Mandate for Palestine - July 24, 1922

Mandate for Palestine - July 24, 1922
Jordan is 77% of former Palestine - Israel, the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza comprise 23%.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Palestine - Pope Forfeits Spiritual And Moral Authority


[Published 20 May 2015]


Pope Francis has suffered a serious blow to his spiritual and moral authority following the Vatican’s recognition of the “State of Palestine” in a new treaty announced on 13 May.

The Vatican’s latest slippery slide into political and legal chaos represents a clear breach of clause 11(2) of the 1993 Fundamental Agreement Between The Holy See And The State Of Israel which provides:
“The Holy See, while maintaining in every case the right to exercise its moral and spiritual teaching-office, deems it opportune to recall that owing to its own character, it is solemnly committed to remaining a stranger to all merely temporal conflicts, which principle applies specifically to disputed territories and unsettled borders.”

Vatican officials openly admitted that this new treaty did not constitute the Holy See’s first breach of the Fundamental Agreement - Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi pointing out:
“We have recognized the State of Palestine ever since it was given recognition by the United Nations and it is already listed as the State of Palestine in our official yearbook,”

This latest challenge to the Pope’s spiritual and moral authority - first transgressed by his predecessor Pope Benedict - arises from the fact that the United Nations recognition of the State of Palestine on 29 November 2012 affirmed:
..."the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to independence in their State of Palestine on the Palestinian territory occupied since 1967…"

600,000 Jews presently live in this designated territory.

PLO Chairman - Mahmoud Abbas - warmly welcomed by Pope Francis this week as a potential “angel of peace” - has insisted upon their total displacement and removal as a condition of any peace agreement.

Abbas made his racist views very clear in Cairo on 28 July 2010 when he told Wafa - the official Palestinian news agency:
“I’m willing to agree to a third party that would supervise the agreement, such as Nato forces, but I would not agree to having Jews among the Nato forces, or that there will live among us even a single Israeli on Palestinian land.”

Abbas - Israel’s putative “partner for peace ” - leads an Organisation that claims the entire territory of former Palestine as another exclusive Arab fiefdom - denying the Jews any political rights in their biblical, ancestral and internationally sanctioned homeland.

Abbas’s continuing refusal to recognise Israel as the nation State of the Jewish people has been a major roadblock to the successful conclusion of negotiations between Israel and the PLO.

Pope Francis - like his predecessor Pope Benedict - is apparently prepared to ignore that Abbas and the PLO remain sworn enemies of the Jewish people - pursuing the total elimination of the Jewish State by armed struggle as documented in the 1968 PLO Charter.

The Pope has strayed from the eternal message of the Psalms - the key to the spirituality of the Old Testament and an essential and permanent part of Christian prayer.

Psalm 28 in the New Jerusalem Bible declares:
"Do not drag me away with the wicked, with evil-doers, who talk to their partners of peace with treachery in their hearts.

Repay them as their deeds deserve, as befits their treacherous actions; as befits their handiwork repay them, let their deserts fall back on themselves.

They do not comprehend the deeds of Yahweh, the work of his hands. May he pull them down and not rebuild them!"

Pope Francis - like Pope Benedict - has joined the evil-doers to the chagrin of the Jewish people.

Pope Benedict’s dessert - the birth of Islamic State in 2014 - has seen the willful killing, forced conversion and wholesale destruction of ancient Christian communities in Iraq and Syria.

Pope Francis’s dessert remains unrevealed.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Palestine - Continuing Jew-hatred Must Exact A Heavy Price


[Published 20 November 2014]


The slaughter of four Rabbis with axes, knives and guns whilst praying in a synagogue along with the serious wounding of six other Jews caught in this horrific blood bath — and the murder of a Druze police officer who went to their rescue — is the end result of endemic Jew-hatred:
1. Begun in the 1920 Jerusalem riots
2. Embodied in the 1964 PLO Covenant, and
3. Reinforced in the 1987 Hamas Charter

Arab Jew-hatred has continued unabated for the last 90 years since the Jewish people’s right to self- determination was unanimously endorsed by the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the UN Charter.

Alarm bells warning of this week’s massacre should have sounded loud and clear when American Secretary of State John Kerry visited Israel on 2 January following Israel releasing 26 long term Palestinian Arab prisoners convicted of murder and other serious criminal offences.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presciently told Kerry on that occasion:
“A few days ago in Ramallah, President Abbas embraced [these] terrorists as heroes. To glorify the murders of innocent women and men as heroes is an outrage. How can President Abbas says — how can he say that he stands against terrorism when he embraces the perpetrators of terrorism and glorifies them as heroes? He can’t stand against terrorists and stand with the terrorists. And I’m wondering what a young Palestinian would think when he sees the leader of the Palestinian people embrace people who axed innocent men and women — axed their heads or blew them up or riddled them with bullets — what’s a young Palestinian supposed to think about the future? What’s he supposed to think about what he should do vis-a-vis Israelis and vis-a-vis the state of Israel? So it’s not surprising that in recent weeks Israel has been subjected to a growing wave of terrorist attacks. President Abbas didn’t see fit to condemn these attacks even after we learned that at least in one case — I stress, at least in one case — those who served and are serving in the Palestinian security forces took part in them.”
Among those 26 prisoners released were:
1. Yakoub Muhammad Ouda Ramadan, Afana Mustafa Ahmad Muhammad, and Da’agna Nufal Mahmad Mahmoud — convicted of stabbing Sara Sharon, 37, to death in Holon on January 20, 1993.
2. Abu Mohsin Khaled Ibrahim Jamal — convicted of the ambush and murder of Shlomo Yahya, a 76-year-old gardener, in a public park in Moshav Kadima and stabbing him to death.
3. Barham Fawzi Mustafa Nasser — convicted for the murder of Morris (Moshe) Edri 65 — a former employer of Nasser who Nasser ambushed and stabbed in the back.
4. Muammar Ata Mahmoud Mahmoud and Salah Khalil Ahmad Ibrahim — convicted of murdering Menahem Stern, a history professor at Hebrew University. Stern, 64, a winner of the prestigious Israel Prize, was stabbed to death while walking to work at the university’s Givat Ram campus on June 22, 1989.
5. Abu Hadir Muhammad Yassin Yassin — convicted for the murder of Yigal Shahaf — shooting him in the head as he and his wife were walking through Jerusalem’s old city toward the Western Wall.
Netanyahu then told Kerry to his face:
“In the six months since the start of peace negotiations, the Palestinian Authority continues its unabated incitement against the state of Israel. This Palestinian Government incitement is rampant. You see it in the state-controlled media — the government-controlled media — in the schools, in textbooks, in kindergartens. You see it at every part of Palestinian society. So instead of preparing Palestinians for peace, Palestinian leaders are teaching them to hate Israel. This is not the way to achieve peace. President Abbas must lead his people away from terror and incitement, towards reconciliation and peace.”

Kerry failed to address this virulent Jew-hatred motivating Palestinian Arabs to murder Jews - ignored the adulation afforded these convicted murderers by Abbas and remained silent on the rampant incitement conducted on a daily basis against Israel.

Instead — Kerry — apparently languishing in a time warp—sought to provide some comforting reassurance for Netanyahu with these incredibly inane remarks:
“On a personal level, last month I travelled to Vietnam on my first visit there as Secretary of State. And the transformation in our relationship—I was a young soldier who fought there—the transformation in our relationship is proof that as painful as the past can be, through hard work of diplomacy history’s adversaries can actually become partners for a new day and history’s challenges can become opportunities for a new age.”

Kerry’s words have turned out to be a massive misjudgement.

It is surely time for America and the European Union especially - and for the rest of the international community generally - to take stock and make clear that:
1. no further financial aid will be given in either Gaza or the West Bank
2. Abbas and his Government will be regarded as persona non-grata
Until:
1. the insidious Jew-hating provisions in the PLO Covenant and Hamas Charter are repealed
2. Government-controlled media and schools excise all references denigrating and demeaning Jews.
3. The PLO is prepared to recognise Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people in any peace agreement signed by Israel and the PLO.
Failure to so act can only see the Jewish-Arab conflict spiralling out of control into a crisis of catastrophic proportions.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Syria Hysteria Dooms Obama's Plan To Destroy ISIL


[Published 21 September 2014]


President Obama’s failed policies in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Egypt and the West Bank do not bode well for the success of the President’s current plans to end the threat to world peace posed by the meteoric rise of both the Islamic State in Syria and the Levant (ISIL) and the Al-Nusrah Front (ANF).

That threat was articulated by UN Security Council Resolution 2701 - passed on 15 August - which expressed:
” its gravest concern that territory in parts of Iraq and Syria is under the control of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and Al Nusrah Front (ANF) “

Acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter—the Security Council strongly condemned:
“the indiscriminate killing and deliberate targeting of civilians, numerous atrocities, mass executions and extrajudicial killings, including of soldiers, persecution of individuals and entire communities on the basis of their religion or belief, kidnapping of civilians, forced displacement of members of minority groups, killing and maiming of children, recruitment and use of children, rape and other forms of sexual violence, arbitrary detention, attacks on schools and hospitals, destruction of cultural and religious sites and obstructing the exercise of economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to education, especially in the Syrian governorates of Ar-Raqqah, Deir ez-Zor, Aleppo and Idlib, in northern Iraq, especially in Tamim, Salaheddine and Niniveh Provinces;”

America has subsequently acted as though Resolution 2701 had never been passed.

In his speech to the American nation on 11 September Obama declared:
“Now let’s make two things clear: ISIL is not “Islamic.” No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim. And ISIL is certainly not a state… It is recognized by no government, nor the people it subjugates.”

The President is wrong on both counts.

Firstly — ISIL is Islamic — as its formal Declaration of Statehood on 29 June 2014 proclaims - and this following analysis asserts:
“The Islamic State is not only a terrorist group. It is an extremist, Islamist, political and military organization that holds a radical interpretation of Islam as a political philosophy and seeks to impose that worldview by force on Muslims and non-Muslims alike. Expelled from al-Qaeda for being too extreme, the Islamic State claims to be the legitimate ruler of all Sunni Muslims worldwide. They have established what they regard as a state which includes large swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq, governed from Raqqa in Syria.

It advances a number of theological opinions to support its claims. Its adherents hold that they are merely practicing Islam fully, pronouncing those who disagree with them takfir (heretics).

This designation is used as religious justification for killing the Islamic State’s opponents”

Secondly - ISIL is a State - meeting the legal requirements of Article 1 of the 1933 Montevideo Convention:
“The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications:
(a) a permanent population; (b) a defined territory; (c) government; and (d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states.”

Thirdly - Obama’s claim that ISIL is recognized by no other government is irrelevant — as article 3 of the Montevideo Convention makes indisputably clear:
“The political existence of the state is independent of recognition by the other states."

Obama’s false assumptions are a recipe for policy failure — as the goals enunciated by Obama in the same address clearly demonstrated:
“Our objective is clear: we will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.”
Destroying the UN condemned Al Nusrah Front did not rate a mention. A lukewarm response from 57 Islamic States to help defeat ISIL’s declared world threat to peace was not factored into Obama’s thinking.

Four days later an international conference held in Paris made it clear that Syria was not even part of the battleground where ISIL was to be confronted, degraded and destroyed.

Mouram Daoud—a member of the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change in Syria — an internal opposition coalition — opined that ISIL cannot be defeated militarily without Syria and Turkey’s backing:
“The US administration should first pressure the Turkish partner to stop the flow of jihadists through its airports and stop buying oil from IS. According to [United Nations] Resolution 2170, the US will not be able to strike IS sites in Syria without the approval of the Syrian government, which is eagerly awaiting this type of cooperation to restore its international legitimacy. But the US will not include the Syrian government in this war, and will not recognize the government either. This means that the US will stick to its decision to only provide weapons to the Syrian [rebel] factions.”

Obama’s mantra - first delivered in August 2011 - remains unchanged:
“The future of Syria must be determined by its people, but President Bashar al-Assad is standing in their way. For the sake of the Syrian people, the time has come for President Assad to step aside.”

Not even 200000 deaths and the creation of millions of Syrian civilian refugees since 2011 have produced any momentum for rapprochement between Obama and Assad that would enable Assad to extend - and Obama to accept - any invitation to confront ISIL in occupied Syria.

Any expectation that Assad and his backers — Russia, Iran and Hezbollah — will help Obama by destroying ISIL in Syria - is a pipe dream.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Palestine - Netanyahu Goes For Gold In Shoot-Off With Obama


[Published 28 May 2015]


Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s appointment of former United Nations ambassador Dore Gold to head up Israel’s Foreign Ministry - ensures that Israel will be confronting President Obama as he continues attempting to deviate from the commitments made to Israel by his predecessor President Bush in a letter dated 14 April 2004 to former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (Bush Commitments).

The Bush Commitments acknowledged the risks involved in Israel unilaterally disengaging from Gaza and evacuating the 8000 Jews who had established 21 settlements there over the preceding 35 years whilst additionally agreeing to remove another four settlements in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank).

President Bush assured Israel of the following:
1. the United States remained committed to President Bush’s vision and to its implementation as described in the roadmap.

2.The United States would do its utmost to prevent any attempt by anyone to impose any other plan.

3. Palestinians would have to undertake a comprehensive and fundamental political reform that included a strong parliamentary democracy and an empowered prime minister.

4. The United States reiterated its steadfast commitment to Israel’s security, including secure, defensible borders, and to preserve and strengthen Israel’s capability to deter and defend itself, by itself, against any threat or possible combination of threats.

5. The United States was strongly committed to Israel’s security and well-being as a Jewish state.

6.It seemed clear that an agreed, just, fair, and realistic framework for a solution to the Palestinian refugee issue as part of any final status agreement would need to be found through the establishment of a Palestinian state, and the settling of Palestinian refugees there, rather than in Israel.

7. As part of a final peace settlement, Israel must have secure and recognized borders, which should emerge from negotiations between the parties in accordance with UNSC Resolutions 242 and 338.

8. In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it would be unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations would be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, and all previous efforts to negotiate a two-state solution have reached the same conclusion. It was realistic to expect that any final status agreement would only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities.
President Obama has attempted to subvert the Bush Commitments by proposing Israel withdraw from part of the West Bank and cede part of its own sovereign territory to the Palestine Liberation Organisation in exchange for the area of the West Bank to be retained by Israel - as announced by President Obama in May 2011:
”... the United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps - so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.”

President Obama seems to have given up on the strong parliamentary democracy demanded by President Bush being established in the West Bank and Gaza - having failed to back up a recent call by another former American President - Jimmy Carter - for such elections to be held in the West Bank and Gaza - which would be the first held there since 2005.

Until such a democracy is established America should not expect any negotiations with the Palestine Liberation Organisation to lead to anywhere but the dustbin of history.

Dore Gold well appreciates the significance of these Bush Commitments and the obligation of Obama to remain bound by them - stating in debriefing.org on 9 June 2009 -
“For example, it still needs to be clarified whether the Obama administration feels bound by the April 14, 2004, Bush letter to Sharon on defensible borders and settlement blocs, which was subsequently ratified by large bipartisan majorities in both the U.S. Senate (95-3) and the House of Representatives (407-9) on June 23-24, 2004. Disturbingly, on June 1, 2009, the State Department spokesman, Robert Wood, refused to answer repeated questions about whether the Obama administration viewed itself as legally bound by the Bush letter. It would be better to obtain earlier clarification of that point, rather than having both countries expend their energies over an issue that may not be the real underlying source of their dispute.”

Writing in Jewish Current Issues on 3 June 2009 Rick Richman noted that the State Department had refused to confirm the Bush Commitments on 21 occasions during the previous week.

Richman then asserted:
“Since Israel met its obligations under the disengagement deal, the U.S. can no more rescind its agreement and commitment than it can restore the lost world of Gush Katif, or the lost security of southern Israel, or the lives that thousands of rockets traumatized, or the property that was destroyed.

Israel ended up having to fight a war in Gaza because of the disengagement. The least the United States can do is meet its own obligations.”

Michael Oren - former Israeli Ambassador in Washington and now a newly elected member of Israel’s governing coalition - called for the resuscitation of these Bush Commitments during his election campaign in January.

The Obama administration needs to clear the air and remove any doubts or concerns that it is trying to surreptitiously vary the Bush Commitments.

Let the shoot-off with the reluctant and recalcitrant Obama administration begin.

Europe Rapidly Becoming Fertile Recruiting Field For Islamic State


[Published 14 May 2015]


Islamic State now has the potential to break out of Syria and Iraq and into the heart of Europe without a shot being fired in anger by the Europeans to repel Islamic State’s stated aims of re-establishing the Caliphate and with it the supremacy of Islam world-wide.

This previously dismissed possibility has become an emerging reality with the record flow of hundreds of thousands of Moslems into Europe by boat in 2014 - seeking asylum as their homes and lives in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan,Yemen and Lebanon have been reduced to rubble by ongoing and continuing conflict over the past four years.

Ironically - and alarmingly - the possibility of some of these asylum seekers already being Islamic State believers - whilst others become potential recruits in pursuing these Islamic State goals - comes at the same time as Europe is actively seeking to restrain its own already radicalised Moslem citizens from leaving its shores to join Islamic State forces in its ongoing campaign of territorial conquest throughout much of the Arab world.

What was thought to be fantasy just twelve months ago has been turned on its head with the recent publication of the following statistics by Eurostat - the statistical office of the European Union situated in Luxembourg - whose task is to provide the European Union with statistics at European level that enable comparisons between countries and regions within the European Union (EU):
1. Asylum seekers from Syria seeking refuge in the 28 EU countries rose from 49980 in 2013 to 122115 in 2014 - which equated to 20 % of the total of asylum seekers from all non-member EU countries.

2. In the same period asylum seekers from Iraq jumped from 10740 to 21310 whilst Afghani asylum seekers rose sharply from 26125 to 41370.

3. Of the 68400 Syrians actually granted protection status in the EU - more than 60% were recorded in two Member States: Germany (25700) and Sweden (16800).

Many of these desperate asylum seekers become possible candidates for being persuaded that their lives have been turned upside down by Europe’s failed policies in Syria and Iraq and that their hopes for real salvation rest in actively supporting the objectives of Islamic State.

Europe’s failure to prevent more than 200000 deaths that have occurred in Syria and Iraq alone in the past four years with the destruction of many towns and villages into heaps of rubble and the consequent displacement of millions of Syrians and Iraqis - both internally and externally - is an easily told story that will gain much sympathy with many of these asylum seekers - even as they are being welcomed and absorbed into their European host countries.

France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom are part of a group called the London 11 - whose other members are Egypt, Jordan,Qatar,Saudi Arabia, Turkey,United Arab Emirates and America.

The London 11 has since 2012 expressed its support for the Syrian opposition in its attempt to rid Syria of President Assad. Supplying arms and financial support has clearly proved insufficient to halt the carnage.

On 10 November 2014 Senior Officials of the London 11 met with Syrian National Coalition Leader Hadi al- Bahra.

The best the London 11 could do was:
“demonstrate collective and united support for the moderate opposition led by the National Coalition, as they fight a two-front war resisting the brutality of the Assad regime and fighting extremists including Daesh (Islamic State)”

Many European countries form part of the American led coalition which has also failed to effectively halt the progress of Islamic State.

Europe remains a sitting duck whilst it passively sits on the sidelines uttering pious platitudes.

Carter Causes Consternation With Election Call For Palestinian Arabs


[Published 7 May 2015]


Former US president Jimmy Carter has created a stir with his call for Palestinian Arabs to hold elections to end the internecine struggle between Hamas and the PLO in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and Gaza.

Speaking at a joint news conference with PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah - after cancelling his stop in Gaza where he was supposed to meet Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh – Carter – now a member of the independent Elders Group of global leaders - declared:.
“We hope that sometime we’ll see elections all over the Palestinian area and east Jerusalem and Gaza and also in the West Bank,”

No Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) elections have been held in over a decade - even though Abbas’s term in office as President expired in January 2009 – a position he continues to fill without any constitutional authority to do so.

In 2006 - a year after Abbas was elected as President - Hamas overwhelmingly won the one and only election ever held in Judea and Samaria. The PLO refused to accept its electoral defeat and a year afterwards Hamas violently ousted Abbas’s Fatah faction from Gaza and seized control there.

Carter’s call can be seen as timely – given the current stalemate in the negotiations between Israel and the PLO and the distinct likelihood they will not be resumed.

Indeed one could see Carter’s election call as the most constructive contribution he has made to peace in the Middle East since his following statement in Time Magazine on 11 October 1982 concerning Jordan and Jordan’s late monarch - King Hussein:
“Hussein is personally courageous but an extremely timid man in political matters. That timidity derives almost inevitably from the inherent weakness of Jordan. As a nation it is a contrivance, arbitrarily devised by a few strokes of the pen”

This viewpoint would be just as applicable in 2015 to Jordan’s current monarch - King Abdullah – who is trying to distance himself from any involvement in the future of Judea and Samaria even though Jordan was the last Arab country to occupy those territories between 1948-1967..

Elections would enable the long-suffering Arab populations in Gaza, Judea and Samaria to have a say in their future after having been under the tyrannical dictatorships of Hamas and the PLO for almost ten years.

Ironically there are those who argue against holding such elections because they are worried that Hamas will again be triumphant – resulting in greater upheaval and unrest than currently exists.

Respected commentator Khaled Abu Toameh puts it thus:
“Free and democratic elections are the last thing the Palestinians need now. Such elections would only pave the way for a Hamas takeover of the Palestinian Authority and plunge the region into chaos and violence. As long as Abbas’s Fatah faction is not seen as a better alternative to Hamas, it would be too risky to ask Palestinians to head to the ballot boxes.”

Toameh presumes that only Hamas and the PLO will contest any such new elections.

Given their woeful performances over the last ten years - any such new elections would hopefully spawn the emergence of political parties other than Hamas and the PLO with markedly differing viewpoints and policies – perhaps even parties calling for Jordan to enter into negotiations with Israel to allocate sovereignty of Judea and Samaria and even Gaza between their respective States.

Keeping people in a perpetual state of silence by denying them any say in their future is a guaranteed recipe for disaster.

When people vote – they bear the consequences of the Government they elect.

Carter the Elder has spoken. What says Obama the Younger?

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Palestine - Sharon's Ghost Returns To Haunt Obama


[Published 29 April 2015]


Michael Oren – one of seven members of the recently formed Kulanu party elected to Israel’s new Parliament – seems destined to play a pivotal role in torpedoing President Obama’s proposals for a two-state solution aimed at resolving the 100 years old Arab-Jewish conflict.

Agreement has reportedly been reached between Israel’s Prime Minister elect Benjamin Netanyahu and Kulanu chairman Moshe Kahlon for Kahlon to be appointed Finance Minister. Fellow Kulanu members - Yoav Galant and Eli Alalouf - will serve respectively as Housing Minister and Environmental Protection Minister.

Still unannounced is the replacement for Tzipi Livni - who headed the Israeli team in peace talks with the PLO - but who now seems destined to enter into Opposition. These peace talks have remained in a state of suspended animation since April 2014 – despite intensive American efforts to have them resumed.

President Obama’s proposals – first enunciated in 2011 – were re-stated as recently as July 2014 by White House Coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa, and the Gulf Region Philip Gordon at the Ha’aretz Israel Conference for Peace:
“A lasting peace will involve two states for two peoples: Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people, and the state of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people, each state enjoying self-determination, mutual recognition, and peace. While the core issues of the conflict must be negotiated, the basis of those negotiations is clear: a viable Palestine, a secure Israel.

Negotiations should therefore result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. Any peace agreement will require robust security provisions that safeguard Israel’s security. And the Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their full potential, in an independent, sovereign and contiguous state.”

The idea that Israel should be required to make mutually agreed land swaps for territory it retains in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) was never stipulated or mentioned in the letter given by President Bush to Israel’s then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon on 14 April 2004 – whose terms were overwhelmingly endorsed by the House of Representatives 407-9 on 23 June 2004 and the Senate 95-3 the next day. (“American Written Commitments”)

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had declared at the Annapolis International Conference convened by President Bush on 27 November 2007 that any resumed negotiations:
“will be based on previous agreements between us, UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, the Roadmap and the April 14th 2004 letter of President Bush to the Prime Minister of Israel.”
Michael Oren – Kulanu’s diplomatic voice and former Israeli Ambassador to Washington between 2009 and 2013 - recently called for these 2004 American Written Commitments to be resuscitated:
“A decade ago, in April 2004, then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon received a letter from American president George Bush, Jr. recognizing Israel’s right to build in long-standing Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem like Talpiyot-East and Ramot. Furthermore, Israel was now allowed to build in settlement blocs crucial for Israel’s security, and in which some 80% of Israelis who live in Judea and Samaria reside […] According to the Bush-Sharon letter, these areas will remain within Israel’s borders in any arrangement arrived at with the Palestinians […] it’s time to revive the Bush-Sharon letter and act according to it.”

Obama is going to find it impossible to impose his land swap proposals – if Oren has any say.

Sharon’s ghost has tantalisingly returned to haunt Obama.