By Charles Gardner, UK Correspondent
With the Covid-19 pandemic in danger of blinding us to every other significant development in the world, we have been jolted back to reality over another crisis that has lingered unresolved for decades.
The conflict in the Middle East has continued unabated amidst a global plague that has struck fear among Israelis and Arabs alike, with Jews even getting blamed for it by some of their enemies.
Here in Britain, more than 130 British politicians have called for Israel to be sanctioned if they go ahead with proposals to annex Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria – the so-called West Bank presently under Palestinian Authority control.
The problem is that Western governments have for decades followed the mantra of a two-state solution which would see an Arab nation living peacefully alongside the Jews.
But this plan, based on the assumption that Israel is occupying the disputed land, is completely fake, as a series of recent articles on the centenary of the San Remo Conference have spelled out.
The idea that “Palestinians” were entitled to this land has evolved over several decades from an antisemitic propaganda campaign aimed at delegitimising the Jewish state, which recently celebrated 72 years of independence after its rebirth.
After a series of wars designed to destroy Israel failed to achieve that purpose, Yasser Arafat and others came up with the idea of resorting to lies and make-believe to try to convince the world that the Jews had stolen their land.
In truth, Jewish connection to the land goes back over 3 000 years, which was among the key reasons world leaders got together at San Remo in 1920 to ensure they did the right thing by the Jewish people, to whom they granted all the land of what was then called “Palestine” from the Mediterranean to the River Jordan.
This treaty has never been repealed; it still stands in international law, and Israel has a perfect right to all of Judea, Samaria, East Jerusalem and Gaza – none of which belongs to the Palestinians.
It is only because Israel desperately desires peace that they are repeatedly prepared to compromise by giving up land that is rightfully theirs. But the evidence is clear that Mahmoud Abbas, Arafat’s successor, will never be happy with any peace plan that involves recognition of Israel.
Perhaps this is why President Trump, despite his brave efforts to face up to reality by recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and much more, is still pursuing a plan that involves two states – because he knows it will never happen.
Why he didn’t take San Remo into the equation when drafting his “Deal of the Century” is a mystery. Of course, it wasn’t until very recently that the resolution signed at the Italian resort was brought back into focus. But (thanks to general lack of interest from the mainstream media) it has still to make a significant impact on the minds of diplomats and civil servants who I would hope are right now busy brushing up on their history and dusting off documents in their archives.
San Remo trumps all the peace plans that have since been offered, and if it had been adhered to throughout the 1920s, 30s and 40s, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict might not have been given sufficient breath to ignite.
But it was never meant to come to this, with bits of “Palestinian” territory here and there while politicians are forced to spar over rights to build. Yes, there was Arab opposition 100 years ago, but an attempt to solve this problem was made by Winston Churchill when, in 1922, he effected what I would call the original “two-state solution” by lopping off a huge swathe of land originally intended for Jews and handing it over to Arab ownership. This became known as Trans-Jordan (now simply Jordan).
It was no doubt well-intended, for Churchill was always a friend of Israel, but the Arabs were still not happy, which is why the United Nations offered a “Partition Plan” in 1947, dividing and reducing Israeli territory in clear breach both of God’s Word and the San Remo Treaty, also seen as Israel’s “earthly deed” to the land.
And yet even this generous offer was rejected by the Arabs, who subsequently went to war against the new Jewish state during which Jordan illegally annexed the territories currently under dispute.
But when they eventually realised that Israel could not be defeated by military means, a propaganda war was launched for the purpose of creating a non-existent “Palestinian” people and state. The rest is history – much of it rewritten, airbrushed or even invented.
Jordan’s annexation of Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem was recognised by only two countries in the world – Pakistan and (shamefully) Britain – whereas Israel’s proposed annexation only of parts of these territories today elicits a cacophony of abuse from many quarters.
But Israel is a survivor. All attempts to eradicate the Jews have failed. They are positive proof of God’s existence, and have even driven off the worst effects of the coronavirus plague, it seems, as a YouTube video of dancing doctors thanking God for emptying the COVID wards of their hospital testified.
At the Royal Free Hospital in north London, meanwhile, an 88-year-old Jewish man called Peter (featured in a harrowing BBC TV documentary Fighting Covid-19) seemed at death’s door with the virus until he somehow regained enough strength to turn the corner and recover.
Is Peter a picture of Israel, who seemed at death’s door during World War II, but subsequently recovered to become a thriving nation leading the world in many fields – including medicine and technology?
Having berated them for their waywardness and prophesied destruction, the Lord added: “But now listen, O Jacob, my servant, Israel, whom I have chosen…I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.” –Isa 44.1-3
And those who divide the land of his “treasured possession” (Psalm 135.4) will reap the judgment of the Lord. (Joel 3.2)