Professor Abraham A. Sion, the author of “To whom was the Promised Land Promised?” this interesting, significant, and eye-opening book, knows the subject of the Israeli and Arab claims to the land of Israel better than most people. He served as Deputy State’s Attorney for Israel. He is Professor Emeritus at Ariel University in Israel where, for over a decade, he chaired the Center for Law and Mass Media. He has practiced Law for years in Civil and Administrative matters. He has done intensive research on the Arab-Israeli conflict and participated in conferences and think tanks, with lectures, radio shows, and articles for over thirty years.
His approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict is unique. It is based on legal documents, not moral ideas of right and wrong or on politics or on the rights of conquest. His view focuses on the legal right to the territory of Mandatory Palestine under international law. This is a book that should be read by all people interested in the Arab-Israeli conflict. Professor Sion presents sound arguments based on the legal documents that he describes in easy to read detail. He does not discuss the history of the presence of Jews and Arabs in Israel in ancient and modern times. His analysis begins with the events of post-World War 1, when The Ottoman Empire which sided with Germany was defeated and its land taken by the victorious allied forces in 1917.
The Ottoman Empire ruled over a large area of the Middle East for about 400 years from about 1517 until 1917, including land they called Palestine. In 1917, as a result of World War 1, the conquered land of the Ottoman Empire was divided. Most of it given to Arabs who created new nations. The area called Palestine was assigned to Great Britain to administer under legally-binding conditions discussed below.
Palestine was the name given to Judea by the Roman Emperor Hadrian in 135 CE. He also changed the name of Jerusalem and committed brutal acts in an attempt to assure that Judaism will disappear. These acts followed the second attempt by the Jews in Judea to break off the yoke of Roman rule. Their first attempt ended in 70 CE with the destruction of the Second Jewish Temple and the exile of many Jews from their homeland. The second revolt ended in 135 CE. Hadrian’s advisors suggested that he call Judea with the name of a group who came and settled in what is today the Gaza Strip, the Philistines.
England issued legal documents since 1917 which determined the rights of Jews to Palestine. These documents became part of international law. Professor Sion describes and discusses them in this book. The documents clearly indicate that just as Arabs were given the rights to the lands assigned to them, so too Jews were given legal rights to Palestine. If the legally binding documents that he discusses are ignored regarding Israel, they must be ignored as well for virtually all the Arab nations.