Tuesday, July 07, 2009

The PLO Charter

As everyone knows, Israel liberated Judea, Samaria and Gaza in 1967.

The PLO, on the other hand was formed in 1964 before there was an "Occupation" and before a single "settlement" (as they are called today).

I was reading an article in the Jerusalem Post, where the author claims that in Article 24 of the PLO Charter, the PLO explicitly renounced any claim to the West Bank, Gaza (or eastern shore of the Kinneret). I remembered no such article in their charter.

And I looked it up and still couldn't find it any such Article in the PLO charter. In fact it says:

Article 24: The Palestinian people believe in the principles of justice, freedom, sovereignty, self-determination, human dignity, and in the right of all peoples to exercise them.
So how could it be the author made such a mistake and the Jerusalem Post didn't pick up on it (no cynical remarks here please).

So I did a little more research and found out that the PLO has 2 charters. They also have their original charter which was the basis of the formation of their organization in 1964 - before Israel liberated our lands from Jordan and Egypt.

In Article 24 of the original PLO charter it states:

Article 24. This Organization does not exercise any regional sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on the Gaza Strip or the Himmah Area.
This charter was only changed in 1968, when Jordan and Egypt lost control over Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

So in fact, before 1967, the Arabs never wanted an "independent Palestinian State" in the "territories".

In fact, "Palestinians" quite happily accepted being under Jordanian and Egyptian sovereignty - and that included East Jerusalem!

Now obviously you can say that positions change over time, but consider how radical this change is.

In 1964, the PLO made no demands for sovereignty, much less a capital in Jerusalem or even "East" Jerusalem.

In 1964, the PLO renounced any claim to any of the "Occupied Territories".

The author says that until Jimmy Carter gave them the idea, they never even considered a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza.

It was only in 1988 that the PLO first called for a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem.

Now fast forward to 2009.

Now they are also claiming the "Occupied Territories" and Jerusalem (and flooding the rest of Israel with refugees to change the demographic balance in their favor) for their state - sovereignty over which didn't even interest them 45 years ago.

That is a radical switch - or is it?

If you look in terms of the geographic areas, the Palestinians seem to have lost their minds. They are making claims to lands whose claims over which they completely threw away 45 years ago. Land that they didn't claim was theirs 45 years ago.

But if you look at it in terms of goals, then the picture is different.

They want whatever land the Jews are on. The Jews are now on these particular lands - including East Jerusalem - that 45 years ago didn't interest them, so now they want it.

And following that logic, if Israel withdraws from all of Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem, (which is pretty much what Ehud Olmert offered them) they won't be satisfied, because those territories don't interest them.

They want what the Jews have.

And that's why Abu Mazen turned down Olmert's offer, and that's why they will never sign a document that the conflict with Israel is over - even if they get everything they are demand.

In terms of goals, their position hasn't changed at all - because it has nothing to do with specific geographies.

And that is why no peace plan will work - because they are all addressing the wrong issue.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד


NormanF said...

The Palestinians covet what the Jews have. If the Jews are gone, they quickly lost interest in the territory. Compare Hamas' disinterest in Gaza with its fanatical obsession with jihad against Israel. If Israel somehow disappeared tomorrow morning, all the Arab interest in the Palestine issue would vanish along with it.

YMedad said...

I'm "borrowing" your topic a bit. Did you know that if your wife or any of your American friends' wives gives birth at home, the birthplace registration from the Consulate will be ___________, West Bank? Now we know the Yanks over at State don't recognize any Israeli sovereignty over either west or east Jerusalem and the location listed will be just Jerusalem with no state. That's because they don't recognize anything after 1948 until a peace treaty and what existed previously will continue.

So why do they recognize a "West Bank" entity? It only came about in April 1950 when Jordan annexed the territory, thereby ending any independent "Palestine", an annexation the US never acknowledged incidentally. And in fact, in the UN Partition Resolution, it speaks of Judea and Samaria!

Those Pals., always getting the benefit of the doubt.

Yochanan said...

To play the devil's advocate, maybe they did not claim sovereignty while under Jordanian rule since they would be ruled by their fellow Arabs.

Unknown said...

Great investigation.

Anonymous said...

The problem with the claim that the Palestinians in the original Charter renounced any claims over the West Bank etc. in Article 24 is Article 2 of the same Charter:

"Palestine with its boundaries at the time of the British Mandate is a regional indivisible unit."

And also Article 3:

"The Palestinian Arab people has the legitimate right to its homeland and is an inseparable part of the Arab Nation."

In the light of those it is obvious (or SHOULD be obvious to any impartial reader) that Article 24 is NOT saying that the Palestinians are renouncing their claim to the West Bank etc. It is not talking about legal sovereignty, but about de facto rule. All it is saying is that they CURRENTLY are not (de facto) claiming to be ruling that area (after all, as a matter of hard reality they were not ruling it), but instead are simply working as an activist organization.

The purpose of Article 24 was not to make a final claim about sovereignty, but to assure the Jordanians, Egyptians etc. that they are not competing against them but working with them. But in the future they manifestly envisage the whole of Palestine being controlled by Palestinians as a single unit - albeit a single unit within the "Arab nation" as a whole (this was, after all, written at the high-point of Pan-Arabism).

Frankly, it is a ridiculous thing to take bits of documents out of context and try to use them to "prove" that Palestinian nationalism is only about hating Jews and that the Palestinians have had no consistent nationalist aims. It does not surprise me that the Jerusalem Post engages in it; it surprises me more that anyone else would take it seriously.

Anonymous said...

So anonymous, you agree that their "national claim" is to ALL of the British mandate Palestine, and that includes all of "Israel proper" and all areas under modern day Jewish sovereignty.

And how is that not about hating Jews?

Anonymous said...

No, I said that their claim AT THE TIME THE CHARTER WAS WRITTEN was to the whole mandate. That claim has since 1989 been officially superseded by the PLO's, and, subsequently, the Palestinian authority's, acceptance of the "two-state solution".

(This doesn't, of course, apply to Hamas, but Hamas weren't part of the group that wrote the Palestinian charter in the first place, and they have an entirely separate founding document.)

But in any case, I do not regard the fact that Palestinians have in the past claimed (and some continue to claim) the whole of Mandated Palestine as "proving" that they are driven by an anti-Jewish agenda, any more than I regard the fact that Israelis have in the past claimed (and some continue to claim) the whole of Mandated Palestine as "proving" that they are driven by an anti-Palestinian agenda.

Both sides believe (with some measure of justification in each case) that they have historical claims to the whole. One test for both is how far they are prepared to recognize the historical claims on the other side. On each side there are people who are prepared to make such a recognition, and those who are not. The latter include the unhistorical idiots on the Palestinian side who (e.g.) deny the existence of a Jewish temple in Jerusalem. But it also includes the unhistorical idiots on the Israeli side who (e.g.) try to "prove" that most Palestinians are recent immigrants to Palestine, or (to return to the topic) that the Palestinian claim to the West Bank and Gaza was only invented once Israel had captured them. People who believe nonsense like that are part of the problem: countering their arguments is a (small) step towards the solution.

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