law and equity, to be precisely where they are; and, moreover, to grow there in numbers and to thrive and flourish there, howsoever they may be honorably able in perpetuity. (Got that? in perpetuity.)
Since the lawful, but politically incorrect, reality fails to comport with Mr. Obama's agenda, he chooses to use IN PLACE OF the straightforward term legality a weasel word like "legitimacy", which, as shown, does not bespeak legality, but which, when substituted for it, is clearly positioned, per application, to move a listener to "feel" the same way about the object that he would "feel," had the designation legality been fastened to said object.
The current administration's favored Middle East policy mantram, as laid down and solemnly intoned by the Magniloquent Mahatmabama at Cairo last June 4, has apparently become, "America does not accept the legitimacy" of the Jewish communities of Yehuda v'Shomron [Judea and Samaria] and the eastern sector of Israel's eternal capital, Jerusalem.
And judging from the response of that audience to this little pronouncement (in a very long speech), you'd swear notwithstanding Miz' Hillary's apt and trenchant, primary-campaign sarcasm for the Anointed One's barefaced pretensions that the "sky [DID] open, the light [DID] come down, celestial choirs [WERE] singing, and everybody [DID] know that we should do the right thing, and the world [suddenly WAS] perfect."
That high-minded harridan, the determinedly distemperoid Hillary Rodham Clinton, Our Lady of Foggy Bottom has dutifully taken to parroting the breathtakingly disingenuous, legitimacy formulation as she did in Marrakesh and Cairo, on November 2 and 4, respectively. "We have said that repeatedly," she adds, and "...would like to see everything [in the way of 'settlement' activity] ended forever."
...in the very cradle of Judaism, the virtual swaddling clothes of the Jewish People... "ended forever."
The presidential intent was not lost on Sa'eb Erekat, the US-educated [SFSU], lead Palestinian negotiator and PR flack who, in turn, wasted not a moment in proceeding promptly to inform the world's oldest news agency, Agence France-Presse (AFP), that "We are encouraged and highly appreciate President Obama's statements on settlements being illegal..." [emphasis added]
As noted above, clever Barry-O did not (and would not) say the settlements were "illegal." He never does that; he knows better. And knows better than to try. He prudently crafted his words to avoid that (or his cautious speechwriters did, at his direction). On the other hand, he is not above allowing the questionable, and even erroneous, instruments or remarks of others do his dirty work for him sometimes by simply alluding without comment to faulty or irrelevant documents as if they were authoritative. Consider, for example, his June 15 statement at a news conference with Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, that the Jewish communities of eastern Jerusalem and the unincorporated provinces "in past agreements have been categorized as illegal."
Technically accurate, when patiently parsed and deconstructed, and of itself entirely noncommittal, to be sure; but the implication is beyond any hazard of misapprehension or misconstrual. The proper indeed, obligatory response to such an assertion is an insistent and unyielding (and, yes, pugnacious) demurrer: "So?" or "And...?"
Or, perhaps, "Which 'past agreements,' and how exactly do they overrule those agreements that did and do regard these communities as perfectly legal?"
Or, even, "Does it matter that, by law, 'agreements' entered into (or whose terms are accepted, or whose language is conceded) under threat, duress or coercion are as, of course, you would know, Professor inherently void and without binding legal force?
Kind of like the extortive (also crippling and enfeebling) 'agreements' you're trying to corral the Israelis into right now under the meretricious rubric of 'Peace' Process? by ramping up the pressure on them (and not just incidental pressure or peripheral pressure, but ineluctable pressure on their very existence) to sign on to such 'agreements' via your
"Settlements that 'have been categorized as illegal [in] past agreements..."
We should always pay especially close attention whenever the language of diplomatic commentary uses the passive voice: "have been categorized as illegal." More often than not, this oleaginous little do-si-do signals the presence of (one or more) weasels at work.
When the speaker names no names, cites no authorities, skirts the facts, skips the terms, buries the background all the while speaking calmly and matter-of-factly, taking care to couch lynch-mob intimations in the passive voice, while moving smoothly and swiftly forward, without pausing for anybody's absorption of, and reflection upon his damning demagogy he forestalls or neutralizes any responsive demand to stand-and-deliver, even as the vile toxins are permitted to lodge and fester unscrutinized in the consciousness of the unwary. Smart.
Sleazoid, but smart. And actually, not nearly as arcane or mysterious as it sounds; typically, politicians (and politician-wannabes) learn the fancy footwork early-on. Of course, for the demagogically-inclined, these dance steps are more than just another tool in a seasoned politico's belt. They are his stock-in-trade.
Be that as it may, in this case, the unstated but plainly intended objective on which Obama & Company are bent (and "bent" is indeed here the operative word in so many ways), is the inducement of an erosion in US popular perception of the fitness of a continued Jewish presence in the very place where Judaism and indeed the 200-generation-long entity known as the Jewish People (Where do you suppose the name, "Judea," came from anyway?) was born-and-bred, nurtured-and-raised, disciplined-and-blessed.
Make no mistake about it, however. The "legitimacy" gambit is strictly a politically-motivated device, bearing no jurisprudential weight or significance of any sort, and is resorted to only because the claim of 'illegality' hasn't a legal leg to stand on any juridical rudiments of such an avowal having been long-ago demolished by a multitude of the world's most accomplished and respected international judicial scholars, jurists and legal theorists including (though hardly limited to) the twentieth century's foremost authority on jus gentium (the Law of Nations), the late Professor Julius Stone.
In 1980, the surpassingly erudite, Leeds [UK]-born, Australian scholar of International Law, and prolific author of highly regarded works on the international system of jurisprudence, Professor Stone (a real professor), subjected the 'illegality' allegation to a withering analysis, in the course of which he hesitated not a heartbeat to denounce and dismiss it as "a subversion... of basic international law principles."
Stone's findings were in the event sufficiently powerful to move then-President Ronald Reagan to soundly and unequivocally reverse the assertions of settlement "illegality" previously advanced by his predecessor's notoriously self-seeking State Department after the latter had taken recourse to inappropriately citing as an authority a 20-years-earlier-published book of the estimable Prof. Stone to justify its own utterly contorted and ill-considered, "settlements" pronunciamento.
"Legitimacy" is simply a crafty and shameless ploy, as well as a
perennial one though never till now so boldly essayed
clearly purposed by the country's current Chief Executive Officer to
befuddle the thinking of sincere though unsuspecting listeners (and
calmly cover his tracks in the act) while providing implicit
encouragement to low-rent, world-class predators, who have no more
trouble reading the signs than they would a traffic signal. No
honorable and aware person should stand still for this malignant
narcissist's brazen stunt masquerading as responsible policy. Not for
THE ENTIRELY LICIT, lawful and equitable character of the reestablished Jewish "settlements" in eastern Jerusalem these long-established communities that were unlawfully destroyed, their synagogues demolished; their cemeteries desecrated and their Jews expelled by the Jordanians during Israel's War of Independence in 1948 and the similarly lawful, legitimate nature of the Jewish sentinel communities in the heartland provinces were again affirmed flatly and unambiguously in 1990 and 1991.
The vehicle of transmission was a pair of trenchant, provocative articles in The New Republic (TNR) by another international legal scholar, Professor Eugene Rostow, former Dean of Yale University Law School, and Distinguished Fellow, United States Institute of Peace, Washington, DC. [They can be read here.]
Rostow had been President Lyndon Johnson's Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs [1966-69] both during and after the swift, conclusive, thunderclap that came to be known to modern history as the Six-Day War of June 1967. That intensely potent little affair was one which the Arab world had willfully, spitefully, opportunistically and altogether gratuitously forced upon the people of Israel, and which cataclysmic event had brought the oldest part of the unlawfully divided Israeli capital, as well as the purely politically named "West Bank," into Israeli possession.
Thus, the eminent jurist was crucially, and in a vital way, uniquely, positioned when the occasion and the duties of office obliged him together with British Foreign Secretary George Brown and US Ambassador to the UN, [former Supreme Court Justice] Arthur Goldberg to take a direct and personal hand in the drafting of the advisory and hortatory (but not self-executing or otherwise binding), postbellum Security Council Resolution 242, of 22 November 1967, sponsored by the UK Permanent Representative to the UN, [former Governor of Cyprus] Hugh Mackintosh Foot, Lord Caradon. It was Issued effectively under Chapter VI of the UN Charter ("Pacific Settlement of Disputes" Articles 33-38); and unanimously endorsed by the entire, 15-member body. That resolution addressed (among other things), the sovereign rights of the identifiable parties to the conflict in the wake of that powerful clash and upheaval.
In grounding within historical context the then-burgeoning quarrel over the legality of the Jewish presence in eastern Jerusalem and the said unincorporated provinces where, incidentally, many of the "settler"-revenants, and their towns, hamlets and villages, have now been well-established for the better part of half-a-century Professor Rostow (yes, a real professor) took note, in the articles, of the paramount and controlling, international legal authority in the matter of that presence: the unanimously-ratified [24 July 1922] League of Nations Mandate for Palestine, which explicitly and unambiguously endorsed, planned, facilitated and guaranteed that presence.
A "past agreement," Mr President. And, under both international law and US domestic law, a present one as well (as will shortly be made clear) .
Creation of the Mandate for Palestine had been commanded (along with the entire, post-Great War mandate system) by Article 22 of the League of Nations Covenant another "past agreement" which held each Mandates to be "a sacred trust of civilization." Pursuant to that declaration, it will bear observing, as did Rostow in a later paper wherein he had occasion to cite, for illustrative purposes, the 1970 Namibia Case before the International Court of Justice in The Hague that a trust (sacred or otherwise) does not automatically end merely "because the trustee dies, resigns or [even] tries to steal the trust property." 
The Palestine Mandate was a fully binding and obligatory, international instrument, to which this country although never itself an actual member of the League (since the Senate declined to ratify the Treaty of Versailles, requisite to membership, and the jurisdictional fons et origo of the League's authority), NONETHELESS did deliberately go out of its way to specifically and unreservedly bind itself thenceforth in law.
This was because, as Americans, the people of the United States (in the person of that same Senate) recognized in ourselves a compelling duty toward, and a unique affinity for, world Jewry, particularly as identified with the historic Land of Israel and which attachments outweighed, and stood independent of, even our differences with (and modified, further, our responsibilities toward) our great-power allies in the then-recently concluded, world conflict, remembered today as the First World War.
America's rigorous contractual obligation to the Mandate and to the preexisting and non-terminating, exclusive Jewish national rights in Palestine that the Mandate's Charter pointedly recognizes and guarantees was in fact unique and never replicated in any manner or degree with any other mandate. It was knowingly, advisedly and quite willingly incurred by way of another agreement: the senatorially-ratified (also by unanimous vote) and presidentially-signed and -proclaimed, Anglo-American Convention of 3 December 1924, whose text incorporated verbatim, by way of reference, the entire 28 Articles and Preamble of the Mandate Charter.
Thus was the Mandate rendered, via the Convention's linkage,
constitutionally (like all other Senate-endorsed treaties) the
"Supreme Law of the Land" i.e., of this land, the United
and to the consequent and ongoing defense and upholding of the
Mandate's provisions. Thus, every single federal US official, elected
or appointed (and actually each-and-every state judge and state
justice, as well), is formally and gravely bound by oath or
affirmation. And the within-lodged and within-acknowledged,
inalienable and imprescriptible rights said official is, moreover,
collaterally prohibited, by the legal doctrine of estoppel,
from even attempting to subsequently abrogate, contravene or so much
as temporarily suspend. (Catching my drift, are we, My dear Mme
Secretary of The Fog?)
THE PALESTINE MANDATE, specifically, was commissioned at the after-Versailles Inter-Allied San Remo Peace Conference on the Italian Riviera, where the formal Resolution of the Supreme Council of the war's victorious Principal Allied Powers a document ironically (though not unsuitably) conceded by Britain's virulently anti-Zionist Foreign Secretary, Lord Curzon, to constitute modern-day Jewry's "Magna Carta" had vested full de jure sovereignty over the entirety of Palestine with the world's Jewish People as an entity (not with only those Jews already domiciled there); thus effectively creating the "Deed of Trust" in their name on the 24th and 25th of April, 1920.
Yet another agreement, 'Professor.' (So glad you broached the subject of agreements.)
This San Remo Resolution, issued at the same conference during which 99 percent of the former Ottoman territorial possessions was mandated in trust for the Arab and Muslim peoples of the region, had assigned and entrusted the remaining one percent, constituting the Palestine Mandate, for the duration of the developmental period of the Jewish People's in-country preparation for reconstituting de facto sovereignty i.e., manifest and direct, independent self-rule in, and over, their restored ancestral home to the government of Great Britain as League Mandatory [regent, designated agent, temporary guardian, tutor and trustee]. The Mandate included the historically earliest part of that home, the heartland provinces of Samaria and Judea.
The controversy about Jewish settlements in the West Bank is not therefore about legal rights but about the political will to override legal rights. The Jewish right of settlement in the area is equivalent in every way [at a minimum to the right of the existing Palestinian [Arab] population to live there ...[and] is conferred by the same provisions of the Mandate under which Jews settled in Haifa, Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem before the State of Israel was created.  [emphasis added]
So saying, Dean Rostow had reference to Article Six [and within it, as will be noted, the first paragraph of Article Four, as well] of what was, in essence, to be (and what indeed became), the constitution for the then-planned and projected Jewish state the Mandate Charter the text of which Article had provided that Jewish "settlement" throughout Palestine was, in fact, "legitimate" enough to be not only permitted, but also, actually promoted and assisted indeed expedited:
The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the [humanitarian and civil] rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in cooperation with the Jewish Agency referred to in Article 4, close [i.e., dense] settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands not required for public use. [emphasis added]
What's more, 18 months later, the Undersecretary went to still greater lengths to detail and underscore the legal whys-and-wherefores of the ongoing, durable and non-expiring Jewish legitimacy in the heartland provinces liberated in the 1967 conflict by way of his subsequent piece in the same, afore cited journal, TNR:
The British Mandate recognized the right of the Jewish People to 'close settlement' in the whole of the Mandated territory. It was provided that local conditions might require [or, in any event, permit] Great Britain [upon authorization by the League Council] to 'postpone' or 'withhold' Jewish settlement in what is now Jordan. This was done in 1922 [albeit, even at that, with only divided support of the Council, as Dean Rostow had already pointed out elsewhere in the earlier article].
But the Jewish right of settlement in Palestine [everywhere to the] west of the Jordan river that is, in Israel, the West Bank, [any and all parts of] Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip was made unassailable. That right has never been terminated and cannot be terminated. except by a recognized peace between Israel and its neighbors. [emphasis added]
AND PERHAPS NOT EVEN THEN, in view of Article 80 of the UN Charter, "the Palestine article," which provides that "nothing in the Charter shall be construed... to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or any [identified] peoples or the terms of existing international instruments [e.g., the Mandate and the earlier, San Remo Resolution that ordered the Mandate] to which members of the United Nations may respectively be parties."  [emphasis added]
Thus grandfathering-in indefinitely the rights
acknowledged in, and protected by, those instruments of international
jurisprudence, and endorsed by the state signatories to those
considered and binding undertakings; and conversely, ruling out, by
law (if simple human decency be itself found unequal to the task), any
move by the (apparent) metaphysical heirs of the Third Reich or
the sympathizers of such moral legatees to render the area, or
any other part of the therein-identified, historic Land of Israel,
effectively judenrein ["clean of Jews"] a gross legal
travesty characterized by the discerning Professor Stone as "turning
international law on its head." 
THOSE WHO PERSIST in characterizing the reestablished Jewish communities in the now disputed lands as "settlers" contribute, whether wittingly or inadvertently, and whether cordially or maliciously, to a mistaken impression of the true status of the Jews throughout the entire Mandate domain an impression which views the Zionist proposition as something on the order of (at best) the early 17th century colonies of Jamestown and Plymouth on the East Coast of the North American continent. As political psychologist Irwin Mansdorf has noted, the expression, "settler"
can assume validity only if it is assumed that the "settlers" have no indigenous roots and rights in the area. As such, this is yet another example of psychological manipulation for political purposes.[emphasis added]
Unlike any other "settler-colonial" state in history, Israel stands alone in that there is no identifiable foreign power that can be identified as the colonial entity. It goes without saying that the notion of "settler" dismisses any historical or biblical connection of Jews to the area... 
In ratifying the Palestine Mandate Charter (and, moreover, doing so without so much as a solitary dissenting vote amongst them), the League Council, acting on behalf of the entire 52-member Assembly of the organized world community of nations (together with the nonmember, the United States of America), formally recognized that the Jews had maintained a domiciliary presence in the Land of Israel for some four thousand years, but that for many centuries of those millenia, their loss of sovereignty had left them open and vulnerable to every malevolent and predatory assault, both there and throughout much of the world.
Notwithstanding indeed the entrenched fantasies peering out in recent decades from the venerated talking points and assembled catechisms of the politically correct, it remains a durable, iron-clad and readily verified (amply documented) albeit, for some, decidedly inconvenient item of history that Jewish domiciliarity in the Land of Israel, in every part of the Land of Israel, the Promised Land (the subsequently much-renamed "Holy Land," "Syria-Palaestina," "CisJordania," etc), had humbly and modestly, yet staunchly and resolutely, persisted in varying numbers, proportions and configurations, right up until the modern era.
Remnant or multitude, the Jewish People had continued in all circumstances to cling bravely and tenaciously to the Land, sustained as they were only by the immutable Promise of its steadfast Landlord [Ge 17:7-8, 28:13-15, 35:12, Ex 6:7-8, Qur 5:20-21, etc, etc], and the bright, sweet, unsullied Hope of its redemption (linked to their own freedom) as attested, foretold and ultimately commanded in the very Oracles entrusted unto their care when yet the world was new.
It is an incontrovertible fact of history that Jewish domiciliarity
in the Holy Land persisted in varying numbers, proportions and
configurations from the end of Judean sovereignty in AD 135 and
throughout the ensuing centuries.
THE COHORTS OF MUHAMMAD [AD 570-632] having first wiped out by the edge of the sword the most prominent and flourishing Jewish communities on the Arabian Peninsula, proceeded to plunder the latter's property (now conveniently free for the taking) in order to finance the attacking armies of jihad. The Arabian tribes, united under the banner of Islam, stormed explosively northward, bursting out of the peninsula and into the Levant.
Six years after "The Prophet's" death, the newly-become Muslim Arabs, at the Battle of the Yarmuk River [largest tributary of the Jordan River. It flows westward into the Jordan from a location near what is now the Syrian border], decisively defeated the forces of the Byzantine [Eastern Roman] Empire that had "inherited" the Land of Israel [since 135, "Syria-Palaestina"] from pre-Diocletian i.e., still administratively unified Rome, thereby ending, after 638, Byzantine rule south of the Anatolian Peninsula.
Unlike earlier occupiers, however, the (contemporaneously named) "Ishmaelite conquerors" eventually set about systematically to colonize the Jewish homeland militarily and went so far as to deliberately separate the Jews from their native soil. The divestiture and progressive marginalization of Palestine's non-sovereign, Jewish community was a protracted affair, accomplished by the routine expropriation of Jewish land and dwellings, and the conscription of Jewish labor. 
These were facilitated by implementation of the Pact of Omar an early but integral part of shari'a law which imposed upon non-Muslims of non-pagan faith, viz., non-converting Jews and Christians (pagans who wouldn't convert were often killed outright), the 12 Laws of Dhimma ["compact" or "covenant"]. The dhimmi were informally characterized as "protected" classes. (Protected from what? one might well ask. As the "protection" of the mafia means protection, effectively, from the organization's mafiosos the protection of Islam meant, in practice, protection (unfacetiously stated) from Muslims. The Laws of Dhimma were indeed contractual, and enforced on pain of imprisonment or death.)
Among the laws attributed to Khalif Omar [who succeeded Muhammad] were a poll tax [jizya] and a land tax [kharaj], as well as a raft of bigoted and economically crippling restrictions and deliberate, undisguised humiliations. A prohibition was enforced against Jews or other dhimmis riding or owning a "noble" beast like a horse or camel and thus having the assistance of same in pulling a plow or transporting chattel property.
Not only was the testimony of a Jew against a Muslim not permitted in Islamic courts, but also his oath itself was unacceptable. For a Jew to defend himself in court obliged him to purchase Muslim witnesses, typically at enormous expense. The crime of murder was punishable by death but not if the victim had been a Jew and the culprit, a Muslim. "The inferiority of infidels," writes Egyptian-born Bat Ye'or, "is a fundamental principle of Islamic law, inscribed in every aspect of their status."
Reviling or disparaging or belittling "The Prophet" or openly challenging his veracity, his sanity or his prophethood constituted but a few of the offenses for which a dhimmi could be condemned to death (beheading, burning or crucifixion) and from which there was no possibility of reprieve except through the one escape route from dhimmi status itself: conversion.
The pact of "protection" articulated and facilitated a policy of
subjugation, and the net effect, over time, was to render the Jews a
minority in their own land.
"IT HAS LONG BEEN RECOGNIZED that being a minority is not necessarily a tragedy. All nations," writes Bibi Netanyahu, "have their minorities. The tragedy is to be everywhere a minority. This was precisely the situation of the Jews before creation of the State of Israel."
In setting forth in writing, therefore, as early as 1922, the legal basis for formally recognizing the legitimacy of constructively restoring the Jewish National Home and, ultimately, independent Jewish majoritarian sovereignty over in its then-sparsely populated and scarcely cultivated ancestral motherland (plainly, the only logical place for it), the Mandate's Preamble had pointedly cited
...the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and... the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country...
Nor was it even remotely the League's contention that it was presuming here to impose something 'new' in the area on behalf of an 'interloper.' Quite the contrary and just as the US Constitution, for example, does not venture to create or confer 'new' rights (which may thus be subsequently withdrawn by the bestowing party, or its heirs or assignees), but, rather, only to acknowledge and protect rights which preceded its own existence, and are inalienable. This Mandate's clear raison d'etre was from the moment of its birth to recognize and guarantee the continuing, long, previously extant and never relinquished, lapsed, nullified or superceded rights of the still intact, worldwide Jewish nation which was indissolubly linked to the land in question through a long and unbroken history in it.
The only element in all this which could be said to be truly new was that now, for the first time in a couple of millennia, and henceforth, those ongoing rights were to be safeguarded by public institutions, leading to independent statehood and unlike EVER before, with the sanction, now and in-perpetuity, of international law.
The Mandate Charter and the San Remo Resolution undertook likewise to ensure that the CIVIL, PROPERTY and RELIGIOUS rights of the area's (unspecified) non-Jewish communities would not be surrendered or compromised. Those communities, however, did not then or ever in the past (when Palestine had been part of Syria) have POLITICAL rights [i.e., sovereignty. voting rights] in Palestine that could be "surrendered" or "compromised" or preserved.
These conclusions find concurrent expression and development in the remarks of the distinguished author and diplomatic envoy, H.E., Dore Gold, President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, and Former Ambassador of Israel to the UN [1997-99]:
Significantly, the League of Nations Mandate did not create new rights, but rather acknowledged a pre-existing right which, in the view of the international community at the time, had clearly not been forfeited by the Jewish people or suspended by international law after successive empires occupied and ruled Jerusalem and the rest of the area of Palestine in the intervening centuries.
Indeed, while the mandate documents for Syria and Iraq called on the French and the British to "facilitate the progressive development" of these mandates "as independent states," the Palestine mandate related to the need to "secure the establishment of the Jewish national home, as laid [down] in the preamble." [Article 2]
This had legal significance, for the declarative language about the historic rights of the Jewish people that appeared in the preamble was linked to the binding operative language of the Palestine Mandate. When the Council of the League of Nations confirmed the Mandate in July 1922, it acquired the force of law. 
Yet now, transiting to the closing year of the twenty-first century's igantuan effrontery to demand that the State of Israel the authorized representative, agent and guardian of the sovereign Jewish People (the duly designated and lawful heir, beneficiary and successor of the Mandate) ignore the fact that the indefeasible Title Deed to the parcel has the Jews' name written virtually all over it (at least 15 explicit, textual entries in its 28 Articles and Preamble. (Take four minutes to Google & read it through, now that you've had a taste). He decrees that the Jewish State instead end what the cheeky Chief, resorting again to the trendy, formulaic spin, characterizes as "the occupation which began in 1967", a further flight of rhetorical fancy in which the aforesaid Mr Erekat, once again (surprise, surprise!), avidly, vigorously and instantly joined.
Here, however, our designing President (together with those in whose malicious downdraft his thinking is ensnared) is seen, to put it courteously to be "laboring under a misconception" both as to history and as to law.The fateful year of 1967 did not betoken the 'beginning' of any occupation. Rather, it marked the end of one: a real occupation, if you will, which had begun some 19 years earlier.
At that time, Jerusalem's Old City and the entire eastern portion of the then overwhelmingly Jewish capital of Israel (containing the Temple Mount, the Western Wall, Hebrew University, the City of David, Hadassah Hospital, etc), as well as the provinces of Judea, Samaria and Gaza all of which were part of geographic Palestine, the historic Land of Israel, and originally intended by the League, and thus so projected in the international Mandate and its commissioning (and never legally vacated or superceded), San Remo Resolution, for incorporation within the Jewish National Home had been unlawfully seized from the UN temporary trusteeship (successor to the League mandate repository) and retained, in defiance of the Security Council, by two of the five neighboring, Arab states.
Any and all Jews who survived the merciless assault that attended that capture had were expelled in an unadorned policy of ethnic cleansing and often at gunpoint by the military forces of the Arab border countries.
The armies and air forces of those five powers, together with troop detachments from three other Arab armies, had all invaded the newborn Third Jewish Commonwealth, on the very day in 1948 [15 May] that she declared her independence upon the (anything-but-orderly) withdrawal of the now-caretaker shell of the former British Administration the Mandate having been surrendered to the UN by the long-temporizing, increasingly perfidious, at-length rejected, and ultimately "less-than-honorably discharged," Government of His Britannic Majesty.
The bombs and artillery shells of the regional aggressors had descended quickly from the sky, while their armed, and armored, brigades rolled in on the land from all sides, like a ravening wolf pack to join the local ethnic Arabs (today, 62 years later, styling themselves "Palestinians"), who were already attacking and killing their Jewish neighbors. Why attacking and killing? To what end?
In this premiere of the ever-after continuing series of Arab-Islamist wars against the State of Israel, the invading and local assailants those locals who didn't evacuate the place so as to leave the field open and unobstructed for the invaders (and despite persistent urgings from the Jewish community that their Arab neighbors stay and help build the country as equal citizens) had been animated by the earnest, explicit and openly articulated, dual objective of
(A). annihilating the State of Israel while she was scarcely out of the womb; and
(B). assuring that she would thereafter stay dead, by, quite literally, exterminating her Jewish citizenry.
All this scarcely three years after the Final Solution.
The targeted victim managed ultimately to foil these murderous plans but at great cost:
All this was to be added to the burdens which were certain to attend the newly emergent Commonwealth's willing and tender welcome, within the same time frame, of an equal number of Jewish "displaced persons" many, now without families the traumatized and emotionally spent, surviving remnant from Holocaust Europe.
The Jewish state housed them all; taught them all the Hebrew language; then educated them all; and found, or developed, employment for them all at a cost of $1.3 Billion [Six Billion in today's currency and which, had it been available instead for investment at a modest 6.5 percent over a 60-year period, would have grown close to a trillion dollars today].
THE ARAB PROMISE OF an "extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongol massacres and the Crusades" was foiled. However, Jordan remained in illegal possession of the eastern part of Jerusalem and Samaria and Judea, which she called 'the West Bank.' Egypt continued to administer Gaza.
That wretched state of affairs was to persist for a couple of decades until the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan [until 1949, the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan] and the Arab Republic of Egypt [until 1953, the Kingdom of Egypt] criminally yielded to the temptation, in the late spring of 1967, to compound the former infamy.
This they did by illegally using the unlawfully held Gaza and the unlawfully held eastern part of the truncated Israeli capital city, as well as those unlawfully held provinces of Samaria and Judea (since 1950 opportunistically renamed the West Bank) in concert with a similarly never-chastised, third recidivist neighbor culprit from the 1948 assault, the Arab Republic of Syria, now comparably misdeploying the Golan Heights all as part of a multi-pronged launching pad for a coordinated, unlawfully renewed invasion of Israel.
The projected nutcracker operation was to accompany a brazenly illegal naval blockade a standard and time-honored casus belli in international law intended to choke off all Israeli shipping to and from the South and East.
Throughout this clash, these aggressors enjoyed the active assistance of eight other Arab powers including Sa'udi Arabia and Iraq, in addition to the PLO together with major backing and resources from the then-formidable USSR. In promising troops for the planned redoubling of the 1948 effort, the Sa'udi king, Feisal, had ominously avowed that "every Arab who does not participate in this conflict will seal his fate."
Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser had addressed his country's parliament with the words, "The problem presently before the Arab countries is not whether the [Israeli] port of Eilat is blockaded, or how to blockade it but [rather] how to totally exterminate the State of Israel for all time." "The liquidation of Israel," he had announced two years earlier, "will be a liquidation through violence. We shall enter a Palestine not covered with sand, but soaked in blood."
When you have no case beyond your own vaulting ambition clothe your nakedness by blaming the victim, always a winning gambit (time-proven), and no one will care afterward (provided of course that the victim cooperates in his dispatching; an uncooperative victim is the worst kind).
Now Algerian President Houari Boumedienne called for the same "liquidation." King Hussein of Jordan exhorted his British-trained army to "kill the Jews wherever you find them. Kill them with your arms, with your hands, with your nails and teeth."
At Habbaniya, the Iraqi Ba'ath Party leader and President, General Abd al-Salaam Aref, had admonished his Air Force officers, "Brethren and sons, this is the day of battle to avenge.... 1948. We shall, God willing, meet in Tel Aviv and Haifa." Two days earlier on Radio Baghdad, he had declared that the war's goal "is clear to wipe Israel off the map," while from Radio Damascus came the ever-after memorable command: "Drive them into the sea."
And at a press conference, Ahmed Shukeiry, the first Chairman of
the PLO [formed by the Arab League in 1964], declared the Arabs poised
to "march to liberate the country our country." Asked by a
reporter what fate he had planned for the Israelis, his response was
coldly characteristic: "Those who survive will remain in Palestine. I
estimate that none of them will survive."
THE VASTLY OUTNUMBERED, AND THIS TIME, FAR-MORE-MASSIVELY OUTGUNNED forces of the Jewish microstate were thereupon obliged, as an requirement of elemental self-defense and through audacious timing, incorporating a robust policy of vigorous preemption as well as superior strategy (to say nothing of the ingenuity born of grim desperation married to sheer gratitude for the Gift of life) to liberate the stolen and noxiously-mal used territories from Egypt and Jordan, as well as from Syria, thereby decisively removing the lethal instrumentality of that triple-threat springboard and, in the execution of the seizure, terminating thenceforth the Occupations.
The blockade died and the Jewish Commonwealth lived. The country took a long, deep, shuddering breath, relieved to have dodged a bullet, and elated to find itself fortuitously possessed of boundaries not only newly protective of the vital and vulnerable water supply for which the state had frequently, till now, been forced to fight, but also, at last, immensely more secure than those strategically precarious, previous 'borders' that had tempted, and even excited, the aggression that precipitated (and necessitated) the war.
Israeli law was thereupon extended to the recovered eastern sector of Jerusalem, thus uniting the capital city of Israel, the 30-century-long capital of the Jewish People the only people at any point in time in all those centuries, and for better or for worse, to have ever bothered, or cared, to make that city its capital.
All of which quite naturally prompts two vital and inescapable (sets of) questions:
(A.) Why were those Arab Occupations which were true occupations, occupations in the classic sense of the word, and illegal occupations, to boot why were those Occupations not an issue to the law-abiding, world community of nations at any point in all those 19 years; the question of 'occupation' never in fact arising until such time as possession of the territories was securely in Jewish hands?
Jordan's "annexation" of "East Jerusalem" and the "West Bank," to be sure, was never recognized by any Arab states (which had long distrusted the Hashemite monarchy's ambitions); nor, for that matter, had Jordanian annexation ever been recognized by any other states apart from Pakistan and Britain (which latter recognized the "West Bank" annexation, but not that of "East Jerusalem").
Yet? Why was there no Arab protest of the Occupation itself during those two decades, nor while we're dwelling on politically correct dogmas any demand for independent "Palestinian" statehood in those then Arab-held provinces, or in then Arab-held "East Jerusalem" or in the then Egyptian-held Gaza Strip during those years, from anybody in the Arab world -- including the Palestinian Arabs of the "West Bank," Gaza and "East Jerusalem" themselves? Not a word. Not a peep. Not a hiccup. How come hmm?
But you know the answer to that one.
(B.) How can the existence of Jews anywhere in the historic Land of Israel with a Jewish government OR without one constitute, in any sense of the term, an 'occupation' of that which the very, selfsame, internationally binding Resolution and Charter that, between them, created the lawful, juristic basis for the Jewish State to begin with, say is theirs? Judge Stephen M. Schwebel, former President of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, had a sober and considered response: It isn't in fact an 'occupation,' he concluded in 1970, but a lawful presence. 
WHAT THEN IS WRONG with this whole amply documented, readily verified, altogether historically confirmed picture? And who's minding the store anyway? (So much for "past agreements," eh, Your Blessedness?)
It would appear that the normal claims to supremacy over us all, that are naturally asserted by the impersonal majesty of Law, are to be trumped by the purely expedient ones insolently presumed upon us by 'legitimacy' or so some would have it.
Moreover, this rancid and surly spirit of prejudgment against not only Jewish communities in Israel's own capital but also those in her "West Bank" heartland is implicitly and increasingly asserted despite the fact that the buffer-zone presence of those sentinel developments, villages and towns (often strategically situated athwart the optimal, and actual, former Arab invasion routes), far from posing the "obstacle to peace" that even the more sympathetic of earlier US administrations had once summarily and peremptorily labelled that presence has, in practice, proven an obstacle, instead, to full-scale, regional war.
This is readily witnessed by the eloquent and enduring testimony of the past four, regionally quiescent, decades and in sharp contrast to that of the quarter century ending with the founding of most of the Jewish towns and hamlets of Judea and Samaria after the Arab invasion inaugurating the October 1973, Yom Kippur War.
Equally warranting careful consideration is the undeniable fact that it was only the Israeli government's horribly ill-advised, astonishingly boneheaded and arguably illegal, decision in 2005 to forcibly evacuate all 9000 of the resident Jewish citizens from the 21 thriving, industrious communities of Gaza and the consequent power vacuum that made possible the vicious and bloody coup that brought to prominence there the baneful and pernicious, local ethnic-Arab death cult, Hamas.
Hamas has since become an Iranian-bankrolled catspaw. Its blood-obsessed, Jew-hating operatives, set loose with none to stop them, promptly went to work deliberately recreating their personal playpen and club fiefdom, the Gaza District, as a war zone, from which now greatly augmented numbers of Qassam and Katyusha rockets and mortar shells bombarded the civilian populations of the Israeli cities and towns of the western Negev for over three harrowing years (a five-fold increase to add to the previous five years of same; ten thousand rockets in all) thereby precipitating Operation Cast Lead, the long-overdue, Gaza War of late December 2008 and January 2009.
Thus, again, and in the teeth of all the tortured reasoning that had gone into justifying the reckless "disengagement plan," ensuing events clearly showed that it was not the presence of Jewish settlements that brought on war. Quite the contrary, it was the removal of them that did that although, as usual, the derisive, dismissive media, diplomatic and academic 'brain'-trusts remain, even this long afterward, cretinously slack in connecting the neon-bright dots.
This sobering realization, that withdrawal of Jews is what promotes war, ought to give pause to any myopic meddlers who would see as prudent and reasonable (you know, 'legitimate') the banishment of the established, lawful and peaceable Jewish communities from any part of the Israeli capital or from the Judaic "West Bank" patrimony of Yehudah in the South and Shomron in the North. Yet this is currently contemplated by those who, by now, truly should know better. It should give pause, moreover, for starkly pragmatic reasons that can no more easily be ignored than the abiding legal ones can be denied.
Which brings this observer to what perforce has got to be the bottom line in all this: it was about legitimacy. It was about the overweening and condescending Mr Obama's nonacceptance of the legitimacy of Israeli's heartland communities.
Very well, then:
With his foreign policy coterie of globalist grifters; latter-day, propeller-head wonkies; transnationalist trumpsters, redistributionist, neo-Fabian ideologues; and late-blooming, Sixties-retro, heavy-revvie, Maoist power-trippers, he is at liberty to "accept" or "not accept" whatever he damned-well pleases. What he plainly, what he absolutely, has neither authority nor power nor liberty to do is render that which is altogether and entirely legal 'illegitimate' by pronouncing it so regardless of what he pleases, regardless of what he posits, regardless of what he implies and regardless of what sweet nothings the long-entrenched Arabist, State Department bureaucracy, or the likes of Bill Ayres, or Rashid Khalidi, or George Soros murmurs into our soapy Savior's trusty BlackBerry at three a.m. on cold, dark, lonely nights.
Not in our name, he can't.
Not if he chants the pernicious innuendo 300 million times while holding hands with Evan Thomas and slapping High-Fives with Chris Mathews. Not if he tweets his carefully canned concoction directly to Brian, Katie and Diane, while telepathing a "thrill" up all of their tingly, trembly thighs. Not if he instructs Team Obama to order an endless loop of the Kafkaesque-Orwellian double-whammy to run 24/7 on CSPAN and posts it on Facebook and YouTube for good measure. Truly our Kool-aid cup runneth over, Amen and Amen.
Not indeed if he puts in a personal appearance (tele-prompter expedited, of course) to mouth the maleficent malediction at half-time on SuperBowl Sunday, right out there on the astroturf, complete with blissed-out twinkies fainting on-cue in the bleachers, while adoring cheerleaders sprightfully festooned with jouncing, bouncing pom-poms, and bodily decked out in faux fur-trimmed, translucent, tiger-striped hotpants, faithfully replicate the meticulously choreographed maneuver in T-formation all over the line of scrimmage even as the Charlatan-in-Chief, the eternally swelligant, elegant, Hope'n'change, stands ever-at-the-ready, personally handing out half-litre bottles of earth-green Evian to 'revive' them.
Legitimacy should be made of sterner stuff, you say?
It is. You bet, it is. The quintessential, preeminent legitimacy of the Law is a damnsight more substantive and enduring than a narcissistic, ward-heeling, "community-organizing," Southside Chicago Machine politician, former street hustler and aspiring Kabuki artist even one who's been to law school, yea verily will ever know how to conjure, bewitch or transmogrify.
Nor can such-a-one (or any other one) guilefully and insouciantly persist in seeking to subvert public perception of the lawfulness of the Jewish People's presence in the actual cradle of its birth and history in order to prepare the ground for a cynically presumed-comatose, stateside populace to accept the ethnic cleansing of Jewry from that very cradle not without utterly disgracing and betraying, not without in the end outraging, the august and honored station that, at bottom, only the sheer luck-of-the-draw ever allowed him to occupy in the first place.
Furthermore, any transitory tenant of the Executive Mansion who presumes to play Santa Claus with the legally acknowledged, authentic and rightful, national territorial patrimony of the Jews (let alone, their strategic security) by giving away or by diplomatically pressuring, or otherwise extorting (or seducing), any passing Israeli government to sign away state sovereignty over the "West Bank" provinces or over so much as a square centimeter of the city of Jerusalem, or over any other lands within the Mandated borders of geographic Palestine, is insidiously placing himself and his worthy office (as well as, by extension, the American People, who entrusted him with the power of the position) in open violation of Article Five of the Mandate Charter.
That provision held not only His Majesty's Government of the United Kingdom (as designated Mandatory), but also, by way of supervision, and as early as 1922, the governments of all the League state signatories to this particular, unanimously sanctioned and subscribed Mandate including that of the Arab signatory, the Hejaz [NW Arabia, later overrun, violently usurped and ultimately absorbed by the marauding House of Sa'ud], and the governments of later Arab members of the League, Iraq in 1932 and Egypt in 1937, these latter entrants' acceptances into the ranks, explicitly conditioned by, among other things, their recognition of all the League Mandates as well as, per operation of the Convention, from 1925 forward, the government of THIS country: all of said governments responsible for seeing that no Palestine territories shall be ceded to or leased to, or in any way placed under the control of, the Government of any foreign power.  [emphasis added]
Not that the Convention represented, in any sense or measure, a breaking of new ground as to America's resolve or purpose toward the Jewish people. A month before the League had even ratified the Mandate, a Joint Resolution of Both Houses of Congress, the Lodge-Fish Resolution [JCR 360], "Favoring the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people," had made the matter clear. The Resolution, adopted [30 June 1922] without so much as a single dissenting, abstaining or "absent" vote from either party, in either chamber, was signed into law by President Warren Gamaliel Harding less than 90 days later [21 September].
In so doing, however, he was merely carrying forward an honored and enduring American tradition extending as far back as this country's founding, and to even before that and which tradition had persistently witnessed Americans' earnest and heartfelt wishes for the restoration of the Land of Israel through the recovery of sovereignty there of the people of Israel.
Such is of course hardly to suggest that the entire government of the American Republic has always and consistently reflected the plainspoken and perennial cordiality of the American populace toward the Third Jewish Commonwealth or (before Israeli statehood) toward the prospect, plan or progress of the Jewish restoration that anticipated the Commonwealth. Certainly the White House, for example, and the Executive Branch generally unlike the more directly and popularly responsive, Legislative Branch (as embodied in the less-variably forthcoming, and congenially pro-Zionist, US Congress) has waxed and waned, seemingly with the phases of the moon, as to both view and intensity in its outlook on the Zionist enterprise. And, since the late 1960's, that goes increasingly, as well, for a calcified and clueless, smugly elitist, mainstream media.
THERE CAN BE no denying or ignoring the fact that a United States President who dishonors or disregards the Mandate Charter has, in the act, violated similarly the Anglo-American Convention by which instrument (as well as the Resolution that preceded it), it is made clear beyond cavil that US domestic law does indeed "accept the legitimacy" of not only the Jewish communities within incorporated Israel, but also, in point of legal fact, those everywhere from the River Jordan to the Mediterranean Sea, inclusive.
Moreover, and whether through ignorance or arrogance in fouling and trashing that duly ratified (and never repudiated, never nullified, never superceded) Treaty: the acknowledged, actionally defensible, Supreme Law of the Land (And articulated rights and duties in treaties, having no statute of limitations, do not, as a matter of course, 'expire' with their incorporating instruments)  an American Chief-of-State thereby stands likewise (and pari passu) in contempt of his own solemn oath of office, and in defiance, as well, of Article 2, Section 3 of the US Constitution, which demands that he "take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed."
Of course, in the matter of whether the artful and calculating Imamabama Immaculata justly, or even accurately, reflects the outlook of America in his 'not accepting the legitimacy' of which he and his chief diplomatic engineer, pressure-monger and dagger-broad, Miz' Hillary, speak let alone, whether he well-and-truly mirrors the intentions of America as to the inherent, monstrous threat that his attitude represents toward continued Jewish habitation in the Land of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob the American People themselves may have something to say about that, soon enough. This watcher's dollar-to-your-donut says the very proposition is (and will by unfolding events be rudely shown to be) yet another load of fetid dingo's kidneys. But we'll see, presently.
It's midnight a magical moment that, in the nature of things, has always carried with it its own scary potential for mischief yet the night is passing.
Stay tuned. And keep your seatbelt fastened. Bound to be a bumpy ride.
It has been estimated that, worldwide, of all the Jews to have
ever lived in the perhaps 200 generations spanning the 40
centuries since Abraham fully half of them have died violently
at the hands of their fellow men: one out of every two. Make of such
isolated fact what you will, yet as Israeli Foreign Minister
[1966-74], Abba Eban, had more than one occasion to note, "Many
things in Jewish history are too terrible to be believed, but nothing
in that history is too terrible to have happened." [Abba Eban: An
Autobiography, (Random House, NY, 1977), 333]
1 Entitled "A New Beginning," it had the presumption to include, among other things, an equating of the (largely self-inflicted) travails of the Palestinian Arabs in Israel, and in her disputed, unincorporated provinces, with the 1933-45 European Judaeocide, broadly known ever since as the Holocaust. Such squalid rhetorical dislocations from reality by customers of this caliber are of course anything but 'new' as 'beginnings' go.
Shoddily fabricated symmetry as a vehicle for positing an implicit moral equivalence the recasting of victim as villain, and vice versa (often for reasons of political expedience, but wherever Jews are involved, invariably, it seems, with added, if unstated, reachings for the insolence of "cosmic identity theft," to boot) is by now an old story: hoary and insipid enough to prompt a yawn, were it not, in the present instance, so insulting to common intelligence, so outrageous to human history, so contemptuous of the memory of the innocent who were lost. It simply will not do to let it pass.
2 Addressing healthcare 'reform' in a campaign speech at Rhode Island College, Providence, RI, 24 February 2008.
3 Julius Stone, Israel and Palestine: An Assault on the Law of Nations (John Hopkins University Press, Washington, DC, 1981). Professor Stone taught also in this country -- at both Harvard Law School and the University of California, Hastings College of the Law [SF].
4 The sheer perversity of the war and its aftermath was captured, some months after the shooting stopped, in the televised remarks of Israel's then-foreign minister [1966-74] Abba Eban, as recalled in his subsequently published Abba Eban: An Autobiography, (Random House, NY, 1977): "This is the first war in history which has ended with the victors suing for peace, and the vanquished calling for unconditional surrender." [p. 446]
5 "Pacific" settlement, that is, as distinguished from imposed settlement as would have been the case if the Resolution had been issued under the Charter's Seventh chapter ("Action with Respect to Threats to the Peace, Breaches of the Peace, Acts of Aggression" Articles 39-51): in which event, the Resolution would have been legally binding, mandatory.
6 Eugene V. Rostow, "The Future of Palestine," November 1993, McNair Papers, No. 24, Institute of National Strategic Studies; from the paper originally delivered at the American Leadership Conference on Israel and the Middle East, 10 October 1993, Arlington, Virginia.
7 Signed 2 March 1925, by the 30th President of the United States, Calvin Coolidge; ratified by the British Cabinet 18 March 1925, and officially proclaimed, by President Coolidge on 5 December 1925]: "Now, therefore, be it known, that I, Calvin Coolidge, President of the United States of America, have caused the said Convention to be made public, to the end that the same, and every article and clause thereof, may be observed and fulfilled with good faith by the United States and the citizens thereof."
[U.S. Department of State. Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States 1924, vol. 2 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1939) 212-22]
8 United States Constitution, Article 6, Par. 2 [the "Supremacy Clause"].
9 Eugene V. Rostow, "Bricks and stones: settling for leverage; Palestinian autonomy," The New Republic, 23 April 1990.
10 Council of the League of Nations, Charter, Mandate for Palestine, London, 24 July 1922, Article 6.
11 Eugene V. Rostow, "Resolved: are the settlements legal? Israeli West Bank policies," The New Republic, 21 October 1991.
12 Stone, Op. cit., 181.
13 Irwin J. Mansdorf, "Is Israel a Colonial State? The Political Psychology of a Palestinian Nomenclature," Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs Issue Brief No. 576, Mar-Apr 2010.
14 Two works of the Rev. James William Parkes are most helpful in this regard: A History of Palestine from 135 AD to Modern Times (Victor Gollancz, NY, 1949), and Whose Land? History of the People of Palestine (Penguin Books, Harmondsworth, UK, 1970).
In more recent years, journalist Joan Peters' landmark work, From Time Immemorial: The Origins of the Arab-Jewish Conflict Over Palestine (Harper & Row, NY, 1984), has proven a virtual cornucopia of documentary sources, both original and secondary.
[Note: Some occasional footnotes may be a bit garbled hardly surprising in such an exhaustive, yet tightly constructed, tome: incorporating a dozen pages of bibliography and 120 pages of notes, in addition to its 400 of text and another 30 in appendices the product of seven years' research. However, the next edition will certainly clarify these isolated distractions from an otherwise superb and vital piece of work].
15 [Benzion Dinur, Israel in the Diaspora (Dvir, Tel Aviv, 1960), Hebr, Vol. 1, "From the Conquest of the Land of Israel by the Arabs to the Crusades," 27-30; cited in Benjamin Netanyahu, A Durable Peace: Israel and Its Place Among the Nations (Warner Books, NY, 2000), 27]
A much-overlooked fact is that Arab and Muslim claims to "Filastin" are, at best, non-Qur'anic (and at worst, anti-Qur'anic): reflecting, as to Muhammad, nothing more than hadithic sayings conveniently attributed apocryphally to "The Prophet" (viz., after he was dead and unable to contest them). The Qur'an itself, on the other hand, is most emphatic in bearing witness to Muhammad's unambiguous recognition of the Jews' entitlement to the Holy Land [e.g., Sura 5 (al-Ma'ida): 20-21].
His quarrel with the Children of Israel, as reflected in the Qur'an, plainly had nothing to do with their ownership of, their settlement in, OR their sovereignty over, the Land but, rather, with their disinclination to swap their ancient, venerable faith for his new, trendy version.
Also overlooked, and most curious indeed, is that neither the Arabs nor the Muslims ever discovered (or, apparently, even devised) a name of their own for the land that they now claim, in recent generations, to be their very own. "Filastin" is hardly an 'Arabic' name, but merely an Arabicized corruption of the Greek, Pelistinoi which, in turn, was a corruption of the Latin [i.e., Roman], Palaestina. It became Filastin because there is no P sound in Arabic.
And the latter designation was [the Roman Emperor] Hadrian's post-135, Latinized corruption of the Israelites' Hebrew-language epithet, P'leshet [Philistia: "domain of the invaders"], for the southern maritime, Gaza District pentapolis of the intrusive (and derisively labeled) P'lishtim ["Philistines," in the King's English of James I]: formerly, marauding Sea Peoples originally from the Aegean region, loosely affiliated with each other, yet well-organized for military endeavors absorbed (as a polity, a people and a culture) by the Israelites after a dozen generations of struggle and strife some centuries before the advent of Christ and nearly a full millennium before the birth of "The Prophet."
16 Peters, Op. cit., 34, ff, passim.
17 Bat Ye'or, Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis (Fairleigh Dickinson Univ. Press, Madison, NJ, 2005), 199.
Note: The name, Bat Ye'or [Hebr: "daughter of the Nile"], an obvious pseudonym and regrettably a necessary one, that helps keep her alive belongs to the world's foremost scholar on the dhimmi, the dhimma and dhimmitude. Most of her books are written originally in French and translated into a multiplicity of languages; the work cited here is the first to have been composed directly in English.
18 Netanyahu, Ibid., 166
19 At the outset of the 1919 Paris Peace Conference, the era's foremost proponent of the principle of national self-determination, Woodrow Wilson, then 28th President of the United States, declared on 14 January 1919, in a meeting with Chaim Weizmann, Chairman of the Zionist delegation to the Conference, his firm belief that "the Allied nations, with the fullest concurrence of our own [i.e., American] Government and people, are agreed that in Palestine shall be laid the foundations of a Jewish Commonwealth" [emphasis added]
and to that end Wilson offerred his "entire support...full and unhampered." [cited in Isaiah Friedman, The Question of Palestine, 1914-1918: British-Jewish-Arab Relations, 2nd Ed. (Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, NJ, 1992), 313]
In its Report to Pres. Wilson the following week [Jan 21], the Intelligence Section of the US delegation to the Conference urged, among other things,
1. That there be established a separate state of Palestine;
2. That this state be placed under Great Britain as a Mandatory of the League of Nations;
3. That the Jews be invited to return to Palestine and settle there, being assured by the [Paris Peace] Conference of all proper assistance in so doing that may be consistent with the protection of the personal (and especially the religious) rights of the non-Jewish population, and being further assured that it will be the policy of the League of Nations to recognize Palestine as a Jewish state as soon as it is a Jewish state in fact... [emphasis added]
It is right that Palestine should become a Jewish state, if the Jews, being given the full opportunity, make it such. It was the cradle and home of their vital [nation]... and is the only land in which they can hope to find a home of their own; they being in this last respect unique among significant peoples... [emphasis added]
[Quoted in David Hunter Miller, My Diary of the Conference of Paris (1924), vol. 4, 263-64; cited in Samuel Katz, Battleground: Fact & Fantasy in Palestine (Bantam, First Published 1973, 3rd Updated (Steimatzky) Edition, NY, 1985), Appendix D]
20 The eminent French geographer, Vital Cuinet, had noted in his exhaustive and meticulous study of the region that, until pioneering Jews [the khalutzim] began the first of their serious painstaking and Sisyphean but determined and unflagging land reclamation efforts in the late 19th century, barely one-tenth of the land was under cultivation. Yes, you did read that right it's not a typo: one-tenth, even as late as 1895.
(After the place had sustained 13 centuries of abuse and neglect, you were expecting, what "a land flowing with milk and honey"? the Garden of Eden? the Elysian Fields? Try, rather, scorching deserts, malarial swamps, eroded hillsides, empty watercourses, etc.)
[Vital Cuinet, Syrie, Liban et Palestine, Géographie Administrative, Statistique, Descriptive et Raisonnée (E. Leroux, Paris, 1896), 583-84]
21 Princeton scholar of Islamic history and culture, Bernard Lewis, has noted that from the end of the Judean state [late winter of AD 135] to the beginning of modern-day, British administration [December of 1917] and for the intervening two millennia of Roman, Byzantine, Persian and Islamic rule Palestine was politically submerged. What's more, because for those millennia the area had no separate political identity, the various ethnic groups who migrated there in the wake of its loss of Judaic sovereignty never acquired or developed any identity different from those they brought with them. Thus, remarks Netanyahu, by way of elaboration, "up until the twentieth century, the name Palestine referred exclusively to the ancient land of the Jews as did the names Judea, Judah, Zion and Israel. It had never yet been argued [by ANYONE] that there existed a Palestinian people other than the Jews. "
"The Arabs who lived there were called Arabs, just as the Armenians, Turks, Druze, and Circassians who migrated into Palestine were then still called Armenians, Turks, Druze, and Circassians. With the exception of the Jews, who called the land Eretz Yisrael (the Land of Israel) and viewed it as their national home, all of these groups considered themselves as living in the realm of Southern Syria." [emphasis added]
[Netanyahu, Op. cit., 5n]
And Reverend Parkes adds the observation that
"...Jewry has nowhere established another independent national centre; and, as is natural, the Land of Israel is intertwined far more intimately into the religious and historic memories of the people; for their connection with the country has been of much longer duration in fact, it has been continuous from the 2nd millennium B.C.E. up to modern times...
"The Land therefore has provided an emotional centre which has endured through the whole of their period of 'exile,' and has led to constant returns or attempted returns, culminating in our own day in the Zionist Movement." [Parkes, Whose Land? Op. cit., 10]
22 Charter, Mandate for Palestine, op cit., Preamble, Par. 3.
23 No other existing people had ever held sovereignty over the land viewed as a discrete entity unto itself and not part of any larger land configuration. Property rights and widely varying degrees of religious and civic freedom there had been accessible at various times to a multiplicity of peoples [e.g., those cited in note 21, supra], but only the Jews had ever had political sovereignty there.
Retired attorney Wallace Edward Brand notes: "The Mandate preserved the civil and religious rights of the local Arabs but did not create any political rights for them. It did not and COULD NOT 'preserve' any political rights in Palestine for local Arabs in PALESTINE, as they never in history had any." [boldface in original]
"As to political rights, the local Arabs were no worse off than they were under the Ottoman rule from 1520 to 1920, the British suzerainty from 1920 to 1948, or the Jordanian rule from 1948 to 1967."
[Wallace Edward Brand, "Israeli Sovereignty Over Jerusalem, Judea
24 Dore Gold, The Fight for Jerusalem: Radical Islam, the West, and the Future of the Holy City (Regnery Publishing, DC, 2007), 123.
25 Believed to have been first coined by nationally-syndicated, newstalk radio talk show host and former Mayor of San Diego [1992-2000], Roger Hedgecock, on or about 2 July 2010.
26 The most assiduously researched and thoroughly addressed study on the subject of both sovereignty over, and actual ownership of, the disputed provinces is the recent and long-awaited treatise of international legal scholar and Jerusalem attorney Howard Grief, The Legal Foundation and Borders of Israel Under International Law (Jerusalem, 2008): a major undertaking, 25 years in preparation, and the present era's perhaps-definitive work on the jurisprudential basis for the Jewish State. It explores the matter exhaustively, with clarity, precision and courtesy for lay apprehensibility.
[Available from Mazo Publishers, Jerusalem: 054-7294-565;
Of further value here, for its aptness and concision, is Ted Belman's "Summary of Israel's Legal Rights to Judea and Samaria", http://www.think-israel.org/belman.israelownssamariajudea.html.
and, for its comprehensive clarity and uncluttered terseness, Wallace Edward Brand's "Israeli Sovereignty, etc" [cited supra]
|Population of Jerusalem in 1948||Proportion of Whole: expressed as a Percentage, rounded to two figures|
[Figs.: John Oesterreicher and Anne Sinai, eds, Jerusalem (John Day, NY, 1974), 1; Israel Central Bureau of Statistics; Jerusalem Foundation; Municipality of Jerusalem; cited in Mitchell Bard, Myths & Facts: A Guide to the Arab-Israeli Conflict (AICE, Chevy Chase, MD, 2001), 263]
28 Howard M. Sachar, A History of Israel: From the Rise of Zionism to Our Time 2nd Revised Edition (Alfred A. Knopf, NY, 1996), 353
29 Within a few years of Israel's War of Independence, remarks historian Ya'acov Lozowick (Director of Archives at Israel's Yad Vashem), a spiteful Muslim world "had rid itself entirely of its Jews" emptied itself of them "leaving tiny pockets in Baghdad, Damascus and Cairo. And then, all memory of this awesome convulsion disappeared from the world's consciousness if it had ever been noticed in the first place." [emphasis add]
[Ya'acov Lozowick, Right to Exist: A Moral Defense of Israel's Wars (Doubleday/Random House, NY, 2003), 103]
The Jewish refugees from Arab countries had lost everything: conservatively estimated, in today's US dollars, at nearly $100 Billion in confiscated individual and communal assets. And the UN offerred these now wretched and impoverished human beings in contrast to the relief and assistance it readily provided to the considerably lesser numbers of Palestinian Arab evacuees (and in contrast, as well, to the generous support the organized world community has continually provided to several succeeding generations of the latter's rapidly proliferating descendants ever since, and now well into a seventh decade) absolutely nothing.
The infant Jewish state did not hesitate: Without ever missing a beat, and notwithstanding its own stressed and straitened condition, it stepped forward with cordiality and succor.
30 Henry Atkinson, Security and the Middle East: The Problem and Its Solution (Ballantine, NY, 1955), 164
31 Elie Wiesel has echoed the observation that, as dear as the land was to the Jewish People, it was not regarded as purely real estate (even sentimental real estate), and did not come into their hands through an acquisitive spirit, viewing war as a means of self-aggrandizement. What he notes here about Jerusalem could as easily be said, as well, of other territories previously seized by Arab powers during Israel's 1948 War of Independence, and acquired by the Jewish state as a result of the June 1967 clash: "It is important to remember: had Jordan not joined Egypt and Syria in the 1967 war against Israel, the Old City of Jerusalem [whose Jews had previously been killed or expelled, in a naked policy of ethnic cleansing, by Jordan's British-trained-&-commanded, British-financed-&-equipped, Arab Legion: in 1948] would still be Arab."
Clearly, while Jews were ready to die for Jerusalem, they would not kill for Jerusalem. [emphasis added]
[Elie Wiesel, "For Jerusalem," published simultaneously, on 16 April 2010, in The International Herald Tribune, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal and two days later, in The New York Times]
32 Leaving aside Col. Nasser's socialist-tinged, pan-Arabist fantasies for the Middle East and the African continent, it is interesting to note that, some years before, he had written of "a hero's role seeking an actor to play it."
33 Moreover, observed Judge Schwebel, " [w]here the prior holder of territory had seized that territory unlawfully, the state which subsequently takes that territory in the lawful exercise of self-defense has, against that prior holder, better title. It is a matter of history that Israel only entered the West Bank in self-defense. It is also a matter of record that the UN rejected Soviet efforts to have Israel branded as the aggressor in the Six-Day War." [emphasis added]
[Stephen Schwebel, "What Weight to Conquest?" American Journal of International Law, 64 (1970): 345-347]
And Rostow reiterated the case even more bluntly by noting that Israel's legal claim to the disputed areas is stronger than that of "any other nation or would-be nation." [emphasis added]
[Eugene V. Rostow, "Don't Strong-Arm Israel," The New York Times, 19 March 1991]
34 Charter, Mandate for Palestine, op cit., Article 5.
35 US Congressional Record, 1922, 67th Congress, Joint Congressional Resolution 360 [Report 1120]: National Home For the Jewish People, 30 June 1922, Unanimously Adopted; signed into law 21 Sept 1922, by Warren G. Harding, 29th President of the United States.
Harding had actually expressed personal appreciation and support for the Zionist enterprise several weeks before the Resolution arrived on the floor of either chamber: "I am very glad to express my approval and hearty sympathy for the effort of the Palestine Foundation Fund, in behalf of the restoration of Palestine as a homeland for the Jewish people. I have always viewed with interest, which I think is quite as much practical as sentimental, the proposal for the rehabilitation of Palestine and the restoration of a real nationality". [emphasis added]
[Warren G. Harding, letter to Palestine Foundation Fund (Keren Haywood), May 11, 1922; cited in Carl Sferrazza Anthony, "The Most Scandalous President," American Heritage, July/August 1998, 55]
36 Wrote, for example, John Adams, second President of the United States, some years after completing his term of office, "I really wish the Jews again in Judaea, an independent nation, for as I believe...once restored to an independent government and no longer persecuted, they would soon wear away some of the asperities and peculiarities of their character."
[Letter of John Adams to Maj. Mordecai Manuel Noah, 1819; cited in Nahum Sokolow, A History of Zionism (Longmans, Green & Co, Bombay, 1919), Vol. 1, 59]
What's more, a grassroots-generated petition, originally addressed to our 23rd President, Benjamin Harrison, and his Secretary of State, James G. Blaine and which contained the signatures of hundreds of prominent Americans not only in government but also in industry, journalism, publishing, finance, academia, the ministry (Protestant as well as Catholic), etc proposed to concretize in political action the same, above-noted sentiment that Adams had expressed.
The saga of the petition's development and history is a story all unto itself. It came to be known as the Blackstone Memorial of 1891, and antedates by several years the publication of Der Judenstaat and the Herzlian beginnings of the modern movement of political Zionism.
37 In fact, among Executive Branch elements, the State Department bureaucracy, in notorious particularity, has for several decades evinced an attitude toward the Jewish state and its foundational antecedents that swung (or oscillated) between snide condescension and unconcealed contempt.
Those who assert that American governmental support of Israel has
been invariably indulgent and uncritically yielding could profit from
a reading of Professor Ezra Sohar's A Concubine in the Middle East:
American-Israeli Relations, Trans. from the Hebrew, Laurence
Weinbaum (Gefen Books, Newlett, NY: email@example.com,
1999). From Prof. Sohar's translated text:
"Whenever Israel's existence was endangered -the American [government's] attitude was denial, disavowal and renunciation. And there are no indications that this pattern of behavior is likely to change in the future..."
"Remarkably, even during the years of close American-Israeli military cooperation [essentially, the two decades of the Seventies and Eighties], the [presidential administrations of the] United States never ceased pressuring [the respective governments of] Israel to accept Arab political demands.
"There was a clear dividing line: Strengthening Israel's military power, in order to curb Soviet infiltration into the Middle East yes. Support of Israel in the struggle against its neighbors no! If the arms Israel received also served to strengthen it in relation to the other states in the region this was no more than an unavoidable and even undesirable side effect.
"[T]here was never a real marriage between [the governments of] the United States and Israel. There was no unconditional support of one another, only close relations restricted to certain matters. The American attitude was reminiscent of the way one would behave towards a concubine or kept woman.[emphasis added]
"Everything she needs to fulfill her task is financed: a cozy apartment, nice furniture, and a comfortable bed. She is provided with modern and attractive clothing and cosmetics of course on these one tries to economize but her true well-being and her future are matters of lesser concern..."
An eyeful to say the least and not very easily refuted, by this observer's lights.
38 Long-settled practice; known colloquially in international jurisprudence as the Acquired Rights Doctrine, and codified in law in 1969 as an integral part of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties [informally, "the Treaty on Treaties"], Article 70 (1) b: "Unless the treaty otherwise provides or the parties otherwise agree, the termination of a treaty, under its [own] provisions OR in accordance with the present Convention, does not affect any right, obligation or legal situation of the parties created through the execution of the treaty prior to its [i.e., the treaty's] termination." [emphases added]
39 United States Constitution, Article 2, Sect.1, Par. 8, Clause 2.
40 Known more formally in the American Manual (not yet in
print or online nor to be confused with the more staid,
Merck Manual, where the entry is still pending) as
"Boughttussa Pigginnam Pokenamus Americanus: not typically
fatal but unfailingly excruciating, and in many quarters, highly
contagious; lowered threshhold of susceptibility associated with
risky electoral behavior of a cyclical nature, believed to be
brought on by residual restlessness tied to relative youthfulness
of the society under scrutiny; incubationary period
[non-exhibiting] can be of broadly varying protraction."
Michael Zebulon was once the youngest Eagle Scout on the East Coast, but has lived most of the past half-century since then on the "other" coast. He is an actor, a narrator and as the spirit moves a writer. He is still an Eagle Scout s there are no 'former' ones but is no longer the youngest (on either coast, or anywhere else). He has been published on related matters at this site, as well as at www.AmericanThinker.com and www.Azure.org.il. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org This article, revised, was submitted September 5 , 2010.
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