Times of Israel editor David Horovitz and I do not always have the same political perspective. Nu? This is to be expected: Opinions vary. His writing is smooth and often insightful.
But whoa! Horovitz’s September 16th analysis of what we might expect from the Israeli election caught me up short. That is because I am a stickler for historical accuracy, especially when there are implications for today’s political situation.
This is what Horovitz wrote:
We’ll wake up to an Israel almost all of whose parliamentarians no longer pay even lip service to the eventual possibility of a two-state solution with the Palestinians — the very basis upon which Israel was revived by UN mandate more than 70 years ago.
Unless I am very much mistaken, he is saying that the “Partition Plan” of 1947 breathed new diplomatic life into the notion of a Jewish state. People, he is suggesting, were more amenable to the idea of a Jewish state if the land of Palestine (Palestine as a geographical area) was divided into a state for Jews and another for Arabs.
What really threw me was the term “UN mandate” when alluding to that “Partition Plan.” A mandate is an authoritative command and Resolution 181 was nothing of the sort. This was a recommendation, and nothing more, as it came from the General Assembly, which is not empowered to issue mandates.
The only mandate with regard to Palestine is the Mandate issued by the League of Nations in 1922 (which was an article of international law to which the UN was subsequently bound).
Resolution 181, even as a recommendation, was rendered null and void because of the immediate rejection of the Arab world. But even this is not the end of the story:
The resolution was far more than a plan for partition of Palestine into two states — it recommended a confederation of these two states. One component of this recommendation involved certain responsibilities to be assumed by the UN itself. David Ben Gurion, in declaring Israeli independence in 1948, specifically stated that Israel considered Resolution 181 void and without further validity because the UN had failed to honor its responsibilities. The UN had not fulfilled its role as spelled out in its own recommendation.
What we must pay attention to now is the true mandate: the 1922 Mandate for Palestine, which recognized all of Palestine as Jewish homeland. Its time has come!