(This article was originally published by the Canadian Jewish News (CJN) on July 10/19 under the title, VANDERMAAS: TEARING UP ISRAEL IS HARDLY A SOLUTION WORTHY OF THE NAME, a response to David Roytenberg opinion, IS JORDAN PALESTINE?)
As the official lecturer for Canadians for Israel’s Legal Rights (CILR.org), the organization co-founded by the late land rights expert and author, Salomon Benzimra (The Jewish People’s Rights To The Land Of Israel), I would like to offer some items of consideration before readers accept David Roytenberg’s assertion in The CJN that ‘territorial compromise in Judea and Samaria [is] a practical necessity.’
Roytenberg recounts, correctly, the highlights of Israel’s modern land rights culminating in the 1922 Mandate For Palestine which recognized Jews as rightful owners of Palestine/Israel east and west of the Jordan River.The exercising of Article 25 by the Mandatory Power, via the Note re Trans-Jordan, to withhold Jewish settlement east of the Jordan River for benefit of the Arabs affirmed Jews as owners of all land west of the river, including Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. Roytenberg argues, however, that this original two-state solution with its clear metes and bounds description of the eastern border of the Jewish state (detailed in the Note) should nonetheless be set aside in favour of a Jewish land give-away.
Roytenberg opens with his friend’s correct observation that Israel is losing the propaganda war, yet strangely concludes that the “practical” solution is the very one that rewards the vile allegations of that propaganda. Why would anyone believe the world will honour a new two-state solution when it has steadfastly refused to honour the 1922 original? The cost of the world’s betrayal includes the countless lives murdered when Britain closed Palestine to Jews on the eve of the Holocaust in violation of its Article 6 obligation to “facilitate Jewish immigration.”
What is “The Solution,’” then? The first, hardest and most important step is a mindset change: Truth Before Solutions. Every time you talk about solutions, you empower your enemies’ propaganda. Stop talking about solutions, and start talking about truth.
Next, teach your children that their ancestors did not steal land, that they are owners, not occupiers. Israel cannot resist the “occupation” propaganda and arrive at a just peace if her people do not know their own truths yet, out of the over 650 students I have trained, mostly hard-core Zionists, only about 3 per cent had ever read the magnificent words of Israel’s modern land title deed before meeting me. When they do, they are inspired. The Mandate does not mention the word “God” even once, yet the pious can see His fingerprints all over its pages.
Third, go on the offensive with a moral narrative: imagine the strategic counter-propaganda value of Israel’s prime minister announcing a moratorium on all peace plans until the world restores the honour and dignity of the Jewish people by acknowledging its promises in the Mandate For Palestine. What if a major organization started a movement demanding an apology for the crime committed against humanity when Great Britain illegally kept refugees out of what the Mandate affirmed as the “national home for the Jewish people?”
It could take five-10 years to turn around the “occupation” narrative, but it can be done. Over time, as the immorality and injustice of the “stolen land” propaganda and the world’s perfidy becomes more and more apparent, the Arabs might well come to the table to seek real solutions with help from other nations, solutions that none of us can foresee today. In the meantime, could we agree that tearing the land recognized by God and the world as the Jewish homeland in two in order to appease false accusations by terrorists is hardly a solution worthy of the name?