(Second) Partition Plan Made Simple
Once upon a time, there was a huge piece of land that was taken under wing by arrogant European has-been empires when they successfully destroyed a rival empire. They divvied up the land and told the world they would hold it in trust for the indigenous peoples of those regions.One of these was named the Mandate of Palestine by the trustees. It was supposed to be a homeland for the Jewish people given that it was sitting on our ancestral lands.
The neighbours did not like what they saw — those Jews! “There goes the neighbourhood,” they exclaimed!
The Arabs protested to the British, who then cut up the land into a larger piece and a smaller piece, using the Jordan River as a convenient dividing line. They did not ask the Jews which piece they wanted – you know, unlike the wise parent of two children fighting over the last piece of cake. The parent tells one kid to cut the cake and the other kid gets to choose his or her half. In this case, the Jews were unconcerned with the difference in size between the two pieces of the Mandate. If given the choice, they would have selected the piece they got in any case, for that was the piece with the bulk of the lands of historical significance to us:
The Jews were prepared to continue the work they had already begun in developing the infrastructure of their new modern state. However, the Arabs just could not let it go. So the British came up with what came to be called The Partition Plan. It was really the SECOND partition plan, the first having already been executed and the keys to the newly invented kingdom having been given to the Hashemites in the 1920s, the deal signed finally in 1947.
We know that the Jews agreed to the second partition. But has anybody considered which half the Jews would have taken if they had been offered the choice? Let us look at the map showing the originally intended two-state solution (after already having a two-state-solution, i.e., Jordan and Israel — do not forget this detail):
You cannot step on any piece of dirt, or jump from one rock to another, in any part of the land west of the Jordan River without the strong likelihood that our Israelite ancestors walked across or tilled the soil in that very spot. That was way before the Muslim Conquest brought the Arabs raging across the lands that they would forever-after claim was theirs, lying about having been there before the Jews.
Among other important ancient Hebrew towns, the lands that were offered to the Arabs, marked in yellow on the map above, contained the second-most important piece of real estate upon which our indigenous culture was established and developed, Hebron. Other significant ancient towns were put into what was supposed to be the Jewish part of the partition: Tsfat, Tiberias, and Beersheva. Jerusalem, our capital city for eons was deemed too valuable to be kept in Jewish hands and so was supposed to be made an eternal international protectorate, accessible to the Jews only by going through the Arab part of the partition.
It would have been an excruciating decision to make had they been asked to: would the Jewish leaders of 1947 have chosen to hold onto Hebron and certain access to Jerusalem? We will never know. Anxious to have any part of our ancient homeland as a modern state, they accepted the crumbs offered us.
It almost parallels the “this baby is mine” case brought before King Solomon for judgement. Almost. The Arabs rejected partition, saying they would not cut the baby in half; that is true. But a land is not a baby. A land can be divided and it will not die. Just the people on it.
At the same time, I cannot imagine what it would have been like had the Arabs accepted the Second Partition Plan. How would it have felt to stand as close to Jerusalem as one could get, on the border of the second Arab Palestinian state that would have arisen, barely able to see Jerusalem and certainly unable to smell it and taste it and hear it? For have no doubt, it would not have remained “international” for very long, and the Arabs would not have let us in. But still, we were willing to accept crumbs as long as we could have independence as a free nation.
The Second Partition Plan was conceivable because the 1947 Jews somehow could not believe that we no longer needed to ask anyone for permission to live and breathe. The longevity of the Two-State-Solution Myth is because many of us still cannot get that we are a sovereign nation and need not beg others to recognize our right to exist as such.
The Second Partition Plan died when the Arabs rejected it and they cannot resuscitate it with a doomed Two-State “Solution”. End of chapter. Turning the page and moving on . . . and hopefully growing a pair, finally.
I agree with you, Israel should have the courage to annexe the land to which they have an unassailable right. I was discussing this recently with someone online. They characterised the late 19th century immigrants to Palestine as, “thugs with guns,” bent on dispossessing the land of its inhabitants. I just wish that people would take the time to read and understand the history of the re establishment of Israel. They would come to understand that you fought for the land with blood, sweat and tears, that the land rightfully belongs to the Jews. You have probably heard of the uproar in Britain that the Labour Party have finally been brought to account by the Board of Deputies over their institutionalised antisemitism. Labour brought this on themselves because of their obsessive hatred of Israel. Britain as a country is accountable for having turned its back on the Balfour Declaration, for helping to promote the establishment of the fake nation of Palestine.It was Britain who gave up on the Mandate entrusted to them, who turned the issue over to the United Nations, who came up with UN181 proposing partition. Israel did the right thing in 1947 and the wrong thing in 1967. Britain has been reaping its just rewards. I believe Israel will yet be vindicated. Thank you for all you write to help get the facts out there.
I am glad you find value in what I write. I find the real history fascinating and not just a little troubling.
Just writing to say thank you for another excellent, informative, inspiring post, Sheri.
Appreciate you saying so. Thanks
Excellent summary Sheri. You have laid out the history of the Partition Plan very clearly and concisely.
And you are so right about the way Israel conducts itself, or rather, conducted itself, up until Oslo. The only good thing to come out of Oslo – at the cost of over 1,000 Israeli lives – is that it put paid to the Two State Solution once and for all. Bibi made a huge mistake with that Bar Ilan speech of his, but I think he felt under pressure from Obama. He should have known better and stuck to his principles. At least now he seems to be walking his rhetoric back.
More importantly, the Arabs don’t seem to care any more. They are paying no more than lip service to the Palestinians and their ridiculous demands from Israel via the international community. Israel seems to be at the height of its international relations davka now when Netanyahu and his government have dug in their heels.
Now he needs to find the spine to legalize the remaining “illegal” settlements and permit the free construction of new ones and/or expand the existing ones. They are choking from lack of housing, and it is outrageous that Jews are not allowed to freely build homes on Jewish land. The way every purchase of property in places like Hebron are scrutinized and almost always disallowed by the courts is infuriating. The words of the Jews are never believed, but the Palestinians, who we must remember are under threat of death for daring to sell property to the Jews, are always believed when they renege on the deal. There should be a witness protection system for those Arabs who sell land and property to Israelis, and the courts have to be fairer towards their own people rather than bending over backwards to find fault with the Jews.
I like your idea of a witness protection plan. I have the feeling, if it included Israeli citizenship, there may be lots of takers.