A Palestinian state now or equal rights until there is a solution

Zoom Webinar, Thursday 15 September 2022 at 3pm UK time.

In anticipation of the failure of the Israeli-Palestinian talks convened by the US Secretary of State John Kerry in 2014, Sam Bahour and Dr Tony Klug called for a new international strategy to replace failed peace negotiations, based on a vision of the endgame and the principle of equality. In a co-authored article, they proposed that, after half a century, Israel should be required to choose between recognizing a Palestinian state in the occupied West Bank and Gaza within a brief deadline or granting full and equal citizenship rights to everyone within its jurisdiction until there is a solution. In this webinar, they will explain how they individually and collectively arrived at this proposal and what they believe its merits to be.

Sam Bahour resides in Al-Bireh/Ramallah, Palestine. He does business consulting as Applied Information Management (AIM), specialising in business development with a niche focus on the information technology sector and start-ups. Bahour was instrumental in the establishment of two publicly traded firms: the Palestine Telecommunications Company (PALTEL) and the Arab Palestinian Shopping Centers (APSC). He is Co-founder & Emeritus Member of Americans for a Vibrant Palestinian Economy (A4VPE). He currently is an independent Director at the Arab Islamic Bank PLC and a board member at Just Vision. He writes frequently on Palestinian affairs and has been widely published in leading outlets. He is co-editor of HOMELAND: Oral History of Palestine and Palestinians (Olive Branch Press, 1993), tweets at @SamBahour, and blogs at epalestine.ps.

Dr Tony Klug is a veteran analyst on Israeli-Palestinian issues and has been a senior advisor on the Middle East to the Oxford Research Group, and a consultant to the Palestine Strategy Group and the Israel Strategic Forum. He has written and lectured extensively about Israeli-Palestinian issues, including authoring four Fabian pamphlets, since he first proposed a Palestinian state alongside Israel (later known as the “two-state solution”) in the early 1970s. His doctoral thesis was on the Israeli occupation of the West Bank between the wars of 1967 and 1973. Tony worked for many years at the international secretariat of Amnesty International, where he headed the International Development programme. In 2022, in a special edition, the Palestine-Israel Journal published his year-long correspondence with Noam Chomsky on Israel-Palestine: pij.org/journal/102

Tony Klug:

Thanks Diana for (generous) intro and for organizing this illustrious event. It’s a privilege and honour to be part of this webinar and especially to be co-presenting with the esteemed Palestinian thinker Sam Bahour. And good afternoon everyone. It’s good to see you – except that I can’t actually see you!

Now before getting into the substance of the matter, I thought I would provide some background context to my involvement in Palestinian-Israeli issues, which goes back to the war of 1967 and even before then.

I am not a direct stakeholder in this conflict, unlike Sam, and so am circumspect about trying to impose my own values, preferences or solutions on peoples from different cultures and in different parts of the world. I am conscious that, for centuries, Westerners, and other imperial powers, have habitually intervened in the affairs of other societies which, in the round, has unhappily wreaked havoc around the world.

The instinct to foist our own views or structures on others still seems to be integral to our way of thinking, whether we hail from the political right, the political left, or somewhere in between. This neo-colonial mindset is predicated on the implicit assumption that we in the West know best. But it aint necessarily so. I expect we would do less harm if we learned to constrain ourselves and discovered how to listen.

This said, I have historically had a close affinity with both peoples and have many Israeli and Palestinian friends and colleagues. My enduring interest has been to see the conflict resolved, with a measure of justice and security for both sides, to enable Palestinians and Israelis to live in relative harmony alongside each other in one way or another, and bring to a conclusive end the decades of killings, terrorizing, occupying and demonizing.

I do not think this aim is fanciful. What I do think, though, is that for a solution to be plausible and sustainable, it has to satisfy the minimum core aspirations of both peoples and allay their maximum fears, even if each party regards the core claim of the other to be essentially bogus and the fears to be groundless.

Viewing the conflict through the lens of each people in turn, and in line with the principle that whatever right either side demands for itself it cannot reasonably deny to the other, I authored a pamphlet – Middle East conflict: a tale of two peoples — published by the Fabian Society in January 1973, almost exactly 50 years ago, that called for a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza alongside Israel – what in later years came to be known as the “two-state solution”.  

This term, which I did not use myself, can be misleading, for it was not and is not just a matter of “solution”. For me, and the small number of Palestinians and Israelis who were also advocating the two-state formula at that time, it was as much about framework as eventual outcome, as much about means as end. For, in the absence of a Palestinian state, the Palestinians – unlike the Israelis — did not have an effective agency, without which all negotiations over the range of problems, whatever the wished-for endgame, were bound to fall apart, as indeed they have done on every occasion.

The enduring reality is that a Palestinian state has always been the vital missing parameter for progress on any other matter. Accordingly, four years after the first pamphlet, I authored a second pamphlet – Middle East impasse: the only way out – which, in a crude nutshell, called for a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from the bulk of the landlocked West Bank to enable a Palestinian state to emerge under the broadly popular leadership of the PLO. In the circumstances of the time – this was 1977 — it was the only way I could see for bringing into existence a Palestinian state and achieving some sort of parity as the bedrock for future negotiations. 

Imagine that Pakistan, instead of being a sovereign independent state, was Indian-occupied territory to this day with a largely toothless Pakistani Authority. How would they ever reach, let alone deliver on, substantive agreements on critical matters? The power balance would be far too skewed in one direction.

So, in line with this thinking and to jump forward to today, I think the Balfour Project policy to urge the UK government to recognize a Palestinian state forthwith – as it has for decades recognized the Israeli state — is exactly right. That would belatedly fulfil the promise of the UN General Assembly resolution 181 of 1947, which authorized the division of Palestine into an Arab state and a Jewish state to replace the British Mandate.

The standard UK government response that this is not the right time for recognition – as if the right time was lurking just around the corner — is a sham, not to be taken at face value. I call into evidence two separate conversations I had in 1975 with the two ministers of state at the Foreign Office, first Roy Hattersley and later on David Ennals. Both had read my first Fabian pamphlet and both broadly accepted its arguments and conclusion. So, I asked, will the UK Labour government therefore press without further ado for the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel? Now, they each responded, is not the time. That was 47 frigging years ago. In reality, it’s never the time and it’s always the time. For it’s not a matter of time, but of attitude and political will, which are susceptible to concerted pressure.

I originally met Sam Bahour about ten years ago I believe, at a series of meetings in Ramallah, Gaza and Istanbul of the Palestine Strategy Group, of which he was a leading member and to which I was invited as a consultant together with my colleague, the conflict-resolution guru Professor Oliver Ramsbotham. It transpired that, while Sam and I had different starting points of course, in important respects our thinking ran along similar lines.

In anticipation of the breakdown of the much vaunted talks in 2014  between Israeli and Palestinian leaders, engineered by John Kerry, the US Secretary of State, we agreed to put our heads together to see if we could devise an international strategy to replace what we regarded as doomed bilateral negotiations, not only in that case but in general as the prime method for breaking the Palestinian-Israeli deadlock.

We noted that Israel, uniquely, held that its rule over the captured West Bank and Gaza was not technically an occupation on the grounds that the Geneva Convention speaks of the sovereign territory of a High Contracting Party, and that Jordan and Egypt, who previously governed these territories, never had sovereign title over them. 

According to this reasoning, the prohibition on the occupying power from expropriating or settling parts of the captured territory therefore did not legally apply in this case. But this reasoning was selective, for Israeli governments shielded behind other provisions of the Geneva Convention — notably the clauses that prohibit altering the legal status of an occupied territory’s inhabitants — to justify withholding from the occupied Palestinians the political, civil and legal rights enjoyed by Israeli citizens.

So Israel was cherry-picking the Geneva Convention to suit its purposes. And the international community, by remaining silent about this transparent duplicity, has in effect been complicit in it for decades.

So we posed the question that we felt the international community should have posed long ago: “is it or is it not an occupation in Israel’s eyes?” The laws of occupation either apply or do not apply. Successive Israeli governments have been allowed to have it both ways for more than 55 years and will probably be quite content to continue having it both ways for a further 55 years unless its stance is robustly challenged. It has been a colossal bluff waiting to be called.   

We held there was no justification for further delay in pressing Israel into making a definitive choice — one way or the other. If Israel deemed its rule over — let’s limit it for the moment to the West Bank — to be an occupation, with its connotation of temporariness, then it was way beyond time for its provisional custodianship to be brought to a swift end by announcing its intention to withdraw, and then withdrawing. If it deemed it not to be an occupation, then there was no justification in international law for not granting full and equal rights to every inhabitant of the whole space under Israel’s control, regardless of ethnicity.

In the first case — where it is deemed to be an occupation — we argued the Israeli government should be called upon to publish plans for promptly ending its occupation by a designated date. We had originally proposed — this was some eight years ago — a deadline of the 50th anniversary of the occupation, but that has now passed, so a new deadline needs to be designated, let’s say 1st January 2025.  

In the second case — where Israel denies it’s rule is an occupation — the international community is entitled to hold the Israeli government accountable to the equality standard, meaning that, pending a final resolution of the conflict — whenever and whatever that might be — equal treatment for everyone under Israel’s jurisdiction should replace ethnic discrimination as the default position.

In either case, the very unequal status quo would no longer be an acceptable option — a take, by the way, that is entirely consistent with Israel’s own foundational values.  Here I call into evidence the Israeli Declaration of Independence of 1948 which proclaimed that the State of Israel “will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex”.

An important aim of the strategy Sam and I have proposed was to spark new political currents within Israel that, in the face of the stark alternatives, may hasten the return to the national agenda of two neighbouring states, probably within the framework of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, for which there has in the past been polling evidence of growing support among the Israeli population.  More than a hundred retired Israeli generals have endorsed the approach embedded in that initiative.

To draw on an imperfect analogy, if the Scots in the UK and the Catalans in Spain enjoy full and equal citizenship rights pending possible independence for their regions in the future, what is the moral case for treating the Palestinians differently pending a final outcome in their case?

Needless to say, concerted external pressure would be needed, maybe starting with civil societies on their own governments. But it should be borne in mind that pressure would be required for any scenario that attempted to alter the status quo. What is important is that the aim should be clear, focused and capable of attracting support at the highest levels, and that the pressure should be smart, systematic and strategically targeted, not scattergun or blunderbuss. It should include not just prospective penalties but incentives too, such as the promise of involving Israel in regional programmes and broadening diplomatic recognition.

The alternative is to carry on as things are, meaning Israel would continue to rule over the Palestinians indefinitely without granting them civil or political rights. It would mean the continuation of the belligerent settlement project and further expropriation of Palestinian land. In short, it would mean perpetuating Palestinian dispossession and suffering. It would also mean endless conflict, whose toxins would continue to seep into other countries, as they have been doing for too many years.

For Israel’s Jewish citizens, it would mean their further isolation, an expanding boycott campaign, growing challenges to the legitimacy of the state itself, spreading accusations of apartheid and the steady erosion of internal democracy, a telling symptom of the moral damage exacted on a society that daily enforces a despised military rule over another people.

For Jews outside Israel, there is the depressing prospect of further manifestations of anti-Jewish sentiment within the Arab and Muslim worlds as well as within other countries. Public demonstrations in support of repressive Israeli policies by some Jewish groups — even if they speak for only a minority of Jews – only serve to feed this sentiment, which could do without this extra boost. More ominous still is the potential for the sentiment to tip into the vile, age-old ideology of antisemitism and fuel its noxious flames. The parallel rise of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim sentiment in the Jewish world and further afield is not a coincidence. Ultimately, only a resolution of the conflict will reverse the spiral.

To anticipate the question: isn’t the two-state solution dead and buried and why not agitate definitively for one unitary state now, or at least nominate it as the default alternative to two states in preference to equal rights as an interim measure? In other words, why not advocate a Palestinian state now or, failing that, one state now? This is an option we considered but ruled out. It’s a big question which I will address briefly.

First, for every authoritative claim that the two-state solution is dead, there is an equally authoritative claim that there is no alternative to the two-state solution. These robust convictions have evolved in recent times into absolutist mantras but are not necessarily absolute truths. This said, my fear is that they may both be right, in which case the two peoples would be condemned to eternal conflict. Then again, they may both be wrong. We cannot afford to stubbornly close our minds.

Second, to be exact, what our proposal calls for in the case that Israel — when forced to a choice — acknowledges that its rule is an occupation, is for Israeli governance over the occupied territory to be withdrawn and replaced by Palestinian governance. You can call that a “two-state solution” if you like, but the terminology is not what matters. An apposite model may be the division of Czechoslovakia in 1993 into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, which was a peaceful transition based not on ethnic discrimination and enforced population transfers, but on political sovereignty over agreed, demarcated territory. If we view the future of Israel-Palestine in these terms, we may find the problems are less intractable than is often thought.

An interim option, if necessary, could be to replace Israeli governance with a temporary international trusteeship or protectorate for a limited period, pending Palestinian independence.

Third, it is worth recalling that the two-state formula at one time attracted more than two-thirds support among both Palestinians and Israelis, and is the long-standing international consensus. To start all over again with a different goal — a much more contentious goal — would be a mammoth task which may put off a resolution indefinitely. In reality, it is not the two-state outcome that has failed thus far — for it has never been tried — but the process.

Fourth, the default alternative we postulate of equality until there is a solution is simple to grasp and has a natural appeal as an interim measure, grounded in international law, human rights conventions and any notion of fairness. By contrast, a permanent alternative of one state now, simple though it may sound to the ear, is seriously complicated, although our proposal does not rule it out for the future if that is what both peoples eventually genuinely want.

The foremost problem is that there is no consensus on the meaning of one state. It could mean a Muslim state — favoured by Hamas –; a Jewish state – popular among Israelis –; an Arab state – popular among Palestinians; — a secular, unitary, democratic state – popular among some liberal and leftist Westerners –; or a multi-confessional state, like in Lebanon, favoured at one time by Yasser Arafat, the PLO leader. The state could be federal, bi-national, cantonal or unitary.

A confederation model, an idea which seems to be growing in popularity, and which I personally find appealing, especially if it were to include Jordan, is not one state but a voluntary arrangement between two or more states, meaning there would have to be an independent Palestinian state first.

The diverse one-state options conflict with each other and almost all of them are ill-thought-out. Some would deny national rights to either or both peoples and are thus perceived as deeply threatening by one side or the other or, in some cases, by both sides. How Israelis and Palestinians wish to live alongside each other – and neither of them is going away — is for them to decide and the indications are that there is little authentic support for one unitary state, where there would be no institutional provision for communal identity.

Israelis would fear it would mean the instant eradication of their state and their becoming a minority again in someone else’s land – which hasn’t always worked out well in the past  — and Palestinians would have good reason to believe that, in the light of the huge economic disparities, it would be an Israeli hegemonic state, not so different in some respects from living under occupation. The indications are that both peoples still prefer to exercise their self-determination in their own independent states, whether confederated or not.

Our proposal would not foreclose this option. To the contrary, it is designed to expedite it by bringing matters to a head and enabling people to advocate equal rights for Palestinians and Israelis, in one form or another, free of the implication that this necessarily carries a threat to the existence of the state of Israel or a future state of Palestine.

Potentially, we believe it could attract a broad-based coalition of support at the level of civil societies — including among Palestinians, Israelis, Arabs, Jews, Muslims and many others – as well as, crucially, at the level of governments. The aim would be to build a momentum and trigger a bandwagon effect.

In our Le Monde Diplomatique article in April 2014, in which our proposal first appeared, we argued that the equality principle should extend throughout the region. The stateless Palestinians – not just the nearly 5 million living under Israeli military occupation (if Gaza is included) but also the more than 5 million who have been living as refugees in the surrounding states for the past 74 years — suffer discrimination all over the Middle East and from time to time have been subjected to mass expulsions by one Arab country or another. In the absence of their own state, they have no refuge. This is part of the Palestinian tragedy.

In almost every Arab state, their rights are severely curtailed and they are mostly denied citizenship, even where they, their parents, their grandparents and in some cases their great grandparents were born in the country. Whatever may have been the original justification, their continuing limbo status is shameful so many years on.

The bottom line is that until the Palestinians, like the Israelis, achieve their primary choice of self-determination in their own state — if ever they do — they should no longer, in the modern era, be denied equal rights in whichever lands they inhabit. In the case of Israel and its indefinite occupation, this means putting an end to the cherry-picking of international law and the resultant inequities that have lasted for far too long.

Sam Bahour:

Thanks to BP, Diana for organizing this event, the new BP chair Andrew Whitley, a friend and someone who visits regularly, and the BP’s former chair and current Vice Chair, Sir Vincent Fean, who is my living example that diplomats need not go off in the wild blue yonder but rather can employ all the knowledge gained in their public service role to serve the public good upon retirement.

Thanks to Tony, I would not be exaggerating when I claim that Tony’s intellectual contribution to this issue has been paramount in the education of so many, across generations, including me personally. It was and remains an honour to have Tony as a thought partner.

Of course, I thank each of you for attending and engaging us.

I must state upfront that, although I am a direct stakeholder in this issue, I am fully aware that I do not represent all the Palestinian stakeholders and can only speak for myself. This should be self-evident since each forcefully fragmented reality of Palestinian existence, be it Ramallah, Nablus, Jerusalem, Gaza, or Sabra and Shatila Refugee Camps in Lebanon, just to name a few, each rightly has a voice in how our struggle for national liberation should proceed.

Tony effectively presented our thinking and explained what our proposal is. I hope I can as effectively explain what our proposal is not.

Before I state what our proposal does not cover, allow me a moment to explain the historic moment we are in as someone who wakes up every morning to an Israeli military occupation dictating the parameters of my life:

We are witnessing today an unprecedented onslaught by Israel on all aspects of Palestinians in Palestine. 55 years of perfecting military occupation with full impunity have created a suffocating reality in all sectors of society.

It is now normalized—so the Israelis would like you to believe—that we wake up to radio reports starting, not with today’s weather, but with the number of Palestinians killed the day before, the number of Palestinians arrested overnight and held under administrative detention, my 78-year-old Palestinian American cousin being one of them, and the number of house demolitions and settler rampages that took place.

This reality is unsustainable. Let me repeat for anyone not sure. THIS REALITY IS UNSUSTAINABLE!

Some will claim time is on our side. They will say: History has proved our case. We have less to lose than the Israeli side. The future will see justice ultimately prevail. I prefer to quote MLK’s comments on time, “Time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will.”

To use our time constructively we must act. When we are faced with this daily Israeli battering, near zero accountability from all corners of the world for Israeli actions, and a hollowed out, split, and calcified Palestinian political agency, we have, in my opinion, an obligation to deal with the here, the now, and the present.

To deal with today, I have 4 pillars of action in mind, at all times. We don’t have the luxury to take them on one at a time.

First, resist occupation, hopefully non-violently. This is a natural reaction that any people in the world would do. Think Ukrainians today.

Second, maintain international law as a framework to resist and move politically, for me it’s 2 states within an arrangement of confederation, but I fully appreciate others who may envision a different end game. The time is not now to decide given Israel refuses to engage politically, but we must remain aligned with international law so as not to end up playing Israel’s game of the Law of the Jungle which would erode large parts of those who support our struggle today.

Third, work towards statehood, in all of what that means, and understanding it will always be incomplete as long as we live under military occupation while simultaneously demanding equal rights today. The equal rights TODAY part is too often overlooked, thinking Palestinians are Supermen and Superwomen who can struggle forever. This romanticizing of our struggle does not serve us well.

Fourth, articulate a future worth living to both sides, for me it’s a confederation, as one possible option. Whatever outcome you desire, you, me, we all, have an obligation to do the heavy intellectual work to, not only define the end game but present a convincing road map on how we will reach the desired destination. I really want to go to Jupiter, but it does no one any good if I keep stating that but can’t afford a car to get to the library to do the necessary research.

For me, our proposal links all four pillars together. Give me more occupation you will get more resistance, and ultimately like we are seeing today, more violent resistance. Give me more statehood, you will get more diplomatic and economic resistance. End the occupation and the game changes altogether.

There is no silver bullet, there are only actions, today, that point us in the right direction. The sooner we realize this the fewer Palestinians and Israelis will pay the price in their lives for our ignorance.

Now, back to what our proposal does not cover.

It is not a solution. It recognizes that an element of the solution, the Palestinian state, is a given today and assumes that making progress on this key element would positively influence other aspects of this conflict if we can even call it that.

It does not bring refugees back home. However, it recognizes that, as life under military occupation is unsustainable, life in refugeedom is even more so unsustainable, and has been for some time, and must start to be addressed, here and now. Today.

It does not ignore the Palestinian political agency, nor does it pretend to redefine the Palestinian agency’s political program. Rather, it is focused on what the international community can do, today, to give meaning to their repeated calls for the end of the occupation. Third states can and must act, individually, and collectively where possible. It is a shame on humanity that states continue to hide behind a need for a collective decision that requires Israeli approval before they act.

It is not an Oslo-style approach—”let’s talk until Kingdom comes” as the Israeli occupation continues to entrench itself deeper and deeper with full impunity. Rather it is informed by the strategic flaw of Oslo which allowed for Palestinian recognition of Israel without reciprocal recognition of Israel of Palestine.

So, the focus is on STATE and EQUAL RIGHTS, simultaneously.

Equal rights need no explanation. Anyone who questions if Palestinians are full human beings deserving all recognized rights is not my audience. It pains me that Senator Bernie Saunders had to make this same argument in the US in 2021, when he wrote in the NYT, “We must recognize that Palestinian rights matter. Palestinian lives matter.” Bernie was actually saying more about the American state of affairs than about Palestinians.

A State, on the other hand, may be less apparent to some, whom I can’t blame, since we take our state for granted until we lose it.

States—sovereign, independent states—are how the world is currently organized, that is not something that I, Tony, or the Palestinian people defined, but until it changes, Palestinians will not accept anything less, be it a state from the “river to the sea” or a state in the oPt. If the world decides to change the organizing element of nationhood to tents, I’ll be the first to call for the best air-conditioned and carpeted tent available.

Formally, the status of the states of Israel and Palestine are strikingly similar.

Israel is recognized as a state by 165 of the 193 UN member states, even though Israel has yet to define its borders, a requirement for membership in the UN. As recently revealed in unclassified documents in Israel, not only does Israel not define its borders, but since 1967 deliberately acted to erase any notion of a Green Line dividing the two states, but that’s a discussion for another day when we talk about possible solutions.

Palestine on the other hand is formally recognized by 138 of the 193 UN member states and two non-member states, the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic, and Vatican City. Remember, I speak here of formal recognition, not the reality of that state on the ground, which is a different discussion. Both issues are extremely important. Palestine has also been a non-member observer state of the UN General Assembly since the passing of United Nations General Assembly resolution 67/19 in November 2012, which the Palestinians brought forth themselves, unlike other UN resolutions and declarations that attempted to dictate an outcome upon the Palestinians without their consultation or agreement—this dynamic should not be underestimated. That resolution, in particular, also does not define Palestine’s western border and leaves it open for future negotiations.

Thus, both Palestine (71.5%) and Israel (85.5%) are equally recognized by the majority of the world’s countries and in an equally flawed manner. These facts should serve as a no-brainer for policymakers in the world’s power centres to act, and quickly, to allow these two states to receive 100% recognition. Without acting, the option could disappear. Some think it is already impossible due to the never-ending illegal Israeli settlement building, but I am not from that school of thought. I vividly remember when hawkish war criminal Ariel Sharon claimed that the Israeli settlement in Gaza called Netzarim was as important to Israel’s security as Tel Aviv, 3 years before he dismantled Netzarim.

So, all that said, our proposal calls Israel’s decades-old bluff of this being a military occupation or not all the while making the possibility of Palestine statehood more difficult on the ground.

The driver for this action is the international community, individual Third states, and states collectively, like the EU.

The leverage these states and state formations have is tremendous. They underwrite today’s reality—as donor states to Palestinians. Using this leverage will force Israel to do the right thing or end up paying for their occupation, let alone facing the price around the world for not providing Palestinian subjects under its control with equal rights, like any Israeli citizen today. When Israel gets the message that maintaining a profitable military occupation is no longer on the table, things will change.

It is no secret that efforts are well underway to reframe this entire issue, more toward parts of international law that deal with colonization, Apartheid, self-determination, and the use of force. We are in the last mile to structurally advance state of affairs within the paradigm of a military occupation, and one, nonetheless, that has an illegal standing today under international law.

If the military occupation framing is dropped by the Palestinians, Third states, starting with the UK, will find itself brushing the dust off of some documents in their libraries, such as:

•             League of Nations Covenant (Article 22), part of the Treaty of Versailles, 1920

•             The Mandate for Palestine, adopted through the League of Nations Council, 1922

•             United Nations Charter, 1945, Chapter XIV (14); and the

•             Statute of the International Court of Justice (part of the UN Charter), 1945

So, back to the equality standard, the gold standard of today’s younger generation, and I must note in defence of my own and past generations, this is exactly the same standard that the PLO adopted ever since 1974 when they fully embraced international law. History has a way of coming around full circle. Karma, as well, has its own way.

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