I read with interest your remarks on the Middle East given on July 16, 2007 at the White House.
I appreciate your sincere commitment and devotion in promoting and advancing the creation of functional democracies and peace around the world - particularly your effort in the Middle East.
As one who devotes his time studying the Arab-Israeli conflict, and as a person of the Jewish religion, it became incumbent upon me to direct your attention to statements you made which I found offensive. Statements that may be perceived as fact, but which in reality are, in my humble opinion, misguided.
I would start with the notion that your administration will not “do business” with terror organizations and those who call for the destruction of Israel, or at best, suggest to toss the "Jews to the sea."
This brings me to Fateh, the main faction of the PLO for whom Mahmoud Abbas is the driving force and was one of its founding members. This is the organization and leadership that the administration relies upon to bring functional democracy, freedom and peace to the region.
Mr. President, it takes little effort to learn what Fateh is all about. Its constitution calls under Article 12 for the "Complete liberation of Palestine, and obliteration of Zionist economic, political, military and cultural existence."
As for how it will achieve its goal to wipe Israel off the map, Fateh's constitution, Article 19, minces no words:
"Armed struggle is a strategy and not a tactic, and the Palestinian Arab People's armed revolution is a decisive factor in the liberation fight and in uprooting the Zionist existence, and this struggle will not cease unless the Zionist state is demolished and Palestine is completely liberated." [italic by author]
If this does not suffice, please review Abbas' words in a recent rally on January 11, 2007, to a crowd estimated at nearly 250,000 supporters. Abbas called on Palestinians to refrain from internal fighting and to direct their guns only against Israeli "occupation."
He promises to "not give up one inch of land in Jerusalem" and he "considers the settlements illegal."
In his book, "the issue of the refugees is non-negotiable.”
So much for the 'partner for peace.'
And now to the "Occupation"
I notice with relief that you did not spell out who is the occupier and who is the occupant - just to make sure, I will discuss the legal occupation under international law of Jewish settlers in the area known forever as Judea, Samaria, and Gaza.
In 1897 it was Benjamin Ze’ev (Theodor) Herzl, founder of modern Zionism, who said: "Palestine is our ever-memorable historic home. The very name of Palestine would attract our people with a force of marvelous potency."
In 1917 it was Arthur James Balfour of Great Britain who declared:
"His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object ..."
In 1922 it was Winston Churchill (your hero,) the British Secretary of State for the Colonies, who declared:
Jews are in Palestine "as of right and not on sufferance ... When it is asked what is meant by the development of the Jewish National Home in Palestine, it may be answered that it is not the imposition of a Jewish nationality upon the inhabitants of Palestine as a whole, but the further development of the existing Jewish community, with the assistance of Jews in other parts of the world, in order that it may become a centre in which the Jewish people as a whole may take on grounds of religion and race, an interest and a pride."
On July 24, 1922 it was fifty-one member countries - the entire League of Nations - that published the legally binding document "Mandate for Palestine" and unanimously declared:
"Recognition Has Been Given to the Historical Connection of the Jewish People with Palestine and to the Grounds for Reconstituting their National Home in that Country."
The "Mandate for Palestine," a historical League of Nations document, laid down the Jewish legal right to settle anywhere in western Palestine, a 10,000-square-mile area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, an entitlement unaltered in international law and valid to this day.
On June 30, 1922 it was the joint resolution of both Houses of Congress of the United States that unanimously endorsed the "Mandate for Palestine," confirming the irrevocable right of Jews to settle in the area of Palestine - anywhere between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.
"Favoring the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people.
"resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United State of America in congress assembled, That the United States of America favors the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of Christian and all other non-Jewish communities in Palestine, and that the holy places and religious buildings and sites in Palestine shall be adequately protected." [The resolution was incorporated in the 1937 Palestine Royal commission Report, Chapter II, page 31]
On September 21, 1922 it was Warren G. Harding, President of the United Sates of America, who signed the joint resolution of approval to establish a Jewish homeland in Palestine.
Mr. President, Palestine is a geographical area, not a nationality!
As a matter of fact there has never been a sovereign Arab state in Palestine. The artificiality of a Palestinian identity is reflected in the attitudes and actions of neighboring Arab nations that never established a Palestinian state themselves. Nor did the Arabs recognize or establish a Palestinian state during the two decades prior to the Six-Day War when the West Bank was under Jordanian control and the Gaza Strip was under Egyptian control; nor did the Palestinian Arabs clamor for autonomy or independence during those years under Jordanian and Egyptian rule.
Mr. President - Jewish "continuing occupation" that you speak about is legal and endorsed by international law.
The "Mandate for Palestine" document defined where Jews are and are not permitted to settle. Article 6 of the “Mandate” clearly states:
"The Administration of Palestine, while ensuring that the rights and position of other sections of the population are not prejudiced, shall facilitate Jewish immigration under suitable conditions and shall encourage, in co-operation with the Jewish agency referred to in Article 4, close settlement by Jews on the land, including State lands and waste lands not required for public purposes."
The "Mandate for Palestine" document is the last legally binding document regarding the status of what is commonly called "the West Bank and Gaza." The September 16, 1922 memorandum (of the “Mandate”) is also the last modification of the official terms of the "Mandate" on record by the League of Nations or by its legal successor - the United Nations - in accordance with Article 27 of the "Mandate" that states unequivocally: "The consent of the Council of the League of Nations is required for any modification of the terms of this mandate."
Mr. President, political rights to self-determination as a polity for Arabs were guaranteed in three other mandates - in Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. A fourth Arab state east of the Jordan River - Trans-Jordan, came to fruition via the "Mandate for Palestine."
300,000,000 Arabs in 21 “exclusive” Arab countries now occupy an area of 5,207,000 square-mile, including all the principal Arab and Moslem centers.
6,000,000 Jews in 1 country now occupy an area of nearly 10,000 square-mile [would fit into Lake Michigan with plenty of room left over] in Palestine, and you, Mr. President, propose to reduce it even further.
This is an injustice and a grievous handicap to the continuous development and security of the Jewish State.