Every now and then an article appears that is so disturbing that it burns every fiber of your being. It is just more “rubbish,” as the British call it, or “fake news,” in U.S. President Donald Trump’s words. Most of the time it is more wise to simply dismiss it and write it off. Why call attention to a grotesquely obnoxious op-ed whose sole aim is to cause trouble and highlight the theater of the absurd?
I probably would have let it wither on its own without saying a word. Unfortunately, in this age of web madness, silence is no longer an option. I feel compelled to comment on one of this year’s most arcane pieces, by none other than “provocateur extraordinaire” Peter Beinart.
Titled “I No Longer Believe in a Jewish State,” it was featured in the conservative voice-purged New York Times on July 9, 2020. (I remember well those days when both Abraham Rosenthal and William Safire added a refreshing perspective.)
As always, The New York Times has an agenda. Nothing is done willy-nilly. It is clear to all Israel-supporters that the Beinart grenade was thrown to set in motion the Obama-era pressure-tactics aimed exclusively at Israel. It is just a continuation of the disgraceful U.N. Resolution 2334 on steroids.
Clearly, the Joe Biden advance team is already getting ready for the abandonment of Israel. So far, he has at least stated publicly that he will not move the American embassy back to Tel Aviv from Jerusalem or cut the $1.8 billion in military aid to Israel.
The Beinart foray was meant to clear the decks so that Biden could “save the day.” Beinart says, “It’s time to abandon the traditional two-state solution and embrace the goal of equal rights for Jews and Palestinians. It’s time to imagine a Jewish home that is not a Jewish State.”
He further writes,”Equality could come in the form of one state that includes Israel, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.”
At the outset, let me state unequivocally that Israel was created as a Jewish state and will remain a Jewish state eternally. In addition, it is foolhardy to think that a two-state solution is a viable option. The way that the Palestinian Authority and Hamas have behaved (i.e. “pay for slay,” still educating their young to kill Jews and destroy Israel, etc.) would make even the novice realize that the creation of an Arab state alongside Israel would simply be another terrorist haven and enclave.
Now for a history lesson. Israel’s claims to sovereignty over Judea and Samaria did not start after the Six-Day War of 1967. Israel’s rights are based on the Jewish people’s indigenous claims to the Promised Land. These indigenous claims/rights are even recognized in certain sub-committees at the United Nations.
U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 (Please see my article entitled “Israel’s Legal Right to Judea and Samaria”) gave a great deal of room for Israel’s legal basis for keeping Judea and Samaria originally promised by the League of Nations in 1922 ( it is still very much binding today) and re-acquired in the defensive war of 1967.
Eugene Rostow, a former Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs in the Johnson administration, states that “Resolution 242 gave Israel a legal right to be in Judea and Samaria.”
President Johnson himself instructed the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff to prepare a map of the territories that they believed Israel would require “in perpetuity” to ensure its ability to defend itself. Of course, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the Trump administration went further than anyone else when proclaiming that the United States no longer viewed Israel’s settlements as “inconsistent with international law,” and later stated that backing Israel’s settlements will advance peace.
The Balfour Declaration of 1917 called for the establishment in Palestine “of a National home of the Jewish People.”
The San Remo Resolution, whose 100th anniversary we are celebrating this year, was signed by the United States, Britain, Italy and France. It outdid the Balfour Declaration, and thus is a more important document. According to Dr. Jacques Gauthier, a Christian scholar of international law, the San Remo Conference acted in the modern era as the “cornerstone of the rights of the Jewish People” vis-à-vis land ownership in Israel. He stated that, at the San Remo Conference, “The Jewish People have been given the right to establish a home, based on the recognition of their historical connection and the grounds for reconstituting this national home.”
The San Remo Conference set the stage for the League of Nations mandate in 1922, establishing a “national home for the Jewish People.”
The mandates of the League of Nations, the forerunner of the United Nations, are still on the books and very much in play. I would like to quote the League of Nations mandate here, to elucidate the whole picture, which in Beinart’s article gets lost in the shuffle: “Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917 by the government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish People … Whereas recognition has thereby been given to the historical connection of the Jewish People with Palestine and to the grounds for re-constituting their national home in that country.”
Peter Beinart wants to do away with the Balfour Declaration, San Remo and the League of Nations mandate. He is espousing a very dangerous delusion that would indeed be the end of the Jewish State. Unlike Beinart, I will always and forever believe in a Jewish state.
Dr. Joseph Frager is first vice president of the National Council of Young Israel.