Obama’s best paragraphs

Uri Avnery, the veteran Israeli peace activist, sums up President Obama’s visit to Israel and Palestine thus:

Obama in Israel: Every word right. Every gesture genuine. Every detail in its place. Perfect.

Obama in Palestine: Every word wrong. Every gesture inappropriate. Every single detail misplaced. Perfect.

But there was something positive to be found in Obama’s speech to young Israelis, in the following paragraphs. The emphases are mine.

But the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination, their right to justice must also be recognized. (Cheers, applause.) And put yourself in their shoes. Look at the world through their eyes.

It is not fair that a Palestinian child cannot grow up in a state of their own — (cheers, applause) — living their entire lives with the presence of a foreign army that controls the movements, not just of those young people but their parents, their grandparents, every single day. It’s not just when settler violence against Palestinians goes unpunished. (Applause.) It’s not right to prevent Palestinians from farming their lands or restricting a student’s ability to move around the West Bank — (applause) — or displace Palestinian families from their homes. Neither occupation nor expulsion is the answer. (Cheers, applause.) Just as Israelis built a state in their homeland, Palestinians have a right to be a free people in their own land. (Applause.)

And look at the cheers and applause. There is hope for a better future.

Short link: religion-science-peace.org/?p=445.

About David Gerald Fincham

Retired academic scientist.
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  • Nick

    Palestine is a nation declared in 1988 and recognised by nearly as many nations as Israel (c.130 to c.160).

    Obama’s statement is offensive because it insists that Palestinians seek to live in their own state – when they don’t. Most of them now live in nations where they’re a minority, and there’s nothing inherently wrong in that.

    First of all they wish to exercise their legal and moral right to return to their own homes and lands

    … and secondly they wish to live under a government that doesn’t oppress them.

    (They may want to live in a state with western standards but its difficult to be sure about that).

  • http://religion-science-peace.org/ Walk Tall Hang Loose

    Obama gave good advice: “Put yourself in their shoes. Look at the world through their eyes”. It is called empathy. It is the only way that conflicts can ever be resolved, between individuals and between communities. It is an essential ability for anyone wants to be a considered a humane and decent person.

    Your policy is that Israel should annex the remaining parts of Palestine, that Palestinians living in he West Bank should become Jordanian citizens, that those in Gaza should be expelled and given citizenship in the Arab states, as should all the Palestinian refugees. In your eyes this is a moral solution which will end the human tragedy of the refugee camps. I am sure you are sincere in this, and you are absolutely right that there is a human tragedy which should come to an end.

    But look at it from the Palestinian perspective. How would they describe it? Is this not a policy to wipe Palestine off the map, and remove the Palestinian people from the pages of time? Is this not much closer to an incitement to genocide than anything that the Arabs or Persians have said about the Jews?

    • http://www.israelinitiative.com/ Yishai_Kohen

      This is how they view it:

      They are very lucky that we don’t view it as they do- or else they’d all be dead.

      Their policy is that Jews have no rights here, and consequently, they suffer.

      That’s their choice.

      We can’t wipe them off the map because they didn’t even make it to the map. Their greed and violence prevented it.

      Oh well…

      • http://religion-science-peace.org/ Walk Tall Hang Loose

        1. One Palestinian woman and one Hamas MP are not ‘them’. They are two individuals who speak only for themselves. To assign their views to all Palestinian people is racism.

        The 1929 Hebron massacre was a terrible and wicked event. It was not the only such event in the times between 1920 and 1949. It is not the policy of anyone who has the power to make policy that such events should ever be repeated. The old Palestinian woman lived through those times. You should have compassion on her and ‘put yourself in her shoes, look through her eyes’. Is it not possible that things were done to her or her family that resulted in such a profound hatred of the Jews?

        The Hamas MP believes that an Islamic caliphate will be established, centered on Palestine. That view is nonsense. It is not typical of Hamas, let alone of the the Palestinian people as a whole. He is a religious fanatic.

        You believe that you are a partner with God in defeating the Palestinian people and taking their land, and that they and the world will accept this. That view is nonsense. It is not typical of Zionism, let alone of the Jewish people as a whole. You are a religious fanatic.

        You and the Hamas MP are mirror-images of each other.

        2. Most maps originating outside Israel designate the West Bank as Occupied Palestinian Territories. I have a British atlas dated 1978 that labels it Israeli-occupied Jordan. (Presumably because Britain did recognize the Jordanian annexation in 1950.) I expect maps will soon be showing it as Israeli-occupied Palestine, which is now the correct designation.

        3. Greed. The Palestinians have never attempted to take any land outside the original borders of Palestine, or within the legal borders of Israel. They have agreed that, in a final peace agreement, Israel can keep the territory it captured in the 1948-1949 war, amounting to some 50% of Palestine outside Israel, without, as far as I know, asking for any compensation. Since its Declaration on 14th May 1948, Israel has captured by war, in violation of the UN Charter, all of Palestine outside its own legal, declared and recognized borders.

        Which side is the most greedy?

        4. In every stage of the armed conflict, starting with the Arab Revolt of 1936-39, the ratio of Arabs killed to Jews killed has been around 10 to 1. Which side is the most violent?

        • http://www.israelinitiative.com/ Yishai_Kohen

          1. From the latest Pew poll:

          89% of “Palestinians” want sharia to be “the official law of the land” (p. 9)

          40% of “Palestinians” support suicide bombings or other forms of violence against civilians in the name of Islam (Pp. 10, 70)

          48% of “Palestinians” see polygamy as morally acceptable (p. 11)

          51% of “Palestinians” believe that there is only one correct interpretation of sharia (p. 44)

          95% of “Palestinians” who pray several times a day and 68% who pray less often believe that sharia should be the law of the land (p. 47)

          44% of “Palestinians” believe that sharia must be enforced upon non-Muslims as well (p.48)

          76% of “Palestinians” who say sharia should be the law of the land, favor corporal punishment, like cutting off hands for theft, etc. (p.52)

          84% of “Palestinians” who say sharia should be the law of the land, favor stoning as a punishment for adultery (p.54)

          66% of “Palestinians” who say sharia should be the law of the land, support the death penalty for one leaving Islam (p. 55)

          40% of “Palestinians” prefer a strong leader over democracy (p. 60)

          72% of “Palestinians” believe that religious leaders should have either a large influence or some influence in politics (p. 64)

          65% of “Palestinians say that religious parties are either better or the same as secular parties. Only 29% say that they are worse (p. 66)

          92% of “Palestinians” say that drinking alcohol is immoral (p. 76)

          87% of “Palestinians” say that a woman must always obey her husband (p. 93)

          33% of “Palestinians” say that a woman should be able to divorce her husband (p. 94)

          43% of “Palestinians” say that sons and daughters should have equal inheritence rights (p. 95)

          44% of “Palestinian” males believe that it is a woman’s right to decide whether to wear a veil (p. 97)

          89% of “Palestinians” believe that only Islam leads to salvation (p. 110)

          82% of “Palestinians” belive that it is a religious duty to convert others to Islam (p. 112)

          http://www.pewforum.org/uploadedFiles/Topics/Religious_Affiliation/Muslim/worlds-muslims-religion-politics-society-full-report.pdf

          2. Making up maps will not change reality:

          “THE PALESTINIAN NATIONAL CHARTER” (Al-Mithaq Al-Kawmee Al-Philisteeni), Adopted in 1964 by the 1st Palestinian Conference

          Article 24: This Organization does not exercise any territorial sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on the Gaza Strip or in the Himmah Area…

          http://www.un.int/wcm/content/site/palestine/pid/12363

          3. Greed. They violently rejected UN 181 and tried to steal what wasn’t theirs, and they haven’t changed their position since day-one; just their tactics. But it doesn’t matter. It’s too late for them.

          4. And more Germans than Americans were killed in WWII. So what?

          • http://religion-science-peace.org/ Walk Tall Hang Loose

            1. The Palestinians have the right to adopt any form of government and law that they want. That is what is meant by self-determination. Any objection from outside is imperialism, unless it relates to violations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Of the views expressed in the survey, the only ones that are relevant to the UDHR are:

            (A) 40% of “Palestinians” support suicide bombings or other forms of violence against civilians in the name of Islam.
            (B) 76% of “Palestinians” who say sharia should be the law of the land, favor corporal punishment, like cutting off hands for theft, etc.
            (C) 84% of “Palestinians” who say sharia should be the law of the land, favor stoning as a punishment for adultery
            (D) 66% of “Palestinians” who say sharia should be the law of the land, support the death penalty for one leaving Islam
            (E) 44% of “Palestinians” believe that sharia must be enforced upon non-Muslims as well.
            (F) 33% of “Palestinians” say that a woman should be able to divorce her husband.

            First some general points. (i) Only Muslim Palestinians were surveyed. Palestinians also include Christians and other groups. (ii) It is necessary to distinguish between Sharia criminal law and family law. (iii) Out of about 50 Muslim and Muslim-majority nations, I believe only Iran and Saudi Arabia apply the ‘severe’ criminal penalties mentioned. (iv) The Palestinian National Charter is a completely secular document. The Palestinian Declaration of Independence treats the three monotheistic faiths on a completely equal basis, putting them in historical order: “The call went out from Temple, Church, and Mosque that to praise the Creator, to celebrate compassion and peace was indeed the message of Palestine”. The probability that an independent Palestine would be an Islamic state, or apply traditional Sharia criminal law, is vanishingly small.

            (A) You misquote the report: the 40% believe that such acts of violence are ‘at least sometimes justified’. Most of the world’s Muslims do not agree: in fact, both suicide and attacks on civilians are forbidden in Islam. I have a possible explanation for this discrepancy. The Palestinian Muslims may believe that the Israeli settlers in occupied Palestinian territory are there by force of arms, and so are legitimate targets. (Though I should also mention that the PLO currently has a policy of only non-violent resistance.)

            (B,C,D) I regard the cutting off of hands a cruel punishment, in violation of the UDHR. I regard the death penalty as an even more cruel punishment, and the sentence of life imprisonment without parole, as practiced widely in the USA, as even worse. They should all be forbidden.

            (E,F) It is normal practice for the same criminal law to apply to all citizens: to do otherwise would be a form of discrimination, violating the UDHR. The question of family and property law is different. Different religious communities have different traditions about such matters, and, if the parties wish, they should be able to have these considered in appropriate religious courts. In countries with a mainly Christian tradition, both religious and civil marriages are possible, but there are no religious divorces. If Muslim citizens wish to obtain a divorce recognized by their religious authorities, they should be able to do it in a religious court. If a Muslim woman wants to initiate a divorce but a religious court will not consider it, I believe she suffers no discrimination as long as she has access to a civil court.

            Correct me if I am wrong, but I believe that in Israel there is no civil marriage law, thus discriminating against people who profess no religion, or who want to marry someone of a different religion. Can you explain this weird situation to me please? Is there a civil divorce law? If not, it seems to me that Muslim women in Israel suffer the same discrimination that you are complaining about in Islamic countries.

            2. I haven’t made up any maps.

            The Palestinian National Charter of 1964 is irrelevant, since it was completely rewritten in 1968. [avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/plocov.asp]. Read it, and you will have a much better understanding of the Palestinian policy at the time.

            In 1998, as part of the Oslo process, the Charter was further modified in accord with the decision by the PLO to accept the existence of Israel and its right to live in peace and security. The following articles were nullified: 6-10, 15, 19-23, and 30; and others were modified in line.

            3, 4. Before I answer these points, please explain to me what you think the Palestinians tried to steal, and why it wasn’t theirs.

          • http://www.israelinitiative.com/ Yishai_Kohen

            Nazi Germany also had a right to choose the form of government that they wanted. Both pay the price for the choices that they make.

            i. Christians and others(what others?) comprise less than 2% of the population, so any changes to the numbers are miniscule.

            ii. It isn’t just Sharia/family law. That is why one of the questions asked was if Sharia should be THE LAW OF THE LAND. They emphatically chose “yes” as their answer.

            iii. Again, 76% of “Palestinians” who say sharia should be the law of the land, favor corporal punishment, like cutting off hands for theft, etc. 84% of “Palestinians” who say sharia should be the law of the land, favor stoning as a punishment for adultery. 66% of “Palestinians” who say sharia should be the law of the land, support the death penalty for one leaving Islam. That is severe.

            iv. The 2003 “Constitution of Palestine” is clear: Chapter 1, ARTICLE 4:

            1. Islam is the official religion in Palestine. Respect and sanctity of all other heavenly religions shall be maintained.
            2. The principles of Islamic Shari’a shall be the main source of legislation.

            And given that MOST of the “Palestinians” want Sharia law to be the law of the land, given that they believe that there is only ONE interpretation of Sharia, and given that their interpretation IS severe, it would NOT be the worker’s paradise that you envision.

            In fact, the great irony is that people like you would be the first ones to suffer if you were to live under their rule.

            A. I didn’t say Muslims. I quoted the poll directly, which says “Palestinian Muslims”. Page 70: % of Muslims who say attacks against civilians in defense of Islam can be often/sometimes justified:

            “Four-in-ten Palestinian Muslims see suicide bombing as often or sometimes justified”

            B,C,D. Not only is there capital punishment in the Arab-occupied areas, but it includes Arabs who SELL land to a Jew.

            http://www.deathpenaltyworldwide.org/country-search-post.cfm?country=Palestinian+Authority

            http://www.btselem.org/inter_palestinian_violations/death_penalty_statistics

            http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/PA-Death-penalty-for-those-who-sell-land-to-Jews

            E,F. It is normal practice for the same criminal law to apply to all citizens, but Sharia discriminates against “infidels”. Jews and Christians can live under Islam as 2nd class with MANY restrictions, but others do not even have those “rights”. It is either Islam or death.

            2. The PLO had already given up sovereign claims. Once they did that, it was over. If you state that something isn’t yours, you can’t come along later on and say otherwise.

            3,4. Nothing was ***theirs***; ever. And instead of having something become theirs, they chose war- did steal what wasn’t theirs, and tried to steal more. They’re still trying. It really is quite simple.

          • http://religion-science-peace.org/ Walk Tall Hang Loose

            Please stop filling up my website by repeating irrelevant and incorrect statements.

            1. People have a right to hold and express any views they want. They have a right to elect a representative government that reflects those views, UNLESS they violate the UDHR. The fact that you and I dislike many of those views does not take away the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination.

            When Palestine becomes independent it will apply for Membership of the United Nations. If its constitution or laws or present activities violated the UDHR the Security Council would not let its application go ahead.

            More from the Palestinian draft constitution (my emphasis).

            “The constitution guarantees EQUALITY IN RIGHTS and duties to all citizens irrespective of their religious creed.”

            “The PRINCIPLES of the Islamic shari`a are A MAIN SOURCE for legislation. The followers of the monotheistic religions shall have their personal status and religious affairs organized according to their shari‘as and religious denominations.” (This is just the sort of arrangement that applies in other Muslim-majority states, e.g Iraq, and is the sort of arrangement I advocate in European states with a large Muslim population.)

            2. Of course the PLO never gave up its claim to sovereignty over the West Bank and Gaza. Maybe English is not your first language, and at one time you did not understand the difference between the words EXERCISE and CLAIM. But Johnboy and I have explained it to you many times. You have no excuse to keep on repeating such nonsense. Please stop.

            3. What did they steal, and why wasn’t it theirs? If you cannot answer the question, then stop repeating the same nonsense.

          • http://www.israelinitiative.com/ Yishai_Kohen

            They are both relevant and correct. Your problem is that you can’t deal with the truth.

            1. They do NOT have a ***right*** to any form of government that they want when it negatively affects others- and it would; everyone who isn’t a male Muslim.

            You willfully and wantonly ignore their extreme, radical, misogynistic, violent opinions. I refuse to.

            They will never become independent because they have continually chosen these extreme positions- and others.

            The UN? Surely you jest. They wouldn’t reject them because of it. In fact, many countries; UN members, have similar positions.

            Equality in rights AND Islam as the law of the land? Nope. Sorry. it doesn’t work that way. Just look up the term “dhimmi”. According to Islamic law, they are lesser:

            * They pay a special tax that Muslims don’t (Jizya)
            * They are not allowed to bear arms- unlike Muslims
            * They cannot ride a horse
            * They cannot become the ruler/leader
            * They cannot serve as judges
            * They cannot construct houses of worship, except those that already exist, they cannot repair those in need, and dhimmi houses of worship cannot be taller than the mosque
            * They cannot proselytize (upon pain of death)
            * They cannot have open religious processions
            * They must give lodging to Muslims for up to 3 days
            * They are obligated to show Muslims respect

            And at times in history they were forced to wear special clothing too.

            2. The PLO DID give up ALL sovereign claims, as is written clearly in their 1964 Charter. Let’s look again:

            Article 24: This Organization does not exercise any territorial sovereignty over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, on the Gaza Strip or in the Himmah Area.

            According to YOUR “interpretation”, they have the same rights and claims in Himma- which is in Jordan. Do they? Nope.

            You have no excuse to keep on repeating such nonsense. Please stop.

            3. They rejected UN 181, that would have given them a country. Therefore, NOTHING is theirs here. Now, what did they do? When the Arabs attacked Israel (which did accept UN 181), they tried to take land that wasn’t theirs, and in fact, did ethnically cleanse every last Jew from Judea, Samaria, and Gaza- and half of Jerusalem. They stole those Jews’ homes and land. They tried to steal ALL Jews’ land here.

            They failed in that.

            And now, we will be taking back what is ours; across Jerusalem, Hebron, and elsewhere.

          • http://religion-science-peace.org/ Walk Tall Hang Loose

            1. I understand your argument on this point, and I think you understand mine. Let’s agree to differ.

            2. This one we can clear up quickly. Over what area does the 1964 Charter claim sovereignty? Article 2: all of Mandatory Palestine. Were the West Bank and Gaza part of Mandatory Palestine? Yes. Does the Charter explicitly renounce sovereignty over the West Bank and Gaza in Article 24? No. What does it say in Article24? That they do not exercise sovereignty over the West Bank, Gaza or the Himmah Area. Is it possible to derive any logical conclusions about claims to sovereignty from a factual statement about not exercising sovereignty. No. Is it possible to make a reasonable inference from that factual statement? Yes, a reasonable inference is that they do claim sovereignty over those three areas, otherwise there would be no reason to mention their lack of effective sovereignty. Is this inference consistent with Article 2? Yes, because all three areas were part of Mandatory Palestine. Why was the PLO not able to exercise sovereignty over those three areas? Because the West Bank was under military occupation by Jordan (or annexed to Jordan, and held in trust for the Palestinians, depending on your point of view); the Gaza Strip was under military occupation by Egypt; and the Himmah Area was under military occupation by Syria. [Source: Wikipedia page ‘Mandatory Palestine’.]

            You tell me Himmah is now in Jordan. I cannot confirm that since I cannot locate it on any map. But it certainly was not in Jordan in 1964, so this point has no consequence.

            3. Can you point me to any legal document stating that, as a consequence of the Arab side’s rejection of the Partition Plan, Israel’s sovereignty was extended beyond the Partition Plan borders to all of Mandatory Palestine?

            Do you believe that the intention of the Arab States, when they announced the invasion of Palestine on May 15th 1948, was to conquer Israel by military force and re-unite Palestine, thereby ‘strangling the infant state at birth’ (Ben Gurion)?

          • http://www.israelinitiative.com/ Yishai_Kohen

            2. Obviously, since they aren’t claiming sovereignty over Judea, Samaria, Gaza, or Himmah, they WERE over the rest of Israel; pre-1967 Israel.

            Himmah (al-Himma/al-Himmah) is and was legally Jordanian territory- regardless of that anonymous, uncited Wikipedia article. It is a well-known, ancient site:

            http://www.discoverjordan.co/wellness_jordan

            http://www.lonelyplanet.com/jordan/jerash-and-the-north/activities/baths/himma-mukheiba-baths

            http://www.jtb.com.jo/brochures/guide_irbid.html

            The same exact parliance used for Himmah was used by the PLO for Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. And that’s no coincidence.

            By the way, my cousin was there last year and says it’s a must-see.

            3. Two sides claimed land. The governing body decided to split it between them. One side rejected it. They therefore lost their claim de facto. They lost it de jure as well in 1964 with the PLO Charter.

            As to the the intention of the Arabs, it isn’t a question:

            Arab League Secretary Azzam Pasha, according to an interview in an 11 October 1947 article of Akhbar al-Yom, said: “This will be a war of extermination and a momentous massacre which will be spoken of like the Mongolian massacres and the Crusades”.

            Even with heated rhetoric from Israel’s neighboring rulers, I don’t believe that this was the mainstream position. I don’t think that their purpose was to “re-unite Palestine” either. It was a land and power grab, pure and simple. But the practical outcome unquestionably would have been ‘strangling the infant state at birth’.

            In fact, look what happened to the Jews in the areas that the Arabs did conquer: NOT ONE was allowed to remain- and that includes Jews whose families had lived there for hundreds of years.

          • http://religion-science-peace.org/ Walk Tall Hang Loose

            The Himmah Area

            You say “Himmah (al-Himma/al-Himmah) is and was legally Jordanian territory”. It is not as simple as that. From the book Jordan, by Jenny Fiona Hawkes Walker, page 145 (my brackets and emphasis):

            “In Roman and Byzantine times, the ancient hot-spring town of al-Himma was the site of the Gadara [today Umm Qais] bath complex, which was famous throughout the empire for its lavish design and architecture. However, as history would have it, MOST of the ruins today lie ACROSS THE BORDER [i.e north of the Yarmouk river] in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights [i.e in Syria]. While the Jordanian side may not bear testament to its former grandeur …. TODAY the al-Himma hot springs are located in the pleasant village of Mukheiba…”

            The al-Himma in today’s Jordan is not an area, or even a town: it is a hot-spring bathing facility located in the village of Mukheiba. If most of the the ruins of the ancient town are north of the Yarmouk river, the Himmah Area will likely be north of the river as well.

            The Himmah Area is not necessarily all in modern-day Syria, because there is a strip of land between the south-eastern shore of Lake Tiberias and the Syrian border, north of the Yarmouk and close to al-Himma, that was part of Mandatory Palestine. This land is within the borders declared by Israel in 1948, but was under Syrian military occupation after the 1949 Armistice, until Israeli sovereignty was restored in 1967.

            There is no conceivable reason why the Palestinian National Charter of 1964 should refer to any territory within Syria or Jordan. The territory called the Himmah Area must be the Israeli land under Syrian occupation. This is consistent with the Wikipedia article ‘Palestinian Territories’. NO OTHER INTERPRETATION MAKES SENSE.

            Let’s examine the ENTIRE Article 24 and try to understand its purpose. It says:

            “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. Its activities will be on the national popular level in the liberational, organizational, political and financial fields.”

            It is saying it does not exercise any sovereignty over the parts of Mandatory Palestine currently occupied by the Arab powers: but it will be undertaking activities in these areas.

            I suggest its reasons for making this factual statement are twofold: first, to assure the Arab states that it will not be trying to interfere with their control of the areas by setting up any sort of regional or provisional government; but second, to gently remind them that Palestine is considered indivisible, and it expects them to withdraw when Palestine is liberated from Zionism.

          • http://www.israelinitiative.com/ Yishai_Kohen

            The 1964 PLO Charter doesn’t mention Syria in article 24 (nor were there even “Palestinians” near Hamat Gader, although there are many in and near Irbid, in northern Jordan), but have it your way: Let’s say Himma was Syria, it doesn’t change the fact that it wasn’t Israeli territory- even according to you.

            Just as they can’t possibly have claimed any sovereignty over Himma, they also could claim no sovereignty over Judea, Samaria, or Gaza. Any activities that they WOULD undertake would be as a non-sovereign body.

            As to your reasons, the first is probably correct. The second isn’t. Again, Himma is the same as the other areas. That’s why it, of all places, was specifically mentioned.

          • http://religion-science-peace.org/ Walk Tall Hang Loose

            Finally, from the top:-

            In this document the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, representing the Palestinian people, is declaring that they have a right to self-determination in their own land: that is, to have sovereignty over it and rule themselves. Their land is Mandatory Palestine, and it is indivisible.

            The idea that, in this document, they renounce their sovereignty over Arab-occupied Palestine is absurd. It is impossible that they should say such a thing.

            The idea that they would use the word sovereignty in connection with any territory outside Palestine is equally absurd. The document is only about Palestine, not about anywhere else.

            In Article 24 they mention the West Bank (Jordanian-controlled Palestine) and the Gaza Strip (Egyptian-occupied Palestine). The third area they mention MUST be Syrian-occupied Palestine. NOTHING ELSE MAKES SENSE.

            Syrian-occupied Palestine was the small strip of land between the south-eastern shore of Lake Tiberias and the Syrian border. Why do they call it the ‘Himmah Area’? Well, it doesn’t have any other name as far as I can find out; there are no sizable settlements there to give it a name; and it is indeed close to the ruins of the ancient and famous town of al-Himma, the site of which is about 2 kilometres inside the Syrian border. Given that there was no border there before 1923, it is quite reasonable to assume that traditionally this territory has been regarded as part of the Himmah Area.

          • http://www.israelinitiative.com/ Yishai_Kohen

            They claim ALL of the land, but gave up SOVEREIGN claims specifically to the “West Bank”, Gaza, and Himma. What that means is that they ONLY maintained SOVEREIGN claims over pre-1967 Israel, but not the other areas.

            The whole issue about where Himmah is is irrevevant to the discussion, but again, there aren’t and weren’t “Palestinians” living in the Golan near Hamat Gader, but there are and were living in northern Jordan in and around Irbid.

            The bottom line is that no matter where it is, the would-have-been “Palestinians” gave up all sovereign claims there, just like they did in Judea, Samaria, and Gaza. It was only pre-1967 Israel that they claimed then- until they revised their Charter in 1968, when they included all land west of the Jordan.

          • http://religion-science-peace.org/ Walk Tall Hang Loose

            I won’t argue with you any more. As far as I can tell you are the only person in the world who holds the view that ‘does not exercise sovereignty’ means ‘gives up all claims to sovereignty’. It is wrong.

          • http://www.israelinitiative.com/ Yishai_Kohen

            You can’t tell very far then, because it’s true. It’s just inconvenient to have facts that contradict your preconceived notions that you hold to be infallible.