The inanity of Canada’s Jewish progressives

The Issue

JSpaceCanada (JSC) claims to be A Progressive Jewish Voice, on matters concerning   Israel has once again reared its inane head in connection with Israel’s recent announcement of its decision to extend its sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and a small segment of Judea and Samaria colloquially referred to as the West Bank.

On May 12, inst. the JSP wrote a letter to Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs urging the Canadian government to reject Israel’s plans to unilaterally annex territory in the West Bank.

The JSC then circulated news of this initiative on May 15, inst. and quoted a segment of the letter in which it seems to take great pride of authorship and of their profound wisdom to justify its request.

The segment reads:

Unilateral annexation of occupied territory appears to be in direct contradiction to the principles and values clearly articulated in Israel’s own Proclamation of Independence, and would be an affront to international efforts to encourage the two sides to negotiate.

First allegation: Israel is annexing “occupied territory”

I call “arrogant” people who, inter-alia, advance arguments in willful ignorance or summary dismissal of the material facts and law pertaining to a particular issue.

By this reasonable definition of the term, these progressives are arrogant or to borrow their vocabulary, their allegations are an affront to intellectual integrity,

Had they done the requisite homework they would have established that the lands in issue are part and parcel of the lands comprising the territory of Palestine set aside by the British government in the Balfour Declaration of 1917 for the establishment of a national home for the Jewish people.

The declaration contains the undertaking that [the British government] will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, [subject to] it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non Jewish communities in Palestine…

Article 22 of   the Covenant of the League of Nations (1919) reads:

  1. To those colonies and territories which as a consequence of the late war have ceased to be under the sovereignty of the States which formerly governed them and which are inhabited by peoples not yet able to stand by themselves under the strenuous conditions of the modern world, there should be applied the principle that the well-being and development of such peoples form a sacred trust of civilisation and that securities for the performance of this trust should be embodied in this Covenant.
  2. The best method of giving practical effect to this principle is that the tutelage of such peoples should be entrusted to advanced nations who by reason of their resources, their experience or their geographical position can best undertake this responsibility, and who are willing to accept it, and that this tutelage should be exercised by them as Mandatories on behalf of the League.
  3. The character of the mandate must differ according to the stage of the development of the people, the geographical situation of the territory, its economic conditions and other similar circumstances.

 4.Certain communities formerly belonging to the Turkish Empire have reached a stage of development where their existence as independent nations can be provisionally recognised subject to the rendering of administrative advice and assistance by a Mandatory until such time as they are able to stand alone. The wishes of these communities must be a principal consideration in the selection of the Mandatory.

  1. [Unrelated to the matter at hand]
  2. [Unrelated to the matter at hand]
  3. In every case of mandate, the Mandatory shall render to the Council an annual report in reference to the territory committed to its charge.
  4. The degree of authority, control, or administration to be exercised by the Mandatory shall, if not previously agreed upon by the Members of the League, be explicitly defined in each case by the Council.
  5. A permanent Commission shall be constituted to receive and examine the annual reports of the Mandatories and to advise the Council on all matters relating to the observance of the mandates.

The intended beneficiaries of the lands covered by each Mandate were “the geographic inhabitants” living in each of the mandated territories or the people indigenous to the land”. In the premises, the Jewish People became entitled to receive these lands on both grounds.

In this connection, the incontrovertible historical fact, explicitly admitted by a number of Arab historians, is  that there has never been and no one has claimed the existence of a People known as the” Palestinian People”  or to be a member of it before and immediately after the War of 1967.

As a matter of fact, the phrase did not surface until sometime after the War of 1967 and gained political currency in an effort to advance the claims of the Arabs who lived in the territories illegally occupied by Jordan from 1948 until the War of 1967.

In 1920, the victorious allies of World War I including the British (with the U.S. sitting as observer) convened a conference in the Italian town of San Remo, among other things, for the purpose of giving effect to Article 22 with respect to the former territories of the defeated Ottoman Empire.

This was done by,

(a) dividing these territories into three blocks each comprising the lands of (1) Palestine;            (2) Mesopotamia (Iraq) and (3) Lebanon and Syria and.

b) establishing a Mandate for each block of lands in accordance with the considerations and directions set out in Article 22 and appointing a Mandatory for each of these blocks.

The British government was appointed as the Mandatory for Palestine and for Mesopotamia while the French government became the Mandatory for Lebanon and Syria.

The Mandatories were tasked with implementing their respective mandates in the spirit and letter of Article 22 in effect acting as Trustees for the beneficiaries of each Mandate.

As such, they were required to perform their mandate in accordance with the legal standards prescribed for those who owe a fiduciary duty to the Jewish People with respect to the Mandate for Palestine as the Conference adopted the Balfour Declaration of 1917 and incorporated it into the Mandate.

The fiduciary duty in question owed by Britain as the mandatory to the Jewish people was the duty to bring the Mandate to a successful conclusion for the benefit of the Jewish people by ensuring the establishment   of a self-governing independent Jewish Nation.

The terms of this mandate were incorporated into the Treaty of Sevres(1920) ; the Franco-British Boundary Convention (1920); the Preamble of the Mandate Charter(1922);  ultimately approved  by the 63 nation members of the League  of Nations –including Egypt and Iraq; incorporated   in the Treaty of Lausanne(1923)  that led to the recognition  of the independence of  Turkey .Finally, the  Anglo –American Convention of 1924 incorporated the Balfour Declaration of 1917 and contains verbatim the full text of the Mandate.

Hence, by 1925, the Jewish People’s rights to the lands covered by the Mandate were recognised in international law along with the corollary duties of the international comity of nations to give full effect to these rights as well as to defend and protect them.

Unfortunately, starting not long after receiving the Mandate in 1920 and the long before its termination in 1948, the British government started cheating the Jewish People by progressively reneging on its commitments under the Balfour Declaration and breaching its fiduciary duties under the Mandate.

In the result, the British administration of the Mandate ultimately proved to be disastrous for the Jewish People.

First, I suspect with the connivance of the League of Nations, the British hived off 89,342 sq. km out of the 120,446 sq. km (89/120) comprising Palestine Mandate, and in breach of both the Balfour Declaration and of the terms of the Mandate and proceeded to establish Trans-Jordan for the benefit of members of the governing Saudi family in order to protect and enhance its interests in Saudi oil.

Second, Britain started to progressively renege on its promises under the Balfour Declaration until 1939 when for all intents and purposes it reneged totally by shutting down completely Jewish immigration to Palestine.

In this connection it is noteworthy that while Britain fought the Germans during World War II, she also turned out to be its ally as both countries worked to pressure the Turkish government not to let through the straits the Jewish refugees fleeing Germany and/or the German occupied lands by ship through the Black Sea in a desperate effort to reach Palestine. Ultimately they succeeded,

In the premises, Britain knowingly assisted Germany in perpetrating its genocide on a greater number of Jews, whom the British could have saved by allowing them to reach Palestine.

Third, right off the beginning, commencing with the Arab riots of 1920 and thereafter Britain administered the Mandate for its own benefit and contrary to the interests of the Jewish communities in Palestine and the Jewish People of the Diaspora.

More specifically, in this context, the British government either insured or wilfully ignored the fact that its high officials in Palestine administering the implementation of the Mandate were or turned out to be antisemitic and acted accordingly.

Fourth, the League of Nations failed the Jewish people by

(a) neglecting to act in conformity with the provisions of Article 22  of its Covenant and the terms of the San Remo Resolution by wilfully ignoring of Mandatory Britain’s  breaches  of duty  vis a vis both the |League of Nations and  of its fiduciary duties vis- a- vis the Jewish People;

(b)progressively losing interest in the whole scheme, and

(c)ultimately, forgetting it.

In the result, from 1948 to the War of 1967, Israeli territory comprised 20,770 sq.km and represented just 1/6th of the lands covered by the Balfour Declaration and the San Remo Resolution.

In a stroke of good fortune, in 1945 the United Nations through section 80 of its Charter incorporated by reference the decisions and legal instruments of the League of Nations including the San Remo Resolution and consequently the Balfour Declaration.

By enacting section 80, the United Nations and its member countries continue, whether they like it or not, to recognise the outstanding rights of the Jewish People, which since 1948 includes Israel, over the remaining portions of the Mandate lands.

On this point, Jordan made matters worse for its subjects who now identify themselves as Palestinians, when  she abandoned  any and all claims to the lands of the so-called West Bank, which are part  and parcel  of  the  Mandate lands which Jordan occupied illegally  between 1948 and 1967 prior to the War of 1967.

In so doing, Jordanian government instead of bringing its Palestinian subjects back to Jordan dumped them left them geographically stranded as the lands which they currently occupy are also part of the Mandate lands.

In conclusion

I submit that under international law,

First, pursuant to section 80 of the Charter of the United Nations,

(a) the State of Israel represents the ultimate fulfillment of the paramount objective of the League of Nations’ Mandate system  e. to create self-governing nations;

(b)the Jewish people including the State of Israel enjoy an unqualified right to settle and establish communities and self-govern themselves on   the remaining  Mandate lands subject to the qualifying clause of the Balfour Declaration with respect to the  civil and religious  rights of the existing non-Jewish communities,

(c)the State of Israel is equally entitled to do that to,

Second, any Resolution of the United Nations Security Council (UNSCR) that purports to override the operation of or is inconsistent with section 80   is null and void in whole or in part to the extent of the inconsistency.  Consequently these resolutions must be read and construed accordingly.

Third, Israel by extending its sovereignty over the lands in issue, is not merely recovering lands set aside for the Jewish people since 1917, formally recognised by the League of Nations and section of 80 of the U.N. Charter.

Fourth, a peace treaty which fails to insure the security of one or more parties to the treaty is not a viable one which sooner or later will fall apart.

In this regard, Israel is acting lawfully in accordance with UNSCRs U 224(1967) and 338(1973) which call for Israel’s withdrawal not from all the territories of the West Bank but from areas the West Bank consistent with its security needs  and in the context of  the  peace agreement  proposed by the E.U. and  the U.S

The incontrovertible fact of the matter  is that clearly the extension of sovereignty over the lands in question are of vital importance for Israel’s security having regard to P.A.’s and Hamas’s violent policies not to mention  the presence sand threats of Hezbollah and Iran in the north and north-east, respectively

Fifth, in the premises, these lands are not “occupied lands”, let alone, lands occupied in violation of international law; they are simply lands lawfully recovered by Israel which also happen to meet Israel’s security needs contemplated in two UNSCRs

The foregoing statements regarding international law are not some novel or exotic propositions. These are longstanding and readily available in a quite a substantial number of publications written by highly respected legal scholars and published by scholarly institutions and organisations

At all events, the international community’s, particularly the E.U’s  obsessive  pursuit of the two-nations formula under which  the Jordan valley and Judea and Samaria must be  become part of the  territory of the future State of Palestine is mindless.

This has been empirically demonstrated by the unassailable policy of the PLO and the P.A., let alone Hamas, to dismiss out of hand; to refuse to even to entertain, let alone to negotiate in good faith the Israeli offers of peace treaties those made by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak in 2001 and by Ehud Olmert in 2008 despite the fact that both offers and especially Olmert’s “maximalist” offer came very close to P.A. getting almost the entirety of the West Bank.

Decidedly, the P.A. remains faithfully wedded to the three no’s formula enunciated at  the conclusion of a summit of the heads of Arab League countries, held in Khartoum, Sudan, on 29 August – 1 September 1967 following Arab defeat in the Six Day War

I would have thought that before framing its position and wording its submissions, JSC would have done its homework properly to ascertain the law and the historical facts material to the extension of sovereignty over the land in issue.

Second allegation: The extension of sovereignty contradicts the Israel’s Declaration of Independence

More specifically, the JSC submitted that the impugned decision “… appears to be in direct contradiction of the principles and values clearly articulated in the Proclamation of Independence.

Well, appearances can be and in many instances are deceiving. Hence, I would have thought that before taking a position against Israel, they would first do  their homework and research properly as to whether or not the alleged appearance have any basis in fact, in law or in both.

The problem with these Jewish conservatives, like with their like-minded brethren   J Street in the U.S, is that they do not care to do that lest the outcome of the research contradict the position they want to advance or peddle.

As a matter fact and law, the Proclamation of Independence does not address the delineation of Israel’s borders simply because Arabs summarily rejected  both Ben-Gurion’s informal attempts offer a solution  to the local  the Arab establishment and  the two formal attempts to do that peacefully the first by Britain and the second by the U.N.

Those borders remained to be decided at some point after the establishment of the State of Israel

In the circumstances, Ben-Gurion and company deliberately omitted any reference to borders in the Declaration of Independence.

Subsequently, the Arabs sought to obviate the need for the delineation of such borders   by commencing two wars in 1948 and 1967 and triggered a third one in 1973 with the objective of destroying the State of Israel.

The War of 1948 led to the delineation of Israel armistice border of Israel and enabled Jordan to occupy illegally Judea and Samaria until the Israelis recovered these lands in the War of 1967 which established merely new armistice lines. Some of armistice lines became final borders with Egypt and Jordan when they entered into their respective peace treaties with Israel

But then again, this brand of progressives is deeply committed to the dicta: do not confuse or bother us with facts that would defeat our position.

The fact of the matter is that Israel does honour the principles and values enunciated in the Declaration of Independence concerning the treatment of the Arabs who reside in Israel.

In this connection, I wonder whether these progressive folks are aware of the contents of the   Basic Laws of Israel and among others the Basic Law: Human Dignity and Liberty and its subsequent amendments and in particular the 1992 one under the heading of Basic Principles.

The government of Israel dutifully abides by and enforces its provisions while the Supreme Court is there ready to pounce on any occasional failing in the administration of the law and the enforcement of its provisions.

Had they bothered to read this material, they would have realised that this allegation is simply untenable.

Argument: Israel’s extension of sovereignty would be an affront to international efforts to encourage the two sides to negotiate

Personally, I hardly think that JSC should be concerned about   the real or imaginary affronts visited by Israel upon the international efforts to encourage the two sides to negotiate a peace treaty.

Israel has already demonstrated, beyond reasonable doubt,  its preparedness  to negotiate in good faith and enter into peace treaties going all the way back when Ben-Gurion accepted the severely prejudicial 1947 plan of territorial  division formulated by the United Nations for sake of making peace.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon returned the Gaza strip to the P.A. without a quid pro quo as a gesture of good-will.

In 1993, the Yitzhak Rabin government initiated the negotiations that produced the Oslo Accord which Israel meant to be the framework for peaceful negotiations with the PLO and subsequently the P.A.

Finally, of course Barak and Olmert made two very generous offers both of which were rejected. dismissed out of hand.

All has been for naught.

The P.A. on the other hand has yet to make a single peace offer

On the other hand, Israel did make peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan as the leaders of both of these countries were prepared to engage in good faith in peace negotiations that would lead to the execution of a peace treaty.

The long and the short of the matter is that P.A.’s overall objective is not to make peace but to get rid of Israel.

Consequently, the international efforts to secure a peace treaty mostly by incessantly leaning on Israel to make an ever increasing number of concessions which   the P.A. has kept rejecting, is utterly misguided.

In this regard, E.U. countries, save for the Visegrad countries, which purport to participate in and seek to advance the peace process have shown themselves to be morally corrupt.

They have found ways to undermine President Trump’s efforts to deter Iran from pursuing its genocidal  plan  to destroy Israel by  imposing sanctions by persisting  to trade with the Mullahs with a view to ease the impact of the of the sanctions. Germany’s trade with Iran in the range of 1.6 billion euros is nothing to sneeze at.

The vast majority of them failed to outlaw’s so-called “civil branch” Hezbollah which acts in tandem with Iran which repeatedly stated it is intention to destroy Israel in plain language,

In both instances, by so doing these E.U countries are continuously breaching Article 4 of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Crime of Genocide.

France got through the UNSCR   purporting to disengage the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict in south Lebanon with the object to demilitarise the region and to prevent, if not to disarm Hezbollah (I cannot recall at the moment) from building its arsenal of lethal weapons through the deployment of the UNIFIL.

As expected, the way the resolution was worded and implemented nothing of the kind happened and in the process Hezbollah’s acquired and continued to acquire a vast arsenal of modern weaponry and consequently it has become a far greater threat to Israel’s security that it could have been imagined before the passage of the Resolution.

The E.U countries finance P.A.’s “pay for slay program”.

They finance the educational fund of UNWRA whose schoolbooks written by the P.A   that dramatically violate the UNESCO standards and have yet to force the P.A and UNWRA to get rid of these books.

They failed to de-Nazify the P.A.

Many of the E.U countries such as Germany and France regularly vote for a very substantial number of U.N General Assembly resolutions that gratuitously attack malign, blame and defame Israel while others like England and Spain abstain while other countries make themselves scarce.

And the list goes on and on.

What, if anything have the progressives of JSC  or any other  such Canadian  “progressive” outfits who claim to love Israel and purport to promote peace in the Middle-East by addressing  and attacking  publicly and vigorously  the moral corruption  of  a large number of E.U. countries .

To date, how many letters has the JSC written to the Minister of Foreign Affairs or to the Prime Minister  or to the President of the U.S. urging them  to do something  to rein in the E.U countries and to demand that they in turn rein in the P.A. ?

I find the knee-jerk mindless ignorant positions taken by these progressive against the Jewish People living in Israel to be an abomination of Judaic values and contrary to the ordinary principles of decency and moral integrity.

If they wish to comment on some matter   concerning Israel, of which they are particularly critical, the owe Israel the sacred duty to research and reason their position thoroughly before opening their mouths; and

If they have nothing good and useful to say about Israel, they must say nothing and keep their mouths shut.

By criticising Israel gratuitously and wrongfully, they are simply giving aid and comfort to the enemies of Israel.

In effect, they are useful idiots”.

The JSC progressives profess to love Israel, but clearly they do not love her enough to do right by her.

Post-Script

Just as I finished writing this piece, I came across an opinion piece titled Why Canadians Need   JSpace published by the recently established Canadian Jewish Record, written by three members of JSC’s Next Generation Initiative.

I agree that Canadians need J Space: like a hole in the head.

About the Author
Doğan Akman was born and schooled in Istanbul, Turkey. Upon his graduation from Lycee St. Michel, he immigrated to Canada with his family. In Canada, he taught university in sociology-criminology and social welfare policy and published some articles in criminology journals After a stint as a Judge of the Provincial Court (criminal and family divisions) of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, he joined the Federal Department of Justice working first as a Crown prosecutor, and then switching to civil litigation and specialising in aboriginal law. Since his retirement he has published articles in Sephardic Horizons and e-Sefarad and in an anthology edited by Rifat Bali titled This is My New Homeland and published in Istanbul.
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