Palestine – Sarkozy Makes Monumental Mistake

October 11, 2011 by David Singer
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France’s President – Nicolas Sarkozy – has made a mistake of historic proportions – possibly dashing any hope of the two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs coming to fruition – after he told  the French magazine Le Canard Enchaîne: “It is silly to talk about a Jewish state” …writes David Singer.

President Sarkozy made this comment while referring to the Israeli demand that the Palestinian Arabs recognize Israel as the Jewish state in any peace agreement.

He compounded this act of gross political ineptness by continuing:

“It would be like saying that this table is Catholic. There are two million Arabs in Israel.”

On the figures alone – President Sarkozy is demonstrably wrong.

Latest statistics show the Arab population of Israel is 1,610,000 (20.5%). The President also fails to mention that the Jewish population numbers 5,874,300 (75.3%) and there are 323000 not identified as Jews or Arabs (4.2%).

Tables cannot be offended – but people certainly can.

President Sarkozy’s statement is extremely offensive to the overwhelming majority of Jews wherever they live – but no doubt will be met with resounding applause by Jew-haters world wide.

His statement will offend those tens of millions of Christians who support the right of the Jewish people to establish their own independent state in their ancient ancestral and legally recognized homeland,

President Sarkozy in this one brief comment has abandoned French foreign policy pursued over the last 90 years – whilst also rejecting international law principles formulated during that period  – which France was instrumental in establishing.

In so doing President Sarkozy has caused great damage to France’s reputation and  honor,

It was France – together with Britain, – that laid down the legal framework for the Jewish people’s right of return to Palestine pursuant  to the Treaty of Sevres signed on 10 August 1920 – which allocated 99.999% of the captured Ottoman Empire to the Arabs and provided for the remaining 0.001% be set aside as a national home for the Jewish people.

Article 95 of the Treaty specifically provided:

“The High Contracting Parties agree to entrust, by application of the provisions of Article 22, the administration of Palestine, within such boundaries as may be determined by the Principal Allied Powers, to a Mandatory to be selected by the said Powers. The Mandatory will be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2, 1917, by the British Government, and adopted by the other Allied Powers, in favour of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

France endorsed this decision together with all other 50 other countries in the League of Nations by  unanimously approving the creation of the Mandate for Palestine in 1922 – which recognized: “the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country”

France signed the UN Charter on 26 June 1945 and subsequently ratified its coming into operation on 24 October 1945.

The Charter contains article 80 – which preserved the rights vested in the Jewish people under the Mandate – to ensure they did not disappear with the pending demise of the League of Nations – which finally occurred on 12 April 1946.

France was among the 33 countries that voted in favor of the UN Partition Plan on 29 November 1947 calling for the partition of Palestine into a Jewish State and an Arab State.

President Sarkozy is apparently unsympathetic to Israel’s demand to be recognized as the Jewish State – despite the fact that Article 20 of the Charter of the Palestine Liberation Organization denies the Jews any such right in the following dismissive and highly offensive terms:

“Claims of historical or religious ties of Jews with Palestine are incompatible with the facts of history and the true conception of what constitutes statehood. Judaism, being a religion, is not an independent nationality. Nor do Jews constitute a single nation with an identity of its own; they are citizens of the states to which they belong.”

The Chairman of the PLO – Mahmoud Abbas – is a frequent visitor to Paris and is received with full honors by  President Sarkozy who can now only be seen to be openly endorsing this despicable and racist viewpoint – which Chairman Abbas resolutely refuses to change.

Hamas is as equally strident in wanting to destroy the Jewish State.

How can a peace agreement between Jews and Arabs be successfully concluded whilst such attitudes are maintained by the PLO and Hamas?  What effect will President Sarkozy’s viewpoint have in encouraging the PLO and Hamas to maintain their rejectionist stances?  Should President Sarkozy not be urging the Palestinian Arabs to accede to Israel’s request if they ever hope to attain their own independent State?

President Sarkozy needs to read and digest what David Ben-Gurion told the United Nations Special Committee on Palestine on 7 July 1947:

“What is the meaning of a Jewish State? As I told you before, a Jewish State does not mean one has to be a Jew. It means merely a State-where the Jews are in the majority, otherwise all the citizens have the same status. If the State were called by the name “Palestine,” – I said if, – then all would be Palestinian citizens. If the State would be given, another name – I think it would be given another name, because Palestine is neither a Jewish nor an Arab name. As far as the Arabs are concerned, and we have the evidence of the Arab historian, Hitti, that there was no such a thing as “Palestine” at all: Palestine is not an Arab name. Palestine is also not a Jewish name. When the Greeks were our enemies, in order not to annoy the Jews, they gave different names to the streets. So, maybe the name of Palestine will be changed. But whatever the name of the country, every citizen of the country will be a citizen. This is what we mean. This is what we have to mean. We cannot conceive that in a State where we are not in a minority, where we have the main responsibilities as the majority of the country, there should be the slightest discrimination between a Jew and a non-Jew.”

Until President Sarkozy unequivocally retracts his comment and embraces Ben-Gurion’s  statement – he will surely be tarred with uttering one of the most damaging comments ever made by a head of state on the Jewish-Arab conflict – effectively prolonging the dispute rather than helping to resolve it.

David Singer is a Sydney Lawyer and Foundation Member of the International Analysts Network

 

Comments

16 Responses to “Palestine – Sarkozy Makes Monumental Mistake”
  1. dannykid says:

    The name “Palestine” is neither Hebrew nor Arabic. It is a Roman invention: when the Romans expelled the Jews out of Judea some 2000 years ago, in an effort to expel Judea out of the Jews they re-named it Palestine. It didn’t work. The Jews are still here and finally back in Judea.

    There has never been a Palestinian entity, culture, people, ethnic group or tribe. Just a renamed Judea, an occupied corner of this or that empire. Other than Palestinian Jews of the early 20th century, I defy anyone to find any record of a Palestinian entity of any kind, let alone a nation or a distinct people or culture, Arab or whatever, pre 1964 when it was created by that Nobel “Peace” laureate, Yasser Arafat. Go on. Find a Palestinian nation, a ruler, a parliament, a capital, a seat of power, something, anything real and genuine pre 1964.

    I sometimes think that it’s a shame Ben Gurion chose Israel instead of Judea – it would have made it easier for the simpleton accusers of “Jewish racism in Israel” to accept Judea for the Jews (Italy for the Italians, Greece for the Greeks etc.)

    As for Jews belonging to a Nation: recent DNA research has found that fully 60% of male Cohens and 20% of female Cohens have the one male ancestor from around 3,600 years ago. If you go by the Torah, that would be Aaron. Google it. Not just a Nation but a Family.

    From around 1920, culminating in 1948, first the Arabs and then the Jordanians ethnic cleansed the whole of the West Bank, including Judaism’s two holiest sites, Hebron and East Jerusalem, of all the Jews who had lived there continuously for over 1,500 years, some in the same family home for a millennium. They bulldozed Jerusalem’s Jewish quarter, destroyed its 58 synagogues and used headstones from the ancient Jewish cemetary for toilets. In 1967, just 19 years later, the Jews returned, rebuilt their homes and synagogues and in a bizarre twist of Orwellian-speak, the Jews are accused of being “illegally occupying colonialist settlers” not only of Judea and Samaria but also of “Arab” East Jerusalem.

    Sarkoszy is way, way off.

  2. Peter Hersh says:

    I must admit I getting sick of seeing people argue that it is somehow racist for there to be a Jewish State but at the same time are silent about the fact that there are many countries that call themselves Islamic. A simple google search on “state with Islamic in their name” reveiled the following site “http://www.eislamicarabic.com/muslim-countries.html” and some 55 countries. Now for Christian countries go to http://christiancountries.com/ and you will see 120 countries that say they are Christian.
    My view is that the majority of the population of a State have every right to have an official religion of their country. That does not mena that others are second class, just that they are different. As long as all religions can be practiced there should be no issue.

    The problem is there are many countries, that the like of Neil are silent about, that do not allow other religions to exist, Israel I am happy to say is not one of them.

  3. david singer says:

    #To John

    The Palestinian Arabs could have had their own State
    1. In 1937 when recommended by the Peel Partition
    2. in 1948 when recommended by the UN Partition Plan
    3. Between 1948-1967 when it could have been created by the stroke of an Arab League pen
    4. In 2000 or 2008 when offered by Israel.

    Rejection of these opportunities and offers have led the Palestinian Arabs to the position they now find themselves in.

    Until they learn to realistically negotiate – nothing is bound to change the depressing conclusion that the 130 years old Arab-Jewish conflict is set to continue well into the foreseeable future.

  4. david singer says:

    #To ragged_soul

    Sarkozy is not Jewish – unless you adopt the Nazi definition of who is a Jew.

    That is not to deny there are plenty of self-hating Jews who frown on Jews having their own State where they are the majority and can determine their own future. Jews are not monolithic in thought or opinion.

    You are wrong again in asserting:

    “The mandate for a ‘Jewish homeland’ has no implication that the homeland must, by definition, be ‘Jewish’, only that it be where Jews may live. the mandate only called for a “Jewish homeland”.

    The Mandate did nothing of the sort.

    The mandate recognized the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country it being clearly understood nothing would be done to prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in P
    Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

    The Mandate – and its forerunner – the Treaty of Sevres – provided the legal justification for the return
    of the Jews to their biblical and ancestral country as part of an overall settlement that saw 99.999% of the territory captured from the Ottomans set aside for the Arabs and the remaining 0.001% set aside for the Jews.

    The Arabs have never accepted that settlement and still covet the 0.001% they never got. They are entitled to pursue their rejectionist stance – but in so doing will ensure only continuing suffering for both Arabs and Jews.

    I repeat that Sarkozy has overturned 90 years of French diplomacy by making the remark he did,

  5. david singer says:

    #To Shlomith

    Your quoted remark attributed to Sarkozy is incorrect.

    It is contained in the PLO Charter – which along with the Hamas Charter represent the two most vicious and rabid Jew-hating documents to appear since the Nazis spewed out their Jew-hating propaganda.

  6. david singer says:

    #To Neil

    You state:

    “Doesn’t anyone here think that saying Israel is a Jewish state when there are 1.6 million Arabs there just a little bit racist?”

    Do you have the same view about the 56 professed Islamic states that are members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference and have large minorities that are not Moslems? Is it racist to call them Islamic states?

  7. david singer says:

    To #Mr Giggles

    Indeed the world did follow Ben-Gurion when the UN endorsed the creation of a “Jewish state” and an “Arab state” in the 1947 Partition Plan.

    The Arab countries did not – and still don’t. Until they do – you can be sure the conflict will be set to continue.

  8. Otto Waldmann says:

    One must appreciate John’s candour in admitting not being exposed to REAL deficient, criminally concocted “arguments” ( of the Hamas type ,just in case ), “Ragged_soul’s” modest density of matter struggling to elicit thought and “Mr Goggles” brief and stupendoulsy simple uttering of the 1st thing that must have occured to him prior to engaging knowledge, in sum, all three converging in using the same orifice of filth while pretending that they are providing a useful service to cogent dialectics.
    Me again with long and convoluted phrases !!!
    Why not be clear and direct.
    All three above mentioned hail from the same school of the prommotion of absurdities and bile in lieu of reason.

    1. Sarkozy NO Jew !!!!
    2. Sarkozy big time oportunist with no passion for intelligent discourse.
    3. To ragged, clear and oligophrenic anti Semites, Jews should not have their own Home-State, a hostility concept the Jewish State has been dealing with while encountering the types of Al Fatah, Hamas, “Ragged souls”,” Mr. Goggles” and any other “John” who secret nothing but venom and monumental ignorance. Kind of web irritants worth taking seriously only when you feel like a good laugh.

    N.B.

    Greek: oligo = few,
    phreno = brains ( think…”phrenology” )

  9. John says:

    This may by far be the most propaganda laden article I have ever read in my entire life. This is pure garbage. The Palestinian people are… people, just like the jews even though you may believe you are the chosen ones. This was the stupidest argument I have ever heard and it is very ignorant reasoning. I agree with the French President for taking those that are now the oppressed. It is interesting to see the those that were once oppressed are now the oppressors. You have no shame in advocating such a sick ideal and threatening the lives of many with such little just reasoning. I pray to God that he may guide all of you and help you see the truth, that people are not an object for you to throw around in refugee camp or trap them in two large prisons: Gaza and the West Bank. You are thieves and nothing more.

  10. Charles (not De Gaule) says:

    How can Sarkozy do damage to France’s reputation and honor?
    He cannot do any worse than what it is .Petain took those away when he collaborated with the Nazis .
    The respect and honor France can claim has long been flushed down a smelly pissiouar

  11. ragged_soul says:

    This such a silly story, and the ‘serious’ responses make me laugh. The author’s delirious statements such as ‘monumental error’ and ‘Sarkozy has caused great damage to France’s reputation and honor’ are, quite frankly, hilarious and speak to a delusional arrogance held by some.

    Sarkozy himself is Jewish. The mandate for a ‘Jewish homeland’ has no implication that the homeland must, by definition, be ‘Jewish’, only that it be where Jews may live. How could it be with nearly a quarter of the population being non-Jewish?

    Abandon the ridiculous tribal religions of the past; it only means continued violence to believe these delusions.

  12. Shlomith says:

    This comment by Sarkosy has to be one of the most ignorant, ludicrous and offensive things i heard in my life:
    ” Judaism, being a religion, is not an independent nationality. Nor do Jews constitute a single nation with an identity of its own; they are citizens of the states to which they belong.”

    Sarkosy has obviously never read a Bible in his entire, anti-semitic life. Nor has he studied recent or ancient history.

  13. Neil says:

    ”It is silly to talk about a Jewish state”

    Doesn’t anyone here think that saying Israel is a Jewish state when there are 1.6 million Arabs there just a little bit racist?

    Think about it. . .

    Best wishes

  14. david singer says:

    To Vasco

    You might be right – but the story has appeared extensively on the Web and Sarkozy has not denied it. JWire’s report is currently number 6 on google under keyword “Sarkozy”. It seems unimaginable that being in that position the story would not have come to the notice of Sarkozy or his advisers.

  15. Mr.Giggles says:

    Yeah, when Israel “unequivocally … embraces Ben-Gurion’s statement,” the rest of the world might follow. Until then, it’s home demolitions, mosque burnings, institutional racism and forced demography.

  16. Vasco says:

    Le Canard Enchaîne is like “the Onion” or Mad magazine. It’s a spoof newspaper. It’s like a year-round April Fool’s joke.

    So I’d check a different source. The whole article seems to be based on a false quote.

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